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The weather is warm, the sun is shining, you’ve got cabin-fever from being stuck inside for those long Canadian winters (that often seem to last well into spring). Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Road trip!
To take advantage of our short summers in Canada, it’s common to take road trips to visit friends and family or to explore Canada’s expansive beauty.
Maybe you feel a little (or a lot) giddy with excitement. Your friends or family have given the OK —they’re onboard and the road trip is a GO! In the midst of your anticipation at all the fun you’re going to have and the memories you’ll be making, you’ve planned out where you’ll stop along the way (or maybe you’re the spontaneous type, so haven’t planned much), what outfit you’ll wear on the drive, packed your swimsuits and sunscreen, and mapped out the most scenic route to take you to your destination.
They say it’s a good idea to hope for the best, but plan for the worst. I know things like emergency supplies and spare tires aren’t the most exciting part of a road trip, but if you end up needing them and don’t have them, your situation will certainly put a damper on your fun plans!
When I think about road trips, I automatically think about Canadian Tire, since they have a huge automotive section, but also sections for camping supplies, cooking/kitchen supplies, portable BBQs, and emergency supplies. Yes! They have so much of what you will need for your road trip. After all, Canadian Tire is Made for life in Canada!
Here is my handy checklist for what you should have with you to prepare for a road trip in case of emergencies:
- Water – all those hours spent driving in a hot car on a sunny day means you’re likely to feel dehydrated if you don’t remember to bring along plenty of water. Take extra bottles (at least 1 litre per person) to stash in your trunk in case there’s an emergency.
- Non-perishable Snacks or Energy Bars
- Light Jacket – evening temperatures may dip down cooler than you expected so a light jacket will come in handy.
- Real Shoes – I get it, it’s summer, so wearing flip-flops and sandals are the norm. But, if you’ve got to walk a long distance or you’re in an emergency situation, you’ll be glad to have comfortable shoes. Think: light trail hiking shoes, walking shoes, or sturdy runners.
- Emergency Kit – you can put one of these together yourself, or purchase a premade kit for your vehicle at Canadian Tire.
- Tire Pressure Gauge – fluctuating temperatures and lots of driving can change the pressure in your tires. It’s important to check this often and follow the guidelines of your vehicle manufacturer for correct tire pressure amounts for front and rear tires.
- Jack – True story: it was really late one evening in Washington State as my friend and I pulled into a campsite. It was far too dark to pitch a tent, so we slept in my car. In the morning we could smell something rubbery. Turns out one of my tires was melting! I’m so glad I had a jack and a spare tire in my car’s trunk!
4 things to take care of before a road trip:
- Check your vehicle’s fluids: windshield washer, transmission, and coolant. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions if you need to top any of these off.
- Update your out-of-area contact. Give your travel details and information to someone you trust who is not going to be with you on your trip. Keep a physical copy of their contact information in your emergency kit).
- Check the pressure in your vehicle’s tires using the tire pressure gauge mentioned above. Properly inflated tires make for a more safe drive. Check your owner’s manual or inside the door frame of your driver’s side door for tire pressure numbers.
- Perform an oil change.
I purchased Quaker State® Ultimate Durability™ Full Synthetic Motor Oil for my car, since it’s a great oil at a great price and can be found at Canadian Tire. The Quaker State oil is located in the automotive section at Canadian Tire.
You can find filters, oil trays, and other things you may need for your oil change in a nearby aisle.
Why change your vehicle’s oil and use Quaker State oil? As your engine temperature increases, heat-activated viscosity improvers and anti-wear additives kick in to maintain oil thickness to help extend your engine life.
Oil Change Tips: Check your owner’s manual for correct type and amount of Quaker State oil to purchase. Take safety precautions seriously: put something behind your tires to prevent your vehicle moving while on the jack. Follow manufacturer recommendations for correct weight and grade of oil for your vehicle.
Canadian Tire is the ultimate one stop shop for all your automotive and home needs, which is why it’s my top choice for where to head when I’m planning a road trip or for other summer activities!
Having taken care of the emergency supplies and 4 must-do things listed above, you’re ready to head out on your next road trip adventure!