Emergency car kit realized

How long has it been since I decided I needed to put together an emergency car kit for all of those times I’m out in the wild and I need reusables?

(Oh. May 4. Well, I did better than I thought.)

I didn’t want a huge kit – just something I could hang over the headrest on the passenger side of the front seat for easy access. (Although when the four of us are going somewhere, I have to move it to the trunk.) And I didn’t want to buy anything, either. Not that I’m against cute things. (I did just buy those un-plastic baggies.) I just want to embrace what I already have. Here’s what I came up with:

  • Small glass jar with lid for chocolate emergencies (hello, bulk bin!)
  • Large glass jar with lid for iced coffee emergencies
  • Plastic container for takeout emergencies
  • Fork, spoon, straw and cloth napkin, all held in one of those aforementioned un-plastic baggies (it BARELY fit because of the straw, but I was super motivated to make it work)
  • Reusable grocery sack to store it all in
"The kit."

“The kit.”

That plastic container is from when the girls took bento boxes to school for lunch – they have a different set up now. And fun fact: I got that grocery sack at Yellowstone probably six years ago.

This whole ordeal had been in my car a full week before I even got to use anything. As usually happens, though, I was out and about, and realized that A) I really wanted an iced Americano and 2) I also needed a sandwich.

Well, it was as good a time as any to test this thing out. First stop: Coffee drive-thru. This was the second time I’ve attempted to get an iced drink in a jar – the first time, I forgot to say, “No straw!” so I ended up with one. THIS time, I remembered. And felt pretty good about that . (It’s the small things.)

Next came the cute little bakery on the corner. This place is where I take my reusable cloth sacks for bread, and I’ve never had a problem with anything. Good place for the maiden voyage of that old bento box.

Ordering goes well – I explain I want that baguette sandwich cut in half and placed in my box – and the kid behind the counter is all like, oh, yeah, no problem. And takes my box and gives me a number. I watch other people getting their to-go sandwiches wrapped in the bakery’s signature brown paper. And then another kid – not the one who took my order – hands me my sandwich.



In paper.

And I’m like, well, I guess the straw is going to be the victory for the day.

I hate to make a fuss, because I’m just not a fusser and also because I need these people on my side. So I ask about my box, and the kid is all like, yeah, where DID that go? And it takes him literally two minutes to hunt it down.

And then he starts to unwrap my sandwich to put in the box.

And I’m like, you know what? Seriously, it’s okay, I can take the paper. And he was all, are you sure? And I was like, I really am. I just like to gum up the system, ha ha, and point to my box.

And then another kid said, you know what? Keep trying, it’s a good thing.

She’s my new best friend.

I don’t feel great about this experience, but I don’t feel terrible, either – I think mostly I’m just disappointed I didn’t get to use my kit the way I’d hoped. I will be trying again, and I’m betting on success. It was an honest oversight.

And then I came home and got everything washed and put back into the kit for next time. (Or the straw and the jar, at least.)

Anyone else have a car kit made up yet? What did you put in yours? Have you gotten to use it? I want to hear!

Next up: Life is getting away from me, you guys, so my next post will be Friday, and I’m hoping it will be either about zero waste beer (that one is for Eric) or on a recent trip we took to Eugene – specifically, the amazing bulk aisle at one of the markets.