What to store in your trunk

Depending upon your lifestyle, you’ll have different items stored in your trunk. Young families will almost certainly have a stroller, while empty nesters may keep their favorite hobby or sports supplies back there for easy access. And, if you’re a teenager, chances are that everything is found in your car trunk! Almost anyone you ask will say a jack and a spare tire. And they'd be right! But what else should actually be there? This list contains simple and affordable items. Storing them in your trunk is a great way to stay prepared for anything that may come your way when on the road.

First and foremost, always store a jump starter in your car -- even two.

If you live in a cold climate, or if you’re notorious for leaving your dome light on in parking lots, it’s even more important to have a jump starter ready and waiting when you need one. Take it a step further and learn how to use them—it will save you the embarrassment of having to find someone who can, and a jump starter really is simple to use.

A mini air compressor is handy and an important item to keep in your trunk.

Low tire pressure can cause a dangerous car accident, and can also cause your gas mileage to take a dip downward. Opt for a cordless mini air compressor and keep batteries stored nearby.

Other important items for your car trunk are probably in your closet right now.

Old towels are a handy item for your car trunk, and can actually help your car retain some of its resale value. Instead of tossing dirty or wet items in the back or ineffectively dealing with a leaking package, use the towels to prevent spills and also clean up with them when necessary. This is especially important if you have kids or pets -- you’ll be amazed at how quickly your car’s upholstery can become damaged in a short amount of time when you are left without a quick clean up method. A large blanket falls under the same category as the towels, but can double as a fun convenience item for picnics, sporting events and so forth. You may be surprised at how often you have a need for a warm blanket while on vacation or simply going out for an evening. Reusable grocery bags are also recommended for your trunk. Do your part in reducing pollution by bringing your own bags into a store. These tend to last for quite a while and often cost less than a dollar or two at your favorite retailers. So say no to paper AND plastic with these convenient sacks in your trunk.

These are just a few of the essentials you should keep in your car trunk so you’re never stranded without what you need when you need it.

While it may sound like a lot, these items will only take up a small portion of trunk space and can save you plenty of time and money in an unexpected situation. Editor's note: Advance Auto Parts carries a wide selection of essentials to store in your trunk, plus thousands of other quality auto parts. Get your order fast—buy online, pick up in store.

Last updated April 29, 2019