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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ready for that road trip?

By Marcus Parish

There is no better time to practice survival then now. Summer is right around the corner and people will start taking the family road trips and why not combine a survival retreat exercise with your planned road trip. For some people this might be their very first road trip to the wide open country side and as such they will want to make sure that everything is just right particularly if they have young children with them. Here are a few important things which you might want to consider checking twice.

Always check the vehicle you are taking. Ask yourself if you would really trust it to go from destination A to destination B without any sort of problems. Remember you may have to place the safety of your family in this vehicle one day. If you feel confident in the workings of your vehicle then let’s review a few quick maintenance tips.

Everyone knows that a proper oil change will make your vehicles engine last longer as well as to keep it running coolly. Before you make that trip you should stop into your local Oil change shop and get an oil change completed. It takes very little time and the cost is generally under $30.00. The peace of mind knowing that you are taking the proper care of your vehicle is well worth the cost associated with it. Now moving on, consider whether or not you have recently checked your Anti-freeze. Once again maintaining the proper coolant in your automobile system will ensure that your car runs cool and will not overheat in traffic.

Remember you are thinking more about what you’re going to be doing when you reach that cozy cabin in the woods then when you are driving on the road. With the gas prices rising in cost once again you may want to inspect your tires for the proper air pressure. It is little things such as these that help you to save on your gasoline expenses which in turn means you have more money to spend when you arrive at the cabin. Additional things which you may wish to consider are your various belts as well as your transmission fluid.

I always keep a flashlight in my trunk and a tire iron handy for those unexpected emergencies. It goes without saying that you should make sure that you have a jack safely stored in your car. Make sure that your spare tire is in good shape. There is nothing worse then getting a flat tire and finding that you can not change it because your spare is either missing or also flat.

Now that you have assured yourself that your family vehicle is road worthy it is time to plan on what you will take with you.

I have been asked many times about benefits of installing a GPS system in my vehicle. Sure they are nice to have but what happens if you lose the signal at a crucial time or even if the darn thing may break down on you. Do yourself a favor and stop at a greeting center and grab yourself a map. Now mark out your route for your trip. In this way if anything were to happen you will still end up arriving at your destination. Grab your cell phone and if you don't have one then go and get one of the readily available prepaid units. This will help you in case anything was to happen on your trip and you need to call someone fro help. Don't forget to grab that car charger for your phone.

If your are like me I do not like to stop very often when on a trip. I just want to get to my final destination so I can relax and enjoy my time away from home. Sounds like a good plan doesn’t it however think for a moment that if you require some rest then perhaps your vehicle does also. Your vehicle has a lot of moving parts in it and needs to rest occasionally also. Stop at a rest area and get out. Stretch your legs by taking a short walk or maybe play with the kids or the dog for a short period of time. This will give your vehicle time to cool down and relax and at the same time keep you awake. Remember if you get too tired pull over for the night.

No one ever plans to break down on the highway. Even after having the oil change and your mechanic has checked every aspect of your vehicle to ensure its operating properly things do happen. If however it does happen you will need emergency food and water until the tow truck can get to you. You should considering that there may be no air conditioning when your vehicle breaks down so you will certain appreciate having water readily available even if it is not very cold it is still something that will prevent you from dehydrating.

Many people fail to think about the small things that could happen on a trip. Not that these things will happen but you never can tell. Here are a few things to take with you when planning your trip. A credit card is always a good idea to carry in your vehicle. A list of emergency phone numbers including one to AAA for roadside assistance. A good way to pass some time on your drive to the cabin is by use of CD's and a portable DVD player. If you have children you might want to pack some hand games or something that they can play with to make their trip go by a little better. Don't forget about snacks. I am one that loves snacks while driving and I’m sure the children will want something also. In addition it is cheaper then stopping along the highway to grab a bite to eat.

This article is by no means everything you might need or want to know however it is a basic starting point to get you thinking.

Copyright @2009 Marcus Parish


Original: http://www.survival-training.info/articles9/Readyforthatroadtrip.htm