Do you know what really sucks? When you're in an emergency situation, and you don't have back up items in your car.
Here's something not everyone knows about me; I'm a photographer when I'm not doing my "day time" job - and have been active for now over ten years. (Which is TOTALLY crazy. Time goes by so quickly!) Throughout the years, I've been pretty lucky not to have too many accidents, which is honestly surprising considering how clutzy I am on a day to day basis.
On my most recent trip away, my luck ended up running out. Queue the above photo. It was getting late, and my lovely friend and model Annalise and I been shooting down on one of my favourite beaches. We knew the tide was slowly coming in, but had been blissfully caught up in the shoot. In the space of SEVEN minutes - where we had casually left (my) photography gear and (her) clothes a few meters away on a rock -now came into a harsh reality that the rock was now succumbed by water. The tide had easily come in two or three meters in that time frame.
Jumping on instinct, we both ran for the bags - and, me being me, completely lost my footing on the sand. It was the first time in a while that I've had a slow-motion fall - you know the ones where you know things are going to suck so you have to work out what the best course of action is pretty quickly - and whilst normally having my camera strap around my neck was a blessing, on this particular occasion it was absolutely a curse. I attempted to fling it out of the way as my chubby butt was falling directly in line with the sand, shells, and rocks - and it was a race to see what would collide first; the Claire or the Lens.
As it turned out - we both hit the ground at the same time, and with an awful crunch, I knew I did damage to myself and the camera. (#fml at this stage.)
"I'm going to face plant by the end of the day, just you watch."
- me, circa February 8, appx 5:30 pm - two hours before I did in fact, face plant.
Fast forward to a few minutes later, we'd managed to make it back to our cars. My knee was bleeding all over the show - I had a drenched amount of gear that I was high key stressing out about and a sudden realization that for the majority of items that I needed to fix said anxiety fueled concerns - I had in my car. Which leads me to this post, because honestly, these are items you really should have in your car as both a photographer, and just as a functioning adult.
1. A SPARE CHANGE OF CLOTHES. AND I MEAN, SPARE EVERYTHING
Something I realised pretty quickly in just, y'know, life - was that having a change of clothes in the car is just beneficial. Going to the gym and forgot your socks? Spare in the car. Going out on a cute date and have spilled coffee down your top? Spare in the car. Face plant into water and get your whole bottom half of your outfit wet? You got it, spare in the car. It's honestly the best feeling knowing you've got a back up plan for nearly everything in life, and with the presumption that you're reading this because you own a car - this is something that's SO easy to keep with you.
2. ALSO INCLUDE A TOWEL, AND A PLASTIC BAG TO PUT YOUR WET THINGS IN.
This one is actually something else I picked up from my years with Wally, - no one likes wet dog smell in their car, and having a spare towel hanging around is amazing for such an occasion. Other things that towels come in handy for are for spontaneous trips to the beach, or when you get stuck in the rain (See check point 1)
One thing I did keep forgetting for ages (and actually missing from the car now, whoops.) is having a plastic bag, or some form of storage for said wet towel, so make sure you've hidden that somewhere too.
3. HAVE A BOTTLE OF WATER IN YOUR CAR AT ALL TIMES.
I'm the Queen of procrastination. I had a water bottle sitting in my car that I filled up for a trip to the gym like, months ago, and just kept forgetting to take it inside. When I did the above damage to my knee - having that sitting there ready to go to wash off the sand and grot, and not having to worry about running around like an idiot under a tap was *chef kisses* amazing.
Just in general though, having a bottle of water in your car just has heaps of benefits. Dehydrated? There's your water. Car needs water? Done - there it is, just hiding in the back there, ready to go. Found a lost puppy? You can offer water! Choking on something? Water bottle a go go.
5. A SPARE CHARGER.
This one always seems to be a bit of a no brainer - but if you're out in the middle of no where, and your phone goes flat, and you don't have something there to charge your phone with - how long are you going to be by yourself until help comes? Don't risk it. For the sake of $20, invest in a car charger and and car adapter.
6. HAVING SOME EXTRA COINS
I'm always a bit of a worrier when it comes to having money in the car, but when it comes to the age of technology, something sooner rather than later will come unstuck. For example; McDonald's. Look - I have a love/hate relationship with Maccas. Particularly as of recent with their (superbloodyfrustrating) app - which has malfunctioned a number of times. I love(d) the app because it meant I could order before I left the house, and then not have to worry about finding my cards if they'd gone walk about. The amount of times of recent though that the app has wiped my order whilst I'm just about to finish up at drive thru is insane, and I've been stuck in this awkward "So.... I don't have my card on me...?" scenario to the person in the window.
I generally wouldn't recommend any more than $10 at any given go, especially for the reason that if something happens to your car (aka, gets stolen or broken into) - you're at least not going to be too much out. It's also handy if you're going into somewhere you don't know, and then find out they don't accept card.
8. PEN AND PAPER
The amount of people who don't have pens in their car is almost criminal. There are a large amount of reasons to have both in the car - quickly writing down rego plates if you spot an accident. If you manage to come up with the next millionaire idea whilst sitting in the drive thru waiting for your coffee. Leaving a note on someones windscreen when they're parking in your spot that you pay $200 a month in the private car park you go to *eye twitch* - pens+paper - absolutely a must for the car. My faves are from Kikki-K!
9. A TUB.
Erm, Claire, what? A tub? Like a bathtub?
Haha no, like a storage tub!
Depending on how big your car is, and what you use it for - one this size might not be practicable, but I use this particular one from Kmart because it houses all the above items, and it's flexible as well which is great if I need to shove more things into my boot. And really, for $5 - it's a bit of a steal for convenience.
7. INVEST IN A FIRST AID KIT, AND KEEP IT STOCKED UP.
*BONUS POINTS IN INVESTING IN A FIRST-AID COURSE*
The pink first aid kit featured above is actually the one that's been sitting in my car for the past three years. It hasn't really done anything apart from looking pretty, but when the time came, had my bandage, alcohol swap and band-aids ready to go. Now, I'd obviously recommend to invest in a proper first aid kit from somewhere like the Red Cross or St John's, but I'm also a believer that something is better than nothing. This one was literally $12 from Bunnings.
Personally I decked mine out with a few extras, including paracetamol and ibuprofen, antihistamines, a mouth protection cover (for CPR), and waterproof band aids. These certainly aren't necessary, however again just for an emergency kit, I do believe that it's better safe than sorry.
Also - invest if you can in doing a first aid course. Those courses legit save lives.
4. PERSONAL HYGIENE PRODUCTS
I currently have two hair brushes, a pack of hairbands, a few scrunchies, my My Shay deodorant, a tooth brush & toothpaste, paw paw cream, hair product, and a small thing of perfume in the car. Some say that I'm a hoarder, I say I'm just really prepared for whatever comes my way. It doesn't help that I'm a horrible sweater, I get super frizzy hair, and I normally forget to pack a tooth brush when I go away. BANG. Everything is in the car ready to go. If you're a girl - I'd also suggest keeping a spare make up kit ready to go (I've got powder and a brush hidden there, too.)
I will admit, I have a lot of crap in my car, but, as it turns out, most of it is useful crap! What do you have in your car that I might have missed? Comment it down below and I'll update the list!