What do you always pack with you? VIA readers share those items that always make the journey.
Readers of VIA don’t drive out of town without AAA maps and TourBook guides, picnic kits, binoculars, and a few other special items.
“A small door-mount tripod makes taking pictures a snap,” writes Karen E. Gordon of Central Point, Ore.
“I carry an old pair of comfortable shoes in case there’s an emergency and I need to walk a long distance,” says Mary Jo Levy of Palo Alto, Calif.
“I always have a tow strap to pull a car out of an unsafe situation,” says Susanna Danner of Boise, Idaho.
“A pocket compass provides easy, inexpensive navigation help,” suggests Julie Powell of Farmington, Utah.
“A kazoo is a lot of fun when you’re stuck in traffic,” says Ziva Hadar of San Francisco.
Illustration by Michael Klein 
This article was first published in December 2010. Some facts may have aged gracelessly.