We just returned from a day trip to Omaha, NE (from Kansas City) where we wanted to take the kids to the zoo or local wildlife reserve and a children's museum. About ten miles from our destination I got a flat tire, my wife asked what was wrong, and I immediately knew I was about to have a frustrating next one or two hours ahead of me as we got the tire repaired.
Though I was quite unhappy to begin with, I quickly found out I was missing one very critical part of the tire changing equation... can you guess?
Well, I did have a spare tire and amazingly enough it was inflated. I even had a better than the standard car jack too. But, I was missing, and you might have guessed it by now, a lug wrench! Where did it go? I don't know. I searched high and low but it was nowhere to be found.
I had everything else in the car. I could start a fire, purify water, stay warm, and plenty more, but I couldn't do one of the most basic vehicle-related tasks known to man: change a darn flat tire!!
Fortunately, we were car pooling with my sister-in-law and her husband who, though not a prepper like me, had a frigging lug nut wrench. Besides, plenty of other people stopped to offer assistance too which was nice to see.
Ultimately, we wound up with two new front tires because we really needed them anyway and only made it to the children's museum. So, we were out a few hundred dollars more than we expected to spend today and didn't do everything we wanted but at least I learned a valuable lesson: don't just assume because the last time you saw the lug wrench probably several years ago that between then and now it would remain in the same place untouched... well, lug wrenches and anything else as critical.
What to do about this problem? I don't know. I've got my lists of things to check but I never would have added "make sure my car's lug nut wrench hasn't moved."