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I never drive without making sure these 2 tech accessories are in my car

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I've found myself in a number of sticky situations, like the time the pipes in my childhood home burst.
That one wasn't my fault (I blame record-breaking winter temperatures), but other times I'm the one responsible for making the mess. 
One of the bigger mistakes I've made was thinking I knew how long my phone's battery would last, and not having a car adapter and cable in my car. 
I was driving up to Boston to visit a friend shortly after the iPhone 5 was released. "New phone, larger phone, bigger battery — I should be golden for a five-hour car ride," I thought. 
The iPhone 5 also had a fancy new connector, so I only had one charging cable that would work with it. I dutifully packed that cable (and a new car adapter) into my backpack the night before my trip, and headed out first thing in the morning.
I use my phone a lot when I drive; it's my GPS, source of music, and I can even reply to messages hands-free using Siri. 
Half-way through my drive (and 80% through my battery) I reached into the backseat for my backpack. It was at this inopportune time that I realized I forgot to put it in my car. As a male college student, I could live with buying some inexpensive clothes at the mall by my friend's house, but getting there was going to be an issue. 
I immediately turned down the iPhone's screen brightness to the low-as-you-can-go level of dim. I stopped playing music, and hoped I'd have enough juice to get me through the last hour and a half of my journey. I didn't. Instead, I pulled over, looked at Google Maps' step-by-step directions and quickly scribbled them down on the back of an old receipt. 
I continued my journey, got close to my friend's house, but missed a turn and had to ask a convenience store clerk for some help. They produced a Lewis-and-Clark style map, and I traced my finger along my route until I found the spot where I messed up. I got to my friends house an hour later than scheduled, without being able to give him a heads up about my tardiness. 
From that day on I've always kept a charging cable (or two) and a car power adapter in my car.
Car adapters have gotten so common that I've actually gotten by on ones I've bought at a supermarket in a pinch. I'm recommending Anker's because it's the most solid one I've used, and it has two USB ports in case you're riding with a friend. 
If you spend every long car trip fiddling with your phone's brightness and low-power mode, save yourself the stress and make this sub-$15 investment.
It's a game-changer, and you'll wonder how you managed to drive so long without it.

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