An Emergency Medical Technician would always carry a set of first aid tools, so should audio engineers carry a crash kit, at least in their vehicle.

Here are some suggestions of what could go into your Audio Crash Kit bag:

  • A basic dynamic microphone: SM57 or EV635A, etc.
  • Mic cable, folding stand, and clip, instrument cable
  • Gaff tape, Swiss Army knife or multi-tool, small screwdrivers, maybe even a soldering iron and solder. There are neat little butane irons.
  • Audio adapters: 1/4” to XLR, gender reversers, a transformer, or DI
  • Batteries: 9-volt and AA
  • Small voltage or continuity tester, outlet tester
  • A USB flash drive, with music and possibly even test tone on it

It’s also a great idea to have something that will record sound, even an iPhone, for the times when you discover an interesting sound or acoustic ambiance.
Lastly, keep in mind that if you’re traveling or on location, many 24-hour Walmarts now stock mic and instrument cables, guitar strings, straps, drum sticks, and other essentials. Be prepared to save the day!