Be Prepared: Everything You Need in Your Car Survival Kit
Yes! Everyone needs a survival kit in their vehicle!
You get in your car, turn it on, and head on down the road. All is well and good, and then it happens.
A vehicle malfunction, black ice, a quick weather change, an accident that is unavoidable, or even a small error, something, anything can cause everything to change in the blink of an eye. When that happens, your world can quickly be turned upside down.
When that happens, you can be left facing an emergency situation at the least and at the worst, a disaster that is horrific.
It happens every single day.
If disaster strikes, the first thing to remember is to always remain with your car.
Staying with your car means that your chances for being rescued are increased significantly. This means that you never walk to get help unless you have the proper resources, such as strength, clothing, water, and food; and the weather is mild.
Stuck in the Snow?
Being stuck in the snow can be a very dangerous situation. Here are a few tips to get through it.
- Make sure that the exhaust pipe outside of the vehicle is not covered with snow, so that carbon monoxide doesn’t build up in the car.
- If you get stuck in the snow while there is a snowstorm going on, stay in your vehicle unless you can see a nearby building.
- Turn the car off. Every once in a while, you can turn it back on to get a little heat in the interior but turn it off soon so that you conserve your gas.
- Every time you turn the heater on, check to make sure that the tailpipe is still free from the snow.
- Find other ways to stay warm in the car. Consider doing some chair exercises like flutter kicks or bouncing up and down in your seat.
Remember that this is simply one more reason that you need to have a survival kit in your vehicle.
Do I Really Need One?
The idea behind a kit of this nature is that you will be better prepared for anything that might happen, including things like the need to bug out at any time or being stranded someplace remote for any length of time. For that reason, this list will be a bit more extensive than your typical “roadside emergency” kit. In truth, two separate kits are really what is recommended. You should have a large backpack to use for your survival kit and a large plastic box or bag for your vehicle kit.
The Importance of Water
Have you heard of the rule of three? It states that humans can survive for 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water, and 3 minutes with no air. If you pay attention to the guidelines set forth by FEMA, you need to have a minimum of a half-gallon of water per person per day. This means that carrying enough water to last you more than a few days is going to be difficult.
Now, you can carry actual gallons of water, water bottles, or even water pouches, which can be found in your local survival store.
Emergency Vehicle Kit – Choosing the Right Bag
Sure, you can go out and buy one of those little roadside emergency kits, but they only have a couple of items and the bag they come in is flimsy at best. This isn’t going to help you very much if you are stranded in the middle of nowhere. The basis of a car kit is for it to be sturdy – like a camping backpack. This is for the reason that if you need to take it with you, anywhere, you can.
Be sure that you get one large enough to hold everything that you will need.
Items in a Survival Kit
Keeping up with your hygiene while you are in an emergency situation helps in 2 ways. First, it can make you be a bit more comfortable, and the second is that it can help to protect your health.
- Toilet paper or wet wipes. If you want something heavy duty, you might try the Dead Down Wind Wet Wipes. These are sturdy and large and have been bio-engineered with an enzyme from vegetables so as to eliminate any sort of odor.
- Dental floss
- Bar of soap
- Change of clothes
- Hand sanitizer
- Wool socks. Don’t take cotton ones because they absorb any moisture and take a long time to dry. Socks made from wool will keep your feet warm while they wick any moisture away.
- An extra pair of shoes
- Ziploc bags
- Garbage bags
- Feminine products. Whether you are male or female, these things have quite a few uses. They (and their wrappers) can be used as a bandage, to filter (not purify) water, as tinder for a fire, fishing bobber, blow tube for burning coal, fletching for a blow dart, cordage, candle wick, a water straw, and more.
If you are going to carry food, there is no better portable option than MREs. You can find these at any survival store and online. If you don’t know what an MRE is, it is a dehydrated meal, or Meal Ready to Eat. Add water to it and you have your meal. You might want to take 6 of these per person, and don’t worry, they aren’t too bulky.
- A compass so that you don’t get lost and in case you aren’t in range of a cell tower.
- Something to start a fire with and something to burn. This is important, so you might want to carry more than one type of each. You might carry water proof matches, a torch lighter, a magnesium fuel bar, or a carbide and flint striker. When it comes to tinder (something to burn), you might pack a number of cotton balls that are in Vaseline, small tinder like you can find at any outdoor store, or any number of things.
- You can find paracord bracelets all over the place, and these are small and lightweight.
- A small blow horn. You need one that is very loud. This will maximize your safety. It can be a signal for help if there is an emergency, reduce the risk of an attack by bears because periodic blasts can let the bears know that you are there so that there is less of a chance of you startling one with the result being behavior that is aggressive.
- Water purification tablets
- Pocket chain saw
- Some of these are solar powered, some can be powered by a crank, and some even have USB ports so that you can always be sure that your phone is charged.
- Hand warmers
- Emergency blanket – this will assist in the regulation of your body heat which will result in you being warmer for longer.
- GPS – the one on your phone will suffice.
- Rain ponchos
- Multi tool
- Wire or zip ties
- Work gloves
- Binoculars – a good pair will last you for years
- Orange cotton hat
- Light sticks
- Duct tape – this one is very important. It can be used for many things. Some of them are to start a fire, fix your car, build a hammock, tape a window that is broken, create a splint, make a spear, make a bandage, patch clothes, or even to make a rope.
- Adhesive pads that can be used for things like alleviating the pain that comes with corns, calluses, bunions, and blisters.
- A notebook and something to write with.
- Weather radio. It can be incredibly helpful to know when there is a storm moving in while you are stranded.
- Set of eating utensils
- Portable stove and pot. This is helpful if you need to boil water or cook anything you might catch.
- Good first aid kit
- Fleece blanket
- Always carry some form of cash or coins. This is especially important in the event that the grid is down. In cases like this, ATMs won’t work, and neither will credit card machines in stores.
- Pepper spray
- Sunscreen that is unscented
- Foam ear plugs
- Lip balm
- Insect repellent
- A deck of cards
Service (Car) Kit
Aside from what you pack in your survival kit, you will also need to carry these things for your vehicle.
- Ice scraper
- Snow chains
- Cat litter
- Radiator fluid
- Power steering fluid
- Pressure gauge
- Tire repair or plug kit
- Air compressor
- Foam tire sealant
- Jumper cables
- Full can of gas
- Duct tape
- Latex gloves
- Tool kit
- Tow rope
- Folding shovel. In the winter, you might find these almost anywhere. In warmer months try camping stores or online.
- Phone charger
- Fire extinguisher. Most people might overlook this item. It is critical though. It can save lives and it can also protect your car from being burned to a crisp.
- Flares or reflective triangles
- UrbanSurvivalSite.com – 50 Things to Put in Your Vehicle Survival Kit
- Allstate Insurance – The Ultimate Emergency Car Kit: How to Equip Yourself for Most Any Calamity
- Instructables.com – Emergency Car Survival Kit
- ModernSurvivalBlog.com – Things to Keep in Your Car Kit