Survival Basics

What Should You Keep in Your Car?

For most of us, our cars or trucks are an everyday part of our lives. We use them to get to work, school and other activities. Some of us can’t even check the mailbox or pick up the newspaper without getting into our car for the trip to the end of our driveway. 

Those vehicles can be a help or a hindrance in a time of crisis. If the vehicle is running, it can help you get away or get home. That’s not to say it can’t be helpful if it’s not running though. If nothing else, it can serve as a short-term shelter, if nothing else is available. People have lived out of their cars before. 

But besides the vehicle itself, what you have inside it makes a huge difference in how well you can survive, regardless of the scenario. Loading up the trunk with useful things may seem like it deprives you of needed space; but I’ve never had a problem fitting the groceries in there, alongside the things that I keep in that trunk. 

For the Vehicle 

The first category of things I keep in the trunk are for the vehicle itself. Your vehicle isn’t going to do as much to help you survive, if it isn’t surviving itself. It’s better to be able to drive out of the situation, than to have to shelter inside your vehicle. 

  • Air compressor and Fix-a-Flat – A flat tire will stop any vehicle; but you’ve got to catch it before it goes totally flat. Once the sidewall of a radial tire is damaged, it can’t be inflated again. Fix-a-Flat will take care of nail holes, but not a damaged sidewall.
  • Jumper cables – We’ve all experienced an unexpected dead battery. This is much more likely to happen in the winter. Get some good ones, as they will make the job easier. 
  • Tow strap – Bad weather can mean cars going off the road. A nylon tow strap makes it fairly easy to recover those vehicle or for someone else to recover yours. 
  • Basic tools – Even if you don’t know how to do mechanic work, carry some tools along. Someone else, who has that knowledge might come along, but not have any tools with them. 
  • Vehicle fluids – Necessary for basic maintenance
  • Hoses and belts – Other than tires, these are the most likely components to go bad. 

For My Survival

Now that we’ve got the vehicle taken care of, make sure you can take care of yourself. If you’re stuck somewhere, what are you going to need, in order to take care of your survival priorities?

What Should You Keep in Your Car?
  • Your get home bag – This should serve as a basic survival kit, with fire starters, a water purifier and other necessities. 
  • Rescue blankets and duct tape – If you’re sheltering in your car in a blizzard, tape rescue blankets to the walls and ceiling of the vehicle cab to help hold heat in.
  • Large candles and matches – To provide a little heat. 
  • Plastic bags – Not ideal, but will serve as an emergency potty, saving you from having to go outside. 
  • Cord or rope – If you do have to go outside, tether yourself to the steering wheel. That way, you can find your way back, even if you’re snow blind. 
  • High calorie energy bars – Your body is going to go through a lot of calories, trying to stay warm. 
  • Water – Keeping hydrated helps your body to regulate its core temperature. 
  • Phone charger – Your best chance of rescue is being able to call for help; but if your phone is dead, that’s hard to do. 
  • Paper maps – These are getting hard to come by, but if you have to walk to town, it’ll be a big help. 

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