Many people have emergency kits and bug out bags for their home, which they keep in the event of a blackout, or a medical emergency, or some other unexpected event at home. People who have a mindset that prepares for situations that could arise should also think about an emergency kit for their vehicle. This is especially necessary when undertaking long trips that may take you far from help. So what should go into an emergency kit for your car?
A car emergency kit should contain items and equipment for personal safety and survival. As well as basic tools and gear that you could use to try and get your vehicle moving again. Extreme weather conditions will require modifications to these kit contents.
There are some basic necessities for a car emergency kit that should be non-negotiable. Other items can be useful but not crucial. Some of these items may vary depending on the weather or other environmental conditions that you generally experience on your driving route.
What Should I Put In My Cars Bug Out Bag?
From a preparedness point of view, we recommend that you have a few kits in your vehicle to cater to different emergency circumstances.
It is worth having a mini-bugout bag for your car that will contain some basic survival gear that could help you be more comfortable or take care of yourself if you get stranded in a remote location without help.
This type of emergency kit would have items similar to a more well-equipped bug out bag that you would keep at home but would be cut down to the bare essentials. Ideally enough to keep your gong for a couple of days.
We would recommend that your car bugout bag would contain the following items as a minimum.
Water bottle with a built-in water filter. Water is the most crucial commodity for sustaining life in any survival emergency situation. A water bottle that has a built-in water filter, such as the Lifestraw Go Water Filter bottles, allow you to put dirty water in the bottle, and the filter will clean the water of bacteria and parasites as well as chemical and microplastics as you drink.
Raincoat or waterproof poncho. Something to keep you dry will help keep your morale up and stop you from getting wet and cold and risking hypothermia. Some waterproof ponchos can double as a makeshift shelter when tied to trees with paracord.
Headlamp.A headlamp is useful because it provides light while leaving your hands free to work and perform tasks that may require both hands, such as making a survival fire. STKR Concepts offers multiple headlamps that are unique because they provide peripheral vision modes that prevent the normal tunnel vision associated with traditional headlamps. The headlamp would be great for survival or working on your broken down or stuck vehicle.
Roadside hazard Light.A flashing hazard light is a must if you want to be seen on the side of the road. Sure, your car has hazards, but a purpose built roadside hazard attracts more attention and can be seen for miles. STKR makes the FLEXIT Auto which has both a flood light to illuminate the entire side of the car, as well as a flashing hazard that will alert oncoming traffic.
Safety vest.A high-visibility safety vest is also imperative in making sure oncoming traffic can see you. There is nothing worse than turning a basic flat tire into a ride in an ambulance due to not being seen on the side of the road. Look for a nice combo kit from STKR Concepts in the future that has both the FLEXIT Auto + Safety Vest!
Butane lighter.These are cheap and indispensable for starting a survival fire for warmth, signaling, or cooking. Keep two or three in your kit.
Fire starting kit. A fire starting kit that includes a Ferro rod and tinder is a great backup plan for the butane lighters.
Bushcraft knife. A good quality bushcraft knife should be an item that you never leave home without.
Multi-tool. A multitool is a useful addition if it includes pliers and a small saw for cutting wood.
Compass. Great for direction finding if you need to self-rescue and walk out of the situation.
Paracord. Paracord can be used to fix broken tools, splint broken limbs, create emergency shelters, and it is not expensive and doesn't take up much room.
Energy bars. Keep some long-lasting energy bars in your gear that could sustain you for about three days. You will be glad you did once those hunger pangs start.
Work gloves - They will help you get tasks done without risking injury to your hands, such as rope burns, blisters, or cuts and scrapes.
Fresh socks and underwear. A fresh set of underwear is not only good for hygiene, but it can make you feel like a new human being!
Some cash.You never know when you may need to buy an item from a local store, pay for a tire repair, or even emergency gas.
Emergency bivvy. As a lightweight emergency sleeping bag, these can be a lifesaver to protect you from both cold and heat in an emergency. Or if someone is injured, they can use it as shelter.
A bugout bag is a very personal piece of gear, and everyone will have some items that they feel they would need to include in this list. This is a basic needs list that you can build on to customize a bugout bag that can stay permanently in your car and be ready for any emergency.
How To Build An Emergency Car Kit
We have covered the contents of a personal bugout bag for your car. Still, we can also build an emergency kit for your vehicle that specifically relates to vehicle emergencies that you may encounter on the road.
When you build up this kit, you should consider what you may need to not only survive but items you could include to help you work on your car to fix it or to get the vehicle out of a jam. So when you think car emergency kit, think safety, convenience, and vehicle recovery or repair.
These items should remain permanently in your car. If you remove items, you should replace them as soon as possible and check the kit every quarter to ensure everything is still in good working order.
First aid kit. A decent first aid kit should be one of the primary considerations for your emergency car kit. You should also attend a first aid course so that you know how to use it too.
Duct tape. This item should be a non-negotiable for your car emergency kit!
Jumper cables. These are essential to help with a dead car battery.
Tow strap. Great if a passing motorist can assist in towing you to town.
Emergency lights. Being stuck on the road at night is never a pleasant experience. Lighting is always necessary for safety as well as to see when you try to repair your car in the dark. At STKR Concepts, we have our Flexit range of portable lights and the Mobile Task Light that are ideal products for this purpose.
Chem-lights. Sometimes called glow sticks, these chemical lights can be useful to signal other motorists or to provide you with light in an emergency.
Hand sanitizer. Having the means to clean your hands is always a good idea.
Toilet paper. Essential for various types of emergencies, survival or otherwise!
Cellphone charger. Getting stuck unexpectedly on the side of the road with a low cellphone battery will never be a problem if you have a cellphone charger permanently in your vehicle.
Small toolkit. A small toolkit containing a set of wrenches, pliers, and screwdrivers will help you make minor repairs to your vehicle.
Small spade. A folding camping shovel can help you to extract a vehicle that is stuck in sand, mud, or snow.
Camping ax. A small camping ax is also useful for chopping branches to place under the tires of a stuck vehicle to provide additional traction and process wood for a fire.
What Should I Put In My Car Emergency Winter Kit?
The additional gear you should include in a winter kit for your car should be items that help keep you warm and comfortable in the event of a roadside emergency.
Winter gloves. In cold conditions, the extremities are first to feel the cold. Hands that are cold are clumsy when it comes to tasks that require fine motor skills. A good pair of winter gloves in your car will help to warm up your hands for those tasks
Sleeping bag. Consider keeping a sleeping bag in the trunk of your car in cold conditions. It could be a lifesaver if you have to spend a cold winter's night on the side of the road.
Space blankets. Space blankets are cheap and compact. You should have several of these stuck into the glove compartment of your car!
Additional food & water. Your body needs fuel to keep itself warm. Consider keeping some high-calorie food items in your car winter emergency kit for this purpose. Make sure you stay hydrated.
Hand Warmers. These little pouches start to self-activate after you unwrap them and they can be inserted into places like gloves and boots to help the extremities stay warm.
Tire Chains. This is like a metal overcoat for your tire that will give it traction in snowy and icy conditions.
Road Flares. These can be used to help direct traffic or flag down help.
Sand or Cat Litter. This can be an additional source of traction, both the extra weight over the rear wheels of an RWD vehicle or actually pouring it under the spinning tire of a stuck vehicle.
While an emergency situation is not something we like to think about or contemplate, it is worthwhile taking the time to prepare for it. It could mean more than simply being a convenience, but could save your life or your loved ones, or you could even help out a complete stranger!
For any of your emergency lighting needs, come and visit us at STKR Concepts and take a look at our innovative range of lighting products. We provide lighting that is practical, and it works! We have lighting solutions for DIY, home garages, workshops, and camping and outdoor lighting requirements.
Anything can happen at any moment in time. Being prepared can make a major difference in how safe you remain during an emergency. It’s recommended that everyone has an emergency kit ready so that they are prepared anytime that the unthinkable happens.