Even though pretty much everyone has a cell phone, there may still be times when you are stuck on a road needing help and can’t get it. Cell phone batteries die or there may be no signal. Bad weather can also impede help, leaving you trapped in your car to wait. Whatever the scenario, it is a smart idea for every vehicle owner to ensure that they have a car survival kit in their vehicle.
This type of kit is packed with helpful items that can enable a person to stay safe and survive if help is delayed.
Knowing what to put in a car survival kit can be tricky. You may not even think of things that could really be helpful if you are stranded. In addition, what you put in your car survival kit should reflect the conditions under which you drive and the locations in which you drive.
For example, if you live in a region that experiences little to no snow, then you probably don’t need to have an ice scraper. If you drive in an area with lots of snow, you might need even more tools to help you dig out if you slide off the road. It is a good idea to take the following as suggestions. Build the ultimate car survival kit based on your needs.
Create an Inexpensive Car Survival Kit
Some of the items recommended are inexpensive yet easy to obtain. Others will be more expensive, and a few may be harder to find. However, you should not let a tight budget or complacency in obtaining the necessary tools stop you from securing a car survival kit with everything that you might need. It is the best option to be always prepared. You’ll never know what you would be facing. It is better to have something and not need it, rather than not to have it at all.
If budget is a huge concern, then consider buying items little by little until you can build your own car survival kit. You may even ask for a few items as gifts for your birthday or special holidays. If you can, it is advisable to start with the most essential items that you would need, or perhaps stuff that are essential to your safety and survival.
Must-Have List of Supplies for Your Car Survival Kit
Here are a few items that you must have in your car survival kit and why you need each of these items. These items are grouped into four categories: vehicle operation, safety, personal health, and miscellaneous.
Car Survival Kit Supplies: Vehicle Operation
The following items will help you get your vehicle back into operation. They can come in handy as a perfect quick fix to get your car up and running instead of waiting for rescue on the side of the road:
- Jumper cables
Make sure you know how to use them. They’re only helpful if somebody stops to offer help, but it is good to have them in case of emergency.
Carry an extra quart in case of leaks to get you back to safety.
Overheating is a common problem. This can help you get your car to a service station.
- Tool kit
Having some common tools, such as screwdrivers, pliers, and wrenches, can be handy if you need to do some minor mechanical work to get back on the road.
- Tire inflator
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A can of inflator can take you from a flat tire to moving down the road in a snap.
- Tire pressure gauge
This is necessary for ensuring a well-inflated tire.
- Spray bottle of washer fluid
If you end up in a mess, this comes in handy to melt ice or remove debris that sidelines you.
- Ice scraper
Ice storms can cause horrible conditions. You need a clear windshield to drive safely.
- Tow chain
This is great if someone stops to offer help to pull your vehicle.
- Road salt, kitty litter, or sand
These items will give you traction when put under your tires to help you get out of a tough spot.
- Gas can
If you run out of gas, you’ll need this so you can get some more to get you going.
- Work gloves
If you are going to attempt some mechanical work or something else that will muck up your hands, a pair of gloves will protect those hands.
- Portable compressor
This can be handy if the tire inflator doesn’t offer a viable solution or you just have slightly low tires.
Car Survival Kit Supplies: Safety
Safety items will help you keep safe in the middle of a road crisis and ensure that you don’t end up getting hit when pulled off on the side of the road or to handle safety emergencies.
Flares will provide you with some visibility even in bad weather conditions.
Do not forget some extra batteries. Flashlights can be used to call attention for help or to spot your location.
- Fire extinguisher
This could save the day if you accidentally spark a fire in your vehicle.
Car Survival Kit Supplies: Personal Health
Personal health items will help ensure healthcare on the go no matter what happens:
- First aid kit
This kit should contain items that can be used if ever you get injured or fall ill. The following is a list of must-haves that possibly include:
- Cloth tape
- Absorbent pads
- CPR mask
- Elastic bandages
- Eyewash cup
- Pain relievers
- Duct tape
- Antibiotic cream
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This is great if you are stuck for a long period in cold weather. Remember there is a risk of carbon dioxide poisoning when your car is left running.
- Extra clothing
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You can bring a change of clothes and other items like gloves or scarves to help keep you warm.
Car Survival Kit Supplies: Miscellaneous
Miscellaneous items are those that are not classified in the other categories, but that does not mean they aren’t important.
- Pen and paper
You’ll never know when you may need to take notes or write something down, such as your tire size so you can call someone to bring you a new one.
- Bottled water
You should have a sufficient supply. You will need to stay hydrated if you get stuck.
- Granola bars or energy bars
Again, if you get stuck you need nourishment.
- Paper towels
These can be useful for absorbing water or snow from your body to keep you dry and warm.
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This is handy in the winter and if you ever get stuck in the mud.
- Battery-powered radio
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This is handy if you are in the middle of stormy weather, and thus need to stay abreast of the news on weather conditions while you wait for rescue.
You will also need something in which to put all your supplies. You don’t want them to lose in the car or in your trunk where they could get easily lost or get damaged. Make sure you choose a bag large enough to protect the items stored.
Tips and Tricks for Making a Car Survival Kit
After putting together all the items for your car survival kit, you need to do an inventory. Check your list for any missing items. Also note what items need restocking, such as fresher granola bars. Make sure to check the list regularly. If an item gets lost or broken, replace it as soon as possible.
You also need to make sure you know how to use all these items. This may seem easy, but some items may need to follow instructions for proper use. Do a quick internet search, or ask someone for help to learn how to use everything in your car survival kit.
While most people may store their car survival kit in the trunk, this may not be the best place to keep it. Trunks can be jammed up or get frozen. In addition, you must go outside to obtain them, which is a safety risk and it could be detrimental. It’s best to keep it in the car.
If you don’t have enough room in your vehicle, then simply keep it in the trunk most of the time and transfer it inside the vehicle when going on a long trip, or perhaps traveling during adverse weather conditions.
The general rule is you should keep your car survival kit in your car at all times. Make room for it if really necessary. You will never know when an emergency may occur or when you’ll be stuck away from help. Tires can blow anytime or a breakdown can occur when you least expect it. Be prepared at all times by keeping it in your vehicle.
Prepare Your Car Survival Kit!
Every vehicle should have a car survival kit. It doesn’t matter if you live somewhere with an amazing climate all year round, or if you hardly ever go too far from home. Things happen on the road. Having a car survival kit handy could save your life or someone else’s life. You’ll never know when an emergency situation may come up, so it is better to be prepared than left wondering what to do without any supplies.
Emily as an MFA in creative writing and a strong passion for cooking! She started trying out her mother’s recipes from a very young age, turning the time she spent in the kitchen into a career. She will soon publish her very first cookbook, and in her free time, Emily contributes to our blog with resources for all our readers, whether beginners or advanced chefs.
Last update on 2023-03-30 at 16:30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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