In this installment of our prepping supplies series we go over get home bags, EDC (Everyday Carry) and what you should have in your car or automobile. We didn’t spend much time on get home bags and EDC gear because we have 2 detailed articles and podcast (linked to above) that go into much more about those.
We decided to focus this podcast and article on car kits because with the amount of time we spend in our car, and the dangers we could face make an emergency car kit one of the most important kits we need.
Along with a regular emergency car kit you can get from your local auto parts store that contains jumper cables, extra fuses, road flares, road signs and the spare tire (with jack) that should already be in your car you need to add a few things to make this even better.
SPP251 Get Home Bags, EDC, and Car Kits
As I said, this week we covered get home bags, everyday carry items, but we spent quite a bit of time talking about prepping and emergency supplies we should have in our automobiles. Next week we are going to wrap everything up talking about prepping at home.
Prepping Supplies and Car Kits
You need to make sure and rotate the supplies in your car kit at the change of each season. This is because winter supplies will be a little different than summer supplies, and food, water and first aid supplies will need to be rotated.
First aid supplies kit: A “boo boo” kit will just not cut it in your car, your car first aid kit should be pretty extensive. The odds of something serious happening increase tremendously when we get behind the wheel. Include items you might need for injuries that would be caused by a car accident.
Water: You will want 2 to 3 gallons of water, this can be a case of water, or gallon jugs. Water will not go bad, but temperature changes in your car are extreme compared to outdoor temperature changes. Weather below 0 degrees will cause the water to freeze and expand. In the winter months leave a little room in the container for expansion.
Food: Make sure to include foods that will withstand extreme temperature shifts and are “nonperishable” Unlike your bug out bag, you can actually put canned food in the trunk of your car…just don’t forget a can opener.
Tool Kit: Include a set of tools in your car kit. This can be as simple or as complex as needed, include tools like screwdrivers, socket set, wrenches, pliers, vise grips, adjustable wrench, tire pressure gauge, etc. You don’t need tools to change a transmission, but you do need tools for minor repairs.
Flashlight: You might as well have a few of these. Make sure you have multiple light sources and make sure they don’t all run on batteries. It can be a small pocket sized flashlight, a solar lantern or even glow sticks. It gets pretty dark at night no matter where you are so make sure you have this area covered.
Headlamp: You might be thinking that this is the same thing as a flashlight but it’s not. If you have ever tried to work on something while holding a flashlight in your mouth you know what I mean. If you are working in the dark, having a headlamp and having 2 hands available will make the job much easier.
Heat Source(s): If you become stuck on the side of the road during the middle of winter you are going to want some way of increasing the temperature in the cab of your vehicle. These could be long lasting candles, camp stoves or even something as simple as hand warmers and solar blankets can help keep your core temperature up.
Extra Batteries: Make sure you have an extra set of batteries for everything in your bag and then add some more because you never know how long your batteries will last in different conditions.
Folding Shovel: It’s going to be hard to dig with your multi tool so it’s always a good idea to have a folding shovel with you. These range from basic folding shovels to shovels that have a saw edge and even a compartment in the handle for storage.
Maps of the Area: Not only do you need a map of the area you are in, you need a map or maps of the area you plan on going. Depending on the situation you might need to take alternative routes, even if you think you know the area very well having a map is always a good idea because making the wrong turn could mean life or death.
Cell Phone Charger: While we need to be ready In the event that technology is not available, we might as well take advantage of it if we can. Even if you don’t have enough signal to make a call you might still be able to send a text.
Blankets: We usually have plenty of room in our automobiles and extra blankets lying around the house so why not put 1 or 2 in your car. Make sure and add a solar blanket or 2 also. These might not keep you cozy and warm, but they could save your life.
Toilet Paper: If you are stuck somewhere for a while and all you have are some rags in the trunk you are going to be sorry. This is not a life saver but why not? It can also be used to clean your hands or check the oil, but it won’t work as well as paper towels or rags.
Clothing: Just like extra blankets, we have plenty of room so we might as well use it. Keeping extra clothing like gloves, boots, wool socks and a stocking cap might just sit in your car and never get used, but it will be nice to have if you ever need it.
Fire extinguisher small: a small ABC type fire extinguisher should be in every automobile. While they won’t put out a raging fire it could stop something that starts small from turning into an all-out inferno.
Basic Automotive Needs: Having things like Antifreeze, washer fluid, oil, transmission and brake fluid and fuses could be the difference between your car running and you becoming stranded. Sometimes something as simple as a fuse can be the cause of your car not starting. You don’t always need to be a mechanic to fix a problem with your car.
Roll of Duct Tape: There is always a use for Duct tape right? Duct tape can be used in a pinch to close a wound, patch a hole or as a fastener. You don’t need an entire roll of Duct tape with you though, you can do what I do and wrap a lighter with it to save room. This is one of those you only miss it when it’s gone items.
Rags/Towels: Having a few extra rags or towels in your car or truck is important for a variety of reasons, the main one being wiping your hands or cleaning something up. But in a survival situation they could be used for weather proofing, cordage, fire starting or insulation. If you have the room go ahead and use it.
Multi Tool: If you have a multi tool in your everyday carry (and you should) you might not need one in your car kit, but you never know when this might come in handy. From opening a can to sawing a small tree branch a multi tool comes in handy more than you would think. It can get pretty expensive buying a few multi tools and a bunch on knives, but there are Lower cost tools you can buy that will do.
Seasonal Supplies: Changing out your supplies and checking expiration dates should be done with the changing seasons. In the spring and summer you should have supplies like rain gear, sun screen and umbrellas. In the winter you might need heavier clothing and ice scraper etc.
To finish everything off Lisa and I will be talking about preparing at home next week, and covering some of the basics of preparedness. Every persons preparedness plan is going to be different, but the basics are the same for everyone.