Emergency car kit – What to have in your car at all times?

Emergency car kit – What to have in your car at all times?

Preparedness is a subject which reaches well beyond your home and spills into other areas of life for example – your vehicles.

This article will cover two different possibilities of car preparedness. First is less elaborate and can cover literally everyone, even those people who are not into any serious prepping but still would rather not remain stranded somewhere on the road. The second possibility covers the full on preppers pack and gear.

The first subject we need to cover is the size of the car you own. Although many people own big 4 wheel drive cars or pickups, there are many who drive smaller cars with much less space available for storing stuff in it. Those people with spacious vehicles can and should utilize the possibilities they have and pack for every scenario, while others should keep their kits compact but functional.

In either case, the items you must have are:

1. Food – there are documented cases of stranded people surviving for several days in their cars on only several protein bars they accidentally had on them. So make sure you always have several of those in your car. They take up literally no space at all but can be a game changer in an emergency situation. If you are on the other hand packing heavy duty you should put some canned food with a longer shelf life or MRE’s whichever you prefer.

2. Water – they say you shouldn’t drink water from a plastic bottle if your car was in the sun for some time because the plastic leaches chemicals in it and those are bad for you. Now, this goes only for summer months when you can store a few bottles of water in glass bottles or those refillable plastic bottles in your car. In winter months you can simply buy water in plastic bottles. As to the quantity goes, everyone should decide for themselves how much water they would like to pack. Personally, I always have a big six pack in my trunk.


Also as an additional security item, I always keep is a lifestraw  in the glove compartment just in case I might need additional water. Water purification tablets are always in my Go Bag/BOB I keep in the trunk, so I really keep my options open.

3. First aid kit – any kind of first aid kit is a good idea to keep in you car at all times. In some countries, those are even a must and all drivers have to have those under the law. Also, add any prescription medication you are taking (for example blood pressure and heart medication).

4. Winter Pack – I made this into a separate item although it actually contains several things. However, this pack I put in at the beginning of the winter and take out after it ends, simply because I need that space in my car and can’t keep it there at all times. And it contains:

  • A snow brush and ice scraper
  • Extra windshield fluid
  • A blanket – any kind of blanket or sleeping bag (it can double as a blanket when completely unzipped)
  • A candle and lighter (although this belongs in my all year round gear for my car I still have an extra one in my winter pack simply because I feel I need a backup when it comes to both)
  • A pair of socks – these are very important because an additional pair of socks can make a huge difference in low temperatures.

5. Car Repair and Maintenance – everyone should know at least how to change a flat if it ever comes to that. Jumping the dead battery should be another useful skill to learn. And there are some additional items you should keep in your car at all times.

  • Spare tire (make sure it is fixed from the last time you had a flat or a very unpleasant surprise might be upon you)
  • Tire jack and tire iron – all necessary tools to change a flat
  • Duct tape – there are a bunch of stories how a duct tape saved the day
  • WD-40 – simply because there are so many uses for this miracle fluid
  • Jumper cables – because it happens even to the best of us
  • Gloves – you don’t want to give yourself, even more, grief by hurting yourself while trying to repair your car
  1. Miscellaneous – this group practically contains the remainder of my BOB inventory I keep in my car at all times. These don’t take up too much space when well packed.
  • Knife – foldable kind is good enough but a good fixed blade is a must
  • Flashlight – I have them everywhere and find them extremely important
  • Sunglasses – Keep an extra pair in a glove compartment (useful in the summer as well in the winter when the sun shines on the snow reflecting brightness right at you)
  • Hat – the same goes as for the sunglasses
  • Poncho or an umbrella – for when it rains
  • Wet wipes – keeping the high level of hygiene is important for moral and also it can double as toilet paper
  • Whistle – if you need to make yourself known
  • Chemlights – if you need to mark your position
  • Multitool – numerous uses
  • Maps – everyone should learn to read paper maps and also have several in the car especially those of an immediate area

I know it may seem as this is a lot of things to keep in your car and that it would take up a lot of that valuable space but if well packed it shouldn’t occupy more space than one or two backpacks would have. And the difference it could make in an emergency situation is immense. Still, I urge everyone to make their own decision on what they feel is or isn’t important to have with them and to make their emergency kit accordingly. I am sure there are items I perhaps don’t carry with me, but which would be very important for someone else.

And on that note, I hope this helped those who want to raise their preparedness level. If you find that there are some important items I have left out, feel free to leave your comment down below.

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One thought on “Emergency car kit – What to have in your car at all times?

  1. READ YOUR CAR MANUAL and take the time to locate your jack and other tools needed to remove and replace your tire. You may want to make a copy of the instructions and place them in a plastic bag and put them with your jack and tools. A tire inflator with a gauge is also part of my emergency bag.

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