Some might say that a man's car is his castle and in a lot of cases that has been proven true. Because we spend so much time in our cars, it is only natural that they become a sort of extension of our homes and are stocked accordingly with survival supplies. Having useful items in your vehicle makes perfect sense when you consider travelling through unfamiliar and often sparsely populated areas. On every road trip, be it across the country or across town, exists the possibility for something to go wrong, and what better way to handle such surprises than having a vehicle equipped with whatever survival supplies you might need.
Photo: Scientist at Work
Depending on the vehicle you have, space may be limited. This means making wise choices as to the items you squeeze inside in order to give yourself the best survival odds possible. It may be that you find yourself with a flat on the side of a dark country road where there is no cell service or perhaps your serpentine belt will break in a bad part of town. Worse yet, you could be fleeing to a safe place when the tides of change are upon us and you find yourself stranded. Whatever the case may be, when you're alone with your car, you had better have the right items on hand to get you out of any situation you're unwittingly placed in when the SHTF. Here is some of what you might need:
First and foremost you need to cover your bases as far as mechanical failure and other vehicle repairs. Most common is a flat tire or blow out, so you will need a good quality hydraulic jack, a 4 way lug wrench, a fully inflated functional spare, and most importantly the knowledge of how to access said spare and actually change your tire (this is where having your manual in the glove compartment comes in handy along with any specialized tire keys your vehicle may require). Having a plug kit or can of Fix-a-Flat is wise as well as these items can save you in a pinch as can an air compressor to fill tires after plugging/patching is complete. When it comes to problems under the hood, having a spare belt, duct tape, WD-40, a battery post cleaner (or a spare can of soda), and a universal tool kit will go a long way. Many people advise jumper cables, but let's be honest: who is going to jump you off come TEOTWAWKI? You might want to consider a battery jumper box instead, but be sure to keep it charged and ready for use.
Photo: Humble Mechanic
Now that you're prepared to perform first aid on your car, what about yourself? The possibility of illness or injury exists and you may have to patch up yourself or someone you love in a pinch. Having a fully stocked first aid kit is a good place to start, but if you are stranded for extended periods of time, your body might need more than Band-aids to pull you through. Create a personal care kit that includes nonperishable food items such as energy bars, bottled water, a fire starter, a heat source (Hot Hands, for example), a battery operated radio, and a signal device such as a mirror or flare gun. In the event of an accident, having a knife or seatbelt cutting tool could prove invaluable as can a window breaker, but be sure to keep these items accessible from the driver's seat and not out of reach in the trunk.
Photo: Its Tactical
GPS is useful for getting around without getting lost, but what if your GPS is not up to date or otherwise fails? Road maps can be purchased inexpensively and stored in your vehicle for an occasion on which you may need to call upon them. Keep maps of any areas in which you might expect to travel when the time comes to bug out, but also consider a country-wide road atlas. It is nice to have plans to go to a certain destination which you know well and may not require a map, but keep in mind that the even the best laid plans can go awry, creating a need to know where you are as well as where you're going when plans suddenly change.
Don't forget about your seasonal survival needs in the event of a stranding. Whether it is hot or cold could require you to alter the items you carry, but do stock the basics at a minimum. This means having things such as water, ice scrapers, cat litter for traction, a shovel, flash lights with fresh batteries, paper towels/toilet paper, blankets, umbrellas, and a change of clothes/shoes. When stocking your car, try to keep in mind that space is limited, so pack items that can serve dual or multiple purposes. While a lot of the items in your car should be geared towards worst case scenario, it is important as well to consider minor life inconveniences you might face that are not necessarily on the same scale as TEOTWAWKI. Surviving these situations could require things more along the lines of an emergency $20 bill, some spare change, or a cell phone charger.
Photo: Ready Wisconsin
The most important thing to remember when stocking your vehicle for survival is to grab the items you think you will need most. After all, you know your needs better than anyone, so what do you have in your car survival kit? Let us know in the comments.