When on you’re out on the open highway, you never know just where, when, or even what kind of emergency might happen. Even being an experienced, careful driver that takes good care of your vehicle, won’t prevent accidents from happening. Always be mindful of one very important face; there are all sorts of people out there, that just so happen to also using that same road, that alone should be enough to pack at least a few of the items listed below in your vehicle. There are also things that might occur that are out of your control. Like the old adage goes, “Hope for the best, plan for the worse”, making sure to prepare as best as you can for what might happen by stocking your vehicle with the right items, to keep you on your way to your final destination.
There is nothing wholly remarkable about this list, nor is it the end all, be all of Basic Vehicle Survival Kits, as a matter of fact, it is fairly mundane and undoubtedly includes many things you routinely pack normally. Then again, it may be the first time you’ve even considered a vehicle survival kit. If there is just one item you have overlooked, and in a given situation you end up needing that item, it could in some situations mean life or death. But if you read over this list and gets your brain working and creative juices flowing, and you get your B.V.S.K in order, you’ll most assuredly be happy to have that once overlooked item along for the trip to help you complete your journey.
For the record? I pack all of these items and a whole lot more whenever I travel. You may never need them, but in case of an emergency, it’s always better to have and not need, then need and not have.
Water: Well you know how important water is, so make sure you have enough with you at all times. Remember you’re not the only one who may need that water, in case of overheating, you car may need it as well. Put a water jug or several water bottles into a tote along with the rest of your items, Also remember to carry some of these items with you as well. Water purification tablets, Water filter, Life Straw Type device, or even Purified water packets.
Energy Bars or MREs: The average human being can survive 3 days without water, 3 weeks without food. But seriously why would you want to merely survive, when you could just prepare by having a few supplies on hand to ensure you make it until [possibly day 28] when rescue arrives, or your final destination on foot.
First Aid Kit: Another important item to have in your vehicle is a first aid kit. You’ll need it to apply first aid to yourself or others in case an accident happens and help is unable to arrive immediately. A good emergency first aid kit should include bandages, pain medication, instant hot/cold packs, antibiotics, antibiotic ointment, anti-diarrhea medication and anything else that you commonly require.
Prescription Medications: Best if sorted into daily packets with at minimum 3 days worth more than the number of days you plan to be gone.
Escape Tools: Bring tools that will help you escape in case you get trapped in your car. You can bring a life hammer, tow strap, a folding shovel, even a modified ball pen hammer (check out our video on this on YouTube).
Communication Device: You need ways to call for help in case you have an accident and you got stuck in your car. A cell phone can be a great item to have so that you can call somebody for help. Make sure that your cell phone is fully charged so check the battery before you leave your house. Another option is a 2 Way Radio, if you’re traveling in a convey with others, Or your traveling a shorter distance that keeps you range of base camp, or just as a way to potentially get a signal from near by people using similar devices on an open channel.
Mechanic Gloves: If repairs need to be made, ensure you have a pair of gloves, to help protect your hands, and avoid hurting yourself in the process.
Duct Tape and WD-40: This stuff so many potential uses, its mind boggling, trust me, if duct tape can’t it, you’re screwed. A roll of duct Tape goes a long way, but of course a few rolls of it goes an even longer way!
A Multi-tool: You may not need a full mechanics set of tools, then again depending on the incident, you may. A good multi-tool, may serve in a pinch to perform the given task at hand, that allows you to get your vehicle limping along enough to get to an area where full fledged repairs can be made.
Mylar Space Blanket or Normal Blanket(s)/Extra clothing: These are important especially if the weather is cold, or if you plan on traveling through an area that is known for snow or cold whether, better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it. Also at minimum for those extra clothes you should ensure you have at least 2 pairs of extra socks, (in a worse case scenario, you can use a pair on your hands to keep potential frost bite at bay.)
Insect Repellent & SPF 40 Sunscreen: But I’m in my car, what do I need these for? you may ask. Hey did you miss the whole point of this article. This is for when you break down on that long desert highway where the next gas station (or town, or person) is 50+ miles away. You’ll need to get somewhere and it may mean hoofing it…
Emergency Rain Poncho: You should have at minimum one for every member of your group, but 2 or 3 extra that can be combined with duct tape to form a makeshift shelter are always nice.
Solar Charger: If you have multiple items that require an electrical charge, consider getting a small solar charger (and possibly a small battery brick [range from $10-$45])
Backpack: This of course could be your B.O.B, 72H Bag or G.H.B but having it readily available in case you need to hike your stranded butt to safety or maybe even your final destination is always great to have on hand. If it’s merely just a backpack, you can still use it to transport your essential items with you, if required to walk out to safety.
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