Why should you have a car emergency kit?
A car emergency kit should be in every driver’s vehicle yet it’s one of the most overlooked types of roadside emergency equipment. If you live in or travel through areas of remote wilderness, or places that regularly experience severe weather, such as snowstorms and thunderstorms, then you’re at risk. Your car emergency kit should have the necessary tools for first aid, food, and water.
A car emergency kit can be used when you’re stuck in your vehicle waiting for help to arrive or when you're forced to leave your car and survive. You should have enough survival gear to last at least 72 hours and have access to a shovel or ax to dig yourself out of the ditch. You’ll also need shelter, warmth, light, and communication. Your car emergency kit may be your last line of defense against everything.
A car emergency kit would have benefitted James and Jennifer Stolpa and their infant son Clayton. Unfortunately, because they didn’t have the knowledge or an emergency kit they lost parts of their limbs. On Dec 1992 in Northwestern, Nevada, James, Jennifer and Clayton Stolpa became stuck inside their vehicle for several days during a blizzard, they didn’t have a car emergency kit, meaning no survival supplies and minimal food.
Building your car emergency kit
The car emergency kit should be stored in an appropriate case like a duffle bag, backpack or dry bag. Ideally, you want to get something that’s sturdy and waterproof. Always keep the kit stowed in your vehicle. Your car emergency kit should include all of the following items:
Cell phone: It’s nice to have in case of an emergency, but keep-in-mind you might not be in an area that has cell coverage.
Survival Clothes Gear and Survival Blanket: Pack an extra set of clothes, socks, gloves, and hats including blankets, sleeping bags or solar blankets for each person.
Survival Cooking Equipment: Including cook sets, stove, and fuel. They should be compact and allow you to boil up a hot brew, or cook food.
Water survival equipment: Make sure you have enough packaged water or access to water purification tablets or filters to clean water from the river, stream or lake.
Bright Stick: Great for signaling at night
Flashlight w/ Extra Batteries or Hand crank: For seeing at night and signaling
MRE Meals: Mre meals are available at many camping stores and found online. Energy bars are also a good option. In this circumstance, the ones with the most calories are the best.
Local Road Maps: In case you get lost and need to find your way back.
Shovel: If your vehicle gets stuck in snow or mud you can use your hands to dig, but a shovel will do the job faster and better.
Survival Blanket Tarp: A blue or orange tarp will help for visibility or as a signal.
Toilet Paper: Often overlooked but toilet paper has many practical uses other than, you know what. It can be used as an insulator for your clothes to keep you warm, as well as fuel for fires.
Survival tools and gadgets: Jumper Cables, multi-tool, Reflective Triangle, Fix-a-Flat Tire Inflator and Duct Tape will become useful tools during an emergency on the road.
Don’t forget. Your car emergency kit should have extra food in case you have to stay in your vehicle until help arrives.