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What survival items do you carry in your car?

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The "what do you carry in your pocket" thread peaked my interest in what kind of survival items you carry in your car.


Like many people, I'm rarely far from my vehicle. So I have a lot of stuff in my car. But I'm sure that I don't have near enough. I will have holes in my plans. I know I'm low on food.


Glove box and other cubby holes I can reach from the driver's seat contains:


Emergency hammer

hand powered flashlight

small pocket knife



I'm in a Jeep Liberty, so no trunk, but behind the rear seat:


Milk crate containing:

jumper cables

Folgers coffee can of rock salt

thick rope

thinner nylon rope

tow strap

spare sneakers

packable wind breaker

knit ski mask

snow gloves


vacuum packed Navy surplus wool blanket

case of water

blade of snow shovel (handle under rear seat)

several bungi cords


"72-hour kit" bought on e-bay that has some water and various simple items. Suplimented with:


Doan magnesium tool

lock back knife

fishing items

iodine crystals bottle (similar to Polar Pure)

KI doses


So, what kind of survival items do you carry in your car?

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I know this is not "survival stuff", but it is still necessary stuff to think about.


When my children learned to drive, I made up a box for them to have in their trunk that contained:


Light sticks, bungee cords, a funnel, a tire gauge, old rags, jumper cables and then I added a gallon of water in case their car overheats.


It usually doesn't snow hardly any here, so they don't need "snow stuff", but when it turns chilly, I will stick an old blanket in there as well.


At the time, they looked at that box like it was just "Mom being weird again", but it may be needed one day...


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I am not good about what's in my purse, or on my person. I also still need to work on my BOB bags. But with seven children, I don't leave my driveway without a good number of things in my vehicle.


If we are only going around town ( not a long distance trip )


I pack snacks, juice boxes, bottles of water, first aid kit, change of clothes for the youngest, wipes, paper towels, emergency flashlight and radio, cell phone, hard candy, etc...


I also have ponchos, space blankets, small toys and a couple of books, and you know what I just realized that I don't carry...a spare pair of glasses in case my contacts messed up ...I'm blind as a bat without my contacts...now wouldn't that be a mess??



But, I want to add an umbrella stroller *if we ever had to walk somewhere, that could be a back saver. A baseball bat, as a weapon if necessary. A small emergency tool kit.


FM your list is great and I've gotten several good ideas from it. thanks

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Water, antifreeze, large 1st aid kit, entrenching tool, blanket, tarp, tire plugging kit, small air compressor (12v kind), head lamp & batteries, reflective hazard triangle, road flares, tire knocker, that's all I can think of this late at night.

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A complete bug out bag - including a change of clothing and good walking shoes, food (bars that can survive car temperature extremes), potable water, toilet paper, sleeping bag, headlamp with batteries, radio, duct tape etc..... All vehicles have a bug out bag in this family. In addition, chains, a tool kit, flares, jumper cables, and a small folding shovel. Spare tire and tire changing tools. Cash - small bills. Prescription meds - enough for a week or more.

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My DH completely set my vehicle up when we married last year. I could survive days in it if needed - and be safe and warm and fed. I NEVER had a thing with me before him . . . he's opened my eyes to some basic facts of life. Now I have to encourage my grown daughters to ready their vehicles AND their lives!

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ok, you asked.


in the back:

collapsible plastic gas container, jumper cables, oil for car, water for radiator, pressure gauge and portable compressor.

Excercise stroller, orange tool box holding my first aid kit and BOB


for the baby:

toys, blanket and diaper bag(spare clothes, diapers, wipes, juice and snack) in a backpack



a nice sturdy Maxpedition backpack holding

folding camp shovel, folding knife, paracord(100ft), waterproof matches, bic lighter, small prybar wraped in about 6 kitchen trash bags, a baggie full of baggies, sports water bottle that filters, 6 packages of Mayday 3600 calorie rations, heavy duty sportsmans emergancy space blanket, microfleece blanket.


behind seat: big maglite, toys, paper towel roll,county state and USA maps, bug spray and sun tan lotions


console storage: leatherman multi tool, tylenol and benadryl tablets, cell phone and charging cord. sunglasses



oh dear. No changes of clothes or footwear! I took my winter stuff out in June and forgot to swap summer stuff in. I took my duct tape out too - I need to find the 100mph tape and hide it so kids and DH don't know its in there.

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oh dear. No changes of clothes or footwear! I took my winter stuff out in June and forgot to swap summer stuff in.

The winter stuff I have in there is always there.

I forgot that I have a fleece jacket and miscellaneous maps of the area.

I never thought about the protection aspect of a large MagLite. I also don't have many tools. A pry bar would work great for this, as would an entrenching tool, that's in the wife's car)

Another thing I need to do is replace the bag with a backpack.

I'm planning on using this thread to figure out what I need to put in each car. My wife's vehicle has a great storage area under the floor of the rear cargo area.
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I read a bloggers page about New Orleans after the hurricane, the prybar was one of the things he considered essential.


I also have leather workgloves in the car. That is something I consider essential. In winter they protect my hands when pumping gas, and should I ever be in a disaster situation, work gloves would be increduibly useful. I wouldn't want to handle debris without them.


I think I should throw a baseball hat or two into the car as well. Protection from the summer sun.


This is a great thread!

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Cell phone, with charger plugged in always

Area maps

Gallon jug, half full of water



Tire knocker

Tire gauge

Pry bar

Cotton gloves for me and in man's large size

Goatskin gloves in DH's size.

(Some years ago, one night on I-10, we happened across a burning truck with smoke pouring out of the camper-trailer. DH broke two bones in his hand getting the camper's door open. It was empty, and probably would've been too late for anyone trapped inside, but with the next paycheck we got a prybar and a pair of leather gloves for the trunk.)

Some garbage bags

Large black umbrella/parasol

Space blanket

Spare tennis shoes and socks for me

Sandals in the guys' sizes

Spare pair panties and sanitary liners

Small baby powder

Small first aid kit

A rod that's designed to break a windshield

Cross-shaped tire tool and old-style jack

Real spare tire (not a doughnut)

Sometimes duct tape

5/8 and 3/4 rope in 10 and 20-ft lengths

Couple of paperbacks

Spare shirt in DS size

Collapsible sun hat in my size

Sunglasses in the guys' sizes

Bits of wire and string

A replacement for the #6 spark plug that has fouled on me a few times now (I get sooo tired of waiting for the right one to be delivered to my mechanic.)

Sometimes a fanny pack with some small tools in it

Small sledge hammer

Entrenching tool

Sometimes food, but it keeps getting eaten

Note pad and pen


Some homework DS didn't turn in last year

Leash and muzzle

Fork and eating knife

Assorted paper napkins

Hand sanitizer

Nail file

Doohickey that can clip soda bottle to belt

Hmmm...There's supposed to be a few sheets of plastic and a cup in case I need to make a solar water still.

Gallon ziplock bag with my DS bugout kit, which he never carries. It has socks, jerky, energy bars, camper's roll of toilet paper, a roll of Life Savers, spare bootlaces, tube full of M&M Minis (now melted to solid lump), doohickey that clips soda bottle to belt, one jar Potable Aqua, 1.5 oz baby powder, space blanket, .5 oz mint candy, Chapstick SPF 15, salt and pepper packets, spork, and hotel "vanity kit" with cotton balls, Q-Tips, and a nail file.

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I thought I had some DEET Wipes. I guess they were used up. Maybe I should put one of the over-hat mosquito veils in there; it might not get taken out and used up like the DEET.

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Bottled water, jumper cables, engine oil, spare tire and jack, light blanket, first aid kit, Gerber pocket knife, compass, maps, flashlight, small tarp, couple of bungie cords

Oh, I forgot - car charger for cell and Palm (since I got my new centro cell phone, I only need 1 charger for both ) and charger for iPod. Couple of small bags of chips. String. Air mattress still in trunk from last time I went camping


In my "everything" bag which goes in and out of the car with me at work/home, I have a handheld GPS device, extra OTC pain meds, box of band aids, handheld am/shortwave radio receiver, ace bandage or 2. A magazine or book and usually a stitching project, glasses and sunglasses


In my purse, OTC and prescription pain killers (Excedrin Migraine, Advil, aspirin, Fiorcet), asthma inhaler, nasal spray, Sudafed, eye drops, needle (for thorns, lol), cell phone, Palm T/X pda with expansion cards (can use to carry and open Word docs and pdf - great for emergency info), antibiotic cream, silver cream, a couple band aids, Leatherman, emergency chocolate, and video iPod with music and movies on it. On my keychain, loud whistle and magnesium firestarter.

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I carry a lot of stuff in my car. The following lists aren't in any particular order.


In the glove box, I have:

Power converter

Motion sickness relief tablets

A few bandaids

Several caribeeners

2 padlocks with keys

Dog poop bag

Warm gloves


Tucked behind the middle seat, I have:

Fire extinguisher

2 ton come-along

tire chains

Snow brush/ice scraper

3-legged stool (folding, with carry strap)


Extensive First Aid Kit in a small backpack


In a large box (from Costco) that used to hold Goldfish crackers:

De-icer spray

Heat packs

20-foot recovery strap (to go with come-along)

jumper cables

spare air filter


I have spare hair bands on the gear shifter.


In the door pocket I have:


Tire gauge

Tire valve caps


In the back, in a little integrated storage space, I have:

Leather gloves


Various trash bags

Rubber bands

Tire jack & tools


In a plain brown box:

48 water pouches (from Mainstay)


In a Nutrigrain Cereal Bars Box:

DD1's bob contents (less clothing & the actual pack)


In a Snacking Nuts Box:

DD2's bob contents (less clothing & the actual pack)


In a Mt Dew box (holds 24 cans):

Both their backpacks

The contents of my bob (less clothing & the actual pack)


I'm searching for a large enough Costco-type box to hold my pack.


Our extra clothing are in a box labelled: "Donate - Clothing" For each of us, I keep packed, 2 pair socks, t-shirt, sweatshirt, pants, ski bibs, hat, gloves, scarf, orange safety vest, undergarments - in "space bags" (the kind you vacuum and shrink).


Reusing the Costco boxes is a new thing for me. I have a mini-van and no place to really hide anything. Now it just looks like I came from Costco, and am hauling around some clothes to donate...very soccer-mom.


A new bang-bang is about to be added to this set-up, location undisclosed. wink


I also realized today that I need a small toolkit, like a couple of screwdrivers and a pair of pliers.

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Ohhh, this could take hours....cuz my car (Suburu Forester) is my 1) driveway elevator (critter barns are DOWN the hill...house is UP!!) 2) tack room (horse riding) 3) mobile dog house, 4) tool shed (something always needs fixin') 5) gardening shack (also down the hill) 6) my only vehicle to BugOut.



binoculars (is that a deer or a bear over thar?)

heavy wooden whack stick

extra sunglasses (can't see w/o them) & readers


kleenex box (also for hand wiping)

hand santizer (after handling poultry poo)

2 canes

garden scissors

assorted nails, screws nuts, wires, dog treats, etc...tossed into the pocket holder

heavy wire nippers/pliers

fencing tool

slingshot (chasing my ducks off the pond at nite)


more gloves

Leatherman Wave wave


car cell phone charger

car spot light charger

energy bars

microfiber cleaning cloth (stuck in the visor)

more water

sweat shirt

white sun overshirt (to be wet for evaporative cooling)


PLUS I wear one EDC fanny pack and toss a second one (mentioned in other thread) on the seat whenever I get in.


Middle seat:

150 lb. LOUD dog rollingeyes

dogs gallon water container and dish

dog's blanket (to cover seat)

(crammed into the feet wells.....)


small duffel of extra clothes

leather hiking shoes/sox

extra baseball cap

extra snowsuit

canteen with fresh water (some water in here is not so fresh)

lock box secured with cable

brown/grey tarp (still in package)

sleeping bag


Part #3 of BOB



Rear section:

whole tote container of horse riding (bareback pad, not saddle) & horse care equipment

my main BOB backpack

various silver reflective pads (covers things back there so no sun damage and ....can't see it)

2 insulated collapsing bags to keep things cool

2 machetes

small saw

3# hammer

reg hammer

assorted tools

assorted junque

more gloves

lotsa wire/connectors/stuff to make emergency repairs

lotsa baler twine/rope/feed sack string

bungie cords

gardening tools (hoe, fork, shovel, trowels, collapsing harvest basket, etc)

tarps and huge plastic bags


Under Back compartment:

spare tire


first aid kit

plastic bucket it sits in but has other uses



blush There's more but that's all I can remember intentionally putting in there for every day use. This vehicle doesn't really go into town but serves my purposes way out here in the boonies.



A Different Point of Info.............


IF I ever had to EVACUATE and dh was gone to work (hour commute) and had the truck...this is my plan for fitting all animals in the car....


Cat in carrier (front seat)

Dog in her middle seat but crowded with other stuff too. {dog unhappy with intrusion}

Dwarf Goats in back section crowded a bit with animal water buckets, feed, and equipment. [stuff currently back there would be repositioned or left behind.]

Horses would be on lead rope....I can hold these out window and drive very slowly. Horses would carry more stuff (with saddles if I have the time).

IF I can get ahold of ducks (& Grpa goose), the cages would go up on the roof and tied down with the myriad of ropes/bungies I have in car. And partially tarped from sun and front wind.


Unless horses panic...and I've led them like this....this will get all of us out. Not room for much else tho. Heck, if I was going slow enough for the horses on back roads, I could hang stuff out the windows.... [the Beverly Hillbillies..... LOL] Anything goes in an EVAC!








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Your Beverly Hillbillies Bugout paints quite a picture! rofl


One small suggestion: Baby wipes for hand-wiping. Much more effective than kleenex, and soapy too. laugh


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Do they make germicidal babywipes????? You know how I am about poultry microbes and cross-contamination to humans. I use the germicidal santizer gel and the tissue to wipe my hands afterward. But I'd be open to better 'tools' for microbe avoidance. laugh





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Originally Posted By: Mt_Rider
Do they make germicidal babywipes????? You know how I am about poultry microbes and cross-contamination to humans. I use the germicidal santizer gel and the tissue to wipe my hands afterward. But I'd be open to better 'tools' for microbe avoidance. laugh


There are anti-bacterial handy wipes available. They're individually wrapped and Target has them by the paper plates and napkins. I can't remember offhand if Target still has their store brand, but I know wet ones makes some, too. They are more expensive than baby wipes, though.

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