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Car Survival Kit - The Forgotten Necessity

Updated on June 27, 2011

Survival: Car Survival Kit - The Forgotten Necessity

The Scenario:

Have you ever gone on an exciting road trip across the state, or the country? While they are a ton of fun, you have to admit that there are some stretches of road where it is just a bunch of trees for miles and no other cars in sight! These are the times where you crank up the radio or speak with the others in the car to pass the time. Imagine the car breaking down. That is not good!

What do you do? You use your cell phone of course! But wait, there is no signal. You can always wait for a car to drive by. You wait a couple of hours and a car finally comes in sight, but thinking that you could be a murderer they keep on driving (Let us not act like you have not driven by a hitch hiker or a supposedly broken down car.). The sun is starting to set and no more cars are driving by... what do you do?

Now granted, this situation required a couple of perfect things to come into alignment, but so does the lottery and people win the lottery throughout the country every week. You are now stranded, with no phone, in unfamiliar territory, no cars are stopping to help, and the sun is going down. Are you prepared? If not, what could you have done differently? Firstly, count your lucky stars that the situation is not as bad as it could be! You could be on a far more remote road, or even on a camping expedition and have things go far worse, but we willl work with this scenario for now.

Car survival kits are probably the most overlooked of all survival preparedness. People take their surroundings and their working car for granted. Then, when they do decide to venture into new places they forget to put a kit together. Typically people are just so overjoyed about a trip that they forget to consider that things can go terribly wrong! I know because I have made this mistake before as well.

Debris' Notes:

The Rule of Threes:
Let me teach you the rule of Threes: 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food; each of these can result in death.  (Read My Hub On The Rule Of Threes.)

How to Prepare:

Step One: Prepare ahead of time

One thing that could have prevented this emergency is to have a car tune up before any long trips. This is a helpful preventative measure that can prove to be very valuable.

Step Two: Assess all possible situations

On a road trip car failure must always be considered when preparing for a trip. If you’re a camper then you should not only prepare for car failure but also camping disasters.

Step Three: Get all necessary items to address the issues

For car failure people should include some of the following:

  • Bottled water (also helpful if your car is overheating due to lack of coolant)
  • Flashlights (Hard to work on cars at night)
  • Road Flares
  • Bug Spray
  • Jumper Cables
  • Car phone charger
  • Non-perishable food (Be careful because some foods will be susceptible to heat in the trunk)
  • Toilet Paper (Leaves are not as friendly)
  • Painkillers
  • First Aid Kit
  • Stuff for making a sign (Let the people who are driving by know to phone for help for you.)
  • Comfortable shoes (In case you don’t wear those often)
  • Additional warm clothing (If cold is an issue)
  • Mace (Wild animals, this also includes jerks that may try and take advantage of your situation.)
  • Baseball bat or other item that can be used for protection if need be.

While this isn’t a comprehensive list, it’s a good start. Expand on this list or replace items as necessary and always do your best to plan for all possible situations. While you can’t prepare 100% for all situations anything will help.

Identify Strengths and weaknesses:

The absolute best way to make sure help is looking for you is for people to know where you’re going and when you’re supposed to arrive. If these people aren’t alerted then they may be the only ones that can get help to you.

Things to think about:

  • Does anyone know where you are going?
  • Do they know what route you are taking?
  • Does anyone know when you are supposed to arrive?
  • Do you have a schedule setup with family or friends so that they know to expect a call every day, or every other day?

And as I always say: Any plan is better than no plan! So get planning!

Get more information and ideas at


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    • debris profile image

      debris 9 years ago from Florida

      Peggy: Great to hear. Many people forget this kit because they're comfortable with their surroundings, but when people go on trips they often forget to make this kit. A lot of nice people have experienced huge tragedies that could have easily been avoided had they made a kit and had their skills.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Great hub and something I will think about the next time I hit the road.