What You Need To Build A Short Term Car Survival Kit

Posted 1 year ago in Prepping, by: with 0

When we talk about prepping more often than not what is being referenced is storing food in larger quantities. Getting a water supply built up. Making sure you have the right tools. However, prepping is not always simply about preparing for an apocalyptic disaster or a global collapse. More often than not the idea of prepping is making sure you are prepared in the event of an emergency.

In this case, the emergency we’re looking at is something bad happening while you are within 2 days walk from a place you know to be safe and you need to get away from your car for any of these reasons:

  • your car is broken down in a remote area and you have no way to contact help
  • a natural or man-made disaster occurs while you’re in an urban area and you cannot leave with your vehicle
  • natural disaster situations where staying in your vehicle is ill-advised, such as a tornado, wildfires, hurricanes
  • riots blocking the roads, no way to get out with your vehicle
  • any other situation where you’re within a couple of day’s walk of a safe place and you need to abandon your vehicle


If you are in unfamiliar territory then it is always a good idea to have a decent selection of maps at your disposal. Sure, in the age of smart phones it is easy enough to rely on your GPS but if you are stuck in an area without service then a smart phone will do you no good. Paper maps never lose signal or service. If you want to be sure that you can get back to where you started or where you were going in the first place then a map can be your best bet.

Proper Food

One of the most important things you are going to need in your car’s mini bugout bag is food. Since the plan is to make it back to a safe place as quickly as possible do not worry about having a full meal.

What you do need to be specific with is the type of food you pack in the car. You do NOT want to pack normal foods such as trail mix, beef jerky, and these types of items, because they are not conducive to the temperature fluctuations of a vehicle and will spoil. What you DO want to have are high calorie energy bars that are designed and packaged to handle those temperature changes long term.


Having a canteen in your vehicle bug out pack is pretty important, since carrying a large quantity of water with you isn’t practical. Have one of these for each person you have in the vehicle with you normally, including yourself. You can also keep an additional spare with you in case you end up with more people with you than you would normally have. Even if you have a friend or family member that doesn’t care much about prepping, prep for them if they ride with you on a regular basis.

Water Purification Tablets

You don’t want to leave bottled water in your car for long periods of time because high temperatures can make it unsafe to drink, while low temperatures can freeze and burst the bottles. The best solution for drinking water is to have water purification tablets on hand. Not only that, but water is heavy to carry, so you want to be able to get water as you need it.

First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is a must in any type of survival kit, whether it’s for home use or for your vehicle. You can buy a standard first aid kit or build out your own using the products of your choice. For example, sometimes pre-made first aid kits have bandages that, while they’re okay in a bad situation, aren’t exactly ideal.


You want to be sure to have a good flashlight on hand because it is a wonderful kind of multitool. Not only can you use it to find your way if you break down in the dark, it can help to serve as a kind of signal. It can also serve as a blunt instrument should you need to defend yourself.


Having a good multitool in your get home bag is a great idea because they are incredibly versatile. They not only come with a built in knife, they are more useful than a Swiss Army Knife. This is one of those tools whose necessity goes without saying.

A Solid Knife

A multitool is NOT a substitute for a good knife, though. It should be within your state’s length limits to carry, though. The best way to stay within this is to carry a folding knife. If you get stopped, your knife can be easily within the limits for personal carry in most places.

It should not be made out of stainless steel, because it will not hold an edge. It should be made of carbon steel or even better, titanium, if you can find one. Titanium knives are lighter, hold an edge better, and will not rust.

Gun and Ammo

If you are going to have to leave your car behind and head out on foot then having proper protection on hand is a must. Of course you should have the proper credentials for carrying around your weapon. This is simply a case where you would rather have it and not need than need it and not have it.


Arguably the most useful tool you could ever have at your disposal is cold hard cash. Money talks and more importantly money negotiates. You should definitely have at least $100 minimum stored away in event of an emergency. You never know when this kind of problem can arise and that is not the time to be flat broke.

Poncho Or A Rain Coat

Because let’s face it: the only thing worse than being stranded is being stranded in the rain. A cheap plastic poncho will do fine in a pinch, but if you’re in an area where rain is often or when it happens, very heavy, you will want more than that. If it’s likely you may end up walking in the rain, an adult sized “saddle slicker” may be what you need.

Rain Shoe Covers

Rain shoe covers are fairly important to have, whether you live in an area where rain is often heavy or not. If there’s a good chance you’ll be walking in it and you’re wearing sneakers, you don’t want to be walking for 2 days with wet feet. Rain shoe covers are easier to use than galoshes and they take up less space in your car.

When using rain shoe covers, they should be on the inside of your jeans, not the outside to prevent water from running down your leg and into the shoe cover itself. The image shown on this product on Amazon is for presentation purposes only and does not show correct usage.

A Backpack To Fit It All In

All of this stuff we’ve talked about is worthless if you can’t carry it all. A solid backpack with many compartments that is designed for survival is what you need here. It’s important that it be waterproof, comfortable to wear, and capable of fitting all of your supplies.

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