How to Build a Car Emergency Kit - Free Checklist

How to Build a Car Emergency Kit - Free Checklist

My family visited Lake Powell in southern Utah a number of years ago. The majority of the six-hour journey was spent on rural two-lane highways. To get there, we used an old, troubled 1996 white Chevrolet Suburban that belonged to my family. The issues began as soon as we returned to the marina, despite the fact that we were able to reach Lake Powell without incident and enjoy a fantastic week on the lake.

Our car was still there after a week of inactivity and would not start. We all started seeking for jumper cables but were unable to locate any when family members volunteered to jump start our automobile. A half-hour later, my uncle (who had already left for home) drove back into the parking lot and used his portable jumper to start our car.

Years later, I am a firm believer in the necessity of having a car emergency plan in place. There is nothing worse than going somewhere and being unprepared for unforeseen circumstances.

How to build an emergency car bag
If you're anything like me, you also have an EDC bag in addition to your bug out bag and get home bag. You have the sense that you are ready for anything! We also recommend that you put together an emergency pack for your car. Instead of being tailored to you personally, this kit is made up of things that are specific to your car.

You can purchase pre-made kits online, but we advise creating your own so you can be ready for the obstacles in your area. This article discusses tools that are useful to have wherever you go, and it also offers a checklist of necessary tools that may be downloaded.

How to build an emergency car bag - smuggler duffel bag

First off, we advise having a sturdy bag of superior quality that fits conveniently in your car's trunk. We have a Smuggler Adventure Duffel Bag that is my personal favorite. It's lovely and big and of high quality, so you know you'll have it for a long time. If it gets dirty, it is very simple to clean and durable as well as water resistant.

We recommend including a glass breaker and a seat belt cutter.  If you have a spare tire, a tire jack and tire iron are another essential items. It's crucial to remember that some newer automobiles don't come with spare tires, so make sure you have one. If you need to pull over to make a repair because it could be risky to try to do so on a busy road, think about include safety gear in your emergency kit. Wearing a reflective vest and using small reflective triangles alert other drivers when they are approaching you.

Snow covered car - emergency car kit

We all know that dangerous driving conditions are abound in the winter, so if you regularly travel in conditions like this, you should have at least one ice scraper in your car. You can also include a small shovel to help dig you out of snow and some cat litter or sand to give your tires traction on top of snow and ice.

Other good tools to include are as follows:

  • Multitool
  • Crank Lantern/Radio
  • Cash (small denominations for purchasing equipment or supplies)
  • Small Air Compressor
  • Jumper Cables
  • Tow Rope
  • Screwdriver
  • Duct Tape
  • Warm and thick Blanket
  • Heavy Duty Garbage Bags
  • Portable USB Charger
  • Headlamp
  • Wrench
  • Pry Bar
  • Bungee Cords
  • Car Fire Extinguisher (Make sure it's for a vehicle)
  • Portable Jump Starter

There are several other items you should always include in your car go bag. If you're stranded for a while, having a small supply of food in your car can keep you from getting to worried. Ensure that you have enough bottled water on hand as well.   A decent jacket or sweatshirt is always a good idea in case you get cold, and if you have to walk anyplace while it is raining, you will need a raincoat. A pair of supportive, comfy walking shoes might be an excellent addition. If you have to go from your car to your house and you were originally wearing uncomfortable or inconvenient shoes, these are lifesavers. Make sure to include a compass and physical maps of the regions you'll be going to. If you know how to navigate, you can still go where you need to go while your phone isn't working.

Finally, you should always carry a first-aid kit in your car. You may decide to include items such as toilet paper and hand sanitizer so you can stay clean. In April of 2020, the CDC recommended people add cloth face masks or face coverings to their emergency kits in light of the global pandemic. If you're looking for one that is ultra comfortable and breathable, check out our Rogue Neck Gaiter Face Masks. They're very compact, incredibly simple to use, and can even help keep you warm in an emergency. Pain relievers are also a good idea as well as backup prescription medications. My husband, for example, is a Type 1 Diabetic and we always make sure we have backup insulin as well as sugary drinks, snacks, and rescue medication if his blood sugar runs low.

Now more than ever, it's incredibly important to be prepared. This year alone we've experienced a global pandemic, fires, earthquakes, and more. When you're prepared, you are able to help not only yourself and your own family but you can also help those around you who may not be prepared! Let us know what you think of our list and what things we forgot in the comments, and always be prepared to conquer your current situation. VENI VIDI VICI.





  • JC Miller

    Great article, I recommend everyone to have a vehicle bag, I’ve used mine many times when I’ve forgotten my primary supplies and/BOB. This list is a great start to any vehicle. Thank you for sharing.

  • Kim

    I am guessing that after you got back, you traded in your old 1996 white Chevrolet Suburban for a newer black Subaru Outback shown in the pictures. As for the list, it is something to think about.
    Thank you.

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