Emergency Car Survival Kit




In the wake of James Kim's death and what happened to his family I decided that I would make emergency kits for both of the vehicles in my family. The kits for sale in stores were filled with poor quality items that I couldn't trust in a serious situation, so I made my own.

Making your own lets you adjust its contents to your climate, budget and situations. I hope people will take the kit I've put together as a base to start their own.

Lets get started...

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Step 1: Assembling the Contents

This emergency kit consists of:

1.) Jumper cables (aka booster cables)
2.) Multi-Tool (one of those pliers that have tons of tools in the handle)
3.) Map (local area or area you'll be traveling)
4.) First-aid kit
5.) Flashlight
6.) Rag
7.) Duct tape (because you can fix a lot of things with Duct tape)
8.) Rain coat (the folded $1 type)
9.) Emergency blanket (the folded $1 type)
10.) Folding shovel (entrenching tool)
11.) Fuses for fuse box
12.) Water bottles
13.) Protein bars or M.R.E. (meal-ready-to-eat)
14.) Reflective tape or reflective triangles (flares are hard to find)
15.) Old Cell phone, fully charged. Call customer service via the phone to make sure it works. Do not make test calls to 911 (Service is not needed to make 911 calls). Most modern cell phones and cell networks can triangulate your position, this is very handy in an emergency.
16.) Lighter or water proof matches, or flint rod.
17.) Compass
18.) 550 cord (named after its tensile strength) or para cord. Google the number of uses for this stuff, you'll be amazed.

I'll address some of these items in the next few steps.

Step 2: Fire Is Important

When I made survival kits in the Army I had 5 different ways to make fire.

A fire will give you warmth when it's cold, chilly, and downright freezing outside.
A fire will provide you light during darkness so you can see to do other things.
A fire will allow you to cook your meals and boil water so you can consume them safely.
A fire will dry out your clothes when they've become wet so you won't get sick.
A fire will provide a way to signal for help, both, during darkness and daylight hours.
A fire will protect you from wild critters, they don't like fire.

So in short, add fire making devices to your comfort level.

Step 3: Organize the Kit

You'll want to place large items and items you wont need ready access to at the bottom of your kit.

In my case the jumper cables are large and would be cumbersome to move out of the way if I neede to get to the first-aid kit, so they'll go on the bottom.

Step 4: Communication Can Save a Life

Not many people know that "out-of-service" cell phones can still dial 911. Dig through that catch-all drawer and pull out that old Nokia 5100 series and throw it in your kit.

Don't have an extra phone? Grab a $20 pre-paid phone(w/ roaming), because $20 is cheap insurance.

Step 5: Put It All Together

This is the fun part where you get to put it all together.

Step 6: Make It Easy to See

If you are forgoing the reflective triangles you should at least get the $2 roll of reflective tape.
This is the same type of reflective material you see in traffic signs, this stuff really pops when you shine a light on it at night. This add-on will be great if your changing your tire in the dark.

Remember you can add and subtract anything you want from this basic kit, just make it work for you and your climate. For instance I added a shovel because I drive in the snow parts of the year. If I lived in Arizona I might add a gallon of water to this kit, you get the idea.

Hope you have fun making your emergency kit.


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    67 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    how do you forget the water? and this kit also need a small blanket if you're gonna get lost in a cold place, or even cold nights, you don't know what is gonna happen

    3 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    This kit isn't all inclusive. It's an alternative to the poor quality "emergency kits" sold in stores. None of those include water ;)

    Though not pictured, item #12 in the kit is water bottles. I'd suggest people fill them with water for best results.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Nice idea. People need water to survive. If I were in Arizona, I would do that. However, if you live in the country with a lot of forests then you might want a LifeStraw.


    2 years ago

    would be nice to have flare gun with u as emergency call of self defence


    12 years ago on Introduction

    i would add a gun, a cheap .22 pistol would be an excellent thing to have (as long as you had bullets) if you were stuck in a long term situation you could use it to hunt and defend yourself from stuff like bears. (i know a .22 doesnt seem like a very formidable weapon to bear, try shooting for the eyes. pack a flare gun and shoot it with that.)

    10 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    it would be nice to 22. pistol for self defence

    but it would be better with derringer with 410 in it


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    This is absolutly the wrong advice.
     first off a .22 is just going to annoy the bear, pretty much anywhere you hit it. yeah an eye shot might make him think twice but while you have a several hundered pound bear coming your way with eyes the size of maybe two thumbs and he is shaking his head in rage. you can shoot all you want, "I" though will climb a tree as I already know I can't outrun the durn thing. Feel free to shoot though. While he is eating you I can get out of there.

    Good luck to you.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Accually, a .22 pistol is capable of killing any north american mammal with correct shot placement. You would only need to shoot the bear in the head to bring it down... forget about aiming for the eyes.


    Reply 3 years ago

    A .22 round is just going to bounce off a bear's skull and make it more angry.

    Module 1Loveofchaos

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    you could also use the bullets to sart a fire(take gun powder out of bullet, spark,and run

    TheGrayAssassinModule 1

    Reply 3 years ago

    Nope. Gunpowder doesn't start a fire, as almost all people believe. When lit, it produces enormous amounts of gas, which propel the bullet.


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Good suggestion, I would advise people to check with local laws before putting loaded weapons in their vehicles. Some states require a lock and other require that you separate the weapon and its ammunition. I have a lot of fond memories of shooting my .22 in the Arizona deserts.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    If you don't know the gun laws where you live, you probably shouldn't own a gun. Particularly we Americans start getting all kinds of uppity about whether some of them are "legal laws" or not, but we should still know what they are.

    Likewise, if you plan to carry your gun in your car, you need to know the laws everywhere your car is. It gets kind of ridiculous because what's required in one jurisdiction is forbidden in the next, but discussing the solution to that problem is kind of off-topic. ;)

    One bit of advice, if you're carrying a gun on your person or in your car and you're required to inform police officers about that where you are, don't use the word "GUN" when doing it. "Here's my license and my CWP, and yes I have it with me today," is much easier on their nerves—especially for an officer's partner who probably can't hear much of what you're saying but will inevitably hear that magic word.


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    im only 14 and i love going out and shooting my .22. with the bullet thing, of course. i would put in about 4 of those little 50 round boxes of winchester high velocity bullets. they seem to take no space at all. or u could just put in a brick of 500.


    2 years ago

    Where did you get the bag for this kit?


    3 years ago

    Storing the compass in close proximity to steel objects for any length of time is a bad idea. Object s like a steel vehicle body or the entrenching tool or multi tool will weaken the magnetic field in the compass needle, making it less and less accurate over time, until it no longer points anywhere near North.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Maybe, but I really doubt all of us know that. Thanks for the info though!


    3 years ago

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