Survival Items for Your Vehicle's Glove Box

About: I'm "Survivor Jack™", since my NatGeo's "Doomsday Preppers" (S1E9) episode. Help me Please by viewing "Survivor Jack auditions for Ellen's DJ" -----

Your glove box may be your first line of defense in a car related Emergency.

The Key is to plan ahead. I'll assume you already have a 72 Hour Survival Kit in your vehicle but you can't reach it yet.  Perhaps your belt won't release, or you are hanging upside down.

The first item is gloves. In a crisis, you want to protect to hands from the weather and cuts.  You may be about to use a knife to get free.
The Second Items is a knife or multifunction tool - IF you don't wear one or as a back up.

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Step 1: What's a Survival Blanket Among Friends?

Emergency Survival Blankets are in my glove box for three reasons:
* If I'm unable to reach my 72 hour bag, I can reach the one in the glove box.
* If I'm sharing the car with a guest, we would each have a blanket.
* If there are people in front and back seats, each area would have a blanket to share.

Mylar blankets are light weight and inexpensive but they retain 90% of your body heat in a good situation.

BEWARE around fire.   This is for a last resort Survival Blanket, sun or rain protection, but mostly to save your heat.  Even Deserts are cold at night.

Step 2: Heat May Not Be the Only Problem!

My Glove Box has a Survival Poncho for the same basic reasons as the Emergency Blanket thinking.  It's another layer capturing body heat or could be a personal tent to keep you less uncomfortable.

In an extreme, it could be Duct Taped over a window to keep out wind and rain.

Step 3: You Bet Your Life on Survival Knowledge

There is an old Survival Saying: "You are Only as Sharp as Your Knife."

If you have no tool to cut your seat belt loose if it's jammed, --- You are not very sharp.

My car glove boxes (in front of passenger or between seats) has a Large Knife or Multi-function Tool.

Step 4: "Wet Your Whistle" With a Survival Basic

I  carry an emergency whistle around my neck.  Survival Planning or Strategic Thinking helps me realize that a visitor in my vehicle might not know That, if I were unconscious.

There is An Extra Whistle in my glove box,  In a survival emergency, IF we were buried under rubble or if we're out of site of the road, a whistle could be the game changer as it can be heard further.  If your passenger can breath, they can ...?    - - - That's right! They can whistle.

Step 5: Simple Survival Tools - Knife, Fork, Spoon

A great glove box contains a Knife, Fork and Spoon.   <<**These might be part of your Multi-function Tool.>>

If you are trapped in your vehicle for hours, traditional tools can come in handy.  A can opener** and the big 3 could open groceries.

The mere fact you have these familiar tools can be a comfort - a reminder of better times and your pre-planning.

The photo shows a Scouting, almost-flat, knife, fork and spoon set.

Step 6: Sewing, Shaving & Survival Planning?

Really!  A great glove box has an emergency sewing kit.   On the 'daily' end, I carry white and black shirt buttons plus a variety of colored thread, safety pins and needles.  While walking into make a presentation to strangers, my pant leg caught on s bit of metal and tore open from ankle to hip.  My sewing kit saved my day.

BUT, a sewing kit could save your life.   Long range, why I carry the kit is for emergency surgery.

The hand-held shaver has both uses too. I cut off hairs I missed while shaving - or I could prep an area for surgery.

No one likes to think about a crisis but imagine your child or best friend is bleeding. You should have the tools to help if possible.

Step 7: More Survival Food and Water Please

In an emergency, I'd rather have too much than too little if an Survival Gear.  I keep an "Energy" bar in the glove box in case I can't reach my 72 hour bag.

While water is not directly in the glove box - unless you have the new refrigerator style model coolers - I suggest water in a couple of places in the main compartment.  I have a case within reach on the floor of the back seat.   My wife has a case in the back of her SUV.

Step 8: Survial BONUS: Keep Reading

There should also be an Envelope with your latest emergency contact info, auto registration and Proof of Insurance.  Make sure it's easy to find - top in the glove box.  Police like it better when you don't waste their time.

For more on Survival Checklist ideas, click "Free Survival Checklists".

Remember: Keep your life in balance.  Enjoy the Best, but Prepare for the Worst.

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    20 Discussions

    Not that I'm a big jokester, but I keep those "can't blow out" party candles in my emergency kit and backpacks. Light them once and they will stay lit even in high winds. This saves matches.

    1 reply

    5 years ago on Introduction

    For emergency surgery/sutures, you may want to add dental floss to your sewing kit. Not only is it good for oral hygiene, it's good strong thread for stitches and sewing in general.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I'd add a wind-up torch.
    We have a couple of these at home and I really need to get some more.

    Wind it up for 30s and you get a decent amount of light out of them.

    Lucky we only are like 6km away from home so walking around shouldn't be much of a problem if need be. Which is why I generally don't have an emergency kit. But adding some stuff to the car would definitely be a good idea no matter what.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I saw the show and was trying to place you. You're the guy that hacked up a pig. did you have a good dinner?

    3 replies
    Survivor JackKittyF

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I'd love to meet the guy with the pig and have dinner, but that wasn't me. I'm the "new prepper" getting in better shape and doing "Knife Training" with my wife. NatGeo advertised my new invention and then didn't mention it during the episode. Look for the leather hat in my photos and Walk About Prepared™

    KittyFSurvivor Jack

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    So far the only guy I saw doing knife training was the fireman who lived in the city (NYC?) and was training with an Israeli commando. which Has got to be about the toughest person to train with. LOL I admire you and your wife. My hubby gets mad if I try to do anything about prepping.

    My car emergency kit also contains a garbage compacter bag - very sturdy, small, and useful for in-car bathrooming or sudden trash. I keep a small pack of paper towels to use with it, as well as a pocket pack of tissues, tiny notebook, and pencils, and two small LED flashlights. The 72-hour kit in the back of the rig includes a couple of warm full-head hats and a couple of heavy contractor plastic bags (great for rain, wind, heat retention, or sleeping), more food, bubble gum, and a good book. A daily flip-pack holds a week's supply of Rx meds and our normal over-the-counter ones, banded into a sandwich bag.

    3 replies

    Wow! I love the list. What a wonderful contribution to our community. A lady friend of mine told me she carries toilet paper and a #10 Food Can with plastic lid for in-car bathroom emergencies. From Chicago's 2011 "Frozen Cars" (overnight) to the "7 days" stuck story of another reader's comments, emergencies happen. IF you were having to flee and the highways become jammed (Katrina), are you and your family going to get out (perhaps in horrible weather) to relieve yourself? These are tough issues to discuss but human waste can be deadly dangerous. Drive About Prepared. PS: our NatGeo "Doomsday Preppers" (S1E9) has been pushed back to April 3.


    Here in Alaska, even routine trips back and forth to work, shopping, church, etc. can be tough trips in the winter. I live 20 miles from work and there is only one road, which is often closed down for hours due to a moose or bear that's been hit or a vehicular accident. My husband just told me about a man whose car had slid off the road a few dozen miles north. The plow/blower completely covered his car and he was trapped inside, completely buried, for FOUR DAYS! He survived easily with just minimal supplies! ** The large food/coffee/Tang/ etc. can can hold a whole roll of TP, plus some supplies. Since the can is in the car anyway, it can provide easy storage until needed. ** In the bush (rural AK, accessible only by plane, boat, or determined dog team) we use those cans for indoor honey buckets! Thnk you for your kind words on my first post! I love this site!

    Your "Common Sense" suggestions are practical, simple & inexpensive. These 'Survival Tips' will stimulate others thinking.

    The most extreme this winter was the man in North Europe who was buried in his car for one month. Scientists believe he went into a hibernation state for part of the time. Nature is Amazing.

    For the rest of us. let's rethink how we stock our cars - and Offices. Imagine being snowed in 'at work' for a week. A Case of water, sanitation supplies & 72 Hours bags for each person can make a major difference in comfort.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    hi, jack jobe, is there any energy giving food in ur kit ? We people carry energy tablet while we are in trek.

    1 reply
    Survivor Jackrluitel

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I carry several types of "energy" food and drinks. I often carry 'Gluton Free' - not because I need it but to demonstrate that each person should carry what works best for them Customize! Customize! Customize! What would you want with you during the "worst day of your life" survival scenario?


    The "Doomsday Preppers" series begins on Nat Geo TV on February 7th, 2012. The episode that features my wife and I is estimated "around the end of March or early April" 2012.

    I just found out I've been selected to be on an upcoming National Geographic "2012 Preppers" special. I''ll let everyone know as soon as I have more details.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Personally I go with some tea light candles which can heat a car interior just enough to make a difference.Then some soap, more for medical reasons than washing,a clean wound is often a managable one.And I like some fire-light-y stuff ; a bit of charred cloth or a chunk of old tyre-rubber.And a condom.Seriously,many,many uses other than the obvious.
    I realise most people wont want to go to the lengths I/we do but it does pay....a couple of years ago in a sudden blizzard,over 200 cars were caught between two accidents on the high moor nearby our farm in cornwall,UK.Those people had to spend a minimum 7 hours before they could move,some were there overnight.My old folks were amongst them and after that stopped mocking my be-prepared kit thats a permanent fixture of my vehicles and got some of their own.They were only 4 miles from home and helpless.For the effort and money involved....why risk it ?Everyone has room for a large tupperware or small plastic storage crate.They dont have to go the whole hog but the basics in this instructable make sense. Thanks Jack ! Keep 'em coming !

    1 reply

    I always carried a kit similar to this when I was touring the UK on a motorcycle in the early 80's.
    I have covered the length & breadth of the country in all kinds of weather & being a former boy scout I was always a great believer in being prepared.
    I find it hard to believe that more people don't carry an emergency kit; I guess it is the "things like that always happen to someone else" mentality that leads people to think they are immune to emergencies.
    The joke is most of the items you have listed can be bought in places like Poundland (Dollar World) so it's not like it costs the earth to do.
    I for one would add a good small LED torch & spare button cells along with a firelighter & waxed matches or a small firesteel but as long as you have the basic kit it is easy to customise it to suit the needs & climate of the individual.

    1 reply

    Your experience and comments are appreciated. You are right about the cost. I keep the items you "added" in my 72 hour bag. Thank You!