Vehicle Emergency Kits

This is different from your bug out bag. While some components might be the same, the purpose is different. A bug out bag is designed to get you from Point A to Point B whether you’re on foot or in a vehicle. A vehicle emergency kit is to help you either get back on the road or keep you safe until help arrives if you’re stranded. It will be heavier and bulkier than your bug out bag and thus isn’t really designed for transport on foot.

While you might not know much about vehicle repair, you’d be wise to keep a small set of tools and related gear in your trunk. A Good Samaritan might be willing to assist you but if he or she doesn’t have tools on hand, there isn’t much they’ll be able to do for you.

A tool kit should contain:

  • Wrenches (standard and metric)
  • Socket set (standard and metric)
  • Variety of slotted, Phillips, and Torx screwdrivers
  • Pliers and channel locks
  • Hammer
  • Hose clamps
  • Spare fuses
  • Fix-a-Flat
  • Duct tape
  • Sharp knife
  • A couple quarts of oil
  • A gallon of water
  • Flashlight
  • Work gloves

The above should be enough to cover most basic emergency repairs to your vehicle.

In addition to the tool kit, you should have a blanket, season appropriate extra clothing, water (separate from the gallon devoted to your tool kit), and a couple days of food. For the food component, be sure to select items that won’t go bad quickly in temperature extremes and won’t need to be prepared in any way. Crackers, granola bars, hard candy, that sort of thing.

If at all possible, have a cell phone on hand as well. Make sure you have a car charger for it and keep the phone charged at all times. If nothing else, buy a cheap prepaid cell phone to keep in the car. Just be sure to stay on top of any renewals so you are able to use the phone if you need to.