Stripping a Car

To sort of spin off of yesterday’s topic, let’s say there is an EMP burst or something else along those lines. You are on the road at the time of the disaster. Your vehicle is not operable nor is it likely to ever run again.

Aside from the supplies you (hopefully) have in the vehicle and will take with you, what parts of the vehicle itself may prove useful? Think both in terms of things you could transport as well as things that would be useful if you were to stay where you are for a day or two.

–Floor mats could be used as makeshift ground cover to sit or lay on.

–Mirrors could be used for signaling.

–Gasoline, if siphoned and carried safely, would be useful, right?

–Seat covers could be fashioned into bags.

–Empty soda bottles could carry water.

–Wiring from under the dash could serve as snares.

–Fast food condiments might be nice to season wild edibles.

–Scraps of paper found in the glove box could be tinder for campfires.

–Seat belts would be great lashing material.

Let’s brainstorm a bit. What else could you strip from a dead vehicle? At best, you may have a simple tool kit with you, nothing fancy, just an assortment of wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, and maybe a hammer.

Comment below with your ideas.

Published by

Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

9 thoughts on “Stripping a Car”

  1. If you happen to have one of those reflective deals that some people put in their windshield. Could serve the same purpose as a mylar blanket. Seat belts cut out and made into cordage. Fuel and brake lines used as arrow shafts. A 4 way luge wrench could make flying star of death to use on amall critters.

  2. Of all the things in a car/truck/suv you would think you’d have enough there to survive with for a long time…
    If you have a knife, the carpeting is a great insulator for warmth because it already has insulated backing.
    the car antenna, if it has one can be used for a fishing rod.
    the cars battery can also be used to start a fire by crossing pos and neg to spark fuel on any trash from the car.
    this is stretching it a bit but you could also use a water bottle stuffed with part of the air filter or seat foam as an emergency breathing filter (foam is short term since foam is denser than filter material) if somthing was airborne.
    Wiring can be pulled and used for lashing together overnight shelter.
    headliner and door panels can be used for building a make shift shelter.

    All that being said, you could just stay in the vehicle for pretty much anything in the short term, but in a situation where you must go and leave the vehicle behind the things listed above are all removable and light enough to carry.

    just my 2 cents…

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