Hi friends! And welcome back to The Gubba Podcast. I’m Gubba, a first time homesteader following in the footsteps of my homesteading forebears.

I discuss homesteading, food storage, preparedness, and everything in between on this podcast. Today I’m going to be discussing emergency car prep kits, what to store in them, and why they are important.

What is a bugout bag?

Similar to a bugout bag, it is good to keep something similar in your car for emergency situations. A bug out bag is a bag that is filled with survival items that can sustain you for a period of time. If a situation or crisis arises, you grab the bag and get the heck out.

An emergency car kit is like a bug out bag because it contains supplies to help you survive in an emergency road side situation like a wreck, sliding off the road, car breaking down, being stuck in traffic for hours, or a number of other things.

What are roadside emergencies?

Have you guys seen where people get stuck in traffic for hours on end? I saw a tiktok video of someone saying they were stuck overnight in traffic due to weather. That honestly sounds like one of my worst nightmares—being grid locked on a highway and not being able to move.

This is when you start thinking: “What do you do if it’s winter and I’m stuck in my car overnight? Does your car have enough gas to run that long? What if it doesn’t?

There are so many scenarios that it is a good idea to build a baseline survival kit for your car, so you can find some comfort and peace in most situations.

How full should you keep your gas tank?

Side note, I would suggest to always keep your car filled up with gas. You need to always be ready if you have to leave your house for an emergency situation. If you leave on a whim and find your car on empty, you won’t get far.

Maybe the gas stations have lines for miles or you have to get to somewhere that instant. Once your car hits half-full, go ahead and fill it back up. This simple thing can be a life saver.

Let’s consider a few scenarios on the side of the road. Say your car breaks down and you’re far out of the way and it’s going to take a tow truck a long while to get to you.

Say your car breaks down in the middle of winter and a tow truck can’t get to you due to a blizzard so you have to tough it out.

Do you have the necessary supplies to make it? 

Maybe you live in a dessert area where you don’t have to worry about snow, but you have to worry about high and dangerous temperatures.

Would you be able to make it in or around your vehicle until help arrives?

Say you get into a car wreck or stop to help someone in a car wreck, do you have basic medical supplies to help yourself or someone else? Say because of traffic and unforeseen weather, you have to stay the night in your car among the traffic, do you have food and water to sustain you?

What if you are traveling with a pet, do you have supplies to keep them safe in an emergency situation? 

There are so many scenarios, so that is why it is important to have a baseline of preparedness so you can have a head start when a situation unravels.

I watched this prepper on tiktok for a while before he became new-age “woke” and started posting weirdo crap that didn’t relate to prepping and more a repost of the media’s garbage. Anyway, he had a whole survival scenario for his car. He lived out of the city in a rural area, but he worked inside the city.

His scenario was: what would he do if society broke down and he couldn’t get home due to a shutdown or traffic chaos?

He had a whole inflatable kayak in the trunk of his car that he would inflate along with all the necessary survival supplies to survive for a few weeks to make the trek home.

He did a test run and inflated his kayak, showed his supplies like a tent, clothing, food, water, knife and was able to take all his supplies with him out on the kayak and paddle across the river.

He then explained that his plan would be to trek home, stay out of sight, and camp along the way. I honestly thought this was the coolest thing ever and I aspire to be this level of prepper one day.

Truly, he was prepared for every scenario and gave out fun bits of prepper advice like: in a grid-goes-down pandemonium situation arises, don’t shower. Pretend you are as down and out as everyone else and that would include not showering to make yourself stink.

People will assume you are struggling as well, but they won’t know that behind your walls and doors, you have the necessary supplies to survive and thrive. He also hid 5 gallon buckets of food around his property because he said it wasn’t smart to keep your food storage all in one place in case of looting.

He also called the people who’s survival plan is to try and loot the preppers, zombies. Anyways, I love tidbits of survival advice like this because it gets you thinking!

Today, I won’t be telling you to pack an inflatable kayak, but we will be discussing basic supplies that you can order from amazon today to get your car emergency kit started.

What items should I keep in my car?

First, you can decide how you want to store your emergency supplies. Do you want to keep things in a tote in your trunk? Or do you want to purchase a military tactical backpack and keep everything in there?

I would suggest to actually have both. I learned this recently when I went through my emergency tote for a youtube video. I keep a tote filled with emergency supplies in my trunk, and while I was going through it, I realized it would be a good idea to actually keep a backpack in the tote as well in case I needed to bug-out of my car.

The backpack would allow me to carry the supplies I needed with me when I left my car. If you just have a tote, you will have to pick and choose what items you want to take with you.

You won’t be able to carry a tote with you as that will get heavy and wearisome.

With a backpack, you can pack up what you need, throw it on your back, and get the heck out of there.

What are freeze dried meals?

So now that we have discussed the storage, let’s discuss the contents. You will need food and water. The best way to do this is to get freeze-dried just add water meals and add them to your emergency tote.

I would pack 5-10 in there because extra is always better. Because they are freeze-dried, they are incredibly light and easy to pack. Ready-wise food buckets are a great way to have a variety of lightweight meals to put into your bug-out bags or emergency kits.

To make this food, you will need water and a stove like a jet boil or some other stove to cook the food. With my jet boil, I also keep a can of propane to power it in the kit.

How to have emergency supply water?

I realized when I went through my emergency supplies, that the water was a flaw in mine because it freezes in the winter. With it frozen, I can’t use it to cook meals in my jet boil.

I discovered that I need to tote fresh water every time I travel in the winter or figure out a solution to melt it. For a pack and go situation, there are these neat water emergency packets. that have individual water packets and the supply will last you up to 72 hours.

These are easy to pack due to the light weight and would be easy to throw into your backpack. Winter throws a stick in those plans though because of the water freezing, so that is why you would want a portable stove to melt water.

Now that we have food and water down, you will want to also have layers of clothes in your emergency supply. Clothes to change into or layer up if it gets cold during the day or night.

In mine, I keep snow pants, a winter coat, beanies, warm socks, snow boots, and gloves. It would be a good idea to tote lighter articles of clothing that can be thrown into your backpack as well.

Should I get a flashlight or a headlamp?

I also keep a flashlight in there with extra batteries. I think it would be a good idea to keep a headlamp in there because a headlamp frees up your hand so you can use it for other obstacles.

I love having my Zippo hand warmer with me whenever I drive just because my hands always get cold and in a winter weather situation, you will want some sort of warming device.

This handwarmer also doubles as a charger for my phone, so I keep a USB cord in there as well. You can get a pack of basic hand and foot warmers too which can be easily carried.

How do you build a fire?

I keep a hatchet in my emergency tote because it is easy to haul and doubles it’s use for defensive scenarios and if I had to build a shelter or make a fire, it is a great tool to survive.

There is a whole book about some kid surviving with a hatchet, isn’t there? I think it’s called hatchet and everyone in elementary school read it besides me. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’ll be out there surviving with my hatchet.

Along with my hatchet, I keep fire starting materials such as lint, toilet paper tubes, and a lighter in my emergency kit. I would suggest throwing some flammable materials into your kit.

A roll of duct tape would be a great addition as it has a plethora of purposes including being flammable.

In addition to all of these great supply items, keep in mind how many people you are traveling with because you will have to adjust quantities and pack extra.

If you are traveling with an animal, pack extra food and water for them. They’re a part of the family and their supplies don’t take up much space!

That’s it, that is my basic car emergency survival kit! Food, water, clothing, fire starter, and some other basics. You can get all of these items online or you probably already have some laying around your house or garage.

Seriously, like I always say you don’t want to find yourself in a situation to realize it’s too late and you could have prepared better. 

I hope this helps you know how to build a survival kit for your car! As always, thank you for listening and if you want to check out more prepping tips, check out my website gubbahomestead.com. Don’t do anything a Gubba wouldn’t do!

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