Let’s say you’re stuck somewhere for the night. Is it better to stay inside your vehicle or take your in-care gear bag and hustle out of there? Much of this choice depends on your own level of training, the gear you have, and the particular situation you’re in.

Being in a car gives a sense of security, because you’re protected from the elements and have some comfort. But . . . there can be detrimental reasons why you would not want to stay in your vehicle.

The vehicle could become a trap. If you’re surrounded by a mob, you might not have a way to get out.

If there’s a broken window, the car will let in the cold outside air. Can you patch up that broken window with a piece of cardboard or an emergency blanket?

The car holds in the cold. Cars don’t hold in heat, so not staying warm is a real concern. If you’re out of the car, you can possibly gather wood and use your fire starter to make a sheltering fire.

The vehicle is conductive metal. It’s a myth that the rubber tires on a car protect a vehicle from lightning strikes. A fully enclosed metal vehicle is safe, as long as you’re not touching any part of the metal frame in the event that there is a lightning strike–this means no touching door and window handles, steering wheels, gear shifts, etc. In order for this to be effective, the windows must be closed. Vehicles can still be damaged by a strike.

Close off part of the space. An emergency blanket doesn’t take up much space and they’re cheap. Get a few extra a keep them in the car. You can use these to close off the back or front of your car’s space to make it easier to stay warm. Plus, you might have extra people in your car (kid’s birthday party? or whatever) and you’ll need more than one blanket just for yourself.

If you have to vacate your vehicle, is your gear accessible? Get your bag out of the trunk and keep it nearby. Ahead of time, sort through whatever’s in there and make sure you know what’s in there and how to use it.

Think through scenarios. Based on where you live and the weather, think through what might happen and what you need. If it’s rainy or hot, think about those things and prepare for them. If you have to cross bridges to get home, think about what you might do if you can’t use the bridge. Thinking things through helps your brain to be more able to maintain when there really is an emergency.

Here in the Pacific Northwest Spring is just around the corner. We keep getting glimpses of the sun but not a whole day of sunshine yet. Around here, as soon as the weather warms up people hit the road. When Northwesterners aren’t snowboarding or skiing, they’re at the ocean, hiking, fishing, camping or on a lake.

All of those summertime outdoor activities mean we’re spending a lot of time in our cars, taking road trips. You should have some supplies in your car at all times, but summertime preparation requires a slightly different approach than winter.

In my car (and in my teenage daughter’s car), I have a bug-out bag with a crank flashlight, a few of these emergency food ration bars, reflective blanket, multi-tool, glassbreaker, hand warmers, rain poncho, knife, firestarter, whistle, paracord and basic stuff like that.

I also keep a hooded warm sweatshirt in the car, along with an old pair of yoga pants, a pair of cowboy boots and a good pair of socks. These are just always in there. My worry is that I will be stuck at work when there’s an emergency and I’m a half an hour’s drive away from home. I may need to walk home. While I wear sensible clothes and shoes to work on a daily basis, sometimes I wear clothes or shoes that I would not want to have to walk 30 miles in. This way, I know that I can switch out my work sandals for a good pair of work boots and hike home if I need to. Gloves wouldn’t be a bad idea, now that I think about it, but I’m less worried about that in summertime.

Basic first aid kit
My own car first aid kit could be better, honestly. I’m going to work on this over the summer and get better prepared. Have basic first aid kit items at all times, like gauze, tape, bandages, antiseptic and the like. Depending on your geographic region, you may definitely want to add anti-venom kit for rattlesnake bites or an epi-pen if you’re allergic to stinging insects.

Choose foods that can take the heat of being packed up in a close-up car in full sun. Many food items wilt. Some things that do stand up to summertime heat are nuts and seeds and nut butters in foil packs. Jerky, Dried fruit. Boxed crackers. Don’t choose anything like granola bars with chocolate chips, as these will melt and turn your bars into a huge mess.

This really is key. You can try some of our hacks to collect water that will work even in the desert, if you need to, but there’s also plenty of room in your car for a gallon of water. If you’re worried about kids and pets and other people who might be with you, then add a gallon of water for each person you’re going out with.

Gallons of water can take up a lot of room. If you’re space is at a premium, choose the boxed water which will stack more easily and fit in a supply box.

Plan for your good ol’ animal friends. It’s probably a dog you’re concerned about, so pack some high energy foods for them. Extra water. A leash and collar, even if you don’t normally keep them on one. If you’re in trouble at night, having a light on your pet could be really nice, so they don’t get lost. I suggest this Dog Brite waterproof lighted dog collar by Stoney-Wold Productions. If your animals become separated from you in the dark, you can find them more easily with a lighted collar.

Things you should consider having in your car:

  • Duct tape
  • Tarp
  • Sheet of plastic (for water collecting)
  • Paracord – even more than you think you need
  • a JIT phone charger/lighter/flashlight  – I recently got one of these and love it! Read my review for how long the flashlight worked when left on continuously. The JIT will give you enough power on your phone to send a text message or make a call, even from a dead battery. It’s small and the charged lighter heats up like a cigarette lighter to give you precious heat to light a fire.
  • A map of your area. Preferably one that is laminated.
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Bug repellent – boy, there have been times I was glad I had that old can of Deep Woods Off in the car!
  • Pepper spray
  • Deck of cards
  • Pen and Paper

I know I could come up with 20 more things that would be good ideas to have, but this is really just a general survival kit. We’re not talking about being out in the woods and living from your car for the foreseeable future. In my mind, the things I have in my car are minimal and are designed to get me and whoever I may be with home safely. That’s all starting to sound like kind of a lot. But really, these things don’t take up much room. I have my bag packed in the car, with a jug of water and a couple of sealable plastic bins. All of that gets pushed to the back of the trunk and I really don’t ever think about them being there or not. I still have plenty of room to put other stuff in the trunk like groceries.

What do you think you need in your car emergency box?



Twin brothers Mike and Geoff Howe are the masterminds behind Howe and Howe Technologies, makers of limited-edition, high-performance luxury vehicles. The Ripsaw EV2 (Extreme Vehicle 2) is a closed-cabin, high-mobility/high-speed lightweight “personal luxury tank” that we definitely want when the apocalypse hits.

The vehicle was originally built for the military, and it proved to be the fastest dual tracked vehicle ever developed. From 13.4 inches of suspension travel, to its luxurious interior and over 600 diesel horsepower, The Ripsaw stands alone. It can easily traverse snow, sand or mud. We imagine it as a B-2 Bomber that you drive over the ground. If you order one, be aware that it is a custom-designed vehicle made upon order. It can take up to 6 months to fabricate this baby, but we know the wait will be worth it. Yeah, it’s expensive, with a base price of $295,000, but there are people in the world who can afford this, and we hope to meet them someday.

Visit Howe and Howe’s YouTube channel and order your Ripsaw EV2 (Extreme Vehicle).

Best ATV Ever: The Ripsaw Supertank Extreme Vehicle

The Polaris RZR is the ultimate vehicle for riders who want performance and agility. Use one of these babies for hunting season, as a bug-out vehicle or just for a joyride.

The RZR S 570 EPS is a new entry into the Polaris Sport category. Starting at $13,000, the 570 engine features 4 valves and a dual overhead cam design. The front and rear dual A-Arm suspension system with a rear stabilizer bar creates a stable 60-inch stance for performance on the trail that can handle anything. Power steering, of course, along with customizable features such as high-tech audio and storage. Add an in-helmet headset for instance, and LED light bars.

The RZR is available in several different versions, including an S 900, S 900 EPS (electronic power steering) and S 1000 EPS depending on the engine choice. Each one is available in a different color. Explore the Polaris 2017 RZR line-up.

Image of RZR S 1000 EPS courtesy of Polaris.com.

Check out the new 2017 model of the Polaris ACE 500 ATV.

Now featuring the 33 HP 500cc ProStar EFI engine, the new 2017 Polaris ACE 500 is more powerful than the company’s previous model. The 2017 redesign offers riders 10% more leg room and a gallon of storage space right in the dash.

Controls are familiar to any automobile driver, and the design allows users to sit down and step out easily. All wheel drive too. This model starts at a pocket-friendly $7,000. Check out the 2017 line-up and new model of the Polaris ACE 500.
Polaris ACE 500 ATV New for 2017
Polaris ACE 500 ATV New for 2017
Images courtesy of Polaris.com

Gearing up for disasters both, big and small, entails a lot of forethought. All angles must be covered, especially when it comes to those things you will rely on most when it is most urgent.

One of the most important things you will depend on during a crisis is your mode of transportation. An auto emergency kit is just prevalent as anything else you will turn to in times of the unexpected.

Stay Powered Up
No matter where you travel it’s crucial that you have extra supplies for your truck on hand. When disaster hits you’ll be able to quickly access the items you need.

  • Jumper cables, battery chargers, a phone charger, and a flashlight with fresh batteries will keep the lights and heat on.
  • Keep a good old fashion road map atlas accessible if you’re without power to use GPS.
  • Antifreeze, roadside flares, and a spare tire with a jack should not only solve some mechanical issues but also draw attention to you if you need help.

Stay Warm
Don’t think that just because it’s summer travel you’ll be warm. If your emergency holds you overnight or the weather changes on you, be ready with protective gear.

  • Blankets, gloves, stocking cap, wool socks and extra boots will do the trick. Make sure you have enough to cover everyone in the vehicle.

Read More: Man Escapes Flooded River After Truck is Submerged

Don’t Go Hungry
You may need to spend some time waiting on help or prepare to travel on foot to get to safety. Keep food and drink accessible for those times.

  • Several gallons of bottled water and energy drinks will keep you hydrated and that’s essential to your overall health.
  • Granola and energy bars that are packed with essential calories will keep your energy up.

Stay Healthy
Keeping your thoughts and plans straight will help you stay alive. Taking care of minor injuries can extend your ability to make it out healthy and sane.

  • Pen and paper will be helpful if you need to abandon your vehicle or if you need to exchange information with anyone.
  • First aid supplies kit  and a small fire extinguisher (ABC type is good) a cheap and don’t take up much room but can keep minor issues from turning major.

Keep Reading: The 4 Types of Items Every First Aid Kit Must Contain