My e-can (emergency vehicle canister)

by C. Faraday
Everyone should have an emergency kit in their car. I was disappointed with the ready-made, store bought kits offered in the big name stores which typically come in a canvas bag containing gloves, jumper cables, a road hazard sign (or small pylon) and a call police flag to place in your car window, some included a first aid kit and flashlight. I found them woefully inadequate to say the least, also overpriced for the value in my opinion. 
Here’s the redesign and contents that you can add yourself. Remember that personalization is the key for your area and the issues you might face on your roads.
The container is an empty, unused paint can that you can buy at your local hardware store for often under $5. This can be used for a multitude of purposes including water collecting and holding as well as being capable of boiling water inside it for purification. The handle is useful to carry but also to suspend it above a fire or to remove it from a hot fire (carefully of course). The can itself is also a great container to burn candles in inside a car to raise the temperature if you’re stuck somewhere on a cold night.

I like my things labelled so I made up some labels for free and taped them to the side and top indicating what the contents were.

Contents will vary according to your environment but here’s mine for a northern climate just as an example. Other uses or more in depth explanations are cited next to item in brackets.
-cell phone charger
-full, clear water bottle (useful for solar disinfection when the bottle empties)
-energy bar, hard candies/ gum
-matches, lighter, candles
-fishing kit (line, hooks, sinkers)
-gloves and jumper cables (kept outside of can)
-bandana (water filtration, wound protection, protection from the sun)
-flashlight and batteries
-pencil and paper (write a note if you decide to leave your vehicle on foot, tell what direction you went)
-garbage bags (water collection, emergency shelter/ poncho, dry space to sit) 
-space blanket
-paracord (helpful for building emergency shelter)
-duct tape
-sewing kit (extra string, needles, pins and scissors- always handy in an emergency)
-hand sanitizer
-first aid kit (basic) 
Other things to keep in your trunk:
-spare tire
-spare blanket
-comfortable footwear
-can of ready to eat food (1 or more)
-your favorite trusty survival handbook
-folding shovel and some kitty litter (for traction on slippery ice)
This design was inspired by those who got lost on their way, or stuck in an unpopulated area where they found themselves completely alone for an extended amount of time. It is in my opinion, the ultimate in a vehicle emergency kit. It is cheap to assemble using things you probably have on hand, or things that are easy to acquire and it’s personalized to you, your family, and your location. A kit like this should equip you and your family to survive almost any short term issue that you might face while travelling, especially with the level of thought and planning that go into it.
You are the designer, you have the know how to make it into what you need and turn it into your ultimate survival emergency vehicle kit.

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5 thoughts on “My e-can (emergency vehicle canister)”

  1. I like the idea and it should be something that everyone can keep in their vehicle, regardless of space. If you can afford more space then consider a simple backpack which can not only be filled with more stuff (yeah!) but easily carried with you should you need to go on foot.

  2. Generally well thought out but I can’t understand why recommendations such as this (and Get Home Bags) always
    seem to include fishing kits-like someone is going to stop at a nice-looking stream and fish while the world is
    falling apart.

  3. Follow-up to my earlier comment. Good idea about the paint can. If visible in the vehicle by passer-bys there’s less chance of someone breaking into the car as opposed to a back-pak or duffle bag that could have some goodies in

  4. I store my Survival Rucksack, Bug Out Bag and web gear in my SUV at all times. I also have a case of MREs, a case of bottled water (until winter), large first aid kit and a small hand truck. I keep a Ruger 10/22 Takedown, an AR-7, a Savage 24J .22LR/.20GA and a Rossi Circuit Judge .45LC/.410GA in the vehicle as well. Not to mention the toilet paper, baby wipes, windshield washer fluid, jumper cables, air compressor, tool box and cooler. I know, I know, that’s a lot of stuff. But, my family could survive an extended stay away from home.

  5. Great article. I like the use of a paint can. I live in Houston, Texas and truck break-ins are a problem. If you leave a backpack in site (and with a truck there is no where to hide it) it will get stolen and cost you not only the contents of the bag but either a new door lock or window.


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