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.
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.
-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)
-paracord (helpful for building emergency shelter)
-first aid kit (basic)
Other things to keep in your trunk:
-can of ready to eat food (1 or more)
-your favorite trusty survival handbook
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.