Many people would find it hard to live without their car, but with a car survival kit you’ll be able to live out of your car in an emergency situation. Every year hundreds of people get stranded in snow banks, break down in wilderness areas or slide far enough off the road to prevent easy detection. A car, assuming it is reasonably intact, will provide protection from the elements. A car survival kit will provide the comfort of food, water, and a handy first aid kit.
People can survive for several days without food, but at least half a gallon of water per person per day should be included in your car survival kit. Gallon jugs of water take up space but can be reused. When they run out, rely on purification tablets to treat any water in the area before drinking it. Typically it takes 30 minutes for the tablets to work, but read the instructions first. Keep in mind that many preserved foods require water to reconstitute, and other ready to eat foods like jerky or trail mix can increase thirst.
Include cold weather clothes and sleeping bags in your car survival kit to keep warm. Conserve gasoline and don’t rely on your car heater to heat the cab. If you do run the engine be certain that the exhaust pipe is not plugged with snow or debris. In addition votive candles burned in mason jars can keep the car above freezing.
In addition to food, water, and extra clothing a car survival kit should include tools and tarps. If your vehicle is damaged it is a good idea to cover any broken windows to keep inside rainproof. Otherwise uses it to provide temporary shelter outside your vehicle. You can build a campfire outside the car or if fire is needed inside the car, rely on Sterno (canned cooking fuel).
Be sure to keep your car survival kit within reach. Don’t keep it in your trunk unless it can be accessed through the back seat. Other things to supplement the car survival kit include informing someone of your intended route, when you estimate arriving at your destination, and when you plan on returning. These communicated facts can help direct rescuers where to look. With the knowledge that people will likely be looking for you and knowing you are well equipped with your car survival kit, the best course of action will be to stay with your vehicle until help arrives.