Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > BOV Emergency Kits



HI all new to this I am driving back and forth form Ohio to NJ through Pa so here is the question what would you keep in your car?

This is a good question because it leaves a lot of room for thought. First, northern parts trip (I-80) would require warmer clothing most times of year than the trip across the southern part (I-76) would. My training for truck driving recommended a small candle with a soup can and matches as a good tool for keeping warm in emergencies, but crack a window for oxygen.  Most of my younger days Appalachian trail trips were over rocky terrain and as Pennsylvania is where boots go to die, an extra pair of comfortable walking shoes is almost a must. Lots of the interior of Pa. has streams and ponds so a good water filter would be lighter than a lot of portable water. A good knife handles most self defense, shelter building, fire prep and even possible hunting possibilities (lots of small game and varmints). 12 volt appliances are still affordable for heating or cooling food and drinks and are a great idea if the budget and trunk allow. If ya happen to get stopped west of Carlisle yell real loud and II'll make sure you have a warm meal to carry you on your way. I always keep two space blankets in my bag since they're small, lightweight and multi purpose. Here's hoping your gas tank is always full (a small can for emergencies and/or helping others would be good) and traffic is flowing smoothly for you.

Crazy Fox:
Like lhcbinpa said, extra warm clothing is good. Wet weather gear would be nice too, I'm thinking a big plastic parka.

I have backpack stowed in my car in case I ever need to walk out of a situation (car problems, sudden storm, etc.). Here's what I think:

* There's a lot to be said for a simple first aid kit. You don't have to drop $180 bucks on a pre made, uber tactical, trauma medic, action hero, one tonight. You can just build a small one yourself for now.
* I'd recommend rifling through stuff you already have at home before you go buy things. Everyone has old hunting/painting/yardwork/camping stuff so look through that for clothing and gear. I don't hunt, but I have accumulated spare stoves, flashlights, sweaters etc. for camping and some of those now live in my car.

* Whatever you find you still lack can be found easily on craigslist or a thrift store.
* Water is always a good idea. A few disposable bottles would work (mine never leak), but you may want a stronger container if prolonged freezing is an issue

Some things you probably already have that you just keep given Northern climates that most guys around here don't think about (NC). Kitty litter would be one of those. Other things I think IMHO every vehicle should have. A basic tool kit; jumper cables; some tire, transmission and radiator sealant;oil, water, and antifreeze; and possibly belts and hoses. Even if you don't know how to change the belts and hoses or preform any maintenance on the car, there is a chance someone may stop to help you that knows how to do the work but doesn't have the parts or tools. I wouldn't suggest going out and buying new belts and hoses just for this, next time you get them changed on a regular maintenance schedule (hopefully you're keeping up with this given how many miles you're driving) just ask the mechanic if you're getting the work done to save them for you and use the old ones. If you're in a pinch they will work. Staying with just my opinion the sealants are just a quick fix to get you some where to get a more permanent repair. The jumper cables can serve two purposes: if you need a jump and someone will assist or you happen along someone that needs a jump. The water can pull dual duty as well. Something to drink if you get stranded or coolant for the car. Keep in mind not to use straight water to fill a radiator, use a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze. If you don't the water will freeze in the radiator somewhere around 15 degrees (it's lower than 32 because it's pressurized if I remember my schooling correctly).

A couple of "tricks of the trade" so to speak. I've been a mechanic for 10 years and an avid off-road, 4x4 guy, hot rod guy, since i was 14-15 years old. One quick fix for a coolant leak is black pepper. A pretty good dash of it in the radiator and refill of the coolant will get you by in a pinch. Power steering leaks can be fixed short term by adding a splash of brake fluid. Transmission leaks and sometimes it unable to shift (if it's full of transmission fluid, check that first) can also be fixed in the short term with a splash of brake fluid. Again this is SHORT TERM. After several days of running either of these systems with brake fluid in them the seals will burst. Literally, that's why this works is the brake fluid expands the seals so it makes the leaks stop or the transmission shift.

I'm sure there are TONS I'm missing more veteran guys will be able to say, or I'm sure you can look back through older post  and see this question answered. Just thought I'd post this to help out. I'm new here as well and hope maybe the "tricks" can help you and others out.

Thanks -John

Two things I meant to post but forgot:
1. Think about adding some rubbing alcohol to you're washer fluid. This will help keep it from freezing in the tank and also if there is ice on the windshield, melt it away.
2. The water you keep in the trunk: I'd suggest only filling the container 3/4 of the way to help with the expanding water and not bursting the container.

Hope I've helped! Thanks -John


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