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What emergency tools should a person have in his car?

Sep 9, 2001
I am trying to diced on what emergency equipment should I put in my car. At preset I consider this to be a good kit that will cover most emergencies. My question is do people who visit this forum have simular stuff in there car? And can anyone suggest improvements?

First Aid Kit (large)
Fire Extinguisher
Seatbelt Cuter
Change of Cloving
Some Food
My Bug Out Bag (all the necessary equipment to survive in the outdoors)
A bottle opener
A small tool kit

Ok I'm trying to make this kit so that I can deal with anything life throws at me.:rolleyes: :cool: :D
Aug 5, 2001
bottle openner? might you also want a can openner? i can do without the beer in an emergency :)

also, perhaps one of those tungsten-tipped punches for breaking your window.

reflective stuff (a vest?)
blankets (specifically, my father gave me an old OD wool blanket that i think was from his NatGuard days. its very warm, and dense enough that it could smother a fire.)
jumper and tow cables
maps appropriate to where you are. (state/province maps, nearby state maps, city maps)
spare batteries for the light
cell phone if you've got one.

also, thanks to the guys on the PracTac forum, i've just discovered for myself the wonders of those tiny LED flashlights (specifically, photon lights). i'd toss a white one and a red one (photon II and IIIs because they can "lock" on) into the first aid kit, and also have a similar pair around for general use. (i've got 'em on my keychain).

also, make sure that extinguisher is *charged*. my mother had one in her trunk- one day i was getting something from back there and noticed that it had zero pressure left according to the gauge.
Oct 7, 1998
You really need a nail setter or similar item attached to your dashboard via string and velcro. It is a necessity for busting open the window when in water ect...


Nov 21, 2001
Jumper cables
Folding reflective triangles
Reflective vest
Tow strap
2 quarts oil
Oil filter
Fuel filters
Fan belt
Spare fuses
Paper towels
Fire extinguisher
Tool kit
2 mini maglights
1 big mag light
1 Surefire 10X light
10 12-hour light sticks
Glock entrenching tool
Cold Steel Kukri
Cold Steel SRK knife
Spyderco Rescue knife
Leatherman Wave
Compass, paper maps
GPS, electronic maps
2 Motorola FRS radios
Signal mirror
Magnesium firestarter
Metal match
2 wool army blankets
Sleeping bag (in winter)
Tube tent
4 rain ponchos
6 survival blankets
4 heavy-gauge contractors' garbage bags
9 days lifeboat rations
Water purification tablets, filter
First aid kit, large
100-hour lantern
Box of .38 Special ammo
Pencil, notepad, disposeable camera
AA batteries
Parachute cord
Daypack to hold most of this
Winch, snatch block, chain, ...
Hi-lift, anchor
Chainsaw, wedges
Spare boots, jacket, socks, heavy pants
$200 cash

Hmmm - looks like I better get a bigger truck.
Oct 10, 2001
bae: your list puts one in the mind of Ash's trunk (army of darkness. if you haven't seen it, shame on you). Something to aspire to, certainly.

I'm working on stocking up my trunk. Something that might come in handy: I keep a 5 gallon bucket in my car's trunk, strapped in place with a bungee cord so it won't roll around. The bucket only cost me $2, and would come in handy for carrying water, or a particularly disgusting piece of roadkill that you might put to entertaining use on someone you don't like. (Wait...wrong forum. Ignore that last one)
Jul 11, 2000
seeing where your from a large insulated cooler put your items in it. will protect your perishables from heat.Cameras,film ,food.Get a couple of 2 liter soda bottles fill with water add some water purifier.A mover's blanket come's in handy, add some cordage ,duck tape,wire coat hanger,road flare can be used to start fire in wet condition's,long handled steel shafted ripping hammer 20 or 23 oz. can be used as pry bar or war club :D
Aug 7, 2001
a knife
a mag flashlite

tools :
2 screw drivers
set of wrenches
"Gator" socket and wrench (fits several
sizes of bolt heads)
can opener
crescent wrench

Car fluids : oil, transmission fluid, power
steering fluid,

spare fan belt

(If i lived up north, would carry 3-day
supply of food, candles, matches, etc.)
Jun 23, 2000
Spare mags & ammo, hearing protection (might want to plink)
Shovel or E-tool (might have to bury something)
Disposable flash camera (intimidates, documents, records)
Hiking boots and real good socks, canteen. (go for help)
Good book, portable radio. (wait for help)
Bug repellent and the usual first aid and overnight gear.
Aug 20, 2000
Wow that is alot of stuff you guys carry in your car. This is what i have:

1 can of Fix-o-flat
1 pair of headlight bulb
1 jumper cable
1 Tire guage
1 packet of automobile paperwork
1 Air freshner (Tweety bird figurine)
1 Sog Sealpup

And that is all i should need to survive the urban jungle. Cause come on now, your in an urban jungle, couldn't you just go to a supermarket or convienent store for all that stuff?????? And heck, call a tow truck.

Let say earthquake, bomb attack, riot, or whatever situation you might be involved in, i doubt you will be far away from shelter or food source.

And of course some will argue with "what if i was in a desert?" Well if you were, you should be bringing eveything with you, preferrably a motorhome. Realistically i do not see the need for too much equipment in an urban enviorment. Anythign you need should be in an arms reach, if it is not there anymore due to a catastrophic event, chances are you'll be dead too.


Nov 21, 2001
Cause come on now, your in an urban jungle, couldn't you just go to a supermarket or convienent store for all that stuff?????? And heck, call a tow truck.

Perhaps *you* live in an urban jungle. I live in a quite remote spot, and the nearest city is quite some distance away, especially if you include the hour-and-a-half boat ride to get to the mainland...
Nov 13, 2001
Hmmm, lesee if I can recall what I've got in my trunk...

Jumper cables
Gas can
Hiking boots (it occurred to me that if my car breaks down I'll probably be wearing dress shoes -- not the best way to keep your tootsies warm if you have to walk a mile or two through snow)
Huge emergency blanket (Cheaper Than Dirt had 'em on sale for $5!)
Plastic tarp (8x10 w/grommets)
Small air compressor w/flat fixing goo (powered from cigarette lighter)
Folding camp shovel

Those things are held in place by a cargo net. The rest of the list fits into my old college bookbag -- very handy.
First aid kit (large Atwater Carey Expedition kit)
Bottled water
Duct tape
100' 550 para cord
Power bars
Wet Wipes
Leather work gloves
12 hour lightstick
Shop rags
Rain poncho
Magnesium firestarter
Water purification tabs

In the driver's console & glove box:
Surefire 6p flashlight w/spare batteries
Fire extinguisher
Leatherman Wave multitool
Wooden matches

And I generally have a cell phone, a Zippo, a Chris Reeves large Sebenza and a Swiss Army Knife on me. There's an ASP saphire light attached to my keychain with a spare in the car door compartment.

This stuff actually takes up a lot less space than it sounds like. The cargo net helps a lot -- and keeps the stuff out of the way of the groceries when I go shopping.



Sep 20, 2000
I'd like to have one of the compact MOD Dieter CQD
knives in the car. Serrations for seatbelt cutting
and a tungsten window punch built into the hilt.

Unfortunately, it looks a little more "Ninjatron"
than I'd prefer for a in-car-24/7 tool. My kingdom
for a Spyderco Rescue Jr. in orange, with a window
punch! :)

Jan 27, 2002
Originally posted by Hawkins
bottle openner? might you also want a can openner? i can do without the beer in an emergency :)

Being willing to make do without a beer is the REAL definition of an emergency.
Jun 23, 2000
In the big cities, a likely emergency scenario involves getting
stuck on an interstate in a massive traffic jam. No chance of
changing lanes, pulling anywhere, just sit and wait. And wait.
Look at all those cars, everybody else is stuck too.
So food and water and blankets are the ticket.
Watch the beginning of "Falling Down" starring that idiot Michael Douglas for the frustation factor.
Oct 18, 2001
I'm not sure if this counts as an emergency tool, but how many people remember to check if they have a working jack and tire iron in their car? My car got stolen not long ago, and I just went out to check under the trunk carpet. My spare tire's still there with all the spare nuts thank God, but the tire iron and jack are gone... Damn. Guess I'll have to go shopping.


Nov 21, 2001
Originally posted by nounderscores
I'm not sure if this counts as an emergency tool, but how many people remember to check if they have a working jack and tire iron in their car?

I don't usually have a spare tire handy for my truck, because the tires/wheels are too big and clunky. I've got run-flats on, though.

When I go out into the deep boonies, I take one or two.