During the COVID 19 pandemic, many people are avoiding public transportation and are taking road trips to satisfy a need to get out of the house. As an Eagle Scout, I have been taught how to survive and be prepared everywhere. I have organized a preparation guide of good things to have in your vehicle in case of anything from minor inconveniences, to unforeseen disaster. Remember, however, the gear is only useful if you know how to use it. Make sure you are well versed in it before it is needed.

Tier 1 Items – absolutely essential

First aid kit

Injuries happen anytime and anywhere. Being able to treat them is a common and expected necessity. My first aid kit is custom built, however this one is a good bundle.

If you would like to make your own here is what the Red Cross recommends.

Knife or Multitool

Whether your sandwich needs to be cut in half, you need to open a can or bottle, or do some improvised car repair, a knife or multitool is a great thing to keep in the glovebox. I carry this, however any reputable brand including Gerber Leatherman and Victorionx are recommended.

Hoodie/Jacket

Weather changes. A jacket or hoodie can save your day when circumstances change.

Cash

When your card is declined or the store you’re shopping at does not accept digital payment. Also for Toll Booths.

Food (snacks)

Water

Jumper cables

Not just you but others around you might need a jump. Learn how to use them before you need them, as it is not common knowledge. Here are some Energizer cables

Ice Scraper

Depends on climate but very useful to get somewhere with a clear windshield. Here’s one that will do the trick. 

Phone Charger

Will keep your phone charged so you can get directions if lost and will also supply you with backup flashlight and communication device.

Flashlight

Any one will work, however I recommend one that also serves as a lantern like this

Shovel

To help free your vehicle from mud or snow. This one is compact affordable and durable. 

Window Breaker 

To free yourself if your car is underwater, or if your door cant open. This one has a seatbelt cutter as well. 

Reflective Vest

So cars can see you and not hit you. Anything neon and reflective will work, but here is an Amazon’s choice

Emergency Blanket

Great to keep warm at night and to help treat shock in the event of injury. Here’s a good one

Tier Two Items – very helpful 

Map

So you can find your way around if your phone dies.

Air Compressor

To pump up a leaky tire.

Water Tablets/Filter

For when you are stuck and run out of stored water in your vehicle, you can make your own. I recommend the Lifestraw, which filters anything out of public water and makes it safe (and tastier) to drink.

Fire Starter

To keep warm or cook food when stranded. Learn how to make a fire before you need it. Anything from matches to a lighter will work. 

Duct tape

Any kind is helpful for quick fixes and repairs, however I recommend Gorilla Tape as it is very durable. 

Tarp

When your window is smashed or your roof is leaking, a tarp can be a barrier to the elements.

Spare batteries for flashlight

Paper and Pencil

To keep track of things and write things down. You never know what you might need to remember.

Tire Iron and Jack

To help change a tire. Learn how to do this before you need to use it. These should come with your vehicle–if not consult a mechanic or otherwise automotively inclined individual to find one that is compatible with your car.

Pry Bar

To move heavy things or to use as a lever. I recommend this Dewalt one however any brand of sufficient length should suffice. 

Napkins

For messy eaters and spills, napkins help keep things clean. Next time you go through the drive through pocket some extra ones

Bug Spray

Sunscreen

Barf Bag

So the mess is contained and not spewed everywhere. Hospitals have them, or you can order some here

A battery for your charger

So when your car runs out of gas or your alternator is broken, you can still charge your phone to call for help. ANKER batteries are highly recommended.

Tier 3 Items – not essential, but comforting

Zip Ties

Its like 21st century duct tape. Great for attaching things to other things and quick repairs. Find them here.

Trash bags

Great for cleanup and water proofing. 

Ratchet straps and Bungee cords

Essential for attaching things to your car. Here is a kit with both.

Sun protection (hat)

Water resistant clothing (rain jacket, poncho)

Many layers of insulating clothing

Cold weather cap

Hand warmers for comfort

Finn Doyle

Finn Doyle is an Eagle Scout, an avid outdoor enthusiast, and he prides himself on having an open mind and always being prepared for whatever a situation dictates. If he is not woodworking, in the woods, or at the shooting range, you can find him at any number of his volunteer commitments and activities. He’ll take any free coffee you’ll give him.

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