Car Survival Kits – What Do You Need?


I had a great suggestion from my boyfriend this evening when we were discussing what I should write about based on our own emergency preparations, and the topic of prepping our car came up.  Over time we have researched quite a bit what should go into car survival kits, and have put together a bag that should have everything we need until we get home or to a safe place.  This kit is great if you get into trouble on the road, or if you need to hit the road in a hurry in an emergency.

Food and Waterbottle water

If you have been reading my posts, you know how important reserves of clean water and non-perishable foods are to an emergency situation, and car survival kits are no different.  Packing a few gallons of water, or refillable water bottles with water purification tablets or even a mix of both, is very important.  Pack nutrient dense snacks like nuts, trail mix or granola bars as well.  Don’t forget to check the expiry dates every 12 months!

candlelight-303647_1280Keeping Warm

I live in Canada, the land of winter, and we get nasty storms and cold spells so thermal blankets, candles, wool blankets, change of clothes, hats and mitts live in our trunk.  Candles are also great at generating heat in a small space, and are recommended to be part of any car emergency kit.  Just keep an eye out to avoid a bon fire!


Having a road side tool kit should be in every car but your emergency car kit shouldn’t stop there, you should have a shovel, and a small axe at a minimum. Consider investing in a small battery powered radio, solar charger, jumper cables and flashlight to complete your kit.

Other Essentialscompass-626077_1280

I know it may sound weird, but having a stash of toilet paper is going to be crucial in keeping clean during a disaster event.  Whether your car is stalled on a country road, or you are leaving the city to get to higher ground, your body will still need to perform the same functions, so throw a roll in the trunk next time you drive it.  Add some wet wipes and hand sanitizer to keep up your hygiene.  Toothbrushes will keep everyone happy in a small space.  Carry a map and a compass in case you get lost or need to leave your vehicle. Bungie cords and a tarp will be critical if you need to shelter out of the car and will help keep you dry.

We never know when disaster will strike, and this is just another step in getting prepared for an emergency situation.  These are easy preparations to make and will go a long way to keeping you safe and healthy.

If you have any questions about what should go in emergency car kits, drop me a comment below.



  1. Hi Krysten,

    I was ones stuck in the middle of the way with my little beautiful baby, she was only 2 months old and I was still breastfeed her . I will always remember this day because I had to drink so much waters . So I think that water and food are extremely important when traveling .

    Thank you very much for this helpful blog

    • My pleasure! A few simple additions to your trunk space can go a long way!

  2. Even though I know I should do this, I rarely put together an emergency kit in the car. I have taken long trips across America with a credit card and a smart phone.

    • I learned my lesson when I had a flat in the middle of no where. I couldn’t even tell the tow truck driver where I was because I couldn’t remember the name of the road. It was Easter weekend, so I got cold pretty quick. You can easily put something together to be prepared for some kind of emergency.

  3. Hi Krysten,
    This sounds like a great idea, I keep a lot of this stuff around as is as a necessity with having three kids. We usually keep about 2 gallons of water in the car mostly because we just forget to take it out lol. My question is, about how much did you spend throwing together this emergency kit? Best of luck prepping!

    • Hi Sheena, and thanks for stopping by! THe cost was less than $150 with the most expensive item being the tool kit, and even that was about $40. You could definitely do it for less than that too. My partner has a bit of an amazon addiction and is always adding little things here and there to beef it up, but you can easily just use items from around your house.

  4. Hi Krysten,
    I think everyone should be prepping! It doesn’t have to be the end of the world for it to become the end of yours. If you can then do it! Great post.

    • Thanks Brian, and yes, I think everyone should prepare for an emergency too. If you never use, that is ok, but it is better to have some supplies on hand if there is some kind of disaster.

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