Whether you are planning a big road trip or heading off the main road it is important to pack precautions. Car travel is one of the least safe forms of travel and it’s always good to have a car survival kit should something happen.

Cars can break down for many reasons, especially when driving for longer than 4 hours. It’s important to have a survival kit with you in case of emergencies, but knowing what to put in these kits can be hard as often we fill our vehicles with other day-to-day needs. To make the best use of your spacing we’ve narrowed down the top 5 most important items for your car survival kit.

Whistle + Reflective Gear


Anything can happen on the road, and in case of emergency, the most important thing you can have for your car survival kit is reflective gear, whether on yourself or your vehicle. When in an emergency you want to be there for a short time, not a good time. In any situation, whether it is a flat tire, the battery died, or a more critical emergency and you can’t call 911, getting noticed by the nearest person with the ability to get you to safety or contact 911 is generally the highest priority. Having a whistle applies the same idea except with an auditory cue instead of a visual one.

First aid kit

The second most important is a first aid kit. Should a crash happen or something else horrible where someone’s life is on the line, a first aid kit drastically reduces the chance of death while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. It’s better to have a more extensive kit that includes the following:

  • gauze, tape, bandages, antibiotic ointment, aspirin, a blanket, non-latex gloves, scissors, hydrocortisone, thermometer, tweezers, and instant cold compress

With all the equipment from the first aid, whistle & reflective gear, alongside the knowledge to use it, you are set up to survive the vast majority of emergency situations. Remember to stay on the road and you will likely be found within the day, often the hour.

Spare Tire & Tools

Our next item is more for “emergency” situations. While not necessary, it is quite common for car wheels to flatten, especially when traversing poorly maintained roads. Having a spare tire and the tools needed to change it, can often spare you the trouble that would otherwise come with a broken down car in the middle of the road. It’ll probably take you an hour or two to get back to traveling, but at least you will be able to when you keep this equipment with you.

Jumper Cables

Similar story to a flat tire, a dead battery can get you all too frequently. Often we like to listen to music, and if you leave that running while in the park, your battery will be dead within minutes. Having jumper cables and a battery to go with it will assure you can start a dead battery (with the proper knowledge) at any time. Otherwise having another vehicle will allow you to jumpstart your car from their battery.


The last item on our list is water, best kept in plastic bottles so they won’t break if frozen. It’s important to change these every six months alongside anything else that needs replacement. Water is good to have as in the rare case no one comes by within a day, you are able to last long enough to survive until they do. While food is important and having high energy bars should be a must, you can last up to 2 months without food with sufficient water intake, while only 3 days without water. This is also nice to have in general as it’s good to stay hydrated while driving and for any long trip it’s a good thing to pack.

That’s it for our top 5 items to have for your car survival kit. It’s best to keep these items located in the trunk and check all the equipment every six months, replacing what needs to be replaced. A great way to help ensure safety is keeping family and emergency phone numbers on hand, including a towing company and your auto insurance provider saved in your phone.

This is all as a last defence should something bad happen, here is how you can learn to help prevent all these emergency situations.

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