Bug Out Bag Car Survival Kit

Well, it’s that time of year again. Winter is bearing down on most of us… at least it is here in the midwest portion of the United States, and it won’t be long before we start witnessing and hearing of vehicles and their passengers falling prey to hazardous road conditions.

While the weatherman is already promising inclement weather and record snow and ice storms, we at Bug Out Bag Academy have been reviewing our car emergency kits for whatever is still to come.


Now you may be thinking, “isn’t that what bug out bags are for – in case of emergencies?” And you would be absolutely right! But roadside emergency preparedness is special in that it goes far beyond your basic bug out bag needed for survival. (Download our bug out bag list here)

I’ll never forget my latest run-in with a broken down vehicle. It was evening time and I’d just driven home from working downtown in one of the worst snowstorms in recent memory. I’d just finished thawing out and was sitting down to dinner with my wife when I got a call. It was a good buddy of mine.

He was stranded on the side of the highway with a flat after he’d spun out on some ice and popped a tire on the curb. And if that wasn’t bad enough, his spare was flat too! Fortunately I was able to come to his rescue that night, and I’m sure many of you have similar stories you could share as well. But… if he’d had a few of these items listed below, that night could have turned out quite differently for him – and me.

If you or someone you know travels a lengthy distance or commutes on a daily basis, like our friend here, a car emergency kit can mean the difference between getting back on the road quickly, and being stranded for hours while you wait for help, oftentimes in dangerous conditions.

So keep reading, because today, we’re going to be covering how to build the ultimate car emergency kit to help get you out of all sorts of jams.

Keep in mind, if you take the time and attention to gather these items, they’ll be a great supplement to any bug out bag in your vehicle. Perfect for those instances when you’re out and about and you or someone you happen upon needs some roadside assistance.

So without further ado, here it is:



  • Durable canvas bag to store supplies
  • Jumper cables (12-20’)
  • Roadside flares (4)
  • Flat tire inflation canister (non-explosive)
  • Spare tire and jack
  • Spare car fuses
  • First aid supplies kit
  • Bottled water (2-3 gal.)
  • Granola / energy bars
  • Small tool kit (screwdrivers, pliers, vise grips, adjustable wrench, tire pressure gauge, etc.)
  • Flashlight and extra batteries or flashlight that doesn’t need batteries
  • Small, foldable shovel
  • Road maps
  • Blankets
  • Extra gloves, boots, wool socks, stocking cap
  • Fire extinguisher small (ABC type)
  • Antifreeze (1 gal.)
  • Two quarts of oil
  • Roll of duct tape
  • Paper towels / rags
  • Washer fluid
  • Pen and paper
  • Multipurpose tool
  • Seasonal supplies (rain gear, umbrella, ice scraper etc.)

Additional Items:

  • Hand-held GPS unit
  • Towing line or chain
  • Sanitation (hand sanitizer, towelettes, small trash bags
  • Emergency battery charger
  • Solar battery charger
  • Extra pair of shoes, gloves etc.
  • Toiletries, soap, etc.
  • Cell phone charger (left in car at all times)
  • Battery powered radio
  • Sleeping bag(s)


Now, sure there are a few companies that provide pre-assembled roadside emergency kits, and chances are they’ll help in a pinch (Check out the Top Sellers on Amazon). They’re certainly better than nothing at all… but like a bug out bag, nothing beats a custom-built kit, personalized for your specific needs.

And to help you get started, we’ve compiled these items mentioned into a free Car Emergency Kit Checklist for you to use and share with those close to you. With a little bit of time and preparation, we can all be safer this winter. So grab your list and start creating your own today! Don’t be like my friend and get caught unprepared. Be safe out there!



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