Packing your pockets with multitools, pen knives and flashlights is all well and good — but what about your ultimate go-bag, your vehicle? A Bug Out Bag (“BoB”) is a great option as it can be kept in a hall closet and thrown in your trunk in the event of an emergency. However, it probably does not make a ton of sense to fill up your BoB with jumper cables and extra motor oil. Having to use your car in an emergency situation brings with it specific potential pitfalls but many of the more common can be head off with a little bit of preparation. The vehicle EDC (“vEDC”) is born.
Issues to Consider
First and foremost, consider the vehicle you are intending to pack for. You know your car or truck — go back to the well — what are the issues you have already faced with your vehicle. Does it burn oil? Have you already had issues with overheating? The best option is going to be to get your vehicle repaired so that these issues … well … aren’t issues any longer, but that isn’t feasible for everyone and for every car. Plan accordingly.
Second, consider your climate. In so doing, consider what is the most likely event that will lead you to turn to your vEDC. If you live in a tropical climate, chains for your tires and a thermal blanket may not be high on your priority list. Similarly, if you live in an area with a lot of water and mild summers, you may not need to pack gallons of water — empty containers may be all you need. Consider what issues are feasible, in what type of emergency situation you might find yourself spending a night in your car, and make your list.
Generally Speaking, Get At Least This
Unless, as aforementioned, your commute and casual drives never take you out of sight of a large body of fresh water, you are going to want to make some provisions for having water on hand in an emergency situation. Packing gallons upon gallons of water in your Prius may not be feasible, so opt instead for a filter and a small amount of water in a stainless steel water bottle for other uses.
The Lifestraw Personal Water Filter is a great choice for a cheap filter straw. It filters up to 1000 liters of water and can easily fit in a small bag or glove compartment.
Vehicle Maintenance Kit
It doesn’t make much sense to load your car up with supplies if a flat tire or small ditch is going to stop you in your tracks. You may have roadside assistance and you may be driving a new car that is still under warranty, but in an emergency situation you may not be willing to sit around and wait for the next available tow truck because you got a nail in your tire. You can easily assemble your own emergency kit, but the First Secure 90-Piece Roadside Assistance Car Kit is a great place to start. It contains jumper cables, an air compressor, a first aid kit, tow rope, a flash light, and a litany of other emergency items that you hope you will never need, including a tow strap. Every guy with a truck is a tow truck if you have a tow strap.
In addition to the F, we suggest you add to your Vehicle Maintenance Kit the Fix-a-Flat 1-Step Repair Kit. Flat tire repair kits that can be deployed roadside have come a long way — they are still no match for a new tire or, at the very least, a professional camel hair plug, but they will get you back on the road and moving quickly (actually as little as 7 minutes).