Top 5 Survival Tools to Keep in your Car

April 09, 2024 3 min read

Top 5 Survival Tools to Keep in your Car

Growing up, you probably heard the expression, “Always be prepared.” Whether you were taught that in Boy Scouts or your mother told you that while packing an extra coat, it is important to prepare for anything. This motto not only applies to camping trips and outings, but it is important to prepare for the unexpected even in everyday life. We compiled a list of the top five survival tools to keep in your car, to keep you ready for anything from a dead battery to an overnight stranded situation. 

Jumper Cables

Nothing is worse than realizing your battery died… when you’re already miles into the open road. Jumper cables are a necessity for starting your survival kit, as all you need is one passing car to bring enough life back to your battery to get you back to civilization. (Along the same vein, ensure your car is equipped with a spare tire or tire repair kit. Most cars will come with some sort of tool in case of a flat tire, but it is important to make sure you have functional materials in case of a flat.)

First Aid Kit

First aid kits are not only crucial for your car, but also for most anywhere you go. In any case, if you find yourself in a situation where you are stranded away from civilization, a first aid kit contains many tools to help you stay safe. For example, almost all first aid kits contain antibiotic ointments to prevent infections, in the event that your car is stopped due to an accident, or if you injure yourself while exploring the nearby area. Most kits also contain scissors and tweezer which may come in handy, as well as many other invaluable items. For a more extensive list of items to include in your first aid kit, the American Red Cross has many options to choose from (1).  

Non-Perishable Food

In the case that you may be stranded for a while, having some sort of energy source is important. Keeping non-perishable foods in your car is a great backup, as they can endure varying weather climates in the back of your car. The National Safety Council recommends, “...high-energy foods, such as unsalted nuts, dried fruits and hard candy” (2). 

Emergency Blanket

For longer-term emergencies where you find yourself stranded overnight, it is important to stay warm. Especially in mountainous or desert climates where the weather drops drastically in the winter, your car will not be enough to keep your body at a safe temperature. Therefore, an emergency blanket is the perfect solution to add to your emergency kit. There are a variety of emergency blankets that vary in compactness and warmth, so you can choose the best type to fit your geographic location (3). 


Water is arguably the most important item to keep in your car at all times. It is suggested to keep bottles of water in your car at times in the event that your car overheats and needs to be cooled down. Water, of course, is necessary for much more than pouring in the radiator. Drinking water, especially in emergencies, can be the difference between life and death. 

However, packing gallons of water in your car is impractical for everyday life. Instead, consider packing a portable water filter that can be used in any freshwater source. The hollow fiber membrane straw by Seychelle makes lakes, streams, and any groundwater source safe to drink from in seconds. Up to 1,320 gallons of water can be filtered out of one compact straw, and it removes 99.999% of parasites and bacteria. Including a hollow fiber straw in your survival kit is not just the simple choice; it is the smart choice. 

The Wrap-Up

Whether you blow a tire on a backroad or your battery dies unexpectedly, it is essential to prepare for the worst case scenario. Packing a survival kit in your car can ease some worries if disaster strikes, and above are a few suggestions of items to include in your pack. For a more extensive list of items to add to an emergency car kit, the National Safety Council compiles a full list. Preparedness now can prevent future disasters. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What should be in a car survival kit?

Car survival kits vary in size, but it is important to include jumper cables, a first aid kit, non-perishable food, an emergency blanket, and water/a water filter.

Are car emergency kits worth it?

Yes. It is always important to prepare yourself for any car-related emergency.

Should I have water in a survival kit?

Yes. Water is necessary to include in any survival kit. For a more compact option, consider a hollow fiber straw or other portable water filter. 


    1. American Red Cross,
  • National Safety Council,
  • REI Co-Op,