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How we need to prepare


Your car survival kit

After the everyday carry kit, used for everyday work and the Personal Survival Kit we now come on to the Car Survival Kit. Basically, a toolkit to enable you to get home or to your refuge whilst providing shelter and a base to work from.

The kit here is basically the same as your Personal Survival Kit but more of utilising the storage and carrying capabilities of the car. The kit, excluding the food, water, fuel and car tools, can easily fit in a rucksack in the boot and be left there for when required. Checking use by dates on the few items that require it.

The items that should be stored in there are;

Same as the Personal Survival Kit, simply different amounts.

  • The knife or knives you selected in this article. Wrap largest knife in plastic bag with smaller knives inside another bag. If you do not have a large fixed blade knife then get one for this kit.
  • Knife sharpener.
  • Flint or magnesium fire starter – For starting fires.
  • Waterproof anywhere strike matches (2 boxes) – For emergency use when you need them.
  • Compass on lanyard – For keeping you heading in right direction.
  • Whistle – Plastic. For attracting attention. Attach to compass lanyard.
  • First aid kit attached to outside of kit – Containing;
    • Disinfectant (Medium bottle)
    • Cotton wool (Also used as Tinder)
    • Elastoplasts (24)
    • Bandages 2inch rolls (4)
    • Aspirin (12)
    • Ibuprofen (12)
    • Anti diarrhea sachets (20)
    • Vaseline (Large tub)
    • Tweezers
  • Parachute cord 50ft. – Tying things, Drying line for clothes
  • Small Cooker – For portable warm meals and instant use instead of building a fire. Uses fuel tablets or twigs.
  • Fuel tablets for cooker (2 boxes) – Instant emergency use instead of twigs and things.
  • Safety pins (box) – For holding things together. Clothes, paracord, branches.
  • Energy bars (12) – For quick food.
  • Condoms (12) – Waterproof storage. Wrap matches in these. Can also be used as water carrier.
  • Water purification tablets (2 boxes) or straw – Pref both for sterilising water.
  • Gardening type gloves (2) – For protecting hands while travelling through woods or working.
  • Thick socks (2) – Replacement if feet get wet, double up in cold or as gloves.
  • Poncho (2) – To keep you dry in rain. Covering for sleeping, covering for ground.
  • Space blanket (2) – For keeping you warmer in your shelter.
  • Brass wire – For snares or tying things together.
  • Aluminium foil. Heavy duty 6sq feet – Waterproof wrapping, used to cook in.
  • Duct tape (normal roll) – Used for holding things together, secure trouser bottoms, waterproofing containers.
  • Pocket survival book, or cards, with first aid section – Valuable and handy knowledge.
  • Notepad and Pencil.
  • Metal tin – To keep the kit together, use as a water container, pan for cooking, etc.
  • Large bin bag with handles – Use to store kit in until required. Used to carry things.

Plus the following items;

  • Hikers maps of your area plus areas you may pass through.
  • Cash. 4 x £5 notes. 5 £1 coins. 5 x 20p. In sealed film containers.
  • Credit card. If you have one.
  • Bottles of energy drinks (3L minimum) – For drinking.
  • Chocolate bars (12)
  • Chewing gum (3 packs) – Chewing gum keeps you mouth moist and forces you to keep your mouth closed.
  • Dried soups (6)
  • Biscuits (2 Pk)
  • Breakfast cereal (Bag)
  • Barley Sugar sweets (1lb)
  • Stock cubes (24) – For flavouring.
  • 250ml bottle alcohol of your taste. (Whisky)
  • Complete change of clothes.
    • Trousers
    • Shirt
    • Thermal underwear (2)
    • Thermal socks (2)
  • Coat.
  • Boots.
  • Small sleeping bag (2) – For sleeping.
  • LED torch and batteries – For night work and signalling.
  • Wind up radio with earpieces – For listening out for information.
  • 12V heating coil. – For boiling water in car.
  • Wire saw.
  • Folding Shovel/Axe.
  • Chemical light sticks (6) 12Hr
  • PAYG Mobile Phone with credit. If you don’t already have a mobile phone.
  • Wind up or solar cell charger to charge the mobile phone.
  • A list of emergency numbers. Car Breakdown, if you subscribe to one. Home numbers.
  • Rucksack – For carrying this kit.

Plus the following items for the vehicle itself.

  • Spare tyre.
  • Tools to change tyre.
  • Pump to refill tyre with air.
  • Spare fuel in a 20L Jerry Can.
  • Spare light set.

Ensure that if you use anything from above you replace it as soon as you get home, if not sooner.

The fuel and water are bulky and will take up most of the space. Add as much as you feel you can to the water and the food depending on the space available in the car.

14 comments to Your car survival kit

  • Skvez

    Be aware when using a compass in a car that the iron in the engine block may deflect the compass. You may need to stop the car, get out and walk a few meters away from the car before the compass reads true (compasses designed specifically for cars have magnets in them that you adjust to compensate for the magnetic attraction of the engine, they’re a pain to calibrate).
    I’ve seen a couple of recommendations for wire saws, I’ve never managed to cut more than about 5mm with one of these before one it has broken, I’ve broken two and I’ve never known anyone who has had success with these. I’ve assumed they are a gimmick and stopped buying them; preferring much bulkier folding saw or hatchet. Have I (and my friends) just been really unlucky? Have other people managed to use a wire saw for a prolonged time without it breaking?
    I’d tend towards the wind_up charger (for the phone) rather than the solar one. You don’t want to run out of power in the evening and not be able to charge the phone until the next (sunny) day! I’d also move the mobile phone to the “personal survival kit stored in the car” list rather than the “list of things to keep the car healthy”.

  • Skean Dhude


    I didn’t know that about compasses. You learn something every day. I only really use mine when I’m walking anyway but I always start out by speading the map on the bonnet of the car. Ooops. I’ll check that out next time.

    I must confess I’ve only used a wire saw once myself. I was concerned about it breaking so wanted to test it myself. I was instructed that there is a technique to using it. Don’t make the saw bend too much laterally and don’t let it catch and stop. Keep it moving at a reasonable pace. I cut through a 6 inch branch with mine without it breaking although it was tough on my arms. I would guess that it is an area where you need to practise.

    I used to leave mine plugged in when on solar. That way it is fully charged when you need it and doesn’t need your labour.

    I’ve now corrected the positioning error.

  • Skvez

    Compass deviation in the car depends on what your engine block is made of, some newer engines use an Aluminium alloy (non ferrous) but older ones are typically a big hunk of Iron.

    Of-course if you’re navigating through suburbia you can navigate by the satellite dishes. Sky satellite dishes all point (nearly) South in the UK. You may come across the odd one that’s misaligned (and won’t be working) but if you see three or four pointing in the same directing then it’s safe to assume that’s South.

  • Justin

    I use both folding and wire saws. The ‘trick’ with wire saws is to keep the tension in the wire. As soon as you loose or relax the tension, it has a habit of kinking and snapping at that point as they catch the wood. Either way, folding saws are better IMHO even if they weigh more.

    I’d go with a wind up charger personally too.

    I tend to agree with the other choices but go heavier on the medical items.

  • Justin

    Damn it! I get called away to a meeting and SD writes the same answer as I did before I pressed send. We must be right then!

  • Skean Dhude


    A cheap version of Sat Nav.


    What do you mean by heavier? More of what is there or some additional items. In my experience the items I’ve put on are the ones I’ve used but my experience does not include being too far from civilisation.

    As far as the wire saws goes the more the merrier. It is good to confirm things.

  • So Very Doomed

    I would also suggest a gill net, collapsible bowl and mesh ghillie suit such as the Jack Pyke LLC are all likely to be useful and valuable post CoLLapse.

  • Skean Dhude

    So Very, Welcome.

    I have a gill net as an optional on my main list which I have not got round to yet. Depends where you live. I live near a river so it is something I want.

    I was looking at just bowls not a collapsible bowl although that would be a handy implement. I’ll have a look at one, do you have any suggestions for a supplier?

    I want a ghillie suit myself and was going to put that down as an optional on the main list as well.

  • Skvez

    I think you would have great difficulty convincing the authorities that you have a good reason for (owing) carrying a ghillie suit in your car.
    Under the prevention of terrorism act you can be held for up to 28 days without *charge* while the authorities look for enough evidence to charge you with something. Don’t give them a reason to do this!

  • Skean Dhude


    Those suits are really on suitable for the country and when you are hunting. I suspect that they will be ignored or not recognised by Plod anyway when packed up and in a car. Not forgetting you don’t need to give a reason for owning one anyway so it would take more than that down on the form as the reason you are arrested even under that Stasi style act.

    At the moment, despite all they claim and despite the way they act they still have to follow rules. There are many sites on the web advising you of how to play their game. If, of course, the suit is all they have.

  • Justin


    By heavier I really mean more of rather than extra items. Although that said, I do carry coagulant powder as an extra because it’s useful. Kind of like having a styptic pencil at the ready when shaving…

  • Skean Dhude


    Fair enough. You can never have too much. Unless of course it is me carrying it.

  • iaaems

    I do not wish to be a wet blanket – but – I notice at the end of your list “Spare fuel in a 20L Jerry Can”.
    If we are trying to be sensible and staying under the radar and making preps, perhaps a little look at The Petroleum Regulations might be advisable. My local Fire Brigade people have advised that no more than 15 litres of petrol/gasoline should be carried in a vehicle (in addition to what is in the main vehicle petrol tank) and that the same amount is the maximum that you should store at home in the garage or outside the dwelling. This can be in one container – the 20L Jerry Can – but it would be preferable/advisable to carry it in three five litre containers or one ten litre container and one five litre container. They also say that they are treating diesel in the same way. I would assume that they are concerned about vapour as an empty or partially filled tank is more dangerous than a full one because it is the vapour that ignites. Also more than 15litres might just invalidate your vehicle/home insurance policy. Of course after law and order has broken down it will not matter that much, you might think, but please be careful with this stuff it is dangerous if not treated with some care and respect.

  • Skean Dhude


    Thanks for pointing that out.

    It is an issue we have to balance and unfortunately prepping properly requires either a lot of money to meet all the hurdles our government puts in your way or breaking the law.

    I of course go with the prepping properly route so am now looking at buying scrap cars so I can store the 80L of fuel in the tank. Which cars or vans have the biggest fuel tanks?

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