Winter Car Emergency Survival Kit Preparedness List

If you have a vehicle, a car survival kit could be used for even better preparation than a bug out bag but that all depends on how much space in the car you are willing to give up and allocate for survival tools.   A car survival kit does run a higher risk of being stolen than a bug out bag, but hopefully that won’t deter you from having the basics in survival tools covered.

Ideally, a car survival kit should contain all the items that you would have in a bug out bag and a personal survival kit but also have a few extras, such as a winch, that wouldn’t be advisable in a bug out bag due to weight.  Similar to a bug out bag, a car kit should carry items that cover all the survival categories (Communication, Energy, Fire, Warmth, Food, Health, Light, Safety, Shelter, Water, Entertainment, Accessories) with preferably some items doubling up on important categories such as fire.  A huge benefit to a car survival kit is that, if you allocate enough space, you could host items that would not only make survival possible but comfortable as well.   Surviving an emergency doesn’t have to be the ‘lost-in-the-woods’, primitive-skill survival.  There’s nothing wrong with surviving in comfort.  The main goal is to make sure you are prepared to handle any situation, even if that situation is being stuck on a highway in the middle of winter for over 2 days.   You might have the food, water, and warmth covered but 2 days without knowing when it will end could be mentally stressful.  Having tasks or entertainment could help break up the mental stress.   The wide range of emergencies with varying time lengths means the best strategy is to prepare for a realistic worst-case scenario while focusing on the survival categories (listed above).

While a car kit is very useful in extending what items you have available, please do not rely on it as your only kit.  It should definitely hold up on its own by having all the items needed to cover all the categories but it should also be accompanied with a bug out bag or some type of portable version of a survival kit (even if it simply means having a portable bag as part of your car kit.)  This way, if you ever have to abandon your car, you do not have to abandon all your items along with it.
To keep your items safe, even in an accident, you might consider storing a majority of the most essential items on something durable like an ammo can.  Blankets or even a sleeping bag would also be helpful in a car emergency kit.  A tent isn’t completely necessary because your car can act as shelter but some shelter consideration should be made in case you need to leave your car behind.
Here are items suggested for a car emergency survival kit:


Yanes Yukon Winter Sleeping Bags


Coghlan’s Emergency Survival Ponchos

Compact Mylar Emergency Blanket

Coghlan’s Reusable Thermal Space Blankets


Individual flameless ration heater

Mountain House #10 Can – Vegetable stew with beef

Grizzly Outdoors Canteen and Cup Kits

Coghlan’s Camper’s Knife, fork and Spoon Sets

Water Safety

Aquatabs Water Purification Tablets

LifeStraw Go Portable Water Filter Bottle

Light / Fire

Tru Flare Pen Type Flare and Bear Banger Launcher Kits

Compass, whistle, fire starter, signal mirror, and more

Coghlan’s 36 Hour Survival Candles

Kerosene Hurricane Lanterns
LED Camping Lantern


Coghlan’s Foot Care Kits

World Famous All-Weather Notebooks

Military Sighting Compass

World Famous Multifunction Survival Whistles

Tru Flare Bearbanger Signal Cartridges

Deer Whistles For Cars

Coghlan’s Trek II First Aid Kits

Emergency Light Sticks


Solar Powered Portable Cell Phone Battery Chargers


Emergency Tow Ropes

Bell Outdoors GHH-FU3 Woodsmans Edge Field Utility Knife Combo

Sight-Grid Signal Mirror

Coghlan’s Biodegradable Camp Soap

Enola Gaye Wire Pull Smoke Grenades

3-in-1 Emergency Car Survival Tool

Coghlan’s 12-in-1 Scissors

11-Inch Hunting Knives with Fire Starter

AA Batteries

Brico 2.5 Pound Axes