You could be in the most unexpected place when things go haywire. And most of the time, your only ticket out of danger is your car.
But does it have the necessary supplies and tools to ensure your safety on the drive home?
What you need is a fully loaded get home bag (GHB) for your car. Don’t confuse it with a bug out bag, though, because its primary purpose is entirely different.
This article explains what get home bag essentials you should stash in your car and why you need ’em in the first place.
Why You Need a Get Home Bag for Your Car
At the rate we’re going these days, you never know what’s gonna happen next. Disasters and emergencies don’t follow a timeline, so the best thing you can do is to prepare before they cause permanent damage.
The thing about crazy scenarios is that they sometimes happen when we’re away from the safety of our homes. You could be sitting at your desk at work or going on a solo road trip when it happens. You’ll never know.
Before situations take a turn for the worse, getting home straight away is your top priority. If you’re lucky and have a bug out vehicle (BOV) to drive back to your place, assuming roads aren’t blocked, you’ll need a get home bag for your car.
Here are reasons why you should have one:
- Keeping a GHB in the trunk of your car means your chances of arriving home alive are high. A lot can happen on the road, and this bag may just save your life.
- When we say many things can go down on the road, we mean you might meet highway mishaps along the way. Packing a GHB for your car with all the gear you need inside for fast and easy fixes will spare you from wasting time waiting for a mechanic to arrive.
- If you’re hours away from home, chances are you’re only gonna need a few stopovers for pee breaks. No more long stopovers where you buy supplies and tools because you already packed them in your GHB.
- Because you have everything you need within reach, you’ll avoid unnecessary detours and save some precious lead time. You’ll be standing right at your doorstep or pulling up to your garage hours before the real stuff goes down.
Get Home Bag Essentials to Stash in Your Car
Now that we’ve covered the whys, let’s move on to the whats.
A get home bag may differ from person to person because everyone has different needs. But some of the items on your priority list might be the same. And when you’re packing a GHB for your car, some tools are a must-have.
In this case, you’re not only building a GHB for yourself. You have to consider what your car needs on the road, too. Here are get home bag essentials for your vehicle:
Liters of Water
Your body needs water to function and survive. So does your car.
That’s why the next thing on our list of get home bag essentials for your vehicle is a stainless steel water bottle. Ditch plastic bottles because they can be harmful and useless. You need a metal container to boil water and cook if necessary.
You can also use water in case your car overheats. Once you load some fluid in your car’s radiator, it should fix the rise in internal temperature and keep the battery charged.
Light and Simple Food
You’re only gonna be on the road for a few hours, so grab-and-go snacks are your best options when driving. Plus, you won’t have the luxury of time to stop and enjoy a full-course meal because getting home quickly should be your priority.
A great alternative is highly nutritious and calorie-packed snacks like energy bars or trail mix. These aren’t exactly crowd favorites, but they’re the best options because you don’t have to heat or prepare them.
Another one of the get home bag essentials you need to add is a bottle of coolant. It will come in handy when you drive in extreme weather.
The engine is your car’s power source, and it can get super hot, especially in the summer. To avoid wearing down your engine, the coolant should save it from overheating. This antifreeze also lubricates the engine and cooling system, protecting it from corrosion.
Don’t have a spare tire in your trunk? A tire sealant is a safe alternative. Besides, you probably won’t have the time to change a flat tire in an emergency, so your quickest solution is a good sealant. It’s enough to help you drive your car a short distance, and it can make all the difference in bringing you home safely and on time.
Portable Jump Starter
You hurriedly ran to your car parked in the basement of your workplace, but there’s just one problem: your car doesn’t start.
Your vehicle’s battery is probably dead.
This unfortunate event is precisely why one of the most important get home bag essentials for your car is a portable jump starter. Unlike jumper cables, you won’t need another vehicle for a jump since the device itself is the power source. So much more convenient, huh?
You might find yourself rushing home in the dead of night in the wake of a disaster. Sure, you have your car’s headlights, but what if your ride breaks down and you have to check out what’s wrong?
Well, you’ll need a bright light, and a tactical flashlight won’t fail you.
A tactical flashlight’s beam is brighter and more glaring than your phone’s built-in flashlight. You’ll be able to see things clearly and detect what needs fixing right away.
And if you ever meet suspicious folks on the road, you can use the flashlight as a self-defense tool. Its strong build can be very effective at disorienting potential attackers.
Map and Compass
Going old school is your best shot at survival.
Telecommunications and satellites will be down in a major catastrophe like an EMP attack. Your car may have the most advanced GPS navigation system, but it may be completely useless when SHTF. That’s why your car’s get home bag essentials should include a map and compass.
Everyone else will also be finding their way home, so expect heavy traffic on main roads. Alternative routes will be your best friends in this situation. Take a moment to study your map and plan detours so you arrive home in one piece.
An emergency radio will be your go-to source of information in a power outage. This device doesn’t rely on electricity, so it can help you stay updated on the latest news in your area or in neighboring towns.
Radio stations might broadcast weather advisories while you’re on the road, so it’s smart to make an emergency radio part of your car’s get home bag essentials. You can make the right decisions and avoid life-threatening risks thanks to it.
Aside from relaying general information, emergency radios also report related issues and emergencies, official instructions from emergency-management authorities, and evacuation warnings.
Expect some road blockage when there’s a sudden snowstorm in your area or a flash flood.
These situations can make driving really hard, leaving you stuck and losing precious lead time.
Enter the reliable entrenching tool! It can help you escape sticky scenarios like your tire getting caught in snow or mud. You can easily dig the elements away.
We have to admit—changing a tire and digging mud out of the way are pretty taxing tasks. Doing physical tasks like these can cause friction in your hands, leading to burns.
You wouldn’t want that if you still have to drive yourself to safety, so you’re gonna need gloves to protect your hands. Gloves that offer maximum protection and comfort are the smart choice when you’re on the go.
Basic First Aid Kit
If you cut yourself (or worse) while trying to fix your car, packing a first aid kit in your get home bag might save you in a pinch.
You don’t have to go crazy and stuff dozens of medical supplies in a single kit. It’s best to start with the essentials since you’ll only be out for a few hours. A basic first aid kit must include the following:
- Antiseptic wipes
- Sterile gauze pads
- Adhesive tape
- Over-the-counter medications
A well-cared-for car isn’t enough to get you out of the woods. You have to complement it with a well-stocked get home bag, too.
Minor hiccups on the road can be efficiently dealt with when you have the items we listed above stored safely in your car’s GHB.
Did we miss anything on our list of car get home bag essentials? Let us know in the comments section below!