Like most of you, I want to be prepared and self-sufficient. I believe my safety is my responsibility. If you rely on someone else, chances are you will be disappointed.
By J. Bridger, contributing author
I like knowing I can step into my vehicle and comfortably get by for a day or two with what I have stowed away. I have toyed with the concept of a truck gun. I like the idea but can’t stomach the thought of someone stealing it and committing a crime. When I have the funds to spend on securing a firearm in my vehicle and live in a less populated area, I will reconsider it. For now, it’s a bad idea for me. Here’s a look at what I keep in my truck/BOV in case I have an emergency away from home.
EDC in the Cab
In the cab I carry:
- Leather gloves
- Blaze Defense fire extinguisher
- MTE M3-2I 1200 Lumen Flashlight
- Trauma Kit, with spare CAT tourniquet in glove box
I never realized how often vehicles caught fire until I was on the fire department. We had a small stretch of the turnpike in our district, and we received weekly calls for vehicle fires. They were always a total loss. I’m probably biased because of this, but I don’t care. I keep a small BDS40 extinguisher from Blaze Defense Systems in the cab with me. The idea was if my truck caught fire, maybe I could knock it down just a hair so I could get my 10# extinguisher from the toolbox. If I didn’t catch it right away, I’d have no chance. It gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling I like so much.
Also Read: The Individual Trauma Kit/IFAK
The gloves and flashlight speak for themselves. They come in handy all the time. I really like the MTE flashlights. Greg McGee Engineering makes a hell of a product. They’re well made, bright, and aren’t priced sky high. If you need a no bullshit flashlight but don’t want to pay $300 for a name, check these guys out. I have two of their tough-as-nails 1,200 lumen lights. They have a low mode for changing tires, checking your oil, and close up work. They have a medium mode, and a high mode. The high mode throws a good beam, perfect for seeing what the dogs are barking at in the pasture in the middle of the night. They have a strobe and SOS setting, and you have the option of getting rechargeable batteries and a charger.
EDC in the Toolbox
In the toolbox I carry:
- 6L MSR dram
- 10# Fire extinguisher (I got this for free, or I wouldn’t carry one)
- Tow strap
- Jumper cables
- 6×10 tarp
- Cheap rope and good rope
- Ratcheting straps
- Small tools: pliers, fuses, zip ties, screw drivers, bolt cutters.
I keep an MSR 6 Liter dram in the tool box, since I call the desert home now. I’ve been glad I had it on several overnight trips where I misjudged how much water I would need. The 6L MSR dromedary bag is tough, and I like the different options you have on the cap. The tarp, cheap rope, and ratcheting straps I keep for securing loads of furniture, branches, or whatever else I happen to be moving. I keep jumper cables, tow strap, and a shovel to get me out of jams. I used to have a chain, but damn, it was heavy. The tow strap is longer, lighter, and is rated at a higher breaking strength (to my surprise). You should always have a spare tire and a decent jack. I wanted an off-road high-lift jack, but there didn’t seem to be any good lift points I could get to on my truck. A small gas can, and a quart of oil would be handy. I keep bolt cutters for obvious reasons. Next time you’re on a turnpike or interstate highway, look for an emergency path off the pavement. I bet you will find that you are fenced in.
EDC in the Get Home Bag
In the “get home” bag I carry:
- GoRuck Rucker
- Therm-A-Rest Z-lite, Poncho liner, Hennessy tarp
- 2 pairs wool socks, Dragonwear beanie, Mechanix gloves
- Compression Bandage, CAT TQ, H&H Z-fold gauze, moleskin
- Morakniv, multitool
- Nalgene, water tabs, Sawyer Mini water filter, steel cup, electrolyte tablets
- Emergency food bar
- Matches, SOL bivyy, paracord, signal mirror
- Surefire, batteries
- Spork, Bic lighter
- Contractor bag
- RSDL sponge, KI tablets, RAD dosimeter
When I upgraded my hiking kit to lighter and better gear, a lot of it went here. The mindset for this bag is I may need to spend a night or two near my truck and take the Chevro-legs home. It’s not set up for super cold weather, but it’ll get me by in the springtime or early fall. I keep it in a GoRuck Rucker. There are better bags, certainly for the money. This bag was expensive as shit, but it’s tough and I like the size. It won’t go belly up on me when I need it. It fits perfectly behind a truck seat or under a plane seat.
A light and warm sleeping pad, poncho liner, SOL bivvy, and tarp will keep me protected enough from the elements. Without a sleeping pad, the ground sucks the heat out of you. A contractor bag will keep my kit (or me!) dry in a rainstorm, should I be caught with my pants down. I have the tools I need to collect and treat water and enough calories to get me by. I’ve got the bare minimum medical equipment, and some moleskin to treat blisters. I come from a farming community with a lot of organophosphate use, so I pack an RSDL sponge. (You know the signs and symptoms of organophosphate or nerve gas poisoning, don’t you? It overwhelms your parasympathetic (Rest and Digest) nervous system. SLUDGEM: Salivation, Lacrimation (tearing), Urination, Defecation, GI distress, Emesis (Vomiting), and Miosis (pinpoint pupils)). I keep KI tablets and a wallet dosimeter just in case Fukushima 2.0 happens. It’s cheap insurance.
I struggle to straddle the line between prepared and hopeful hoarding. I can’t stand clutter and extra crap I don’t use. This kit changes all the time. If you have any ideas or advice, let me know! What’s in your Vehicle EDC?