Upgrading Your Vehicle EDC

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 to SHTFblog and Survival Cache

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. 

In the cab:

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. 

In the toolbox:

6L MSR dram

10# Fire extinguisher (I got this for free, or I wouldn’t carry one)

Shovel 

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. 

Listen! The Survival Cache Podcast – Flashlights

In the Get Home Bag: 

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? 

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