Car Camping Emergency Bag
Car Camping Emergency Bag
If you are anything like me, this is probably not the first car camping article you have checked out. You are making a list and checking it twice; making sure you haven’t forgotten anything in a life or death situation. However, be honest with yourself, are you really going to be that far away from people that you will have to awaken your inner Bear Grylls? The answer is probably no, especially if you are staying on the well populated east coast. So here is my list for realistic emergencies.
Map and Compass
Ah, a classic. GPS’ fail, either they run out of battery or take you on a Lewis and Clark expedition. Did you know that people even died from erroneos GPS routes? I think we all have had our moments when we question some of the pathways our GPS wants us to take. This isn’t a concern with a compass, you just need the most recent make to make sure it doesn’t take you on an abandoned road. Before you start your trip, plot out where you want to go on an actual map, or map service. This will give you a point of reference when navigating on the road. It also gives you a chance to familiarize yourself with the map. However, it is hard to orient yourself on a map without a compass so make sure to take that with you as well.
A code reader is a device that will tell you an error code that is causing an engine light to come on. This isn’t as much of an essential as other products on the list especially since several vehicles come with a code reader installed. However, I have found having one extremely useful. If you are on the road it gives you some understanding of what is wrong with the vehicle and if you are capable of limping back to civilization. Also, once you get to the shop it is good to have a general understanding of what the repair may entail, instead of having someone tell you it needs a whole new engine when it only need a small repair or adjustment.
I am a water hoarder. No joke, I stash water everywhere in my Jeep. It’s in my hiking pack that is always with me for hydration, I have a small case behind my seat, and some in the cargo area just in case the radiator breaks. Which, my radiator has broken before and constantly refilling the water has helped me inch toward safety at a gas station without overheating my engine. Water is pretty great, start hoarding it for drinking, hygiene and for emergency vehicle repair.
This may sound strange, but I am not the first person to mention having a book as a survival asset and I don’t mean by making a fire with it. However, boredom, is a bigger enemy than you can imagine. During a survival situation it is best to stay with your vehicle, it provides shelter, it is a larger more visible target, and people will recognize it especially if you let someone know your route. When you get bored, you often want to do SOMETHING. The “something”, is often wanting to leave the vehicle and trying to find help. Instead, read a book and wait for help.
A large Towel / Blanket
The most important reason to have a towel is in the off chance the earth gets destroyed and you have to hitchhike the galaxy. For us normal people, a towel or a blanket allows you to keep warm and will dry you off in case you get wet. Hypothermia is your greatest enemy in the outdoors.
Spare Tire and everything that goes with it
Going on a long journey or not, having everything to change a tire will give you piece of mind, even on your morning commute. In my Jeep I have a tire repair kit, spare tire and a jack. When your tires rotated or changed, ask the shop to manually tighten your bolts, so they aren’t too difficult to put remove during an emergency but not too loose to cause a safety concern. Your tire repair kit serves as a backup in case changing a tire is not a possibility.
You really don’t need just a phone charger anymore. From lanterns to jumper cables there are all kinds of backups to keep your phone from dying. Having a genius charger is something I would highly recommend. Not only will it charge your electronics but also start your vehicles in case your battery dies.