The other day I had a close call with a empty fuel tank late at night on a rural road and thought about what would happen if I broke down. All my outdoor gear would be at home, I had very few warm clothes and no food or water. A small LED light on my keyring was about it. Absolutely pathetic!!!

Luckily I made it to a petrol station just in time but I am determind to put a kit together to keep in the boot of the car. Areas to cover are:

  • Warmth (cars are FREEZING at night!): Army blanket? Bulky but versatile. Old fleece tops another option. Fleece by the meter is dirt cheap at Spotlight.
  • Food and water: I have a few mainstay rations, some bottled water, any other food ideas?
  • Lighting: Torch batteries die over time so perhaps one of those dyno torches?
  • Fire (if safe to do so): Matches/lighter, vaseline (multiuse), old newspaper?
  • Attracting attention (esp if on rural/forest road): Whistle. Signal flare? Costly.
  • Misc: I have a few cheap multitools lying around.
  • Basic auto tools: Spare tyre with tools to change it, jumper leads, cresent, screwdrivers (already in multitool), water (already on list).

I'm sure there are many other things I have missed. I want to keep it to essential (preferably multiuse) items that wont take up too much room but with mean that myself and passengers are safe in case of a breakdown in the middle of nowhere.

As usual any thoughts would be appriciated!

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Hi Ryan.

I always try and have a backpack with some basic supplies in my truck but one thing I have found useful was a high-vis vest (just something from the warehouse will do). I've been first on the scene at a couple of car accidents and they have both been in low-vis situations (fog / night etc) so walking down the side of the road to help someone else could have been very dangerous if I wasn't wearing it.. it would also be helpful if I took that backpack for a tramp and got lost etc.

 A Hi Vis jacket is such a good idea! Its good for me to keep in mind the scenarios with highest probability. 

The need for post apocalypse survival equipment in case the world ends on my drive home? Unlikely

A few items to make it safer if I come across a car crash? More likely


Hey there guys

A good set of U tube vids to look at are Nutnfancy project Concept USK .

They are long vids but,the things he has in the kit are well thought out.

I have made up a kit for each car as get home bags,with all the earthquakes happening in

Christchurch it is worth having something to fall back on

all the best Paul

Thanks for that Paul I'll check them out

Thanks... I will have a look on Youtube... I did a search and found the vids but don't have time to look at the moment, too busy

Also keep a small axe so you can make an emergency shelter if you need to. You might also want to keep some spare petrol, a jumpstarter if not jumper cables, and tools to repair the car with.

I have a 2 oz. tobbacco tin i keep with me at all times with survival gear. it would be quite easy to bulk up on the items i have or change them slightly for your needs. this is what i have...

Starflash signal mirror ($25 from trademe. thay float and are bloody hard to break)

20ft 550 paracord

5 matches wrapped in string (string can be used to repair gear or make a bowdrill)

match striker glued to inside lid of tin

3 razor blades (take up no room and are very sharp)

a straw for water collection

2 self re-lighting birthday candles

2 cotton balls soaked in vaseline wrapped in tin foil

2gr tube of super glue (gear repairs or cuts/gashes)

8ft duct tape (again gear repairs or use as a plaster)

large square of foil (good for reflecting light/heat and use as a wind breaker foe fires)

Firesteel (taken off the handle. saves a lot of room)

cut down saw blade doubles as the firesteel striker

10 water purification tablets

6 ibuprofen/nurofen (anti inflammatory as well as pain relief)

2 boiled sweets for a hit of sugar (very important. barley sugar sachets are best)

5 safety pins for fixing gear

commando wire saw (great little compact tool. can pick up from TradeMe for $12 (get the one with swivels))

Very small aluminium pea-less whistle. Very loud

A condom for water collection/storage

A sewing needle and thread. (can also use the needle to dig out thorns or anything else)


Great idea thanks for that Oshadhi

Vince: Plenty of great thoughts, thanks for sharing. I plan to integrate the pain medication, duct tape, and  whistle straight away, and will think about the rest for the time being and see what I can adapt.

I guess first aid for the car is a whole discussion on its own, with our rural roads we could have to tend to ourselves/others self sufficiently for awhile until help comes. And if there is no cellphone signal then things could get even nastier!

Anyway thanks for your input! Any other thoughts?

Ever-affected by being first on scene at a 4 fatality highway head-on (while heading home from my first ever first aid course!), my boot grab-bag has:

Simple C-Collar made out of a piece of old bedroll - neck injuries very common with car accidents.

20m of age-retired 11mm static rope - for quick access down banks or stabilising vehicle

Trauma first aid (forget the band-aids)

Small tube of icing (diabetics)

seatbelt cutter

Disposable (one-shot) cellphone charger

Pigskin riggers gloves

Hi-Vis vest

Notepad and pencil




All wrapped up in a high density wool blanket inside a light duty tarp.


I also always carry 5l of petrol  :)




The tools I carry in my vehicles are for someone who knows more than me about motors has something to work with in case they don't have their own. My thoughts on First Aid Kits is similar... It is for using on me and my family in the first instance so I look at it from this viewpoint. When going bush my first aid kit is usually a #14 would dressing bandage and some hypoallergenic tape, and my own painkillers, anything else can wait until I get out or I can improvise with my survival kit and what is available. If you have to move them then something to keep them off the cold wet ground is nice to have, as is a cover if it is raining.

The main first aid at accidents is to keep their airway open, stop bleeding, keep people still (unless it is dangerous to leave them where they are, preserve body temperature and get help. Unless you spend a lot of time in rural areas it is best, and cheaper, to keep your first aid kit simple and basic. Any major injuries will need the gear carried in an ambulance. Be aware that anything stronger than a panadol should be in your personal kit. Oops this is not a First Aid lesson :-)

I usually carry enough to boil a pot of tea and some munchies... I have been held up with the Armed Defender Squad, Accidents and road blockages. 



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