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rallyxPOS13
rallyxPOS13 New Reader
1/9/22 8:33 p.m.

What do you carry in your car for emergencies?

 

From the beach on vacation last week, I saw a news blurb that my exit off of I-95 in Northern Virginia had folks stranded on the highway for a couple days.  A dive into Nextdoor this week shows that as they diverted the mass of idiots onto the backroads, even folks that commute on the 2 lane backroads I typically take to work had a 12+ hour commute home that day.  While I typically have faith in my abilities to drive, and AWD/snow tires of my outback... there's no accounting for other morons in extreme weather.

This has me reconsidering what I have packed in my car.  From working rallies and owing a turbo Subaru that will blow up at any minute, I have a bit of contingency pack in there consisting of:

  • poncho
  • gloves
  • blanket
  • chair
  • Basic tool set
  • oil
  • zip ties
  • tow rope
  • folding army shovel
  • First aid kit
  • dry shirt
  • cup

The one thing I'm considering packing in there is some form of food/water, but I don't want something I have to worry about temperature extremes spoiling. I also am planning to pack some shoes for snow/ice traction or walking to help.

Timely enough, I also watched this video the week before: https://youtu.be/8uTHVg8BfWM

What does the GRM have packed in their cars for some quality time on the side of the road?  (Whether it be for a questionable vehicle, or weather event)

Rons
Rons HalfDork
1/9/22 8:52 p.m.
Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
1/9/22 8:54 p.m.

I always have some tools including a Leatherman, some zip ties, a few bandages, a couple of tourniquets and a wound packing kit, some rubber gloves, work gloves, a tow strap, some ratchet straps and tie downs, a sweatshirt and hat, a packable raincoat and poncho, usually a couple of granola bars and always have at least two liters of water with me. I drink a ton of water. 

mtn
mtn MegaDork
1/9/22 9:15 p.m.

Usually a Leatherman and then a random tool bag, but that isn't by design, just change. The reality is, for where I'm driving 95% of the time, a credit card and cell phone are more than sufficient. 

03Panther
03Panther UltraDork
1/9/22 9:39 p.m.
mtn said:

Usually a Leatherman and then a random tool bag, but that isn't by design, just change. The reality is, for where I'm driving 95% of the time, a credit card and cell phone are more than sufficient. 

Now that there is funny! Most folks are totally unaware how thin the veneer of civilization in our society really is. I'm not suggesting becoming a full blown "prepper" as the wacked out ones are called, but I can think of many situations where being able to rely on oneself could come in handy

rallyxPOS13
rallyxPOS13 New Reader
1/9/22 9:40 p.m.
Woody (Forum Supportum) said:

I always have at least two liters of water with me. I drink a ton of water. 

How do you keep the water from freezing/expanding/leaking in the winter?   I'm looking for novel solutions there.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
1/9/22 9:45 p.m.

I'm in my car for sales a good part of my week.    Stored food gets eaten - some days I can't help myself.  

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
1/9/22 10:14 p.m.

In reply to rallyxPOS13 :

I bring it with me when I get out of the car. Seriously, I drink a lot of water. 

RevRico
RevRico UltimaDork
1/9/22 10:19 p.m.

In reply to rallyxPOS13 :

If I'm planning on keeping bottles in the vehicle during winter, I open them and take a swallow. Doesn't help the freezing, but never had a leak that way. 

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
1/9/22 10:48 p.m.
03Panther said:
mtn said:

Usually a Leatherman and then a random tool bag, but that isn't by design, just change. The reality is, for where I'm driving 95% of the time, a credit card and cell phone are more than sufficient. 

Now that there is funny! Most folks are totally unaware how thin the veneer of civilization in our society really is. I'm not suggesting becoming a full blown "prepper" as the wacked out ones are called, but I can think of many situations where being able to rely on oneself could come in handy

I live in the big city; 75% of my driving is within two miles of home and 95% is within ten miles, all within the city on surface streets.  A credit card and cell phone work pretty well for me too.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/9/22 11:51 p.m.

Gloves, blankets, hats are the most important for me. Your first major threat is usually exposure.

You live:

  • 3 minutes no air
  • 3 hours no shelter (extreme heat or cold)
  • 3 days no water
  • 3 weeks no food

 

 

 

 

 

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
1/9/22 11:54 p.m.

In reply to stuart in mn :

Agreed. I'll put blankets , water and food in the car if I'm going any distance in winter.  The more remote I go the more I bring. Lots of places without cell service in Minnesota.  

mtn
mtn MegaDork
1/10/22 12:46 a.m.
03Panther said:
mtn said:

Usually a Leatherman and then a random tool bag, but that isn't by design, just change. The reality is, for where I'm driving 95% of the time, a credit card and cell phone are more than sufficient. 

Now that there is funny! Most folks are totally unaware how thin the veneer of civilization in our society really is. I'm not suggesting becoming a full blown "prepper" as the wacked out ones are called, but I can think of many situations where being able to rely on oneself could come in handy

What am I going to do on my own in a modern car on the side of a highway? Aside from changing a tire - kit included in every vehicle I own - Just about everything that could happen is going to require a part that I'm not carrying with me to fix. I'd need to get to a Walmart or auto parts store one way or another. Additionally, modern cars are so freaking reliable that it just isn't a high enough likelihood or risk unless I'm heading to the BWCA or similar - and even there, we have broken down on our way to the BWCA. Left the truck with a Uhaul that also was a mechanic, told them what was wrong and what they needed to order, took a Uhaul the rest of the way and came back in a week.  
 

In any case, I'm only truly remote once every four years or so (BWCA). Literally every other place I go is within walking distance (10 miles) of a big enough highway that worst case scenario I could flag someone down. So my earlier estimate is probably low, it is probably closer to 99% of my driving. 
 

I do always have hats blankets and gloves though, but that is not really for the case of a breakdown so much as needing them while I'm out. 

03Panther
03Panther UltraDork
1/10/22 1:05 a.m.

In reply to Robbie (Forum Supporter) :

But... everyone can buy all that with their credit card. angel

Teh E36 M3
Teh E36 M3 UltraDork
1/10/22 1:13 a.m.

Idiots? There is no reason to expect in a civilized country you will be stranded for over four hours. That said, how about a sleeping bag or two a gallon of water, and  a bunch of granola bars. 
 

but definitely no need to label everyone else an idiot. 

03Panther
03Panther UltraDork
1/10/22 8:38 a.m.
Teh E36 M3 said:

Idiots? There is no reason to expect in a civilized country you will be stranded for over four hours. That said, how about a sleeping bag or two a gallon of water, and  a bunch of granola bars. 
 

but definitely no need to label everyone else an idiot. 

Someone must have deleted a post I missed, somewhere? I did not see anyone call anyone idiots, much less everyone. 
Or were you intentionally misreading something I said, in an effort to be inflammatory? As to the 4 hour theory, the whole premise of the OPs question was about folks caught in their car for a couple days. True that was northern VA, and some would say that wasn't a very civilized place! surprise

mtn
mtn MegaDork
1/10/22 8:47 a.m.

In reply to 03Panther :

Original post referred to drivers as idiots. 

03Panther
03Panther UltraDork
1/10/22 9:00 a.m.

In reply to mtn :

He was referring to the driving abilities of the so called civilized people the could not drive on non interstate roads, without causing massive backups. Unless it's my reading comprehension that is lacking. 

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
1/10/22 9:03 a.m.

 

In addition to other things posted...

 

Each car gets a space blanket, if it's a large enough vehicle, they also get a packing blanket (hf has them cheap). Also useful as a drop cloth in a pinch if you have to wrench. Or just to keep stuff you load from messing up your interior 

I keep bottles of water in the car year round. Never had a regular plastic bottle burst, just keep it upright as the cap is the weak point. I drink them enough spoilage isn't an issue.

 

If you really want to go all out, put a canned food or two in the car with a spoon. Just change it out every other month.

 

Baby wipes. I always have them in my kit, so many uses, so cheap.

 

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
1/10/22 9:09 a.m.
rallyxPOS13 said:
Woody (Forum Supportum) said:

I always have at least two liters of water with me. I drink a ton of water. 

How do you keep the water from freezing/expanding/leaking in the winter?   I'm looking for novel solutions there.

Off the shelf bottled water.  Those bottles will freeze and not burst.  

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
1/10/22 9:14 a.m.
03Panther said:

In reply to Robbie (Forum Supporter) :

But... everyone can buy all that with their credit card. angel

So how much cash do you advocate carrying?  

In the continental US, the time that you can't use a CC is pretty short- power outages don't last for more than a couple of days, and the system has been pretty robust to hackers.  

On the other hand, we had to deal with the power systems going down for a long time in Puerto Rico post Maria- which was pretty painful being a cash system for a long time.

Otherwise, emergencies when driving tend to be 1) keep warm, 2) keep hydrated, and a distant 3rd) don't starve- since a gross majority of emergencies are well within the time frame of starvation.  It's about heat and hydration.  It's one of the reasons you should keep filled up if you travel any reasonable distance.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/10/22 10:54 a.m.

In reply to rallyxPOS13 :

We bought a motorhome. 

Granted, it also serves as a tow/track support vehicle, and for vacation travel. However, living near the coast we know it's just a matter of time before we'll need to evacuate for a storm. With our menagerie of critters this really opens up our options since we no longer need a specific destination. 

In a WTSHTF scenario it's a bit less than ideal, especially with its 7mpg, but I think we'd be better off staying home for most of those situations. 

03Panther
03Panther UltraDork
1/10/22 10:58 a.m.
alfadriver said:

Otherwise, emergencies when driving tend to be 1) keep warm, 2) keep hydrated, and a distant 3rd) don't starve- since a gross majority of emergencies are well within the time frame of starvation.  It's about heat and hydration.  It's one of the reasons you should keep filled up if you travel any reasonable distance.

I did not mention cash at all. Merely pointing out a CC and a cell phone can not always be counted on in all emergencies. I think you did prioritize needs well. 
I do find it funny that some people are complacent enough with modern technology feel it's always gonna work.  I do not feel they are idiots, and did not say so. Was only being flippant. Sorry to get anyone riled up. 

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
1/10/22 11:06 a.m.

Park your car in your garage overnight.  You'll have no problem with water freezing if you maintain a temperature above 32 F. in your garage.  It sounds as if some of you Barbarians park outside in the winter.  That can cause no end of grief, including having to scrape ice off the windows.  Definitely not my idea of fun.

I've usually got a bottle or two of water and a Clif Bar or two stashed somewhere.  The best way to avoid being stuck on the road in a blizzard is to check the forecast and stay the heck home unless you absolutely, positively, have to be out on the roads. 

The limiting factor is not your ability to have traction and drive safely.  It's navigating around all the crashed trucks and stuck cars.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
1/10/22 11:20 a.m.
03Panther said:
alfadriver said:

Otherwise, emergencies when driving tend to be 1) keep warm, 2) keep hydrated, and a distant 3rd) don't starve- since a gross majority of emergencies are well within the time frame of starvation.  It's about heat and hydration.  It's one of the reasons you should keep filled up if you travel any reasonable distance.

I did not mention cash at all. Merely pointing out a CC and a cell phone can not always be counted on in all emergencies. I think you did prioritize needs well. 
I do find it funny that some people are complacent enough with modern technology feel it's always gonna work.  I do not feel they are idiots, and did not say so. Was only being flippant. Sorry to get anyone riled up. 

Sometimes it seems that if you are going to point out a fallacy, pointing out an alternative would be helpful.

We really do have a stash of cash in case of emergencies in a specific location in my MIL's house.  Should last pretty well for an extended power outage assuming the government can make sure places don't spike prices.  For the most part, that never happened, even when power outages lasted into the months for some places.

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