Car Survival Kit Guide, Gear, and Checklist [2023]

Car Survival Kit Guide, Gear, and Checklist

This is a dynamic car survival kit guide curated by all of our authors for preppers both new and experienced. It is constantly being updated with up-to-date and accurate information, so please check back frequently for updates.

Car Survival Kits or Vehicle Kits are preparedness kits you keep in your vehicle. There should be items and tools to repair your vehicle if needed, and other considerations based on threats in your area. For instance, if it is a possibility you may become stranded in your car from severe winter weather, you may need to keep a blanket, water, and food in your car kit. Sometimes these kits are combined with a Get Home Bag, but kit duplication is never a bad idea.

Contents (Jump to a Section)

Car Survival Kit Essentials

Here are the essentials you should pack in your car to tackle emergencies. Building your kit with most of these will help you with

Suggested Additions for Your Car Survival Kit

This gear may not be essential by definition, but adding any of these to your car’s survival kit will improve your loadout’s versatility for even more situations.

Extra Supplies for your Car Survival Kit

Essentials and suggested additions have been covered, so this is the area will you will find everything else that could be useful to have in your vehicle. These extra supplies will help you in very specific situations, are less versatile, and may take up a lot of space. Even still, they could be the difference makers in an emergency- so it could pay off to consider adding these.

Severe Winter Weather Vehicle Supplies

Being trapped in a car during a severe winter storm can become a deadly situation quickly. Here are several items (in addition to the basic list) that can improve your survival chances if you live in an area prone to severe winter weather:

  • Ice Scraper/Snow Brush: Ice Scraper and Snow Brush – a good ice scraper and snow brush can make a huge difference if you are using them every day.
  • Tire Chains: Peerless Auto-Trac – Make sure you have the right size and know how to roll them on.
  • Hand Warmers: Hand Warmers – These things can make a miserably cold situation a lot more tolerable.
  • Spare Winter Clothes: Roll some extra clothes (especially outerwear) to have on hand in your car.

Car Survival Kit Checklist

A perfect vehicle kit doesn’t exist- what is right for you depends on your situation and risk tolerance. That said, we have as close to perfect of a starting point for you: our car survival kit checklist.

Our checklist is available as both a printable pdf download and as a Google Sheet/Excel file where you can check off items yourself, and even add and subtract items from the checklist.

Car Survival Kit Checklist

Car Survival Kit Printable PDF Checklist

If you are looking for the simplest way to print and use the checklist above, download our printable PDF version. It is one page long on 8.5″ x 11″ paper if you reduce the margins to 0.5″. This car kit PDF makes gathering and tracking your vehicle gear extremely easy. Once you open the car survival kit PDF checklist in your browser, you can either print it directly or save it through your browser.

Car Survival Kit Excel / Google Sheet Checklist

If you are looking for a comprehensive way to track your car kit, open our Excel / Google Sheet version. The sheet is sharable, and you just need to copy it to your own Google Sheet account or download it to excel to edit it. We also keep links to our reviews for each category linked to simplify shopping for any equipment you may find yourself missing.

The Next Step

An emergency car kit is a common specialized kit that can help you every day or in an emergency. Here are some other common specialized kits:

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Emergency Car Kit Guide