Bug Out Bags For Your Vehicles

Posted: 12th August 2013 by Michael Levanduski in automobile, Bug Out Bags


bug out bag

Having a bug out bag packed and ready to go is often one of the first things a new survivalist learns.  It is a simple step which can dramatically improve the likelihood of survival in an emergency because you’ll have enough food, water, first aid equipment and other items to get you through those critical first few days of a disaster.  Keeping a bug out bag packed and ready to go in your home is essential, but what about the 8-10 hours per day you’re spending away from the house?

If a disaster strikes while you’re at work, the store or any other location, it might not be safe or even possible to return to your home to get the bag.  This is why having a bug out bag in each of your vehicles is so important.  This bag should have some of the same things as your home bug out bag, as well as some unique items specifically for the car.  One of the nicest things about having a bug out bag in your vehicle is if you happen to be at home during a disaster, you can have both the home and vehicle bags with you to help you get through the difficult times.

Packing Your Bag

Packing up a bag and placing it in the trunk of your vehicle is a fairly simple process, and once you’ve stored it away, you don’t have to think twice about it until it is needed.  It is important, however, to remember that some items which can go in a home based bag simply won’t work in a vehicle bag.  The temperature in a vehicle can quickly get extremely hot while parked in the sun, and extremely cold in the winter.  This can cause problems with any food or liquids.  With this in mind, look at the following essential items for your vehicle based bug out bag.

  • Blanket – You won’t have access to all your normal blankets in your home, so having even a small blanket is essential for survival.
  • Water – A gallon of clean water can last you several days when necessary.  It can also be used in your vehicle’s cooling system in an emergency.  Remember, however, the water may freeze in the winter so leave some room in the container for when the ice expands.
  • Food – Any food you pack must be able to survive in the swinging temperatures.  MREs and other dried items can typically store very well at most any temperature.  Adding in some very basic fishing equipment will allow you to catch food when needed.
  • Fire – Having a lighter or waterproof matches is essential.  Adding in a few road side flairs can also be very helpful in a variety of situations.
  • Automobile Tools – Jumper cables, simple tools and other items that can help with simple vehicle repairs can be helpful during a disaster or a normal breakdown.
  • First Aid Kit – A small first aid kit is another item which is great to have with you whether it is for a disaster or just an injury from a normal situation.  Just remember to replace any items that are used so you’re always ready.
  • Weapons – Check with state and local laws on the requirements for keeping weapons in a vehicle.  If guns aren’t an option, even something as simple as a knife can be important during a disaster.   Consider adding Mace or pepper spray as well.
  • Personal Hygiene Items – A toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and other personal hygiene items can be very helpful during an emergency.
  • Compass & Map – If your GPS isn’t working, a compass and map can be essential for survival situations.
  • Portable Radio – Getting information is essential, so pack a portable radio.  Ideally, a small radio that has a wind up power option so you don’t need to use your vehicle’s radio.

These are some of the most essential items to keep in any vehicle based bug out bag.  Of course, each individual will need to evaluate their own needs based on their situation.  Those living in colder climates, for example, may want to add in some warmer clothes.  Those who want to be ready for a flood can consider a life jacket.  If you’ve got kids to take care of, make sure to keep that in mind when packing as well.

Just like packing a home-based bug out bag, the vehicle bug out bag should have everything you need in it to survive virtually any type of situation.  When properly planned it will be something you can pack away and forget about, until it is needed.  When disaster strikes, you’ll be glad you have it available.

  1. Randy L. says:

    I’m curious as to what the name of that bag is…
    I’m looking for a B.O.B. for my vehicle and what to get one like this.
    Please let me know what the make and model of this awesome bag is.


    • Michael Levanduski says:

      Yeah, this bag has room for everything, and can really help keep you organized (which is important in an emergency). The bag is a “Voodoo Tactical Mini Mojo” model 15-9684 Coyote Brown.

      If you end up getting it, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!


  2. K. Jones says:

    I waas thinking the same thing as Randy L. What type of bag is that?

  3. Keith R says:

    I am a strong proponent for a get home bag. One minor problem I read in the article, MRE’s will last 2 weeks in temps over 120`. I found new millennium food bars to be the best (especially blueberry). These can take temps up to 300` without breaking down. They are non-thirst inducing bars that taste good. One bar is good for one meal. The water I use is from SOS and is in pouches. the plastic bottles if left in the heat can leech chemicals into the water. these will not burst if they freeze. just food for thought. Keith 🙂

    • Michael Levanduski says:

      Thanks for sharing this! I’ll have to check out those millennium food bars!

      If you keep the water in the center of the bug-out-bag it will stay cooler and the plastic won’t leech the chemicals as much (it also keeps the center of gravity in the middle for easier carrying). It sounds like those pouches are a great option too though!