5 Survival essentials for your bug-out vehicle
09/23/2022 // Zoey Sky // Views

If you are planning to bug out when SHTF, make sure that you have the right tools and gear already prepared and packed in your bug-out vehicle. You will need the basics like a car repair kit and a first aid kit that's kept in your car for any unexpected medical emergencies while on the road.

Packing your gear in your bug-out vehicle ensures that you have tools at your disposal if you ever lose your bug-out bags (BOBs) when disaster strikes. Some items may overlap, but the essential items you'll want to have in your bug-out vehicle will be different from those in your BOB.

Detailed below are the top five items you need in your bug-out car. You can bring other items, but make sure you have these bug-out essentials already packed. (h/t to PreppersIllustrated.com)

Car repair kit/vehicle tool kit

There are many choices when it comes to a bug-out vehicle. Some may opt for a faster option like a motorcycle while others may opt for something roomier like an RV.

Whatever you choose, you will need a car repair kit or vehicle tool kit for the repair and maintenance of your vehicle.

Having a basic understanding of how to use these tools can spell the difference between getting to your bug-out location and being stranded because your vehicle has broken down.

You don't have to weigh down your car with a ton of specialized tools. Keep the kit light by only bringing the items that will be most helpful in your survival situation. The tool kit for your car should include these essential items:

  • Allen keys
  • Combination wrench
  • Brighteon.TV

  • Hammer
  • Phillips head and flat head screwdrivers
  • Pliers
  • Socket wrench with attachments of varying size

If possible, get a tool kit specifically designed for your bug-out vehicle so you get more specialized tools that will address your specific needs.

If you have a car, your kit will probably have some jumper cables. But if you're bugging out on a bike, your kit will come with other items, like an extra chain.

If you can't spare the added weight of a bigger tool kit, at least bring a smaller kit with a sturdy multitool equipped with screwdriver heads, pliers and other practical attachments. (Related: 5 Must-haves for your bug-out vehicle.)

First aid kit

You may already have a first aid kit in your bug-out bags, but you also need a separate kit for your bug-out car. Having different first aid kits means you have a backup in case you lose either your car or your survival bag when SHTF.

When packing the first aid kit for your car, you can include more items to cover more medical emergencies. Avoid pre-packaged kits because some of these kits don't always come with useful things or things that suit your needs, or they may only come with basic essentials, like bandages, disinfecting wipes and common medications.

Because your bug-out vehicle is bigger, you can prep a first aid kit that's more of a trauma or first responder kit than a basic kit.

Here are some additional tools for your car first aid kit:

  • Ammonia inhalants
  • Antiviral mask or respirator
  • CPR shield
  • Gauze and wraps
  • Hemostatic dressing like QuikClot to stop heavy bleeding
  • Scalpel
  • Splints
  • Trauma sheers
  • Wool blanket

These are all items that will complement the other supplies in your BOB first aid kit so you have more options when a medical emergency occurs and immediate or professional help isn't available.

Portable air compressor

A portable air compressor or an air compressor kit is a must-have for your bug-out vehicle. With this tool, you don't have to worry about getting stranded after SHTF because of a flat tire.

An air compressor also ensures that you don't have to use your spare tire if the issue is something that can be quickly fixed.

If you have the space for an air compressor kit, bring it with you instead of the stand-alone tool. The right kit will also come with other essentials, like a duo power pack and jump starter, so you don't have to wait for another vehicle to jump your car.


A shovel might seem like a strange item to include in your bug-out car, but you may need it when your vehicle's tires get stuck in mud or snow.

If you have a smaller vehicle, a shovel has many uses around a campsite. You can use it as a makeshift self-defense weapon or for digging and securing your tent.

If there's limited space in your car, opt for a compact, foldable shovel you can store under a seat or in a backpack.

Spare parts

When SHTF, some people may be forced to abandon their cars because of a damaged component. But if you have the necessary spare parts and your car repair kit, you can make the necessary repairs as you continue to drive to your hideout.

To keep your baggage light, don’t bring every part your vehicle might need. Save space for other essentials and analyze which components on your vehicle are most likely to break and slow you down.

Doing this ensures that you have the spare parts and knowledge so you can be as self-sufficient as possible. Even if SHTF, you can repair your car without having to look for a mechanic or hardware store.

Before you bug out, pack the following spare parts for your car:

  • Lights
  • Spare tire(s)
  • Spark plugs
  • Windshield wipers

Once you have these essential spare parts, learn how to use and install them under various conditions, such as at night or in poor weather conditions. Practicing maintenance and repair can cut the time for repairs, which can sometimes be crucial in a survival scenario and you're bugging out to safety.

Watch the video below about bug-out bag packing mistakes that you need to avoid.

This video is from the Prepping101 channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

Bug out survival planning: Prepping a bug-out bag in less than an hour.

Hiding in plain sight: Keep a low profile and make your bug-out location inconspicuous.

The best bug-out locations for preppers in the Eastern US.

Sources include:




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