Surviving in Your Vehicle

Being in your automobile provides a sense of security. Regardless of what situation faces you outside, being inside that glass and steel cocoon provides a basic feeling of being protected. In the vast majority of cases, this is true. If you can get to your automobile, you can either get in it and be protected OR use it to drive to where you can get further assistance. But what happens when that security and protection is not enough?

As was mentioned earlier, being in a vehicle can generally save you from a wide range of potential disasters. But what happens when your vehicle gets stuck, breaks down or simply cannot drive you out of the danger zone? During a recent snow storm, over 100 vehicles were stranded on the Pennsylvania Turnpike for almost 3 days – all because 2 trucks were involved in an accident and the other 98 vehicles were simply stuck in the backlog.

Car StuckBy carrying a few simple supplies, you can keep in the fight and keep surviving – or wait out the danger.

  1. First Aid Kit – EVERY traveler should have a basic first aid kit available; if not on their person then in their vehicle. Limping to the safety of your vehicle does little good if once there you succumb to otherwise treatable injuries.
  2. Small Tool Kit – most modern vehicles require more than basic tools to fix even the smallest problem, but a small tool kit can be used for a whole host of survival situations. The kits should include an assortment of small tools, duct tape, small cord and a flashlight with extra batteries.
  3. Extra Clothing – wet or mud covered clothing can greatly increase the dangers of hypothermia, or the dangerous loss of body temperature. Although a stationary vehicle does provide shelter, you should not count on the engine for heat. Not only will you need to ration fuel, but running the engine while sleeping risks carbon monoxide poisoning. Having a 2nd, or even 3rd, layer available will go a long way towards additional night time comfort. Be sure to include a waterproof jacket, footwear and a knit cap as well.
  4. Food & Water – The average person can survive almost 3 weeks without food and 2-3 days without water, but simply being alive is different than surviving. After only a day or so without food and water, a healthy person will begin to feel weak and find even simple tasks draining, both mentally and physically. A few granola bars and some bottled water may not be a holiday feast, but they can keep you from eating your last meal.
  5. Emergency Power Supply – No, I am not talking about an extra battery for the vehicle itself – although many portable power units can be used to jumpstart a car or truck. What I am talking about is an emergency power supply capable of recharging a phone, emergency beacon or flashlight and doing so for an extended period of time. Today’s options include units which can be pre-charged or even those which can be charged in the field via solar panels, allowing users to almost never run out of power.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Tom Burrell

Tom enlisted in the US Marine Corps Reserves in 1987. Following service in Desert Storm, he transitioned to active duty with the US Coast Guard. In 1997 he left the USCG to pursue a position in conservation & maritime law enforcement. Tom is currently a Captain and he oversees several programs, including his agency investigation unit. He is also a training instructor in several areas including firearms, defensive tactics and first aid/CPR. In 2006 Tom received his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Harrisburg Area Community College and in 2010 a Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State University.
Tom Burrell
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