Saturday, November 10, 2012

DIY Car Emergency Kit

I have been so busy with all my prepping for being an outdoor survivalist that I've let some things fall to the side...for example this project has been sitting on my desk since I got into the whole survivalist thing (read about that here!). I first saw this idea on Pinterest and then I found Martha Stewart's Martha Stewart's Car Trunk Organizer. There were a lot of great notes in the comments so I just started slowly building my list. I was having a really dificult time finding an actual blog post about the contents of the box instead of decorating the box itself....which was really starting to aggrivate me until today when I decided to give Pinterest one last shot (click the link to view my search results).

After Autry & I bought our first car I knew I needed to make us one of these boxes because half the time I didn't bring my purse with me and I was always needing something...and well, he's a guy so he wouldn't have something like, let's say: nail clippers. Out of desperation I finally told him I really needed to go to the store and pick up some things to finish up this project so I could put it in his car.

This box was made for two people in their 20's so as you are preparing your own list for you and your family with two small kids, keep in mind you'll want to add a few extra things like baby wipes or diapers, change of clothes, you know what your kids need. :)

Here are the items we included in our Car Emergency Box. Take what you need, and leave what you don't! Feel free to leave comments with your ideas of what you've added to your boxes since I'm always looking for something I may have missed!

Each item is in order of how they are numbered on the photo just above!

#1: A 6 Qt./5.7 L Sterilite box with lid. This is to store most everything in and is small enough to fit under most car seats!

#2: Two WalMart bags, or bags from other stores. These are great for gathering up trash and/or throwing wet or dirty clothes in. I folded mine in half and rolled them up so they would take up less space. There is a way to fold them somehow, but I have yet to learn that trick!

#3: A medical kit. I like to keep everything I'll need stored in one bag so that it's all in one place and I don't have to worry about losing it. Not only do I keep extra medical supplies, but I also keep my emergency medication in case I didn't bring enough or I have a panic attack and need something that I don't have. Items to include: 1 qt. size ziploc bag, gauze pads, medical tape, rubber gloves, band aids, floss, epi pen (I have many allergies), regular allergy pills, ace bandage wrap, Ibuprofen/tylenol, cough drops, extra medication, cotton balls/q-tips, and neosporin. If you're certified for CPR you should include a mouth to mouth device.

#4: Extra eye glasses cleaner. I don't know about you, but I ALWAYS forget this stuff when I need it most! You should probably include an extra cloth too.

#5: A mini tub of vaseline. You can find these at WalMart. Chances are you probably won't need a lot anyway.

#6 An Emergency Blanket. This blanket is especially nice to have if you are by yourself and might get stranded in really cold weather. It reflects about 90% of your body heat back to you so you will stay warmer for longer. I would say one per person.

#7: Small package of kleenex. I actually packed two because I sneeze A LOT! No joke. I would put a whole box in the car, but it would probably get dirt in it and that would make me sneeze even this will work for now.

#8: Feminine Products. Girls, you know what you use. Pack about three each be it tampon or pad. You never know when you will be in need of these life savers!

#9: A spare washcloth. Multiple purposes which I won't go into...

#10: A blanket, or three depending on how many people you have in your car. Blankets are nice if you get stranded, or if you plan on taking a nap during your work break...although that's probably not the safest of ideas now that I think of it! Oh yes, and this won't be fitting in this little box so you may want to store it in a trash bag under your car seat so it won't get dirty. Just a thought!

#11: A gallon size ziploc bag. In case anyone has car sickness and you don't have time to pull over anywhere...

#12: Spare napkins. A must if you plan to eat meals in your car!

#13: Extra hair things. You know what you use for your hair, but for me personally I included a large clip, 2 hair elastics, 3 large bobby pins, and 5 small bobby pins. I am forever losing these and it's always nice to have extra! Oh! I stored these in a small crafting ziploc bag so that they would be easy to find in the box!

#14: Solid perfume. Not really a true emergency item, but I hate it when I get in the car and realize I've forgotten to spray on some least a solid will give me some smell other than myself! I wouldn't suggest a travel size of your regular scent since it would be in liquid form and if it spilled...yeah, that'd be a mess!

#15: Breath mints. I choose mints over gum because, especially in summer, gum usually doesn't do very well in the car and is just gross. At least this way you still get the minty flavor in your mouth!

#16: Snacks. I just had fruit snacks available, but you can keep any kind of prepackaged snack in your little kit that you want! I personally would like to get some granola bars to add to our box. Nuts, dried fruit, trail mix, and dry cereal are good and fairly/mostly healthy choices for kids & adults too!

#17: Travel size hairspray. I'm Pentecostal and let me tell you, we cannot go without our hairspray!!! (Well, I could, but I'd still like to have it just in case!)

#18: Hand lotion! I am always in need of hand lotion. And in case you didn't know I love MaryKay's Satin Hands Peach! :)

#19: A small notebook and a pencil or two. I always think of things I need to remember when I'm in the car and that's really why I'm adding this, but I've seen other's include it for writing down grocery lists or important numbers, etc.

#20: A small LED flashlight. If you have car trouble at night you really aren't going to be able to figure out what's going on in the dark now are you?

#21: Carmex or another chap stick. I personally like carmex...although if I had vaseline I'd use that before Carmex, but other people...aka my sisters who often ride with us...would rather not use vaseline, so I'm bringing this for them!

#22: Baking Soda. Small car fire??? No problem!

#23: A multi-use tool. For it's...multi uses...of course!

#24: Hand sanitizer. I keep a small bottle in the box itself and then a bottle in each door (there are two on our car) of our car. This way it is very easy to get to each time we get in the car after being somewhere and we can use it easily without touching anything else! ~Something I learned from my mom!

#25: The Beauty Kit: nail clippers, mini nail buffer, and tweezers. I kept these in a small crafting ziploc as well.

#26: Duct tape. Always good to have no matter where you are! I actually have a tutorial here where you can wrap the DT around a piece of cardboard to save room no matter what container you choose to use!

Well that's all I've come up with so far! If this kit is anything like my BOB (see this post to learn more) then I'll always be finding something else to add to it! I would eventually like to add some bungee cords and jumper cables, but those won't be in the kit they will be in the car in general.

Other Items To Consider:
I didn't want to include hand sanitizing wipes because I've found that once you open them they dry out rather quickly. Some other items to consider:
~toilet paper.
~ice scraper.
~bottled water.
~baby wipes
~change of clothes.
~comfy shoes/tennis shoes.

Thoughts on Packing for a Road Trip:
~Trash bags. To keep all the trash in one location, making it easier to throw away once you stop.
~Individual kits for each person so that they all have everything. Some may need more of one thing than another. This also helps avoid the problem of running out.
~Individual snack bags for children especially since this really helps distract them a lot!

Featured Post!

This post was featured on the Adorned From Above Blog Hop #61.
July 23, 2013.

This Post Was Shared


  1. This is an awesome list! Thanks for doing the homework for me. I'm going to start getting my car emergency kit together now.....

    1. You're very welcome! It took me a good bit to figure out what was in everyone's boxes just from looking at pics. Some of it is just common sense, and some of it is basic needs items!

      Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

  2. Thank you for sharing all of these. That's what I do as well, I pack things that we need or we might need or in case of emergency. Something that my husband always asks me before leaving and hoping in the car is "do you have a pair of comfortable shoes with you?". Just in case something happens and the vehicle stops and we have to walk to a town nearby or somewhere to get help, then I have a pair of comfy shoes to wear. Water as well is good and blankets. Especially this cold weather. Gotta have them. :) And I always bring empty cans of formula because my son has motion sickness (that reminds me to buy some medicine) and he throws up so at least it will be contained and not all over the place. Oh dear! Sure was not a pleasant site when that happened before.

    1. Poor thing!! Yes I would be bringing lots of extra cans if I were you lol. I've worked on this list for awhile now...I just had to give up on it ever being 'done' and just post it because there are just too many things I kept coming up with to keep adding to the box. I have a good bit of basics down. Autry wants to put actual car repair things in the car, that will be a whole new project I'm sure!


  3. Thanks for the list Helen. Very helpful at any time.

  4. I think everyone should have one of these in their car. What a great Christmas gift. You also mention several things I wouldn't have thought of! I appreciate you sharing this on "I Gotta Try That Monday"

    1. Oh I love that idea!! Thank you! I worked really hard on this project...I'm actually getting ready to edit this and add bottled water to the list of things to consider.


  5. How handy. I've been meaning to get around to doing something like this! As it is, my car emergency kit has an old cardboard box with some extra car oil, a funnel, a roll of paper towels, some jumper cables, anti-freeze, and a jug of water (I took mechanics in high school ;), but nothing survivalist.

    Thanks for sharing on WNWNW :)

    1. I actually still need to add those things to our car...that will be a whole seperate post when I get around to doing that! :) Thanks for sharing what you have! That will be helpful when I do put the other part of our car emergency kit together!!


  6. Hi there! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would be ok. I'm absolutely enjoying your blog
    and look forward to new posts.
    Here is my page ; emergecny preparedness

  7. I've also made a car kit, out of an empty wipe container.I made one as well for traveling for hotel uses.

  8. Oh man I so need to do this. I keep saying I am going to put together a kit for the car and I never do. Thanks for the much needed reminder, and a great list of items to put together. And thanks for sharing on We Made that!

  9. I found you on the blog hop and what caught my eye in the picture was the hair clip thing! Definitely an emergency kit necessity! A friend of mine bought me a mini leatherman a long, long time ago and I keep it in my car. It has little fold out scissors, which I use the most but also little knives, a screw driver, a 6 inch ruler, etc.

  10. Hey Helen,
    We are also featuring this post at this weeks party Wednesday's Adorned From Above Party tonight. What a great idea. Have a great week.
    Debi and Charly

  11. Helen, this is great! Very thorough also. So glad I visited today. Your friend, Linda


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