Many of us feel about our cars the way cowboys of the wild west probably felt about their horses: these are our loyal steeds, our traveling companions, the entities that allow us to wander from place to place. However, traveling over long distances carries a certain degree of risk, especially if your route takes you through remote or relatively undeveloped country. If you happen to get lost without a GPS, or if your car breaks down while you’re out in the wilderness, the journey could quickly turn from idyllic to dangerous.
If you’re someone who regularly takes long car trips, it’s a good idea to keep certain supplies in your car just in case you get stranded somewhere while driving. Here is a list of four of the most important modern-day survival supplies that will help you stay safe in the event of an emergency.
1. Portable Solar Panels
If you’re in an emergency situation, one of the first things you’ll want to make sure of is that you’re able to keep your phone charged up so help can reach you as soon as possible. Storing portable solar panels in your car will allow you to harness the sun’s energy no matter where you are to power your electronic devices. These panels fold up small and are relatively light, so if you end up needing to hike a few miles to get to the nearest town, you’ll be able to carry them without weighing yourself down.
2. Camping Rations
Modern-day advances in outdoor adventure gear have brought us a whole new level of gourmet camping food. From energy bars meticulously designed to keep you moving to vacuum-sealed pouches that magically heat up when you add room-temperature water, the array of nonperishable rations available today is staggering.
It’s a good idea to choose some of these foods to store in your car at all times. That way, you’ll be able to keep your energy and your spirits up if you get stuck out in the middle of nowhere. Choose lightweight items like backpacker meals and energy bars rather than cans of food; you might end up needing to walk a long distance to find help or shelter, and you’ll want to be able to carry your food with you.
3. Backcountry Water Filter Pump
Running out of water is even more dangerous than running out of food. As a general rule of thumb, humans can only live without water for about three days, and our bodies can stop functioning properly after even one day of dehydration. That said, drinking contaminated water can lead to vomiting and diarrhea, both of which will speed up the dehydration process.
Backcountry water filter pumps are designed with a carbon and ceramic filter that eliminates harmful microorganisms, organic compounds, and particulates from water, allowing you to safely drink from any creek, pond, or even puddle. Keeping a filter pump in your car will dramatically lower your risk of experiencing severe dehydration should you find yourself in an emergency situation.
4. Extra Warm Blanket
Any time you’re driving over long distances, no matter what season it is, it’s a good idea to have extra warm layers stored in your car. Temperatures can fall to dangerous levels overnight even when it’s relatively warm during the day. Long-term exposure to cold can be extremely dangerous for your brain, so you want to make sure you have a warm blanket or cold-weather sleeping bag on hand in case you get stranded overnight out in the wilderness.
Stay Safe While Adventuring
When it comes to spending long stretches of time in your car, it’s smart to be prepared for as many potential outcomes as possible. Take advantage of your vehicle’s storage capacity to safeguard against the hazards of being stranded in a remote area while driving. Craft yourself a modern-day survival kit, starting with these four emergency essentials to keep in your car.