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You're on the road and there's an emergency. The car breaks down. Or you happen upon an accident ahead. Or you're involved in a collision and now are trapped in your vehicle. Getting out ahead of these kinds of events requires smart planning. True, you can never anticipate every situation, but it is possible to be a prepper who’s ready for the most frequently encountered highway threats to survival. How? By keeping in your car a combat medic bag stocked with essential supplies and versatile, multipurpose gear.

In this blog post:


In a previous post, we talked about the everyday combat medic carry bag for the car. Or, to be more correct, perhaps we should refer to it as the “everyday drive bag.” Take that, semantics nazis.

You can read more about the EDC car bag aid kit here.

However, in this newest post, we’re going to expand the list of medical equipment essentials so that you can be better equipped with more versatile gear—thus, better prepared for an emergency out on the road with a car survival kit in a roadside emergency.

For example, if you’re working in an austere environment or a hostile one and, by some weird chance, have to bail out of your vehicle, you might not be able to grab everything you need as you dash for cover or safety. So, you have to be prepared for that possibility, which means the gear you were able to grab should be versatile enough to compensate for the gear you were forced to leave behind (or, that maybe you didn’t think to bring when you left home).

As well, since you could easily find yourself in any number of situations, your gear should be versatile enough to let you work in multiple scenarios.

But before you get to the point where it’s necessary to abandon your vehicle, you should have aboard the gear to fix it in the event of a breakdown in the middle of nowhere. The car provides you with mobility (until it doesn’t), but it also affords you shelter and protection if you or your family members become stranded. So, ditching your car after it dies should be your last resort. And that’s where the car-prepping version of the combat medic bag comes into play.

What gear do I keep in my car?

Here is my full list of essential gear to keep inside your car emergency kit for highway emergencies:

  • Engine oil
  • Water (for the radiator)
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Empty gas can (don’t drive around with a full or even partially full can of gas due to the risk it creates for explosion and fire)
  • Tyre patch kit (to seal punctures)
  • Air compressor (to re-inflate a leaking or punctured tyre)
  • Spare tyre (in case the puncture is too big to patch or the original tyre is shredded to bits)
  • Jack and tyre iron (for changing a tyre on the fly)
  • Jumper cables
  • Tow straps and hook
  • Small tool kit and multi tool
  • Smaller straps (useful for securing gear inside your car)
  • Rope
  • Duct tape
  • Flares (in case of fog, rain, a fire starter or because you are a man want to light a flare once in a while)

In a jam, these items are great to have. They eliminate the need to leave your car by the side of the road in case the engine runs dangerously low on oil or it’s overheating due to lack of water in the radiator.

So, that was my basic list of essentials. I always keep them in my vehicle, where they’re joined by other prepper essentials (bug out bag), such as guns, ammo, food, drinking water, emergency blanket and a trauma bag.

Next up is the doomsday preppers’ survival bag. This is a kit especially well-suited for worst-case scenarios. If you inadvertently forget to pack some of these items, you may be able to find them on the scene with a bit of scrounging around. And, if you remember to bring them but discover there’s no more room in your bag, it’s possible the excess can go in a travel companion’s bag.

Here’s the doomsday preppers’ survival list:

  • Shovel (has to be small; great if in a multitool combined with a saw and/or knife)
  • Knife (this is an item you should always be carrying in your pocket anyway) 
  • Machete (great for chopping branches into firewood or clearing a pathway through dense vegetation)
  • Large trash bags (usable for collecting condensation if you run out of drinking water, for making crude, waterproof socks if you have to walk through wet areas, and for lots more)
  • Condoms (for protection, carrying water, covering wounds, or even as fuel for a fire)
  • Tampons (for starting or kindling a fire and for a makeshift water filtration device)
  • Water-purification tablets
  • Steel wool and 9-volt battery (easy way to start a fire if you’re without matches)
  • Torch
  • Compass
  • Mirror (to catch the sun’s rays and use them as a signal for help—or, alternatively, so you can look at your sad face after realizing you’re hopelessly lost) 
  • Climbing rope (a length of 15 meters should be adequate)
  • Regular rope (for fashioning a makeshift harness; a 3-meter length should be enough)
  • Carabines (at least a couple)
  • Masking cape (for masking, but useful, too, for creating a makeshift fishing net)
  • Hand sanitizer (in case of a virus outbreak)

Combat medic gear to keep in your car.


You may have noticed that I don't keep a lot of dedicated equipment in my car. Much of it is gear that can serve multiple purposes and be utilized, if need be, as a potential makeshift solution for unanticipated situations. The reason for this is I want to minimize the weight that has to be carried around.

There are, of course, a range of other items you include in your combat medic bag for car prepping, but none of those probably are vital to your survival. One example would be a good quality tarp. You can use it in a pinch to make a roof over your head in the event you’re not able to successfully shelter inside your car.

Another nicety would be a write-in-the-rain pen-and-notepad set if you feel like journaling some happy thoughts in the middle of a downpour. 

One more: a yoga mat or an air mattress to lay between the hard ground and your sleeping bag. You’ll float off to dreamland more comfortably, but those items are nonessential.

Carry only the essentials and make sure you know how to use them.

The important thing to remember is that knowledge is power, which is why the biggest return on investment you can get when it comes to your preppers’ combat medic bag for cars is to make sure you are thoroughly educated about this topic.

Because, if you prepare with your mind, your body will follow.

Combat Medic Luka Zorenc

About the author:

Luka Zorenc

Born and raised in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Former veterinarian technician now a medic in Special operations forces. A lifelong student, trying to help people and have fun in the process.

Follow him on Instagram

Published: 12-11-2020 // Tags: Blog // #tactical-gear