Every driver needs an emergency kit for the car’s trunk, and smart preppers also keep a Bug Out Bag in their vehicle trunk.
But what about inside your car?
There are dozens of situations where you might not be able to get to the items in your trunk.
Like if you get rear-ended.
Or if it is pitch black outside and you can’t see your way to the trunk.
Or if you find yourself in a situation where every single second counts…
For these reasons, you should have these survival items in your car’s glove compartment.
It is dark, you are on a deserted back road, and your car stalls on you. Don’t go outside without turning on a flashlight first. The last thing you want is to add a sprained ankle to the problem!
I keep two flashlights in my glove compartment. One is a huge, heavy flashlight. (Amazon link) Not only is it super bright, but it can be used in self-defense to blind an attacker by shining the light in his eyes and then bashing him over the head with it.
The other flashlight is a survival headlamp.
Headlamps are fantastic because they give you light while freeing up your hands. Even in non-emergency situations, this is a big help.
My wife assures me that going to the bathroom in the dark with a headlamp is a lot easier than holding a flashlight!
2. First Aid Kit
I’ve got a complete first aid kit in my car’s trunk and a mini version in the glove compartment. The primary item here is heavy sterile gauze in case someone sustains arterial bleeding, which must be controlled immediately.
This is a survival item that a lot of people forget about. In accidents and other emergencies, there is often a lot of glass, debris, and maybe even fire around.
For example, let’s say that you get rear-ended, and all of your survival items are in your trunk. How are you supposed to open your trunk without cutting your hands on all the broken glass?
Opt for heavy-duty work gloves, or get a pair of cut-resistant gloves. (Amazon link)
4. Seatbelt Cutter
I’ve got one of these (Amazon link) on my keychain, but I also have an extra one in my glove box. Not being able to escape a vehicle because of a caught seatbelt is a genuine problem!
5. Window Breaker
Along with the seatbelt cutter, you’ll want a window breaker in your emergency glove box kit (the item above incorporates both).
Don’t think you are so tough that you can smash through a car window with your hand. You might succeed, but slice open an artery in the process!
Read our guide to the best car window breaker tools.
6. Face Mask
Face masks protect you from fumes and airborne contaminants during emergencies. Just think about how many people are still dying from the terrorist attacks of September 11th because they got cancer from breathing in all the toxins in the air.
If I had to rush out of my car quickly and only grab one item, it would be my multi-tool. With the knives, screwdrivers, scissors, and other tools on it, I could significantly increase my chances of surviving any SHTF situation.
However, I will also say that you should always keep your multi-tool in your pocket or keychain and not just in your glove box.
8. Road Map and Compass
Don’t get spoiled by GPS! Navigation systems fail, and you could find yourself very, very lost.
Nothing beats a standard paper road map and compass for navigation – learn how to read a map.
Orienteering is a fun way to practice this, along with these other fun ways to learn survival skills.
9. Pepper Spray
Because of varying state laws about concealed firearms and some issues about keeping a gun in your glove compartment, I’m not going to list “firearm” here (though it is an option).
Instead, pepper spray (Amazon link) is an excellent alternative to guns as a self-defense weapon.
Plus, you don’t always want to kill an attacker.
What good is a raincoat in your trunk if you get all wet while going out to get it?
Wet = Cold = Death
Staying dry is essential, so make sure you’ve got a poncho (read survival poncho reviews) in your glove compartment in addition to the change of clothes and rain jacket you should have in your trunk emergency car kit.
Bonus: Fire Extinguisher Under Your Seat
I’ve never had to use my car’s fire extinguisher, but a friend of mine did save someone from being seriously burnt (possibly to death!) by quickly getting out his fire extinguisher and putting out a fire that had started in her car.
So don’t put your fire extinguisher in your trunk. Keep it under your seat where you can get to it very quickly!
What other survival items do you keep in your car glove box? How do these differ from the ones you keep in your trunk?