> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Reader Question: Vehicle Kit/Get Home Bag



Reader Question: Vehicle Kit/Get Home Bag


I'm writing to ask your opinion on a bag for an combination emergency car kit/get home bag.  I recently found myself at my wife's place of employment with a flat tire in the middle of winter.  Fortunately I was able to take her vehicle and get the proper clothes and tools needed to put on the spare, but it really made made me realize that I don't have adequate supplies for this or any other eventuality that I may encounter with my vehicle.  I've got a list of gear that I need to procure, but I'm a bit stumped on the bag.  I'm looking for something that can keep my gear organized ie. keep the tools away from the clothes away from the food etc., and that I can hoof out of Dodge if I have to.  Any suggestions or insight you have would be very much appreciated.

If I'm storing them in bags, keep tools separated from whatever survival/emergency supplies I keep in vehicles.

Here's my line of thinking: If I need the tools, I don't want to have to dig through emergency stuff to get to them. If I need to ditch the vehicle and walk for help, I'm not going to bring the tools with me.

SO - it makes sense to keep those kits separate.

Trying to combine them into one big doesn't seem to offer much in the way of benefits. Maybe I'm misunderstanding?

I have no special recommendations for tool bags - just something durable that holds what you need it to.

For an emergency/GHB bag, my only recommendation would be a sturdy but economical backpack - probably around day pack in size - maybe something old that you've retired from active use or bought on sale. It's going to get thrashed and worn riding in the back of your vehicle, and so something 'expendable' is wise.


  1. This should be a sticky on all survival blogs. It's a question that can't be answered without a ton more info. It's like choosing a car for someone without knowing how many people are in their family.

    How much gear needs to go in it? how many liters worth? That will determine how big the bag needs to be. Mil Surp gear is cheap compared to the durability and usefulness. The molle II bags and rucks work well and will do as you wish, not sure if you need a bag that big though.

  2. A canvas laundry bag makes a pretty useful vehicle container. Keeps the grime away, looks like dirty laundry (Ewww!) and can fit a lot different items everyday. That is just the vehicle cover, not your pack. What Meister said above makes sense - without knowing what you are going to carry, pack size means a lot of things.

  3. ryan hit it, keep them apart. our car kit is in a cardboard box. wool blanket etc along w/tools, fix a flat, water for radiator and coveralls in case i have to get under the car in my dress clothes. don't forget wire, useful to tie up loose stuff under the car. i call it my bdar kit. then in a bag is the get home kit. not camping, not cooking, not sleeping, but getting home. nothing but water, the means to purify it, quick food, a few tools, and warm clothes to keep us moving toward home.

  4. Original question-asker here: I've since realized my mistake in asking for a "do-all" bag. Like Wolf said - I'm not going to bring (all) the tools with me if I'm getting home and I won't need all my survival gear for changing a tire. This actually greatly simplifies things for me - my tools and "vehicular emergency" equipment can go in a box or crate in the back of the car and my GHB can be much smaller with just the survival gear. Thanks to Wolf, riverrider and Meister for the insight - I'm still fairly new to prepping and I'm making mistakes but I'm trying to learn!

  5. 100% agree with the post. I keep my stuff separate as well. My car (Totyota Rav 4) has a compartment under the trunk where I stash everything--keeps it out sight and out of the way until its needed. I have a small, simple tool bag--it was probably $7 at Walmart but serves me well. I also have a 24 pack of water bottles--I forget its there and never take bottle out of it, its just for emergencies. I swap it out once every year. Water is a must. Then I have a few small bins with survival stuff. One has some food, another has survival type tools (knives, fire starting, flashlights etc). Another one has shelter: emergency tarp, space blanket, poncho, drum liner--that sort of thing. And then another one is filled with cans of Sterno canned heat. I find bins a MUCH better way to organize things than bags. Whenever possible I opt for bins over bags. The obvious problem with bins is you can't haul them off very easily, so I also keep an empty sealline bag in there--shoved in the back of the compartment. Maybe not ideal but if I needed to leave the car on foot (hopefully not going to happen) then I could dump some stuff into there, close it up, and put a rope or a strap through it to make a simple knapsack. Perhaps it'd be be good to include an empty backpack instead or in addition to the sealline. But either way there's no need to fill it up. If you really have to ditch your car and have enough time to grab a bag in your trunk then you probably have time to dump out a bin or two into an empty bag.

  6. The LA Police Gear has a nice little bag for the car. I have one in the wife's car and keep everyday needs items in it, plus some small snack items and water. It's really nice because you can pull it out easily and it's all set up with pockets and dividers for things you need. It's exactly what I like in a small essentials bag. I just leave it in the car all the time and refill it as needed. http://www.lapolicegear.com/tabaoutbag.html

    It has regular use stuff in there too. A first aid kit, lighter, paper and pen, jumper cables, steel wool, wd40, rags, cleaners and wet wipes, deodorizer, ranger bands and gorilla tape, etc. It's just a little do everything kit.

  7. To echo what has been said already a BOB should be essentials for huffing it home. What type of bag is really up to personal preference.

    I like bags, and so I make lots of them with different functions, for instance I have a cold weather bag that I would change into in a winter survival situation before carrying my BOB, I also have a tool kit, a gun kit (wit shooting supplies, and of course a first aid kit. One of the things you might consider is redundancy, I keep a 24hr kit which is a mini BOB, that I leave in my car, because after I had my car broken into and BOB stolen I decided to take it out of my car at night. Of course the risk is I get lazy and complacent and go somewhere without it and then end up needing it.

  8. I use this.


    I also keep a backpack along, just in case I have to carry stuff with me. It has worked out well.