car edc items

73 EDC Items to Keep in Your Car

The term EDC or everyday carry, refers to the items and survival gear that you carry with you on a daily basis. Experts recommend you select essential items that are discreet and lightweight enough to be carried at all times. Normally this means using your pockets, or wearing items around your neck, on your belt, etc. But it just isn’t practical to carry every single thing you might need in a survival situation. The desire to be prepared for a wide variety of emergencies is why many people supplement EDC kits with a get home bag (GHB) and a car BOB.

But EDC takes on a whole new meaning if you are someone who spends a lot of time in your car while traveling from place to place. Sure, you’ll have some items that you carry with you every day just like every other prepper. But as a professional driver using your vehicle for expanded storage of EDC items increases the odds that you are prepared at any given time.

In all likelihood, if you’re a professional or commercial driver, when SHTF you may be hundreds of miles from home. This puts you at a distinct disadvantage compared to others who are closer to home or work when something happens. It means you will have much farther to travel in order to get home to your family if that’s part of your plan. You will need more supplies.

Along with the increased odds that you will be farther away from home when SHTF, you also have a lot more interactions with a variety of unfamiliar people on a daily basis. This puts you at a greater risk for carjackings or other crimes where you need to defend yourself. Many commercial drivers must deal with people who are angry, rude, intoxicated, ill, and even violent. If you’re in your vehicle for most of the day or travel frequently, you’re also at an increased risk of being involved in or witnessing a car accident or other roadside emergencies.

Below is a list of the EDC items that most people consider essential for survival when things go awry on any given day. Of course, whether you can carry a gun or a knife will depend on the area you live in and what the laws are for your area and for the areas you will be traveling through on any given trip. Make sure you thoroughly investigate laws in the states you will be traveling to and from no matter what kind of vehicle you drive.

Critical Items

  1. Keyring and keys
  2. Cell phone and a car charger
  3. Wallet/Purse
  4. ID and Badge
  5. Insurance Card

EDC Items to Keep in Your Car

If you do find yourself stranded on the side of the road for several hours or even overnight, you will want to have some or all of these survival items on hand:

  1. Mini multi-tool
  2. Pocket knife
  3. Flashlight
  4. Notepad and Pen
  5. Handgun
  6. Multi-tool
  7. Paracord
  8. Lighter
  9. Band-Aids
  10. Magnesium Fire Stick
  11. Neosporin
  12. Bottled water
  13. LifeStraw
  14. Maps of the area in case GPS stops working
  15. First aid kit
  16. Emergency Blanket
  17. Two-Way Radio or CB Radio
  18. Fishing Kit & Collapsible Pole

emergency car kit

 Comfort and Convenience Items

The glove compartment or center console is a good place to store comfort and convenience items including:

  1. Car sickness bags
  2. hand cream
  3. Chapstick
  4. Napkins
  5. Hand sanitizer
  6. Gum or candy
  7. Dried fruit and jerky
  8. Extra blankets

EDC Items for Repairs

Consider using part of the far back of the trunk space or another out of the way area for a duffel bag or other container to store items such as:

  1. Road flares
  2. Spare fuses, brake light and turn signal bulbs
  3. Extra engine oil and brake fluid
  4. Duct Tape or electrical tape
  5. Spare Engine coolant
  6. Tire iron and jack
  7. Power steering fluid
  8. Work gloves
  9. Brake Adjustment Tools
  10. Rachet Straps
  11. Channel Locks and Vise Grips
  12. 15 feet or more of tow chain and/or 30 foot 20,000 pound tow strap
  13. WD-40 or other lubricant
  14. Tire repair kit
  15. Gasoline siphon and funnel
  16. Ice/Snow Scraper
  17. Come Along
  18. Spare gasoline Can
  19. Jumper Cables

Clothing Items

In a SHTF or other emergency, a change of clothing that is warmer and/or more durable if you break down or are stranded or have to strike out on foot for some reason.

  1. Change of clothes (seasonally appropriate)
  2. Sturdy shoes
  3. Wool socks
  4. Winter hat
  5. Winter gloves
  6. Thermal underwear if you regularly travel in cold weather
  7. Sunglasses or prescription glasses if applicable
  8. Raincoat or poncho
  9. Hand and Foot warmers
  10. Coveralls

EDC items to help get yourself or other victims out of a crashed vehicle including:

  1. seat belt cutter
  2. glass breaker or center punch for breaking windows
  3. pry bar
  4. small fire extinguisher.

Chauffers, Taxi, and Uber Drivers

If you make your living transporting other people to their destinations then you must be prepared without making yourself a target. Consider carrying more items from the customer convenience and comfort category even during normal times in the event of major delays due to traffic or weather. In addition, your own personal security and that of your riders will be of more importance. Make sure you know what company policy and state laws dictate about the types of self-defense weapons you can legally carry in your vehicle.

Semi-Truck Drivers

As a semi-truck driver, especially over the road, you will spend much of your time miles or hundreds of miles from home. You’ll be more likely to be stranded on the side of the road due to a traffic jam or severe weather, sometimes overnight. Most semi-truck cabs are equipped today with sleeping quarters if you have to pull over and as long as you have fuel you should be warm. Semi-truck drivers who are over the road may want to have a fully equipped BOB in the event SHTF while you are on the road.

Security and self-defense can definitely be an issue but make sure you are aware of your company policy regarding concealed carry. If you own your rig then you need to fully understand the proper CCW permits for any areas that you may travel through on your route. In some cases, if you are caught with a handgun in a commercial vehicle, you can go to prison for five years. Many weight stations are now equipped with X-ray machines which can detect hidden guns.

Bus Drivers

The EDC items to keep in your vehicle if you drive a bus for a living will be customized differently if you are a school bus driver, a city bus driver, or a charter/tour bus driver. Professional bus drivers who transport children or families will need to be more prepared to provide for the safety of passengers. Considering the increase in security issues aboard buses, you will want to know what your company policy is regarding self-defense weapons you can carry.

If your bus full of passengers becomes stranded in a traffic jam or severe weather, you’ll want to be prepared to keep them safe and content in order to prevent tempers and panic from getting out of control. The items in the comfort and convenience category will help people remain calm. It might benefit you to also carry extra bottled water, snacks, and even a portable toilet if your bus doesn’t have one built in.

Construction Industry Drivers

As a construction industry driver you may be more likely to be on scene when someone experiences a traumatic injury such as a severe laceration, broken bones or concussion from a fall, or even a crushed injury to an extremity. You may be parked on the side of the road when a co-worker is hit by a passing car. Having supplies on hand to temporarily treat yourself or someone else medically until help arrives if it’s available, can save lives.

Pay special attention to the comfort and convenience and clothing categories so that you can be prepared to prevent or treat dehydration and hypothermia both of which can be   real threats for those who work in the construction industry.

EMT/Paramedics

Obviously when it comes to medical supplies for survival, EMTs, and paramedics have a variety of supplies that must be stocked so they can tend to patients while enroute to a hospital. But think about what additional supplies you would need if you were first on the scene because you drove past an accident scene on your way back from a hospital run or if your ambulance was hijacked or broke down during a SHTF situation.

You could need to defend yourself  or make a minor repair so you can get back on the road quickly. Having additional supplies might even mean you can get someone free of a car in time to save their life if their car is underwater or on fire.

Delivery Drivers

This category of drivers includes a wide variety of people who must drive to deliver or pick up items. Delivery drivers can include pizza or take-out delivery people, postal workers, UPS, and Fed-Ex drivers as well as moving truck and furniture delivery drivers. For the most part, these drivers are in their own vehicle or a company vehicle and have multiple stops in a particular area.

If you own your car, obviously you can carry more EDC items than someone who shares a company car. But every delivery driver should be prepared with extra pens, maps of the area for when the GPS isn’t working, weatherproof shoes or boots, a raincoat with a hood or a waterproof poncho.

Because you must travel to the houses of people who are unfamiliar to you, self-defense becomes a priority for delivery drivers too. We’ve all heard stories of postal and UPS drivers being attacked by a dog. Always check your company policy before deciding what weapons to carry for self-defense. In  most cases you should be okay with discreet self-defense weapons like a sap cap for example. No one knows it’s weighted unless you have to use it.

Sales Reps

If you spend time in your car because your occupation requires you to travel to different areas to sell products and represent your company, you may dress more formally most of the time. Women especially may be required to wear a suit or dress which can   restrict movement in the event of an emergency. As a sales rep you may want to pay more attention to items from the clothing category to ensure you are prepared to stay warm.

On top of the supplies listed above, sales reps need items during “normal” days that other people may not. Just in case you need to modify or throw together a presentation, and close that sale, keep a stock of extra office supplies in a container in your trunk such as:

  1. extra computer paper
  2. Glue or scotch tape
  3. Scissors
  4. extra company pamphlets
  5. foam core panels for presentations
  6. Markers
  7. Velcro
  8. Flash drive with company letterhead saved on it
  9. Spare laptop battery or wall charger

If you’re someone who travels frequently for work, consider using your vehicle to carry additional survival supplies. Even without a SHTF event, there are times when we could help ourselves or others if only we had the right tools and equipment on hand when something unexpected happens. Did we miss any items for your car, you think should be included? Let us know in the comments below.

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About Megan Stewart

Born and raised in NE Ohio, with early memories that include grandpa teaching her to bait a hook and watching her mom, aunts, and grandmothers garden, sew, and can food, Megan is a true farm girl at heart.
For Megan, the 2003 blackout, the events of 911, and the increasing frequency of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, spurred a desire to be more prepared for whatever may come along. Soon to be living off-grid, this mother of four and grandmother of six grandsons, is learning everything she can about preparedness, basic survival, and self-sufficient homesteading. She is passionate about sharing that knowledge so that others can be increasingly prepared to protect their families.

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