Always prepped and ready: 100+ Useful items for your car’s glove compartment
By Zoey Sky // Oct 04, 2022

You can use your car as extra storage space for useful prepping items. One way to do this is by keeping unusual but useful tools and items in your glove compartment like a can of bear spray or a shemagh.

Below is a list of assorted survival items that you may want to keep in your glove compartment for small emergencies while on the road or while bugging out after SHTF. (h/t to

Note that you don't need all the items in the lists below so just choose which ones are useful for your various prepping needs.

Survival tools

These items may prove useful when SHTF and you have to bug out for your safety.

  • .38 handgun and permit to carry
  • 9mm handgun and extra clips
  • An AR14 with 50-round mags
  • An atlas for navigation
  • Axe
  • Baton/cudgel for self-defense
  • Bolt cutters for a quick escape
  • A bush knife, which you can use for food prep or self-defense
  • A can of bear spray
  • Cheap poncho for rainy days or as a makeshift shelter
  • Crowbar for prying doors open after SHTF
  • Cooling towels
  • Duct tape
  • Emergency tool for breaking windows or cutting seat belts if you get in a car accident
  • Emergency blanket
  • Ferro rod for firestarting
  • Firestarting kit
  • A full-size fire extinguisher
  • An inflatable kayak may seem unusual, but you may need one if you often pass by a bridge on your commute to work. This item will prove useful in case the bridge goes down because of an earthquake or bridge collapse. You can also add the current year's tidal charts so you'll know the best time to get your get-home bag and head back home.
  • A survival knife
  • Large pocket knife
  • Life Straw
  • A powerful magnet
  • Rescue scissors
  • Retractable baton
  • A sharp knife
  • Sillcock key for faucets, valves and spigots
  • A small shovel, compact fruit picker and tongs for foraging (Related: 5 Survival essentials for your bug-out vehicle.)
  • Taser
  • Throwing knives
  • Two new two-gallon gas cans. If you have to shelter in your vehicle, two small gas cans are easy to carry and a balanced load. Two cans of gas should also be enough fuel to run your vehicle for a while.
  • Waterproof matches
  • A windproof lighter
  • Whistle
  • Wire cutters
  • Zip ties

First aid and medications

  • Bleeding control trauma kit
  • BleedStop blood coagulant
  • A complete trauma kit
  • An emesis bag/barf bag
  • Hand sanitizer
  • IFAK with water purifying tabs
  • Medications
  • Opioid overdose kit
  • Tourniquet

Food and utensils

  • Army can opener/P-38 can opener
  • Canteen with stainless canteen cup
  • A car kettle for your car, which is a slim device (like a 24 oz. bottle) that fits into a cup holder. You can plug it into the car charger to heat water for ready-to-eat meals, hot chocolate or whatever food and beverage that require hot water.
  • Cat food, if you're traveling with a pet cat
  • Cheese knife
  • Chocolate
  • Chopsticks
  • Dog food, if you're traveling with a pet dog
  • Juice box and crackers for family members with diabetes
  • Ketchup packets, which can be combined with hot water to make tomato soup if you run out of food
  • Napkins and straws
  • Salt packets
  • Salt shaker
  • Ice chest with wheels and handle with all kinds of emergency supplies, like food and water along with a first aid kit and maps. An ice chest is great if you need a non-traditional container.
  • Real silverware, salt and pepper
  • Seeds and bread crumbs for feeding wild birds at a park
  • Tic Tacs, especially if you need to freshen up but don't have a toothbrush and toothpaste

Clothing and personal items

  • Bandana, which can be used as a sling, washcloth or towel when SHTF.
  • Bible for personal reflection
  • Bible tracts
  • CDs of your favorite songs to listen to while driving
  • A complete seasonally-appropriate change of clothes like socks, underwear and shoes
  • Dry shampoo
  • Flip flops, which will be useful if you have small kids that always lose their shoes at friends' houses.
  • Hand/foot warmers
  • Lint roller
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste and floss
  • Playing cards to entertain the kids while bugging out
  • Sewing kit
  • Shemagh/cotton square scarf
  • Socks
  • Spare eyeglasses
  • Travel hair brush
  • Washcloth, water purification tablet, bottled water and gloves
  • Yarn and crochet hook to help nervous family members cope with anxiety if you are stuck in traffic when SHTF

Assorted tools

  • A battery starter
  • A machete
  • A monkey wrench for repairs. It can also be used for self-defense if you are attacked by carjackers.
  • Pipe insulators to protect vehicle roof racks and paint and ratchet straps to strap things on

Random useful items

  • Box of kitty litter, especially if you are bugging out and using a camping or composting toilet
  • Bug spray
  • Children's scissors for cutting wildflowers
  • Dog toys and a leash
  • Empty reusable tote bag to carry all the stuff in the vehicle if you need to leave it behind
  • Extra charging cables
  • Fold-up yoga mat
  • Fruit and vegetable seed pods
  • Gripping gloves and cleaning gloves
  • Old ski poles for use as walking sticks
  • Permanent marker
  • Petty cash
  • Picnic blanket
  • Quarters for small purchases or vending machines
  • A roll of blue mechanics' paper towels
  • Scissors and tape
  • A step stool, especially if you are rather short and need a boost for getting into tow trucks
  • Sunscreen
  • Tape measure
  • Wasp spray
  • Wine opener
  • Zip lock bags for car sickness

Don't clutter your car with trash. Before SHTF, keep useful things like a bandana or extra charging cables in your glove compartment to utilize the space in your car.

Visit for more articles about unusual but useful prepping and survival tools.

Watch the video below about 10 useful items for your bug-out bag.

This video is from the Prepping101 channel on

More related stories:

Prepping skills: Save money by learning how to scavenge and repurpose.

12 Things you need to survive a power grid collapse.

JD Rucker: 22 Non-essential items to stockpile before SHTF.

5 Must-haves for your bug-out vehicle.

Sources include:

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