When things take a turn for the worse, your car can easily become your best and last hope of survival. If you have to travel in the event of an emergency, your car should be well-stocked with everything you might need on the road. If you love taking off on a long road trip or exploring the great outdoors in your truck, finding your way back to civilization can be a challenge if you don’t have the right gear.

It’s important to be prepared for the worst-case scenario if you plan on taking off on an adventure. You should also have an emergency evacuation plan ready to go if your home suddenly becomes uninhabitable. When your car becomes your home away from home, make sure you have these items on hand, stored in a handy under-the-seat storage bin, to tackle anything that comes your way.

Redfora has an Emergency Supplies Backpack that is easy to store and is great to keep in your car. It includes food, water pouches, medical supplies, hand crank flashlight and an emergency shelter. These items are basic survival gear every prepper should have.

Fire Extinguisher

If you get into an accident or your car starts to overheat, it could easily catch fire. One out of every eight fires responded to by fire departments in the U.S. is a highway fire. Insulation and flammable liquids are usually the first to ignite in the event of an emergency. The fire can quickly spread if you fail to put it out in a timely manner. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand to make sure a small fire doesn’t get out of control.

Knife & Axe

If you live in a rural area, large trees, rocks and other debris can easily block your escape route if there’s a major storm in the area. Use an axe or saw to cut through obstacles that may otherwise be a dead end.

If you get into an accident, you or one of your passengers may be trapped inside the vehicle. Use a cutting tool to cut through the seatbelt so you can escape the vehicle in a timely manner.

You’ll also need a knife or saw to survive in the wilderness if you get stranded in the middle of nowhere. Use a knife to build a fire, cut through trees and make shelter until help arrives.

Emergency Radio

Your smartphone can easily lose a signal when you’re driving off the beaten path. Bring along paper maps of your route and destination to make sure you always know where you’re going.

You may be unable to call your friends, family and the local authorities on your cell during an emergency so bring along a backup radio as well. You may need to use this for help if your car breaks down or someone needs urgent medical assistance.

Shovel and Traction Pads

Driving off-road and exploring the outdoors comes with its fair share of risks. The ground can easily crumble beneath your feet when driving over sand, mud and snow. Bring along a hand shovel to dig your way out of these kinds of situations. Clear away the space behind or in front of your tires so you can reverse or accelerate normally. Watch out for loose patches of sand, dirt, mud and snow that may bog down your tires.

You can also use traction pads when your vehicle gets stuck in the mud. They are made with thick slabs of rubber so your tires can get the traction they need to move forward. Lay them down in front of or behind your tires to get moving again.

Recovery Bands or Winch

If you consider yourself a serious off-roader, you may need more than just traction pads and a hand shovel if you get stuck. Consider bringing along recovery bands or installing a winch on your vehicle so you can grab onto something when you get stuck in the mud. You’ll need to attach the winch or one end of the bands to a stable tree or rock. Use the added pull of the tree to accelerate out of the mud.

Truck Bed Liner or Mat

Beware of the elements when hitting the road for long stretches at a time. Use a truck bed mat or liner to insulate the bottom of your truck bed from rain, mud and snow. The bed of your truck can become a magnet for all kinds of debris when you’re living on the go. All that excess dirt can soil your equipment over time. With a truck bed liner, you can clean off the inside of your truck bed with minimal effort. Just remove the mat when it fills up with dirt, hose it off in the grass and your truck bed will be as good as new. It’s best to stay clean and organized when your only sanctuary is your truck.

Flashlight and Flares

Make sure you can see in the dark when driving for miles on end. If you get a flat in the middle of the night or get lost in the woods, you’ll need to find your way back to civilization. Keep extra batteries on hand as well.

Use flares to alert others to your location if you need assistance; otherwise, it may be impossible for the authorities to find you. It usually takes around 31 hours for search and rescue teams to find those who have gone missing in the wild.

Under Seat Storage

As you can see, going off-road or evacuating in the middle of an emergency requires a decent amount of planning and gear. You can easily run out of storage space as you start filling up your car or truck with all this additional equipment, especially if you need to make room for recreational equipment as well, such as camping gear, bikes, kayaks or skis.

Utilize under seat storage to make the most of what little space you have. You can keep important tools, medical supplies and even food underneath the seat so they stay out of the way until you need them. This will also help you keep the interior organized so you can find what you need in a matter of seconds, instead of sorting through a bunch of different containers and compartments.

Use this gear to make the most of your time on the road–whether it’s for pleasure or your only means of survival.

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