Do you have the survival skills necessary to keep your car running during a crisis?
Even though the vast majority of Americans own a vehicle, a lot of people don’t know how to make even minor repairs to their car.
Under normal circumstances this is okay. After all, you can always visit a mechanic for repairs.
But what about when SHTF?
During a crisis, you’ll have to depend on your own skills to keep your car on the road. Here are just some of the survival skills and supplies car owners need before they even consider bugging out in a vehicle.
Survival Skills for Car Owners
Anyone who owns a car and has a commute is most likely aware of all the pitfalls that come with driving. Sure, owning a car is convenient, but you still have to deal with traffic, detours, inclement weather, fueling up, maintenance, and repairs.
These issues don’t go away during an emergency. In fact, they all tend to get a lot worse.
Which means if you plan on using your car once SHTF, you’ll need to know how to maximize your car’s usefulness.
Overcoming the Lack of a Dedicated Bug Out Vehicle
For many preppers, the ideal situation would be to have a dedicated bug out vehicle that would be your go-to once SHTF.
However, the reality is that most people simply don’t have the means to keep an additional car around “just in case.”
So, it’s safe to assume that many will be using the same car they drive day-to-day as their form of transportation in a crisis.
If this describes your situation, the first question you have to ask is, “Would I trust this car to drive over 2,000 miles?”
If you know for a fact that your car couldn’t make that trip, then it’s a good idea to start making alternative plans. That could involve buying another car, deciding to use another form of transportation, or making plans to bug in instead of bugging out.
Now, if you trust your car to make the trip, it’s important to keep up with routine maintenance and repairs. This includes things like regular oil changes and checking to make sure tires, lights, brakes, etc. are all in good working order.
Another issue to keep in mind is the fact that the car you rely on for day-to-day driving might not be the best vehicle to use during a crisis. No matter its condition.
On top of that, it may not be the case that any car is better than no car at all.
If you drive a flashy sports car or a fancy SUV, this could mark you as a prime target for thieves. Even a tactical vehicle like in the video above could draw unwanted attention to you as you try to make your way to safety.
Basic Repairs All Car Owners Need to Know
When most people think of survival skills, they imagine things like being able to start a fire or hunt for food.
Those skills are certainly important, but you shouldn’t ignore learning how to repair and maintain your vehicle.
No one expects you to go to mechanic school, but there are a few repairs you should be comfortable making to your car.
- Changing oil
- Rotating tires and changing a flat
- Changing spark plugs
- Checking and replacing a car battery
- Replacing the oil and air filter
- Fixing minor links
There are a number of online resources that go over how to make all these repairs. Of course, you can’t count on these tutorials being available in a crisis, so start practicing these survival skills before SHTF.
Survival Essentials to Keep in Your Car
It’s true that every car is different, but there are still some basic tools that cover most common repair jobs.
Here’s a list of the must-have tools to keep in your car:
- Screwdriver set
- Adjustable wrench
- Torque wrench
- Socket and ratchet set
The reason these tools will work is that many car repairs will involve nuts and bolts.
Still, that’s the bare minimum you should have. Other items that could come in handy include jumper cables (or even better – a Pocket Jumper), work gloves, a seat belt cutter, electrical tape, an axe (to remove fallen trees/branches blocking the road), and a shovel.
It’s also a good idea to have spare parts on hand. Luckily, finding spare parts for your car doesn’t have to be expensive.
Dealing with Traffic and Other Drivers
Most highways and streets get congested just from the normal rush hour commute, so you can only imagine the kinds of traffic jams you’ll be dealing with after an emergency.
If at all possible, try to plot out an alternative route to reach your bug out location that avoids major highways and streets. Keep in mind that you may not be able to rely on your phone or any GPS to get you to your destination so try to have it memorized.
If you do wind up in a traffic jam, stay calm, and avoid succumbing to road rage. Other drivers will be stressed-out and irritated, so you’ll have to drive defensively if you want to stay safe.
Remember to use your blinkers (and hazard lights if necessary) and to concentrate on driving safely, not “being first.” It’s one thing if you manage to get on the road ahead of everyone else, but if you’re stuck in traffic it’s up to you to stay (and act) sane even if the rest of the world goes mad.
Think of it like a tortoise vs hare situation. Reckless driving not only increases the chances of getting in an accident, it also puts a strain on your car.
Practicing safe driving, even in an emergency, will extend your car’s life (and possibly yours as well).
To be fully prepared, you should get in some experience driving in a variety of conditions. This includes driving on rough terrain and also high-speed driving (in a safe environment like a racetrack).
If your current car is an automatic, learning how to drive a standard could be an invaluable survival skill. It’s a skill that far too few people have these days which is something you can use to your advantage.
Bonus Tip: Is Your Car Protected from EMPs?
If your car was built after 1984, chances are it has one (or more) computer systems inside that would be susceptible to an EMP attack.
The average person spends around 100 minutes per day driving. This number quickly adds up over time, and it means that there’s a high likelihood that you or a loved one could encounter a crisis situation while driving.
This doesn’t have to be a full-scale SHTF scenario. It could be as simple as suffering a breakdown on the side of the road or getting stuck in a blizzard.
The Guardian Ultimate Auto Survival Kit comes with all the equipment you need to deal with highway hiccups in one convenient survival kit.
Click here or on the image below to learn more.