If you were in a bind, would you have the most necessary equipment in your vehicle to survive? Whether you have a car, truck, or even a motorcycle, you’ll have a glove box, or something comparable. Although I highly recommend having a well-equipped vehicle emergency kit, glove box must-haves are next on the list. And, with them being within quick and easy reach, this is one storage space you want to maximize when it comes to survival.
Quality gear, especially gear that is within arm’s reach, can be a force multiplier (a force multiplier is defined as “capability that, when added to and employed by a force, significantly increases the potential of that force and thus enhances the probability of successful mission accomplishment.”) That said, these glove box must-haves are all affordable and easy to attain. Why not equip your own glove box with these items this week?
The following items can easily fit in the glove box of any automobile.
1) Road Atlas/Printed Maps
Smartphones, tablets, and GPS devices are effective and should be carried, along with their chargers and charging cords, but paper maps and atlases should be carried as well. Phone cell networks can go down for any number of reasons, and batteries can die. Why not have an atlas or map of the area you are living in or traveling through handy? If you have kids and/or grandkids, they need to learn how to read paper maps, so having these in the car can double as a handy school lesson as well as an important means to locate routes.
2) Wrist Compass
This tiny item (by Suunto) can be a confidence-builder and a life-saver! While the ability to read and navigate a terrain map is recommended, the addition of a wrist compass like the one pictured can enable a person to at least lead, follow, or embark on an emergency heading. Compass-reading is a skill that is not as simple as one might think. My family and I took a free navigation class at an REI store, and I was surprised at the complexity. It’s not just a matter of “finding north”. Along with a wrist compass like this one, take time for a class as well.
A small headlamp takes up very little space and can be worn while working or walking. Imagine the benefit of having both hands available to work, rather than needing a “flash light holder.” Kids love these and having more than one on hand will provide even more light when needed.
4) Water Purification Straw
A number of portable water filters are available on the market, but the one I recommend the most is the Sawyer Mini Filter. This filter outperforms every other similar product available and is easy on the budget. You can attach this filter to the water pouch provided as well as to any water bottle. Learn all about this filter on this page. Check out these 9 must-haves for your glove box! Click To Tweet
5) Folding Knife and Fire-Starter
Tool-Logic designed this multi-use survival tool that can clip to a belt or fit in a pocket. We also like the Swedish Fire Knife, which, because of it’s bright colors, shows up very well in a dark glove box.
6) Alcohol Swabs
Alcohol swabs can be used to clean cuts and scrapes, of course, and they also make excellent fire-starters. Use the Tool-Logic knife mentioned above to spark an alcohol swab as tinder. This is a small but highly useful glove box must-have.
7) Pepper Spray
Pepper spray is sometimes controversial as a weapon for use in defense against human assailants, though I recommend it. It works great against animals as well, as I have seen it stop a dog from approaching a stroller! If you choose to add a handgun with extra magazines to the mix, that is good as well, but pepper spray provides a non-lethal option for personal protection.
8) Face Mask
This addition may seem odd, but what if you were in an area with wildfires burning or a huge dust storm? There are numerous scenarios in which air becomes difficult and even dangerous to breathe. Something like the Readi-Mask, highly recommended by Survival Mom, could save a life.
9) Ziploc Bag
Lastly, a Ziploc bag can be added to the glove box, as an impromptu means of carrying the other items, or even as a water collection device (for water to be purified with a life straw.)
Bonus items! Blackhawk makes a Stash Pack and a Stash-Away Duffel. Both can be stored as a small bundle about the size of a can of soup, then unpacked in a hurry if necessary. While perhaps a little big to place in the glove box with the other items, these can be hidden in a car then deployed for a quick exit. Some type of carryall bag with straps is a glove box must-have.
Updated on January 30, 2018.