Attitude is the most important survival skill. Objective setting and critical thinking are next. 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.”)
The following items can easily fit in the glove box of any automobile.
1) Road Atlas/Printed Maps
Smart phones, tablets, and GPS devices are effective, and should be carried. Paper maps and atlases should be carried as well, as networks can go down, and batteries can die. Why not have an atlas or map of the area you are living in or traveling through?
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.
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.”
4) Water Purification Straw
A number of “life straws” are available on the market. The one pictured above produced by NDUR, filters 25 gallons, and stores in a pocket.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.
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!
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.
About John Heatherly: John’s love for the wilderness and literature began early in life when his parents introduced him to authors such as C.S. Lewis, Louis L’Amour, and Robert Louis Stevenson. He has studied at Tom Brown Jr.’s TrackerSchool and served in the military as a Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (S.E.R.E.) instructor. John is the author of The Survival Template and The Cave and The Sea, a Novel. He’s also the creator of the MINDPREPS System.
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