How many of you keep ketchup packets in your vehicle’s glove box or center console? No, I mean ON PURPOSE, not the ones you tossed in there because you didn’t have anywhere else to put them as you went through the drive-through, and then you forgot about them. Turns out that’s one of the unusual items for your glove box that some of you keep.
A while back, we asked Survival Mom readers what unusual items you all keep in your car or glove compartment that others might not. Now, if you have a vehicle kit, you may not consider these “unusual.” If you don’t have one, consider assembling one using the guidance in our emergency bag for your car post.
At the end of this article, I’ll share my single most favorite response, but here is a curated list of those responses, in no particular order.
Table of contents
Unusual Items for Your Glove Box or Car
- Cooling towels
- Emergency tool for breaking window/cutting seat belts. (FYI: It’s an urban myth that car headrests were designed for this purpose; they were not. They were intended for head stabilization. However, they CAN be used for this purpose. See the distinction?)
- Emergency blanket
- Life Straw
- A shovel, fruit picker, and tongs for foraging
- A full-size fire extinguisher
- Children’s scissors, if needed for anything (like cutting wildflowers)
- Zip lock bags (for car sickness)
- Bug spray
- Extra charging cords
- Bungee cords
- Quarter for Aldi. (For those of you, like me, who have only heard of the magnificence that is Aldi’s, you “pay” for the cart and need to bring your bags, but you get the quarter back when you return the cart.) Or, do as one reader does, hand it off to someone, and tell them to pass it on to someone else when they’re done.
- Socks and toothbrushes. This reader has a travel hockey player, and someone is always going to a cold ice rink with sandals on. They add that kids never remember to grab their toothbrushes for overnight road trips for games.
- All Flock and scratch for feeding wild birds at the park
- IFAK with water purifying tabs
- Cheap poncho
- Fire kit
- A monkey wrench in the case of carjackers. One swing and they let go.
- Waterproof matches
- Sewing kit
- Bleed stop
- An inflatable kayak. If there is a bridge on your commute route, you might consider one in case it goes down (earthquake, bridge collapse). Consider tossing in the current year’s tidal charts so you’ll know the best time to grab the BOB from work and start paddling home.
- Pipe insulators to protect vehicle roof racks/paint and ratchet straps to strap things on
- A battery starter
- Empty reusable handled bag to carry all the stuff in the vehicle if it must be left
- Rescue scissors
- Toothbrush, toothpaste & floss
- Napkins and straws
- Retractable baton
- 9mm handgun and extra clips
- Salt packets
- Ice Chest with wheel & handle with all kinds of emergency supplies, including food/water/first aid/maps. (This is an excellent example of using a non-traditional container!)
- Travel hair brush
- Bleeding control trauma kit
- A step stool. (I can relate to this reader who is too short to get in tow trucks if one was needed.)
- A car kettle in the car. It’s slim (like a 24 oz bottle), fits into a cup holder, and can be plugged into the car charger to heat water for Mountain House meals, hot chocolate, or whatever might be needed. (Okay, these are just slick!)
- Ketchup packets. Combine them with a bit of water to make tomato soup in a pinch.
- Duct tape
- A can of bear spray
- Flip flops. This reader says, “A friend of mine keeps flip flips of all sizes. She has ten kids who always lose their shoes at friends’ houses. This ensures they can leave on time and hope the shoes will get back to them on time. (Sometimes shoe emergencies FEEL like dire emergencies).”
- Gripping gloves & Playtex gloves
- .38 handgun and permit
- Cat food
- A powerful magnet
- 452 (give-or-take) restaurant takeout menus (Wow!!!)
- Fold-up yoga mat
- Dog toys and a slip lead
- Real silverware, salt, and pepper. Never know when a picnic will break out. (Flash picnic!)
- Salt shaker for street tacos (Amen, to that!)
- Petty cash
- Tic Tacs. (If you didn’t have the toothbrush and toothpaste, these could make a huge difference!)
- Well, a good cheese knife, of course. (But of course.)
- Cat food, in case we suddenly need a can.
- An emesis bag (barf bag)
- Yarn & crochet hook to cope with anxiety as a passenger stuck in traffic
- Shemaghs on our car seats I suggest watching fieldcraft survival to see what it is and how Mike Glover uses it
- Various seed pods
- A bag of plackers, scissors, tape, and some rocks. (Rocks?)
- Washcloth, tablets with bottled water, and gloves
- An AR14 with a bunch of 50-round mags
- Bush knife
- A rolling pin and a machete. Just because.
- Ferro rod
- Lint roller
- Artic canteen with stainless canteen cup
- An army can opener
- Anything I forget in the car. (Yup, I can relate!)
- A sharp knife and an ax. This reader is prepared in case of a car accident with a deer.
- Woobie blanket
- Sillcock key
- Bolt cutters
- Narcan (in the first aid kit)
- On Guard Sanitizing Mist
- A Ka-Bar
- Dry shampoo
- Spare eyeglasses
- A nightstick
- Lawn blanket
- Zip ties
- Wire cutters
- Wasp spray
- Tape measure
- Chocolate (Hallelujah! Amen!)
- Large pocket knife
- Juice box & crackers for diabetics
- Hand/foot warmers
- Dolly Parton and Zydeco CDs (Morale is important!)
- Old ski poles for use as walking sticks
- A complete trauma kit
- Box of kitty litter
- Throwing knives
- Two new 2-gallon gas cans. Our reader states they did this “after Atlanta’s “Snowpocalypse” because if you’re having to shelter in your vehicle, two small gas cans are easy to carry, a balanced load, and together are enough fuel to run your vehicle for a while.”
- A windproof lighter
- A complete seasonally-appropriate change of clothes, including socks, underwear, and shoes
- Wine opener. It has many uses besides opening a bottle.
- A roll of blue mechanics’ paper towels
- Bible tracts
- Stanley Fat Max Utility Bar
- An Atlas. A good set of maps is key. (Here! here!)
Top Two Responses
The second most popular response was a combination seat belt cutter and window breaker.
And the single most common unusual item (yes, ahem, that’s a thing) was TOILET PAPER.
And on that note…
Here’s a Round-up of All the Emergency Toileting Supplies Kept in Vehicles
- Toilet paper X a bazillion
- A trash bucket that doubles as a toilet because they also have a Luggable Loo toilet seat in the van. (Things that can pull double-doody are great! Was that bad? Sorry, not sorry.)
- Depends adult diapers
- #10 can to use as an emergency toilet
- A female “urinal.” Consider adding an empty bottle with a screw lid and maybe some plastic tubing to “connect” the two points.
- An empty bottle for urinating if stuck in traffic
- GoGirl female stand to pee cups
- Dish towels and plastic bags for desperate gotta pee situations
- TP under the seat in a plastic bag
- A portapotty
- Toilet paper, wet wipes, and a bucket
My Single Most Favorite Response
I think we all need a Becky’s Wonder Emporium in our lives, don’t you?
- “My friend Becky has a car we call Becky’s Wonder Emporium because she has the most RANDOM stuff in it. For example, I needed a litter pan. “Oh, I have one in the car!” Super glue? In the car. Belt Sanders? In the car. Batteries? In the car. Coffee maker? Car. Masking/duct/shipping tape? Coffee filters? Yep. I’ve decided it’s like a TARDIS. You can’t change my mind.”
We won’t even try.
Survival Mom readers are creative and inventive, fully capable of prepping for emergencies McGyver-style. I never fail to learn something new from you all.
What’s something unusual you carry in the glove box or car?