The trunk/trunk bag.
A trunk/truck bag generally sits in the rear corner of your vehicle. Between it and other provisions, consider that it will take up 25% of the space in your trunk, consider also that that 25% of space may be 100% able save your life or get you out of a bind.
This particular Trunkbag rides in the back of my wife's car. As I drive a truck with a different bag and different setup, her bag is set up just to survive until I get there with the heavier straps, radios, and towing ability while still being provisioned well enough for her to not have to wait for me to arrive.
The entire setup looks like this:
- 1 Trunk/Truck Emergency bag. This is what this article is about.
- 1 First-Aid kit: A generic store purchased kit will suffice as long as it has: Hand sanitizer, Antiseptic wipes, Antibiotic ointment, bandages, gauze, tape, ice-pack, Hydrocortisone cream smelling salts, tweezers, eye drops, aspirin, safety pins, scissors, folding knife, insect repellent, and so forth.
- 1 Orange Safety Vest with reflectors: Cars + dark roads = Great idea to have. Wear it.
- 1 Toolset
This set was purchased with her vehicle in mind,
the screws, bolt sizes and patterns were taken into consideration.
Its also just handy to have for times when a tool is need.
Here is the bag itself, purchased from an outdoors shop. It was originally a bootbag for skiboots.
These bootbags were made for walkin...
There are two zippered flaps that open to one single compartment, the inside the compartment has a flap that can be velcro'd to either side allowing you to create two separate compartments.
The inner flap/compartment: One side holds clothing items, such as a blanket and a lightweight but warm jacket, the other side holds the provisions. Who says men can't pack?
The Bag breakdown:
Full load out of the bag.
- Warm gloves – elsewhere in bag.
- Thinner mechanical working gloves – not pictured
- Long underwear and socks– not pictured
- Long sleeved top – not pictured
Spare clothing is simply a must, conditions may develop where you suddenly need them such as a rainstorm, snowstorm, or 'personal emergency'. This portion could be expanded to include a full change of clothing with the seasons borne in mind. Space obviously is an issue with that thought process, but it should not be discounted.
- 2 Microfiber cloths
- 2 Facecloths
- Roll of paper towels
- Baby wipes or other pre-moistened towelettes
Repair or Breakdown
- 1 window repair kit
A few words about the odd duck here, the window repair kit. Ever drive down the highway in the dead of winter, hit a slight bump in the road, have the window come off track and drop into the door, while your toddler sitting next to the window goes, 'Wheeeee!'?
I have. Thankfully we had blankets to cover both the child and the window. Longest/slowest 8 miles at the minimum speed between exits I've ever driven.
- Duct tape. Use it to hold the bumper on, or attach the window repair kit. There are so many uses for duct tape its impossible to list here, or anywhere on the Internet. Its like water a staple of life.
- 1 set of heavy duty jumper cables. Some people skimp on jumper cables. The amount of energy required to turn a car engine over is higher than most people think. A thicker cable will allow you to use most of that charge coming your way. The more money you pay for your cables also means the better materials go into its production and the safety of the cables are taken into consideration such as the style of clamp, wire insulation, and capacity of the cable. You don't need to go out and purchase a $200 diamond flaked, gold spun wire set, but you may want to reconsider that $7.00 set you picked up a few years ago.
- 2 sets (3 per) of road flares. We chose the strike on variety. It is essential to know how to use and place road flares. Flares are used primarily to channel traffic away from the location of your incident/accident, and to advise other drivers of a possible situation or hazard on the roadway. There will be more on this later.
- 1 heavy duty or otherwise durable flashlight. We use Maglight flashlights for a variety of reasons, 1) they store easily inside the paper towel roll, and they help the roll keep its shape, 2) they can be used for defense, 3) they can be used as a spotlight, a floodlight or as a lantern.
- The toolkit from above would be included in this category.
Cargo and Towing
- 1 set (a pair) of ratcheting tie down cables
- 1 5000lb rated tow strap – not pictured
- Bungie cords
- 1 Ziplock bag containing:
- 2 small kitchen size trash bags
- 1 contractor sized trash bag
- 2 Ponchos
- 4 Hand Warmers
- Smaller zip-lock bags
- 1 set of fleece gloves
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More about the proper use of road flares
To determine where to place the first flare use this handy formula. Take the speed limit, multiple that amount by 4 and the sum is the distance in feet that the first flare should be placed away from the scene. When the speed limit is above 50 miles per hour add an additional 100 feet to account for the ability for oncoming traffic to assess, negotiate and slow down from speeds as needed.
Place the flares in a diagonal pattern in order to direct traffic away from you. So the first flare will start at the guardrail/curb that is closest to your vehicle yet furthest from your vehicle/situation. I.E. start them at x feet on the same side as you, and work them outwards. Place each flare after the first flare and further away from the starting point towards traffic. Keep a consistent interval between placements so that by the time traffic is nearing your vehicle that traffic has been directed to the second lane.
As always, exercise extreme caution when near gasoline or oil.
The most important item of all:
*taken from Fundamentals of emergency care By Richard W. O. Beebe, Deborah L. Funk, 2001