Vehicle EDC and recovery gear are vast subjects. It is dependent on the capabilities of the vehicle as well as the environment that it will be operating in. There are some commonalities that we can address to increase our chances of getting home safely. We need to consider how to handle minor inconveniences and major mishaps. Let’s look at vehicle EDC and recovery gear.
Start with the basics. Tires, batteries, and fuel are the most common issues we face on the road.
Vehicle EDC And Recovery Gear Essentials
Every car should have a spare tire, jack, and tire iron to change it. Make sure the tire is properly inflated. A tire repair kit can save the day, allowing you to plug a leak. This is especially useful if you face more than one flat tire. If we have to repair a tire, we’ll need to reinflate it, and that’s where an air compressor comes in. Some rigs have onboard air, which is excellent, but there are suitable air compressors that hook to your battery that can get the job done. These are important if you need to air down for traction purposes, like driving on the beach, and will need to air up again once you hit the pavement.
Batteries are another common point of failure. Invest in a high-quality set of jumper cables. Get a sturdy set with a good length that won’t break when you need them. They’ll be bouncing around in your trunk for a long time. Include a wire brush in your tool kit. Battery terminals can corrode, and sometimes just brushing them off can reestablish the connection and start the car. Jumper boxes will allow you to jumpstart a car without a donor vehicle present. These can be a lifesaver in the backcountry.
EXTRA FUEL STORAGE
Fuel is always a potential issue. Let’s start looking for a place to fill up anytime we get below half a tank. It’s a good idea to carry additional fuel. Rotopax makes great fuel cans with quality mounting options often found on Overlanding vehicles. It’s a good idea to have a dedicated fuel can onboard.
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RECOVERY KITS AND BASIC TOOL KITS
Next, we need an emergency tool kit. It needs to contain a mechanic’s complement of wrenches, sockets, pliers, rachets, and a suitable mallet for busting things loose. It should have a variety of lubricants, fluids, and replacement fuses. Include some quality duct tape and WD-40 to round things out.
Recovery kits are imperative if you’re off-roading. Quality snatch straps, snatch blocks, tow straps, shackles, and the know-how to use them safely are a good start. A winch is excellent if you have the vehicle for it. One of my favorite recovery items is traction boards. Maxtrax is the name brand, but many off-road companies like ARB have quality offerings. Traction boards are quick and easy ways to recover a stuck vehicle. Toss them under the wheels, and you can drive out with little to no effort. They’re great tools; you don’t need an entire Camel trophy race team to use them. Toss in a shovel and a high-quality pair of gloves, and you’re on your way to recovery.
FIRST AID KITS ARE STANDARD VEHICLE EDC
Let’s face it, accidents happen. A quality trauma kit, along with the necessary training, is a must. We may need to treat burns, penetrating injuries, major lacerations, and hemorrhaging. This needs to be within reach in case you or one of your passengers are injured. Time is a factor. Let’s also include a fire extinguisher. Car fires can escalate quickly, so the extinguisher needs to be available quickly. In addition to putting fires out, we need the ability to build them in survival situations. A simple lighter is always an excellent item to have with you. As well as multipurpose items like road flares to build fires or signal potential roadway hazards.
HAVE GOOD COMMS AND NAVIGATION
Remember comms and navigation. A cell phone and charger are a good place to start. GPS comes standard in many vehicles. We should still supplement this with a road atlas. A handheld GPS and compass are absolute musts in your get-home bag. A CB or HAM radio can be helpful. You could include a sat phone if you’re really getting out there.
VEHICLE EDC INCLUDES GREAT LIGHT SOURCES
We need a dependable light source. I try to include multiple options. I have a defensive light mounted to my firearm, and I recommend carrying a firearm and light in your vehicle along with a quality knife. A good handheld flashlight can serve you well. I would include a headlamp for hands-free use. A sturdy, dependable area light is a great option. They make bright light bars with magnets that come in handy by staying in place under the hood or body of the vehicle when you don’t have someone to hold it for you.
These are some great ideas to get you started, but there’s so much more. Get specific about where you are and where you’ll be going. Will it be snowing? You may need chains for tires. Is it a long road trip? You’ll need to take along some food and water. Did you tell someone where you were going and when you would be back? Have someone prepped to send rescue if you’re heading into the backcountry or facing severe weather. A little preparation with your vehicle EDC and recovery gear goes a long way and could save your life.
This content was originally posted by Skillset Mag in November 2022.
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