Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Car Survival Kit, Part 2

We've already looked at the grab-and-go parts of my Car Survival Kit.  Today, we'll break into the less-portable parts of the gear.  This is by no means an exhaustive list of the useful things found in my truck (that list would go on forever), but this is a pretty good measure of the hardware that is always on board.

The Tools

A double-bitted axe, a short handled shovel, and a 4-ton bottle jack.

The shovel is pretty self-explanatory.  It digs me out of places when I get a little dumb, mostly.  The jack is a small-footprint, relatively high-lift model, necessary since it's lifting a full-size truck.  While a standard axe would be more useful for splitting tasks, the price was right on this axe, and I have the previously shown big knife for splitting things.

The Fluids

One gallon of 50/50 premix coolant, and a quart of 10W40 motor oil, and the associated funnels for filling.  Not pictured, 2 gallon can of gasoline.

Most of the vital fluids to keep the old truck running, and the funnels used to fill those fluids.  You can do it without the funnels, but it's far cleaner and easier this way.  I also keep a 2 gallon gas can in my truck, which buys me about 20 miles to get back in if I get myself in a bad way.  I wouldn't be out of line to add a quart of the appropriate automatic transmission fluid, but I've never had it be a need in the past, so I've never bothered to carry any, I just keep it in the garage.

Recovery and Towing
Twenty foot tow strap, twenty foot tow rope with hooks.  Not pictured, 12 feet of 3/8 high-test chain with hooks.
When I or others end up well and truly stuck, this is the basic gear to get back on level ground.  If I expect to do serious recovery work, I have access to a true recovery kit that my father in law built, but it's heavy, and it takes up cargo space, and is not likely to get used in any kind of normal life.  (i.e., it hasn't had to be used in at least 5 years, maybe even more.)
Jumper Cables
Very likely the most used part of my CSK.  Several times a year, either myself or someone else needs a jump.  Buy a decent set, with heavy-duty wires.  They flow current far better than light wires, and make for quicker, easier starts.

Emergency Gear
Air compressor and tire slime, 2.5 lb ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher, and roadside reflector kit.
In the black bag is a 12V air compressor with a bottle of tire slime.  The red box contains three "trucker triangle" emergency reflectors, and the extinguisher is a Kidde 2.5lb ABC dry chemical unit.  I recommend only ABC fire extinguishers, as they're rated for all common flammables, liquid, solid, and energized electrical.

Inside the bag
Triangle Reflector
In the past, I've carried road flares, and am not opposed to them.  The ones I had got old, though, and I haven't found a deal on new ones, plus the reflectors work rather well in their place.

The Miscellany
Gloves, spare light bulbs, JB Weld and JB Stik,
 a folding screwdriver set, a multitool, and a 3-C-cell MagLight.
In addition to whatever work tools I may have on me, and the tools I carry in my Zone 1 and Zone 2 areas, I keep the above on hand.  The only real oddballs are the JB Weld and JB Stik (a premix JB Weld product that just requires "smashing together."  For those not familiar with JB Weld, it's a 2 part epoxy patching product, that sets up at near-metal hardness.  It is useful for an unending variety of repairs.  One of the more notable and practical repairs I've made with the JB Stik was a temporary fuel tank patch.  It wasn't pretty, and it wasn't permanent (though I'd have liked it to be), but it was strong enough that it would have gotten me home if I'd been out in the middle of nowhere.

So, what gear do you pack in your rig?  What am I missing in mine?


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