Super Survival Kit: 20 Lifesaving Items to Keep in Your Truck

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F&SJim Golden

The Truck Chest

A four-seasons truck survival kit should do it all: help you shelter in place or pull off a rescue on your own, whether you bog down in a blizzard or burn up your transmission in a desert wilderness.

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Pack It In
Rubbermaid's 24-gallon ActionPacker is sturdy enough to stand on, with lockable latches and a nearly watertight lid.
Jim Golden
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1. An on-the-fly truck repair kit should include replacement parts and enough stuff to MacGyver your way home. Hit the auto-parts store for JB Weld for fixing broken metal braces and patching an oil pan and hose-repair tape, two wire hangers and a tire reamer-plugger, duct tape, parachute cord, Fix-a-Flat, and jumper cables.Jim Golden
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2. Venison jerky and some freeze-dried meals can keep you nourished while you wait for the rescue crew.Jim Golden
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3. A gallon of drinking water to quench your thirst will make a major breakdown more bearable.Jim Golden
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4. A 7x9-foot blue tarp will shed rain while you repair a punctured tire, provide shade in the desert, function as a makeshift sleeping bag, or catch rainwater for emergency drinking supplies. It’s the duct tape of a truck kit.Jim Golden
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5. You’ll need a fail-proof baseplate compass, with a lanyard, in case you have to hike out for help.Jim Golden
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6. Getting your ox out of the ditch is often job No. 1. Kitty litter can provide just enough bite in moderate snow cover. Still spinning? Dig out with Gerber’s E-Tool, a military-grade folding shovel with a serrated blade and heavy-duty pick (gerber​gear.com). A dedicated recovery strap differs from a tow strap—it stretches to help snatch stuck vehicles, and there are no metal hooks that can be a serious injury hazard. A 2-ton cable puller can be a last resort.Jim Golden
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7. Ever been caught without an ice scraper? Never again.Jim Golden
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8. The new Savage Model 42 Takedown doubles firepower with a rimfire barrel over a .410 tube. Opt for the .22 WMR for maximum small-game and rabid-opossum firepower (savagearms.com).Jim Golden
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9. Roadside flares not only alert other drivers to a ­broken-​down vehicle but also serve as signaling devices and emergency fire starters ­(orion­signals.com).Jim Golden
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10. Power-Up Tip
No sun? No batteries? No problem. Crank your way to communication with the Eton FRX5 hand-cranked and solar-powered AM/FM–​NOAA weather radio with integrated smartphone charger (etoncorp.com).
Jim Golden
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11. Include a few extra pairs of non-latex gloves with your first-aid kit.Jim Golden
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12. It’s a culinary multitool: Boil water in the Gen3 32-ounce stainless-steel bottle, which nestles inside a bat-wing cup with a perforated lid for straining out coffee grounds and sassafras tea leaves ­(selfreliance​outfitters.com).Jim Golden
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13. Stuck for the night? Bunk down in Klymit’s KSB 20-­degree sleeping bag, which compresses down to bread-loaf size ­(klymit.com).Jim Golden
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14. Camp Chef's Stryker 100 is a rocket ship of a stove. With an integrated 1.3-liter pot, the package takes up little room but will boil 1⁄2 liter of water in two minutes.Jim Golden
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15. No one tool does it all, but Kershaw’s Camp 12 Parang comes close. Need fire? Split kindling. Trail blocked? Chop it clear. The beefy, weighted blade is far more suitable for tough tasks than a vine-clearing machete ­(kershaw.­kaiusaltd.com).Jim Golden
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16. In addition to the first-aid basics, pack the small Hunter’s Trauma Kit to help stop massive bleeding (tmsoutdoors.com).Jim Golden
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17. Sawyer's 2 Liter Water Filtration System filters more than 1⁄2 gallon of water in one and a half minutes—leaving you more time to build a smoke generator for rescue.Jim Golden
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18. Double your fire-­starting options with a lighter and Titan Stormproof Matches ­(uco​gear.com).Jim Golden
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19. Cram an old raincoat into the kit and you’ll stay dry while wiring your tailpipe back to the frame with a coat hanger.Jim Golden
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20. Streamlight’s Waypoint Rechargeable spotlight is a 1,000-lumen bright idea. An integrated kickstand turns it into a handy task light, and it’s light and small enough to carry when you make a break for civilization ­(streamlight.com).Jim Golden

Stranded on the road? This kit will prevent you from having your own breakdown.

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Styling by Beverly James Neel