7 Essentials Tools For Your Glove Box Survival Kit

Sep 17, 2017

7 Essentials Tools For Your Glove Box Survival Kit

I’ve got news for you, besides natural disasters, building fires, and medical emergencies, the most likely place for you to experience some sort of survival situation is in your car.

Think about it for a second…

You’re hurling down a road in what's essentially a big metal can, half the time you don’t even have cell phone service…

And how often do you actually not travel somewhere due to “inclement weather”.

Honestly… bad weather never stopped me.

Otherwise, how would you get to the ski slopes, hiking trail head, or snowmobile trail?

It’s just a reality of life.

But, despite the risks I’m willing to take to get where I want when I want, it doesn’t mean I’m reckless.

And that’s why I’ve put together a survival kit for my car.

Now, I don’t only have a full-blown car survival kit…

I’ve also got a mini-survival kit I keep right inside in my glove box to help me get through the majority of survival situations I could face while driving.

So for example, if I break down or get stranded in a snowstorm driving home from a long day of skiing in an area with no cell service, I’ve got what I need to get through the night alive…

And I’ve got everything packed within a stuff sack smaller than the size of my palm so I’m not carrying anything I don’t need (see item #1 on the list).

In the post below, I’m going to show you the 7 piece glove box survival kit I put together to ensure I’m ready for most basic emergencies.

Let’s jump in.


Life Bivy Emergency Sleeping Bag

Life Bivy Emergency Sleeping Bag

One thing I’m always prepared for whether I’m going on a day hike or simply driving to and from the ski slopes is the situation where I would have to spend the night somewhere that wasn’t planned.

Because if you’re not ready for an unplanned night out in the winter, even in your car, it can mean you’re not going to make it…

That’s why the first item on my list is a survival bivy… and specifically the Life Bivy.

The Life Bivy is a durable emergency sleeping bag that once you climb inside, will reflect up to 90% of your body heat so it's capable of keeping you plenty warm

It’s made from extra thick polyethylene material for added warmth and durability so it is tear and puncture resistant if you’re spending a night rolling around in the woods.

The sealed seams keep out rain, wind, and snow so even in the harshest conditions you give yourself the best chance to stay dry, warm, and alive.

And making it even more convenient…

The stuff sack for the Life Bivy serves as the bag for the rest of my glove box survival kit.

Here’s what I put inside:


Eton Scorpion

Eton Scorpion

If you get stranded in your car, having the ability to try and contact help, stay updated on road or emergency conditions, and keep your phone/GPS charged without burning up the fuel in your tank or killing your car's battery is critical.

The Eton Scorpion give you the ability to do all of this.

You can plug in your USB charging cord and either set it in the sunlight to power up your phone using the sun… or crank the handle and manually charge your devices.

The built in emergency radio also allows you to stay up to date with emergency broadcasts so you can stay updated on the road conditions, avalanche closures, or whatever emergency situation you're facing.

Simply, hit the power button and tune in to the relevant station to get updates… and if you need more battery life you can use the sun or the hand crank.

Either way, you’re not going to be wasting fuel or worrying about burning up your battery to stay updated on the situation or keep your devices charged.


Survival Flashlight

Go Time Gear USB Rechargeable Survival Flashlight

Whether you’re trying to change out a flat tire in the dark, inspect a broken part inside your engine compartment, search under your seat, or signal for help, having a reliable flashlight in your glove box survival kit is a must.

Again, you’ve got several options here, but I have a multi-mode LED flashlight with a 12+ hour battery life in my kit that's USB rechargeable.

If you’ve got a rechargeable flashlight or spare batteries in your glove box, more power to you.


Survival Whistle

The Life Bivy includes a 120-decibel survival whistle attached to the stuff sack drawstring

If you were to get stranded in your car, whether it’s due to a major winter storm or a breakdown in the woods, there is no more reliable tool to signal for help than a survival whistle.

A good survival whistle can cut right through dense forest and high wind to alert people and rescuers up to a mile away.

And if you know the basic techniques to signal for help using a survival whistle, you’ll maximize your chances of alerting someone.

For me, I look for a survival whistle that can blast out at least 120 decibels.

Fortunately, the Life Bivy emergency sleeping bag I use as the base for my glove box survival kit has a high-quality survival whistle attached right to the end of the drawstring stuff sack so I don’t have to include anything extra in my kit.

If you're not using a Life Bivy, find another high-quality survival whistle to include in your kit.

Fire Starter

BlastMatch Fire Starter

Whether you choose a lighter, stormproof matches, or one of a variety of fire strikers, you need a method to start a fire.

Obviously, the more versatile and reliable the tool you choose the better.

But if you’re significantly more adept with a standard lighter during a survival situation, make that your baseline device and add a striker for backup.

I personally use a fire striker because I’m plenty comfortable getting a fire going with it and it stands up best to the elements.

Plus, as you’ll see below, I include a little extra “help” to be sure I have no problems getting a fire going using my striker in even the harshest conditions.


WetFire Tinder Cubes

WetFire Tinder Cubes

If you’re putting your glove box survival kit into action, there is a good chance you’re facing inclement weather.

And when you’re facing life or death, in bad weather, and you need to get a fire going, you’re going to be thanking your lucky stars you’ve packed reliable tinder right into your kit.

I simply toss a few WetFire Tinder Cubes right into my Life Bivy stuff sack.

In my experience, there is no better more reliable form of tinder to get a fire going.

The WetFire Tinder Cubes instantly ignite when they come into contact with a spark or flame, each cube burns for up to 10 minutes so you have plenty of time get your firing going, and they will literally burn even if you completely douse them in water.

They’re the ultimate survival tinder and the most reliable tool you can use to help you get a fire going.

Toss a couple WetFire Tinder Cubes into your glove box survival kit.


Phone Contact List

How many people’s phone numbers do you know off the top of your head?

I’ll wait…

Well, I literally don’t know ANY!

Sure, I can still remember a few of my best friend’s numbers from when I was a kid growing up and would dial their family’s landline...

But having had a cell phone for a couple of decades with stored numbers and an internet connection to look up any number I don’t remember, I rely on technology to a fault.

In an emergency, your phone could get lost, damaged, or run out of battery…So having several contact numbers handy in analog form in case you won’t be able to access your cell phone is a good idea.

Simply jot down several emergency contacts on a flash card and slide it right into your glove box survival kit.

Here are the numbers on my list:

  • Significant other

  • Best friend (i.e. the first person you’d call from the jail cell you know would pick up)

  • Siblings

  • Parents

  • AAA or other roadside assistance company

Really, the more options you have the better so don’t be afraid to list several backup contacts just in case someone’s number changes or you have trouble getting a hold of someone.



Putting together a glove box survival kit takes just a few minutes, but can mean the difference between life and death…

And if you spend the time to put together one of these small kits and never get stranded in a winter storm, guess what?

I pull out some component of my glove box survival kit almost every week to use it for something.

It could be grabbing the multi-tool to open a package or tighten a few screws…

Or I might toss my glove box kit in my backpack as I head out for the day if I forgot to include some extra survival gear in my day hiking pack.

I never regret having something hidden inside my glove box, totally out of the way, that in a moments notice comes in useful so often and could save my life in an emergency.

And that’s why I put this post together for you today.

Take a few minutes, round up the gear you need, and toss a mini-survival kit into your glove box so you’re ready for a vehicle emergency.

And if you have any extra tools you like to keep in your kit I’ve left out of mine, let me know about them in the comments.


About the Author

Kevin is the co-founder of Go Time Gear.

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