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14 Essential EDC Items to Keep In Your Vehicle

Jonathan Tayag
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14 Essential EDC Items to Keep In Your Vehicle

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Your everyday carry isn’t just what you can carry in your pockets or your bag, especially if you drive on a regular basis. And there are few predicaments as frustrating (or dangerous) as not being prepared if you find yourself stranded on the side of the road without the gear you need to get yourself rolling again. If you haven’t given the kinds of gear you keep around in your car for an emergency situation for yourself or for others on the road, we’ve put together this guide to get you started.

5.11 Tactical HEXGRID Seat and Utility 9x9 Gear Set

5.11 Tactical HEXGRID Seat and Utility 9x9 Gear Set

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Specifications
Brand
5.11
Model
HEXGRID
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No reviews yet
Price
$
You might think that the only way to carry around useful gear in your car is in rear compartment, but with 5.11’s new HEXGRID seat organizer and Utility 9x9 Gear Set, you can keep the most essential pieces of kit close at hand right in the passenger seat of your vehicle. The HEXGRID system is a load-bearing seat panel that lets you attach compatible pouches like the Utility 9x9 Gear Set, which offers 249 cubic inches of organized cargo space with two primary compartments and a front zippered storage area to separate your gear efficiently. And because it’s attached to the HEXGRID system, the most critical parts of your vehicle EDC don’t go flying around as you drive from place to place. Once you get to your destination, you can take the pouches off your seat and right onto a larger 5.11 AMP bag without having to repack, making it a great option when modularity and speed is key.
First Aid Only 299-Piece Kit

First Aid Only 299-Piece Kit

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Specifications
Brand
First Aid Only
Model
299-Piece Kit
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Price
$
Accidents happen, and we’re not just talking about fender-benders. Having a well-stocked first aid kit handy in your car helps ensure you always have what you need to treat injuries wherever you find yourself. This kit in particular comes with a wide array of bandages, pads, medicines, and the tools you need to tackle cuts and scrapes both large and small. And it comes with its own high-visibility case for easy identification when time is of the essence.
FosPower Emergency Solar Hand Crank Radio

FosPower Emergency Solar Hand Crank Radio

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Specifications
Brand
FosPower
Model
FOSPWB-2376
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Price
$
If you find yourself stranded on the side of the road for a while, it might not make sense to keep your car powered up just to listen to the radio or keep your devices powered while help arrives. This radio unit from FosPower is set up to receive NOAA emergency weather broadcasts as well as standard AM/FM stations. Its integral 2000mAh battery lets you plug in your phone, and it’s powered with a hand crank for quick juice as well as a solar panel for extended recharging over time.
Arcturus 4.5lb Wool Blanket

Arcturus 4.5lb Wool Blanket

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Specifications
Brand
Arcturus
Model
64" x 88"
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Price
$
A big wool blanket is a nice thing to have in the back of your car. Obviously, you can use it to keep yourself warm if you find yourself stranded somewhere in a sudden blizzard. But it’s also nice to have on hand when you need to give extra padding to larger items you might need to haul. This’ll keep items from crashing against each other in the trunk, as well as pad any irregular items from poking holes in your interior paneling or windows.
Leatherman Surge

Leatherman Surge

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Brand
Leatherman
Model
Surge
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Price
$$$
The Surge is Leatherman’s biggest multi-tool, well suited for heavy-duty tasks you might have to take on in and around your vehicle. And while the Surge might be too big for most people’s pockets, size means less when you leave it in your car’s toolbox. The Surge features 21 tools including full-sized pliers, replaceable wire cutters, screwdrivers, scissors, and a saw. And with its 25 year warranty, the Surge is a tool that’ll likely outlive the life of your vehicle, making this a long-term purchase that you can feel secure about making.
Mallory 518 Snow Brush and Scraper

Mallory 518 Snow Brush and Scraper

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Specifications
Brand
Mallory
Model
518
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Price
$
You can try to scrape off ice off your windshield with a credit card, but for really thick layers in serious temperatures only the right tool will do. This Mallory tool has enough length and width to get the ice off your windshield quickly, and the integrated brush on the backside lets you gently remove snow off surfaces as well.
BaoFeng UV-5R

BaoFeng UV-5R

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Specifications
Brand
BaoFeng
Model
UV-5R
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Price
$
The worst thing that can happen in a car is getting in trouble somewhere and not being able to call for help. Cell phone service isn’t available everywhere, and even in a big city the lines can get jammed when everyone is trying to call in an emergency. With the right licenses, you can transmit messages on ham frequencies with a radio like the UV-5R, letting you get the help you need to yourself or for others.
First Alert Auto Fire Extinguisher

First Alert Auto Fire Extinguisher

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Specifications
Brand
First Alert
Model
AUTO5
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Price
$
From engine fires to electrical fires the First Alert Auto Fire Extinguisher can help you tackle the problem and hopefully save your vehicle in a serious emergency. And if you mount it properly so it doesn’t rattle around during transit and within reach from the front seat, you can rely on it as a first response while waiting for emergency services to arrive.
Energizer 4 Gauge 16-ft. Jumper Cables

Energizer 4 Gauge 16-ft. Jumper Cables

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Specifications
Brand
Energizer
Model
ENB416U
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Price
$
You’d be surprised how many people don’t carry jumper cables in their car. Don’t be like the rest, and have these on hand so that you can get your car started when your battery dies. Plus, having a pair of cables lets you help others as well. These cables are color coded for easy ID when you’re attaching battery to battery, and with 16 feet of length, you should have enough to do a jump safely on the side of the road if needed.
DBPOWER 600A 18000mAh Portable Car Jump Starter

DBPOWER 600A 18000mAh Portable Car Jump Starter

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Specifications
Brand
DBPOWER
Model
DJS50
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Price
$$
If you don’t want to rely on others to get your car started (or if you regularly forget that your lights are on at night when you’re home), you can use this to get your car going on your own. The large throughput and battery capacity comes in handy outside of jump-starting too, as you can use it to power your USB devices in a pinch as well.
everbest4u Scissor Jack

everbest4u Scissor Jack

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Specifications
Brand
everbest4u
Model
Scissor-20
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Price
$
If you don’t have a jack, you can’t fix a flat tire on the side of the road, plain and simple. This scissor jack is rated up to 1.5 tons, and it’s small and compact. Save yourself a lot of aggravation, and keep it with your spare tire if you don’t already have one ready to go when you need it.
resqme The Original Keychain Car Escape Tool

resqme The Original Keychain Car Escape Tool

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Specifications
Brand
resqme
Model
resqme
Reviews


Price
$
This tool combines a seatbelt cutter and push-button window glass breaker, letting you break out of your car if you find yourself in a bad crash or sinking into a body of water. Its small size lets you keep it on your keychain or around the drivers side of the vehicle for quick access, and the hi-vis colorway and simple operation helps you take action quickly and efficiently.
Black Diamond Iota Rechargeable LED Headlamp

Black Diamond Iota Rechargeable LED Headlamp

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Specifications
Brand
Black Diamond
Model
Iota
Reviews


Price
$
If you need to work on your car on the side of the road in the dark, the best way to keep both hands free is to have a headlamp for lighting instead of a flashlight. Something like the Black Diamond Iota, for example, which features a strong oval 150-lumen output from a single LED and output modes that let you dial it down to what you need, especially for up-close work. There’s even a strobe mode which can come in handy if you’re trying to signal for help. The Iota can also be recharged easily via USB, giving you a full charge after just three hours.
Anyoo Waterproof Rain Poncho

Anyoo Waterproof Rain Poncho

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Specifications
Brand
Anyoo
Model
Unisex Adult Rain Poncho
Reviews


Price
$
Even in the days of having a virtual AI assistant on your phone, the weather report can get it wrong. If you leave home without a jacket, you can rely on having a rain poncho in your car ready to go so you can keep yourself dry when the weather takes a turn for the worse. This particular poncho is lighter than most as well, because it’s made out of 210T ripstop fabric with a PVC coating that’ll keep out the rain without weighing you down, especially if you need to step outside your vehicle during an emergency.

What's in your everyday vehicle carry? What do you keep for emergencies that we missed on our list? Let us and your fellow drivers know in the comments below!

#anyoo #black-diamond #resqme #everbest4u #dbpower #energizer #first-alert #baofeng #mallory #leatherman #arcturus #fospower #first-aid-only #511-tactical #buying-guides #vehicle-edc #car-everyday-carry see all



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Discussion (21 total)

NUNQUAM NON PARATUS ·
This is a pretty solid list. But save yourself $100+ and skip the tacticool Hexgrid system, and just buy a sub-$20 rubbermaid tub or a cheap duffel bag. That system is a great way to show off a bunch of expensive gear and make your car a target for a break-in.

I would also suggest: A small folding shovel, a tow strap, a whistle, a candle with matches, a gazetteer or stack of maps of the area, a steel unlined water bottle, and some road flares or triangles.
Todd Davis ·
I have all of these items (or something that does the same thing) in my truck. Great list.
Raven ·
Good list overall. I drive apx 150mi/day for work have used all the types of listed items over the years. Would add duct tape a reflective vest (get the cheap from IKEA 2$) and space blanket. You do NOT want to put your nice wool blanket over an accident victim. If you get it back from EMS it likely will be nasty!
Knowbody ·
multiple wool blankets and a space blanket ;) They are pretty small.
270ultimate ·
I started buying decent jumper cables for Dirty Santa several years ago. The first person to open them always reacts with a "What the...?" But by the end they're always fought over.
"everyday vehicle carry" LOL that's a new one.
gotta show your car some love too haha
Andrew Craftsmaster ·
To borrow an Ad Catch Phrase?

"What's in YOUR Car.?"

Might I suggest that at the very least carry two or more Car Safety Tools like the Leatherman Z-Rex or the AmazonBasics Emergency Seat Belt Cutter and Window Hammer Tool to quickly cut seat belts and break car glass.

Over time I eventually got one such tool for each seat.
This whole article is an ad. "Buy more stuff"
NUNQUAM NON PARATUS ·
If I had to guess, I would say the article was created specifically to showcase that HEXGRID product-- and to your point, yes basically one big ad. But I don't fault Everyday Carry for doing it. They run a beloved site for the EDC community, and that has costs. Hosting and maintenance fees, etc. They need to pay the bills somehow, you know? Otherwise we wouldn't have a place to gather and share ideas.
Knowbody ·
I can always use some more "Stuff".
Johan Bertilsson ·
Paracord you forgot paracord, you can always use paracord in an emergency. It got me home in a late night emergency when th steelbands that kept my gasoline tank in plase rusted and come loose.
Knowbody ·
and tent stakes. If you can utilize your vehicle, like the bed of a truck, you are a step ahead of the game ;)
Goldthunder ·
One of the most practical , useful and realistic lists I’ve seen in awhile. Good job.
Andrew Craftsmaster ·
Good start for a good car / truck EDC setup.

What is needed / useful after filling up the glove compartment?

The 5.11 Organizer is practical If and only if your passenger side seat Is usually vacant. Seems a bit much to tackle setting it up and taking it down otherwise.

I prefer a structured bag / briefcase.

You need to add some kind of Admin Kit. Probably should have Some of those forms that helps gets needed info when there's an accident Is a good idea.

Andrew Craftsmaster ·
Don't forget some backup cables, etc for mobile electronics. Wish backup batteries could withstand the heat.

Like the idea of the walkie talkie / portable ham device. I used to have a pair of walkies In the car before cell phones service became virtually universal. Has anyone a list of the needed licenses?
Knowbody ·
Skip the 5.11 stuff and get a cheap one that utilizes the space on the back of the seat. Also saves your seat from gaping the little cargo pocket. I have nice leather, and I have never seen a behind the seat pocket capable of carrying much without ruining the pocket. I also have a CB radio that is hidden and I don't keep the antenna on unless I need it.

Great idea with the admin kit. Definitely a skipped over item. Writing utensils of all sorts, wax paper, etc.. and most importantly, maps.
Knowbody ·
Skip that scissor jack shit and get a full size one. Make the room for it.

I also keep a travel size pillow, tent stakes, tarps, & fire starter stuff. Really I have too much shit to list. It's like an armed improvised camp site in my truck and you wouldn't even know it unless I showed you. I custom built a center console though, that also hides the subwoofer and can even be used as a cooler ;)
Ryan E McKeon ·
Well done great list for some starter items!
David Ferstler ·
Does anyone know what the bag in the right main image is? It looks like a dry bag with a patch spot
Janice ·
Good list! I have most of that on a daily basis. Additiinally I have some rope and water.