Do It Yourself

How to Survive A Night In Your Car




Truth be told, you should always have a survival kit handy in your car. You never know when you may need it to survive a night on the road. You could be simply leaving the house for a grocery run, and the weather can turn awry, or you may be evacuating from a natural disaster. Either way, there are many hazards to consider such as poor road conditions or running out of gas.

Check out our essential travel tips and survival essentials, just in case your scenic drive turns into an overnight stay:

 Travel Tips


  • If you’re leaving for an extended trip, always check weather and road conditions before departing.
  • Let someone know when you are leaving, which way you will be traveling and when you should arrive at your destination.
  • Fill your car with fuel and make frequent stops to stretch, relax and refill your tank.
  • Never allow your tank to get too far below a half tank (should you need to spend the night in your car, the extra gas will allow you to start your car throughout the night and briefly run the heat if needed).
  • Don’t leave your car and begin walking for help. You stand a much better chance of being found if you remain with your car, which can also provide the best shelter from the elements.
  • Do not run your car constantly, especially if it is snowing. If your exhaust pipe fills with snow you car can fill with carbon monoxide. Be sure the exhaust pipe is clear and roll down a window enough to vent the car.
  • Ration your food and water, especially if you are stuck somewhere where help cannot easily find you.
  • If you are going to need to drink snow, try to heat, boil or strain it first to remove any bacteria.

via Allstate

Water Bottle Fire Starter

Essential items to include in your car survival kit:

  • Bottled water (at least four quarts)
  • First-aid kit
  • Ibuprofen
  • Portable radio
  • Paracord
  • Snack foods, such as energy bars or nuts
  • Strike-anywhere matches
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Jumper cables
  • Folding knife and multi-tool
  • Emergency flares
  • Waterproof jacket or coat
  • Heavy-duty boots
  • Toilet paper
  • Blanket or sleeping bag
  • Tow rope
  • Car kettle

We hope you start building your vehicle go bag so that you will be prepared in an emergency or disaster situation.

Free Paracord Bracelet - FireKable by Survival Life

Check out these related articles:

Emergency Preparedness Car Tips | Bug Out Vehicle Life Hacks

Paracord Knots and Hitches| How To Make Paracord Hitches

Customizing Your Ultimate Bug Out Bag


Like this post?

Be sure to like us on Facebook so you can be the first to know about latest survival tips and off the grid living skills.

Continue Reading


  1. Great Grey

    June 17, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    I would add a thermal blanket (or other large sheet of plastic) and duct tape, so you could reduce the area of car you need to keep warm. Also could be used to replace broken out windows.

    • Desert Rose

      April 22, 2018 at 8:36 PM

      That’s a really good idea. If you close off the back part of the vehicle, you only need to try to keep the front warm.

  2. Pingback: Tips On Surviving A Night In Your Car » The Preppers Life

  3. Capt. Motts

    September 5, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    I have found that plastic empty prescription bottles works fine for storing small items in your bug-out bag. They come in all sizes and are completely waterproof.

  4. Pat Walker

    September 6, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    I add at least 1 or 2 Thermacare Backwraps (new ones) every year, for each possible rider in my car. Placed under your clothes, against your skin, and slightly above your waist, they give slow heat for 8-10 hrs., and help keep your body warm. I contacted Theracare about this use. They replied with a ‘thank you’, but that the FDA only approved the use of muscle relaxation.

    I used one on my mother, an Alzheimer’s patient, when during a severe winter storm, and power outage, and our home freezing, she wouldn’t keep a down coat on, nor stay in front of the fireplace. I really believe that Thermacare Backwrap saved her from hypothermia.

    Just don’t expose them to air, until ready to use them. On little kids, I wouldn’t put them directly on their skin. I’d put them over a t-shirt, for example.

  5. Matt

    September 6, 2014 at 7:33 PM

    I would also recommend both a pair or two of cheap leather work gloves and a pair or two of gloves or mittens to keep your hands warm in the dead of winter.

  6. scott

    October 16, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    I totally agree with you and practice the same. My wife shares this belief and I have tried to encourage neighbors to do the same.

  7. Pingback: How to Lose a Tail When Being Followed

  8. Pingback: How to Lose a Stalker | Survival Life

  9. d

    October 13, 2018 at 12:59 AM

    If the situation is really serious? I would lay on the back seat, remove the the trunk liner and position it over me like a tent. I would ;lie on one front seat and one back seat floor mat, and use the others to cover-up with. If the situation was dire, I would use a knife to cut out the back of the front seats and some of the carpet to use as blankets. There is a big difference between feeling uncomfortably cold and freezing to death. I have not spent the night in a car when the outside temp was below about 20 F, but I have spent a few very cold nights with only a long sleeved shirt and jeans in a car that would not start. I shivered all night and was uncomfortable, but no where close to death.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *