The Preparedness Triangle: Vehicle Every Day Carry

Vehicle Everyday Carry (VEDC) expands greatly on what you carry on your person as well as keeps you prepared for events beyond what a traditional EDC would prepare you for. In my case, most of what I might need in the event of an emergency is already in my vehicle. My additional VEDC ends up being more safety and personal items.

I keep most of my camping gear in stackable Plano Sportsman’sTrunks that are easily transportable if I’m getting away for a weekend. We’ve written about keeping a go box, which allows you to get out of town for a weekend in the woods without having to worry about getting home to pack.

Do An Assessment

There are some factors that can play into what you end up carrying in your vehicle with you. Below are some things to consider when planning out what you are carrying as part of your VEDC.

  • Type of vehicle you drive
  • Yearly weather conditions to consider
  • Commute distance
  • The remoteness of job or home location
  • Priority in the event of an emergency

In my case, my situation looks something like this:

  • Type of vehicle: 2016 Toyota 4Runner SR5
  • Yearly weather conditions to consider: winter bad weather, supplement regular gear with cold-weather kit
  • Commute distance: short, less than 30 miles one way; all urban environment
  • The remoteness of job or home location: n/a
  • Priority in the event of an emergency: getting my kids from school and getting home safely

VEDC Contents

Below are the items that I keep in my vehicle all the time as part of my VEDC. While they aren’t necessary for a weekend trip, they are good to have in the vehicle whether for personal or emergency use. These usually do not come out unless they are being used or have been used and need to be restocked.

  • Get home or bail out bag
  • Sick kit
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Gum
  • Jumper cables
  • Tow strap
  • Emergency tool (seat belt cutter/window breaker)
  • First aid kit
  • Maps (local/state/national)
  • Cell charging cord
  • Knife
  • Flashlight
  • Carista OBD2 dongle
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Flares
  • Cold weather kit, if needed

A lot of the survival-type items I might need are packed in with my camping gear or one of my bags so I did not include them. The stuff listed is vehicle-specific and stays in the vehicle at all times. It also goes without saying that I can supplement my VEDC with items from either my camping gear or whichever bag I happen to have with me (GHB or BOB).

I also want to stress that certain kits like a recovery kit, tool kit, and certain others are included or part of my standard camping/overlanding loadout. They might not always travel with me when I am in town but they definitely do when I’m heading out on a trip.

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