Earlier this year a husband and wife decided to travel to a casino in Southern California to meet family for a Mother’s Day dinner. Unfortunately, they never made it. The husband, Cecil “Paul” Knutson took a wrong turn, looking for a shortcut and it cost him his life. Trying to turn around, they got stuck on a rock and the car wouldn’t move.
Stranded for more than a week in the desert, he finally succumbed. Several days after his passing, his wife, Dianna Bedwell, got lucky when off-roaders spotted the car and called for help. At that point she was barely alive. They were lost for two weeks.
Maybe you think this couldn’t happen to you or anyone you know. After all, you have a cell phone, people would miss you if you didn’t show up, the world isn’t that big a place, etc. This couple was reported missing. They still weren’t found in time.
The couple were as resourceful as they could be under the circumstances. Knutson was a former marine. They kept hydrated, subsisting on rainwater, eight pounds of oranges as a buttercream pie that were in the car. It just wasn’t enough.
Might there have been a different outcome if the couple had a car survival kit? We’ll never know the answer to that question of course, but perhaps this couple’s tragic experience can serve to inspire the rest of us to be prepared.
Anytime we venture out from our supplies we take a risk. Sometimes the risk is small, such as just by going a few blocks in heavily populated area, and sometimes the risk is greater. Either way, having the proper essentials packed in the car gives us peace of mind.
A car survival kit should include:
Water storage, water containers and a a water purifier or metal cup for boiling
Emergency food essentials
First aid kit (include silver)
Car battery charger and jumper cables
Car escape tools
Alternate transportation tools such as a fold up bike, scooter, walking shoes, snow shoes and or boots, depending on weather and location
Crank weather radio
Headlamp or flashlight
One objection to storing a car survival kit or emergency car kit is the storage space it might take up in a car. To solve this issue, I suggest locating the hidden storage that most cars have today, usually in the floor or spare tire well, as well as the trunk. Use this storage for as much of the hardware that would be most useful in most car emergencies, such as jumper cables, tow strap, radio, shovel, blanket, duct tape and first aid kit. Out of the way, you’ll essentially forget that they are there, except when you need them. Additional supplies on the list can be added for longer trips or changes in weather. One convenient way of doing this is to store food, water and basic essentials in a ready-made bug out bag. This gives you ultimate flexibility without compromising safety.
Image Source: Morguefile