View Full Version : new car..help

January 14, 2007, 01:17 AM
I used to own a ford explorer, but with kid #3 coming, I bought a minivan. As I unloaded all my stuff from the explorer, it came to me that the minivan doesn't have as much storage space as the explorer. Here are some pics and a description of what was always in the explorer. I need some help paring down my stuff to the bare essentials.

Defense stuff. Basically my .357 Winchester Trapper with 50 rounds.

Fishing kit, first aid kit, ax, mallet, folding shovel, multi-tool, folding knife, fire extenguisher, survival book, bag of bags, sun block, cream, anti-bacterial

2-way radios, batteris, wind-up radios, binoculars, flashlight, pop-up lantern

various ropes, string, twine, straps, tape and zip ties

car emergency kit with tools and tool bag containing gun accessories (cleaning kit, ear plugs, glasses, etc.)

Katadyn water filtration, jetboil cooking set, mess set, cigarettes, matches, and water proof matches.

In addition to this I have a cooler with about 30 pints of water and some juice bags for the kids and two bags of beef jerky. Also not in the picture is a 5 person tent, 2 ponchos, 3 10x10 plastic tarps and a power inverter (http://www.amazon.com/Xantrex-XPower-Powerpack-Portable-Backup/dp/B000157TP8/ref=pd_bxgy_e_img_b/102-7811057-1156951). I also had a few blankets, gloves, and some toys in a plastic box for the kids in case we needed to keep them busy. This is stuff we never touched and was reserved for emergency purposes only. On longer trips, I'd pack an additional firearm and food. In addition to this, mom would pack whatever stuff she needed for the trip for the kids.

Most of this stuff was stored in a Cargo Caddy (http://www.suvcargocaddy.com/).

I am limited to one 66qt Sterilite plastic bin. Its about 21"Lx16"Wx14"H. What would you toss? What have I missed? I am not a survivalist nor am I particularly active. I'm just a grad student with a family who wants to be prepared. I've test-ran everything on here so that I know how to use and we've gone to parks with the family to get them used to some of the stuff. I would like to buy a handheld GPS, so if anyone has any suggestions, I am open ears. The minivan we have has GPS navigation in it, so I'd want something to compliment that. The gun isn't going to change. I live in CCCPalifornia, and thats about the best I think it can get without pushing the limits of the law here.

January 14, 2007, 01:58 AM
+1 on being prepared. If you want to downsize the load of materials you have, the best way to lighten up is to scrap anything redundant. If you can tie something with rope, scrap the twine and zip ties, or vice versa. Keep the duct tape, though. The tools are a must have, so if you scrap some stuff, make sure the tools stay in the vehicle. I didn't see ponchos on your list. If you don't have any, that's a handy item to have. One flat tire in the cold rain will make you come to that realization in a hurry. I guess if I knew what the climate was like where you live and travel the most, that would help. If you live in the desert in southern California, then you would definitely want to keep some drinking water with you in case of a break-down. Also, a good first aid kit is a necessity, regardless of climate. If there are rattlers out there, you might want a snakebite kit in there, too. Make sure to get one of the razorless ones, they are all relatively ineffective, but the ones that work without cutting are better. Probably won't need binoculars for anything (at least not much that I can think of), so if you need to ditch something else, maybe ditch those. The ropes are a good idea, rope is always handy to have around. Also, are those straps in the pic long enough and tough enough that another vehicle can tow yours with it? If not, upgrade them and ditch the ones in the pic. Matches could be replaced with a butane lighter and a refill. Matches are a pain in the a$$ in the wind. Maybe a can of WD-40, some engine oil (whatever weight your vehicle takes), and some coolant. If you're not too proud to eat and cook with your hands, get rid of the mess kit, that'll be one less thing to occupy space.
As far as GPS systems go, I think the Garmin systems are a little easier to use than the Magellans, but you might just want to shop around. Those are both good brands to look at.


January 14, 2007, 02:04 AM
Wow. Looks like you are extraordinarily prepared. I'm going to try to help here with your questions about necessary equipment but I need to ask a question first that might help solve the issue more quickly. Is there a particular reason you need to carry all this stuff all the time in any particular vehicle? I understand your desire to be prepared (yes, I was a long time boy scout/explorer), but it seems to me that some of this stuff could be stored elsewhere for the majority of the time and "made to fit" into the vehicle of choice in a time of need. Let us know what you're thinking. Thanks

January 14, 2007, 02:17 AM
Do you live in Alaska where you don't see anyone except for your family in the winter? I know where you live, right next to Rosie O'Donnell. She eats all your food and leaves you hungry right. You are more then prepared. All you really need is gun, reload, and cell phone where I live.

January 14, 2007, 02:49 AM
Thanks for the input.
i do have ponchos. Two of them. For now I think I'll ditch the fishing kit, tent, straps (i'll get something sturdier) and the pop-up lantern. I'll also ditch the power inverter. These things can come along if we go on longer trips. I use the Trapper because on longer trips I pack a Ruger GP100 in the same caliber so I only pack one type of ammo. I guess thats my way of saving space. :rolleyes:

My wife thinks I am a little overboard, but she got used to it. She liked the idea of having water in the car all the time, but the fishing kit, I admit, was pushing it. I live in Orange County, so climate is always moderate. We do drive to Las Vegas a lot. I pack extra water when we make those trips. I keep the matches (although the tool box does have a 3-pack of Bic lighters in them, thanks for the suggestion!) because my wife once asked for some matches when we were on a trip (kids birthday) and I didn't have any. All that "emergency stuff" she rolled her eyes saying, and "not a single way to make fire?" Oops. so now I have Bic lighters, kitchen strike anywhere matches, camping waterproof matches and even a magnifying glass. LOL.

Oh, and the zip ties are just in case I have to "detain" someone. Yeah. This is how my mind works. But I have two daughters and another on the way. So my mind goes into super protection mode. I don't care to play superhero, and to be honest, the zip ties are for me to give to someone braver than I to do the apprehending. I can't tie a good knott, so zip ties it is.

January 14, 2007, 04:42 AM
If you're traveling with little kids, you might want to add one of these:


I got one of the mini fridges myself, and got one for my mom. You can plug it into the car's cigarette lighter socket. Very handy.

Since you're already carrying a Ruger GP100, I'd be tempted to leave the Winchester at home. Maybe substitute a small can of pepper spray. It could come in handy and be much less likely to get you in trouble with the law if you need to use it.

On the GPS front, I've got a first-generation Garmin eTrex, bottom of the barrel, and not particularly easy to use. The newer Garmins and Magellans are much better.

January 14, 2007, 09:32 AM
Orange County California?? In the middle of the city I would say you could dump the majority of the stuff. With a mini market on every corner, and a corner mall every 3 blocks, if the kids get thirsty or hungry stop and get them something. I can see being prepared, especially if you live up North where getting snowed in is a possibility, or in an area where the power can go out for days at a time. But in OC. where are you going to go fishing? Where are you going to pitch the tent? the city park? Not trying to be a smartalic, you didn't say you spend every weekend out in the wilderness, so I simply can't see all this stuff. If you do rough it all the time I think you would be driving a 4x4 not a mini van. I reckon we all need to carry what we feel comfortable with.

January 14, 2007, 10:15 AM
I keep an emergency box of stuff in the barn that can be placed into the truck quickly. not as much stuff as displayed, but hopefully enough. water, matches, cooking pot, portable am/fm radio & flashlight that recharges by truck cigarette lighter,.357 carbine with .357 pistol (carbine to eat, pistol for bad guys) , tools, etc.

Swan Hunter
January 14, 2007, 10:57 AM
You might consider getting an enclosed trailer...A generator, refrigeration equipment and a large screen TV might add to your survival experience...
Nothing wrong with trying to plan for the worst!!!

Best of luck to ya! :D

January 14, 2007, 11:21 AM

1. Intregal tool kit by Campbell Hausefield (Tools, Air Compressor, Flash and warning lights powered by both 12volt car and intregral rechargable batteries)

2. Tywraps, small amount steel wire and and connecting link drive belt

3. gallon of water, quart of oil, bottle of brake and power steering fuel

4. Small assortment of car fuses and electrical tape

5. first aid kit and fire extinguisher, small $2 dollar plastic pancho in a sleeve that will fit in your pocket. I also throw in a roll of paper towels and a couple of rags. and (include a day or two of any prescription medications)

6. Cell phone and chargers and or 2 way radio

7. AAA auto club membership

All this will fit into a small plastic container with lid from Wal mart for $8 bucks
and set behind last row of seats.

because I live in a cold climate I throw in jumper cables and a candle in a jar with matches and a lighter. and for safety a small hydraulic borttle jack.

The container I use is 18 in square and 12to 14 inches high.

If you drive into the desert or go up in the Sierra then before leaving throw in
some climate appropriate clothing and snack foods.Chains etc

January 14, 2007, 11:52 AM
Dude! You need to organize your stuff.

I see at least 2 containers of stuff here. One is "car stuff", which includes your tool kit, spare parts items (fuses, tools, rope, 2-way radios, batteries, radios, binoculars, flashlight, etc). This stuff is always in the vehicle.

Mount the fire extinguisher somewhere inside the vehicle.

The camping/survival stuff you can put into a separate container and take it along when you need it for the family. If you're concerned about the next 'quake or something, use that gun accessory bag to store some bottled water, foodbars and lifesaver candies to get you through. Remember to rotate the foodbars and other foods every month.

For some alternate containers, see Rubbermaid's site (http://www.rubbermaid.com/rubbermaid/product/category.jhtml?cat=HPCat100177). Their X-Large units have wheels to make life easier for Dad too. A friend uses on of their "Action packer" boxes & has added velcro strips on the side that fold down to grab the carpet which keeps it from sliding around.

In the peepul's Republik, you can't legally carry your rifle or handgun 24/7 in a vehicle unless you have a permit. I'd take the rifle only for your trips across the desert to fun-city. The GP should have its own carrying case that does not look like a gun case, but has a built-in combination lock.

Remember too, if you get into an accident that's bad enough to send you to the hospital, the cops probably will look through your stuff. Certainly the tow company might do so to inventory your stuff. And sometimes things do disappear from vehicles between the accident site and tow yard. :mad:

January 14, 2007, 03:35 PM
What you are carrying is good for the complete breakdown of society. What you really should carry is enough to get your family through a few days of traveling to safety. What part of Kalifornia do you live in? If around San Fran, be prepared for Earthquake evac. Around LA, riot gear is needed. Here in hot, muggy, Florida, I am ready for hurricanes and riots. A weapon, spare ammo and some tools are always in the vehicle. Spare food and water is stored in the house. Since I'm a Correction Officer, I'm on duty during hurricanes so I have a plan for my family. They shelter with me at the jail, or go to one of two relatives out of state. Both of my boys know how to handle my handguns and rifles so I'm not too concerned. My wife knows she doesn't pick up ANYBODY. Most hurricanes give plenty of warning, and most riots start when someone is shot by the police or the police are not convicted. Stay away from certain neighborhoods, and keep your vehicle filled with gas and in good working order, you'll be alright.

January 14, 2007, 06:23 PM
Since youre driving a minivan, and not a 4x4, i will assume you uasually stay around the 'burbs, or a town. First, get rid of the water filtration. If you already have bottled water, you wont need it, unless you plan on being stranded litterally in the middle of nowhere for more than 2-3 days. Fishing Kit? Do you, during your day to day driving, ever frequent somplace that you could fish? Or would need to fish?

Get your self a decent sized duffle bag. One that will fit the rifle's legnth. whatever wont fit in side that duffle, junk it. Start with the necessties. First aid kit. Tool Kit. Auto emergency stuff. Your emergency radio. A flashlight or two. I'd do 2 bottles of water per person, and no more. Mabey a few non perishable, high energy snacks, or a few cans of soup.

Everything else, ya dont need. Snakebite kit? Seriously, youre not likely do die from a snake bite. You'll get sick, but the'res a good chance you'll live. Poncho? If its small, bring it, but getting wet never hurt anyone.

Being prepared is great, it really is. But everything must be taken in moderation. Keep a big, all inclusive kit if you want to, but leave it in the garage, were you can grab it on your way to the car.

Just my .02

January 14, 2007, 07:01 PM
What if you need 4wd?

January 14, 2007, 11:24 PM
Jeeeezzzzz! What, are you planning on surviving a nuclear holocaust in your car?!?!? You've got enough crap packed into that car to start your own HIPPIE COLONY!!! Burt Gummer eat your heart out!

Ok. Follow these easy steps, and all will be well:

1. Breathe. :p
2. Take all that stuff, and throw it out.
3. Get a good, reliable handgun, and a few reloads (like, 2 reloads; not fifty!).
4. Get a cellular phone with a good, reliable service plan. Program the local sheriff's department into the speed-dial.
5. Get an insulated rubber poncho and keep it in the back.
6. Get AAA. Keep your AAA card in your glove box.

If your car breaks down on a cold night, put on the poncho for warmth and walk up the largest hill you can find to get a cell phone signal. Call AAA. Go back to your car and wait for the tow truck.

If you've got a caravan, and you're having trouble storing all your survival(ist) gear, you've got WAY too much gear!

T. O'Heir
January 15, 2007, 11:26 PM
"...minivan doesn't have as much storage space as the explorer..." You're right. Nerdmobiles are small buses that aren't made for moving cargo or storing anything but kid's toys. Even if you take out all those extra seats. The people I know, with 4 kids, need a trailer just to go camping for a weekend. Lose the nerdmobile and get a 4 door pick-up.

January 16, 2007, 01:45 AM
Leave the tents. In an emergency the mini van is better protection than a tent ever will be.

January 16, 2007, 10:38 AM
Cigarettes kill. Why would you put them in a survival kit??????

January 16, 2007, 11:09 AM
SMOKING cigarettes kills. Cigarettes are actually fairly useful little tools, if you know about them.

A smoldering cigarette can be used to quiet a bees' nest, or to repel mosquitoes. The application of a wet cigarette to a bee sting can (I hear) soothe the pain.

Still, that's some pretty high-level survival gear to be packing in your minivan! I hold to the notion that this guy is packing WAAAYYY too much gear.

Capt. Charlie
January 16, 2007, 01:36 PM
Sorry guys; this is way too close to a SHTF thread, & those we simply don't do at TFL.