Hiking Gear to the Rescue!

Have you ever thought about how nice it would be to have your hiking gear with you in case of an emergency? Hikers and backpackers already have most of the essentials needed, so will you have them ready if that storm or earthquake comes?

For peace of mind, I just keep a backpack in the trunk of my car with most of the hiking essentials and a few other critical items. Since the Atlantic storm “Frankenstorm” is all over the news this weekend, it is the perfect time to do a show and tell of my car kit:

Emergency gear in my car trunk
Emergency gear in my car trunk

What’s in the Gear Bag

Many readers have already seen the detailed Hiking Lady backpacking checklist, which has a convenient check the box format of the Essential gear for all hikes, as well as apparel and gear for overnight backpacking trips.

  • Water. 1 liter of water in a Nalgene. I put in fresh water every other week. This has come in handy many times!
  • Clif Bars. 3 of my favorite Chocolate Brownie Clif Bars! I’ve raided my backpack more than once when I’ve been hungry for a snack!
  • Roll of toilet paper, feminine products, and wet wipes/Purell. Can’t leave home without it! Enough said.
  • Comfortable shoes and socks. I keep an old pair of broken in running shoes in the bag, just in case I’m wearing a heels or sandals.
  • Roll of duct tape. Came in handy last week when the car mechanic forgot to replace my oil tank cap!
  • First aid kit. My “modified” Adventure Medical Kit. I also include water purification tablets, an Ace bandage, Midol, and sunscreen. (Hiking Lady review: Adventure Medical Kit)
  • Face mask. To keep out debris if it is dusty.
  • Headlamp. I love headlamps! Hiking 101: Headlamps.
  • Solar iCharge for my iPhone. Hiking Lady review: Solar iCharge.
  • Box of matches.
  • Coghlan Magnesium Fire Starter. If the matches get wet…
  • Coast Multi Tool. I love this multi tool. It even has a light built in. Hiking Lady Review: Coast Multi Tool.
  • Fox 40 Sharx Whistle. Small, loud = great whistle. Hiking Lady Review: Fox 40 Sharx Whistle.
  • Coghlan Emergency Poncho. Better than an emergency blanket and it only costs a few bucks more.
  • Notebook and pen. I always seem to need one, so why not toss one in my emergency kit!? The first page has emergency contact info for family and friends.
  • Warm top.
  • Black plastic garbage bag. Lots of uses, just like when out hiking – an emergency shelter, hygienic waste disposal, carrying gear, etc.
  • Coghlan hand crank light. This little keychain sized light only needs to be cranked for 1 minute and the bright beam will last 30 minutes before cranking it again!

What else is in the trunk of my car?

Jumper cables…a fire extinguisher…a roll of paper towels…a hat…a car kit with flares, bungee cords, electrical tape, flashlight, and reflectors…a fleece blanket…

So if you want to be ready for anything, keep some of your hiking gear with you at all times in a backpack like I do. If you drive a lot, keeping it in your car is a good idea, or else at your workplace.

Happy trails! And to those of you on the east coast, stay dry in the storm this weekend!


  1. wayno12 says:

    backup power supply for the cell phone.
    Spend 20 bucks and get one of those small ‘powerpacks’ and keep it charged in the glove compartment. The rest of the items suggested are great.

    Thanks for a classy article devoid of politics! Much appreciated!

  2. Hiking Lady says:

    Hi Chris,
    Just 3 – the hand crank flashlight, emergency poncho, and firestarter. I haven’t used many of their other products for hiking yet. They make whistles that are a little less expensive than the Fox 40 Sharx, but I really like the sound quality of the Fox 40.
    Happy trails!

  3. Its a pity that more people don’t follow a similar routine cause it would save more than one persons life a year without a doubt. Something I always keep also is a hexy stove and tablets and something to boil water in. Hexy stoves are only a few dollars and even if you don’t use the stove the tablets make great firelighters.

  4. Rockin' says:

    What a great idea! Thank you for posting. I always have felt that if a really bad disaster happened I would be ready to handle most anything with all my backpacking gear. This goes to another level. How about if I wasn’t at home or couldn’t get back to my home to get gear? Viola, essentials right in the trunk.

  5. Hiking Lady, you don’t have a copy of Kathleen Meyer’s book in there, “How to Sh*t in the Woods!” I couldn’t help making that comment, she is such a hoot. You never know when you might need it.

    Good advice you posted here. Back in my working days I used to keep a pack of equipment like that at work. My work location would get snowed in for days at a time and had emergency backup power, so we had showers, etc., but not much for food. I made certain that food and entertainment was in the pack. You can NEVER be too prepared.

  6. kim says:

    Great list of stuff. I keep a rubbermaid container in my truck filled with stuff like this too. I recently added poison ivy lotion and I’ve used it twice so far.

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