Car Survival Kits

Announcer: Go behind the wheel and under the hood on everything automotive with High Speed Stuff from

Scott Benjamin: Hi everybody. Welcome to the podcast. I'm Scott Benjamin, the auto editor here at How Stuff Works, and with me, as always, dependable Ben.

Ben Bolin: Oh, dependable Ben?

Scott Benjamin: Yeah -

Ben Bolin: Well, I do show up because I'm supposed to.

Scott Benjamin: It's work, but it's fun.

Ben Bolin: It is work, but it's fun. And every once in a while, we come up against some stuff - of course, I'm biased because we're on the show together, but I think most of the stuff we cover is very interesting, and every once in a while we come up on a topic like this which might actually be crucial information.

Scott Benjamin: Crucial; what is it? What are we gonna talk about?

Ben Bolin: We're talking about car survival kits.

Scott Benjamin: Fantastic. That's good because that's what I have all my notes prepared for is car survival kits. Imagine that.

Ben Bolin: How serendipitous.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, isn't it though? Yeah, it worked out well that way for me.

Ben Bolin: Well, let's - I guess what - you know what we should probably start with - not to make it too much of a downer, but a good question that someone would ask: why is it important to have a car survival kit?

Scott Benjamin: Very important because worst case scenario. You have to remember that there's always a chance that you're going to be stranded, stuck in your car or your car's gonna somehow become broken down, incapacitated in some way and you may be stuck somewhere that you would rather not be with less than what you need.

Ben Bolin: Very hot, very cold climate.

Scott Benjamin: Very hot, very cold; it could be - yeah well, very hot or very cold really. I'm trying to think of any other situation, but -

Ben Bolin: Middle of nowhere.

Scott Benjamin: Middle of nowhere is a good one because you just have to be ready for everything. You have to know where you're going, what to prepare for ahead of time. And that's the tough part is what to prepare for because you have to think through all these different scenarios in your head and what could possibly happen and how bad could it get? And I have a couple of examples of just how bad it can get, and the first one's a real downer. The second one I'll promise you is a little bit better; slightly better.

Ben Bolin: Okay, well, let's go ahead.

Scott Benjamin: In 2006, James Kim and his family were lost in the wilderness. This was in Southern Oregon. Now James Kim was the senior editor at CNET News. They do reviews and product reviews, gadgets; things like that, but he was the senior editor there and I guess they had just spent Thanksgiving in Seattle. And they were on their way to - back to home in San Francisco. And I'm gonna just kinda go over this pretty quickly here. There's a lot of detail and if you wanna look it up please do. It's an interesting story; unfortunately, tragic. We'll talk about that too. So they missed a turn when they were leaving Seattle, and they - again, now they're in Portland, Oregon and they got off on this - on the wrong road. They were trying to get onto Route 42, which is a main road to the coast. And instead of returning to the exit that they missed, they checked a map and they tried to pick a secondary route that went along this real rugged wilderness route. And they got into this real high elevation situation. They were in the mountains and a lot of snow. The car became stuck in the snow and they couldn't move anywhere. So they're stuck and they're on this road that apparently was an unused logging road that should have been closed off. There was a gate that was supposed to have been closed. There's some dispute as to why it was left open, but it was left open. And so they're stuck on this road that no one travels on. And it's - again, worst case scenario here and we're talking about it. The snow continues to fall. They're stuck in the car. Now this is happening on - they left on Saturday, November 25th in 2006. By early morning on November 26th, that's when they stopped. So this is, I would assume, 1:00AM, 2:00AM; whatever. They're on this mountain road. They can't go any farther. They're stuck. Now on December 2nd - so we're talking eight days later after they had left, eight days later - that's finally when James Kim decided that he had to hike out of the situation to try to find help.

Ben Bolin: So there was still no contact or rescue eight days in.

Scott Benjamin: Not at all. And in fact, within that eight days up to that point, they tried to keep warm by keeping the engine on and using the heater, but the car ran out of gas. They had to - they burned magazines and just campfire wood that they found in order to keep warm. So they're starting fire to try to stay warm in this situation. Now it's - I'm sorry. I don't know if I told you who was with him. It was James; his wife, Kati and they have two daughters: Penelope and Sabine. So these are young girls that are with them. And so there's this added tension that he's got his kids and his family with him. He's gotta take care of them. Now they're trying to burn magazines to stay warm and later, they eventually ended up even burning the car's tires in order to try to signal rescuers because they figured somebody's looking for them at this point.

Ben Bolin: And they would see that black smoke.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, they would see that black smoke because it would leave a lot of smoke, of course. And not only that, there's a little bit of heat I guess from that that they could use. So can you imagine being stuck to the point where you're burning the tires on your car to try to stay warm and signal somebody?

Ben Bolin: No.

Scott Benjamin: That's horrific to me.

Ben Bolin: Desperate measures.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, so now here we are eight days later. He decides that it's best to leave the car to try to find help because no one's coming and eight days: no one's coming; no one's going to come. He only has tennis shoes, a jacket and just light clothing is what they describe it as. So he heads out and he thinks that the nearest town's four miles away because they looked at this map and they decided that, "If I hike this way for four miles" - and he promised that if he didn't come back that night or that day - or if he didn't find the town, he would come back that evening. And he didn't come back. So his wife decides that - two days later that she has to head out as well. And not knowing his condition that he had already - apparently, he had already succumbed to the weather. He died apparently on the 4th of December. So that's two days later and he had hiked - at that point, he had hiked 16.2 miles away from the car at that point and he was only a mile from a lodge that was fully stocked, which is really tragic. He had gone this far; two full days out in the wilderness. His family: they waited two days. They started to hike as well and a helicopter pilot that was in the area - not really part of the search party - found them, saw them on this trail, picked them up and airlifted them out, got them to a hospital and they were safe, but James Kim did die. He was - they think that he died of hypothermia - or they know he died of hypothermia, but unfortunately, it was on the exact same day that his family was rescued. So if he had stayed with the car, eventually - or maybe had tried to hike with his family on that day, just by chance, they would have all been found together, so really tragic; terrible situation.

Ben Bolin: And this was in 2006, so I guess it's - a lot of times, when we are listening to stories of people being stranded or when people hear stories about people in those kind of situations, we think of stuff like the Oregon Trail or the Donner Party and it's - unfortunately, it is true that these kind of accidents can happen; not just in a rural area in Oregon, but anywhere in the country.

Scott Benjamin: That's right. Here's a family in a station wagon in 2006 and just trying to get home from somewhere in Oregon to San Francisco and they made one wrong turn: terrible mistake, but it proves the point that it can and does happen. So just be ready. And there's another slightly happier one here that I've got -

Ben Bolin: Yeah, let's go up. Let's take it up a notch.

Scott Benjamin: Sure. Now this is where - there was a man in West Virginia who was trapped in his car for six days. And this is from Christina Columbus, Incorporated. There's a writer named Danette. He's trapped in his car for six days after plunging 150 feet off the road into a snowy ravine. Now he got out alive. Guess how he survived? He survived by eating packets of taco sauce that were left over in his car from the last time he went to apparently, a Mexican food drive-in.

Ben Bolin: Six days on packets of taco sauce?

Scott Benjamin: Six days he existed on packets of taco sauce. And this is just off the side of the road. This is 150 feet off the road in a snowy ravine.

Ben Bolin: But it's 150 feet down.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, that's right, in deep snow again. And cases like this, I'll tell you, Ben, they let you know that you're walking this fine line when you travel in the winter, and even in the heat. We'll talk about that too, but the winter time is especially brutal and you can be caught unawares I guess just at the wrong turn. All you have to do is make one wrong turn or skid off the road, which is very possible. And if no one sees that happen, you can be trapped.

Ben Bolin: Thank God. That had to be mild taco sauce.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, it must have been. I don't want to speculate, I guess.

Ben Bolin: I'm not being flippant. I'm just saying that given the fact that he survived for six days on it - I'm not a hot sauce fan, all right?

Scott Benjamin: I guess not. I guess not, but -

Scott Benjamin: That's pretty remarkable just to be able to exist on something that meek. I don't know if you wanna say it that way, but -

Ben Bolin: Meager maybe.

Scott Benjamin: Meager; that's a better word, yeah very good.

Ben Bolin: So here's what we can do. We hope - for our listeners, we hope that we're getting across the point that - we're not trying to scare you. We are trying to point out that the stuff that we are about to talk about, what we're about to go into is a good idea. And Scott, you and I have done some looking around, a little bit of digging. So we have a couple of lists here. And if you want, I'll go through some of the stuff that I have just as essentials.

Scott Benjamin: Please do.

Ben Bolin: Okay, and let's - and bust me on this, call shenanigans if I say something that's not essential.

Scott Benjamin: Okay. I'll save my one main comment for the very end.

Ben Bolin: Okay. I took my - I took the Playstation off this already.

Scott Benjamin: I would expect that. Go ahead.

Ben Bolin: All right, No. 1 and this is for any situation: hot or cold, rural or more suburban; the things that you will need if your car breaks down and you don't have immediate help. No. 1: some drinking water.

Scott Benjamin: Agreed.

Ben Bolin: Yeah, and you've got an excellent - you've got some excellent information here. Scott just turned me onto water packets.

Scott Benjamin: Oh yeah, you know what?

Ben Bolin: - instead of bottled water.

Scott Benjamin: Sorry, I'm scrambling for my notes here, but there are water packets and the main benefit of a water packet, believe it or not, is that it will last a lot longer than bottled water.

Ben Bolin: How long are we talking?

Scott Benjamin: Five years. Five years as compared to bottled water, which the freshness or when you should rotate bottled water if you keep it in a kit - you should rotate bottled water every six months because of bacteria, things like that. This sealed packet water: five years. And it's completely sealed and they said that if one gets punctured, it's really no big loss because they come in small enough servings or portions that it's not a terrible loss if it becomes punctured. But if you have a gallon of water and it becomes punctured - like a milk jug gallon that you're trying to carry around and good chance that's gonna get punctured because it's rolling around and other things can hit it - you lose a full gallon of water. That could keep a lot of people alive for several days if you ration it correctly.

Ben Bolin: Right. The Federal Emergency Survival sites recommend planning to have one gallon of water per person per day if it's at your house.

Scott Benjamin: Oh, I didn't know that much. I didn't know that it was that much water.

Ben Bolin: Well, that also - keep in mind it's a little bit different in a car because in a survival situation outside of a car, that's counting water for hygienic purposes: showering and staying clean and stuff. This is - if we're talking about just drinking water, I think you can skirt a little bit, but we'll get into that.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, because these packets are only a little over four ounces each. So you need lots of them and they do sell them by the case and I think they're like $40 a case. So I don't know - 60 packets per case might be worth while.

Ben Bolin: Might be.

Scott Benjamin: Might be; depends on your situation.

Ben Bolin: Especially for five years. Okay, so next: non-perishable food, dry stuff, nuts energy bars, things like that.

Scott Benjamin: Consistent across all lists.

Ben Bolin: Yes, all lists and we're doing stuff that's across all lists basically.

Scott Benjamin: Oh, beef jerky too.

Ben Bolin: Beef jerky's a good one unless you're vegetarian.

Scott Benjamin: Oh, good point.

Ben Bolin: They make - I'm sure they make some Tofu jerky. And then a flashlight. This wasn't in all lists, but I think it's a good idea. Road flares or signals of some sort, especially if you're stranded in the middle of the road on a dark snowy night; a blanket or a tarp, anything that can function both to provide shade in hot weather and to provide - to keep your body heat in, in cold weather.

Scott Benjamin: Good point.

Ben Bolin: First aid kit, jumper cables of course and a rope, duct tape. The uses are - a multitude of uses.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, duct tape; you can do anything with that.

Ben Bolin: Yeah. A tool kit, or at the very least, a multipurpose tool!

Scott Benjamin: That's - I'm glad you said multipurpose tool because those - that's a brand name product, but Leatherman is what I'm used to seeing a lot of people ca rry or variations of that. And it has - it's just multi tools. It has pliers, screwdrivers, knives, everything. Fantastic tool; anything like that is worthwhile to keep because it takes up very little space and it's essential to have all that stuff with you when you're in who knows what situation.

Ben Bolin: Right. Also, a poncho is a pretty good - any kind of rain proofing gear. I picked a poncho because it folds up into such a small storage space and that's if you're just looking to keep rain off you. If you wanna stay warm, you need to have an extra set of clothes.

Scott Benjamin: And I know that you carry extra clothes with you. Is that right?

Ben Bolin: I do. I carry two pairs of clothes.

Scott Benjamin: That's - two?

Ben Bolin: Well, yeah - well okay, now you're making me look crazy. So -

Scott Benjamin: Do you carry a suitcase?

Ben Bolin: I drink - no, I have - look, they're in a duffle bag.

Scott Benjamin: Sorry. I'm chuckling a little bit, but that's actually very smart of you.

Ben Bolin: Well okay, let me - don't idealize me too much because one of those pairs of clothes, it just looks exactly like what I would wear here to work. And I drink so much coffee that there's a very real possibility that I will spill something on myself.

Scott Benjamin: You carry a second tuxedo in your car?

Ben Bolin: I wear tuxedos to work. Listeners: that's true, and I have a second tuxedo as well, but Scott, I have never given you a hard time about your bow tie and your top hat.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, okay. So you're saying the second set of clothes - one of them, one of the two sets that you carry which by the way, I still think is a good idea - one is just for when you have that meatball sub at lunch and the stray meatball rolls from your chin all the way down to the tip of your shoe.

Ben Bolin: And that's before I knew about the food bibs.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, that's right, yeah.

Ben Bolin: But the other set of clothes, which I guess is more relevant here, would be things like long pants, including gloves if you have to do any repairs and some sort of jacket or at the very least, a windbreaker. Also, maps, also a crank radio of some sort. Crank technology, we'll get to, right? Also, a stash-o-cash.

Scott Benjamin: Really?

Ben Bolin: Yeah, I always have at least $20, preferably in five ones, a five and a ten. I'm a little bit over meticulous about that, but also, I never use this money. It's just in a bag in my trunk in case something happens.

Scott Benjamin: That's a very good idea.

Ben Bolin: And put it all in a sturdy container like a cooler or - you've got one of those flexible cooler things we were talking about.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah.

Ben Bolin: And then -

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, a cooler makes an excellent carrier apparently. I've got a note here. We'll talk about that in a minute, but someone suggested that's what you carry your kit in is a cooler.

Ben Bolin: And we talked, today, as a matter of fact - all this stuff is in a kit that I have in my car. And we talked today and you actually added a list to my essentials, and I'm gonna take you up on it: a hand crank cell phone charger, ladies and gentleman.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, because those cell phone batteries die at the most inopportune times. And if you're stuck, you may have a car charger, but if you're trying to continually start your vehicle or if you get stuck and you're stuck for days -

Ben Bolin: If you're running your vehicle for heat -

Scott Benjamin: For heat. Yeah, your battery will die or you'll run out of gas or both. And it's always wise to have something back-up. And in this case, I guess aside from carrying a spare battery with you, which would only be good for a certain amount of time anyway, you have this charger which is a hand crank charger. And as long as you can crank that charger, you've got power for your cell phone. Now that doesn't always mean you're gonna be in range because the Kims that we mentioned earlier, they had a cell phone with them. They were simply out of range of the tower. They were in such a remote location that it wasn't covered. And so it doesn't help in every situation, but it's pretty wise to keep something like that on hand. The other thing that you mentioned - you mentioned a flashlight and the problem with the flashlight is that - and it's good to keep one; don't get me wrong. The problem with a flashlight is that the batteries can die. And - well, they can and often do die. And there is a type of flashlight you can use that has - what is it; an electromagnetic coil? Is that what I said earlier?

Ben Bolin: Yeah, the shake and shine.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, the shake and shine.

Ben Bolin: That's what I call it.

Scott Benjamin: Shake and shine?

Ben Bolin: I call it that. That's not the brand name.

Scott Benjamin: Catchy.

Ben Bolin: It's catchy.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, you should market that.

Ben Bolin: I shouldn't have announced it on the air.

Scott Benjamin: That's right. Yeah, if you know what he's talking about, it's just a flashlight that you shake this magnetic coil back and forth. It energizes itself. I think you only have to shake it for - what was it?

Ben Bolin: Like a minute, something.

Scott Benjamin: One minute and you get something like 110 minutes of light out of that thing for one minute of shaking. So that would be valuable to keep.

Ben Bolin: That's worth your time, yeah.

Scott Benjamin: Also, I was thinking that if you do have a standard conventional flashlight, one thing you may wanna do is you may wanna keep the batteries separate from the flashlight so that it doesn't inadvertently get turned on in the kit because that happens. I've had that happen before in a toolbox and you open it up and you realize that it's on still from last time or that just something has shifted and turned it on inadvertently. And that's a real drag.

Ben Bolin: Well, flashlight batteries are like cell phone batteries: when you need them, they might run out.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, that's true.

Ben Bolin: So you can't assume. But Scott, let's see, I think we've mentioned before on the air that you actually are not a native son of Detroit, but you've spent quite a while there.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, like 25 years or something.

Ben Bolin: Yeah, so you know about - I'm gonna take a guess and say that it snowed once or twice.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, it did. Yeah, and I was always careful to - I was always really careful that I packed an extra hat, gloves; I think I even had wool socks and a scarf. Just anything - any kind of extra heavy winter wear that I could keep in the trunk with me easily. And I just left it in there. I packed it in there in the fall and I took it out in the spring every year.

Ben Bolin: Now here's something really interesting that - I'm stepping over you.

Scott Benjamin: No, no, go ahead.

Ben Bolin: Okay, I just have to interrupt because this was so interesting that you said your mom always made you carry this.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah.

Ben Bolin: What was it?

Scott Benjamin: It's -

Ben Bolin: I'm asking this - I guess I'm asking you, I'm quizzing you. You said specifically and I thought it was strange at first.

Scott Benjamin: You're stumping me. Did I tell you this?

Ben Bolin: Yes.

Scott Benjamin: What?

Ben Bolin: Candle.

Scott Benjamin: Oh, a candle. You're right because she always also told me to keep the hat and gloves and all that and I was diligent about that.

Ben Bolin: That's confusing.

Scott Benjamin: That's okay. She's - you're exactly right. I had to keep a candle in my glove box all the time. And, now that I know this part of it, I'll tell you so I can clue you in too, but a long time I ago I had heard that a candle would keep you alive if you were stuck over night in your car. It was just enough to keep you alive. You'll be freezing, but it will keep the interior of your car warm enough - just a regular candle, just a typical kitchen candle or whatever you wanna call it - that will keep the interior of your car warm enough to stay alive over night. And I always kept one. I never questioned it. You have to have waterproof matches along with that so that you're sure they're gonna work or lighter. And well, waterproof matches was what I kept in a little container. And I guess I needed to keep a mason jar or something like that, a jar that you could have held that candle. I never thought through it enough to think that. I guess I just -

Ben Bolin: You were just gonna hold it?

Scott Benjamin: Well, I could have held it and melted some wax on the dash and put it on the dash, but I guess I needed to have a mason jar because that's the preferred method, I guess now that I'm reading this, but I always did have a candle and matches with me.

Ben Bolin: And so this - okay, so as somebody who is from the south, when Scott first told me this, I thought, "That's so strange. What a different world my podcast partner is from, the world of candles in the winter."

Scott Benjamin: A frozen world .

Ben Bolin: And let's go to the hot weather because this one - I don't know about you, man. I had a little bit of a difficult time with this.

Scott Benjamin: With heat?

Ben Bolin: With trying to create an ideal survival kit for a car in the desert. I came up with just a couple of things. And you probably have a much better list than I do, but I thought No. 1: extra water just because you will become dehydrated so quickly, at least out in the US where it's hot. And then No. 2: extra coolant because what's the main problem mechanically for a vehicle that's traveling for a long distance in the desert?

Scott Benjamin: Overheat.

Ben Bolin: Right.

Scott Benjamin: Overheat, of course, so you're right on target with that stuff.

Ben Bolin: Oh good because -

Scott Benjamin: Anything else, or do you have -

Ben Bolin: I put shade.

Scott Benjamin: Shade?

Ben Bolin: Yeah because -

Scott Benjamin: Your poncho can come in handy for shade.

Ben Bolin: Oh, good call.

Scott Benjamin: And the duct tape, you could use that to kind of fashion something with - if you found sticks or whatever, you could make a temporary shelter or something like that.

Ben Bolin: Just MacGyver up something?

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, you could. You could because you don't wanna stay in the car because it will become 200 degrees quickly.

Ben Bolin: Be an oven, yeah.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, you need to get out, but you also need shade. So that's important. Now I've also heard umbrellas; you may wanna carry an umbrella because an umbrella collapses very small in most cases. And it's easy to carry and it provides shade.

Ben Bolin: Oh, as portable shade; not as -

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, more than just a hat would. A hat would be important as well to keep some of the sun off of your face and head and neck if you can, if you have something with a brim, but an umbrella would be very helpful because it would keep more sun off of you, I guess.

Ben Bolin: That's a good point.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah. And then the last thing - now this one's from Triple A. They say to keep a small cooler with bottled water and ice packs on hand, but that's very specific. If you're gonna make one trip across - you know you're gonna go across Death Valley and you wanna pack all this stuff and make sure you have ice packs and everything with you, but you can't keep that on hand all the time, of course. You can't keep replenishing that. It's just impossible really to keep that.

Ben Bolin: Yeah, I can't do that.

Scott Benjamin: No. So anyways, I think for different reasons - now the hot environment, that's a little different. I think - I hate to say it, but I think it's harder to survive in the winter time. We talked about this beforehand. Both are difficult, sure, but trying to stave off that cold is really, really tough because you can succumb to hypothermia or frostbite. You can asphyxiate yourself in the car inadvertently if you leave the car running and you don't realize the exhaust fumes are coming in, if the car's tailpipe is blocked or if you've got windows open. You have to keep fresh air coming into the car too, so you have to crack the windows. And if you're running the car with cracked windows and the exhaust has nowhere to go -

Ben Bolin: It's gonna go in there.

Scott Benjamin: - it's gonna go in the car and you need to be real careful of that.

Ben Bolin: I see what you're saying, but although I agree with you about cold weather, perhaps it would be more dangerous on a more absolute weather. The reason I'm gonna agree with you is because the snow impedes transportation for other people who would happen by and see you.

Scott Benjamin: True.

Ben Bolin: And I guess our listeners probably also know Scott and I are both former Boy Scouts, which is why we might sound a little bit obsessive about preparing for stuff.

Scott Benjamin: Be prepared.

Ben Bolin: Yeah, and a lot of people would wonder - when we were looking into this, a lot of people on the internet were asking, "What should I pack and for how long?" kind of looking for a silver bullet.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah and it's not just a matter of what should you pack and for how long? But that's important; you need to think about that. And you also need to consider - and I really hadn't considered this much. You need to consider the number of people that are potentially gonna be in the car with you. What if you're stuck with four people like the Kims were? What if you're stuck with even more? What if you're in a van and you're stuck with eight people on the car or ten? It could just be you. That may happen, but what about the ages of people too? What if you have someone who's elderly with you, or what if you have a baby with you and the baby can't eat solid food? You need to think about things like this. If you're a father or mother and you're packing a kit for your car for this survival, this potential survival situation, you need to consider that you're gonna have these kids that can't - they maybe need formula or they need diapers. Pack that stuff in there as well. I know you carry your diaper bag or whatever with you, but chances are you're not packing enough for four or five, six days or a week even. Consider all those ages and what they need. Also, another thing that I again hadn't thought of this: pets. If you're gonna have your pet with you, consider the pet as another person, another water ration, another food ration if not their own food; if they don't have - if you don't have dog food packed away or cat food packed away.

Ben Bolin: They'll be thrilled about the beef jerky probably.

Scott Benjamin: They'll make the best of the situation, I'm sure. But yeah, consider that you're gonna have pets with you. And again, they need water just like you do, so consider that as another ration of water that you need to have.

Ben Bolin: Scott, I read somewhere that the best rule of thumb for what people call a survival kit or a go-bag or whatever would be about for 72 hours because if you have people that are expecting to meet you at the end of your trip, surely after a day or two, definitely after two days, they'll be trying to figure out where you're at.

Scott Benjamin: I would hope earlier than that. If you did tell them, "I'm gonna be here on this day at this time," especially if you're gonna arrive at their place; not just, "I'm gonna arrive here," and maybe you'll talk to them later in the week, that's a different situation.

Ben Bolin: "I might breeze through." Yeah.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, exactly. That's - I'm glad you said that because that's really key is that you need to let someone know where you're going and roughly when you'll be there and when to expect you or whatever. That helps in that if you don't show up at that time, they know that somewhere between your home or wherever you're starting from and wherever you're supposed to be getting to, you're lost in there. And if they can't contact you, that's important.

Ben Bolin: And that's - is that the big point we're saving?

Scott Benjamin: I think it kind of is. It's important that you understand that and that you also understand that for the most case, you're better off to stay with the vehicle.

Ben Bolin: Oh yeah, definitely.

Scott Benjamin: In most cases. I don't wanna say that in every case because there's variations on this; unbelievable variations, but usually, it's better to stay with the vehicle. Someone will find you or you signal somebody and if you've got one of these kits, you can maintain. You can stay where you are. In a case - you don't wanna head out across the wilderness and walk like Mr. Kim did and end up freezing to death, but at the same time, if it's eight days into it and you're thinking, "No one's gonna come by this road; I gotta do something," there's always that situation too. So I don't know. It's really a judgment call when you get into that position.

Ben Bolin: That - not to sound too Boy Scoutish, but be prepared, I think, because -

Scott Benjamin: Be prepared. That's the best thing to remember.

Ben Bolin: Watch this segway. Are you ready for this segway?

Scott Benjamin: Ready.

Ben Bolin: I prepared for some listener mail.

Ben Bolin: Okay, so here we go. Maxwell writes in and he is a 13-year-old listener from Washington State. He said he enjoys listening to the podcast, Scott. I thought you'd like that.

Scott Benjamin: Of course.

Ben Bolin: He also said in our earlier podcast on how police chases work that we say that pit maneuver stands for pursuit intervention technique. And Maxwell said this can be true, but not all departments use the same words for those letters. For other places, they might call it pursuit immobilization technique or police intervention technique or police immobilization technique. So that acronym's kind of flexible.

Scott Benjamin: Okay, so there's - it stands for a great variety of things across different states, right?

Ben Bolin: Yes. And he pointed out also that when we said - earlier, I think you said that police restrict where they can pursue a violator.

Scott Benjamin: Yes.

Ben Bolin: He said that where he lives the police department does have a no pursuit policy and that he thinks this has really helped keep innocent people safe.

Scott Benjamin: I'm sure that he's right. I don't know how many pursuits are going on there, but he's probably right. I bet it's keeping people safe because a lot of times it's just far too dangerous. They know. They make a qualified judgment.

Ben Bolin: Yeah, I'm sure.

Scott Benjamin: I enjoyed that podcast, by the way, that police chase podcast.

Ben Bolin: That was a lot of fun mainly because neither of us has been in a police chase.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, that's right. And that still stands true.

Ben Bolin: To this day.

Scott Benjamin: Well, at least I can speak for my side; how about you?

Ben Bolin: I'm doing pretty good. I got a wild weekend coming up, but I'm gonna try to stay -

Scott Benjamin: For now, neither of us has been in a police chase.

Ben Bolin: And for our listeners: again guys, thanks for hanging out with us. We hope you enjoyed this podcast on car survival kits. Is there any thing we missed; is there anything that you would add to a car survival kit? If so, please write in and tell us at

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