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#64470 - 04/21/06 07:51 PM Emergency items stored in your car's trunk
billym Offline

Registered: 12/01/05
Posts: 616
Loc: Oakland, California
I had to change a flat tire this morning. When I lifted the carpet and cover for the spare I noticed that the two 1.5ltr bottles stored there had sprung little leaks and there was a puddle in the middle of the wheel where I had stashed some emergency supplies.
My FSK was soaked and ruined (will be H2O proof next time) a spare Gerber multitool was all rusted and the pouch was soaked and my spare clothes were wet too.
I learned two things; that you need to check your supplies regularly and the bottles that water is sold in are very weak for long term storage. These bottles were not just rolling around the truck and I really can't figure where the tiny holes came from.

#64471 - 04/21/06 08:08 PM Re: Emergency items stored in your car's trunk
norad45 Offline

Registered: 07/01/04
Posts: 1506
How long were they stored there? I keep about 3 gallons worth of 1/2 L bottles in a soft sided cooler in the back of my truck, along with some canned food items. I rotate them once a year, usually at the end of summer. They were OK last week when I checked on them.

#64472 - 04/21/06 08:18 PM Re: Emergency items stored in your car's trunk
massacre Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 781
Loc: Central Illinois
Use more permanent solutions to store the water. Most plastics in water bottles you buy are thin and meant to degrade quickly. Even only slight wear can cause cracks. Your car vibrates and shifts direction constantly, and this only speeds up the process even if they are well stowed.

I usually keep my gear in the hatch away from water. I rotate water in/out all the time. I'm never without at least 1L. If you want to stow something, maybe get the water boxes or a couple of Nalgenes and stow them so the weakest point is pointing up. And it never hurts to review your supplies more often than not, but at least once a year for sure. Any time you stow gear with fluids, make sure that the gear is waterpoofed as well. Sucks to learn the hard way. I did once after leaving a case of soda in the car in the fall. Froze during the night, popping all of the cans. Wouldn't have been so bad, but they were upside down. When it thawed in the morning I had a slushy gooey mess that was embedded in the carpeting. <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

If you want to go cheap, I've found that some of the 2L pop bottles can hold up for a long time. They don't have "crumple" zones for compressing them and have a fairly solid nature because of the pressures they have to take. Much better than any water bottles I've seen.
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.

#64473 - 04/21/06 09:15 PM Re: Emergency items stored in your car's trunk
massacre Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 781
Loc: Central Illinois
Oh, and the time I bought 8 jugs of water (in the milk jug style) that eventually just started leaking out of their caps and bottoms. ruined a good chunk of laminate flooring because it happened in the pantry and went unnoticed for a day until the seam bulged out from under the door and ran 6 feet into the kitchen. I stay away from cheap containers now. <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.

#64474 - 04/21/06 09:31 PM Re: Emergency items stored in your car's trunk
Leigh_Ratcliffe Offline

Registered: 03/31/06
Posts: 1355
Loc: United Kingdom.
Irrispective of what you use, make sure that you give each bottle at least one suitable puritab each when you fill it. Otherwise your water will go brackish very quickly.
I don't do dumb & helpless.

#64475 - 04/21/06 09:57 PM Re: Emergency items stored in your car's trunk
wolf Offline

Registered: 12/01/04
Posts: 329
Loc: Michigan
I generally have at least one 2.5 gal jug in the back of my Cherokee that gets rotated out apx weekly. I have the basics for emergencies in the vehicle (at least I do when they're not stolen and I've restocked from when they are...). The basics for me in the vehicle are:
Fleece blanket
space blanket
4 powerbars (or other brand)
firestarting supplies (Flint, tinder, matches, lighter)
Knife and Multi-tool
1st aid stuff
Hat, gloves
550 cord
Car stuff (tools etc)
"2+2=4 is not life, but the beginning of death." Dostoyevsky

Bona Na Croin

#64476 - 04/21/06 10:02 PM Re: Emergency items stored in your car's trunk
teacher Offline

Registered: 12/14/05
Posts: 691
My van has so many cup holders scattered about, its easy to store several .5 and 1 liter bottles upright.


PS I carry a big ole sleeping bag in the car duing the cold months, plus food, fak tools, matches, candles, hand warmers, blankets, hat, gloves, multi-tool....It gets really cold here on the great plains

#64477 - 04/21/06 10:57 PM Re: Emergency items stored in your car's trunk
billym Offline

Registered: 12/01/05
Posts: 616
Loc: Oakland, California
The bottles were sealed spring water that were in the trunk for about 2 months. They were sitting in the "well" of the spare tire in the trunk. They were not rolling around so it must have been slight shifting and vibration that caused the pin sized leaks.
I do not want to store water that does not come prebottled because where I live it would last only a few days before it goes bad. I do not want to use water treatment for this water.

From now on I will store the bottles a little more secure and change them more often.

Other useful items that were in the trunk;
20' 8mm old climbing rope-this stuff will tow almost any vehicle.
Thermo lite Bivy
Extra fleece jkt
Spare shoes ( I wear flip flops a lot and wory about being without good shoes after an Equake.)
2 road flares
2 bunji cords
work gloves
Empty 32oz Nalgene

Not in trunk but still in car;
Doug's PSP in center console
SAK tinker
6 MP1 tabs in glove box

Along with my EDC the car has some useful stuff.

#64478 - 04/22/06 04:07 AM Re: Emergency items stored in your car's trunk
pizzaman Offline

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 183
Loc: The Great Pacific Northwest

Been there, done that. Big time.

I picked up some one-gallon bottles of distilled water for both of our vehicles. I chose distilled as it can do double duty (drinking water or radiator water).

One fine day I popped open the RubberMaid ActionPacker in the back of my Landcruiser to get something. D'oh!!!

The both water bottles had leaked. That would be bad enough if I needed it in an emergency, but the leak ruined over $100 in survival gear and tools. Rust and mildew were in everything.

I did a quick check of my wife's trunk (her car, not her caboose) and found her water bottle had also leaked. Fortunately there was a small drain hole in the wheel well in the trunk and the water simply exited the car. No gear/tool damage, but no water either.

From doing a bit of reading, I found that the semi-opaque water bottles (like used for milk jugs) are very poor storage containers that are prone to leaks over time. If you want to buy prepackaged water in gallon or larger containers, buy the water that comes in the hard, clear plastic containers. It is much more rugged.

Lessons learned:

Choose suitable storage containers for water. Before storing water at home, I bought a variety of 5 gallon containers designed specifically for water. I found that most of them leak if tipped over or stored on their side. Unacceptable! For home use, I have had 100% success with Aquatainer jugs. Never a leak and includes a water spigot. Very nice, but they can be a bit large for vehicle use.

Initially I tried the red Rubbermaid plastic gas jugs for our vehicles. I would fill them with a water/baking soda mix, and let them soak overnight to remove the plastic taste. Then fill with clean water and treat with bleach. I always carefully and prolifically mark the outside as “WATER”. Now I just buy small individual bottles of drinking water and store them in a small Rubbermaid container to protect them from damage and to limit any possible leak damage to other gear. I have had no leaks and rotate them annually. I have younger kids and this is a better (but more costly) solution as I can more easily distribute the water amongst us if we need to hike away from our vehicle. Not so easy to do with a 5 gallon, or even one gallon jug.

Second: I put all my preparedness gear for the vehicles in double-bagged Ziplocs. This separates the gear and limits damage from water, mildew, leaking batts, etc. It also helps reduce damage from vibration-friction. I discovered that my foil packed survival bars (Mainstay I think), had vibrated in the storage container and also had small pinholes worn in the foil. These were now ripe for spoilage. Double bagging reduces the friction and eliminates the wear on the foil.

Third: Inspect your gear on a regular basis. Despite my prolific errors, I did discover the problems before the kits/gear was needed in an emergency situation.

Please learn from my stupidity.

TR (Brainless in Seattle)

#64479 - 04/22/06 06:49 AM Re: Emergency items stored in your car's trunk
LED Offline

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
since i hike my dogs everyday i always keep a case of 1.5 liter (trader joes) water in the trunk that i use for them and rotate out about every two weeks. as far as the tools are concerned, even though it takes more space, i use a cheap rubbermaid toolbox with basic tools(ie. cheap), duct tape, etc. and in a seperate container in keep extra anti-freeze, oil, jumper cables, etc. oh, and there's also a tarp, a beach umbrella, and some other stuff. needless to say my trunk is a bit crowded. but overall, it serves its purpose and i don't have to baby the stuff in there cause it was meant to be easily replaceable should someone break into my car. (a necessary consideration living in LA) basically, even though it takes up more space, it pays to keep tools, water, etc, seperated just in case. i guess it depends on where you live and what you use your car/truck for. my car gets a heavy useage. depends on the type/year of the car too, i drive a 14yr. old honda so keeping extra anti-freeze, water, oil, jumper cables, tow rope, etc. is a pretty good idea and has definitely come in handy. great thread topic.

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