Survival Scenarios: Stranded in Your Car in the Desert or Wilderness

What would you do if your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere? We’ll go through some survival scenarios in the desert and other wilderness environments. We’ll cover winter and summer, too.

Tips for All Survival Scenarios Involving Being Stranded with Your Car

Stay Near Your Car

You’re probably near the road. Even if you’re in Utah, someone is likely to show up in a vehicle eventually. To make sure they stop, plan how you will get their attention and see them coming.

Hearing them coming could be difficult in extreme hot or cold conditions, especially if you need to keep the windows closed.

Out in the boondocks, a parked car on the side of the road may be enough to alert the driver that they need to stop and check up on you.

There is no guarantee anyone will arrive in time to help you or stop if they do. All you can do is increase the chances that they will stop.

Keep Your Tank Full When Possible & Keep a Full Gas Can

How can a full tank save your life? Your heater can provide heat for multiple days. A gas can will extend the time it takes to run out of heating fuel.

A jerrycan is a fuel container that was invented in World War II Germany. It’s made of pressed steel. You can mount one to your car, and a lot of people won’t know what’s in it.

Keep These Essential Survival Items in Your Car

Having a lot of gear could make your car a target for thieves. You can cover a lot of your items with tarps or blankets. We’ll leave out the most obvious items like first aid kits.


Obviously, flares will keep you visible at night. But wait… there’s more…

With flares, you can easily light a signal fire by burning brush or your spare tire. Signal fires are signal fires whether it’s day or night.

Duct Tape & Paracord

Learn as many ways as possible to use these in survival situations. Don’t just learn them. Do them at home.

Candles & Tin Cans

You can make a basic heater with a candle and a tin can. 

You can make a better one with candle wax, a tin can, and a few strips of cardboard. Desertsun02 from YouTube will show you how:


Here’s another sophisticated project that uses tin cans, bolts, and candles: 


Food & Water

Keep a few days worth of food in the vehicle in case of a survival situation. 

The ReadyWise Adventure Meals Favorites Kit includes pasta alfredo, chicken, sausage lasagna, and other delectable food. It’s $49.99 (regular: $54.99) unless you’re a first-time customer. The first-timer coupon code will save you an additional $5. Tax is included. Shipping is FREE for orders over $99.

The ReadyWise 60 Serving Freeze Dried Meat Bucket + 20 Bonus Rice Servings contains 60 servings of dehydrated stroganoff beef, teriyaki chicken, and other meats plus the rice. It’s currently $199.99 (regular: $219.99). First-timers will get an additional $20 off with the coupon code. Tax is included. Shipping is FREE and same day. 

Jumper Cables

Uncharted Supply Co The Zeus Portable Jump Starter & USB Charger

Don’t let your battery be the culprit that leaves you stranded. Better yet, carry Uncharted Supply Co's Zues portable jump starter & USB charger.

Battery Powered Fan

You might need this in hot weather. 

Clothing Layers

When it’s cold enough to freeze to death, you don’t want to sweat. Wear exactly the layers you need. Keep your clothing collection flexible. 

The above tips and essential items are not exhaustive lists. They could save your life. 

For Further Study…

To increase your survival chances further in any scenario, keep educating yourself. Learn new paracord MacGyver skills on a regular basis. Implement what you learn as well. Make that DIY stove or emergency shelter at home so you don’t have to deal with all the nuances in a real survival scenario. 

Learn more from the Survival Gear Systems Blog 

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