1. Are you a current member with account or password issues?

    Please visit following page for more information

    Dismiss Notice

Vehicle EDC: Jumper Cables and Tools Bag

Discussion in 'Other Every Day Carry Items' started by Anak, May 17, 2012.

  1. Anak

    Anak Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    11
    Note: I am really not sure where to post this. If it needs to be moved, please just let me know where it gets moved to. If any group is likely to see value in this, odds are it is here.

    For a couple of years now I have been carrying the first iteration of this kit. It has proven itself worthwhile, and I decided to create a second one for my wife's vehicle. Not that I expect her to necessarily find use to all of it, but I am occasionally there too.

    The kit is contained in a Bucket Boss Jumper Cable and Tools bag. This bag has a divider and some pockets and a pouches. It is not to be confused with their bag which is for jumper cables only. Wanting to build a second kit I started out by ordering a second bag.

    Apparently the bean counters got to this design between when I purchased the first one and now. While I can see where they have shaved their pennies I can't complain too much because the changes mostly affect elements which I wasn't using in the first place. Here are the two bags, side by side:

    [​IMG]

    You can see that the two D-rings have been deleted. I wasn't using these to begin with, so no real loss to me there. You can't see that the old one had an exterior pouch both front and back, and the new one only has the pouch on one side. Again, I have yet to use the pouches, so no loss there either. You also can't see that the old one has two zipper pulls while the new one only has one. That's a minor detail though. If anything, I am most disappointed in the new fabric. The old one is Cordura, or a reasonable facsimile thereof. The new one is some sort of rip-stop material and is noticeably thinner. That difference is annoying because I expect the wear and tear on this item to be a matter of chafing as it rides around in one spot in my truck for years on end. I don't need rip-stop in that situation. I need more wear resistance. I think the older material was superior. Oh well. They didn't ask me.

    Let's start with building the kit. Here's layer #1:

    [​IMG]

    The box of sockets deserves a closer look:

    [​IMG]

    The green box is going into the new kit. Note that I have both standard and metric in this set. I really prefer to do it the way I have the blue box set up, but the green one was already designed for both, so I am keeping the cheap plastic organizer for now. We'll see how well it holds up. The rails in the blue box are just the relatively common socket rails, but cut down to fit the box and carrying a mix of 1/4" and 3/8" clips so that I can organize the sockets as I want them. For the most part the sockets, ratchets and extensions are not the ones which originally came in those boxes. I troll garage sales and swap meets for decent sockets on the cheap and upgrade my sets as I find better tools. That green handled ratchet is actually a Horror Freight item. I'm giving it a shot. The handle telescopes. The question is will I bend the handle first, or strip the gears? We'll see. Note the blue rag to help keep the rattles down and provide a way to clean my hands.

    Now lets take a closer look at the contents of the mesh pouch:

    [​IMG]

    Zip ties, nitrile gloves in a ziploc sandwich bag, another small ziploc bag of driver bits and a magnetic screw starter are in the original kit. I rounded up zip ties and gloves for the new kit, but I don't have yet another set of driver bits, nor another magnetic screw starter available at the moment. I did however rustle up a set of both standard and metric allen wrenches. The allen bits have been some of the more useful inserts from the original kit.

    Flip that divider over and we get to the last portion of the kit:

    [​IMG]

    Here's a closer look at how I am managing the wrenches:

    [​IMG]

    The old Craftsman pouch contains a set of standard combination wrenches, held together with a zip tie is the metric combination set, and the 4Sevens ziploc has open duplicates for when I need two of the same size wrench. Note that the smart way to do the ziploc is with a releasable ziploc. I have been using a knife to release the standard ziploc here, but picking up some releasable ones would make a lot of sense.

    The new kit received a cool set of wrenches which I picked up at a swap meet a few weeks ago:

    [​IMG]

    I like that little set all bound up neat and tidy with a pair of brackets and a thumbscrew. I don't know if that sort of thing is on the market anymore, but packaging doesn't get much more compact. I know that's a pretty anemic set of metric wrenches, but that was all I had available in the box of extra wrenches. I'll have to focus on tracking down a few more to round out the set.

    Besides the wrenches there are crescent wrenches, screwdrivers and a driver for the inserts (the original kit). Some pliers too.

    I am not going to overhaul an engine with this kit, but it will take care of a number of issues.

    From my experience with the original kit, it is not just working on my own vehicle that makes this worthwhile. It is my ability to compensate for the fact that so few people seem to have their own tools anymore. It seems everyone is handing that sort of work off to the professionals. My most recent use of my toolkit was to adjust the chain tension on a friend's chainsaw. It had nothing to do with repairing my vehicle, but it was essential to getting a job done safely. That is typical of how I find myself using this kit.

    Here is the final shot of both of them packed up and ready for service:

    [​IMG]

    The nice thing about this package is that it fits under a seat and stays out of the way. Note that this is not a lightweight package. I haven't weighed either of these, but it's definitely over ten pounds, and maybe over fifteen. It's a vehicle carry item.

    Also note that this is not meant to be comprehensive, but rather complementary to other items which are carried elsewhere in the vehicle and on my person. There are also some items which I would still like to add. I know that Gojo/Fast Orange can be had in individually packaged wipes, and I think a couple of those belong in each of these bags. I am sure I will continue to adjust contents over the years.

    I do think these are a good start, and I hope they provide some inspiration to someone.
     
    n_cr, mrlysle, Dok J and 4 others like this.
  2. xbanker
    • Administrator

    xbanker Geriatric Admin
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2006
    Messages:
    5,465
    Likes Received:
    7,795
    Nicely presented Anak. Good pics. Thank you! I like the Bucket Boss container you selected. Compact. Reasonable price. Reasonably tough (despite the less-sturdy material now used, as you pointed out).
     
  3. echo63

    echo63 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,219
    Likes Received:
    1,677
    Pretty cool little bag, and a pretty comprehensive kit

    I would add a multimeter/test light, crimper and crimp terminals, a bunch of fuses, and a couple of metres of wire (bot electrical wire and bare wire to use to wire stuff back on

    I really need to put a decent kit in the boot of my car. I currently only have jumper leads and a tow rope
     
  4. keith1234
    • In Omnia Paratus

    keith1234 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    5,421
    Likes Received:
    18,947
    Nice review you did. I have seen a similar bag sold by Duluth Trading but their site only shows drawings not actual photos of items. Your photos give me a better idea of what this type of bag looks like.
     
  5. marsos52

    marsos52 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Messages:
    1,961
    Likes Received:
    312
    this is a important and worth while kit to have in every car

    been keeping tools and jumper cables rags etc in my car since i began driving over 40 years ago
     
  6. Narcosynthesis

    Narcosynthesis Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Messages:
    1,881
    Likes Received:
    1,213
    Same here, I have the kit to switch out a tyre, switch out a bulb and a set of jump leads (which have yet to be needed to start my car, but have been called on multiple times to start other peoples cars (who never seem to have their own set)

    I guess the only reason I haven't bothered building much of a repair kit is because even if I had one, I still lack the knowledge to do more than very basic and obvious repairs.

    It does still amaze me that even my basic level of knowledge still seems to be far above that of many people - switching a tyre, jump starting (or indeed bump starting) an engine, checking and refilling fluids and switching a bulb around if needed is about all I can do, yet I have still had to do all those for others who can't even manage that much. Does that leave me as 'fairly knowledgeable' or 'still pretty useless' compared to the average motor user?
     
  7. SAKplumber
    • In Omnia Paratus

    SAKplumber EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    29,783
    Likes Received:
    107,174
    Well done!
    I carry a standard tool box but haven't the propere assortment of tools that you do.

    One thing I DO have that I have used more times than I can remember, for both myself and friend & strangers, is a tire plug kit. I got my first one at Kmart and have been supplimenting that kit with plugs from Walmart. I also use a tube of rubber cement to ensure I get a good seal.

    Cheap, lightwieght, and irreplaceable.

    I highly recommend it to everyone.
     
    SMAJ and mrlysle like this.
  8. dewildeman

    dewildeman Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Messages:
    1,292
    Likes Received:
    241
    Something I consider essential for vehicle EDC is a fire extinguisher. I've come across 3 car fires while travelling, got to use it putting out one. You can get one for under $20.
     
    mrlysle, Ktowngunner and SAKplumber like this.
  9. SAKplumber
    • In Omnia Paratus

    SAKplumber EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    29,783
    Likes Received:
    107,174
    good call.
     
  10. Ktowngunner
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Ktowngunner Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Messages:
    389
    Likes Received:
    376
    I'll try to take a picture of my car kit for you guys, but I keep various tools (screwdrivers, sockets, wrenches, pliers, etc), spyderco tenacious combo blade that just lives in the car so I know it's always there, long/heavy duty jumper cables, jack (not the one that came with the car), fix a flat, tire plug kit, air compressor, fire extinguisher, FAK, leather gloves, wool blanket (even in summer), and since I have a 4wd a come along and tow strap. Usually have a hatchet in there as well, but that's just because I'm outdoors alot and just keep one in the car. I also keep some bottled water, a few MRE's, some batteries, a package of cheap flashlights (the 10 pack you get at christmas), a package of cheap headlamps (again the cheap christmas package), some batteries, and my go bag. WHEW. I'm sure that's not all but that's all I can think of off the top of my head.
     
  11. Gryffin
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Gryffin Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    May 21, 2010
    Messages:
    1,876
    Likes Received:
    1,480
    Never had to put out a car fire, but I've seen a few, and they're scary. I keep an extinguisher in the truck, just in case.
     
  12. Anak

    Anak Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    11
    I'm happy to see this fits in well here.

    Lots of good suggestions, and for the most part those items are also in my vehicles, but not in this kit.

    My tire repair kit would be another candidate for a thread of its own.

    The issue regarding the skills to use the tools is a key point. For myself, I have the skills, but they are not much good without the tools. About the only things I don't do on vehicles is to rebuild trannys and differentials. I would not expect my wife to employ the kit I have placed in her vehicle, although I expect she could use the jumper cables on her own. I still believe the tools are appropriately placed as their presence would be useful to someone knowledgeable who could be trying to help (assuming I was not present). These kits are generic enough that they could work for most any vehicle, but it does help to know something about the vehicles when creating the kit. For instance, since I am dealing with a GM vehicle with a side post battery the presence of an 8mm or 5/16" wrench is relatively high priority. On the other hand, I can have a few gaps in the wrench set because my experience tells me that some sizes, like 11mm, are hardly ever needed (I won't say never, because I do recall being surprised once when I actually had a use for that size, but it's been the rare situation).

    I suppose a very important consideration is the age of one's vehicle. I don't believe in buying new. I have only done it once, and that because there were no good, used options (service bodied work truck--folks only tend to get rid of these when they are worn out). I like to buy a well depreciated, but well cared for used vehicle and then keep it for a long time. My newest vehicle is ten years old. I have no plans whatsoever for replacing it. I fully expect to be driving it ten years from now. The vehicle it replaced was thirty years its senior, and I still own that one too. And yes, it still runs and drives. But with those ages come reliability concerns. Those concerns matter less to me than to some folks because I can fix my own problems. BTDT.

    I suspect that for many folks who lack the skills, they make up for that by owning newer cars. As long as you keep yourself in newer vehicles you will probably experience fewer problems and thus have less need for the tools to take care of them.

    It boils down to a risk/reward issue. For myself, I see little risk in the older vehicle (I can take care of the problems, often on the fly) and would rather have the reward of reduced expense. I don't blame anyone who doesn't see it the same way. If my wife were not married to me, she would be much safer operating in newer vehicles. As it is, she knows who to blame if something goes haywire.
     
  13. JPHing

    JPHing Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    May 17, 2012
    Messages:
    2,309
    Likes Received:
    7,484
    I seriously need those
    I have all those tools. but they all over the back of my car
     
  14. xtrajack

    xtrajack Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Messages:
    1,271
    Likes Received:
    437
    I used to have pretty much the same gear in my truck before I got rid of it, (the truck, that is) I still have my basic tool set that I kept in the truck I also kept the 25' 2gauge jumper cables. I really like the cables, I could jumpstart someone from behind them as opposed to having the vehicles nose to nose. Being 2gauge wire, most of the time I didn't even have to have the truck running to start someone else.
     
  15. echo63

    echo63 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,219
    Likes Received:
    1,677
    Get them in a bag, and either tied down or in a separate compartment (boot etc)
    If you have a bad crash or rollover even a small item like a spark plug socket is going to, at a minimum cause a painful injury.

    I do intend to put a fire extinguisher under the drivers legs (at the base of the seat) in my next car - it will be in a proper steel bracket (with a lock pin)
    If its within reach of the driver it will be much more useful - especially in a bad accident where you are trapped/upside down etc - but it's still easy to grab in an emergency as you exit the car even if you are not trapped.

    If you have a dry powder type extinguisher it will need to be shaken regularly to keep the powder from settling into one big mass.
    The extinguishers in the race cars I see regularly are removed from the car during scruitineering (safety check befor racing) and shaken/inverted and tapped with a rubber mallet before being refitted to the car

    Most jumper leads aren't long enough anyway - I have had to jump my wife's car (in the middle of the forest miles from anywhere) and if the 4wd we were jumping off didn't have dual battery's (one each side of the engine bay) we would have been stuck - the leads wouldn't have reached.

    I have seen a 4wd near home with a very big (750amp) cutoff switch (Locked into the off position for everyday driving) and an Big Anderson connector front and back
    Jump leads simply get hooked up, checked and then plugged in - the big switch is flipped and power is supplied.
    The big switch also switched the winch on and off.
    Some vandals will happily short any exposed live wires on a car, or run the winch cable out and see what they can winch to (I have seen the results of a winch cable run out, over the top of the car, underneath and then hooked back to the winch bar - if the spectra rope hadn't been melted by the hot exhaust as it got tight there would have been much more damage
     
  16. lowindo

    lowindo Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    163
    I would add a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, small flashlight, tow strap, and small 12v air compressor.
     
  17. forte

    forte Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2011
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    69
    I'm starting to think that "Coverking tactical seat covers" will provide lots of options besides the trunk.
     
  18. jzmtl

    jzmtl Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Messages:
    1,566
    Likes Received:
    137
    I wouldn't, those scream smash the window and rob me.
     
  19. SAKplumber
    • In Omnia Paratus

    SAKplumber EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    29,783
    Likes Received:
    107,174
  20. quadrille

    quadrille Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    33
    I got a county comm xl sat comm bag put in a tire flat fix kit, the professional type http://www.autobodytoolmart.com/34-piece-deluxe-tire-repair-kit-p-14772.aspx?gclid=CLfUgov2o7ACFUOo4AodISNTYQ
    Then I wired in the jumper cables the tow trucks have with 30 foot long jumper cables http://www.truckntow.com/p-11330-heavy-duty-jump-start-kits.aspx. I found out the ones they sell at the auto parts store are useless, if a car is stuck in a garage or head on in to parking space you need a 30 foot cable. So I put the cables in the sat comm bag also some steel wire 2 vice grips duct tape and various tools
     
    SAKplumber likes this.