Vehicle Loadout – carrying stuff out of sight, out of mind.
Frame of reference: Carried this way when I lived in a small town in a Western “Cowboy” “pro gun” area.
*When I travel to less “pro gun” or “Cowboy” regions into a more “Hippie” region, I cover up my gun stuff with less gun/tactical looking stuff or conceal it in “hippieflauge” backpacks all together.*
Mission: Bring fighting sustainment kit such as ammo, mag bags, armor, long guns as well as medical for Gunshot and Trauma as well as basic 1st Aid supplies. Broken further down into what stays in my vehicle vs what gets brought in/out and when in a borrowed/rental ride.
The stuff we leave in our car is going to be dictated by environmental concerns/knowing where you live/travel. Living in the desert for the last 7 years I have learned that water is life. As towns can be 1 hour to 1.5 hours apart at speed on the interstate, you have to keep water with you. As water gets nasty when left in the hot car for a while, I have found its better to just travel with extra fresh water all the time – 2-3 32oz Nalgenes get thrown in the car for me each trip, in addition to the beverage of the day.
During the winter, cold weather clothing, snow shoes, food and a way to make warm food are packed as well. Having been stuck behind a road closure more than once in both weather conditions this became important. This type of weather stuff will generally get packed into a specific bag and put in the car daily/pre trip.
First Aid/Trauma Kits:
The statistics are out there indicating you are very likely to pass a car accident and unlikely to get in a lethal force encounter in your daily life. As such, a 1st Aid kit as suggested by the Red Cross in addition to a TCCC recommened kit (in line with the training you have on the use of such kits) should be in your car. Now, these won’t work unless you can get to them so pack accordingly.
First aid stuff usually needs rapid access. As such, I try to pack accordingly, but in a manner that keeps it from the ease of reach by small children who love to play with things and eyes of thieves.
I also carry a supplemental IFAK/1st Aid kit in my daily carry bag. That way if I end up separated from my vehicle I have it, as well as when borrowing a vehicle.
As already said, its unlikely you will get in a lethal force encounter statistically, but we carry a gun for the unknown and since when its lethal force time, a gun is the best option. As such, I bring extra magazines and usually an extra gun or rifle or both with me.
“Cowboy” carry: I just stuff an extra M4 mag or 2 in my car door and one or two more in the glove box. Glock mags for the gun I’m carrying (i.e. Glock 22 or Glock 19). I will stick a full or extended capacity mag for the Glock – Arredondo’d +6 Glock 17 mag or a 22 round Glock 22 mag. I also try to have a box of spare ammunition on hand in case I shoot something like a rattlesnake, skunk, etc while out and about in the desert, or if I need a new round as the chambered round needs replaced while traveling. If I realize I’ll be in more populated areas with this setup, I’ll usually find some bags/clothes to cover the door kit with.
Nothing “tactical” should be exposed as it can draw undue attention. As such, brown, black, green, camo, etc are bad and colors like bright blue, orange, etc. I’ll put my extra ammo and such into a grab and go rig that gets placed in a Hippieflauge backpack from REI. My car IFAK is a surplus Coyote brown one, so It just stays out of sight in these situations.
A long gun presents its own carry/deployment issues. Biggest remains storage and accessibility. Out of sight, does lessen chances of it getting stolen, but the best choice is to not leave it in the vehicle unless you have no choice. You can figure out when/where and what to do with that, but I’m going to cover leaving it in the vehicle.
1st: Don’t openly carry the rifle to your car.
2nd: Don’t leave it out where everyone can see it.
3rd: If you can, secure it with locks.
I keep assorted bags, blankets, clothing in the car for various reasons. A mix of those items will cover the rifle up and break the outline up from a straight object with a jacket in line looking like a rifle, to a bunch of coats, bedding, etc. thrown on the floor boards. Another slower deployment option is to just carry the rifle in a non rifle bag – i.e. backpack/dufflebag. There is an existing discussion on the various non rifle, rifle bag options on the Primary & Secondary Forum.
A threat based analysis must be conducted as well as a personal capability assessment, before doing the things I covered in here. Also, remember to consult local laws. Some states don’t like you having loaded guns or magazines in the vehicle. Be aware of laws as that is part of being prepared.