Bug Out Vehicle (BOV) and What You Need To Know About Them
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Just what makes the perfect Bug Out Vehicle?
That ideal bugout vehicle or truck is a heavily debated subject so I will try to cover all of the different theories and ideas about what makes the best BugOut Vehicle for you.
What makes the ultimate survival vehicle for SHTF or WROL events?
Well to start, there a lot of different ideas on what type of vehicle, year of the vehicle, size, and carrying capacity plus much more. Here is my opinion on everything from fuel tank size to deep water crossing.
There are 4 main concepts for a bug out vehicle
- Older Vehicle (EMP Proof – Easy Repairs)
- New or Newer Vehicle (more reliable)
- Whatever You Have Right Now (Low Cost)
- RV or Motorhome (Traveling House)
The school of thought on the Old Bug Out Vehicle (1980 and older) is that it has much less electronics in the car and engine components. This is helpful when it comes to EMP blasts and ease of repairs.
If such an event occurs that it will either not effect these older cars or it will be much easier and faster to get them operational again with many spare parts to be had (as long as it is not TOO old or rare).
The older vehicles will also not have pre-installed programs like OnStar, which enables a central office to disable your car, unlock your doors and use gps to track you. All of that aside most people with a little basic knowledge can easily disable these programs in a newer car and not have to worry about this.
You can supplement an older car with items like modern mapping and GPS units to successfully navigate your bugout vehicle.
Another advantage to older cars and trucks for bugout vehicles is the availability of spare parts and the ease of working on the older vehicles. Imagine the amount of parts and variations of spare parts out there for older cars and trucks compared to a newer car.
plus, if you’ve ever worked new cars with all of the bells an whistles, then you know that the electronics and computers complexity on these modern cars makes it much, much harder to work on effectively.
For some more great bug out information check out my post on Spicing up your Survival Food!
Now for the train of thought on newer survival cars or Bug Out Vehicle. The thought on this one is that the likely hood of a EMP pulse weapon is minor.
In some minds this percentage is not great enough to outweigh the pros of a newer Survival Vehicle. With most new cars and trucks you will get a lot better gas mileage.
This will be especially important if you are bugging out to a remote location or if infrastructure crumbles and you are left siphoning gas out of cars.
Also with new cars and trucks you will be facing a lot less maintenance on your bug out vehicle and repairs which could be critical when you are having to do the repairs yourself. Not only are they better on gas mileage and maintenance they are admittedly much more comfortable to ride in if you are on a long trip.
The third theory is use whatever you have. Now this will ring true with a lot of you out there. In these hard economic times not everyone has a disposable income that they can throw 10 grand at a new car right? Well this theory covers that and says use whatever you have on hand , be it a civic or bmw.
Now with this you will save a lot of money but you will need to “retrofit” your car to make it a functioning “bug out vehicle”. This means beefing it up a bit with carefully planned storage solutions and other important aspects such as skid plates for gas tanks and such.
Bug Out Vehicle
Regardless of which vehicle you choose, here is a list of what your Bug Out Vehicle will need to have. This is just general ideas of what you need to keep in mind and everyone’s situation will differ but this a good generalized idea of what the Ultimate Survival Vehicle would have.
- 4×4 Trucks and SUV’s
- Sized to fit your whole family, pets, bug out bag and supplies as well as spare parts and tools
- A receiver style trailer hitch
- A good heavy duty winch (preferably 1 in the front and 1 in the back)
- Completely well maintained and in perfect working order
- Upgraded shocks
- A good brush guard
- A full sized spare tire (don’t let a single blown tire stop your bug out plans)
- Fog and Driving lights
- Optimized storage (i.e. roof cargo)
- Largest tires possible for your car or truck (think ground clearance)
- Skid Plates (especially for your gas tank)
- CB and antenna
- Spare Parts like:
Don’t get discouraged at all of these upgrades. Many of these can be done for cheap and even done by yourself. For instance the shocks or springs are very easy and inexpensive. Brush Guards are another thing that you can do yourself and save a ton on labor.
As for maintenance, you really want to make sure your fan shroud is in very good condition. This is a key component to the engine, not only does it carry air to your radiator is also keeps the spray of water to the engine. This is very important if you are carrying a full load or towing!
Bug Out Vehicle
Now the size of your Survival Vehicle will depend on many factors.
- Family Size
- Your Personal Needs
Regardless of which Bug Out Vehicle you choose to get you will need to “Stock” it. Here is a simple list of what you will need to have in your BOV in addition to your bug out supplies or BOB.
No matter which car or truck you have it is a good idea to have these spare parts in your car and readily available for any situation.
Bugout Vehicles Checklist of Parts
- Repair and Car Manuals
- Basic Auto Tool Set and Spare Parts List:
- Metric and Standard socket and wrench set
- Torque wrench
- Ball peen hammer
- Linesman’s pliers
- Channel lock pliers
- Needlenose pliers
- Locking pliers
- Spark plug socket and setting tool
- Electrical connectors and wire
- Allen wrench set
- Distributor wrench
- Electrical tape, shrink tubing, cloth friction tape
- Duct tape
- WD-40 or other spray lubricant
- Breaker bar
- RTV sealant and/or gasket maker
- Starter fluid
- Nylon zip ties
- Jack stands
- Spare fuses
- Spare bulbs
- Spare spark plugs
- Spare spark plug wires
- Spare hoses
- Fluids (oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, coolant/antifreeze, etc.)
- Tire repair kit including fix-a-flat or “slime”
- Snow chains
- Distilled water (for battery)
- Stop leak for radiator, oil, etc.
- At least one 5 gallon gas can
- Jumper cables (quality all copper 4 or 6 gauge)
- Inverter for charging comms and appliances
- Assorted parts
- Ignition coil spares
- Alternator backup
- Thermostat backups
- Complete distributor or at least cap, rotor and points (for older vehicles)
- Starter spare
- U-joints spares
- Voltage regulator (older vehicles)
- Fuel pump spares
- Starter solenoid/relay spare parts
- Fuel filter spares
With all of this kept in mind you should have a great Bug Out Vehicle ready for anything! Bug Out Vehicle (BOV) and What You Need To Know About Them. The best bugout vehicle depends on your needs and what you are prepping for personally, as well as the location of the world you are in.
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