Bicycle Bug Out Vehicle BOV

Using a Bicycle for a Bug Out Vehicle: Some Pros and Cons

Police use them and the military has used bicycles, (bikes) for decades, as well, so why not you. As the saying goes, you are not someone on wheels, but someone with wheels and wheels may be just what you need when you cannot drive a motor vehicle and also need the stealth that can only come from a bike that doesn’t make noise.

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BOV Bug Out Vehicle

Bugout Vehicle: What do You do if You Can’t Drive?

You have, of course, heard the expression about putting all of your eggs in one basket. Carry that thinking over to your bug-out-vehicle, your BOV if you will. If you pin all of your hopes on your vehicle during a crisis, you may be putting your survival at risk in some cases.

Imagine your BOV is packed top to bottom with your emergency essentials, and you can only get a few miles down the road. A vehicle packed with much more than you could ever possibly carry in a pack, and at this point caching your supplies is out of the question as well. What do you do if you can’t drive?

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Bug Out Motorcycle

The Pros and Cons to Using a Motorcycle as Bug-Out Transportation

There are pros and cons to using a motorcycle as bug-out transportation or using one to simply escape a disaster area. You would drive yourself crazy trying to prepare for all possible road or off-road conditions when it comes to choosing a motorcycle. Therefore, to make a decision you would assess your need, probable terrain you would have to cover and do a threat assessment. Most importantly, however, can you navigate with a motorcycle in the winter months, because if you cannot then it is not a logical choice?

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Bug Out Boat

Does a Bug Out Boat Make Sense for Some Preppers?

You obviously do not want to be on a boat or even near any large body of water during hurricanes, heavy rains, or during thunderstorms or when there are high winds. However, there are times when a boat could save your life.

The ideal situation would be that you live near a large body of water and have access to remote islands, islands where you could set up a bug-out-location. You could easily ferry supplies across to your location without raising suspicions if you follow a few simple OPSEC rules. Having a boat docked close by eliminates the need for a vehicle to haul the boat to a launch area.

Keep in mind, however, if you found an island suitable for your needs, others could of as well, and so you have to look ahead and consider how you would defend your location.

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What Do You Really Need In a Bug Out Vehicle (BOV)

Bug Out Vehicle BOV

First, you need one that runs when you need it too. Your bug-out vehicle cannot be covered with a tarp inside of a barn somewhere waiting on the apocalypse. You need to know what it is capable of  doing under various road conditions, so it has to be driven, tested, and maintained. Even those vehicles not driven much will need their fluids changed to keep rubber seals and gaskets lubricated to prevent drying out and shrinkage. Belts and hoses will need to be inspected and replaced as needed as well.

You will need more than a working knowledge of the mechanics of your vehicle, so repairs can be made by you. For starters, you need to know how to change the oil and filter, air filters, tires, transmission fluid/filter, and you must know how to replace all belts and hoses.

You probably do not need a vehicle that looks like it was in a Mad Max movie. Bells and whistles while impressive only means more maintenance, so unless a gadget or accessory enhances your survival prospects do without it.

Four wheel drive is a given, because off road driving is very likely in a grid down scenario. You will need to move around obstacles, and other vehicles along the highways, so this means off road driving. The vehicle’s clearance has to be high enough so you can navigate over rocks, logs and other low lying obstacles, otherwise you will have to blaze a trail the entire way by moving things out of the way.

Cargo space, most SUV’s have some, but it is not likely to be enough room for supplies for an extended period for you and the family. A trailer is an ideal addition to your vehicle, but there are downfalls, because a trailer means more maintenance and expense when it comes to tires, lighting and so on.

However a closed trailer provides protection from the elements for your supplies, and of course allows you to carry much more in the way of supplies and equipment, and it can be used as an emergency shelter as well. Even an open bed trailer can be used as a shelter by stringing tarps, because the bed of the trailer gets you off the ground. Therefore, you should have a vehicle that is capable of pulling a trailer.

You may not be considering a trailer right now, but things change so make sure your vehicle has the hitch capability whether you think you need it or not. In a crisis you may come upon a trailer, so you have to be prepared to take advantage of certain situations as they arise.

A mounted winch would be the best case scenario, but if this is not possible then at least have come-alongs (cable pullers) of adequate size. Having one too small for the job is the same as not having one at all so make sure you size it correctly.

For most people, their BOV would be used to get out of a dangerous environment to a safer environment. You cannot just jump into your vehicle and drive aimlessly for days however. You need a destination and the fuel capacity to get there, and then move locations possibly, and ultimately get back home.

How far can you go on one tank of fuel. You need to know, and then factor in that you may have to backtrack, move around obstacles, and possibly even circumvent large bodies of water. You need to have multiple routes mapped out, and know how many miles it is to your final destination when using any of the routes. You need to know so you can stockpile enough fuel.

Fuel is heavy and you cannot just toss it in the backseat with the children. Without fuel you would have to abandon your BOV and probably much of the supplies you are carrying. Again a trailer is an ideal addition, because you could easily carry enough fuel in or on the trailer.

Hauling a trailer will make off road driving more difficult, but there are tradeoffs with everything you do, so you have to weigh the pros and cons of having one versus not having one.

Your cargo space can be increased with roof cargo boxes or rails that can be used to tie down supplies and equipment. Some of your cargo room will be taken up by bug-out-bags, tools for repairs and spare parts/materials such as batteries, tires, oil, antifreeze, and so forth.

Your objective is to move from one place to another with as little problem as possible. Any vehicle you have could be a BOV, but if you have a choice then choose wisely, by considering among other things,  maintenance, cargo space, off road capability and can you and your family shelter and eat inside the vehicle when needed.

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Campers: Do They Make Good Bug Out Vehicles?

Campers Bug Out Vehicles

There is not a simple answer to the question. Much depends on your situation, your familiarity with campers, geography and type of crisis you would be dealing with. Type of campers would include motor homes, travel trailers and truck campers.

When people think of bug-out-vehicles (BOV) they think of a vehicle that can get them out of a dangerous area quickly. The vehicle is packed with emergency essentials and is ready to go at a moment’s notice. Bugging-out signifies haste, leaving an area that has become hostile, and that means leaving by the fastest and safest means possible, does a travel trailer or motor home fit that description. You can decide that based on a multitude of factors.

If your home was destroyed by some type of a disaster and you had a camper/motor home then you have shelter. However, if the disaster has not struck yet, but if one forecasted or predicted and you feel you would have to bug-out, would you jump in your camper. If you did, would you be able to get clear of the area driving a motor home or pulling a trailer, versus simply getting in your vehicle or setting out on foot, this is the question you need to answer, and can you answer it before a disaster strikes.

Considerations

If you have a travel trailer, this means you need a vehicle capable of pulling the trailer, and keep in mind during a crisis you would probably overload the trailer, which in turn would put more stress on the vehicle pulling it. Tires, engine and transmission all would be under more stress.

Water and fuel alone would take up considerable weight and then there is food, generators, clothing and other essentials, and because of the space, available people would tend to pack more. If you could not leave well ahead of others that are fleeing, you may find the highways are gridlocked, and you would essentially be trapped with all of your supplies in one place.

On the other hand, if you managed to get out of the urban area, you now have a shelter for when you arrive at your bug-location. You do have one of course, or do you plan to pull into a rest stop or camping area, during a crisis.

Rest areas and campsites would be overwhelmed in most cases by others doing just what you are doing and of course looters, and other criminals will go where the valuables are. If the crisis were, a natural disaster, campsites and rest areas may not be ideal places for sheltering.

How would you refuel, if you did manage to get to a bug-out location or any safe haven? You can carry fuel with you but the amounts would be limited. You simply cannot end up somewhere without the ability to leave that area at some point, and have to leave your home essentially and all of your supplies behind.

Truck campers would be better suited as a bug-out vehicle, because they are self-contained but you are limited on space. However, you would have more storage space than a typical vehicle. The truck camper would provide you with shelter, and they can be maneuvered around obstacles much easier than a motor home or travel trailer being towed. Of course, as with a motor home or travel trailer, they would be obvious targets for looters and others.

Campers or motor homes would be ideal for off grid living and in some situations could be used during a crisis if they were set up before the disaster struck. A camper would be the same as having a shelter built at your bug-out-location. Of course, you need a location that is remote and one you had access to at all times, in other words, you would have to own it to ensure you would not be uprooted in the middle of a crisis. Even if you did own a piece of property there are no guarantees you would be able to hang on to it during certain situations.

One of the advantages of having a camper is storage, in particular storage of safe drinking water. This is provided you filled the tank(s) from a clean source. You would need water hoses rated for drinking water and you would have to know the source is safe. Filling the tanks with contaminated water means the water would have to be drained and then the tank(s) sanitized properly and this would take large amounts of clean water.

Mobility would be a problem with any type of camper, so taking to the open roads for any substantial distance would be problematic. You would need more fuel for the towing vehicle, than you would otherwise need when it was not towing a trailer and fuel for the motor home. This could become a problem one that could not be solved easily if at all during some situations.

You may be forced to abandon your camper at some point and if so you would need a vehicle so having a travel trailer would have its advantages over a motor home, because you can unhook the towing vehicle. A pickup camper would make the most sense but you would have to consider its downfalls as well.

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8 Military Bug Out Vehicles You Can Own

Photo Credit: TinHatRanch.com

Photo Credit: TinHatRanch.com

Transportation will be sketchy in a grid down situation, roads may become dangerous, and if the situation prolonged, impassible. The typical Toyota sedan has no place on the roads during hostilities. Many of you have a “bug out vehicle”, everybody wants one. While there is no definition in the old Webster’s dictionary, a BOV must be rugged, reliable, be able to haul plenty of both gear and people, and if you are really serious, armored.

To achieve these objectives, we have several options. One is to take an existing vehicle that is large enough to accommodate passengers and gear and modify it. You may wish to start with something like an old Jeep Cherokee, Toyota, or Land Rover. Those that need a larger capacity can consider the Suburban or Excursion. All of these vehicles can be made into very capable all terrain machines.

The problem with modifying these machines rears its ugly head when you get to the armor. They are just not built for it. Sure, you can add strategic plating here and there, but they will never be “bullet proof”. The suspensions aren’t made to haul around that much weight, and even if you did add the armor, the drivetrains would be woefully underpowered. So what do you do?

One option is to purchase a readymade bug out vehicle. Otherwise known as a light armored vehicle, these fit all of the criteria in spades. Here is the problem, you will have to sell your house and mortgage the kids to get one.

Read more at… 8 Military Bug Out Vehicles You Can Own

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Bug Out Vehicles: Diesel or Gas?

Gas vs Diesel BOV

The age old question, gas or diesel? When considering a bug out vehicle, which form of dinosaur juice is better? It is best to understand the basic differences between the two to arm yourself with the knowledge to make the decision. This article from the Tin Hat Ranch will explain how and why gas is different from diesel, in respect to bug out vehicles. Check out:

Bug Out Vehicles: Diesel or Gas?

 

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8 Bug Out Vehicle Considerations

Bug Out Vehicle Considerations

Bug out vehicles come in all shapes and sizes, some are purpose built, other can be the vehicle you have on hand. For most preppers, a car or truck’s bug out attributes are probably a concern when purchasing a vehicle. Some may consider an old non computer controlled vehicle to be the perfect choice, others the latest 4×4. Either way, here are some considerations when purchasing a bug out vehicle from our friends over at the Tin Hat Ranch. Check out:

8 Bug Out Vehicle Considerations

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Bug Out Vehicles: Some Things to Consider

 Bug Out Vehicles

The consensus is that vehicles manufactured prior to 1986 can withstand an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack and still operate because of the lack of technology, no electronic components in other words. The problem is that no one really knows. Based on common sense and a slight understanding of what an EMP is you can assume that vehicles without electronic ignitions and on board computers would be able to function after an attack.

However, finding one, that age still operational could be a challenge but they are out there. You may have to do some work on the vehicle but to be a true survival/bug-out vehicle it would have to be capable of withstanding an EMP.

Diesel or Gasoline

Diesel engines are the logical choice for several reasons, one being fuel efficiency and the durability of a diesel engine. If you put 100,000 miles on a diesel engine, you have scarcely broken it in whereas a gasoline engine may be gasping for air at this point. You can make bio-fuels for diesel engines if you have the raw material and skill as well.

Have the supplies packed that allow you to siphon fuel from stalled or abandoned vehicles and even from underground storage tanks. Newer model vehicles have guards in place that prevent a hose from reaching the fuel but in a true SHTF situation, you will be able to find older vehicles with fuel in the tanks.

Use clear plastic tubing to siphon with if doing it the old-fashioned way. Using clear tubing means you can see the fuel in the line as it moves upward to prevent getting a mouthful. You can also use hand operated bulb type siphons. Ensure you have enough tubing length to reach underground storage tanks.

You get better torque/pulling power with a diesel. The decision is yours of course based on your situation on the ground at the time you make that decision, but you must also think long-term and not just about what is happening today.

Pickup trucks or SUV’s are the logical choice because of the cargo space. Pickups when empty are lighter than an empty SUV so they would not crash a barrier as easily. On the other hand, you can install a brush/push guard on the front and add weight to the bed using sand bags. Weight of course reduces fuel efficiency.

Things you need to consider include space for people and room for supplies, and in particular space for extra fuel. Adding a trailer is ideal because you can double or even triple your cargo space and you can use the trailer for shelter as well. The trailer should not just be a flatbed type. You should have cargo rails and ideally have built up sides. Simply secure some tarps to the side rails for an emergency shelter. The ideal trailer would be an enclosed one with a door you can secure with a lock.

Most SUV’s allow you to remove the third row seats to increase the cargo space. You can use this space for sleeping as well. The biggest problem you will have however is once you begin packing it you may find you have more gear than room.

Even if you get all of your supplies in then you have taken up all the sleeping space. This means you would have to spend time removing gear for sleeping and this is not an ideal situation when bugging-out. You can sleep outside of the vehicle but you cannot count on being able to do this every time because of weather conditions, safety reasons or other environmental factors.

Cargo carriers on top of the vehicle are an option but they can be a hindrance if you have to go off road because the boxes can snag on overhead limbs and heavy brush. Speaking of off road, four-wheel drive is necessary for any bug-out vehicle because it is unlikely you will encounter clear roads ahead during a bug-out situation.

Answers Some Questions First

Do you have a bug-out-location picked out, and how far away is it? Do you have supplies at your safe haven, extra fuel, tools for vehicle repair and parts for your vehicle and so on?

If you know, you only have to get from point “A” to point “B” during a crisis and you know the number of miles and the terrain along the way this may influence the type of vehicle you need, and what you need to bring.

The reality is you cannot pack enough to last you indefinitely and once you begin packing you will see just how little you can actually carry. You will have to choose carefully and prioritize.

You may not have a place to go to and plan to camp out essentially in some remote area, so this will have an impact on what you pack and how much. You cannot assume there will be a set timetable for when things get back to normal, if it ever does get back to normal. You may have to deal with a new normal. It could be days, weeks, months or even longer that you have to survive away from your home.

Additional Considerations

There are several schools of thought on bug-out vehicles and even about whether you should ever bug-out at all regardless of the situation.

Some, and rightly so make the argument that a person walking can surpass virtually any obstacle they may find along a highway or trail, whereas a vehicle cannot. You as a person walking can cross-rivers, go through deep snows, maneuver steep inclines and go around stalled vehicles and other obstacle on a bridge for example.

Vehicles run out of fuel and breakdown, and the biggest concern is you load your vehicle with precious cargo only to drive a few miles and you have a mechanical failure or you find you simply cannot find a way around a barrier. Then what, you have supplies that you cannot carry, and decisions have to be made quickly. This is something that must be given considerable thought.

If you are traveling with your family or others, on foot, you can carry only so much and you will only move as fast as the slowest person will in your group. However, the human body is designed for walking and running and you could walk for an indefinite period regardless of the terrain.

To make a decision about a bug-out vehicle you need to think long term. What may apply today could change tomorrow. However, you should always prepare for evacuation because you simply do not know what conditions may arise that will force you from your home or community.

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