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Bug Out Vehicle?

Should you have a bug out vehicle? Many experts say yes, you should… but what exactly is a bug out vehicle?

A bug out vehicle is clearly the mode of transportation that you should consider using in case of emergency.  It isn’t necessarily a Ford F150 or a massive tank-like vehicle.  In fact, it doesn’t even need to be gas powered…

In most crisis situations, you don’t want to go out guns blazing.  In fact, we have been told many times by survivalists that it’s best to sneak out under the radar.

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In this case, you would want an older looking car or a vehicle that draws no attention to you.  A massive shiny truck isn’t necessarily that vehicle.

When you consider your bug out vehicle, you should think about the terrain that it may potentially need to cross.  If you are going to be driving or escaping through the woods, you don’t want to use a tiny car.  Perhaps that is a time when you want to have a larger truck.

If you are going to be taking major roads in order to exit, you would want to take a smaller, unsuspecting car. Think about it; if there are check points that you have to travel through on the way out of town, you are going to be searched just a little bit more thoroughly if you look like you’ve got something good…

You should also consider types of boats that you may use if you live on the water.

What do you think would work best for a bug out vehicle?

59 comments

  1. I’m not moving and I live in a small town but I would take in a bug out family…. You need a site where people can go to and see if they are compatible to living in a bug out site……Do you get my thinking ????????????

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  3. You’ve gotta be kidding…..
    This was about the lamest entry in your quiver of 2nd level “survival” topics.
    NOTHING of use here at all…..Do you or your staff even have a clue where the term “Bug-out” comes from, or what it refers to?
    How’s about having someone KNOWLEDGEABLE give information about the how’s why’s when’s and wherefore’s of leaving one’s primary shelter…

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    • that was a very shorted reply from Rambluff!suppose he had a lot of stuff, or had a long journey to bet out to a safe place how would he do it in his Mercedes or caddy Seville, if the roads were blocked &he chad to travel cross country over unimproved roads or logging roads that his car couldn’t handle would he risk it with his shiny new car? good luck fella!

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      • I have a large two seat pick up that I would drive as far as possible, if possible. What we don’t know is what the bug out situation will be except bad or we wouldn’t be bugging out in the first place. When I can’t drive for whatever reason my bug out vehicle is my bicycle. I won’t ride it I will pack it with about 250 pounds of gear and push it. I learned this in Southeast Asia. I think at some point you will have to walk, there will be no other choice. Without re-supply you may have to survive for a long time with what you can carry. The biggest back pack won’t be enough. I can mount a military duffel bag on the seat and handle bars, basket on front, sadle bags on the back. Now I can carry a small back pack, that won’t drain my energy.

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    • I have to agree – might as well have said do you need a bug-out plane. Well don’t by a fancy one, but make sure it can get in the air.

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    • Get real! A Ford F-150? Only if it is pre 1968. The electronics after that can be stopped by EMP. A diesel would be best if you can make Bio-Diesel. Second best would if you could convert it to alcohol.

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      • John G. Drescher. I have read some articles about EMP, and from what I can gather, 90% of the vehicles, electronic ignition included, would not be effected by an EMP. Most electronic ignition and computer controlled vehicles would still start and run.

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        • EMP affects primarily circuits that are “on”. Think about this. I just had to have my ignition switch and key replaced in my 1998 model vehicle becaue the circuit that reads the chip in the key when you put it in the ignition failed. No starty without that smarty. Is that security circuit ever off? Even if it is the only part of the car blown by an EMP, the car is dead.

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          • I’m not as concerned about a manmade EMP, since that’s not as likely to happen as a solar storm. From what I’ve read, the magnetic pulse from a solar storm won’t be strong enough to knock out personal electronics, like a car’s ignition. Rather, the electrical grid would act as a giant antenna, pulling the pulse into the sub-stations, melting each station’s core. So we’d need to be prepared for 6 months or more of not having the electrical grid as the cores are replaced. But I don’t think we’d lose the use of our cars.

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          • No electricity = no gasoline = no cars. With no electricity the pumps won’t work at the gas stations. You might be able to hand dip gas from them, but when that is gone there is no more. That will happen in about three days. After that it is back to third world, shank’s mare and bicycles.

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    • Right On!!

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  4. Other vehicles might be motorcycles, especially enduro type that can be riden off road. Just thinking……..

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  5. My bug out vehicle is a motorcycle. The roads will be blocked, and this will make it easier to get through, and even go off road. My primary concern would be getting to my son…

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  6. “Run what you brung!” , most people use what they have. Perhaps a recommendation to abstain from overloading one’s vrhicle might be appropriate. Instead of forcing a vehicle to carry the family, animals, and 5 years worth of food, a single axled trailer will take considerable strain off the vehicke one is dependent on to get to their BOL. Please make sure the tires are good and the bearings repacked every couple of years.
    Drive with your temperature gague and don’t be afraid to shift your automatic should conditions warrent. Watch your tire pressure, think about load rated tires, consider all-season tires, a good upgrade (and a cheap easy one), might be to install overload springs in your existing vehicle. If traffic is not a problem, consider reducing speeds to put less stress on the vehicle.
    Drive with extreme cre. Getting entangled with someone elses road rage may leave you sitting on the road side watching everyone else go on by.
    The “end game” here is getting to your destination.

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  7. We own a 99 Chevy Suburban Z71 Off Road and an 89 Toyota Land Cruiser… We’re not buggin out. we’ll stay put and wait for the dust to settle. People who panic are the ones that will not make it when the SHTF… stay calm, count rations, decide what things to have readily available and packed when you do decide that it’s time to go…

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  8. You had best plan ahead and know where you are going, multiple alternate routes that include off-road. If you live in a city there may not be any way a vehicle will be able to leave so find routes that can be walked.

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  9. M3A35. It will run on almost anything for fuel. It will handle rough terrain and deep water. With the tarp over the back, it can be temporary housing. It can hold everything you may wish to carry with you.

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    • a daily driver Jeep wrangler/Wagoneer/Cherokee/J-Truck from the mid 70’s with 4WD option, no Electroinc ignition … just points and coil … is a good bet …

      Drive it more than twice a year …. you don’t want bad gas or go hay wire because it sat for 5 years ….

      have TALL, some what skinny tire’s with staggered open tread – good grip but with low road noise ….. don’t want some one hearing you driving down the road with the lights off …

      Speaking of which … get an above average exhaust system on it … Didnt this article or some one mention something about being “QUIET”!!!! — above average dosen’t mean 4″ exhaust with headders — it means glasspacks near the motor and GOOD mufflers by the tail pipe.

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    • Regina, can you explain what a M3A35 is? Thanks!

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  10. I have horses up to the task if the need arises. At least two for each family member. One to ride, one or more to pack. They are extreme trail and gun trained. We can stay off the roads and within cover.

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  11. All terrain vehical with a ATV trailer….Get you a lead sheet….Pound it thin (1/32)….cut into 12 ft by 3 foot rectangles….about 9 each should do it (that number works perfect with my ATV)…build a small made to fit plywood shed for the ATV…Use lead head roof nails to nail lead shetts to shed…Put your ATV into the shed….Now your safe from EMP….Also store your electronics in there too!!! You can do the same for your Jeeps and trucks…..That is if you want to go BIG. P.S. Make sure you put the lead sheets on the floor too!

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    • it doesnt have to be lead, any metal that conducts electricity will create a shield for EMP….

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    • Lead is not an EMP sheild, it’s good for ionizing radiation, i.e. neutrons and fallout. You want a conductive shield like copper, iron or aluminum. It can’t have any holes and it has to be grounded. EMP is Radio Frequency energy, not X-ray.

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  12. For survivability, consider an antique John Deere 2 cylinder tractor pulling a small trailer. These old tractors (pre-1955)are not much more complicated than a lawn mower and could survive an electromagnetic pulse, as a simple magneto sparks the plugs and a headlight. They were designed to use most any flammable liquid as fuel, with a few adjustments to the carb and timing, due to Great Depression considerations. Home brew alcohol, kerosene, and even some perfumes would power the ol’ “Johnny Pops”. They were low powered and won’t go over 20 mph in road gear with good tires on flat pavement, but they were rugged and easy to maintain. They push start if necessary. Plus, they could be equipped with steel wheels for flat-free performance in severe situations and don’t need roads! They are very durable and rather inexpensive even if purchased fully restored.

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  13. If you need to bug out you need to know where you are going, & have alternative ways to get there. I have a truck with an old camper in the back of it. it is set up for short term bug out, I have some acreage where I would go and can hunt or fish, there is water also. Good planning is important.
    Don’t go off 1/2 cocked. You will have to use what you have if you have to bug out, the most important thing is a brain.

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  14. Try a Horse and Pack Mules, they can go anywhere and live off the land if oats are not available.

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  15. It seems to me that the idea of having horses to ride and pack would be the quietest, least noticeable way to go, IF you were going to Bug Out. I plan on staying right here…not going anywhere! I live in the country on a small hobby farm, and will have to make do with that.
    I’ll just “sit it out” and do the best I can.

    PS: If you were raising cattle, hogs, chickens, etc. and the SHTF, I would assume poachers would kill and take your animals. They’re hard to hide!!

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  16. Idiot article because it has no real information!
    That being said, if you decide to bug out, have a vehicle you will enjoy dying in, as most people will that bug out in a truly emergency. Leaving because of a storm or similar small scale event if different and really easy to get out of town for the few days to weeks needed by most any method.
    If we have a real meltdown, moving away from your normal base of operations will likely kill you! Few understand the meaning of being a refugee, nor what it really entails. :( Study Chad, the Sudan other places like them, even Haiti.

    Remember a true collapse of the United States means no one, not one soul, is going to come to help you/us!

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  17. As for me, I will just go with what I have. A beat up old 96 F-150, my 08 Mustang, or my 06 Harley Street Bob. It all depends on conditions, etc.

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  18. Maybe there is a bigger reason to why the feds do not allow the import of 4 wheel drive diesels, Volvo 303 , 404, or even the recent VW Rocktons.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cccg1ifsJlE

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  19. I have a Ford E350 box truck w/ side compartments converted into a RV,Bug Out Vehicle. Has 6 months food in it at all times. propane stove and heater,30 gal. water tank, Batteries for power, solar panels and generator or plug into power, bathroom w/chem toilet,futon,fishing eqip,DVD player with alot of DVD’s,plenty of ammo, raft, wood burning stove, tents,meds,tools, all ready to go at any given time always gased up. and 6 decks of playing cards lol….

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  20. dodge cummins diesel 4×4’s, inconspicuous minivan, & dual sports if the trail stops. still working on EMP protection… :-(

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  21. I am at a loss as to why folks in the prepping community continue to push and advocate “Bugging out.” Unless an army of 250,000 screaming Chinamen are pulling a scortched earth, “Tecumseh Sherman” march and aiming directly for our front door, or a nuke goes off close by, or our home gets destroyed by fire or something, we AIN’T going anywhere!

    It would require something very drastic to make me leave all my supplies and preps behind, and take my chances on the road with only whatever we could carry in an environment that you cannot control. Esecially with a wife and 2 pretty teenage daughters in tow, we can quickly find ourselves in a situation I cannot extricate them from, even when we are armed to the teeth.

    All bunched up together, you are extremely vulnerable to attack in a vehicle. And folks on the road all bunched up, tired, frustrated, scared and ill-supplied (with law enforcement NOWHERE in sight) will get hungry, thirsty, horny, rowdy and desperate, and begin looking at YOU and yours. That will be Mad Max syndrome at it’s worst…. No thanks.
    I prep here, I live here, I have a water source on the property, (not an accident)and acres of woods to keep the family warm and to cook with. I’ll defend here, with people I know and trust. We’re semi-rural in NW Georgia. This is as good a ground as any. You’re better off knowing the ground you are going to defend than to take your chances unnecessarily that you will land in a good situation out there somewhere…..I’m not a fan of unnecessary gambling, esecially as it pertains to the well-being of my family.

    And God forbid, your car breaks down, or gets damaged fighting off a group of rowdy foragers, or snipers shoot out your tires or engine in order to stop you and rob you, or you run out of gas….. The word “Stranded” with young women positively SCREAMS “Assault Us!” That will attract attention like a lit flea market Christmas tree….

    Again, no thanks. We’ll be FAR safer here with respectable quantities of food, water, warmth, power, A/C, medicine and firearms galore to discourage the ballbaggery of society.

    Now, if you live in a city or near one, especially a liberal, ghetto rat-loaded one, then yeah…… get the hell out by any and ALL means possible, as EARLY as possible. They will be ground zero for the anarchistically predisposed…..(The Douchebags)

    Just bring some supplies along with you to contribute when you get to your brother Harry’s house. Your reception will be less than overtly welcome if you show up and prove to be only burdens on an already tense and uncertain situation. Don’t be THAT family……That’s NOT an adventure you want to start off already behind the eight ball in…..

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    • Exactly correct. Leaving is dying. :(

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    • Wow…finally an intelligent comment and quite true. Very good, Johnny.

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    • Yes Sir I live in the Hills of central Louisiana prepped for most things, survived a few hurricanes and my daughters are grown, still listen to thier daddy and can be here in under an hour, oh yeah us army trained too, I’m buggin IN TOO

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  22. I have an airplane and a bug out bag to tie on the wing struts. not legal but if you have to bug out it wont matter. if for some reason that wont work, how about an ATV? oOr take a lesson from the North Vietnamese load down a bycle and push it with a stick tied to the handle bars

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  23. Valerie Pederson

    My mother, brother and I are all wheelchair bound. Bugging out would be extremely difficult for us, so will plan on hunkering down and waiting out the mess.

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    • to Valerie Pederson:
      you dont have to leave, there are many books you can get from library or online to help you survive right at home. The exceptions are: fire, tsunami, hurricane, etc. But there are many things you can do to save yourself while buckling down, and being prepared. Water and food and a generator are critical.

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  24. I have a restored full fleet size bed 77 Chevy silverado painted with Rhino Lining. 4-speed manual,350 cu,4X4 with superwinch hubs and a 4″ lift kit. I have parts, oil and filters and the know-how to fix it. No ECMs,just the ole’fashioned points and distributor. 40 gallons of gas, CB radio and a 3 tier gun rack. Real quiet and a brand new 8500lb superwinch.Total old School ( had the same truck in H.S.35 years ago) No plastic bumpers, fenders, or other body parts. No WIFI, GPS, Bluetooth or “OnStar”-type tracking device. With everything else, I an ready.

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  25. I already live farther out than most people will even want to run but just in case I have to leave my mountain cabin I have 3 four wheel drives and would not use any of them. I have 9 horses all trained to to pack. I can take up to 1200 pounds of supply’s and can go places no truck ever thought of going and don’t have to rely on fuel.

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  26. My bug out vehicle(s) are at the end of my legs with boots on.

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  27. I’ll use my daily driver (Sierra 2500) to get as far from the city as I can, then switch over to a deer hauler. Loaded, it will carry 300 lbs with no weight on the handle, like a small, all-terrain rickshaw. Hopefully, the advance preparations will allow us to disappear into the northern woods as much as possible to ride the storm out. I have to disagree with the earlier posts though, the article wasn’t useless, it got us looking at different ideas for a bug-out vehicle, with info from other preppers to way the pros and cons of each.

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  28. John G. Drescher

    Your CB can be effected by EMP so protect it.

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  29. Why is it that so many assume that you well need to do a lot of driving after bugging out? Are they planning to commute to a job that no longer exists?
    Run flat tires maybe needed (high priced).
    You can get foam filled tires for bicycles that never go flat. Also, you can get them for your vehicles, ATVs and trailers but understand that your top speed will be limited to about 10 mph (except for short bursts) to keep the tires from over heating. But spikes, nails and bullets will not make them go flat.

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    • You can purchase better run flat tires, both for you vehicle and trailers, that allow speeds well over 10 MPH.

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  30. Think about getting a used, good condition, military 4×4 at auction for 3-400 bucks. We’ve got a 1 1/4 ton Chevy “CUC-V” HD pick-up truck. It’s a serious woods, river, mountain truck, with all the mechanical & prepper goodies. With a little money to fix it up, you can’t beat it.

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