Bug Out Vehicle

When a disaster occurs that forces evacuation of an area, having a bug out vehicle (BOV) stocked and ready to go is vital to surviving an apocalyptic event. Urban areas are especially prone to violent and chaotic breakdowns following a catastrophe that cuts off electricity, water, access to food and law enforcement. Having some type of transportation, be it a fully-equipped BOV, a bicycle or even a rowboat, will allow you to flee the gang-filled wasteland that was once a normal city and will no doubt save you and your family's life.


Converting older vehicles into BOVs is preferred over using new vehicles for this purpose because vehicles 25 or 30 years old contain minimal to no electronics, making them easier to repair and less susceptible to EMP blasts. In addition, finding spare parts for an older bug out vehicle would not be as difficult considering all the junkyards cluttering the U.S.

Disadvantages of using older vehicles for survival purposes is they do get less gas mileage than newer cars, something you might consider if you think you may have to escape to a remote location due to infrastructure collapse. In addition, newer trucks and cars will not need as much maintenance as older vehicles.

Finally, not everybody can afford to purchase a special bug out vehicle for survival modification. Using what you have, and being prepared for the worst, is better than not being prepared and suffering needlessly.

Sports Utility Vehicles


Advantages of using an SUV as a bug out vehicle include:

  • Four wheel drive capability
  • Decent range, decent gas mileage
  • Ability to traverse rough terrain
  • Towing capacity
  • Cargo rack
  • Can seat at least five people comfortably
  • Provides small area to sleep


Advantages of a Jeep

  • Low on carrying capacity but capable of traveling over any type of terrain
  • Good gas mileage
  • Able to pull a trailer

One big disadvantage is that most Jeeps do not provide any shelter from the elements so you will be sleeping in a tent at night if you use a Jeep to bug out. Additionally, jeeps cannot hold as much survival equipment as other vehicles, which makes this a good choice when only one or two people are involved in a bug out. This also applies to motorcycles, which are the best when it comes to receiving excellent gas mileage.


Boats are not usually considered when discussing a bug out vehicle but sometimes it may be better to escape to the ocean, lake or river rather than stay on land. When you realize that the Earth is only one-third land and two-thirds water, it makes sense to think about utilizing the vast expanse of waters full of resources necessary for survival.

Besides being able to fish and net an endless supply of food, bugging out in a boat means you have unlimited access to fresh water as long as you have a battery-operated desalinator. In addition, you will be isolated from society, something highly beneficial to your survival if the disaster involves a fast and furious pandemic.

The variety of boats also means you can choose something you can handle, because anything from a sailboat, to a kayak or canoe, can be used to stealthily leave a threatening situation. If fact, if you live on a body of water, you might consider a houseboat as your ideal BOV.

Bicycle as a BOV

In the event of an EMP, which may make your car or truck inoperable, you might want to consider a non-motorized means of bugging out. A bicycle doesn't require fuel, is easy to maneuver and only requires that the rider be reasonably fit. For those uncomfortable with a two-wheeler, a three-wheeler, towing a bicycle trailer, will make a suitable bug out vehicle.

Things to Pack in a Bug-Out Vehicle

These items are necessary for effective BOV operation and maintenance:

  • Spare tire / tire repair kit
  • Replacement parts and tools to change them
  • New battery
  • Engine oil and WD-40
  • Fire extinguisher
  • GPS / maps
  • Shovel and axe
  • Duct tape
  • Starter fluid as well as transmission, antifreeze and power steering fluid
  • Spare sets of spark plugs, hoses, bulbs and fuses
  • Carpet piece for traction
  • Can of Stop Leak

Other survival essentials should be packed in bug out bags as well and securely placed in the BOV, such as food, first aid, extra clothing and hunting/fishing gear.

Other Types of BOVs

Just about anything with wheels can be converted into a BOV including ATVs, RVs, motorhomes, motorcycles, cars and pick-up trucks. You could even leave in a donkey cart.

Motorhomes are good as family BOVs since they provide more room. No matter what type of escape vehicle you decide to use, constantly upgrading and improving the performance capacity of your bug out vehicle will greatly enhance your chances of escaping when the unexpected occurs.

Leave Bug Out Vehicle and Return to Survival Bug Out

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