For whatever reason, your “personal tripwire” has been tripped, and you need to leave your current location. It may be something sudden, such as a house fire or wild fire, or it may be something more intense, such as an economic calamity or social unrest.
Regardless, you feel the need to evacuate or bug-out.
If you are bugging out, you may be planning on using a vehicle as your chosen method of transportation. As there are so many different types of vehicles, it can be somewhat of a challenge to find the ultimate bug out vehicle (BOV).
I have put together some options for you to consider.
What Makes A Great BOV?
In my opinion, the most effective BOV’s should be the perfect combination of fast, spacious, able to travel on pretty much any surface and able to go for a long time before needing refueling and servicing. They also need to provide protection from the elements, but also from other evacuees, animals and any other potential threats. Finding one vehicle that meets all of these requirements is near impossible, but customizing an almost perfect BOV may get you close to meeting all of the above.
Option 1 – A Recreational Vehicle (RV)
An RV is a great BOV if you have lots of gear and a long way to travel. It is also a great choice if you have no determined destination in mind and you plan to live on the road until you find a place of safety.
These offer home comforts such as kitchens, beds, chairs, tables, etc., which will at least make your bugging out experience more comfortable. The downside to RV’s is that they are not going to be that fast, and if you do end up having to make a hasty retreat, their size means the handling and maneuvering will be a big challenge for the driver.
In terms of protection, you could go full “Mad Max” and get gun turrets attached for added security; the roof could be used as a lookout point due to the height of the vehicle. You have the added bonus of being able to move around inside the back of the vehicle without being seen from the outside, which gives you an advantage in the event of an attack.
If you are in a fairly large group (more than 5 people), an RV would be a good choice as you have plenty of space. The lack of speed and maneuverability is countered by the security benefits of the vehicle and the group.
The biggest advantage of RV’s is that you have a permanent place to live wherever you go. The flip side to this is the fairly high fuel consumption so you will need to find plenty of gas or diesel to keep moving.
Option 2 – An Off Road Vehicle (Jeep, Land Rover, etc)
This type of vehicle can drive pretty much anywhere. This makes them fantastic for bugging out, as you will have several additional route options if roads are blocked. These can also be quick and pretty easy to maneuver.
They lack the space of an RV, so these are not ideal if you are in big group. However for individuals or groups of less than 5, you can squeeze in enough gear to get by for a couple of days while you travel towards your bug out location.
If you are looking to customize your vehicle, you could get your BOV “lifted”. For those who don’t know, this means raising the main body of the vehicle to allow for bigger tires and suspension to be added. This then gives you higher ground clearance so you are able to go over even more obstacles and tackle more challenging terrain.
If I had a prepared bug out location to head to with just my family in my group – this is a very tempting type of vehicle.
Option 3 – A Motorcycle
This is a tricky one for me. I have never been a “bike guy” but I do appreciate the advantages a motorcycle would have as a BOV. This is going to be the fastest option and the most versatile. You could easily make your way through road blocks, debris filled tracks etc with relative ease on a motorcycle.
However the lack of storage space for gear and supplies and lack of cover for protection are big concerns for me. If you able to fit your bike with some kind of trailer then you may be able to get a few days’ worth of supplies on the road with you, but the speed and versatility of the bike becomes compromised.
Fuel consumption is good so you will be able to travel long distances before needing to refuel – however, if your bug out location is more than a day’s ride away – you will need to find a way to carry those extra camping supplies.
One thing I would like to say about motorcycles is that they can be used as a secondary BOV. If you have a Jeep with 200 miles in the tank and attach a trailer with a motorcycle on the back with 300 miles in the tank, then once the jeep has reached its limit, you jump on the bike and you’re able to continue your journey. This set up gives you 500 miles of travel which is hopefully enough to get you to safety.
Option 4 – Customizing Current Vehicle
For another option you could simply customize your current vehicle. A simple customization is changing to “run flat” tires. These have reinforced sidewalls. These tires use tough rubber inserts to keep them drivable even with a puncture.
Adding a roof rack for additional storage is also a simple change. If you plan on bugging out alone, then removing back seats from a car could give you some sleeping space on your travels. Improvements to suspension, brakes and lighting are also worth thinking about.
Other options I have thought about as potential BOV options include:
- Bicycles – easy to get through tough spots, but take a lot of energy and effort to travel long distances. No protection or storage space are other disadvantages of a bicycle. However these would provide almost silent travel so you can remain undetected and no fuel, other than food and water for you, is required.
- Quad bikes and similar – if traveling alone, over a relatively small distance and with a prepared bug out location (meaning not much gear needs to be carried with you) then these are quick, stable and easy to drive. No good for group travel but worth considering if you plan a rough terrain route to safety.
- A boat – this is slowly becoming my preferred option for bugging out. A boat can provide security like no other – you can surround yourself with water allowing a 360 degree view of potential threats approaching. You are unlikely to be discovered by other survivors accidentally stumbling upon your camp.
You would also potentially be able to travel to most places around the world providing you have a suitable boat and fuel supplies. If you have appropriate filtration methods, you may be able to filter sea water as an unlimited supply of water for you and your group.
One of the biggest concerns I have is how supply runs would work. Being on a boat could leave you completely isolated a long way from potential supplies like fire wood, etc.
Your final choice of bug out vehicle will come down to your own personal circumstances and your bug out plan. There is no “one size fits all” so it will ultimately be up to you which type of vehicle you prefer. As long as it provides you with everything you require from a vehicle in order to survive then it is the perfect BOV for you.