A terror attack, civil unrest or a natural disaster may require you flee you home so, aside from a bug out bag, you should also have a bug out vehicle or BOV prepared. This is because you can’t expect to go to a safer place by just walking—that would take days. It is definitely safer and more efficient to ride a vehicle, especially if you have your family with you.
So, if you are planning to prepare one, here are the requirements of a good BOV.
- The size of your BOV should be large enough to fit a whole family and should have room for a 72-hour supply of water and food. Its size should also be big enough to provide you and your family shelter.
- Your BOV should be 4-wheel drive and it’s better if it has a good ground clearance.
- It should be powerful enough to go through difficult terrains and tow other vehicles.
- The BOV should have a good gas mileage which is important for long travels.
- Finally, your BOV of choice should be easy to repair in case it breaks down. You don’t want a vehicle that you’ll have a hard time finding parts.
Bug Out Vehicles and the Pros and Cons of Each
This is the vehicle of choice for those who live and whose destination is near the water. This is also a great mode of transportation if you really can’t travel by road. Since you’re in the water, there are no traffic jams so your travel can be fairly quick. Another advantage is, you can use it for recreation while having it ready as a bug out boat.
However, boats, especially the big ones, are costly to maintain and they can be expensive. Although bigger boats will be able to carry your needed equipment, the smaller ones are not capable of doing so. Also, being in open water exposes you to a lot of things like bad weather and heat.
RV or Recreational Vehicle
An RV ticks most of the requirements of a good BOV. It is large enough to fit a family and you basically have everything you need in it such as electricity and toilet because it’s technically a mobile home.
On the other hand, it’s a large vehicle so you will definitely be seen which can be disadvantageous during an extreme survival situation. Your RV can be a target for those people who are desperate to survive as well. So, it is important to make a proper camouflage if you plan to use this as a BOV.
Also, RVs can be difficult to maneuver when you encounter a roadblock and you need to find another way to reach your destination. Other disadvantages are, they are expensive and have low fuel mileage.
This is the popular choice for a bug out truck because they can double as your normal transportation. Although they are not as big as an RV, they are roomy enough to accommodate a family. You also have the back as space for your supplies. Since pickup trucks are powerful, you can easily add a trailer which you can use your shelter. Also, most pickups are capable of driving through difficult terrain.
Its only drawback is, using it for your shelter can be challenging so, it is best for you to have a trailer in tow so you have somewhere to sleep.
Yes, a motorcycle can’t exactly fit a family and your supplies but it can be a pretty good BOV. A bug out motorcycle is extremely mobile and kind of stealthy. Depending on what type of motorcycle, it is capable of driving through difficult terrains. For the storage of your supplies, there are compartments that you can purchase that you can attach to it.
As for its drawbacks, it can only carry one or two persons and they are lightweight so they can be stolen very easily.
Bug out van
A van can be a good option for a BOV because first, it’s roomy for a family. Second, you can move the seats so you can convert it into a shelter. And thirdly, it has room for your supplies.
However, vans that are four-wheel drive can be difficult to find, though, you can convert one if you want to. Then again, it will depend if the van is front or rear wheel drive and buying a van that is already 4WD is actually a lot cheaper than converting one.
A bus is huge so it can fit a family or even two but if you are worried about it being flashy, it will be difficult to block this because of its size. You can easily drive through anyone in the event that somebody gets in your way. It can also be modified so you can have a toilet, beds and probably a kitchen. And, you have room for your 72-hour supply.
Its drawback, however, is it definitely needs to be converted first so it can be effective for survival. And as we all know, vehicle modifications can be really expensive and they have to be planned carefully.
Which is the Best Option?
The best bug out vehicle is the popular choice among preppers which is the pickup truck. The reason behind that is pickup trucks need very little modification so it can be used as a BOV. It is also the most cost-effective because, as mentioned earlier, you can use this as your normal vehicle while there is yet a need for it to be used a BOV.
Pickup trucks are large enough to accommodate a family and your supplies. Also, most pickup trucks, if not all, are powerful to drive through unusual terrains. Depending on the model, they are fairly easy to repair and their parts are not difficult to find.
What You Should Have in Your BOV
- Bug out bag
- Tow straps
- Extra fuel and empty containers
- Basic tool kit
- Spare tire and tire chains
- Jumper starter
- Spare keys
- Car charger
- CB radio
Choosing a BOV can be difficult because there is no perfect option. All the vehicles on this list have their advantages and disadvantages. However, you can find the right one if you consider what your needs are.