What to Consider When Choosing the Best Bug out Vehicle
This common sense approach to bug out vehicles is skipping over the bells and whistles like Infrared headlights, roof mounted machine guns and fancy on board entertainment systems and looking at more practical every day measures. So what do you consider when choosing the best bug out vehicle that isn’t a piece of fiction?
1. 4×4 Preferred
Preferably you might start with a good 4 wheel drive or all wheel drive vehicle. With roads being a clustered wreck the fastest way to travel could very well be off road. This doesn’t mean you have to have a 4wd beast, just something that can handle rolling through some fairly adverse conditions.
All wheel drive vehicles like a Subaru would be another good option, but due to ground clearance (the next point) it may have trouble getting through more difficult terrain or water crossings.
2. Ground Clearance
Next, look for a vehicle with good ground clearance. Rubble, downed power lines or shallow water crossings should all be concerns in your bug out. Having a vehicle with at least 18 inches of ground clearance is a smart prep. If you can get over 24 inches all the better.
This is particularly important if your bug out location is in a hard to reach or remote area. Also if you live in an area prone to earthquakes, floods or hurricanes where water crossings or jagged roadways may be common.
3. Easily Repairable
Choosing the best bug out vehicle means choosing one that has easy to repair parts and access to those parts for repairs. This can make a big difference over a long term bug out situation. The more vehicles on the road that use the same parts as your bug out vehicle the more opportunity you will have to salvage parts to keep your survival machine rolling.
Another point to this is that you should have a fundamental knowledge of how to do basic maintenance and repairs to your vehicle. If your life depends on the vehicle you’ve chosen and you don’t know how to repair it should it break down then you are putting yourself in a bad position from the start.
4. Seating for 4 Plus Room for Gear
The average family is 4 people, but your family may be bigger or smaller. Plan accordingly to the size of your family… or at least the ones you want to take to safety. For a large family an 18 passenger van may be the best vehicle, for a small family of 2 or 3 a single cab pickup truck will be enough.
Be sure that you consider the amount of gear you will need to sustain your family. This includes bug out bags, water, food and anything that is needed in preparing your bug out vehicle like additional gas cans. If your bug out vehicle can be equipped with a rooftop cargo carrier it’s a great way to increase the amount of gear and people that you can haul.
5. Gas Tank Capacity of over 300 miles
The range you can get is very important when choosing the best bug out vehicle. If half a tank of gas will only take you 100 miles you may be in for a world of hurt. In most disaster situations you will want to get at least 3 hours from your present location, at highway speeds of 60mph that means a total distance of 180 miles. 210 miles if you travel 70mph.
3 hours is enough to escape a blizzard in the north, a flood off a river or a hurricane on the coast. It is also more than enough to escape a densely populated city like LA, Chicago, Boston or Houston. If things really go bust getting as far away from the urban metropolis is going to be one of the best chances for survival.
In addition to the previously mentioned rooftop cargo carriers, other things that may be desired are off road tires, bumper or brush guards, additional lights, winches and possibly even an all terrain trailer.
Bumper guards will protect the vital parts of your vehicle from a collision. Whether it is another panicked driver or a downed tree. These bumper guards also double as a place to mount additional lighting.
A winch is one of the most useful things you can equip your bug out vehicle with. Whether you are clearing debris from your bug out shelter, pulling a stuck vehicle from a ditch, getting yourself unstuck from said ditch or even drawing water from a well without straining your back.
Where To Look When Choosing the Best Bug Out Vehicle
There are some great places that you can find rugged equipment capable of hauling you to safety. A few places to check are listed below.
Ebay Motors has a wide selection of vehicles to choose from. Everything from school buses to land rovers and pickup trucks will be found listed on their site. If you are preparing on a budget then look at vehicles that have auctions ending soon and are listed with no reserve. These are the vehicles you will usually get the best deal on.
The bugoutvehicles.net site is a great place to find ex military vehicles that have been converted to more comfortable bug out vehicles. Their team takes the military vehicles and then adds in things like 12v accessory outlets, more comfortable seats and interior noise dampening that make for a more comfortable ride.
People sell vehicles on craigslist every day and often times a good deal can be found. Use the criteria above when looking at vehicles and you may be able to find a good deal.
This site takes government surplus vehicles and sells them off to the public. If you are looking for something a bit bigger than the average pickup or commercial van, then this is the place to look. As this is written there is currently a 2.5 ton Cargo Truck, 6×6 vehicle at auction for only $2,471.00.