Without a functioning vehicle, many survival plans fall apart. You can’t outrun a natural disaster on foot. Nor can you escape to your bolthole in the country when SHTF without a reliable set of wheels. Here’s how to turn any car into a bug out vehicle.
Keep Up with Maintenance
You won’t be going anywhere if you let the routine maintenance on your vehicle slide. Check your tires daily to make sure they’re in peak condition. While you’re at it, check all the lights, too. If your wiper blades get worn out, replace them immediately–and keep an extra set in the trunk.
Always perform routine maintenance like oil changes on schedule. You don’t want to run out of transmission fluid unexpectedly, so make a habit of checking levels and topping up as needed every week or two.
Finally–and this is really essential–never travel with less than half a tank of gas. You don’t know when or where disaster will strike, so don’t assume that you’ll be able to fill up tomorrow.
A Well-Stocked Bug Out Vehicle
Your trunk (or the back of your cab) should be stocked with supplies. Start with water–each person needs about a gallon a day, so you must stock more than just a jug or two. Food is a slightly lower priority, but it’s still a good idea to keep at least a few days of quality rations.
In addition to a first aid kit, you should also invest in a roadside emergency kit. Jumper cables, tire patches, spare fuses–these can all make the difference between getting to safety and being left behind. You should also have an ice scraper, a shovel, and a piece of old carpet to help get you out of mud, ice, or other bad conditions.
Laminated paper maps of your area are a must. If something happens that knocks out the grid or cell towers, you won’t be able to rely on an app to guide you. (You should also practice digital detoxing now, but that’s a topic for another article.)
Every smart survivalist should master the use of a CB radio. Set up a frequency for your loved ones and allies so that you can broadcast to each other without relying on cell phones. A Ham radio isn’t a bad idea, either. Your bug out vehicle also needs to have a full set of road flares and emergency markers.
You Don’t Need a Special Vehicle
Yeah, it’d be great to have a 4-wheel-drive Jeep–especially one built before computers controlled everything in your car. But if you can’t get your hands on a new vehicle, don’t let that stop you from prepping the car you own now.
If you do decide to buy a new vehicle, prioritize fuel efficiency first. Then look for a reliable, durable ride that isn’t too difficult to repair and won’t require hard-to-find parts.
It’s actually better not to drive a vehicle that screams “I’m a survivalist.” Going under the radar is one of the best ways to stay safe.