How to Prepare a Bugging Out Vehicle

When disaster strikes, having your bugging out vehicle packed and ready to go could play a key role in your survival. A well-prepared out vehicle will provide both reliable transportation and storage for some of the gear you’ll need while traveling to and from your designated bugging out location. Although a fancy vehicle that’s designed for the task may be nice, an average car or SUV that’s been packed with the right tools and equipment is really all you need.

As you start to prepare your vehicle, it may be tempting to load it up with as much survival gear as possible, but you shouldn’t rely on your vehicle as a replacement of your mobile bug out bag in case you need to abandon your vehicle along the way.

Lime green Volkswagen van driving down a rural road

The following are some of the essential items that will help you prepare a great bugging out vehicle:

1. Trailer hitch

Because trailer hitches are relatively cheap and take up very little space, it’s a great idea to have one on hand in case you decide to use a trailer as part of your bug out plan. The ability to store gear in a trailer behind the car also creates more space for people to travel in the car if necessary.

2. Jump starter

As many of us have experienced, a reliable jump starter can be a life saver when annoying battery troubles arise. This is even more true in an emergency situation when we can’t afford to lose valuable time while stuck on the side of the road with a dead battery.

3. CB radio

A CB radio is an effective means of obtaining important information about road construction, accidents, and other useful information during a disaster.

4. Brush guard

Any vehicle you plan to take off-road should be equipped with a brush guard to protect the radiator from damage and make it easier to ram things that get in your way such as trees, fences, bushes, etc.

5. Sleeping bag

Having a sleeping bag available in the event that you can’t make it to your bugging out location on time will keep you warm and cozy while dozing off in your car or tent.

6. Basic tool kit

A basic tool kit is always smart to have with you to help with any sort of mechanical repairs you may need to perform while on the road.

7. Tow straps

If your vehicle or someone else’s breaks down without the possibility of immediate repair, tow straps will help that vehicle be towed to a safe location.

8. Tire chains

Anyone that lives in an area with harsh winters should already have tire chains for their vehicle to minimize the danger of driving on snow and ice. Especially during a catastrophe (when snow plows aren’t keep the highways clear and the roads aren’t salted), tire chains are a definite necessity.

9. Spare tires and keys

It’s always smart to have a set of spare keys and at least one spare tire on hand in case your keys get misplaced or your tire goes flat.

10. Siphon pump & extra fuel containers

One of the most essential items for a bugging out vehicle (or any vehicle, for that matter) is fuel. Since it’s likely for gas stations to have limited to no fuel during an emergency, it’s imperative to have both a siphon pump and extra fuel so that you have multiple means of obtaining the fuel you need to make it to and from your bugging out location.

11. Mobile bug out bag

As mentioned previously, you shouldn’t rely on your vehicle as a replacement for your mobile bug out bag. Have a well-packed mobile bug out bag ready to throw in your car in addition to the survival items listed above that you’ll already have stored in your vehicle.

If your bugging out vehicle is packed with essential survival items like these ones and whichever others you feel should be included, you should be well on your way to traveling safely and efficiently wherever you need to go.

For more prepping tips and resources, check out Prepper’s Base.