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If you’re the type of individual who plans to get out of dodge when SHTF, chances are you’ve given some thought as to how you’ll get there. It’s inevitable that major roads will be congested with traffic as others evacuate the area. In an earlier post, we discussed a few tips for low consumption driving and how things like vehicle weight, acceleration control, tire pressure, and fuel types play an important role in your vehicle ability to get you to safety.
This article will continue on the topic of bugging out in a vehicle and discuss other ways to keep your BOV ready to go. Keep in mind, even those set on sheltering in place when SHTF cannot hedge their bets on a single preparedness plan.
You don’t necessarily have to devote a substantial portion of your prepping budget into your vehicle, especially if your plan is to stay put. Whether or not you plan on hunkering down or bugging out, if there’s a vehicle in your driveway you should consider the following tips to keep it ready. Tires – The idea behind the bug out route is that your vehicle’s four wheels will get you much further than your two legs.
Inspect the tread and pressure levels of your tires routinely, especially in the winter months. Additionally, you should plan on keeping a complete spare tire in addition to the donut that comes with your car.
It’s recommended that you replace your battery about every four years, as they tend to lose their acidic charge at about that time.
It’s not a bad idea to keep an extra new battery on board your BOV, as you never know if there will be other (friendly) survivors on the road willing to pull over and give you a jumpstart. Fluids – Your vehicle’s engine fluids are one of the easiest things to regulate, though many people still ignore them.
Your engine oil and oil filter should be changed regularly, and an extra quart or two should be kept on board in case of a leak. Also keep two full canisters of fresh gasoline at home to top your tank off last minute or while on the road.
Also consider carrying a few quarts of fuel additives to freshen any questionable sources you may come across on your route.
This may already be part of your bug out bag that you carry in your vehicle, but if not you should consider an alternate means of communication to your cell phone and car stereo. This is important above all, as your BOV is only useful if it can successfully get you and your family to safety without breaking down.
About the Author Latest PostsAbout Cody GriffinCody Griffin is do-it-yourselfer, and avid outdoorsman. 96% of 2013 vehicles and all of 2014 vehicles have black boxes that can be tracked and SHUT DOWN for satellites. I haven't gotten around to a truck that won't be harmed by an EMP yet all my electronic gear is safe though. About the Bug out vehicle at the beginning of this article, That is a very nice set up, and I wish I could afford one like it.
Useful post!!I found all these tips practical that can  help in extending the life of automobile and keep car maintenance expenses to a minimum. Having a pre-planned destination for bugging out trumps a 4 wheel truck that costs 30-40K.
All comments, messages, ideas, remarks, or other information that you send to us (other than information protected according to the law) become and remain our property. For the sake of some sort of brevity, I’m going to assume that you know what a bug out bag is. There are a thousand other checklists out there already and here I am adding another one to the pile.
The best we can do is tell you what you absolutely need to have and give you some options for other items so you can decide what works best for you.
I’ve split the list into Essential and Optional supplies so you can prioritize your packing.
Trust me, this list is long and there is no way all of it is fitting in anyone’s bag.
I’ve also included a checklist PDF to make your packing easier (and keep you from having to reread all of this). Water container – Plastic and metal container water bottles both have their advantages.
Flashlight – Whether it’s finding your way back to camp at night or exploring an (hopefully) abandoned building, a reliable flashlight is essential.
Knife – Cutting, prying, stabbing, chopping, or just waving around menacingly, knives are invaluable in everyday life and even more so in survival situations. Paracord – Cordage can be used for anything from building a shelter to catching game to making weapons. Check out our post about why paracord is so great and what paracord projects you can do with it. Trash bags – From using it as a poncho to keeping things dry to carrying water, trash bags have a million and one uses. Depending on what you need it to do, these can be fairly inexpensive or clean out your beer money fund.

Bandana – Use as a dust mask, carry your belongings like a hobo, keep the sun off your neck, or soak up water from a puddle.
Duct tape – I think you already know how versatile duct tape is so this should go without explanation. If you read My Favorite Prepper Hack, you already know why my Kindle has a place in my bug out bag. Tinfoil – Continuing on this trend of small items with a myriad of uses, tinfoil can be used to cook, signal, cover, and make hats out of.
Packing cubes – You could easily get by without packing cubes but when you need to get something out of the bottom of your bag, these are great for getting to it without dumping out your whole pack.
Gloves – You might have to maneuver fallen structures, navigate dense brush, or dig people out of rubble. These provide a lot of grip as well as protection but regular mechanic’s gloves will work well too.
Cook set – Pick one that is light, durable, and allows you to easily cook over a fire or camp stove. Toothpaste – I don’t know about you but I start to hate everything when I don’t brush my teeth. Solar lantern – This one is great because it compresses so small but inflates to provide a crazy amount of light. Tarp – Number of uses including shelter, rain collection, transporting large objects, etc.
Phone charger cable – We all seem to focus on TEOTWAWKI situations but after Hurricane Sandy, people went to great lengths to be able to charge their phones.
Hand crank generator – For those overcast days, it’s always good to have another source of energy like this. Gum – If you don’t know how to start a fire with a battery and a gum wrapper, it’s a neat trick that could save your life. Pantyhose – Add this to our growing list of everyday household items with a laundry list of uses. Rubber tube – Handy for siphoning gas out of a car, making a slingshot, or using it as a tourniquet, among other things.
Tampons – Laugh all you like but these things are damn useful, even for those of us with a Y chromosome. Vaseline – Use it to prevent chapped skin or as a fire starter (not at the same time though). GPS – As long as the grid stays up, this is a much more efficient way of navigating and you can get a good base model for less than 100 bucks.
Tweezers – Hopefully your multitool came with a set but if not, they can be helpful for removing splinters, thorns, bee stings, etc. Sewing kit – I was taught how to sew at a young age and have used that skill more times than I can count. You also want that vehicle to have everything you need to keep you alive for a few days on the road until you reach your shelter or find safety. Every prepper knows that being prepared means having the measures in place to hunker down AND bug out and the ability to do either as soon as disaster strikes. A surprising number of minor and inexpensive tasks can be what makes the difference between a roadworthy BOV and a worthless hunk of steel on wheels.
If you don’t have quality, well-inflated tires with good traction, you won’t get very far when SHTF. You should also have your tires rotated and your wheels at least every 5,000 miles to maintain their condition. If space inside or above your car allows or you plan on bugging out over an extended route of rough terrain, you may consider keeping a full set of spare tires on board your BOV. Some batteries last much longer and some give out much sooner, it’s up to you to watch for signs of decline. Your transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, engine coolant, and windshield wiper fluid should also be filled and extras of each kept on board (if space allows). If you have a vehicle designed to get you out of dodge, you should make sure it’s ALWAYS filled with gas. If you have a bug out shelter, make sure it too has a supply of fresh gasoline for refilling your tank upon arrival. Your BOV should be stocked with a tool kit that contains (at the very least) a set of screwdrivers, hammer, pliers, wrenches, socket set, utility blade, pry bar, and a roll each of electrical and duct tape. From there, you’ll find some insurance knowing you have all the necessary equipment and supplies on board to survive on the road.
Easiest way to tell, pop the hood look at the distributor, if it has points and condenser = no electronics.
Put extra battery in small metal garbage can, surround with cardboard, then put in large metal garbage can. Because if any of your Bug out routes get plugged or washed out you will need them to get through the fence on the side of most roads.
Thank you for your comment, but our bugout vehicle is not a trailer, sorry about the misunderstanding, but what we have is a all terrain luggage rack that automatically folds up going through ditches, over rocks, washouts, and levels back out on the level again.
If you don't mind, I'd be curious to know if you'd be interested in sharing some of your knowledge with me.

Battery maintenance is important as without the battery, we are not able to even start our car.Therefore it is important to keep the battery in good working condition by simply cleaning and clearing all its components. There are benefits to all of the items on this list but that doesn’t mean you have to carry it all with you. There are links to useful articles on some of the items to give you ideas on different applications and why they are important. When picking out your bug out bag, make sure to choose one that is comfortable, water resistant, durable, and has plenty of storage. And you should be careful about what you drink because no one wants to get the trots while running for their lives. You could be in the heart of an urban environment in the middle of summer and still need fire. You never know when you’re going to need to cut a wire, descale a fish, or put together an Ikea bookcase. Another addition to your pack that takes up little space and more than makes up for its weight.
Wrap some around items already in your bag like lighters, pencils, or flashlights to save space. It’s not just for piecing back your mother’s figurines, it also makes a good bandage for small cuts, repairs leaks in your tarp, and, you know, fixes stuff. Get this one so you can listen in to broadcasts as well as talk with other fun preppers about how you totally saw this coming. Put copies of all your important documents on here in case the world returns to normal and you need to prove your identity or that you won the 5th grade spelling bee. And that is going to do hell on your manicure. Also a good choice when contamination is an issue. Plus chewing gum decreases your appetite so you don’t go through your rations as fast. Morale is a big part of survival so if feeling a little cleaner is important to you, you might want to make room for these.
Get them in different colors to identify members of your party in the dark or use them for signaling. These bad boys have a long list of uses and are pretty easy to add to your pack without sacrificing weight or space.
The following items have been well thought out and discussed with other urban survivalist so you can be sure that these items will be worth their weight in gold when the time comes. In doing so you’re more likely to get lost, encounter danger, and fail to cover much ground.  For many preppers, the bug out vehicle (BOV) is the answer to these problems.
However, things like speed, protection, fuel efficiency, and off-road capabilities are commonly sought components in a reliable BOV. That means every time you take it out for errands or run practice bug out drills you should fill the tank on your return trip home.
It is good on fuel, highly maneuverable, reasonably fast, 4x4 light, and can set up and take down in less than 2 minuets It is already packed and plugs into any 2 inch trailer receiver hitch! The sides fold down to make a platform big enough for a three man pop up tent and a pop up privacy tent with a potty and chemically treated catch bag, also a shower, and it can be set up and taken down in less than 2 minutes. If you have to choose only one, go with a lightweight metal container that is durable and allows you to boil water in it (not insulated). I’ve had a small swiss army knife on my keychain for ten years and I still use it constantly. Hypothermia, visibility, blisters, sunburn, and chafing are all dangers when wearing the wrong clothing. Definitely at least a hat, pair of socks, and change of underwear. Bonus tip – Add a needle, razor blade, or other small tool when wrapping for even more functionality. Knowing what time it is allows you to coordinate plans, know how much time you have before it gets dark, and calculate distance.
You can only survive for three days without water so it is very important that you are able to stock up when you find clean water. Ideally you’d have one for heavy duty tasks like batoning and one for more delicate tasks like skinning. If you can figure out how to get it in one of those Clear Eyes droppers, that’d be perfect.
My real question is, why would you recommend having on board besides the battery and fluids currently mentioned.
Premade kits like this are fine but you may want to beef them up with any prescriptions you take, antibiotics, hydrocortisone, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, and activated charcoal. I have medical covered, traveling food plus emergency survival for 30days by way of bars and water packets.
Spare terrain proper clothing, and of course hand tools and weapons for bivouacing and group protection.

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