The EM50 Urban Assault Vehicle from the Movie Stripes

Everything I research and ponder seems to require some lump sum of cash.  Skills are important, and should be practiced, and some of them require money to practice them.  One of the things I have been thinking about recently is a Bug Out Vehicle (BOV).  Hint, this is there the thought of money entered my mind.  There are tons of opinions about Bug Out Vehicles.  Some say it needs to withstand an EMP, some say it has to run on diesel fuel.  Some say it has to be a motorcycle, others an SUV.  The one thing that I know, is that a BOV is essential to anyone in the suburbs or urban environment that is a vigilant prepper.

A BOV may be the only way of getting the hell out of Dodge early before a SHTF gets too bad in the suburbs or the city.  If you have read any of my past posts on bugging in or bugging out, you will know my philosophy for those that are suburbanites and urban dwellers.  My assessment, or criteria, rather, of a BOV is as follows. 

  1. It should be large enough to hold all the gear you need for yourself and your family.  If it cannot you may need to buy a larger vehicle or have another one on hand.  By this I mean, if you are Bugging out to Mom and Dad’s house 100 or so miles away, and you have to bring preps, you need to bring those preps with you.  This could be food, weapons, farming equipment, whatever.  You will need something large enough to haul it back to where you are going, whether your final BOL or a rendezvous point.
  2. If need be, it should be able to be used as your shelter for a short period of time.  You never know what the weather conditions may be.  If you are in a minivan that you have modified.  I have seen this online and have not been able to find it since… A guy did a whole mod of a minivan, added an outdoor kitchenette in the back, as well as a camp porta-potty, etc.  It was an interesting mod.  There are others that I have seen that are interesting… Just click the Google Link Here, and it will take you to a search for BOV’s
  3. In my opinion, you should have a small Get Home Bag in your BOV at all times.  I say this since most people will not be able to afford another vehicle and their existing one will double as a BOV.  The GHB is just going to be a smaller version of your Bug Out Bag, unless you are traveling a great distance and you want to take your BoB with you
  4. Personally, it should be able to go off road as well as on road.  This decision is based on my geography.  Your geography may dictate differently.  This of course dictates a lift kit, heavier duty suspension, etc.  And, yes, this is more expense.  If off road, considerations are for dirt to rough road, or no road whatsoever. I really need to take dirt road and no road into consideration in the future.
  5. It should have the ability to at least go 200 – 250 miles on a tank of gasoline or diesel fuel.  I would also try to carry a gas can that has at least a five (5) gallon capacity when bugging out.  Ideally I like this 14 gallon gas can/pump that I saw at Costco for $90.00 dollars.  Just my take… 14 gallons will just about fill up my tank once giving me another 300+ miles of road to stretch in my truck.
  6. Make sure you can equip your vehicle with some type of water storage.  At least 72 hours of water for each person.  I recently bought a seven (7) gallon water storage container ($11.00 at Walmart) that I filled, added a little clorox bleach to, to keep it potable, and will be putting it in the back of my truck.  That will supply me, on an average day with the ‘recommended’ limit of a gallon a day of water for seven days, or roughly 72 hours of water for two people.
  7. The BOV should be able to haul a trailer of some sort in the event you need to attach one and haul extra gear and equipment to your BOL or rendezvous point.  See my point number one above as to why.
  8. This is just a small list of what I think “my” BOV should contain.  It is off the top of my head and based on what I see when I do a search.  I will try to add subsequent posts with more information on a BOV as I continue to think about it/them…

Many people feel an RV would be the best as a BOV.  I believe in a VERY early stage SHTF an RV would be good to bug out in, but once the SHTF, personally, an RV on the open roads would be a target for the refugees or locusts as my friend calls them.  Conversely, had you bugged out early, it could be your permanent or semi permanent shelter at your BOL.

Now, my ideal BOV.  Hmmm… Good question. As of today, it is my Toyota FJ Cruiser.  IF I had the extra money to spend, it might be a pre 1980’s Ford Bronco with no electronics and something I could pay for with cash and have no payments on.  It would be something easy to work on and troubleshoot if something were to go wrong.  It has been years since I have disassembled an engine and rebuilt one.  An area I clearly need to bone up on.  I might have some special modifications done to it.  Lift kit, suspension, wheels/tires, solar panel, deep cycle battery with inverter, etc.

I have been thinking it is time to buy a bike as a backup BOV.  I believe I mentioned a bike a bit earlier.  Here is a cool post about some BOV alternatives and backups as well:

Maybe not what you were expecting in the link above, but clearly alternatives.

Please feel free to comment…  I am a student like everyone else…

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We’re a group of suburban preppers in the Northeast and live in the NYC suburbs that write The Suburban Survival Blog to talk about preparedness and self-reliance out there to help others prepare for what could be an uncertain future due to economic, weather, and other reasons.