January 4, 2015 at 8:01 pm #33552
This is a long video but worth the watch if you haven’t arrived at a decision about Bug Out Vehicles.January 4, 2015 at 9:21 pm #33554
This was interesting. I don’t have a purposeful bug out vehicle because as noted in the past I don’t have anywhere to bug out to. In my opinion none of my friends or relatives are better situated. Come what may I am where I am. Prior to moving here fulltime it had been my bug out location.
My thinking otherwise on bug out vehicles is that you want to blend in rather than stick out and that you need to take into account the climate and terrain of where it is you plan on driving to. Most of your supplies and such should be pre-positioned at your bug out location. What had been an issue for me before we relocated fulltime was when I had MA plates which would have made me stick out as an outsider once across the border, and potentially could have been an issue if borders were closed. For that reason I found several old dirt roads going through the woods that crossed the border, roads that only locals would even know exist and that would not be a focal point for border closures.
A thought that occurred to me for those who have distances greater than a tank of gas to travel is to cache extra fuel along the route rather than assume you’ll be able to buy it along the way. Add Stabill and cycle it through your vehicle at least once a year and you should be OK. How and where to cache it is entirely another matter.January 4, 2015 at 10:43 pm #33559
Toward the end of the video he finely comes out with his decision for best vehicle, all wheel drive vans. Vans in general 2X or 4X have a lot of advantages over other vehicles due to the large protected interior space, carrying capacity, and clearence height I just happen to by a big van for work years ago, not even thinking about bug out needs. Today I bought a heavy set of snow chains for the van. Chains are very useful off road as well. I like his idea to install a smoke generator. It would be easy to make one by dripping oil into the exhaust pipe behind the catalytic converter.January 4, 2015 at 11:36 pm #33566
Chains? My Dad always used snow chains when I was growing up. I didn’t realize you could still buy them. They could indeed prove very handy come SHTF and the roads aren’t being plowed & sanded/salted. I just looked online and there are plenty to choose from. I should pick up a set.January 4, 2015 at 11:46 pm #33568
With the influx of front wheel drive vehicles, SUV’s and radials, chains fell to the wayside. They give any vehicle tremendous traction.January 4, 2015 at 11:55 pm #33570
It will most likely be what we have on hand , this means for some of us a plain old pick up truck . Not the best , but not the worst either . Camper shell , and its not all bad . Can take a little bit of abuse , can go down bad roads , if you dont do anything stupid , and maneuverability sucks , but it will probably get you there . I have to comment about his recommendation about mini vans and vans in general . When I lived back east , more often than not , 8 times out of 10 , the car going sideways into the ditch during a snow and ice storm , was a VAN . little cars you wouldnt think would make it , did , but soccer moms van was in the ditch . Just Sayin
74 , when I lived in Maine , I never bought snow tires or chains , instead , I just put 200 lbs of bag sand , in the back of the truck over the rear wheels , and never had a problem . Then again , the cardinal rule for weather like that is dont be in a hurry . the I-95 speed limit was 45 mph during inclement weather , everybody did 35 . Most people got to where they were going .January 4, 2015 at 11:58 pm #33571
It is a great idea to keep a low profile. Vans are good for this, but they need to not look new at the time of a SHTF. Also in a EMP attack the van better be in the 1970’s for it to work.
If you are in a rural area I agree with him on not having armor but in a SHTF time in a city where you are trying to get out you will be shot at no matter what you drive. Body armor is a most have. An old van with a new engine and armor in the right places maybe the right thing to have to be able to get out of a city.
The armor can be made to be easily added on when needed so you do not need to have all the extra weight till you need the armor.January 5, 2015 at 1:16 am #33579
Tolik, yes adding sand (or cement blocks or bricks) is another old solution for winter driving. When I lived in MA and headed up to VT every weekend, my observation was it was always the folks who thought their SUV somehow made them invincible that were going off the road. MA salts its roads heavier than VT does. When I’d get to the State line during snowstorms I’d slow down because it was the prudent thing to do given the conditions changed noticeably. There would always be a few folks heading up the interstate from CT & NY that didn’t slow down and before we got to Exit 1 they’d be off the road. It got to the point that as they sped past me I’d guess which ones would crash, and I had a pretty good success rate calling it. After Exit 1, there would rarely be another accident the rest of the way because all the Darwin Award candidates would have already crashed.January 5, 2015 at 3:52 am #33586
Whether to bug out or not is a situational thing. Sometimes you may not have a choice, one way or another. People bug out every day in various crisis around the world. Some are refugees, some willfully displace themselves to new lodgings. Many use vehicles, and most are civilian type vehicles, trucks, sedans, and even families loaded onto motorcycles. You see people like that in the news all of the time.
People have been bugging out since time began. The ones that are prepared are called nomads. Nomads solve the problem of not having a ‘BOL or retreat in the fact that they bring their BOL/retreat with them.
To be nomadic is not to keep moving all of the time, but to have the ability to relocate when necessary. This allows you to move ahead of trouble, not to try and re-enact a fiction movie like Mad Max. If you wait that long to leave, you have screwed up badly.
So, what is a good bug out vehicle?
Technically it’s anything that can get you out of danger when you need it too. In practical reality, for those who are preapred, it’s any vehicle that can haul you and the gear you need to setup camp indefinitely someplace else.
By ‘camp indefinitely’ that means sanitation, a warm place to sleep, a way to cook food, a dwelling you control, maybe grow a garden, possibly hunt, trap, and fish, maybe even get a job locally or maybe set up a small workshop or business. You can have it in town, at the edge of town, on some rural property, or deep in a national forest, tucked away out of sight.
The modern Mongolian nomads do this. Each family has a truck that they load their dwelling and all of the gear and furniture for their nomadic household onto. They have wood stoves, and many have solar panels, deep cycle batteries, and even small satellite dishes. If you look inside a modern Mongolian nomadic home, you will notice that there are a lot of nicely painted boxes that make up much of the furniture. Those double as the packing crates to store everything during a move. They have a nomadic lifestyle that is long term sustainable.
Modern Americans can do something very similar with either an RV or a tent based system utilizing a large military surplus tent or a large outfitter tent that can use a wood burning stove. A pickup, a van, or even a sedan with a trailer hitch and a generic, common utility trailer will do.
This is a country where 80% of the adults own a vehicle that typically has a range of at least 300 miles or more on a full tank of fuel. This is a very large country that is well mapped and there are a lot of roads, most reasonably well maintained and usable. Spend a few weekends checking out possible retreat locations well in advance, rate them, and keep a record of it. You can mount a trailer hitch onto almost any vehicle, and trailers, both enclosed and unenclosed are available in a variety of sizes.
Now, is this as comfy as the mythical ‘eternal fortress’ that most survivalists and preppers dream about? A fortress stocked with 10 years worth of food, fuel, and ammo?
No, but unlike the eternal fortress, this is something that everyone can afford to do, not just dream about it. An ‘eternal fortress’ like that is also a potential death trap for many reasons.
A lot of people have literally tons of stuff stored in their house or apartment, but odds are that dwelling is insecure in the long term, technologically, financially, politically, and tactically. Most homes are subject to foreclosure, modern American apartments tend to become almost unlivable without power and water, etc. Anything you cannot haul away is disposable and a potential waste of resources.January 5, 2015 at 6:40 am #33595
We used to do a BO almost every weekend with a van. Killington and Stowe ski areas are about a 4 hour drive from here. My wife would get off work at 11 pm and we would trek up into the hills with our E250 longvan and find a place to sleep until the ski area opened in the morning. Then we would ski all day and find a lodge or motel later. It would get cold. You can’t insulate a window van with curtains. In the snow vans are terrible. There just isn’t enough weight in the rear end. The wind will blow one off the road like nothing. Other than those things we like them… in the summer. I wish we had one again. Just a good bed in back is all you really need and chains if its snowing hard. Although some of the scariest moments we ever had were coming down from Alta ski area outside Salt Lake City. A long line of traffic and our brakes were overheating. Never again will I have anything but a standard transmission in the mountains. For a BO vehicle an auto is not my cup of hot chocolate. I’ve been on too many mountain roads to bet my life on brakes alone.January 5, 2015 at 10:17 am #33599
What ever we have when it happens, is sure to be what we will use. If an individual had the opportunity or needed to replace a vehicle with keeping bugging out in mind, buying a van would be a wise approach.
Rear drive cargo vans have the same characteristics as the truck chassis counterpart they are based on. A pickup will not perform any better or worse then a van body on the same chassis. Only extremely high cross winds have an effect on a 5000 lb truck/van, a car would not fare much better.
As far a using weight for traction, a van like any truck can carry enough weight to plow through just about any snow. Last winter I drove my van 500 miles with deep snow on the roads, through a snow storm and had no problems. Because I was hauling 2000 lbs of cargo. Driving in mud or sand is a whole different matter. Weigh is the enemy when you’re on soft ground.
Because a cargo van is a truck it can carry the weight of your bug-out equipment using the full rated vehicle capacity then pull a loaded trailer in addition.
Using my van as an example:
2500 Extended Wheelbase
Trailering & Payload
Curb Weight (lbs.) 5505.00 lbs
Max Payload (lbs.) 3095.00 lbs
GVWR (lbs.) 8600.00 lbs
Max Conventional Trailering (lbs.) 7200 lbs
GCWR (lbs.) 13000 lbs
Mini vans should not be confused with cargo vans. A cargo van is a truck with a van body. A minvan is a car with a van body. Tolik, soccer moms should not be confused with other drivers.January 5, 2015 at 12:43 pm #33608
74, you are right the cargo vans use the pickup truck chassis, so does the the same goes for the large SUV’s like Ford Expedition.
The only downside is an EMP attack. There are not many old cargo vans in the 1970’s since the owners use them to the end.
I am not sure if you can buy a used one and take out all the electronics.January 5, 2015 at 12:50 pm #33610
For an EMP event it would require buying replacement electronic parts and storing them in a Faraday cage. To save money I’d try salvage yards for the parts.January 5, 2015 at 1:23 pm #33611
That is a good idea. Would be cheaper too.January 5, 2015 at 1:26 pm #33612
Just remember that even replacing the electronic parts that it depends on how strong the EMP is. The wiring in the van maybe fried some where so you would have to find where it fried up to fix it. The EMP will fry copper wire.
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