Enemies of Liberty are ruthless. To own your Liberty, you'd better come harder than your enemies..

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Bug Out Vehicles

Rocker-Panel Envy.  It's a Thing.  
Let's have a conversation about Bug-Out Vehicles/SHTF Vehicles.

The topics overlap, but do have unique requirements in some instances.

First, let's lay the ground rules: When The Big Ugly happens in your AO, you may have zero warning - kids may be at school or soccer practice, parents at work, family/Tribe spread out doing everyday Life chores.  Depending on where you are, what S is Hitting the F, and many other variables, physically leaving your AO (at least right away) may be a No-Go.  But, you will have to probably move within your AO.

Bug-Out Vehicle: A vehicle intended to get you and your immediate family and essential gear to whatever muster point you have planned.

SHTF Vehicle: This is the rig you intend to use primarily once SHTF in your AO and you are confined, for whatever reason or duration, to your AO.  You may use it to get groceries or deliver the pizza.

Your BOV may be the same vehicle you intend to use in a SHTF scenario.

Remember, like it or not, most encounters will be mounted - run from vehicles that at least deliver your Team to the beginning of your foot patrol route.

You may have a few vehicles, if you are lucky-enough to have the resources - a fast motorcycle for the street, a solid trail bike, maybe a quad or SxS.  Those are specialized items for specialized roles - so let's stay with rigs for getting out of Dodge or operating within Dodge - without drawing attention from the MRAP Brigades.

All of those decisions and details must be tailored to your specific requirements.

Now: What is your thinking on BOV/SHTF vehicles in general - if you are building/modifying one, what widgets/features/engines/other factors do you consider important?  Diesel or gas?  4x4?  SUV that blends into the rest of the town's vehicles, or a CJ5 you've built to challenge Tyrants, simple stash spots or sophisticated Traps?  A motor home?  Do you go camo?  You may want to make a statement with your vehicle - Don't mess with me, fellas.  Or, you may want to blend - your call.  What comms gear do you have built into the rig?  To armor in strategic spots or not?  For every advantage, there is likely a trade-off.  Having a chain saw aboard in the aftermath of a hurricane/tornado/hypothetical drone inconvenience could be a big benefit - but it takes space and fuel.

Let's talk specifics.  What's YOUR rig (or dream rig) look like?



  1. What do you think about this? http://www.daymak.com/beast/index.html

    1. Looks promising. This follows the theme for quiet infil: https://www.zeromotorcycles.com/zero-fx/

  2. 2004 Excursion diesel. Four wheel drive, locking differentials, winch, hi-lift jack, CB radio, modest suspension lift, 8 ply aggressive tread tires, 2 matching spares. Thankfully, where we live, such a vehicle does not "stand out". Inside the truck and inside my head are the local rail right of ways, jeep trails, etc.; for circumventing chaos as necessary. Also inside the truck - tools, room for water/vittles, and room for at least 4 of the tribe who are at least as armed, armored, and as badly dispositioned as I am. It will be used to take tribe/family and trailer north - if it hasn't done so by then.
    Folks in the BBWG, feel free to pick my brain if you seek direction on where you get the most for your money in vehicular vamoosing value.
    If not in the working group, it ain't difficult to figure how to get in touch. stormfriend sends....

  3. At the moment a 93 explorer sport. Looking into an older pickup, something with a simple carbed engine.

  4. Well, my first thought on the subject is....since we'll be taking captured enemy weapons, ammo and gear, why not their MRAP's, IFV's and Bearcats as well? After disabling the GPS, of course.

  5. Diesel. Truck or SUV. $WD. Spare tires, Tire repair kits and spoons. Air compressor. Fuel scavenging pump (you can steal diesel from construction sites, locomotives or semis). Pipe wrenches and bolt cutters for locks on fuel tanks.

    I like 4 door pickups, myself. all the utility of the SUV plus more carrying cpacity. 3/4 ton or beter.

    come along/winch/towstraps for moving obstacles.

    Not something outlandish, but something that will blend in, more or less.

    Mebbe a toolbox and/or extra fuel tank that is low profile.


  6. Reply 1--I will post two replys due to length.

    I am already located at the bug out location. My wife is the problem. She works 80 miles away in the City. I have a Jeep CJ-7 recently fully restored to like new condition on standby. It would be the SHTF vehicle mainly, but would be used to go get her if she doesn't make it all the way. I like the CJ because it is small to get through congested areas, and you can use the winch to pull other (stalled) vehicles out of the way, etc. I used this Jeep in the Search and Rescue in Wyoming in its younger days, and I was always able to take it into places that the guys with the big hi lift 4wd pickups couldn't go because of their size. The plan is for my wife to get as far as possible in her Honda Civic. Sounds whimpy, but it blends in well, and is small to get through obstructions, and these little front wheel drive vehicles will do more than you think when you really push them (ask me how I know) She will keep me informed as to location/progress at all times via cell and then CB if required. She has four alternate routes that she can take, all of which we routinely drive to be aware of road construction or other potential blockage. She carries a bug out pack, (with water--never be without water and a means of sheltering in the worst weather. Food can wait a surprisingly long time--ask me how I know) with which she can to simply walk away (with a pair of good walking shoes in the Bug out kit) from the car if necessary, and get situated out of the fray, and wait for me (or others) to get there, again communicating via portable CB. Gas or diesel shouldn't make any difference, unless you are planning on robbing a semi, which I would think to be a really bad idea, (that truck might be somebody else's BOV).


  7. Reply continued.
    You should always, always, always, keep your tank as full as possible, or at least as full as required to get to your destination. If your destination is further than a tank of gas, you are tempting fate, or you better carry fuel with you. (not necessarily a good idea) or have it stashed at a really reliable location (i,e, where someone else won;t get to it first), Don't forget, you may burn a lot of fuel sitting iin a traffic jam (as happened in both evacuations-see below). Its a good idea to have at least three back up plans and three alternate routes. Something always happens to cause a change and you want to be prepared for it. I have been through two full scale evacuations of large cities (due to hurricanes) and I'm here to tell you that you had better have at least front wheel drive or better still, four wheel drive. What inevitably happens is someone's car fails due to overheating in the ensuing traffic jam, and then the cars stack up, and then people start to panic, and run down opposing highways, around embankments, etc. The rear wheel drive vehicles don't make it and cause more blockage. It can get pretty ugly. Also, amazingly enough the lines at gas stations are two blocks long as if no one knew they might have to evacuate. (that never ceases to amaze me, but it happened both times). A chainsaw is always a very good idea, but get a carbide chain for it in case you have to cut some metal in a pinch (it will ruin the chain, but could be a lifesaver). Also, a good pair of fence wire cutters and a set of bolt cutters is a good idea. My CJ-7 is my main SHTF vehicle, but my post SHTF gas saver and general utility transportation is a Yamaha TW-200. This is a wonderful little street/trail bike that will go anywhere and is easy on gas. For SHTF I wouldn't plan on being able to get any gas for a while (maybe a long while). Better plan to get by on what you have stored (use Stabil and rotate it), and don't use it if you can avoid it. I really expect that is going to be one of the biggest shocks for people is when the fuel supplies run short, or get pre-empted (by your friendly neighborhood government). I was in the Oil ad Gas business, and I can tell you that this country is incredibly vulnerable to fuel supply disruption from many different avenues. The big rigs that carry a lot of gear won't do you any good if there is no fuel, so maybe think about a small rig to get to a big rig (full of fuel) stashed outside the population zone. Think about a good quality mountain bike also with panniers to carry gear.

  8. Personally, I'm a Jeep & Chevy guy. Jeep XJ & CJ, Chevy K10/20. (I love the Step side K series - '78 & earlier - but that is romanticism in play)

    They fit in, they are robust, have endless parts availability, good options, etc.

    1. Couldn't agree more. I was able to find every part I needed when I restored my CJ, even wiring harnesses, brake lines, dash knobs, all the things you would think would be obselete. Same with the Chevys. Access to a good junk yard, and you could keep them running for years. -Bigmac

  9. Need ideas for gear/weapons storage and comms set up for explorer type SUV

    1. Good question. Comms guys?

      Weapons: You have several decisions to take prior to weapons in vehicles - a sophisticated trap (that WILL eventually be found if the Stasi capture your rig - and probably will be the least of your worries) - a stash spot that you can get a sidearm into play quickly - or open mounts because you plan to Go Hard during the first traffic stop or 'Inspection Checkpoint'?

  10. Are you guys predisposed to make a statement with your vehicle (such as tag it with III IFF) or stay grey?

    1. I have no issue with display of III on my truck, it is important to IFF more than as a statement. And one "plus" of the Chevy models you mention (how I miss my '72 K5 Blazer...) is - especially if powered by the small block - there is an almost unlimited number of parts... back in the 80s, I recall reading that GM had just assembled the 35 millionth small block V8... there will always be parts.... stormfriend sends

    2. My tendency is to keep a low profile, but I agree it is important to be recognized by the right people. This is something I have been wrestling with for a while now. My concern is unnecessarily attracting the attention of the Gestapo shitheads who are just under the surface, waiting to come out (I have run into one recently-a whole other story). They are just looking for a reason to hassle people, On the other hand, there is going to come a time when it will be prudent to be clear where you stand. The hard part is knowing when is the right time. --Bigmac

  11. I think it's important to get something older that does not have all the electronics and sophisticated engines/parts. Use to be you could work on your own vehicle, replacing many common parts was relatively easy compared to modern vehicles, even if you weren't a mechanic. Unless there is a way to disable all the electronics/ tracking mechanisms in today's vehicles, they would be relatively easy to track and control. Would be nice if some software developers could come up with a program to over-write all of the electronic systems in today's vehicles so they could still be used without being tracked/ controlled. Many of today's vehicles won't even let you turn the lights off while the vehicle is running in the dark, something else to consider.

    Also, depending on vehicle, especially a 4x4 such as an older bronco or blazer, it might be useful to have a sunroof cut in over the 2nd row seating so that someone could stand up thru roof and shoot on the move.

    Those with trucks might also consider something like a Titan fuel tank for extended range. This will take up space though.


    That's my short take on the subject...


    1. Absolutely Right. I worked on my own vehicles from the time I was sixteen until last year when my 2003 Chev Pickup was running poorly. In the past I could find a problem pretty fast. With this truck, even with the full set of factory manuals, I wasn't able to diagnose a simple manifold sensor problem in three days, so had to give up and take it to the Dealer for the first time--a humbling experience. Nowadays, without the special diagnostic tools or very detailed schematics with the logic algorithms (not found in the factory manuals) you have no way of knowing what is wrong. So, point forward, I am going back to the old vehicles. The last vehicle that I had that I could work on myself was a 1995 GMC Pickup. I'm currently in the process of accumulating parts for it, and intend to put it back in service. Best advice--Stay away from the new stuff. They can not only find you, but they can shut you down. Plus, if I want the damn lights on, I can by God turn them on myself. Same with the stupid door locks.

    2. I'm thinking of getting an older carbed pick up. I have the idea of putting a ladder rack on it that'll hold a jon boat. I figure a small jon boat may come in handy. We have several lakes here with small islands out towards the middle ( might make an out of the way hideout for a while) also, throw a tarp over it and you have impromptu shelter.

    3. Lakes/boats - you are inside my brain. ;)

    4. JB - Your idea about overwriting the software for a car has already been done. It's not exactly cheap, but you can get a MegaSquirt computer for $450-$800. Of course, you still have to wire it into your vehicle and then tune it to run correctly. For someone rich enough, this might be an option. For the rest of us, sticking with an old vehicle is a much cheaper and easier option.


  12. Bread truck, lined walls with sheet lead.....slows rounds.........Go Vols!......Smokey

  13. Older vehicle, needs to run on moonshine. We can do that, also I guess it depends if you live in say Nebraska you might want range...I live in the mountains so 4x4 and the ability to stay out of sight. Road blocks on major freeway and that's it, ya aint going shopping. For us up here it's about what we can gather/capture and what we have stored. Travel not so much with the exception of getting home if caught in town. A buddy of mine has a 66 GMC 4x4 wit a six & a 4 speed. Simple truck that will run on the shine.

  14. My BOV is a 2012 Chevy Silverado, 5.3L 4X4 Z71 Crew Cab short bed. Factory tow package that includes upgraded tranny cooler and 3.42 rear. With the 6L80s 1st gear of 4.02, that's a gear reduction of 13.74 to 1. Able to tow my trailer, boat or trailered Can Am Commander 800 XT.
    There's a few aftermarket parts on it. Bully dog intake and GT tuner and a Gibson Metal Mulisha exhaust. It's kinda loud.
    It had a leveling kit installed immediately and 275/75/18 Cooper STT's installed on 10x18 Moto Metal rims.
    It's had Royal Purple 5w30 since the 1st oil change. I go to Walmart and ask for their synthetic oil change for $52 and ask for the Royal Purple. That stuff costs $9+ a quart. They'll probably figure out they're losing money every time they change my oil.
    It has no problem plowing through 3 feet of unplowed snow or deep mud bogs in comfort. It rides nicer than my wife's new Cadillac SRX.


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