Bug Out Vehicle – The Best SHTF Checklist
The thought of your family being in danger is a good reason to start preparing for a worst case scenario. Recent history has shown us that it pays to be prepared because you never know when a disastrous event will happen. You need to pack the things you need to survive and have a clear idea on how to quickly move to another location. This presents a real challenge because in the face of a calamity, moving to another place can become impossible. This is where a bug out vehicle (BOV) comes in handy. Having a BOV can spell the difference between surviving a disaster and being counted as a casualty.
There are different ideas on what would make an ideal bug out vehicle though not all of them are reasonable. It makes no sense investing huge sums of money in something that you will only use in an extreme situation. A pick-up truck or SUV are suitable and realistic options for a BOV because they are sturdy and can handle traveling off road. These are already a popular choice among consumers because they are both practical and flexible.
Keep in mind that a BOV should be able to transport both the members of your family and your possessions to a safe location. There should be adequate seating and space for the bug out bag essentials that you need to carry with you. Your bugging out items should be prepared long before hand so all you need to do is to load them up in your car. Many preppers have a bug out bag checklist to ensure that everything you need is in your bug out bag when you need it. Some preppers go the extra distance by preparing extra BOBs and stashing them in each of their cars. This way, they are ready to go and move out from any location in case disaster strikes.
If you consider a bug out vehicle part of your evacuation plans, there are two sets of preparations that you need to do. One involves organizing car supplies for your BOV that are necessary to reach a safe location. The second arrangement is for your bug out gear. Getting these things ready for an extreme situation requires a clear head which is why you need to do them ahead of time. It will be impossible to call everything to mind in the middle of an emergency because the safety of your family will be your sole concern.
Some of the items that are needed for your BOV include:
- Fuel. Determining what amount is adequate can be tricky because you will be going off on uncharted territory. Make a habit of keeping your gas tank at least half full to be prepared for any eventuality. To supplement this, many preppers store additional gasoline or diesel in their homes. Be sure to use your stored gasoline on a set schedule.
- Cell phone charger. Being able to recharge your mobile phone while on the road is an added advantage. This gives you the chance to connect with family members and loved ones and friends for help and rescue. Make sure that you advise someone where you plan to go and the routes that you may be taking.
- Portable Radio. The one I recommend can be charged and recharged by hand crank. Is should be part of your bug out bag. You can listen to news updates on your car radio while on the move and avoid congested areas.
- Car Supplies. Pack fluids that you would need for your vehicle like antifreeze, motor and transmission oil and brake fluids. Include a piece of clean rag so you easily measure the levels of the different fluids.
- Road salt or sand. Stash a bag in the trunk so you can use it for traction in the event of heavy snowfall. You will also need this if you get stuck on ice.
- Jumper cables. Choose cables that are thicker, four or six gauge wire are good options.
- Emergency lights or flares. You can use the emergency lights at night to let help and rescue teams determine your location. This will help you conserve your car’s battery so you can use it longer. If you have to resort to using flares, place them at a distance from your car.
- Extra fuses. Pack spare fuses with different amperes.
- Reflectors and distress signal lights
- Different types of rope, paracord, tie wires, and a tow rope
- A tool kit that includes a screwdriver set, pliers, wrenches, shears, hammer, utility knife, a small saw, and rolls of duct and electrical tape.
- Mini air compressor to inflate a flat tire.
- Blankets. You may have a couple stashed in your bags but extras will come in handy to protect you from cold weather or to place under you if you have to change a flat tire or another repair.
- Portable shovel. This can be pretty bulky to carry in your bug out bag but will fit nicely in the trunk of your car along with the other necessities.
- Flashlight with extra batteries. It is smart to pack a couple of batteries together with a flashlight. These can be stashed in each of your bug out bags and in the passenger compartment of your car for easy retrieval. Pack a couple of candles and camping matches along with these items.
- First Aid Kit. Keeping an extra kit in your vehicle makes good sense so that you have a back up resource in case you need to use or share your other supplies.
- Water Containers. This item remains high on the list of priorities because it is extremely important to survival. Adding a few extra bottles in your BOB stash will go a long way in keeping comfortable and well hydrated. I keep several gallons of water in small bottles in my car. More than once they have come in handy on as hot day.
Your Bug Out Vehicle is the best and fastest way to extricate yourself from a bad situation. Carry maps and a GPS if possible. Always keep your gas tank full and your bug out bag packed. You never know when you may need to leave in a hurry.