Bug Out Buggy Part 2. Vehicle Survival Kit

2005-2007_Jeep_Liberty_--_08-16-2010In Part 1 we discussed various aspects of selecting an emergency evacuation vehicle (Bug Out Buggy). Once you have selected a vehicle that will evacuate you and your family if you decide to bug out,, there are some additional considerations you need to address.

OK, so you have decided on which vehicle to rely on to evacuate (bug out) if necessary. It may be the family sedan, a dedicated bug out vehicle, 4WD or not, or a truck. Now there are some things you need to carry in it. Some of these items will be generic to all vehicles and should be a part of your vehicle kit in normal every day use. Some will be specific to the type of vehicle you have and the terrain you plan on driving through.

General Emergency Kituntitled

Here is a list of items you should have in your vehicle all of the time, even for daily use. These are in addition to your Every day Carry (EDC) or Bug Out Bag/Get Home Bag.


Many people will carry a get home bag or even a bug out bag in their vehicle at all times which will contain food, shelter, water and other life support items  for things like fire starting . I personally think that this is the best option. Even a vehicle breakdown in a remote area could leave you stranded for a couple of days or more.

The most important thing you can do with your bug out vehicle is to insure that it is always ready to roll at an instant’s notice! Keep your gas tank at least 3/4 full. Insure that all scheduled maintenance is done on time. Oil and filter changes. Other fluid changes. Test your battery often in hot areas like here in Arizona. Extreme heat is a battery killer.Know your owner’s manual and know your vehicle.

The above suggestions can be added on to based on your individual needs and area you live in. In areas with lots of snow, tire chains and ice scrapers would be needed.

Think this through and ensure you have the emergency items you need prepositioned in your vehicle. You may not have a lot of time to saddle up and ride off into the sunset.



5 thoughts on “Bug Out Buggy Part 2. Vehicle Survival Kit

  1. I frequently drive long distances to acquire or deliver livestock and have developed a system that works well for me. My primary goal in assembling my “kit” is to get home no matter what. To that end, I have essentially three nested levels of preparation designed to do just that.

    First is the “get back on the road” kit. This includes a full set of hand tools, fluids, and a selection of spare parts. The tools include tow straps, two spare tires, a tire repair kit, jumper cables, tire chains and repair tools, a variety of lights, just about all I need to make repairs on the side of the road in the event of a breakdown. The fluids include every fluid in the vehicle, such as coolant, brake, power steering, and oil. The parts include all those fifty-cent parts that can prevent the vehicle from working such as a serpentine belt, radiator hoses, hose repair tape, fuses, wiring, heater hose; stuff that can be easily repaired by the side of the road.

    Second is the “wait for help” kit which allows me to car camp in the vehicle, and the list of gear is familiar to anyone who camps. It’s designed such that I can spend three relatively comfortable days in or about the vehicle, regardless of weather. An important “tool” in this kit is cash, in various denominations and in various locations: my Good Samaritan is also likely to be a capitalist.

    Third is the “I’m on foot” kit which is essentially a ultra light weight backpacker’s set up that’s designed to allow me to comfortably hike and camp for three or four days. Many items in this kit, such as the stove and sleeping bag,are in common with the “wait for help” kit. One that isn’t is the food: the hiking provisions are chosen for weight and calorie-density whereas the vehicle based provisions are more “luxurious.”

    I also carry enough fuel on board to get me all the way home from my destination, as much as ninety gallons. I once spent two nights in a small town during an ice storm because my tank was near empty and the power was out. Never again. I also carry a gallon or two of unleaded in Coleman gas cans so that I can assist stranded drivers and/or run my camp stove.

    I keep all the kits in Action Packer totes (by Rubbermaid). They’re not cheap, but they are strong, stackable, have weather-tight locking lids, and make loading for departure a rote activity.

    On one trip, I drove my diesel over four hundred miles with a dead generator (the alternator in gas vehicles), a capability not available to gasoline engines because the ignition system will drain a battery in short order, something to consider when selecting one’s BOV. I would further recommend a vehicle with a manual transmission due to its simplicity, relative ease of repair to the drive train, and it can be roll-started if the battery is dead. And, yes, it is possible to roll-start a diesel. You’ll need a steep hill and good traction, but it can be done.


  2. I’d also have a large jug of water, possibly as much as 5 gallons, and a pair of leather work gloves.

    Check the batteries in the flashlight as well as the vehicle battery. I find that flashlights in vehicles in Arizona tend to eventually leak, which not only prevents the light from working, but in some cases makes it very difficult to get the light working again. I tend not to have a flashlight in the vehicle, but I always have at least one on my person.

    As for the vehicle battery, if you don’t use the vehicle regularly, it would be useful to have a quick disconnect, so any electronics in the vehicle with maintenance currents won’t slowly drain the battery. Another option is to have the battery on a “maintainer”, either solar powered or plugged in.

    I’d have an ice scraper anywhere. Not much snow in southern AZ, but I’ve needed a scraper a time or too…


    • All good points. I keep one bug out bag in the jeep with a 7gal water container. I travel a lot and try to stay prepped no matter where I am.Good point about the car battery and if you live in Arizona too, you know what I mean. I do carry a 3 cell mag light in the jeep but check the batteries often,


  3. Pingback: Bug Out Buggy Part 2. Vehicle Survival Kit | Azweaponcraftprepper

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