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Author Topic: Bug Out/ SHTF Vehicle  (Read 11857 times)

Daylight

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Bug Out/ SHTF Vehicle
« on: April 25, 2012, 09:49:50 PM »
What are your thoughts on a bugout or SHTF vehicle?  For most of us it would be a "run what you brung" situation, and the option of a special vehicle may not exist.  This is about what if.

Would you select something low profile, like a minivan or F150 so you would not stand out?  Trail ready 4x4?  Something rugged and powerful with range like a military surplus 6x6?  Nimble like a dirt bike?  Newer and efficient, older and easy to repair?  Gasoline or diesel?

Don't just name it, give a bit of support for your choice, and acknowledge its limitations as well.
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Raptor

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Re: Bug Out/ SHTF Vehicle
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2012, 10:28:15 PM »
Run what I brung: Either the '98 Honda sedan or, if I can get ahold of the keys, the '05-ish Subaru wagon. Low profile and inconspicuous, especially in my neck of the woods, and both are pretty fuel efficient. The Legacy would be preferable because of its larger cargo capacity and all-wheel drive, giving it (limited) off-road capability.

Dream vehicle: a customized M35A2 with the multifuel engine. Modifications to include: armor plating around the cab, cargo area, drive train, and fuel tank; access from the cab to the cargo area; and dual M2HBs mounted on a turret in the bed. Oh, and the Ma Dueces would be loaded with Raufoss Mk211s. Don't think this one requires any further explanation.
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ShiWei

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Re: Bug Out/ SHTF Vehicle
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2012, 10:36:43 PM »
What about a horse.
- it can go just about anywhere, doesn't need a road.
- no need for gas, in most places in the U.S. fuel is readily available
- if you find a place to homestead, you have a supply of manure
- plenty of people in the history of the U.S. have carried everything they needed to survive on the back of a horse.
- possibly less intimidating than a guy on a motorcycle

negatives
- can make you easier to spot
- not as fast as a wheeled vehicle on flat open ground
- need skill to ride and take care of a horse, which may not be avaiable to you
- access to horses may not be available to you 
- in non-SHTF everyday life, horses are very expensive to quarter and maintain
- bad guys would have a large target to shoot

mwcoleburn

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Re: Bug Out/ SHTF Vehicle
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2012, 10:49:55 PM »
Being on an island I would have to lean to a bug out boat.
 :neener
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JesseL

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Re: Bug Out/ SHTF Vehicle
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2012, 11:49:43 PM »
In a widespread disaster I'll probably be bugging in.

A large (~600cc) dirt bike might be nice for local reconnaissance, being able to maneuver over and around obstacles that would stop anything else. Fuel economy is a bonus.


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Re: Bug Out/ SHTF Vehicle
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2012, 12:03:04 AM »
Minus earthquake, it's bug in for me.  Regular type short term bug out(non-TEOTWAWKI event) my ranger will do just fine.  End of civilization, say Mad Max, The Road, Book of Eli, etc.?  Old 4WD truck with points and a carb.

While that's going on?  If it's TEOTWAWKI,  I'll be making friends with horse owners, and building one of those handcarts my ancestors built.  Gas only stores so long, and if there are no refineries?  HINT on the handcart thing-  Big wheels roll OVER obstacles with much less effort than small ones.
This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

Harm

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Re: Bug Out/ SHTF Vehicle
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2012, 12:08:07 AM »
Well I'm thinking a military vehicle will require specialized supply chain for maintenance so I'd say they make a poor choice for long term SHTF.  I think something durable but easily maintained and/or repaired is a priority.  Capability comes after that but its interesting how often those go together.

1. Jeep Cherokee - the inline 6 engine is legendary for reliability, the entire vehicle is extremely capable and inexpensive.  Even working on them is doable and parts are readily available at every junk yard.  They are easily upgradeable and customizable for hard off road use.  Fuel is also adaptable to other sources.  Lot of off-roaders are getting over 250k - 350k miles without major work. 

2. Toyota Land Cruiser 80 or 100 series - also reliable and readily upgradable to extreme off road.  Many guys are getting 300k miles or more.

3. Subaru Wagons - very durable - capable for many miles and useful for basic trails and forest service roads. 

4. Ford, Chevy and Tacoma pickups.  Readily available parts - durable - etc.
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Daylight

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Re: Bug Out/ SHTF Vehicle
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2012, 02:38:19 AM »
I don't worry about Mad Max prep.  I am located in a flood plain down hill from a volcano.  While I primarily prepare for bug-in, certain volcanic or seismic (lahar) events would indicate bug out, although not far.  One possible complication is congestion and stupid people along my best evacuation route. 

I have a loading plan for the family van.  Stroller, kid wagon, and bicycle are part of my alternate plan.  Easy to marshal house apes, and grab bag, nimble enough to deal with traffic jams.  A garden/ marina cart or a good bike trailer/ jog stroller could be useful in the same role.

Don't overlook a bicycle for mobility and transport.  With a some cargo it is nimble and quiet, but can be loaded down with up to 300# and pushed Dien Bien Phu style.

I also have an inflatable boat and life jackets.  The boat is not heavy duty, but it offers an option for certain circumstances.  I would love an engineer inflatable; carries as a (relatively) light backpack, rugged, stable, high capacity, almost impossible to capsize.  It would be a great addition to a vehicle load out.

Washington"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.  But, in practice, there is. "
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Just like any other man, only more so.

mwcoleburn

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Re: Bug Out/ SHTF Vehicle
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2012, 03:17:56 AM »
You know you are always welcome at Casa de Coleburn Armory.... It might just be a really long row.
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mwcoleburn

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Re: Bug Out/ SHTF Vehicle
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2012, 03:19:19 AM »
In all honesty if I wasnt living in a place surrounded by water with a single two lane bridge to get to the main land I would love to do something like this.
http://www.militarytrucks.ca/rv_project.htm#topm109rv
It is the AWESOME
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coelacanth

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Re: Bug Out/ SHTF Vehicle
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2012, 03:24:25 AM »
I agree with the "bug in" philosophy for the most part.  This is a pretty good neighborhood for that so barring some sort of nuclear plant disaster or other WTF event I'm hunkering down.  That said, my F 150 4x4 is a pretty capable rig and has been stone a** reliable so far.  I like JesseL's idea of a dirt bike for local recon but an atv might work just as well and give a bit more carrying capacity.  In a total societal breakdown I think horses and bicycles are going to become highly sought after commodities.  A mountain bike with a Yak cargo trailer behind it approximates what a horse with a travois can carry but either set-up would be very useful.
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Re: Bug Out/ SHTF Vehicle
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2012, 07:55:44 AM »
I was thinking an old VW Bus with spares of just about every part up to and including the engine. Easy to fix, air cooled, etc. Throw in a long haired wig for me to cover  the military style hair cut. I'm hoping people won't look twice at the "hippies".
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Re: Bug Out/ SHTF Vehicle
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2012, 10:19:47 AM »
What I got?  Subaru Baja with a trailer.  What I dream?  Put the turbodiesel in it and finish setting it up for rally.  Here in Wyoming I probably wouldn't bug out, but it'd take a while to get anywhere if I do, especially taking backroads.
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seanp

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Re: Bug Out/ SHTF Vehicle
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2012, 10:27:21 AM »
I'm hoping people won't look twice at the "hippies".

They will.  As victims.

I would be bugging in under most circumstances as well, but if I had to bug out, I would use either one of the family vehicles without concern, a Nissan Pathfinder or our Mitsubishi Outlander.  Both have excellent off road capability and load capacity.  Edge would go to the Pathfinder as it has a V6, slightly longer wheelbase, ready to go roof racks, and a full size spare.  Depending on the situation, I could load our two kayaks on top and jack the neighbor's pod for extra load carrying, or no kayaks and two pods.  One thing I would definately throw in would be a cordless drill and some self drilling screws in case I needed to put some steel mesh over the windows.

In the dream world?  A LAV III.
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Re: Bug Out/ SHTF Vehicle
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2012, 10:34:02 AM »
Your BOV should be something that you drive routinely. That way you get to know its handling characteristics, the sounds and feelings to makes, and you you stay on top of PM. People with dedicated emergency vehicles often wind up with vehicles that don't start or won't run well when they need them. This is especially true if you BOV is older.

Mike
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Precious Roy

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Re: Bug Out/ SHTF Vehicle
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2012, 11:14:03 AM »
A question I've been pondering as of late is fuel type.  In an extended SHTF situation or a serious economic depression/collapse what fuel is going to be more accessible?  I'm leaning towards diesel.  Military and heavier govt vehicles are gonna be running mostly on diesel.  Farm and heavy equipment are gonna be running on diesel.  Diesel is more stable for long term storage/scavenging from old tanks.  Crops like soybeans can be pressed for oil which can be manufactured into biodiesel.  Diesel engines (simpler ones anyway) will digest a much wider range of fuels than a gasoline engine.  On the other hand gasoline right now is a bit easier to obtain that diesel and diesel is more expensive.

Any thoughts?

Oh and I've also heard that diesel is supposedly easier to refine from oil than gasoline and a barrel of oil makes more diesel than gasoline.  Anyone familiar with the modern refining process enlighten me on if this is BS or not?
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Coronach

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Re: Bug Out/ SHTF Vehicle
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2012, 11:51:50 AM »
Probably all true. But, consider...what do you drive everyday? Do you have a tank of stored fuel? Fuel commonality probably trumps the benefits of diesel if what you use for everything else is gasoline. I'd love to have a BOV running on diesel, but wife's minivan, my car, my motorcycle, my generator, my lawn mower and my lawn tractor all run on gas. Ergo, the big 200 gallon gravity feed tank is full of gasoline.

Gas is ubiquitous, so it will always be available (at least as available as diesel) unless things really go Mad Max.

Mike
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huey148

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Re: Bug Out/ SHTF Vehicle
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2012, 12:27:33 PM »
Well, I think the Toyota Hilux is probably the best proven all around vehicle for adverse conditions any of us could practically own...but then again I am a Bug Inner also...I do own a GMC Sierra that I plan to use to take to my bug out location if need be...the attached pic shows me getting ready to bug out in a recent exercise with the family...
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seanp

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Re: Bug Out/ SHTF Vehicle
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2012, 12:47:56 PM »
Probably all true. But, consider...what do you drive everyday? Do you have a tank of stored fuel? Fuel commonality probably trumps the benefits of diesel if what you use for everything else is gasoline. I'd love to have a BOV running on diesel, but wife's minivan, my car, my motorcycle, my generator, my lawn mower and my lawn tractor all run on gas. Ergo, the big 200 gallon gravity feed tank is full of gasoline.

Gas is ubiquitous, so it will always be available (at least as available as diesel) unless things really go Mad Max.

Mike

I've always kind of thought that a BOV is only good for as far as you can drive it.  I wouldn't count on picking up fuel as you go along as that is something you can't depend on.  So we have a "half full" rule.  Once the tank dips below 50%, it must be filled up.  This gives both vehicles a range of about 250 klicks at worst, and any bug out plans take that into consideration.

Having driven 500 km through a National Park with no stops and no stations I would suggest that you very seriously heed those signs that say "No fuel for xxx km", and fill up whenever you can.

Back in '99 I had a group of friends and we cached fuel and other supplies at likely points within a 200 km radius.  The caches weren't maintained, but the idea is still valid.
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Coronach

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Re: Bug Out/ SHTF Vehicle
« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2012, 03:19:02 PM »
Quote
the attached pic shows me getting ready to bug out in a recent exercise with the family...
Aiiiieee! You're falling off the edge of the world!
Quote
I've always kind of thought that a BOV is only good for as far as you can drive it.  I wouldn't count on picking up fuel as you go along as that is something you can't depend on.
Well, I have a 200 gallon tank, plus 12 5-gallon cans. We also have a half-full rule, which my wife dutifully ignores, but if we make it back to the house we can, if needed, pull up stakes with 78 gallons of fuel (18 in the tank, 60 in cans) in a vehicle that gets 20 MPG. So, we could go a fair bit before we had to refuel.

This assumes that the tank has that much in it, which it always does. The way our fuel rewards program works, I just keep the tank topped off.

Mike
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huey148

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Re: Bug Out/ SHTF Vehicle
« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2012, 03:39:35 PM »
would you believe I had to help a friend haul that from New Albany to Lewis Center in Rush hour and then the damn thing wouldn't fit in his house!
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booksmart

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Re: Bug Out/ SHTF Vehicle
« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2012, 04:15:22 PM »
Friend or no, there would've been violence. :facepalm

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Re: Bug Out/ SHTF Vehicle
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2012, 04:37:32 PM »
actually, since we are just talking hypothetically here...I have "hypothetically" figured out how many "Bug Out tubs" I can fit in the back of the bed (its a short bed with a crew cab) and then "hypothetically" filled them with various items that I "might grab" in case I have to BO with the family to our BOL (actually my mother-in-laws farm)...idea being to try and get it all in and still be able to use the bed cover so others can't see the goods...you can always spot a former mech troop by his load plan...also have a "hypothetical" map with primary and secondary routes out of dodge...a couple of "hypothetical" 5 gallon cans with mogas that I top off the truck with once a month or so and then refil and the like...

You can really get a "hypothetical" sense of how FUBAR'd you may be once you realize how much you want to take as opposed to what you actually can and how long it all might "hypothetically" take to get it all together...especially when you have a family to take with you...kiss the packing a ruck and rifle and walking out the door stuff goodbye...
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Re: Bug Out/ SHTF Vehicle
« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2012, 07:15:17 PM »
NO FREAKING KIDDING.

I took the wife and kids to WalMart today, it took an act of Congress to get us out the door and into the truck. I can't imagine trying to load up everything you might need to survive short term and just going. the rest of my life would be "I FORGOT MY DOLLIE! I NEED MY DOLLIE!"
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Daylight

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Re: Bug Out/ SHTF Vehicle
« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2012, 11:07:58 PM »
A thought on mileage:  you know your highway and city mileage, but bug out mileage might be more like stuck in rush hour from hell mileage, or back track a lot mileage.

If I had a Morrow Project grade hideaway somewhere, I would stock it with diesel fuel and diesel powered equipment, including at least one Lister generator.  Lister is an old, incredibly reliable diesel engine.  I am sure it is not CARB compliant.  Lister is still used in lifeboats, and for emergency duty on modern ships.  I have worked on ships that used Lister powered generators for emergency power to the radios & boat deck, or Lister powered compressors to provide air to start other engines from a black-ship condition.  They are heavy for their output (+/- 1000 pounds for a big 20 hp 2 cylinder), but can be hand crank started, or started with a hand pumped hydraulic motor.  I have done both.  Diesel fuel is more shelf stable than gasoline, and as was said above some diesel engines are tolerant of a wider range of fuels, from soybean oil to used motor oil. 

A modern diesel engine with high efficiency electronic controls will run great until you make it drink something it doesn't like, or it blows a module.  Then you will need a Borat horse to pull your rig.

Sean mentioned screwing mesh over the windows.  Clear packing tape or other adhesive film on the windows can reduce the shower of broken glass if windows are broken.  Most of us keep a pair of sun glasses in the car, but a pair of safety glasses or goggles could keep you going if windows are smashed. 

Washington"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.  But, in practice, there is. "
- Jan L.A. van de Snepscheut

Just like any other man, only more so.


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