Bugout News

Prepping your bug-out vehicle: Are your wheels apocalypse-ready?

Sunday, July 14, 2019 by

As a prepper who has made plans to bug out during a large-scale disaster scenario, you need to make sure that your vehicle is properly equipped to handle emergencies. When bugging out, your vehicle is your most important survival equipment. Try to keep it in good condition.

If you’re not sure where to start, check out the four ways below of preparing and maintaining your bug-out car. (h/t to DoomsdayMoose.com)

Check your windows.

As you’re driving away from immediate danger, your car windows act as your shield against threats like guns or shrapnel. Windows also protect against hailstorms or hurricane debris. If you have the funds to do so, get bulletproof windows.

Alternatively, you could get a more affordable but equally practical shatter-resistant film for your car windows. Some films come with tints to protect passengers against harmful UV rays, but they could also hold window glass together after it shatters.

Shatter-resistant films prevent dangerous glass shards from scattering all over the car seats after an accident.

Make sure your car has adequate lighting.

When SHTF in the middle of the night and you need to bug out immediately, having proper lighting in your car is crucial for your safety. Without working tail- and headlights, you may have trouble driving through visual obstacles like ash from a volcanic eruption, blizzards, or heavy fog.

Even if you drive slowly, other drivers may have trouble seeing the road. Having high-quality fog lights prevents car accidents.

While most modern cars are equipped with bright fog lights, they might not be enough to penetrate obstructions caused by disasters, especially if your car has older headlight capsules.

Light-emitting diode (LED) headlights sometimes have bulbs that already fit your vehicle. However, some capsules and all high-intensity discharge (HID) capsules need retrofitting before they could be installed.

Upgrade your car headlights to the brightest possible option so you could drive safely even under the worst lighting conditions. Driving a bug-out car with adequate lighting ensures not just your safety, but also of the other drivers on the road with you.

Upgrade your suspension.

It is very likely that you would need to take your vehicle off-road while bugging out to a secure location.

Unfortunately, not all types of cars are built for rough terrain. Something small like loose dirt or mud could trap a wheel, and this could bring your car to a halt as you are fleeing from danger. Driving on uneven terrain could also throw your axles out of alignment, and the rocking of your car may damage gears and internal mechanisms.

Prepare your bug-out car for emergency driving by upgrading it with four-wheel drive (4WD) suspension. With 4WD, you still have another set of tires ready to pull your car to safety even if one or two wheels are unable to find traction. This would be useful in extreme weather, especially in areas with cold fronts that create slick and dangerous driving situations.

With 4WD suspension, you could protect your car from damage due to rough terrain. It ensures that your car isn’t rattled if you need to drive it over debris or ice-covered side roads. This prevents expensive repairs to the internal structure of your vehicle.

4WD helps you maintain control over your vehicle while you navigate roads in dangerous conditions. (Related: How to prep your vehicle for emergency situations.)

Get deep tread tires.

Before you bug out, consider upgrading to deep tread tires that are suitable for both on- and off-road travel. Deep tread tires would grip more securely onto road surfaces. Aside from improving your control over your vehicle, deep tread tries also improve overall fuel efficiency.

When tires grip the road properly, the weight behind them could propel the vehicle forward instead of making the motor work harder. This improved grip also gives you better control as you redirect your car’s momentum when you have to swerve, which then decreases the risk of skidding. Check your tires and keep them filled or replace them before the tread wears down too far.

After you check and upgrade your windows, lighting, suspension, and tires, check your car emergency road kit and make sure it contains the following supplies:

  • Fire extinguisher
  • Floor jack
  • Jumper cables
  • Shovel
  • Spare fuses and extra car fluids
  • Spare hoses and fan belts
  • Spare tire (must be inflated)
  • Tire pump
  • Tow cable

If SHTF, having a well-maintained car ensures that you could safely bug out with your whole family without having to worry about your vehicle breaking down when you need it most.

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