Must-Have Vehicle
Bug-Out Gear!

31

Having all the gear you need at hand in your vehicle can make the difference between life and death.

Like most of you, I like to read articles about bug out vehicles. They usually show a high-end (read, expensive) four-wheel-drive monster. It’s equipped with state-of-the-art electronics like human terrain tracking radar, run flat tires, Threat level IIIA rated doors and a belt-fed machine gun on the roof.

This is all great if a.) you have the money to buy it and b.) you live somewhere that you can own such a vehicle and not get arrested or have the exposed two hundred dollar-apiece fuel cans stolen. I live in the suburbs. I don’t have a ton of money and I park my truck on the street, so a heads-up infrared display and exposed firearms are out of the question — and kind of silly.

For urban prepping, being low key is its own form of armor. Being able to blend in is more important than being up-armored. It’s great to have the latest Urban Assault Tank parked in front of your house, but only if your house is in the middle of the woods with neighbors who mind their own business.

While a pump shotgun might not be as sexy as the latest AR-15, it can do a lot of different tasks.

Keep It Simple

My bugout mobile is a basic, two-wheel-drive truck. Nothing sexy here. I also have a four-wheel drive vehicle for heavy lifting, but my King cab two-wheel drive works just fine for everyday prepping.

I live in a place where inclement weather isn’t generally a problem and the last time it snowed here was when dinosaurs roamed the earth. So, as you can tell, a four-wheel-drive for me is not a necessity. However, it may be for you.

I keep everything I need in it for my family and me to survive for short periods of time. We can jump in it at a moment’s notice and head out with no prep time. We have a pre-planned hardened location to go to and this will get us there just fine.

More importantly, though, everything is in a secure, locked hardened container. Vehicle break-ins are common in many metropolitan areas, so keeping your survival gear secure is paramount. You do not want to lose control of any of this gear at any time.

Look, I get it. You may think you have to be prepared for the zombie apocalypse but, in the time leading up to it, thefts from vehicles are a bigger concern. This is especially true when it comes to keeping firearms secure. Safety and security are top concerns when it comes to this subject.

A lock box in the bed of your truck can give you a lot of safe storage space.

My Gear

In the front passenger compartment there’s a large flashlight. It serves a dual purpose: illumination and as an impact weapon. In the center console I have a locked firearms container. A buddy of mine has the same locked container in his truck. Someone attempted to break in and tried to pry it open. The remains of a broken butter knife were found sticking out of it. The box is secure.

It contains a Glock 21, extra magazines and a shoulder holster. Why a shoulder holster you ask? I’m not a huge fan of them but I opted for it over other types of carry for one reason: wardrobe. You don’t know what you are going to be wearing when you need it, so you need something that’ll work with whatever you have on. If I’m in gym clothes, there’s nowhere to put on a holster that requires a belt.

Under the backseat I have a locked container large enough to hold a long gun. Since I only have room for one long gun there I opted for a pump shotgun. I chose the 12 gauge because it serves a multitude of functions. For defense, 00 buck and slugs are very effective. For hunting I can use slugs to down medium and large game and birdshot for, you guessed it, birds and other small game. I could even employ less-lethal rounds if needed. A tactical shotgun doesn’t do all these things perfectly, but it does most of them pretty well (trying to shoot an airborne duck with a .223!). I also keep a Ruger Mark II .22 caliber handgun in there, for small game.

Your center console can be a great, fast-access location for gear. Nick has a secure gun locker installed in his.

Also, within arm’s reach in the backseat is a Tacmed kit. It has the basics to control bleeding. Finally, in the bed, I have yet another lock box. This is where I store everything else. There is a bugout bag in there with some basic survival gear, in case I have to hoof it. It has water, MRE’s, Tacmed gear and a minimal amount of cold weather gear. I also have a water purification bottle and fire-starting gear.

The rest of the bed box contains essential gear:

Additional clothing.
Cold/wet weather gear
Sleeping bags
Machete, ax, and other tools
Fire starting gear
Collapsible fishing pole plus tackle
Extra water
Empty gas can
Additional MRE’s
Rope, ratchet straps
Additional .45, 12 gauge and .22 ammo
Spare batteries and a solar panel charger for them
An atlas

A Mad Max-type vehicle might seem like a great idea, but who has the money (and the real need) for one of those? Maybe if you live on a compound on a couple hundred acres of property you own and are independently wealthy? For the rest of us, it’s more important to be discreet as well as prepared.

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