What do you have in your Bug Out Vehicle?

 Hello my friend and welcome back!  In today’s post, we are going to look at Bug Out Vehicles and especially, what you should have in yours.  Grab a cup of coffee my friend and have a seat while we visit.

Many of us think of our Bug Out Vehicle as simply a means to get from point A to B, however, history teaches that things are seldom that simple, especially during a crisis. Old man Murphy has a way of ruining even the best-made plans.  A downed tree across the road or an accident that blocks the road,while you are trying to get to your Bug Out Location, are just a couple of examples of things that could happen and if you are not prepared, you could you find yourself making the rest of the trip on foot.  It would be best to plan for the unexpected and add a few things to your Bug Out Vehicle (BOV) just in case.

There are many things that just won’t fit into a Bug Out Bag (BOB) so why not add them to your BOV and they will be handy as long as you are with your vehicle.  The following is a list of things that you should consider carrying in your BOV just in case Mr. Murphy should raise his ugly head.

  • 5- Gallons of extra Drinking water. – If your engine were to overheat, or you were to find that you actually did not pack enough water for the trip, you could quickly find yourself in a bind. It amazes me how many people pack MRE’s or dehydrated food in their BOB, but never think to pack enough water for preparing them. If you need to wash your hands or clean a wound, the extra water will be a great advantage to have.
  • Extra food. – You may not plan on spending the night on the road, but if you’re forced to or have a breakdown and are unable to get to your Bug Out location as quickly as you had planned, then you could find yourself in need of extra food. Throwing a few extra MREs in your BOV will have you ready if and when the need arises.
  • First Aid kit – Accidents happen on the road all the time and especially during emergencies. Car accident, cuts, abrasions and accidental burns are just a few of the reasons to have them with you. First Aid kits are one of those things that when you need them, you really need them and you are glad you’ll be glad you packed them.
  • Portable shelter – If you are forced to spend an unexpected night on the road, a tent that is larger than one that would fit in your BOB would be a nice luxury to have. It can make that extra night on the road a little more bearable.
  • Fire Extinguisher – This is an item you should always have in your BOV, because you never know when you will need it. Having it with you could mean the difference between being forced to walk to your Bug Out Location and being able to continue in your BOV. Do not underestimate its importance.
  • Shovel and Pry bar – If you were to get stuck in the mud or snow, or need to pry large rocks out of the road that are blocking your way, then these items would be essential to your continuing on your way.  Rock and Mudslides are common in some areas as well as downed trees across the road. Be proactive and prepare to handle them before you Bug Out by packing the tools you will need to deal with them.
  • Cat litter or snow chains-  Just in case you get stuck in the snow or mud, these items, along with a shovel could make the difference between moving forward and staying stuck in the mud or snow. Prepare ahead and add these to your BOV cargo. They take little room and will keep you going when you get stuck.
  • Charged Backup 12 volt car Battery. In my book, this is a must! Even if you are driving a new vehicle, you never know when you might need it to power extra lights or a rear winch. You could also connect an inverter to it so you can power small electrical appliances if needed. Always plan for the unexpected, just in case.
  • Winch or Come-along are a wonderful extra to have on you BOV. They are great for pulling yourself free from mud holes or dragging a downed tree out of the road. These 2 items are things you would be well advised to keep in your BOV.
  • Extra lighting – Have you ever noticed that when you’re out at night in your vehicle, that there never seems to be enough light? In an emergency, if you are driving down unlit country roads, or cutting across an open field, you always need more light and not having it could cause you to make a fatal mistake. A good  12 volt spotlight can make all of the difference.
  • Emergency Communications – In my book, this is another must have. Things like a hand-held weather radio, or HAM radio, along with your AM and FM radio can help keep you up to date on weather conditions and road closures, as well as critical information about what is going on in your area. Don’t forget to bring extra batteries!

These are just of the few items you should carry in your BOV for when you bug out. When it comes to your BOV, you should think of it as an extra layer of safety and use any extra space to prepare for the unexpected.  There is a great book written by Creek Stewart called “Build the perfect Bug Out Vehicle” that has a ton of information in it about not only what you should have on your BOV, but what should be in it as well.  I highly recommend it and it’s available in both paperback and Kindle versions.  When it comes to Bugging Out, always plan carefully and when it comes to your BOV plan to make the most of the space you have available, by being ready for Mr. Murphy.

Well, that is it for today.  I hope I have given you something to think about and maybe even a few ideas that could come in handy down the road. Until next time, stay safe, stay strong, and stay prepared.  God Bless America!


7 thoughts on “What do you have in your Bug Out Vehicle?”

    • Good items, both. I forgot to mention that I always carry a 12V air compressor. Not only is it essential for maintaining tire pressure, it’s awfully handy for inflating air mattresses.

  1. Great list. Reminds me of a few things I should add.

    You might want to consider a folding bike. They are less than $100 on ebay. One can ride 100 miles about as easy as walking 20.

    My EDC is an LCP about as big as my wallet. I don’t have to wear lose clothing to carry concealed. But in my glove box, I keep a former Highway Patrol Sig P229. The bullets are more than twice as powerful than the LCP and it carries more than twice as many.

  2. Sarge,
    Good article, as always. The contents of a BOV will vary based upon season and geographic locale, of course, but you have provided an awfully good starter list. In my case (Southwest desert), I choose to avoid the extra lighting provided by a high power spotlight because it can be visible for quite a few miles at any elevation. I can easily spot vehicles coming out of the mountains at a distance of more than 15 miles from my property.

    Otherwise, here is a partial list of kit items that are permanently kept in my BOV/Get Home vehicle:
    1 backpack containing vehicle repair tools
    3 backpacks loaded with quick evac gear if I have to abandon my vehicle (including water filters)
    2 five gallon water containers (always filled with fresh water)
    1 Action Packer tub containing extensive survival gear
    1 Action Packer tub containing ready to cook food and cooking gear (including fuel)
    1 .50cal ammo can containing 28,800 calories of emergency survival rations (14+ days of ‘Mainstay’)
    1 .50cal ammo can containing dual band SW radio gear and GPS (a qualified Faraday cage)
    1 .50cal ammo can with pistol and 5.56 ammo
    1 12V inverter for charging batteries
    1 first aid kit (expanded contents)
    2 12″ machetes for clearing brush
    1 sleeping bag, ground cover, tarp, poncho, etc.
    1 EDC semi-auto pistol with 4 mags
    3 tactical flashlights (2 high intensity plus1 low intensity red lens) plus batteries

    There are other items that I keep on a storage rack next to my vehicle that can be quickly loaded if it became necessary to bug out from my home, but I think you get the point. Food, water, survival gear, clothing and bedding, plus defensive weapons. All of this gear is used regularly on tactical outings, so I know that it works and is properly maintained. Never leave home without it…

  3. Excellent article Sarge. Just an FYI for everybody. I learned the hard way what vehicle to NOT have, especially for a BOV. I had a 1997 Honda Accord that was stolen twice. I had come back from a trip and of course I had the trunk loaded with many of Sarge’s list along with a Tactical Mini 14 and 6 loaded mags. Before I could unload the car was stolen and when recovered absolutely everything was gone. All my preps including a medical bag (I’m a retired LEO, Firefighter, Paramedic ) were gone.
    Late 90s Hondas are the most stolen car in the nation. All you need to steal one is a Honda key, filed flat and it becomes a master key.
    Lesson? Don’t own a 90s honda! Period. A very expensive lesson I hope you folks never experience.
    Thanks Sarge for what you do.


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