Whenever I see people posting pictures of bug out vehicles, I wonder what they are preparing for. Many of those vehicles look more like they’re being built to survive a zombie apocalypse or the return of Mad Max, rather than a survival situation. A common theme seems to be making them more like an armored personnel carrier, than the family’s emergency transportation.
I have to admit, I drool over those vehicles as much as anyone does. Give me one of the wheeled armored personnel carriers that are being made all around the world, or even a civilian tank, and I’ll be as happy as a pig in the mud. But that doesn’t mean that they’re the ideal bug out vehicle.
The biggest problem with those vehicles is that they are way too obvious. Of course, that distinction depends a lot on where in the country you live. If you live in Texas, then having a tricked out 4x4 that looks like it’s ready to take on the Pan-American race fits in. But I wouldn’t want to try driving that same vehicle down the road in our nation’s capitol. I’d probably get arrested just on suspicion.
But while having a clearly tactical vehicle might be a bit too obvious, what about a four-wheel-drive? Aren’t there enough of them around, so that it wouldn’t look too suspicious?
Again, that depends on the part of the country you live in. Your number one criteria for any bug out vehicle has got to be the ability to blend in. On top of that, it’s got to be big enough to haul your family and all your survival gear. Having good gas mileage and range is important too, as it will help you get where you’re going. But that can be taken care of by hauling along a few full gas cans.
As for the four-wheel-drive, I’d get it if I could, without my vehicle being too obvious. Fortunately, SUVs have become mainstream, so owing one and driving it to work isn’t something that will attract attention. Many people own them just for dealing with ice and snow, even if they would never think of going off-road in them.
Just be sure to buy one that is four-wheel-drive. Nowadays, there are more SUVs built that don’t have four-wheel-drive, than there are which do. While pretty much all SUVs offer some ability to send power to all four wheels, that doesn’t mean that they are true four-wheel-drive vehicles. Nor does it mean that every vehicle of a particular model is made with that capability. Many aren’t; which kind of kills the whole reason for having a SUV.
Where I live, there is pretty much no situation I can imagine, where I might actually need four-wheel-drive. I need the ground clearance that a 4x4 vehicle has, but that’s not the same thing. Even so, having that ability is something to be desired, because none of us can fully foresee what will happen in a bug out situation.
There’s always a chance that you or I will need to go off-road in a bug out situation, especially if the roads turn into 100 mile long parking lots. It might be necessary to go off-road just to get away from the mob and allow the roads to clear. While it’s possible we could do just fine with a two-wheel-drive SUV, why take the chance. For the extra money, having four-wheel-drive gives you more options and your family more security.