Bug Out Vehicle (BOV)

Bug Out Vehicles Requirements

Below i will describe what - in my opinion - is the ideal Bug Out Vehicle.

Our BOV is called 'jUEh', short for 'Urban Exit'

A lot has been written about Bug Out Vehicles. 
However, most authors write about the vehicles from an American perspective an not much thought has gone to the N-European situation. 

Comments are welcome...

The basic rule for the Bug Out vehicle is: Keep It Simple!

Take the following into consideration:

+ Reliablity

Your BOV could be your life insurance, so it needs to be highly reliable.

+ Motor: Preferably a simple Diesel Engine. Avoid computer controlled engines altogether! ;

+ Preferably no electronics in the vehicle primary systems;

Many modern vehicles are ingrained with electronics, which if compromised, will render your bug out vehicle unusable. As tempting as it is to buy the newest electronic gatgets, having a vehicle that is invulnerable or only semi vulnerable to EMP (not very likely but possible) or other electronic disruptions - such as rust or short-circuit -  is important and often overlooked. Some of the most durable vehicles are the older ones, in particular diesel vehicles, which have basic engines without electronics.

Additionally, diesel fuel engines can run off of alternative fuels like kerosene, heating oil, and certain jet fuels. In a pinch this could be a huge advantage.

+ Minimum of electric motors
. Avoid electric windows.

+ Road Conditions

The vehicle must perform well in all road conditions including off road as obstacles may need to be traversed
and normal roads may be undriveable.
Consider having to cross muddy terrain, a mountain trail or drive over a felled tree blocking the road. This makes off road (four wheel drive) capability a MUST.

+ Cargo space.
When bugging out, or even for other purposes, having a good amount of cargo space is important.
You will need room for both supplies and people.
Your BOV should be able to hold 4 persons
minimum safely and carry 6.
This eliminates many of the smaller off-road vehicles.

+ Towing
The vehicle must be able to tow a trailer of some kind to expand cargo capacity;
The popular choice for hauling trailers is often the ball hitch. However, Pintle hitches perform much better in off-road conditions. The last thing you need when bugging out is to lose a trailer.

+ Maintenance
Maintenance should be as low as possible.
Maintenance is extremely important when it comes to bug out vehicle, the last thing you need in an emergency is a failure of some kind, be it tires or alternators.
Tires are the most commonly broken car part when off-roading so this is a high priority as well.

Check the following items regularly:
> Brakes
> Bearings
> Exhaust. Vehicle should be as silent as possible.
> Lubrication
> Air Intake Filter
> Diesel pump filter

+ Unobtrusive
Make your BOW as unobtrusive as possible.
Avoid Batmobile (I have to get me one of those!) looks.
The exhaust should be muffled as much as possible

+ Color issues
When in a bug out situation, you may need to leave your vehicle unattended or need to hide from criminal elements. Earthy colors like brown, green and black are best, with gray and dark blue being 2nd tier choices.
Avoid militairy colors (here comes the military) or
Avoid bright colors entirely.
If you need to hide your vehicle in the woods use camouflage nets

+ Efficiency
While lower mpg may be a good choice, the great majority of trucks and SUV’s are gas guzzling.
Small diesels (2.0, 2.2.and 2.4l) offer a much higher fuel efficiency than regular gas vehicles in most cases. Additionally diesel vehicles historically last longer and are more durable.

Tow Hook
+ Consider a universal model which supports both NATO style hooks and 'normal' ones.

BOV On-board Gear

+ 2 diesel tanks
    Tanks mounted under the vehicle should be protected by a skid plate.
My BOV has the 'normal' tank under my driver seat (Older Jeep Style)

+ 2 Jerry Cans (20 liter).
    Google 'Jerry can mounts' for ideas on where to mount your Jerry Cans.

+ Water
    + 20l Jerry Can specifically for water
    + Water filter purifier (Katadyn)
    + Purification tablets

+ Compressor.

        Preferably a high volume. As silent as possible and make sure to get the oil free type.
        + 2 Air hoses (1x10m min. with quick release connectors),
        + Dual air-up/down tire control with gauge

        + 1/2" Impact wrench
        + Angle grinder for removing metal objects like large fences, locks etc.
        + Drill

        The compressor can be mounted in the motor compartiment or under the driver seat.
        The tank can be mounted under the vehicle.
        Add maintenance aspects to the lubrication chart.

+ 12v Diesel Pump (for siphoning).
    I have a tendency towards a power drill pump. These pumps are relatively small with a high flow..
    If you have an on-board compressor with an air drill then that is a save, non-spark option.
    Disadvantage is a higher noise level.

+ 2 ton hydraulic bottle jack.

+ Hi-Lift Jack + Base board
    This item takes up a lot of space so i consider this a
Hi-Lift Jack an option item.

+ Tire Gauges
    Proper tire pressure is crucial. Check tire pressure regularly.

+ Spare tire. At least 1. Consider 2.
    There are several locations where tires may be fastened.
    Google 'spare tire locations' for ideas.

+ Tire Repair set.
    (Make sure that you have practiced fixing a tire at least once)  

    Link: http://www.4x4review.com/Reviews/ProductReviews/Accessories/SafetySealOffRoadTireRepairKit/tabid/188/Default.aspx  (with instructions!)

Specific Winter Gear

+ Snow chains
    Can be used the get out of mud too
    Snow chains come in all size and shapes.
    In the Netherlands where i live they are not required gear in wintertime. In Austria/Switserland they are.
    I found myself a pair of Weissenfels REX TR 4x4 which are perfect for me now.
    They are not fancy but fit my 31" tires perfectly and don't take up much space.    

+ Traction aids (blanket, carpet, sand, kitty litter, board, etc)
+ Shovel
+ Boots
+ Gloves
+ Hat (Thinsulate)
+ Water (sure it might freeze but turn the heat on/in the sun and it'll melt)
+ 2 mylar emergency blankets
+ Energy bar's


Must have tools:
Screw driver set with the minimum 3 types
   + Flat head
   + Phillips
   + Torx (if on your vehicle)
+ Pliers
   + Diagonal cutters
   + Needle nose
   + Channel locks
   + Locking (Visegrip - 3 sizes)
   + Snap ring

Wrenches metric ( )

Nice to have tools:
+ Stanley Fubar (Functional Utility Bar)
+ Magnetic Tool Tray (handy when changing a tire in grass, mud, sand etc.)

+ Spare set of fuses (consider installing automatic fuses)
+ Spare set of all bulbs/led's
+ Spare relais

+ Lubriction Chart
+ Lubricants

+ Heavy duty jumper cables
+ Shovel  
+ Military Tri-fold Shovel

+ Measuring tape
    Just in caes you want to check a narrow passage...
Put the exact measurements of your vehicle on the lubrication chart.

+ 2 Extra spot lights front
+ Spot light rear
+ Hand held floodlight and spotlight
+ Trouble light under the hood
+ 2 flashlights; 1 small tactical, 1 Maglite 4D, 5D or 6D (Can also be used as a weapon)
    Remember to charge batteries
+ Headlight

Note: standardise batteries where possible.

Fire making
+ Matches
+ (disposable) lighter
+ Candles

+ Safety Items

+ Seat belts
    Make sure that your seat belts are maintained properly and wear them at all times.
    Also if you get the change practice leaving your vehicle in an upside down position.

+ Safety hammer
    Most safety hammers are equipped with an option to cut seat belts.

+ Reflective triangle
+ Warning light
Fire extinguishers; 1 in the front of the vehicle under or next to the driver seat.
   1 in the back of the vehicle and 1 in the motor compartment.

+ Tape

Personal Safety Items

+ Garage gloves
+ Leather Gloves
+ Knee Protection
+ Blanket

Personal Care Items
Soap (can also be used to find leaks in a tire)

+ Paper towels
+ Toilet paper
Baby wipes
+ Trash bags

+ Snow brush
+ Squeegee

+ Flares

+ Winch
+ Tow chain
+ Snatch Block

+ Instruments

+ Speedometer
+ Volt meter
+ Oil pressure gauge
+ Fuel tank level (2x)
+ Temperature Gauge

+ Clock
+ Compass

+ GPS USB Modem
    In case your GPS System fails use a PC with mapping system as a back-up.

Communication Equipment
+ Radio
+ CB Radio base station
+ VHS (Marine) Radio base station + 2 handheld sets.


+ Local maps (of city)
+ State/Province
+ Country
+ Europe
+ Dry storage for maps. (put maps in a sealed plastic bag and add a few bags of silica gel)

+ GPS System with digital maps

Break In and Entering Tools
+ Head Lamp
+ Stanley Fubar (Functional Utility Bar)
    Get yourselve one of these, preferably the 'Fubar Max' and that will cover most of  your  break-in wishes...

+ Maglite 5D or 6D can be used as a weapon
+ Machete
+ Axe


Basic First Aid Kit
+ Bandages
- Triple ointment
- Pain relievers
- a few mini bottles of your favorite liquor (help to calm down in stress situation)

BOV Links


ULTIMATE Bug Out Vehicles


http://www.maximog.com/ (COOL!)

http://www.unicat.net/ (German company which manufactures special expedition vehicles)

More ideas: