Choosing a bug-out vehicle: Options for the short term vs. long term

Your survival depends on two things first and foremost: Food and shelter. But depending on your location, it may be essential to have some form of personal transportation. This is doubly true in times of emergency, such as when you may need to “bug out” with the use of a personal vehicle. Having a vehicle at the ready in case things go wrong in a major way can be highly advantageous. And with the right vehicle, you may find that it’s possible to do more than just drive around.

With access to a vehicle, you could have a quick and painless solution for all of your transportation needs. But they can be good for more than just going from Point A to Point B. Some vehicles have room for extra items that you may be hauling, while others could also function as mobile homes. In any case, it’s clear that there are many benefits to having access to a vehicle, especially during tough times. With that said, here’s a reference for bug-out vehicles that you should consider in case you ever need them. (h/t to

Short-term bug-out vehicle options

  • The One-Way Escape option – If you only require a reliable sort of escape vehicle, then you’ll have plenty of options at your disposal. The most versatile of which would probably be the hybrid SUV, which often offers high gas mileage and could be great for one-way trips. When looking at hybrid SUV options, it’s best to consider things like leg room for all passengers, room for extra gear, and ability to make it past the most common on-the-road obstacles. According to most estimates, you can usually get around 500 miles per full tank on something like the 2016 Toyota RAV4, but you should also consider other models if gas mileage isn’t your main concern.
  • Off-road option – Sometimes, you may find that it’s necessary to go off-road in order to arrive at your destination. If that’s the case, you’ll need to have access to something more rugged than the typical hybrid SUV. A traditional off-road SUV – like the Jeep Wrangler – can do wonders in meeting your needs in this category. Just remember not to fall for form over function, as there are many models that look rugged but are, in reality, anything but.

Long-term bug-out vehicle options

  • Mobile Shelter option – Now when it comes to traveling for long periods, your best options are those that can double as mobile shelters. In that case, minivans are your friend. A good, modern minivan can provide both transportation and protection to passengers and goods on board, and may even have room for extra equipment. Some problems you may need to solve with minivans include limited space for passengers if you’re hauling a lot of gear and limited entertainment options, but overall, they are good for a long-term travel and temporary shelter option.
  • Mobile Shelter with “extras” option – For a more long-term solution to the problem of shelter in times of emergency, a rugged truck can be the ultimate option. Rugged trucks can typically handle all road and weather conditions, and they also offer tremendous hauling capabilities. If you already have a clear destination in mind but know that it’s too far for one non-stop drive, a rugged truck will be more than enough to tide you and your passengers over. You may need to work on the lack of fuel economy and limited passenger capacity, but for safety and reliability in the unpredictable outdoors, they are your best bet.

Ultimately, the only way to find out for sure which vehicle you should get is to try to figure out exactly what your individual needs are. For instance, some people would recommend using a motorcycle over a car for faster travel time and overall versatility, despite the severe lack of extra options. So consider your own situation before making any conscious decisions in this regard.

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