How to bug out in your car

If staying put is not an option once and after SHTF, then you’ll need to be ready to bug out in your car – at least until you reach a secure location. Follow these tips to ensure that your bug out journey is a safe and successful one. (h/t to

Prepping your vehicle

Your car will be one of your most important lifelines, so make sure it is fully prepared and equipped for the hazards and the demands of the journey at hand.

  • Perform upkeep and necessary inspections – As a rule, your car should be kept in perfectly good shape at all times, whether or not you expect danger in the immediate future. You don’t need to be a mechanic to spot anything wrong with your vehicle either – if you do notice anything, see to it that it is promptly addressed. SHTF situations can come without warning, and the last thing you’d want is for your car to conk out when they do arrive.
  • Keep a repair kit – Never forget to have a repair kit ready in your bug out car. If you ever take any tool from the kit, be sure to return it. Which tools you’ll include in your kit will depend on how much you know about car repair. While you’re at it, be sure to learn basic mechanic skills, such as changing flat tires, changing the oil, and adding coolant.
  • Keep an emergency survival kit – Your emergency survival kit is different from your bug-out bag, although the two may have similar contents. The difference between them is that the contents of the former are what you consume before you touch those in the latter. Apart from emergency provisions like food and fluids, you can also keep important documents in this kit.
  • Keep fuel ready inside your garage – Always bug out on a full tank, especially as you don’t know when you’d get the chance to refuel. Just in case, keep two canisters of fuel in your garage; one you can use to immediately fill your tank and the other you can carry with you on the road for emergencies.
  • Keep your things organized – It’s easy to get lost in the chaos of the situation, but keeping the stuff in your bug-out car organized will help improve your chances of survival. Make sure to plan where your tools, supplies, and other belongings will be placed inside the vehicle. This way, you’ll get what you need quickly without you or your family members having to look for them.

Traveling in your car

Once you have determined a secure destination, all that’s left to do is to go there by car. But considering how chaos will change your environment, you’ll need to take extra precautions to ensure that your journey proceeds uneventfully.

  • Dump the GPS – Sure, a GPS can be a handy tool in a normal world but not so much once SHTF. For one, a GPS is designed to take you to your destination via the shortest route, which can easily get you into dangerous traffic jams. A paper map and comprehensive knowledge of your area will serve you better.
  • Lock everything up – Keep your doors locked and your windows rolled up throughout your journey. While traveling at night, make sure the lights inside your car are turned off. This will prevent anyone outside from seeing and taking an interest in your supplies.
  • Don’t stop – Keep moving and never stop unless for emergencies. The whole point of prepping your stuff inside your car is so you won’t have to make unnecessary stops to get food or ask for directions. Continuous movement will keep your odds of survival high.
  • Keep your eyes on the road – Anything can happen on the road, so you need to focus on driving. Any distraction, whether it’s your kids or what’s on the radio, can lead to very dangerous mistakes. If you need information about your surroundings or updates on the situation, have someone else look around or listen to the radio. You have one job, and it’s to drive.
  • Stay away from the herd – Staying away from other vehicles by avoiding main roads and sticking to back streets will prove more advantageous. Doing so will take you away from major intersections, checkpoints, and barricades that will delay your journey and leave you trapped and stranded.
  • Be ready to abandon your car – Your bug-out car is not your permanent shelter. If anything goes wrong or the situation demands it, you’ll have to abandon your vehicle and continue by foot. Keeping your things organized will make it easier for you to leave your car in the name of safety.
  • Do not leave your car in the open – Just because you have to leave your vehicle doesn’t mean you should leave it out for others to take advantage of. After all, you may still need to go back and get a few supplies later on. Leave it in a location off the road and keep it camouflaged by adding vegetation near and above your vehicle, so it blends with its environment.

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