Bug out Vehicle/camping setup

October 26, 2014

I added quite few things this year to my bugout/camping setup in order to use the Kia Minivan as a Bugout vehicle rather than just relying on the RV as my BOV. One reason is fuel economy, I can get a lot further away using the minivan compared to RV based on fuel mileage alone. Another consideration is the minivan offers a better chance at blending in compared to the RV.  Lets face it if things get bad the RV will probably look more like a target to others, where as a minivan is the vehicle of choice of “Soccer Moms” everywhere.

I keep a lot of small items in the mini van at all times because of there are plenty of little drawers and cubby holes that can hold many items that are just always great to have available. Some of the newer minivans have in-floor storage which is very handy. I have a few items I keep in the minivan at all times for emergencies. In the small glove box I keep a 12volt USB adapter and extra cable so I can recharge my kindle or my cell phone. I have a small fold up solar panel and a wind up flashlight with adapter for additional charging options. I keep a ball cap with a clip on flashlight for working hands free in the dark in the CD case drawer. Under the driver’s seat I have quilted wool shirt and snuggie for keeping warm if I get stuck in a snow storm or just slide off the road along with a collapsible snow shovel for digging out. I use a large canvas tarp to protect the cargo area but can be used as for shelter if needed. Then there is my small car box https://myadventuresinselfreliance.wordpress.com/2012/03/25/the-car-box/ along with basic tools and 2 cans of fix-a-flat. I keep my small thermo electric cooler in the car at all times and I have stored two boxes of soup, shelf stable pudding and jello, a package of dehydrated potatoes and some Ritz crackers. With my my small rolling backpack as my GHB I could survive for 3-7 days without loading a single thing.  Of course prepping isn’t just about survival and getting by. It about planning ahead to be somewhat comfortable long term.

I think your first step to preparing your BOV is prepping your 72 hour bag/BOB. This is your bag you can grab as you go out the door if there is fire in your home. I keep mine in a closet on my way out the door. http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/blogs/klessons/index.html refers to this bag as you are gone in 60 seconds. If you have not seen this site it is one of the most detailed I have found that deals with a Bug Out situation (Katrina) and what went right and wrong and how he fixed the things that went wrong.

For my Bug out/camping gear I use two totes to hold most of the items I need. One is a cheap rolling tote I picked up that was sold as a basic kitchen set up for a college student. These college kitchen totes are fairly cheap around $40.00 or less and you can have a full backup kitchen for camping and bugout with one purchase. Plus it is already packed and ready to go though I adjusted mine quite a bit adding and subtracting items. The other tote is a heavy duty Rubbermaid Roughneck that you can lock with a couple of padlocks. I used these totes while in the Army and they are in great shape after 20 years of hard use. This is the tote I need to adjust by trading out the small tent for my new larger tent as well as changing out the older full sized air bed for a smaller twin size air bed. I like air mattress to sleep on as the air insulates and some of the foam camping mattresses sweat and soak your sleeping bag.  By using these totes you can use them as tables, sinks or even to catch and store rain water. You know how I love multi-taskers!

On the shop shelf ready to load is my duel fuel camp stove that use white gas or unleaded fuel and  next to it is a siphon so I can use the gas from the minivan or from a gas can. I have a small plastic French press coffee maker in my GHB and by adding my new little 12 volt coffee maker I am covered for making coffee and teas. I have two sleeping bags, one is a lighter weight bag for summer and the other bag is the old Army Arctic weight, down filled sleeping bag for winter. These bags are super cheap now that everyone wants the new Gortex sleep systems. If you have a tent and good mattress to stay dry, these military surplus sleeping bags are a bargain.  For lighting I have a propane lantern and a small battery powered lantern. For comfort I added a small battery powered fan for the summer and moving air. I will be moving one of my Mr. Buddy propane heaters to the camping shelf for heat in the tent. These are great little backup heaters and while this shelf is for the BOV you can always use these items in your home if a disaster happens. I think of  loading the items on the shelf as my 15 minute Bugout. I need to move a small chemical toilet to that shelf and add a few more detailed maps to the minivan. I wish my shop was insulated so I could store 10 gallons of  water on the shelf. The best I can do is have a 5 gallon camp jug and my BOB in the same closet so I can have some clean potable water to start my bugout. I have a small Hibachi type grill ready as well as a small barrel type wood burning  stove I need to finish burning off the old cheap paint and add to my Bug out/camping shelf.   I have one of those battery jumping power packs that I keep charged in the house. It has both an AC and DC outlet with  a 400 watt inverter that I can grab and go in my 15 minute Bug out plan. Sorry I almost fogot the pets and pet carriers so they critters have a safe place to ride and have food. If you have critters you must plan for their needs as well as you own in a disaster.  No,  I don’t think letting them go, and roam is a good answer as your pets need the basics like any other family member.

Last but not least is food https://myadventuresinselfreliance.wordpress.com/2012/03/23/the-charity-bucket/ I call it a charity bucket but it will work nicely to hold your dry goods for your Bug out and camp food. I’m a firm believer that a person can’t have to many buckets on hand and each bucket can hold about 14 days worth of food for one person.

Overall I have covered most of the basics from water, shelter, food, heating, cooking and sanitation. I will leave you to add your basic defensive and security measures. In my Every Day Carry gear (EDC) I have a 9mm, pepper spray, a tonfa/billy club(in the car),  multi-tool, a P-38  can opener,  a jump-drive with important files, and some backup “junk silver” and mad money.  I can’t tell what disaster you might have to deal with, but this post should give you an idea where to start and cover the basics you would need if you have to bugout.