BOV – Bug Out VehicleBy
Welcome back! Its a beautiful Monday and the start of another busy week… I have to apologize for missing a post on Friday… I owe you an additional one, I’ll see what I can come up with. I promised one a day Monday – Friday, I’ve kept to that schedule fairly well and I have no plans to start slipping now!
Since I gave all of you a 3 day weekend, I’m sure you found the extra time helpful in reaching a few friends to let them know “Prepper” Nation is here and encourage them to stop in and check us out…right? If you didn’t, please help me spread the word the next chance you get! Thanks…
I’ve been getting emails with topic suggestions and show advise but haven’t had anybody step up and offer a guest article yet? I would really like to share the podium with all of the rest of you. I also know that some folks have gotten far more accomplished than I have in this prepping for self sufficiency lifestyle. I know we’ll all enjoy seeing the other folks projects or even just a new perspective or world view… Anyway, don’t be shy!
So I thought I’d start this week off with a little show and tell. I’ve been showing you my projects and even some of my toys. Today I want to show you my version of the BOV or bug out vehicle.
For anyone that is unfamiliar with this term or possibly even the concept. This is a vehicle that we “Preppers” have designated for making our escape. Obviously, this could be an escape from a disaster after the fact or even in final preparation for the disaster about to strike. There aren’t any hard fast rules as to the configuration this vehicle must take. However, I find that many are of the 4 wheel drive truck or SUV styling. There are also alot of folks that have decked out their daily driver with all the in sundry equipment and capabilities, this way they can make their automobile do double duty.
I happen to be one that falls into that last camp. My BOV is also the car I drive most of the time. As you’ll see that doesn’t mean that my other vehicles are completely useless, just less equipped on a routine day to day basis. I have been blessed with a wife that follows my leadership and consents to my selecting our vehicles for the most part. This means everything is 4 wheel drive. We really don’t have to have this feature most of the time but as we “Doomers” always say “better to have and not need than need and not have”… Truer words have never been spoken, so we have 4 wheel drive. All of our cars are older and paid for and we try to keep them in good repair, as I’m not anxious to take on any car payments! Debt=Slavery, never forget that!
Our BOV is our 2001 Jeep Cherokee Classic. This is actually the 3rd jeep we have owned, all cherokees. We had a 1988 cherokee that was setup almost identical to the current one back a decade or so ago. Then we had a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee after that, it was a nice car but just didn’t excite me that much. I always had liked my first jeep and as soon as it became necessary to make a purchase I jumped for another cherokee classic.
This Jeep is nearly all stock. I purchased it a few years old with low miles. The only customization I have done is to add a 3 inch SkyJacker lift kit and larger tires. If you’re interested or can’t tell from the pictures they’re BF Goodrich AT’s 31×10.50×15, not to large or aggressive but give a bit more ground clearance and traction. Helps the looks too, not important but boys will be boys!
I also installed a heavy gauge steel locking gear storage box behind the rear seat. This box was designed for a Jeep Wrangler but is just fine installed in the cherokee. I bolted it through the floor from underneath, so it won’t be going anywhere without a considerable amount of effort. I have a surprising amount of equipment and materials stowed in the car on a permanent basis and I haven’t lost any passenger space either. I hope you all can see the rear storage area well enough to see that I still have adequate space back here too.
I’ve found ways to attach everything so it won’t be getting in the way or rolling around in the back either. If you flip the rear seat forward you will see that I have attached the larger of 2 shovels, the D handled “real” shovel, to the backside of the steel box with plastic C clips normally used to secure a maglight. Behind this and held in place by the shovel I have a bow saw and 2 additional blades. Somewhat interlocking with these first two tools I have a camping hatchet and also a carpenters hammer. I found a small tool box that fit perfectly into this configuration. I keep various wrenches and pliers in here along with other potentially helpful mechanics tools. The final items stowed here are a pair of leather palm work gloves and a couple of large black contractors garbage bags, these could be used for any number of reasons.
All of these items as well as a 4 D cell maglight and a collapsible lightweight snow shovel are always kept in the Jeep. Additional equipment is located here 99% of the time but can transferred whenever needed for road trips in another vehicle. In the winter months I also carry tire chains, these are heavy link chains and I have a set of 4.
In a small rubbermaid action packer tote I keep additional gear. Tow straps, fix a flat tire sealant, jumper cables, 12 volt air compressor, blue utility tarp and duct tape, roll of plastic sheeting, etc., etc. Kind of a catch all for potentially helpful items, oh yeah – I even have the always mentioned roll of bailing wire! You know what they say about rednecks using Duct tape and bailing wire to fix just about anything…
I also keep a large heavy lined Carhardt jacket, stocking cap and a +15 degree sleeping bag in the back. Oh, and of course my GHB… “Get Home Bag” I didn’t get a picture of the contents of the Steel box, hmm, you’re wondering what he isn’t showing us?? Actually I keep this area mostly empty as to provide a lockable compartment for any sensitive items I might be carrying from time to time. The items that are usually in there are more for containment than security… Water filter, 3 MRE meals, a few bottles of water and maybe a box or 2 of extra ammunition for my carry gun. You know, everyday kinds of stuff!
For emergency power needs I keep a spare set of batteries for the maglight and one of those multipurpose battery jumper boxes. This power box deal is actually very handy and rechargeable with a cigarette lighter plug, so it doesn’t even have to leave the vehicle to stay charged. It also has an emergency light on it. It has a cigarette lighter 12 volt outlet on the front, I have even used this in my office to recharge cell phones that I didn’t have an AC charger for. All around a pretty handy item!
All in all this list is fairly complete and could be helpful in many ways. As I discover additional items and or refinements I will continue to improve my readiness. Alot of prepping is modular and as such we could easily throw in additional sleeping bags from the shelf or a bin of easily prepared storage food. The applications are endless but it is important to have supplies and equipment with you, there may be no warning or you could find yourself too far from home when disaster strikes. At least you will have the beginning of a way to start to reorder your life and this can make all the difference.