Whether you’re planning for the potential evacuation of your home due to an emergency such as a hurricane, tornado or flood, or you’re interested in bugging out in the event of widespread civil unrest or societal collapse, a bug out vehicle (BOV) can be a huge boon for you and your family.
Not only can you travel further and faster in a vehicle, a good BOV will also allow you to haul a substantial amount of extra supplies, such as your bug out bag, clothing, ammunition and guns.
A lot of things about your BOV can be adapted for your specific circumstances, your budget, to the particular environment in your region and so forth, but some features are essential. First, a good BOV should have 4-wheel drive.
Ultimately you’ll have to make do with whatever you have at the time you actually have to bug out, but a vehicle with 4WD has the potential to get you over a much wider variety of terrain than a standard 2WD. (Note: Motorcycles are rather exempt from this consideration, for obvious reasons.)
A good BOV also needs to be fuel efficient and have a good range, as I’ll discuss in more detail in a moment, but the 4WD is really essential. Road conditions in a bug out situation are liable to be hazardous if not completely impassable, depending on your area and the sort of disaster that has occurred.
If you have to travel along damaged roads or you’re forced to drive off road, you’ll need 4WD, preferably on a vehicle with good all-terrain tires and decent ground clearance.
Space is another essential feature of your BOV. You need a vehicle that can realistically hold you, any additional family members, and all of your extra supplies and the gear you want to bug out with. In your BOV doesn’t get the greatest MPG, you may also have to factor additional fuel into the equation, so you’ll need a fairly sizeable vehicle.
EMP & Older Cars
A lot of people favor the use of an older car as their bug out vehicle, and there are some good reasons why an older vehicle is worth considering. One of the most popular reasons is that older vehicles are more likely to function after a serious EMP attack or natural EMP event. Older vehicles have few to no computerized systems on board, so an EMP is less likely to render them inoperable compared to modern cars that rely on computer chips for practically everything.
Older vehicles also have a reputation for rugged construction and the relative ease of maintenance that accompanies their fewer parts and lack of sophisticated electronic or computerized systems. With a bit of mechanical know-how, it can also be much easier to find compatible spare parts for an older vehicle than for modern vehicles.
Military Surplus or Retired Vehicles
If you have the extra money to invest, a military surplus vehicle can serve you admirably as your BOV. With vehicles ranging from field jeeps to the M35 deuce and a half and beyond, military vehicles are a natural choice for reliability, durability and functionality. Surplus vehicles are often available at auction or for sale via a number of online and other retailers.
MPG & Range
How far your BOV will need to travel largely depends on how far you need to travel to reach safety in the event of an emergency that displaces you from your home. A good general rule of thumb is that you should be able to get 400 – 600 miles or further in your BOV. This may mean you get great gas mileage, or it may mean that you carry extra fuel or have a fuel stash hidden along your intended bug out route.
When gauging the distance you will need to travel, and the amount of fuel you will therefore need, always remember to take detours into consideration. Reaching your bug out location by the most direct route would be nice, but it may not be possible if or when the time comes. So plan accordingly and keep a set of good old fashioned highway and county road maps on hand.
Diesel vs. Gas
When it comes to bug out vehicles, diesel engines have a whole host of benefits that make them extraordinarily popular among BOV enthusiasts. That said, not everyone wants or can afford to drive a diesel rig, especially if you need to use your BOV as a daily commuter in the meantime.
The biggest advantage of a diesel engine is the fact that it can run on a wide array of fuel types, including home heating or red diesel oil. Some diesel engines can run on used motor oil, while most diesel engines can run on (or be adapted to run on) vegetable oil and other alternatives.
Most farm equipment also runs on diesel engines, so you have added cross-compatibility in the type of fuel you should stockpile for your BOV and other farm equipment. The final big point in favor of diesel is that diesel fuel can be stored up to 10 times longer than gas, and that kind of lifespan makes a big difference in a post-SHTF scenario.
The Paint Job
You might not have put a lot of thought into the color of your potential BOV, but it’s an important factor to consider. Flashy cars in bright, dazzling colors might look great in the city, but a brightly colored vehicle is not conducive to bugging out in an emergency situation where you want to fly below the radar as much as possible.
Now, you don’t have to schedule an appointment to have your BOV redone with a new camo paint job, but you can choose a vehicle with a nice shade of green or brown paint, or have your current vehicle repainted.
Location, Location, Location!
The primary purpose of a BOV is to get you the heck out of dodge as safely, quickly and as efficiently as possible. Aiming for the wilderness and gunning it when a natural disaster strikes or civil chaos and the breakdown of society ensue is a poor plan of action, though. So start planning now, decide what you intend to pack out with you in your bug out vehicle, and put some serious thought into where you will actually go.
A bug out location in the remote countryside, at least several miles away from any highways or main county roads, is ideal. If you’re in the market for a property, look for land that offers natural strategic advantages, such as hills where you can setup lookouts. You want a property that is as discreet and defensible as possible. Water is an especially crucial resource, so your bug out location should have access to freshwater from a spring, stream, a river, or from a well.
In the case that you are bugging out to a relative in an unaffected region, be sure to have several routes planned to get you between your home and theirs. Plan multi-day drives to stop in areas that are as secure as possible, and plan to top up your fuel at every available opportunity.
You’ll still need to be able to get around after SHTF, but if society is in ruins then the days of any motorized vehicle are going to be rather numbered. Bicycles are a fantastic alternative method of transportation, especially hardier mountain bikes, but even a city bike will be useful if you end up staying in the city. Horses are a long-established form of transportation, still in use in many rural areas throughout the US and the world, but they do require considerable upkeep.
Small, battery-powered ATVs or motorcycles that run on biofuel or rechargeable batteries may also be viable if you have an adequate wind or solar power source, or access to biofuels. Ultimately, your body is the final fallback, so hopefully you have adequate mobility to get where you need to go if necessary. If you do end up on foot, you can make things a lot easier by ensuring that you at least have proper footwear and basic supplies appropriate to your region.
This article has been written by Gaia Rady for Survivopedia.
Wally | October 9, 2013
I have two Dodge Diesel trucks. Both have 90 gallon transfer tanks, plus I have 6 spare 5 gallon plastic fuel cans. In “normal” driving, I can go 3000 miles so I have plenty of range even if my main tank is short on fuel.
In regards to the paint job, I think that Camo color would be as bad as Yellow, Red or Pink. The bright colors make you stick out as an easy target. The Camo color makes you a target because you are assumed to have a lot of stuff. Black, Brown or Grey is nondescript and puts you on a lower level of the target scale.
Tom Bennett AMSOIL JOBBER | October 9, 2013
Good article on BOV’s. Consider instead of camo (= target aka prepared prepper) vs flat brown (oh hummm).
Richard | October 9, 2013
I am 85 and a good way from city streets so I’ll just stay put as best I can…
Old Food | October 9, 2013
All good but I agree with the comments about the paint not drawing attention for any reason. The same applies to backpacks. Bright red and camo would both draw attention. The same would apply to clothing. But what about obvious weapons out in the open?
Gene | October 9, 2013
Black, dark brown or dark gray are our colors, keeps us from lookin like preppies or preppers.
Be warned the M35A2 does not have a very long range, unless another fuel tank is added and or some taller tires added…
I like this posting/ story= good info.
Lawrence Rayburn | March 5, 2015
I’ve got a couple of the Military Surplus M1008 CUCV diesel pickups and am buying an M35A2 deuce and a half and an M53A3 5 ton cargo truck. I’ve also got my eye on a Military wrecker truck…..because I live between to major interstate highways in west Texas. Ever think about all the THOUSANDS of
fully laden cargo trucks that will be stranded in the desert on the interstates
after a major EMP strike or full blown nuclear war? Someone among the
survivalist/preppers needs to have the means to go salvage those cargoes.
Also, no matter what kind of EMP resistant survival rod you keep and maintain….ALWAYS build it a METAL garage that is heavily grounded
and keep your baby in that garage with the door closed because you never
know when an EMP could take place.
If you live in the sticks, like I do, where the oil and gas production is…..remember you can heat crude oil to 135 degrees over a low fire and
skim the diesel off the top. It’ll run just fine in your MilSurp diesel trucks.
Mike in Virginia | October 9, 2013
I own to BOV’s an 89 Dakota with switchable 40 Gal tank. Converted over from Computer ignition to standard Distributor and coil. Battery sealed in lead lined box with disconnect switch isolating it completely. 2 Vehicle is a 2002 Dodge Durango SLT 4×4. Stock Engine and computer removed and replaced with a rebuilt Mopar 383 with no computer hook ups at all. Over sized roof rack, winch, two set of tires, one set for street, one set of 37″ Off-Road tires. Pull behind trailer with 27″ bogger tires. Scrambled vhf/uhf in each vehicle. Hidden storage compartment welded to frame and looks like fuel tank. 20 Ga Fuel tank replaced with Moller 37 gal. marine under deck boat tank to where the third row seat was and is not visable hidden storage can caryy up to 750lbs of equipment, guns, ammo, Emergency foods. Have driven to Canada 6 times and have never been stopped once. Even had my truck searched TOTALLY and never a question.
Email me for direction on DIY conversions if you like. I get about 16 MPG in the city and about @21-24 MPG highway in 2x drive. Also modified rear end with Allison electronic shift for lower range with more torque if needed. changes from stock 3.73:1 to 4.46:1. requires drilling a 1/2″ hole in the top of the differential housing for link servo to mount and to pull down lower gear.
Added many electronic features as countermeasures to stop someone from following. ( e.g. used oil spray system inside back bumper, compressed fuel oil and kero mix can be dumped in to exhaust behind converter that creates a huge smoke screen and fog bank behind you. Servo controlled dump box behind trailer hitch that holds 20lbs of welded tire spikes (Also called STAR spikes) to flatten tires of anyone behind you. many other extras. ( Outside door door handles removed so door cannot be opened from outside unless you have remote entry Fob.) Internal biometric fingerprint handgun vault in center console. Headlight blinds that can turn to cat’s eye lights. Kill switch for all rear lights. ETC.
3 year project almost completed. If you want to know how to do these mods yourself for survival email me at : [email protected] Almost all of my mods were examples taken from former Vietnam Green Beret’s book on Survival tactics with civilian vehicles. The Original book has now been pulled from bookstores by FED’s last year because of recipes for making things that go Boom! Big time!
Only a few random copies are available 0n rare occasions in online bookstores.
modify your BOV for self protection from ANY intruder. One example mentioned says to use an old microwave even transformer hooked up to a switch on the floor and connected to your battery ( Like the old headlight dimmer switches mounted on the floor. The moment the foot switch is turned on 125,000 VDC is applied to the outside body of the vehicle just like a rolling stun gun. According to the book the intruder will fall to the ground at once. I have not tried this one yet.
Farmer | October 9, 2013
I would suggest a stronger front and rear bumper, a winch if possible- extra battery under the hood w/wiring and matching batteries. If made in your size, runflat tires.
Prepare yourselves to navigate Without GPS. If you have been putting off fixing some things on your rig, go on and do it now and make it safe and road ready. What a shame to need it and it be down because of procrastination.
jimmy | April 27, 2014
I agree, it is a shame to need and not have, but a bigger shame we are forced to have these things ready as a necessity. Dam!!! I love the USA and it really Pistulates me off to have the gov doing the crapola they have been for the past 50 years.
Bill | October 9, 2013
You also might consider a Flex-Fuel vehicle so you can burn both gasoline and ethanol (moonshine) later on. You can make ethanol when you can’t get gasoline. Car manufacturers are required to sell a certain percentage of their vehicles as Flex-Fuel, so they are readily available right now just about anywhere.
Goldenbb | October 9, 2013
One major way to alleviate the problem of staying in place or bugging out is to start to gather together like minded individuals in your community with skills and experience in survival methods. Such as military veterans, first responders, wildlife life savers, communications experts and the list of specialties go on. The operational phase of Oathkeepers is starting up now all across the nation in which veteran and peace officer members both active and retired who have taken the oath to our constitution and are guardians of the Republic and the constitution are forming teams of professionals with training and real world experience in these and other types of disciplines. We call them “Civilization Preservation Teams” and they will then branch out after they are formed and their members cross trained in each others specialties and train others in these skills. Oath Keepers is instructing its 30,000 members nation-wide to form up special teams and sub-teams in each Oath Keepers chapter, at the town and county level, modeled loosely on the Special Forces “A Team” (Operational Detachment A ) model, and for a similar purpose: to be both a potential operational unit for community security and support during crisis, but also, as mission #1, to serve as training and leadership cadre, to assist in organizing neighborhood watches, organizing veterans halls to provide community civil defense, forming County Sheriff Posses, strengthening existing CERT, volunteer fire, search-and-rescue, reserve deputy systems, etc., and eventually to assist in forming and training town and county militias (established by official act of town and county elected representatives). For those that are interested in real Homeland Security measures conducted by the real rulers of this country, (The American Citizenry) please go here http://oathkeepers.org/oath/2013/10/01/oath-keepers-is-going-operational-by-forming-special-civilization-preservation-teams/, for more information and directions on how you can get involved with this project and make your own homes and community safe and secure during any emergency or natural disaster. By the way, the powers that be who are purposely destroying our way of life and our country by making these collectivist us as a people like they have done in other countries around the world in order to gain total control of their population /Marxist radical changes don’t want the American people coming together like this. They wish to divide and in turn enslave them. So by you and your friends and relatives forming these “Civilization Preservation Teams” and implementing them in your community, county and state we as a people can then take back our rightful power over these tyrannical collectivist in power all across our country now and put an end to their un-American actions and plans for a Socialistic utopian society here in the United States of America.
don | January 6, 2014
I agree, It is better to survive as communities, than run around like lunatics, scavenging off the land. People all seem to think they are going to flee the urban area to the woods, and hunt, and fish. The animal population would be gone in weeks, and country folk are not going to welcome a bunch of townies with picnic tables full of ham, fresh eggs, and garden vegetables,if anything you will get some buck shot or hot lead.
Neil keen | October 9, 2013
Brilliant stuff, very well thought out Great. Thanks
John | October 10, 2013
I find that I firmly dispute the merit of both the 4X4 AND the camoflage paint job. I consider that a decently maintained, 2X4, front-wheel drive minivan, painted a routine color (not bright red or flashy) will do much better as a general rule.
I grew up here in the Midwest. Though many will swear by four-wheel-drive, I’ve seen such..enthusiasm..bring the driver to chagrin MANY times. Most pickups, even in 4-wheel mode, can’t handle snow or mud that’s six inches deep. ..We DO get that kind of thing here. Usually, they’ll get about 20 to 40 feet into the muck, then find both sets of wheels begin to spin; there’s nothing to grip. In my years, I’ve found that if I drive a two-wheel drive vehicle around the deep snow and avoid mud-holes, I can get around as well as anyone. I’ve even driven through near blizzards without too much trouble, except for vision problems with sun glare. If getting there at all means driving nearer the middle of the road or similar, so be it. I would not recommend trying to bug out in the midst of a snowstorm!
Mentioning four-wheel drive also often conjurs up images of going off-road or climbing over 6-foot rock piles. I don’t believe these ideas will help much. In spite of cool ads, I suspect most pickups will not succeed in going over the rocks; they’ll wind up high-centered somewhere in the middle instead. Going off road won’t help much because your suspension isn’t truthfully designed to handle the rougher terrain. ..And you can’t travel very far off-road anyway; you’ll run into another road or something else within a mile or two anyway. By that time, you’ll be much better off remaining on the road.
I have driven around this area, specifically to discern how best to depart. I find that going off-road in particular makes no sense unless I plan to drive the van through several feet of a river. I think it more likely the van will sink to the bottom instead.
Suffice to say, I’ll need to stick to roads.
I’ve never tried diesel because I recall too many stories of diesel fuel either “freezing” or “gelling” in the tank, in the fuel line, or in the engine. I won’t help myself leave if my engine won’t start.
In general, I don’t like the idea of diesel or 4X4 precisely because of the cost AND the amount of fuel a 4X4 requires that a 2X4 does not.
I think a camo paint job will cause problems too, precisely because..it’s a camo paint job. If I have a need to leave, I don’t want anyone to pay any attention to me at all. I want them to ignore me. I don’t think anyone hereabouts will ignore a camoflage paint job. It’s too uncommon to go un-noticed.
TMS | October 11, 2013
You make a point that I’ll agree with… partly. When you speak of 4WDs getting stuck it is more often because of driver’s over confidence or lack of skills or incorrect tire tread or condition. Most stock trucks have an all terrain (read mostly road) or a highway tread. Mud is a bugger, but usually crossable in short sections with the right equipment. Heading out into a farm field after a flash flood is not a good idea even with a tractor. As for snow, any front wheel drive with good tires, especially snow tires, will get along just fine. Same factors as off roading apply. Good tires and good technique are essential. Now my experience driving off road here in the Northeast woodlands is probably different than yours. Steep rocky trails or narrow gorges with one wheel airborn makes 4WD critical. My Jeep was unstoppable and my stock Chevy pickup would traverse ridges and ravines with surprising ease. High centering was never really a problem. Climbing hills on loose material with pumpkin sized rocks spitting out the back wheels makes you appreciate your transfer case. Of course I would never be able to go to those places with the mini van I own today. Also considering the possible road conditions in an emergency situation… crawling over debris, fording a flooded road, or having to turn around in the highway median, it may be better to consider the added capability of 4WD. Just sayin’
John | October 13, 2013
I will, again, firmly dispute the virtue of 4-wheel drive.
I have driven a two-wheel drive van up a pretty steep incline on a gravel track with little difficulty. You can’t go very fast, but you don’t want to move very quickly anyway; you don’t want to risk tearing up part of the vehicle by striking a rock or other object.
I tend to think that if you need to leave your home, there’s a good chance you don’t want anyone to know where you’ve gone, except maybe a few relatives or a good friend. You don’t want FEMA to find you, for example. That being the case, you don’t want to leave behind any trace that you’ve been there that isn’t strictly needed.
All in all, I’d say that if you need 4-wheel drive to go somewhere, you don’t need 4-wheel drive; you need a winch.
Great Grey | January 7, 2014
John you said “I’d say that if you need 4-wheel drive to go somewhere, you don’t need 4-wheel drive; you need a winch.” While I agree 2-wheel drive will go many more places than many people think. How do you use a winch when you don’t have a something to anchor your cable to? Yes in the great plains there are many places the only thing to anchor to is more mud. Also, you lose time every time you have to use a winch, which in a bugout you may not be able to afford to lose. The only reasons to go off road are to bypass an impassible road area/get to another road; lose/avoid trouble makers; or your place is really in the middle of nowhere, otherwise traveling by road will draw less attention to you.
John | October 13, 2013
I should add this:
When I’m addressing how best to deal with a crisis situation, I’m tending to lean toward solutions that don’t cost much money and are likely to be reasonably available. ..Or something I can take with me that won’t create numerous difficulties.
I see 4-wheel drive being a problem because such a capability tends to offer rather limited use for the benefit gained from having it. I’ll readily admit that going someplace in 4X4 mode CAN be easier, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a wiser choice. From the extra gas consumption to extra maintenance required to the fact that insurance on such vehicles tends to be higher–or at least, it used to be–I’d say that someone who understands how to use a 2-wheel drive minivan well will be better off as a general rule.
jimmy | January 20, 2014
Your dislike for 4X4 is understandable. While you are sitting in a traffic jam miles ling and looters taking your supplies from your minivan, I will be driving through the corn fields beside you and I will keep on going, even thjough it costs a little more fuel. Also if you treat your diesel fuel with the proper chemicals, as most every diesel owner knows to do, you will have a much more versitile vehicle that will run on filtered cooking oil and a lot of other such fuel types. I think I will stick with the capibility of going off road and a larger variety of fuels. The heavier diesel rigs are built for going off road and other heavey jobs. I had a minivan all fied up for deep snow and such. It did well, on the roads, but off road, it was only fair and I don’t like the thought of being limited to on road use only.
jimmy | April 27, 2014
I have both a minivan and a 4×4 Tahoe with 350 V-8. Each has it’s special uses and abilities, but in a SHTF situation I agree with you. The van is a 2012 Dodge that gets between 500 and 600 MPG on the OEM gas tank (21 gal) on the highway and closer to 350 per tank in town and the 4×4 gets about 450 on the highway with the OEM gas tank (25 gal) and closer to 350 in city only driving. Both vehicles have K & N air filters, which help a lot with gas mileage and power. If the SHTF when the weather is nice out, I might think of taking the van, but only if I am alert enough to be one of the first on the road and it is a totally necessary trip. If the weather or traffic conditions are not perfect, then I will be riding high in the 4X4 without a doubt. If I could find a way to convert the Tahoe to a diesel for extreemely cheap, I would do that in a quick hurry too.
I would say, it will most likely be the 4X4 if I have to bug out.
If I can find enough people in my town that will stick together and help each other remain alive and in good condition, I will opt for bugging in
Axelsteve | November 27, 2016
you can put a locking rear in the van and can go plenty of places that you could not go in a standard van. A selectable rear like a arb or a aussie that is cable operated. Get some good tires and shocks and you will be amazed on what you can do with it.
ladislav belacic | February 5, 2015
you really should check up on that diesel idea! MPG is better, engines are more reliable and 4×4 doe NOT mean driving 4×4 ALL the time. it’s simply an added benefit. I know what u mean about driving 2×4 when even 4×4 could not ..have done that…but that is a DRIVER problem NOT the car. plenty of 6cyl diesels getting well over 20 mpg on hwy!
T | July 21, 2016
It may be alright for you Yanks and your 2wds, but here in Australia my BOL WILL require at least 2 hours of off road driving to get to, and not dirt tracks, proper bushbashing. Deep muddy ruts, steep muddy hill climbs, logs and large rock steps. So for me, and a lot of other serious preppers, a capable, heavily modified 4wd is essential.
Craig | October 12, 2013
Bug out where. Please don’t come to Alaska and try to be a wanna be survivalist mountain man. Born here lived now 55 years; and watched this type of individual self reliant ass permeate my home. The previous post of oath keepers and community based interacting to help one another is the approach. Those of us who are Alaskans are getting sick of the wanna he’s who don’t get what being an Alaskan really is. It’s about having a healthy community. I.e sixty four earthquake. Being there for each other when disaster strikes. My home isn’t your warped TV fantasy. Too many paranoid looking convicts that need to leave.
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WAYNE | December 9, 2013
In a bugout scenario, either offroad or on crowded roads, especially with all that extra equipment on board I would think in terms of half the rated gas mileage and range.
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don | January 6, 2014
A Toyota Tacoma, 4 wheel drive, is a nimble little billy goat. I have taken mine through blizzard snow conditions, grille height. I have off roaded them and never been stuck.
Gas miles are not bad, pay load in the bed not very good, but the truck is very reliable.
Anyone who knows how to drive of road knows to avoid mud, and if you HAVE to go in it, get your speed up first, hit the mud with enough speed to plow through it, do not turn the wheel. If you HAVE to turn in mud, you better pick a point ahead that is higher or dryer, aim for that and try to turn there.
I learned this in the Army driving the Humvee, the 5 ton and deuce and a half, as well as tracked vehicles.
I rarely ever have to engage the 4 wheel drive, and I nearly always disengage it as soon as possible.
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brian | March 27, 2014
If you want my opinion on the perfect Bov it has to be the Subaru outback. It is roomy enuff to fit gear. Gets pretty good gas mileage. Is all wheel drive and is actually pretty bad ass off road believe it or not. They usually dont come in flashy colors which avoids unnecessary paint job which at first i believe would make you stand out more either way whether primer black, brown, camo. Someone driving by in an outback is alot less likely to be target then someone in a jacked up 4×4 that looks like they have what others need. Buying surplus military stuff is dumb unless you are already on the woods and need to get further in. They are not made for comfort and lack most of the stuff people take for granted ie radios, power plugs, air condition. Comfortable seats. Not to mention they are commonly built by lowest bidder and usually require a fair amount of knowledge on upkeep to keep them functioning effectively.
Ron | April 8, 2014
Besides all the talk of what to drive when you leave, there are things that are far more important than that, especially if you are a bit older and rely on some meds. I am and I do so have been saving some meds every week. My pharmacist told me once when I had forgotten to re-order that it was OK, I could go without for 10 days without any problem at all because your body stores quite a bit. I skip a day or so a week and have a reserve that will/should last quite a while.
Make sure you bring along (if you actually leave) a very complete stock of first aid supplies, and a BOY SCOUT HANDBOOK, preferably a older one from the 60’s or earlier as it will cover the survivial and first aid basics, how to do about everything that you forgot to learn, etc, etc. It covers short term survival, map reading, etc. I have been using this book for about 60 years and it has never let me down.
I think leaving your home is a bad idea in most cases. first where will you go?? If you think you can survive over a winter anywhere north of the mid south, you are kidding yourself. If you think you can look on a map, find an area where you think you could hide and survive, you are kidding yourself. I grew up in Northern Minnesota, am an eagle scout, ex military, and super smart and probably a better than average hunter, fisherman, and grower, in a strange area, the locals would shoot me in a month because they will fight for every inch of their space and range. YOU just cannot survive in the wild where it freezes, snows, etc for any period of time over what you can carry in your vehicle plus a few days. I knew perfect survival spots in Northern Minnesota from when I lived there, miles from anywhere, fish, garden areas, deadfalls to provide wood for cooking and heat, etc. A couple of years ago I went back and these trails were now roads and every non swamp area had a house or a cabin. Places that were several miles from any roads, accessible only by the old military jeeps or trail bikes, had roads and a house at the end of every road.
If you are thinking of mid America and the praries, you cant hide. Drive through and you will see the farms all have their houses on the high ground where they can see 10,000 acres and 20 miles. The trees are growing off to the side of vertical cliffs and the bearded ones are living like cliff dwellers. Best to stay at home, know how to hide your assets (guns, ammo, water, food, etc), have an emergency escape plan just like you would have to escape a flood, etc but for long term survival, store food, plant a garden, play being poor, keep your mouth shut, etc. The locals anywhere will not let you live in their area. And remember to save the last bullets for your self and family.
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