Tuesday, March 17, 2009

SHTF: Post Crash Travel, BOV, Car Wars

The topic of ground travel, by car, truck or tank, has been explored post-SHTF for years. In survivalism, there are two schools of thought:

Bug In - In your current retreat, or after a quick trip, to another retreat. Residents will "hunker down" and wait things out or move on with their life in their new home.

Bug Out - Can mean one of two things: Leave for a distant retreat or stay on the road traveling from place to place searching for supplies and a place to hole up.

Let's tackle Bug Out.

There is nothing wrong with planning on getting out of dodge, say an urban or suburban location, for a remote rural area. Having a fixed destination, be it yours or a friends is a plan for many survivalists.

However, remaining mobile is another matter. Highways and Interstates will be the first to become impassable and later, a series of traps and ambushes.

Next will come the secondary roads and state highways. Towns will be roadblocked and open areas will house more ambushes and traps - some temporary and others permanent.

Finally, roads surrounded by any number of towns or refugee camps will become the lairs of bandits and vermin lying in wait.

In the Mad Max world, scavengers roamed the back roads and highways for a tank of juice or can of dog food. That unrealistic situation would end in the real world with a simple roadblock or cinder block tossed through a moving car window.

In reality, roads would be the last place I would want to wander around on searching for supplies or shelter.

However, having a vehicle to get from Point A (home) to Point B (retreat) is necessary. Word to the wise: you can never haul everything with you. A car or truck can only hold so much. Maybe a month or two of food, a few guns and any available remaining room populated by gasoline, spare tires and water.

A trailer is useful, but remember, that is another set of tires to go flat and the weight drastically slows down the ability of the vehicle hauling it. A trailer should have been loaded and moved long before the SHTF.

Nope, for me, a BOV (bug out vehicle) is an off road capable pickup, high off the ground, with a week or two of supplies in the back, family and friends inside the cab and enough firearms on board to keep bad guys off my back.

Supplies for the retreat will have been propositioned and additional supplies, if needed, will have to be obtained or bartered for later. There is no way I am going to haul six months worth of canned goods, a generator and 500 gallons of fuel along for the ride. Too much and too dangerous.

A BOV is a last ditch option as well. Unless totally necessary, a plan which involves hitting the road at the last minute is not a real plan. For instance, if economic collapse is the problem, like now, it will build over a period of time giving one plenty of time to plan a long term exodus to a retreat.

However, in an unexpected nuclear strike scenario, fleeing at a moment's notice will be the rule of the day. If this should happen, keep these suggestions in mind..

- Have the car or cars always full of fuel or close to it.
- An extra five gallon can filled for each car. Do this now.
- At least one extra empty five gallon gas car for each vehicle.
- Maintain the spare tire in the vehicle and consider adding another kept in the garage which can be tied to the roof.
- Have bug out bags always ready.
- Have portable food and water ready to go as well.
- Family and friends should be trained to get out the door and in the car in minutes, not hours.
- One car is easier than trying to maintain a caravan of untrained vehicles.
- Have radios including FRS and CB for contact. Don't count on cell phones.
- Have directions and driving plans laid out ahead of time. Do not plan on using the main roads, interstates, highways or toll roads. Instead use back streets, country roads and trails for escape.
- Have rally points along the way with times and meetups arranged ahead of time.
- Plan on refueling and rest stops along the way. Don't count on the kindness of strangers or traditional businesses being open.
- Don't stop for any reason until the final destinations are reached.

The roads are the last place I would want to be post-SHTF. One day you are in a vehicle, the next on foot and a day later, taking a dirt nap. Either bug in or bug out with the minimum supplies and plan today on stocking what you need tomorrow.


Bitmap said...

A Hitch Haul can come in handy here. You can carry lots of extra stuff on it, including full gas cans. You could have your gear already secured to in and have it sitting in your garage waiting to be plugged into your hitch.

If you have a luggage rack on top of your vehicle you could have a car-top carrier loaded and ready to be installed as well. Be sure you don't put more weight in it than you (or your wife) can load by yourself. You could get creative with an overhead shelf to hold a loaded carrier and drop it down onto the vehicle when needed.

There is danger in using the Hitch Haul to carry full cans of gasoline, so that is something to think about. Also, unless you have some kind of carry cases that will lock onto the hauler and have the hauler locked into your hitch the setup is not very secure from theft. With some cars ground clearance may be an issue. There are mounts that will raise the platform up to give extra clearance. One last thing is weather - get carrying cases that are meant for outdoor use so your gear doesn't get wet.

I also use a Hitch Haul to carry deer home when hunting, and to carry luggage when we go on vacation, so it's not just for SHTF use. That could be important if you have a spouse that isn't on board with prepping.

John said...

Bitmap, I have a HitchHaul as well. The first thing was to have a trailer hitch put on the car. This is not something to wait until later. We all know the story from "Patriots" where the hero has a HitchHaul on his Bronco for fuel cans and it gets shot up. But who wants that gasoline in the car?
Good thoughts and again, thank you for contributing!

Sennakesavan said...
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