A bug out vehicle (BOV) is every prepper’s dream ride. Rugged, trustworthy, and so damn useful, you can’t find a better pair than survival and a badass vehicle.
Ask any prepper, and they’ll mention that a BOV is a necessity when SHTF, especially if you need to get to your bug out location quickly.
But what happens when you run into some car problems? Are you prepared for that? Well, that’s why you need a bug out vehicle emergency kit.
Here’s how to prep your emergency vehicle for any emergency:
A Quick Overview of BOVs
If you’re not in the BOV game yet, then you’re missing out even if you’re just starting on your prepping journey. For one, it’s fun fixing up a BOV for traveling when SHTF.
Second, a BOV makes bugging out super viable for you and your group. Can you imagine heading to your bug out location (BOL) on foot with a group of 5 people? Neither can we. But with a BOV, you can easily transport your group, along with some supplies, without a hitch.
If you’ve got a BOL, then having a BOV is not far off from the list. But remember, a BOV is still a vehicle, and like any vehicle, it will be prone to breaking down even if it’s maintained regularly.
It’s time to prep a vehicle emergency kit for situations like that.
Things That Go Into Your Bug Out Vehicle Emergency Kit
The last thing you ever want while driving your BOV is for it to break down and not have the tools to fix it on the spot. If this happens to you on a typical day, you can usually call a mechanic. But if this happens while shit is going down all around you, then a mechanic might not be an option.
If a regular car has a basic emergency kit, then so should your BOV.
Here are a few items that belong in your bug out vehicle emergency kit:
Getting yourself out of a challenging situation is better done with a handy entrenching tool. It will help you dig out your tire if it’s stuck in mud or snow, and you can use it for other tasks, too.
All in all, an entrenching tool is a win-win tool to have in your vehicle emergency kit.
Wrench, Screwdriver Set, HEX Key, and Pliers
It might seem like a lot, but these are non-negotiable—you HAVE to have these in your vehicle emergency kit. These tools cater to different areas of your vehicle, from the panels to the engine to the nooks and crannies of the interior of your BOV.
Plus, these tools are commonly used in your home. If you can’t find your screwdrivers at home, then a backup in the car is a safe bet.
If you want to save space and not get a whole toolbox for your roadside emergency kit, look into getting multipurpose items like a wallet multitool with a complete HEX key, or multitools with screwdrivers on.
A lug wrench is a type of socket wrench that aids in tightening and loosening lug nuts on the wheels of your car. It’s a distinct wrench because it usually comes X-shaped or L-shaped. Go with the X-shaped one for your vehicle emergency kit to get more leverage.
A lug wrench will come along with a jack on most new vehicles, but if you’re DIY-ing your BOV, then this is a must-have.
A car jack is a device that helps lift your car off the floor a few inches, enough for you to do some maintenance work. When changing your car tires, this is going to be your best friend.
Make sure you get a jack that fits in your car and is portable. Buy a reliable one that isn’t too heavy on the back of your trunk.
To supplement your lug wrench and jack, have a spare tire in your car. When one of your tires goes flat, you’ll realize that a spare will be the best investment. But make sure to check your spare regularly. Car owners usually forget about their spare tire, only to find out that it’s gone flat when it’s time to use it.
The next time you get your wheels’ air pressure checked, take the extra step to have your spare’s air pressure checked, too.
Spare Parts for Replacement
Some parts of your car can break off. Nothing too major—but windshield wipers, fuses, and radiator caps are all prone to getting damaged. It’s a good idea to have replacement parts for those in your roadside emergency kit.
If you can afford it and you know how to install it, an extra accessory belt will be a good thing to carry around.
Any car, BOV or not, should always have jumper cables in the trunk. They’re inexpensive, easy to get your hands on, and are damn useful when your battery suddenly runs out of juice. Jumper cables connect your BOV’s dead battery to an auxiliary source that can give it the “jump” it needs to get your battery started again.
Never tinker with your car with unprotected hands unless you really have to get down and dirty. But having a good pair of gloves stashed in your vehicle emergency kit is a better choice. Plus, they’re multipurpose and can help you when you’re doing other heavy tasks.
For a quick or temporary fix, duct tape is your mate.
If you want to cover your bases, store a roll or two in your roadside emergency kit, as these are great at keeping broken bumpers together until you get to the car shop or a safer destination where you can fix it. That’s a better solution than having your bumper trail the ground and making a loud noise that can attract unwanted attention.
Let’s say that you’ve just used your spare tire a few days ago and haven’t gotten around to getting the flat tire fixed. Then suddenly, while on the road, you get another flat tire. What do you do?
If you’ve got a can of tire sealant in your car, this item will save you. Tire sealant is a goopy kind of liquid that coats the inside of your tire. It covers the punctured area and stops air from escaping while you’re inflating. You can run on your tire until you can get it properly fixed.
If it’s wintertime or you live in a continually snowing place, add tire chains or snow chains to your emergency kit. Driving on ice and snow can get slippery, and has caused many accidents on the roads. Fitting tire chains give your BOV maximum traction.
The most annoying thing that can happen to you when driving at night is getting car problems and having to look down the engine in the dark with your phone’s flashlight.
An LED tactical flashlight in your vehicle emergency kit brightens things up. Even during the day, sometimes taking a look into the engine can be challenging. With a flashlight, you can quickly spot broken parts, leaks, and other car problems.
Additional Fuel Supply
As much as possible, your BOV should always be filled to the top or at least have enough fuel to get you to your BOL safely. But when you’re on the road, things can happen, and roadblocks might stop you from getting to your destination on time. Suddenly, the gas in your tank doesn’t seem to be enough, and you’re a nervous wreck.
Many preppers and survivalists have an additional fuel supply in their cars stored in containers approved to carry fuel or gas. On the off chance that the gas gets a little low, the extra fuel supply will surely help out.
It might seem like a lot of things to pack in your already filled BOV, but these items are just as essential to have with you. If your BOV breaks down, you’ll have to leave everything, save for a few carriable things, behind. Having a vehicle emergency kit, though, can prevent just that from happening.
We hope this article helped give you a bit of insight into planning for your BOV. If you have other tips for building a roadside emergency kit, let us know in the comments!