bug out vehicle

You Need a Gray Man Bug Out Vehicle

It seems like when some preppers start to think about a bug out vehicle, the first thing they want is a large four wheel drive, armored and camouflaged tank.  Something that looks like it came out of a mad max movie.  Me I want something that blends in, I want a gray man vehicle.

Now that does not mean that the vehicle won’t meet my needs, it just won’t attract a lot of attention.  There are many good choices for a bug out vehicle including pickups, SUV and vans that can meet your needs.

Here are my requirements for a bug out vehicle.

  • Above all, it must be reliable and well maintained.  It does matter whether it is old or new as long as it is not likely to break down.  Many people prefer a vehicle manufactured before 1980, because it is more likely to survive an EMP event and they are less complicated to repair.
  • It should be a 4×4 with off road capability.  By that I mean it should be able to navigate a rough road or cross a field without any problems.
  • You should be able to carry enough gas to get you to your bug out location and have plenty to spare.  This can be accomplished with auxiliary gas tanks or carrying extra gas cans.  Auxiliary tanks are the best choice.
  • They should be large enough to carry you and your group and enough supplies to sustain you in the event of a temporary delay or lengthy detour.  Don’t overload your vehicle, this can result in a break down.
  • The vehicle should be a subdued color, like earth tones.  In other words, you want something that you could camouflage easily.  If you feel that, you will need camouflage in the future.  Buy a case of 24 cans of Khaki Ultra-Flat from Krylon’s Camouflage paint system.  This is enough to paint the average vehicle and should cost about $120 if you shop around.
  • Unless it is a pickup with one seat, I want a four-door vehicle.  This allows easier egress for people in back, if you need to leave the vehicle in a hurry.  It also allows easier loading and unloading.

Here are a few modifications you can make to your vehicle without attracting too much attention.

  • Cargo racks either top or rear mounted – This will extend the amount of gear you can carry.  Here is a link to a rear rack one of my sons built.  Increase the Carrying Capacity of your Cars with a Cargo Hitch Carrier  Don’t overload your vehicle, this can result in a break down.
  • Improved front bumpers – This is not an upgrade for everyone because they will attract attention in many areas.  If you have a pickup or old police car you may be able to pull this off.
  • Winch kits and enhanced lighting  are nice to have features , but will attract attention in the wrong areas.
  • Communications, two-way radios make excellent upgrades to your bug out vehicle.  Avoid antennas that will attract attention.

The main thing with a gray man vehicle is that you want to blend in with the other traffic on the roads.  Keep in mind that depending on the emergency there may be large numbers of other people fleeing your area.  I am sure that some of them will load everything they can think of onto their vehicles, this may give you an opportunity to carry more supplies and still blend in.  You don’t want to be the one that attracts attention either from the government or from the general population.


4 thoughts on “You Need a Gray Man Bug Out Vehicle”

  1. A couple of additions, Overload helper springs and or bags will help carry the extra weight of fuel cans easier. Mount a dual battery or even 3 with a high output alternator and add an inverter and an air compressor under the hood (which should have a lock on it to keep prying eyes away.) You can do light welding with the extra battery setup if needed. One of the things to consider is to add a trailer to increase capacity does not have to be a large trailer and set it up to where there is a high ground clearance and get an offset receiver hitch you can flip upside down to raise the tongue clearance. One thing we have done is to install the overcab bed racks (like the plumbers use) and use 8″ pvc pipes that are capped off with a faucet installed to carry extra water on the overhead rack. Last do not forget the large farm style 4 ton jack. It can be used for a winch in a pinch.

  2. Tessco makes low profile “hockey puck” style antennas for VHF and UHF which are widely used on public safety vehicles and taxicabs and can be adapted to 2-meter and 70-centimeter ham bands, MURS or GMRS. A roof rack on a vehicle can be “loaded” for use as an antenna for the HF bands from 2-30 Mhz if you know how to do it. The alternative is to buy a “stealth” antenna factory made for the purpose. Here is one: http://www.stealth-tele.com/plugins/custompages/detinf.php?id=372&id_categories=136

  3. The guys with armoured tanks wont be bad off if they can afford to leave it well hidden for at least a few days or maybe evens weeks to months depending on the situation. The least prepared people (worst of desperates) will have died off, the roads will have less traffic in theory and more chance you can drive without stopping (less likely to be ambushed/carjacked). But id go with a utilitarian, boring looking vehicle and disguise it as something it’s not. Like a decent off road truck, camouflage the back of the body as say a sewage services vehicle or hazardous waste vehicle. No one will want to steal it much even if they see it sitting unattended. Because of the nature of the vehicles the back of the vehicle can be a reinforced box or cylinder shape and people wont expect it to be an equipped bug out vehicle… Best of all the expectation for those vehicles to have a tough payload area allows for some hardening work such as armour to be added carefully and outsiders wont be any the wiser.

  4. My choice a domestic 4×4 pickup with long bed with 2 fuel tanks. I would convert the ac into a air compressor and I would install a 4 inch lift kit .I would also install a bed cap with a pull out drawer in the bed of the truck. I also have a cb radio in the truck however I would mount the antenna on the cop of the camper shell. would also fab up a pickup bed trailer. I would keep the stock fuel tank or put a bigger one mounted to the frame. I would also make sure that the trailer used the same tire size and design as the truck. I would also make sure that the trailer has the same bolt pattern on the trailer and the rear end would have the same gear ratio as the truck. I would not have a shell on the trailer for better vision over the trailer.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get our very best prepping advice