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.