Bug-out vehicle

Bug-out vehicle

A bug-out vehicle (BOV) is a vehicle that the owner keeps prepared in the event of the need for an emergency evacuation. Typically a BOV is equipped with a variation on the bug-out bag that includes additional automotive supplies, clothing, food and water. Survivalists tend to favor four wheel drive trucks and SUVs due to their greater off-road abilities. Evacuations in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita stimulated interest in the use of dual-sport or on/off road touring motorcycles as BOVs due to the massive traffic jams and fuel shortages.

In many places people are now considering "bugging out" with their entire families and accordingly are changing from driving 4x4 cars and SUVs, instead using converted panel trucks. Both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive panel trucks can be fitted out as BOVs and stealth campers (campers with no side windows). The interior of these BOVs are fitted out like mobile homes and expedition vehicles, but without any of the frills, usually with a kitchen, refrigerator, cooking stove, toilet, dining area plus enough berths for all the family. The inside of the vehicle will also contain enough food, water, clothing, tools, medical supplies, radios, weapons etc to sustain a family for a significant period of time. Extra fuel and water containers are built into or under the vehicle to extend its operational range, but from the outside the vehicle is indistinguishable from a panel truck. Diesel engines are favored because of the lack of electrical ignition systems to go wrong, and because diesel fuel is safer to transport and use in comparison with gasoline.

Vehicles that can achieve at least 30 miles per gallon or with extended range fuel tanks are gaining popularity because of the lessons from events like Hurricane Katrina in which publicly available commercial fuel supplies were quickly exhausted.

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