How To Change Your Car Into A Survival Vehicle

A survival vehicle can drive on all sorts of terrains. It's equipped with all the survival equipment you would need should you find yourself stranded or in an SHTF situation.

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In this article:

  1. A Reliable Survivalist Vehicle
  2. What Makes a Survival Vehicle?
  3. Important Vehicle Checks
  4. Survival Vehicle Essential Equipment
  5. Planning Your Journey
  6. Important Driving Advice
  7. Other Top Tips

How Does a Survival Vehicle Make a Difference

A Reliable Survivalist Vehicle

A survival vehicle is always in top running condition and you know you can rely on it when the going gets tough. Most importantly, it's driven by someone who knows how to handle such a vehicle and isn't afraid to do what needs to be done in a survival situation.

On a long and potentially dangerous trip, it's essential to correctly prepare your ride for any situation with the best bug out vehicle ideas. Whether your car is suitable for the conditions you'll face can be the difference between life and death.

What Makes a Survival Vehicle?

  1. A vehicle with high ground clearance and 4×4 is enough to get through most terrain.
  2. Make sure it’s fully functional and defect-free. Every component is essential.
  3. It should be equipped with supplies. That includes basics such as communication and navigational tools, food, water, rope, and other outdoor paraphernalia.
  4. Have traction ladders attached to avoid getting stuck in rough terrain.
  5. Have spare tires and a changing kit.

Important Vehicle Checks

  • Fuel – Ensure the car has a full tank of fuel before leaving and carry spare fuel in a metal jerry can
  • Electricity – Make sure all electrical functions on the car are working and in good condition, especially the battery and starter motor.
  • Lights – Visibility is very important so make sure the car lights work and you have replacement bulbs
  • Tyres – Make sure the tires are in good condition with no bald spots or slow punctures.
  • Engine Oil – See to it your car has plenty of oil but not over-full. This is for the engine to work smoothly and efficiently as possible.
  • Radiator – Check the radiator has enough water so the engine won't overheat.

Survival Vehicle Essential Equipment

It's far better to invest in high-quality reliable bug out vehicle gear than cut corners and find out your gear isn't good enough when you need it badly. The following are of utmost importance:

1. Plenty of Water

Drinkable water can get scarce when SHTF. You'll never know where and when to get more if you get lost or a breakdown occurs.

2. Maps and Compass

Navigation is key to survival so make it a point to have a reliable map and compass. Being able to find your way and inform others of your location is vital.

3. Spare Phone

Keep a fully charged phone in your car at all times. This allows you to call for help if your car breaks down and you need emergency assistance.

4. Traction Ladders

If you're stuck in the mud, traction ladders can get you out without having to deflate your tires. It can also be used in a variety of ways.

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5. Spare Tyre and Changing Kit

Always carry a spare wheel and changing kit in case you get a puncture. Have a pump as well for deflating purposes when caught in sand or bogs.

6. Matches or Lighter

A fire-starting tool is always essential for survival. Fire helps keep you warm, allows you to cook food, and purifies water just to name a few.

7. Rope

Quality ropes are good for making shelter and finding food. They're also useful for towing your car out of soft ground.

8. Blankets and Clothing

Staying warm is essential if you have to sleep outdoors. Blankets can also be used as a cover from the sun's heat.

If your clothes get wet, spare ones can save you from hypothermia.

9. Spade and Shovel

Apart from its obvious use for digging, a shovel can also be used to hold up a shelter. You can also use it to make an underground shelter when necessary.

Planning Your Journey

Never travel alone if possible. In the desert, the most common cause of death is vehicle breakdowns so use multiple vehicles if you can.

Inform somebody of your itinerary especially details of your departure and return. This is useful for them to alert the authorities in case you don't return.

Important Driving Advice

  • Stay in high gear. Pull away in second gear and keep the revs low to make sure you don't create wheel spin and bog yourself down into the terrain.
  • Drive in a straight line. When the road opens up it can be tempting to have a bit of fun. Stay sensible and drive in a straight line to save fuel and tires.
  • Keep your thumbs out of the steering wheel so if you hit a bump, the wheel can move freely.
  • Attach traction ladders to the vehicle. In case you're stuck in mud and you've managed to get your car out, you don't want to potentially get stuck again.

Other Top Tips:

  • Don't be overconfident and treat every decision as if it's a matter of life and death. Pack your equipment accordingly and be aware of the weather, the terrain, and possible animals you'll encounter.
  • Conserve energy and exert yourself only when you have to. Energy conservation is essential and will improve your chances of survival.
  • Stay with your vehicle so you have more chance of being seen and found.
  • Find shade quickly and avoid dehydration by exposing yourself to the sun. Dehydration is one of the most common threats in a survival situation.
  • Make sure you can locate back to your vehicle in case you have to leave it. Use a rope or a long string if need be.

The infographic below from shows you how to turn your car into the “ultimate survival machine” by making sure it's properly equipped for whatever road you find yourself on.

Prepping your survival vehicle properly is essential before starting your journey. If the car breaks down easily, there's not much you can do about it other than using it as a shelter.

Follow these important tips and you'll most likely make it out safe in case things go out of your way.

Got any survival vehicle prepping tips to add here? Tell us about them in the comments section below!


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on December 15, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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