What is a Bug Out Vehicle? When the SHTF (shit hits the fan) or TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it) happens, there are several ways to respond. You could panic and die like a meek sheep. You could “bug in” at your already prepped (and secure) home. Or you could “bug out” of the place you currently live and head to a predetermined safe place. If you choose the “bug out” option, then you will need a vehicle that can haul your family–and any supplies you need for the journey–to your desired destination. THIS is a “Bug Out Vehicle.”

There is no perfect overall bug out vehicle, but there are many different options. Base your choice on your budget, where you’ll be running from, your bug out destination, how many people you’ll be transporting, and how much stuff you’ll be carrying with you. The unconventional bug out vehicle is our focus in this post. But before we get to those, let’s mention the standard ones.

Standard Bug Out Vehicle

I’ve seen some really cool DIY bug out vehicles:

All of these standard bug out vehicles have pros and cons. There are many sites that cover them. You can click on some of the links above to get more information.

Unconventional Bug Out Vehicle

Regardless of what SHTF event happens, if you don’t get out of town fast all of the major roads are going to be jammed. Because of this, let’s look at some unconventional bug out vehicle options that don’t involve roads. You have to have a SHTF plan!

Bug Out Railroad Vehicle

When the roads are jam-packed, the fastest land routes between cities will probably be the railroads. I don’t mean train travel, but rather a custom-made railroad vehicle. Imagine a bicycle that can be easily put on and pulled off the tracks, or a small cart zipping down the track as quickly as possible. There is a huge web-like railroad infrastructure criss-crossing the whole country. Wherever you’re going, you can probably get close by taking a railway. Plan your route ahead of time with this Interactive Railroad Map.

The first time I heard of the railroad bug out vehicle option was when I read about a bug out railroad bike; a mountain bike that had a small frame like a boat outrigger on the side of it, and a guide on the front wheel to keep you from having to steer. I’ve seen frames made out of aluminum tubes (and even PVC pipes) attached to different types of bicycles. Talk about a cheap bug out vehicle. A railroad bike may be the best bug out transportation to get if you’re on a tight budget. Here is a nice two seater one. And here’s a link to a guy who fabricates rail wheels.

A quick search on YouTube will result in several options. Here is a cool rail bike made with PVC:

But if you don’t feel like pedaling, you might prefer a bug out railroad cart instead. These are custom made platforms with rail wheels and typically a lawn mower engine on the back to propel it. The down side to these is that they do not typically have standard wheels on them, so you are confined to the railroad tracks, which could be problematic if you see trouble (or a train) coming toward you.

Here is a YouTube video of a cool rail cart:

Now if you are not interested in building a bug out vehicle for yourself, why not see if you can find a bug out vehicle kits to attach to one of your existing vehicles. I’ve seen maintenance trucks with a special guide on the front and back. Here is a video of a homemade golf cart on a railroad.

It sure would be awesome if you could get guides like this to fit on a Polaris RZR!!

Polaris RZR

Bug Out Powered Paraglider

I’ve always wanted to learn how to fly a powered paraglider, but I live in a big city (Houston) where there really isn’t a place to do this without going down to the coast, which is about an hour’s drive. Not a very practical bug out option for me. But if I lived in a less crowded area (and wasn’t worried about transporting a family) I’d be all over this. A powered paraglider would be a sweet bug out vehicle for one or two people. You could clip a small bug out bag on the front of your body and fly above everyone else on your way out of Dodge. I’m sure you could figure out some interesting bug out vehicle accessories for this. They would need to be small and light.

Here are a couple YouTube videos to get you excited:



Bug Out Rowboat

Bug Out Ocean Rowboat - truly an unconventional bug out vehicle

So what if you lived along the coastline or near a large river? Large waterways could be great escape routes. Have you ever heard of an ocean rowboat? Talk about a legit survival vessel. There are people who use them to row all the way across the Atlantic Ocean, from one continent to another. Now this isn’t exactly for everyone, but say you lived and worked in New York and your family was off the coast in South Carolina. Could you imagine trying to get to them by taking the roads through Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC? You would be torn apart by politicians! 🙂

Take a boat, instead. Move it from storage to the water under the darkness of night and head out to sea. These vessels have a small sleeping compartment in the back. They have plenty of airtight storage space, and they are easy to maneuver. I know what you’re thinking. Why not a high powered motorboat or a comfortable sailboat? Think of this setup as your own personal post-apocalyptic gym.

Here are some links so you can find out more information:

If your plan is to bug out in the event of societal collapse, you should put plenty of thought into the type of bug out vehicle you need. What is your budget? What kind of terrain will you encounter between the place you’re leaving and your bug out destination? How many people will you need to move from here to there? And how much supply stash will you need to carry? After taking all of that into account, a standard bug out vehicle may not be your best choice. You might need to think outside the box and give an unconventional bug out transportation option a try.