Survival Vehicles. Another 4×4.

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We have added another 4×4 truck to our family vehicles. This one is a Triton diesel single cab tray back. It has wide wheels, bull bar, tow bar, light bar, racks, & a long range fuel tank. Today I secured my high lift/Wallaby jack to the back of the cab & I secured the winch cable on the opposite side. The winch is in the truck tool box on the side along with a tool bag, wedges for wood cutting & an axle stand.

Newly Expanded Australian Survival Forum.

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The Survival Connection.

This is a survival board on our groups forum. Many of our members joined our 18th century Living History forum because they had a strong interest in survival & prepping, so we also added The Survival Connection board.
This board is like a separate forum, it is not just for primitive gear & primitive skills, it covers anything & everything in regards to survival.

The Survival Connection Forum:

8 Awesome Vehicles to Survive Doomsday

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If you are ever forced to bug out from your home in a disaster scenario, your efforts will always be made easier and safer by bugging out in a vehicle rather than on foot. A vehicle allows you to travel faster, provides you with some level of protection, and has space for you to carry […]

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Personal and Family Preparedness.

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Personal and Family Preparedness.

Personally I don’t see one thing as being more important than another. There is no point in prioritising shelter if you are unable to protect & defend. But for the purpose of this article, I will start with my home & work my way through other priorities.

We have two dwellings, a main house & an old cottage. Both are situated in a forest that we own. We do have fire breaks, but this winter we will be widening those breaks because of the new threat posed by global warming. On the main house we have two 5000 gallon cement water tanks, plus another 1000 gallons in a polly tank for the garden. We have two fire pumps, one on the lower cement tank, & one down at Cattail Pond. The Cattail Pond pump can pump water up to the main house & the cottage for gardens & fire fighting. The gardens supply us with all our vegetable needs for the house & the chooks, but we also keep on hand a good supply of dried, bottled & canned foods. The chooks are kept mainly for eggs.

The main house & the cottage are both off grid & self-sustainable with grey water systems & composting toilets. The cottage has two 1000 gallon water tanks but we will be adding another larger tank soon. Heating of both houses & hot water is provided by wood burning stoves, plus a wood heater in the main house & a large open fire in the cottage. Cooking of course is also done on the wood burning stoves & the forest supplies all our firewood. 240 volt Electricity is supplied by solar panels & batteries.

We have four 4WDs, The Lada is only used on the property, but the Hilux & Triton diesels are registered for the road, as is the X-Trail SUV. If we ever have to leave here, the whole family can just fit in the Hilux & the two Tritons with all our equipment. Every family member that is able to carry has their own pack & arms. I am a primitive skills instructor & I have passed my skills on to my three sons. Arms are a mixture of modern breech-loaders, muzzle-loaders & traditional bows. Our equipment is all 18thcentury except for medical supplies & some of the water containers. We do not expect to have to leave our forest home as we have plenty of people & arms to protect what we have, but we are prepared to leave if we consider it necessary.

Individual equipment is much the same for everyone with a few exceptions including arms, types of packs, clothing. & personal items.

Equipment List:

.62 cal/20 gauge flintlock fusil. 42 inch barrel.

.70 caliber smoothbore flintlock pistol.

Gun tools and spare lock parts.

Shot pouch and contents.

Leather drawstring pouch of .60 caliber ball (in knapsack).

Powder horn.

Ball mould and swan shot mould.

5 Gunpowder wallets

Lead ladle.

Butcher/Hunting knife.

Legging knife.

Clasp knife.


Fire bag.


Belt pouch.

Fishing tackle in brass container.

Two brass snares.

Roll of brass snare wire.



Market Wallet.

Tin Cup.


Water filter bags (cotton & linen bags).

Medical pouch.


Piece of soap and a broken ivory comb.

Dried foods in bags.

Wooden spoon.


Whet stone.

Small metal file.


One blanket (Monmouth cap, spare wool waistcoat and wool shirt rolled inside blanket).

Two glass saddle flasks.

Length of hemp rope.

Bottle of rum.

Basic list of what I carry. This list is made up from items that we know were carried, from items that my research has shown were available, & from items that have been found, such as the brass snare wire. I am not saying every woodsrunner carried all these items, but I am saying that some woodsrunners may have carried all these items. From experimental archaeology results in historical trekking, I think the items I have chosen are a reasonable choice for any woodsrunner that is going to live in the wilderness for a year or more.

Skills: All adult male family members have these skills. The only reason the women don’t have these skills is because they have not shown any interest. Two of the women can use a gun & one of the girls has her own bow. One of our family is a trained nurse & others have skills such as cooking, clothing manufacture, weaving & gardening.

Skills List:

Fire-bow Flint & steel fire lighting

Wet weather fire lighting

fire lighting

Flintlock fire lighting

Flintlock use, service & repair

Marksmanship with either gun or bow.

Field dressing & butchering game

Blade sharpening

Tomahawk throwing

Making rawhide

Brain tanning

Primitive shelter construction

How to stay warm in winter with only one blanket

Cordage manufacture

Moccasin construction and repair


Axe and tomahawk helve making





Reading sign

Woods lore


Primitive trap construction & trapping

Open fire cooking

Fireplace construction

Clothing manufacture

Drying meat & other foods

Knowledge of plant tinders & preparation

Knowledge of native foods & preparation

Knowledge of native plants in the area and their uses for other than tinder and food.


Basic first aid.

Finding and treating water.

General leather work.

Our Family’s Bug Out Vehicles.

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I have been without a vehicle of my own for some time now, this was not good because it meant that when I was alone at home I had no transport in case of fire or accident. The X-Trail SUV we had we sold to one of our 3 sons. My Volvo wagon I gave to another son. My Youngest son bought a Triton Dual Cab Diesel 4WD with a drop side tray.
We replaced the X-Trail with a Hilux Dual Cab Diesel 4WD with a hard canopy. I just bought myself a Triton Dual Cab 4WD Diesel ute, and I am very pleased with it so far. We also have a property vehicle, a 4WD Lada, which we use only on the property for transporting fire wood and generally getting about, mending fences.

The X-Trail and the Volvo Wagon.

My youngest son’s Triton.

Our/my wife’s Hilux.

Our/my Triton.

Our indestructible go anywhere Lada.
We can just fit the whole family in the Hilux and the two Tritons, plus of course all our gear should we have to abandon our home in the forest. I don’t see that happening, but it is nice to know that we have reliable 4WDs just in case.

8 Military Bug Out Vehicles YOU Can Own

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8 Military Bug Out Vehicles YOU Can Own Modern society has over 80% of the population in urban areas. That means that most of us reading are probably within the vicinity of a metropolitan area. Being a prepper you know you may not survive in such a densely populated area. Many of us have begun …

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Siphoning Gasoline from Newer Vehicles without Damaging Them

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Siphoning Gasoline From Newer Vehicles Without Damaging Them via Preparedness Advice

The other day I received this e-mail on siphoning gas from cars:

“While doing some maintenance work on my gasoline powered electrical generator, the thought struck me that back in the old days, and in case of an emergency, one could always siphon gasoline out of their car’s gasoline tank and use it to run things like generators. However, that seems to be not the case nowadays. I tried inserting a conventional siphon hose into my tank but it “bottomed-out” on some obstruction before it touched any gasoline. I looked under the hood of my car (2001 Toyota Highlander) for a place where I could tie into my fuel line. I found none.

A cursory examination of the bottom of my fuel tank revealed no drain plug. So, I went to a local auto parts store and asked the folks if they had anything to siphon or pump fuel from the tank on any modern car or pickup truck. They had no suggestions.”

In the past, I can remember when we used to siphon gas out our cars to fuel our lawn mowers or other small engines. Siphoning gas out of the older vehicles was easy, but when was the last time you tried to siphon gas out of a car? It has been years since I have tried. In a real disaster, like an EMP strike, obtaining gas from damaged vehicles may be necessary to keep older vehicles running.  This got me to wondering how to siphon gas from the new cars.

NOTE: Wondering if any vehicles will still be operating after an EMP? Be sure to read my note at the bottom of this article. If you’ve read One Second After, you may be surprised by my findings.

A little research into modern-day siphoning, revealed that all new cars have an anti-rollover valve on all the openings into a gas tank. These valves also act as a siphon prevention system, which is the reason why nearly all the siphon devices and pumps sold these days are useless. However, there is a way to do it without damaging the vehicle if you have the right tools. Most gas thieves today simply drill a hole in the gas tank, take what they can, and let the rest run out on the ground. But there is another way.

The anti-rollover valve is a ball or butterfly valve. This leaves enough room for gas to flow through the fueling tube into the tank, but if the car flips over and gas begins to flow the other direction, the ball moves to the inlet and blocks the gas from escaping or the butterfly flap closes.


Small pumps like this one will make siphoning gas a lot quicker.

The trick to siphoning gas without damaging the vehicle is to use a small diameter, stiff hose like the ¼-inch hose that runs to your refrigerator icemaker. Cut the end at a sharp angle and spin, or “corkscrew”, the hose as you insert it. It may take you a few tries to master this.  Now, siphoning gas through this small tube by gravity is slow and can take up to eight minutes for a gallon of gas. If you can find a small hose with a hand pump like this one, it can go much faster.

You may want to carry a larger hose for vehicles that will accept it. Just remember that stealing gas in illegal and should be avoided.



Most every reader of One Second After is convinced that virtually every vehicle on the road will suddenly stall and be incapacitated forever. Dr. Arthur T. Bradley, NASA electronic engineer and author of Disaster Preparedness for EMP Attacks and Solar Storms, disagrees. He says there are so many variables that will affect whether or not the electromagnetic surge will damage vehicles that he believes only 30% or so will be damaged. The rest may experience a slight glitch and then resume running. This doesn’t mean transportation will be a piece of cake in a post-EMP world. With millions of vehicles stranded on every type of road, bridge, and tunnel imaginable, transportation would still be difficult.

This article updated 10-24-16.

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Survival Vehicle Choice.

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Any vehicle in an emergency is better than nothing at all, but if you want the most practicle & advantages of vehicles, then you need to get a good 4WD (four wheel drive). I had three 4WDs when I lived in the Territory, we lived off grid, & it was the only way to get around. We had two Toyota Land Cruisers, a short wheel base & a ute, & we had a little Suzuki. I would still have the SWB, but it was stolen from our property whilst we were away looking for land interstate.

Now we live in New England NSW, & up until now we have had a Nissan X-Trail SUV. However, the wading depth (depth of water it can drive through) on this vehicle is only 400mm. Of late it has been very wet here, I would say the wettest we have experienced in the past 30 years. Weather conditions are changing!!! We have a creek to cross to get into town, as again we are living off grid in a forest. The alternate rout out & back in if the creek is in flood is all dirt & it too is subject to a lot of water.
So, we decided to get a full blown 4WD, we do already have a 4WD unregistered property vehicle (Lada), but it can not be used on the road. We sold our SUV to my Eldest son & his family for an affordable price. It is better than the ordinary sedan that they had. What we purchased is a Toyota Hilux twin cab diesel ute with a canopy on the back & a bull bar. We also added a rear view camera, & we are getting LED bar lights fitted to front & rear. So far my wife is very pleased with this vehicle, though it is larger than she has been used to driving. I love it, it gives me a feeling of security knowing that my wife can get home at night no matter which rout she has to take.

The wade depth on this Hilux is 700mm with standard suspension.

This is my youngest son’s Nissan Triton which I believe has a wading depth of 500mm. This vehicle is a good less expensive choice in 4WDs.

My Russian Lada 4WD with wide wheels & two spares on the roof.

We do not expect to ever have to evacuate our forest home, we have enough people to be able to defend it in a shtf situation short of a foreign invasion. But if we should have to leave, I feel sure the vehicles we have will get us to where we are going.

Vehicle Gear #1 A Conceptual Discussion

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Our recent post Urban E&E/ Get Home Kit got me thinking about this. It also works conveniently because that is the current push in my personal preparations. My initial goal was to beef up the first aid kit there but I decided it was as good a reason as any to re look all the stuff in my vehicle.

I say ‘all the stuff’ instead of implying it is a cohesive system because there are multiple somewhat independent systems in play instead of one large system. This is complicating for at least three reasons. First because we have to figure out what all we want this stuff to do. Second instead of being sub systems we really end up with different systems that live in the same place instead of say sub systems in a larger cohesive system. Third we have to be cognizant of unintended redundancy/ duplication between the largely independent systems that live in the same place.

In a most basic sense the stuff in our vehicles can be broken down by vehicle stuff or people stuff.

Vehicle stuff would be spare fluids, tire and jack, tools for basic repairs, etc. Depending on your automotive skill set, vehicle reliability and access to repair assistance this could be a little or a lot. If you have some skills and drive a less than reliable vehicle on empty roads a lot a very comprehensive kit would make sense. On the other end of the spectrum a not so handy person with a new ish car might just have jumper cables, a spare tire/ jack, a couple road flares, some fluids and a few basic tools.

People stuff is a bit more nebulous. Personally mine is roughly broken down to the following:
Overnight bag-  A change of clothes, sleeping gear, shoes, toothbrush, etc. Alternate title is ‘ho bag’.
First aid- A mix of emergency first aid trauma stuff with everyday type things like band aids, pepto, aspirin etc.
Get Home Bag- Kind of a bug out bag that lives in my car.

Misc- There is some stuff in there that defies ready categorization. For instance a ziplock bag with a spare Glock mag, 50 rounds of 9mm, probably some .22lr an maybe even a .38 speed loader.  Also a set of bolt cutters and a big ole crow bar. I could arguably say it is part of one of the 4 general systems I laid out but I don’t really care to.

There are other plausible systems a person could have. They might have a long gun with ancillary stuff or a robust wilderness survival set up. Folks who are often in wild places in cold winters need a sleeping bag, heavy coat, gloves, hat, boots, etc. Nothing else comes directly to mind but other options could certainly exist.

Now we have to talk about constraints. What are the constraints to stuff we keep in vehicles.
-Space. Obviously less of an issue if you drive a full sized truck with a canopy or a Suburban but more problematic in say a little sports car. In any case space is still finite and using it for emergency and preparedness stuff competes with your normal everyday use.
-Cost. If you need to purchase stuff for these systems it obviously costs money. If you pull stuff from elsewhere it is a loss there. Anyway stuff costs money.
-Risk of loss. Vehicles get broken into regularly. An awesome bug out bag with all the coolest gadgets like night vision, FLIR, sat phone, cash and weapons could easily cost several thousand dollars. For all but the richest the loss of that would be very hurtful. 

My intent is to look at all of these systems. First alone and then together. I intend to do posts on each of them.

Your input is welcome now and later if/ when I do future posts on the topic.

7 Vehicles To Survive The End Of The World

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To survive an apocalyptic scenario requires imagination: many of the steps you take in preparation for a sudden change in your way of life come from thinking about abstract eventualities. You may not be able to perfectly replicate the resources that big movie heroes use to prevail in hard times, but such fictions are a […]

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Survival Skills: Scavenge A Vehicle For Survival

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  Survival Skills: Scavenge A Vehicle For Survival When the SHTF, you will likely need to do some scavenging, like it or not. Scavenging after SHTF carries significant stigma, invoking your most dreaded nightmares. During man-made or natural disasters (including war), scavenging is a common occurrence. I have for a long time wondered what items and tools …

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Vehicle Discussion Continued

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Yesterdays discussion brought up a couple of points worth addressing:

@5:41, Mine is way lower towing capacity than that. Having one that did 5k might be worth looking into.

@5:46, An interesting idea though shipping vehicles is really just not that expensive. Like $300-400ish. Every 2 years that wouldn’t be a deal maker. Or maybe have a friend (ideally a cute one;) drive one and get a free trip.

Meister- An SUV and a truck are beyond my budget. I could probably have a truck and a car by the end of summer but an SUV and a truck would be another 6 months.

@730- EMP is not high on my list of concerns but if I can address it as a second order effect of an existing plan I try to do so. Honestly most of the old vehicle reasoning is economic as I can not afford to have a fairly new daily driver and a truck (paying cash anyway which is how I do vehicles). 

Generally truck vs Suburban or Bronco- I would lean truck as one with a camper shell is more versatile. However I have (window shopping) seen some old suburbans with no miles for not a lot of cash.

Diesel vs Gas- I would have to think more about this but I am leaning gas. First it would not complicate my logistics and second the ambiguity of those old Chevy (and also Ford) small block V8’s is a big part of why I want to go that way. Down the road I may add a diesel vehicle to the stash, especially if I had a tractor or big generator or something that also ran on it.



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As I look at replacement vehicle options 3 have come to mind.

First replace the smallish SUV with another smallish SUV. Pro- Decent compromise vehicle. Con- Towing capacity sucks. Honestly that leads me to doing things with it I shouldn’t in terms of towing which is hard on a vehicle and a disaster waiting to happen. Largely rejected this.

Second is to buy a newish standard sized truck like an F150. Probably a 2008 or so with under 60k miles. Pro is it can tow anything I would want to and gives me a lot of options in terms of space, power, capability, etc. Also I would have a full sized 4×4 truck. Con gas mileage. Most social opportunities are in KC or Lawrence so I go on 45 mile one way drives alone pretty regularly. Mostly it is just me in the vehicle. While fuel is cheap now it won’t always be. This plan still has some merit.

The third option is to buy a little commuter car like a Toyota Yaris and a significantly older truck. Use the car to putter around, go to town, etc. Basic daily driver. The truck would be some sort of an older Chevy/ GMC with a standard 350 drive train, pre fuel injection, etc. Cost to purchase both would be roughly the same as a newer truck. Pro- Best of both worlds. Affordable fuel economy for puttering around. Old EMP proof (or easily made so) BOV. The risk of an older truck is negated by having a pretty new reliable vehicle, also just plain having a second set of wheels. Also if I need to go out in bad weather (which we have here) I would way rather risk banging up an old beater than a shiny newish truck. Also this would be roughly as expensive as a newer truck but in two pieces so I could get the car and then a truck in a couple months. Also I would have a full sized 4×4 truck. Con- A truck that old has some risk to it and I am not very mechanical. It might end up being a 5k to buy and a couple grand to get right type of thing. Duplicate expenses for insurance and up keep, tires, etc. When I move I would have to shuttle one out early or ship it.


A Serious Safety Issue with Many Newer Cars

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serious safety issueThe other day I received this information from a friend.  It involves the manner in which the door locks work on many of the newer cars.  I feel that this is a serious safety issue that could put someone’s life at risk.  First, here is the article my friend sent me followed by some additional information I found.

“Some car models, at least newer GM products, will unlock the doors when you stop and put the car into park… For the second time in a few months, I have a rental car as a result of flying to an event.  To make things worse, much as I like this Impala, there is no owner’s manual with it, so I can’t tell if there is a way to unscrew that.  It is utterly unsafe and too stupid for words. I, of course, habitually disable the inside lights and chimes (to which I refer as “shoot me” lights and chimes) in my own cars. If that can’t be done, I will not buy the car.

My own pickup is now 15 years old.  When I purchased it, I had to change the key-remote setting so that it would not unlock all four doors with a single press. When I had an electrically operated bed cover installed, I had to specify that I did not want the default setting, in which the same remote operates the bed cover and the doors.  This way, if I should need to provide the ignition key to someone doing work on the truck, I do not have to provide access to the bed area, where I secure a long gun.(The tailgate is also secured with a key lock, which key is not on the same ring as the ignition key.)  As to the interior light coming on when the door is opened, on many vehicles, that can be negated by setting the brightness of the dashboard lights at the lowest setting.  As to rental vehicles, I confirmed that GM owner manuals are available online and I suspect that other companies post their manuals as well.”


I have done some research on this and found out that quite a few of the newer cars have this feature.  On many cars when you put it into park, all four doors unlock.  This can make you venerable to an attacker.  I found one instance in which it resulted in a death.

In 2012 a US government agent was killed  in Mexico while driving a $120,000 armored Chevy Suburban.  At the time, they were forced off the road by members of a drug cartel and when they put the car in park, the doors unlocked automatically.

There are ways in many different models that you can change the settings to eliminate the problem.  But be aware that if the computer is reset, by battery failure or replacement, the computer will revert to the default setting, leaving the car vulnerable again.

If you own or have to rent a car that has this serious safety issue, you can get around it by putting the transmission in neutral and using handbrake.  I am in total agreement with Ed on the fact that you should be able to disarm the shoot me lights.



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3 Off-Road ‘Bugout Vehicles’ That Will Get You Out Of Dodge … Fast

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3 Off-Road 'Bugout Vehicles' That Will Get You Out Of Dodge ... FastI’m positive that there are quite a few of us who look upon our plush suburban surroundings and deep down, we know that if things go bad, then we’ve got to roll.

I know this, because I’m also in such a situation. While I don’t necessarily live near any major cities per se, I do live in an area that’s going to swell with refugees if the unthinkable were to occur. Of course, the refugees themselves aren’t necessarily the issue. It’s the fact that these droves of refugees will be low on survival resources, coming to an area that will be low on law and order.

To further explain, a single high-altitude EMP – or a major solar storm – could take out the grid and effectively render all emergency service communications devices into high-tech paperweights from coast to coast. This alone is going to have most officers headed homebound to look after their loved ones (and I sure couldn’t blame them for doing so). But even the ones that stick around are going to have a tough time coordinating crime-fighting efforts without so much as a working walkie-talkie to throw in their cruiser’s passenger seat.

And that’s IF the cruiser’s electrical systems haven’t been fried by the energy wave.

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Thus, the word “chaos” comes to mind if I were to describe the unfolding hypothetical scenario. Even if I could pop the clutch in ye olde Chevy to get her working, then how exactly am I going to weave my way to wilderness freedom with the countless road-blocking variables that could possibly be standing between me and my retreat?

If, in the 50/50 chance that I’m unlucky, and I don’t have access to a working set of wheels, then am I really going to attempt this trek on foot? I had to leave my home because it was too dangerous, and now I expect to take the next week, meandering through the same chaos that ousted me from my home in the first place?

There’s got to be a better way. So, here’s a quick list of what we need in a fast transportation option:

  • Lightweight and low-profile
  • Fast
  • Fuel-efficient
  • All-terrain capability
  • Carrying capacity for a bag
  • Operator able to maintain or repair in the field

Well, my friends, I’ve come up with three that meet the above criteria … and these options will give you a little extra speed and agility to get you on your way …  in a hurry.

No. 3: Multi-Passenger ATV

I’m not the only survivalist who believes ATVs are one of the most versatile forms of transportation.

Passenger and towing capacity has long been the crux of the ATV in this regard, but there is a market solution to this problem. Since the multi-passenger ATVs tend to have more power and additional space for boarding your gear and compadres, I feel like this would be the better option for families undergoing a forced, rapid evacuation.

However, if everyone in your company has access to their own transportation, or you’re traveling alone, then you might be better served with a two-wheeled option of some kind. With ATVs, they don’t exactly possess the optimally low mpgs, as the other options out there. But its three best strengths are readily identifiable:

  • Agility
  • Terrain handling
  • Multi-passenger/storage capable.

No. 2: Motorized 66/80cc Bicycle Kit

A good friend of mine who happens to be an outside-the-box-kind of thinker, showed me this absolutely intriguing concept … and I’ve been stuck on the idea ever since.

It’s especially handy for those of us who don’t exactly have a couple grand to dump on a mechanized bugout transport. But if you’ve already got an existing bike, and $150 to burn, this project might just get you by in a pinch.

These kits will actually allow you to slap a 66/80cc two-stroke engine on that bicycle that’s currently suspended in your garage. Apparently, they’ll do a whopping 55mph. (Not loaded down with gear, of course, but so long as you’re doing more than a human sprint, I’d still take it.)

If you want one, even for just a tinker project, just hop on eBay. Of course, it’s not necessarily the easiest install in the world, but you don’t need to have a certification from a mechanic school in order to figure out what you’re doing.

The cons for this system are going to be rather obvious, given its limited power. However, I’ve heard the two-liter tank’s mpgs can range anywhere from 100-150 (even 250, but that’s not without some highly sophisticated mods), and again … you just can’t beat $150 for a fun project. Just be careful with taking her on the road after you’ve put it together, because many-a-municipality hasn’t exactly accounted for them yet. I’ve heard of riders running into a tiff or two with local troopers over the required paperwork.  And be smart with these kits, folks. Wear a good helmet while you’re riding.

No. 1: Kawasaki KLR 650

As I mentioned before, we’re going to need a way to weave through chaos, and depending upon the nature of the crisis at hand, the surrounding suburban countryside could look eerily similar to a warzone. But that’s why I couldn’t help but think of the Kawasaki KLR 650.

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In fact, this particular “touring” motorcycle has been used by the Marine Corps for years, so it’s got a history of handling the unpredictability that’s inherently associated with warzones. Take a look at this diesel-powered variant that’s served us since 1999:


According to Popular Mechanics, the Kawasaki KLR 650 is essentially a mechanized pack-mule. And while I might disagree … they say it’s about as attractive as one, too. However, they also laud praises to the two-wheeled beastie, saying:

Its comparatively lightweight made it the easiest to wrestle through tight, rocky trails. It has just enough power to cruise at 80 mph, but don’t ask for more.

Hey, if the KLR 650 is the go-to bike for a long journey across the Australian Outback, then I don’t think it’s going to have issues handling the rigors of Appalachia — and at an average 53.3 mpg, I can’t exactly complain for doubling that of my current mode of transportation.

(I should also mention that it runs on a carburetor, which will naturally resist an EMP surge far better than its younger fuel-injecting cousin. Food for thought.)

What transportation options would you add to this list? Share your tips in the section below:

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You Need a Gray Man Bug Out Vehicle

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bug out vehicle

Nice, but attracts way too much attention.

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.


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All Time #1 Winter Driving Tip

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Today I am going to share with you the #1 tip for driving safely in winter (snow/ ice/ etc) conditions. SLOW DOWN!!!

This weekend I had the displeasure of driving through Portland Oregon when it was in cold, snowy, icy conditions. Vehicles were wrecked all over the place. Most were minor one vehicle slides off the road and or bumps the barrier but there were a couple of not good looking roll overs. Interestingly about half the wrecked vehicles were really good winter rigs like Subaru wagons and Toyota 4×4 trucks. The issue was that while increased traction via AWB/4WD does help you go it does not help you turn or stop. So these folks got overconfident and wrecked. Another good example that all the hardware in the world will not fix a lack of skill.

Slow down on bad winter roads. Either leave in enough time or tell folks you will make it when you make it. If the roads are really bad and beyond your comfort zone consider if you even have to make the trip at all. Better to miss an event or even lose a days wages then wreck your vehicle or God forbid get someone hurt.


Vehicle lights and Avoiding Surveillance

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vehicle lights

Turn off your dome lights and don’t forget the dash lights

During my years as an arson investigator, I had the chance to do a fair amount of surveillance and sneaking around. Most people were fairly easy to follow and did not pay attention to what went on around them. Now whether you are following someone or are trying to avoid being seen, there is one change we should all consider making to our vehicle lights in case of TEOTWAWKI.  That is retake control of the lights in our vehicle.

For example, dome lights that come on automatically every time you open the door.  You want to be able to enter or leave your car without the entire neighborhood seeing the vehicle lights go on.  The first thing we figured out for any vehicle that was used for surveillance was how to enter or leave the vehicle without the lights coming on.  Many times this made the difference between a successful or a failed surveillance.

Don’t forget the headlights, on today’s cars many of them come on as soon as you start the car, day or night.  You may want to take a look at developing the ability to bypass this system.  In many cars it can be done as simply as removing a fuse.

vehicle lights

Brake lights really stand out at night

The brake lights can be another problem; I have seen surveillances fail because some tapped their brakes.  While it is probably against the law to alter these safety systems, in a TEOTWAWKI situation, knowing how to do it may make the difference between sneaking off quietly or attracting the attention of unwanted people.

I suggest that you don’t  make any changes to your vehicles until it becomes necessary.  Making these types of changes to a car’s safety system may subject you to potential liability in case of an accident.

But take some time to find a mechanic who will show you how to make the changes to your vehicle lights and have any required tools or parts on hand before you need them.  Having the ability to leave an area at night without lights  may let you avoid a confrontation with dangerous individuals.




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Armor, bug out vehicle!

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Armor, bug out vehicle!
Highlander “Tech Preps

Armor, bug out vehicle survival-vehicle-21This episode I will discuss bug out vehicles, do you need a fully armored bug out vehicle? Will those zombies be coming after you and you just run right over them? Well we will discuss this, is it just paranoia or does a vehicle of this caliber have merit in certain situations. The Police seem to think so, they use armored personnel carriers all the time to respond to hostile situations.

Armor, bug out vehicles!We will take a look at the price of such a vehicle and the legality of it. What are the pros and the cons of such a vehicle, and what would be good to equip it with? Along with the pros and cons is the costs of and kinds of accessories, armor, radios, computers, and other helpful gadgets that may help you if an event strikes with no recourse but to bug out.

Armor, bug out vehicles!I will help recommend a few products that could be installed as well as what I believe is the best route when choosing a vehicle chassis, and what to look out for. I will talk about the pros of a vehicle being armored such as bullet resistant (not bullet proof). Also the advantages over diesel vs gasoline engine. Also the advantages of heavy armor vs light, and the cons of both. I will talk about the cons of the vehicle such as speed, maneuverability, and weakness’s.

Communications, another important item to consider. What are the advantages of having various communications in a vehicle such as gps, wenches, and various other gadgets.

As always I will be taking questions from the chat and live call in line, so please feel free to visit chat or call in and talk to me live!, we will have a good time and I hope everyone enjoys the show!
Join us for Tech Prep “LIVE SHOW” every Monday 9:00/Et 8:00Ct 6:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat

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13 Things You Can Scavenge From Cars After The SHTF

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Cars are everywhere. If you’re anywhere near a city when the SHTF, you’ll come across thousands of them. And if the disaster is severe enough, many of these vehicles will be abandoned. Why does this matter? Because there are many survival items you can scavenge from abandoned vehicles. […]

The post 13 Things You Can Scavenge From Cars After The SHTF appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Winterize your Home and Preps

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winterizeIt is November and we haven’t had much snow in the Sierra’s, all least for now the drought seems to be continuing.  However, the weather has been quite cold the last few days.  Some things indicate that the El Nino that is occurring in the Pacific could bring heavier than normal rains to Southern California. In other parts of the country, I see  strange weather patterns occurring.  I really don’t know what is going to happen, but get ready for the worst and hope for the best.  If you live in the northern hemisphere now is a good time to winterize your home and preps.

Here is a list to help you winterize your home and preps.

winterizeInspect the chimney.

  • Do you have a fireplace or wood stove?  Check for obstructions in the flue.  Do you have a screen and a chimney cap over the top of the chimney to keep animals and debris out?
  • Clean the chimney to remove the creosote buildup.  Clean the inside of a wood stove or fireplace removing ashes and creosote.  Do you have the brushes and tools to clean your own chimney when help is not available?
  • Inspect your stovepipes and make sure any connections are tight.  Do you have extra pipe if a section fails?
  • Make sure there is good clearance between combustible materials and your stove.

Cleaning Your Gutters and Roof


Do you have the supplies to repair this?

  • Clean any accumulated leaves or dirt off your roof.  This helps extend the life of your roof.
  • Inspect your roof to locate any areas where shingles are missing, damaged or otherwise in need of repair. Look for signs of dry rot, chimney or vent damage and separating gutters.
  • Do you have the materials you need to fix your roof? A First Aid Kit for Your Roof
  • Clean leaves and debris from your gutters.  Make sure the downspouts are clear of obstructions and flow freely.

Weatherproofing Your House Exterior


Don’t forget to protect your plumbing

  • Pick up any leaves and rotting vegetation close to your house.  Make sure any drainage routes are clear.
  • Check the areas around pipes or wires. Fill any holes or openings with expanding foam insulation or caulk.
  • Check window wells by basement windows.
  • If you have a wood supply, it should be separated from the house by at least 20 or 30 feet and protected from the weather.  Open trash, recycling containers, and woodpiles close to you home are an invitation to rodents and pests and fires in the summer.
  • Inspect your outbuildings, sheds and cellars or crawlspaces.
  • Drain garden hoses and insulate exposed water pipes including sprinkler systems.
  • Check your yard for tree branches that overhang your home, outbuildings or electric service. Remove dead or damaged trees and branches.

Preparing Your Windows and Doors

  • Check your doors and windows for any weaknesses, cracks or other damage.
  • Replace or install weather stripping around entry doors and windows.
  • Put up storm windows and storm doors, if needed.

Miscellaneous things to winterize your home and preps

  • Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, change the batteries if needed.
  • This is a good time to consider rotating any gasoline that you have stored for more than 6 to 8 months. Check to make sure your flammable liquids are stored in a safe manner, The Safe Storage of Gasoline.
  • Check any water that you have stored to be sure it won’t freeze and rupture the containers.
  • Make sure that any canned foods or fresh produce you have stored are protected from the elements and will not be frozen.
  • This is also a good time to check your bug out bags and make sure they are ready for winter, Bugout and Get Home Bags Need to be Updated For Winter
  • Don’t forget about your vehicles, they need to be ready, Basic Car Maintenance and Winter

Now this list will vary, depending on what part of the county you live in.  The whole point is that a change in the seasons is coming and we don’t know what it will bring.  Winterize your home and be ready for what will occur in your area and have the necessary supplies on hand, whether it be sand bags or snow shovels.



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Link – The Ten Best Ways To Maintain Your Car In The Apocalypse

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In the apocalypse, it’s likely that resources will be scarce, mechanics will be long gone, and your car will be on its last legs. Stay prepared with these 10 steps!

It’s a bit misleading, because some of these steps have nothing to do with maintaining a car. But…it is a worthy subject to think about. My experience has been that anything mechanical cannot be trusted. If it’s got more than a couple moving parts to it, something can and will go wrong.

Best way to maintain your car in the apocalypse? Maintain your car before the apocalypse, and have the materials and information to continue that maintenance.

H/T: Thanks to the person who emailed me about this.

Vehicle Discussion Update

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Thanks to those who replied to yesterdays post ‘vehicle discussion‘. You all brought up some excellent points.

-I think two vehicles is the way to go. Something pretty fuel efficient to putter around in most of the time and a bigger vehicle that can tow stuff if needed.

-For the commuter vehicle I plan to hold onto the vehicle I have. The point that an occasional $500 fix is a lot cheaper than a new vehicle with a corresponding loan is very valid. It gets decent, if not amazing, gas mileage and I do not plan on having much of a commute in the near future. Realistically it should have a couple of pretty reliable years of service left.

 -I do not think I want to get a vehicle loan. Honestly if at all possible I plan to be entirely debt free in the future.

-For a hauler/ BOV I agree with Peter’s advice to go with a 3/4 ton. Given my need to have a real back seat for the kids it is an SUV or a crew cab truck.
– From my anecdotal research the best values seem to be 80’s Suburbans. A truck certainly has some benefits but crew cab vehicles were pretty rare in that period so there are a lot less out there.

-Best of all two vehicles have a lot of benefits. The potential to have a vehicle down for bit is a lot more tolerable if I can start another one and drive to work in the morning. Also I can realistically buy vehicle #2 (an older full sized truck or SUV) with cash. Planning on buying a vehicle every other couple years or so is realistic especially if I am talking ones in the several thousand to 10k price range.

So that is where I think I am going to go. Your input is always welcome.

Vehicle Discussion

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Tpals brought it up and well I can not think of another thing to write so here we go. Vehicles.

The vehicle I have and am going to get in the split is a Korean soccer mom SUV. It is a fine enough vehicle for what it is. However the soccer mom SUV has a shade under 140k on the odometer. Korean vehicles aren’t the junk they used to be (nor are they the amazing value they were after they fixed the issues but before people realized it) but 140k is getting close to the danger zone. It is showing its age these days.

The goal would be to sell it before it starts to have the kind of issues that cost me money or really falls off the cliff in terms of value. On one hand I could sell it ASAP but an already paid off vehicle is a darn nice thing. If I could drive the soccer mom SUV for a year to let me save up for a newer vehicle that would be great. However that could backfire and instead of being able to sell it for a few grand I end up with NADA out of it. On the other hand buying a vehicle now is a less than optimal option. I am not really at a good place for big purchases.

For the next vehicle I want more towing capacity. Like enough to move a decent sized travel trailer if I choose to go that way for housing down the road. That means a V8. 4wd is a must. Also darn it I have wanted a real no BS truck or awesome SUV for a couple decades and darn it I am getting one for my next vehicle.
If/ when I decide to buy a new vehicle I have a decision to make. Part of me wants to buy an old school, EMP resistant, vehicle like an 80’s Blazer or Suburban. The up side is I could buy one comfortably with cash and they are awesome. Anything with a Chevy 350 and associated drive train is about as common as it gets in the US. The downside is those things are about 30 years old, often have some miles on them and there is a real potential to have it $500 the crap out of me.

 On the other end I could get a newish (say 07 or better) SUV or quad cab truck like an F150. The up side is everything except cost. Realistically for something with sane mileage (say under 60k) I am looking at about 20k. This means either hitting my cash reserves pretty hard or taking a loan, neither of which exactly appeal to me.

Then again if I have a long commute for the cost of a newer truck I could have a sweet old school SUV as well as potential, at some point, a little daily driver car to putter around in. Have a sweet older vehicle for that role and if I have a long drive just buy a little car. If cost was spread out by awhile I could probably wrangle paying for both in cash. Best of all that is just if I work far from home. I could realistically drive an 85 Suburban 5 miles to work and 5 back for a long time without any real issues. 

Your input is appreciated.

The Bug Out Bike-Nashbar Single Speed 29er Mountain Bike

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The solution for the bug out bike has been delivered.  The unopened box sits waiting to be born into my gear.  The Nashbar Single-Speed 29er Mountain Bike – MEDIUM is a perfect fit for survival situations due to its simplicity, adaptability, and affordability.

The single speed is all about simplicity.  The bug out bike will take the headache out of bike gear maintenance.  Don’t let the racket of a derailleur compromise your stealth.  This single speed does not have shifters or any derailleur.

The mountain bike is also built for adaptability.  The aluminum frame provides an efficient strength to weight ratio for additional durability. The oversized 29er tires provide exceptional mobility over obstacles on and off road. 

Nashbar delivers affordability for the bug out bike.  Finding a quality single speed mountain bike is like looking for supplies after a devastating event.  Usually, all the inexpensive options are heavy and the quality options are overpriced or unavailable.  Nashbar delivers a lightweight single speed at an affordable price tag usually around $400.

Go for the gear that will have you counting down the days to a survival situation like it was Christmas.  Go for simplicity.  Go for adaptability.  Go for affordability.  Go for the Nashbar Single-Speed 29er Mountain bike.

Riding above the water line.