You've seen it in countless survival and disaster movies:
Volcanoes are erupting, great chasms are opening up in the Earth, and fire, brimstone, and plagues of frogs are raining down from the sky.
But don't worry; here comes the hero, Strongjaw McHandsomeface, riding to the rescue in his pimped out monster truck complete with roof rack, snorkel, and mounted fifty-caliber machineguns!
But do the movies REALLY tell you what you should be carrying in your bug-out vehicle?
Recently I spoke with expert Ryan Lee Price about the critical bug-out vehicle gear he recommends.
Here is a summary of what he told me.
Is Your Bugout Vehicle Missing These 4 Critical Survival Items?
There isn't a prepper on the planet who hasn't fantasized about creating the ultimate bugout vehicle to see him through the zombie hordes and safely to his survival retreat.
But do you really know what you THINK you know about bugout vehicles and equipment?
People often overlook whether their bug out vehicle can physically reach its destination.
You have to be able to get there physically or there's no point in going.
If your vehicle can't handle the terrain physically, you're stuck and worse off.
If it breaks down, you're again stuck and worse off.
What this means is, you have to be able to take care of the vehicle itself.
This requires you to carry certain items to maintain the vehicle and get you out of trouble.
1. Air Pumps And Jacks
Your bug-out vehicle is only as good as its tires.
If you can't roll, you can't get where you're going.
Most of us don't have run-flat tires.
That means you've got to have the ability to maintain and replace your tires.
An air pump, like the kind that connects to your car's electrical system, can be invaluable, especially if you have a slow leak and you're miles from help.
Having a jack and a tire iron to replace your tire and put on the spare is also critical.
You would be amazed how many people are driving around without these.
2. Critical Fluids
If your car runs out of fuel, you won't be getting anywhere.
If it runs out of oil, it will seize up.
If it runs out of coolant for the radiator, it will overheat.
All of these are things you can be carrying with you just in case.
Keep in mind, though, that in the case of gas you can't just throw a gas can in the back seat.
It's best to keep fuel outside of the vehicle, such as on a tow rack on the back, to prevent fumes from accumulating inside the vehicle.
Having these critical fluids on hand could save you when the alternative is breaking down.
3. Jumper Cables and a Siphon Pump
If you aren't carrying a siphon pump or transfer pump, you should be.
These don't take up that much room.
They give you the ability to take fuel from broken down cars that might still have gas in them.
They also make it possible to transfer water quickly from one container to another.
(Obviously, you wouldn't use the same pump for both things in that order.)
Jumper cables are another item that lets you essentially “transfer electricity” from one vehicle to another.
And just like jacks and tire irons, you would be surprised how many people don't have jumper cables in case their batteries die.
4. Traction Mats And Tow Cables
Vehicles can get stuck even if there's nothing wrong with them.
Keeping a tow cable in your vehicle makes it possible for someone who isn't stuck to pull you free.
This may or may not work depending on how badly stuck the vehicle is.
In some cases, a traction mat might help.
These, too, don't take up a lot of space in the car.
Throwing down a traction mat can make it possible for the wheels to gain enough traction to get you out of a tough spot.
It works on the same principle as throwing down cat litter, or even a plank, when your tires are swamped in soft ground, snow, or mud.
The items listed here are all very important.
You should be carrying them if you aren't already.
They don't add up to much additional cargo, but they can really help prevent you from breaking down.
Keep that in mind.