The Best SHTF Vehicle
Fuel is going to be in short supply following any kind of collapse. It doesn’t matter what the event was. Once this occurs, you’re going to have to find some form of transportation that doesn’t rely on gas or diesel. The simple fact that a bicycle doesn’t need fuel makes it the best SHTF vehicle.
Every prepper should have some kind of bike. Even if you plan on bugging-in, there could be any number of reasons why you would end up bugging-out either immediately or sometime following the event.
If you do end up bugging out, it’ll be much easier to carry your bug out bag on a bike than it would be to carry it for who knows how many miles.
What type of bike should you get?
I would suggest a mountain bike as they are perfectly fine on the road and still maintain the ability to go off-road when needed. A decent hardtail fits the bill in my mind since you’ll most likely be riding with your bug-out bag and possibly pulling a trailer.
A hardtail is a mountain bike that has a front suspension that can help absorb a lot of shock and no suspension on the rear. A lack of suspension on the rear actually allows you to get more power to the wheel when pedaling compared to a bike with full suspension. They’re also significantly less expensive.
I also recommend disc brakes as they make a world of difference when stopping. Hydraulic disc brakes are even better if you’re willing to spend a little more to get a bike that has them.
Another option would be a folding bike. The obvious advantage of a folding bike is that it can fit in a smaller space than a normal mountain bike. The disadvantages are the fact that they normally don’t have as many options as a traditional bike.
I think the folding bike is interesting as it could fit in your trunk so you could always have it with you. Having a folding bike gives you another option to get home in case of something like an EMP or if the roads are completely blocked by vehicles.
Is a bike trailer right for you?
If you have small children that cannot ride their own bike you may want to consider a bike trailer designed to pull children behind you. These trailers are similar to an off-road stroller and can pull around 100 lbs.
If your family doesn’t have any small children, you may still want to consider a trailer. There is a wide variety of trailers available for bikes. They range from open wagon styles to trailers with pop-up tents. Again, with this style of trailer, you’re looking at being able to pull around 100 – 120 lbs.
A little more cargo capacity can be added with saddlebags or racks. This could be a good option for those that don’t want to add the cost or weight of a trailer. In my experience, the more weight you can move from your backpack to a saddlebag or trailer the better.
A bicycle dynamo like this one will allow you to charge a battery pack through a USB port. With a little ingenuity, you can rig up a bicycle-powered generator as well.
This video by southernprepper1 shows how to make a bicycle powered generator.
Misconceptions about animals in a post-collapse environment or SHTF event
Several people have mentioned that a bicycle is not the best option. They believe that a horse is the best vehicle following a SHTF event.
I considered talking about horses as a possibility, but they’re not ideal for quite a few reasons. Many of us simply can’t keep a horse around in case of a collapse.
They require tons of maintenance, a lot of land and are expensive to buy and own. American Association of Equine Practitioners estimates that a single horse will cost about $2,500 annually! That’s 5 times what a decent mountain bike will cost you. Other associations put the estimate closer to $3,500.
Other people have argued that you can get a horse for free after a collapse occurs. I just don’t see that as an option. Horses will be even more expensive in a SHTF. If we take a look at places like Afghanistan, a place that you could easily argue is already in a state of SHTF, livestock and animals are expensive. Not everyone can afford them, but everyone is riding a bike.
What do you guys think is the best SHTF vehicle?
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