Best Bug Out Vehicle – How Will You Get Around in an SHTF?

Best Bug Out 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 bug out vehicle.

The best bug out vehicle for most people is going to be a bike. They’re relatively inexpensive, easy to maintain, and doesn’t require any kind of fuel. When the roads are jam-packed with vehicles, a bike can easily make it through.

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 a major disaster.

If you do end up bugging out, it’ll be much easier to transport your bug out bag on a bike than it would be to carry it for who knows how many miles.

Bug Out Vehicles

A lot of people like to discuss different kinds of bug out vehicles, from Jeeps to old military surplus duece and a halfs. In a lot of situations, they may work pretty well, but there are just as many scenarios where they wouldn’t work at all!

I personally think one of the best bug out vehicles you can get is a bike. Yes, it requires you to do work, but it also doesn’t need fuel or roadways to be useful. Bikes are just as useful in the city as they are on a farm or in the forest on a narrow path.

Sure, a bike isn’t going to meet everyone’s requirements, but most people should have a bike for every person in their family in case they need to bug out and a car just isn’t going to cut it.

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 description of best bug out vehicle perfectly 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 for a bug-out vehicle 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 a bug out vehicle 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.

Animals as Bug Out Transportation

Several people have mentioned that a bicycle is not the best option. They believe that a horse is the best vehicle following an 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 an 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.


Bikes are a great choice as a bug out vehicle. They don’t need much maintenance, don’t need fuel, can go places no car or truck can get to and they’re not going to get stuck in a traffic jam or disabled by an EMP.