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What’s the Best Bug Out Vehicle to Own in 2023?

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2023 is nearly here, and prepping is still on the rise. People left and right want to secure their futures from unpredictable pandemics, emergencies, and other disasters.

Aside from prepping your bug out bag, choosing the perfect bug out location (BOL), and planning how to get there, you might want to consider a bug out vehicle (BOV) to secure safe transport—and arrival—for you and the family.

2023 isn’t just the year for planning your supplies; it’s also the year to check the best bug out vehicles on the market:

What to Look for in the Best Bug Out Vehicle

If you’re reading this, then it means that you’ve done your research on bug out vehicles. You might have even read our beginner’s guide to BOVs.

Now that you have a basic idea of what you want from your BOV, let’s go a little bit more in-depth with it. Here’s a list of questions to ask yourself when deciding on the best bug out vehicle for your needs:

Can it go long-distance?

the best bug out vehicle should be able to go long distances

Your bug out location won’t be 2 minutes away. There’s going to be some distance between your home and your BOL. And during SHTF or an emergency, there’ll be detours to take, potential roadblocks, and more. The best bug out vehicle should last a long ride.

Does it have a large storage capacity?

your bug out vehicle should have room for your extra supplies

This is something you’ll want to heavily consider if you want to store some extra supplies or your BOV emergency kit.

Can it go fast and go off road?

your bug out vehicle needs to be capable of going off road

When the going gets tough, the roads might become impassable. You’ll have to go off-road to get to your BOL. Make sure your BOV has off-roading capabilities.

Does it have easily replaceable and available parts?

Parts should be easy to find and buy. You don’t want a BOV with a lot of unique parts because it’ll be useless without readily available spare parts if it breaks down.

Does it have towing capabilities?

it's best to have a BOV with towing capabilities

Being able to tow other cars and trailers is a trait the best bug out vehicle should have. If your group has two BOVs and one breaks down on the road, you can easily tow it to safety. Aside from that, it’s also handy when you wanna hook up an extra trailer to your BOV to haul supplies.

Does it have an auxiliary tank?

If it doesn’t, can you add one? A full tank of gas is good, but an extra tank as a backup will be great.

Is it in a dark color?

You don’t want to be driving around a brightly colored BOV that will garner attention. You’ll want something in a dark tone to keep things on the down low.

What Is the Best Bug Out Vehicle to Consider Getting?

The automotive industry is ripe with hundreds of great cars available for sale. But when it comes to a BOV, you have to get the best of the best.

Here are some of our picks for the best bug out vehicles for 2023:

Earthroamer LTi

Earth Roamer LTi

Photo: Earthroamer

Dubbed as the peak of RV innovation, the Earthroamer LTi is a sight to behold and any prepper’s dream. It can act as a BOV and a BOL at the same time and is perfect for situations where you need to leave the safety of your home and hold the fort down in a forested area instead.

There’s no need to unpack your supplies as everything you need is in the Earthroamer, from a mini kitchen and sleeping quarters to a bathroom. If you’ve got older members of the family, then this will be a good and safe bet for you and your group. On a normal day, though, camping and going on road trips with the Earthroamer LTi is just as good.

Some things we love about the Earthroamer:

  • The completely carbon fiber body
  • Rooftop solar panels
  • Turbo diesel engine that is powerful and efficient
  • Customizable and made to order
  • All-weather capable

Things that might turn you away from the Earthroamer:

  • Extremely pricey
  • Definitely gains attention
  • A bit big on the road and won’t be able to get into narrow places
  • Difficult to hide

Ford Explorer

Ford Explorer

Photo: Ford

Renowned and reliable, the Ford Explorer is a great choice for a BOV. It can carry 4 people and still have enough room to store supplies in. The Ford Explorer has decent mileage on it, which makes it one of the best bug out vehicles you can get.

Some things we love about the Ford Explorer:

  • Good off-road capabilities.
  • It has a good carry capacity, and you can add a roof rack.
  • Has good towing capabilities and capacity.
  • It can easily be customized to suit your wants and needs in a BOV.

Things that might turn you away from the Ford Explorer:

  • It might not survive an EMP attack unless you completely switch out the engine.
  • Big in size, and it might have trouble fitting through narrow places.
  • Can’t go extreme off-roading or handle extreme terrain.
  • It doesn’t have the best fuel efficiency, especially when loaded.

Ford F-150

the Ford F150 may be the best bug out vehicle for your needs

Photo: Ford

If you want a 4×4 truck for a BOV, then go for the Ford F-150. It’s a pretty popular truck in the USA and has been selling like hotcakes since the 1970s. One look at it, and it’s not hard to see why. All in all, it’s the best bug out vehicle for those who love pickup trucks.

Some things we love about the Ford F-150:

  • Due to how popular a truck it is, spare parts are easily available.
  • Has a strong engine.
  • Excellent off-roading capabilities.
  • Spacious truck bed for storage.

Things that might turn you away from the Ford F-150:

  • Not exactly fuel-efficient.

Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler

Photo: Jeep

On the list of our best bug out vehicles is the ever-popular Jeep Wrangler. It’s a prevalent choice as a BOV, and with good reason. The Jeep Wrangler is made to be an entirely off-road capable vehicle, able to cross muddy fields with ease and even some light stream and river crossing. It can also traverse sandy deserts, places where ordinary cars would sink. Plus, it’s such an iconic car that everyone can’t help falling in love with.

Some things we love about the Jeep Wrangler:

  • Amazing off-roading capabilities.
  • It can fit four to five people.
  • You can add your own personal touches and accessories for an even better BOV.

Things that might turn you away from the Jeep Wrangler:

  • Since it is easily recognizable, it might get unwanted attention and has a higher chance of getting broken into.
  • There’s a lack of engine options.
  • The Jeep Wrangler is known to be noisy on the road.
  • Difficult to sleep in.

Chevy Suburban

Chevy Suburban

Photo: Chevrolet

If you want space, then look no further than the Chevrolet Suburban. It’s probably the roomiest SUV out there, making it a great BOV to transport family AND ferry supplies. It’s a sound choice if you’re looking for the best bug out vehicle that gets the job done.

Some things we love about the Chevrolet Suburban:

  • Very roomy for passengers.
  •  Big cargo space.
  • It has great power to drive over rough terrain.
  • Good towing capability.

Things that might turn you away from the Chevrolet Suburban:

  • Poor mileage.
  • Will have trouble fitting into tight spaces.
  • The high cargo liftover makes it difficult to load up bulky items.

Toyota Tacoma

Toyota Tacoma

Photo: Toyota

From Toyota, the Tacoma comes out as one of its best outdoor utility vehicles. It’s made and built to do more than the average SUVs Toyota has on its roster. It’s also a lot cheaper than other Toyota models.

Some things we love about the Toyota Tacoma:

  • Good towing capability.
  • It can carry a lot of things.
  • Can handle difficult terrain.
  • It’s built to last.

Things that might turn you away from the Toyota Tacoma:

  • The truck bed might be small for some people.

Knight XV

Knight XV

Photo: Conquest Vehicles

The Knight XV from Conquest Vehicles is a top-of-the-line, ultra-luxurious armored SUV. It’s made to take on big threats on the road and survive over and over again. If you live in the city, then this urban assault SUV might be the best bug out vehicle for you.

Some things we love about the Knight XV:

  • Has great security features like night vision cameras, external smoke screens, run flat tires, and thick armor.
  • Spacious interiors.

Things that might turn you away from the Knight XV:

  • Pretty expensive.
  • Doesn’t have that many sustainable features pre-built.
  • A limited number of units available.

Sportsmobile Classic 4×4

Sportsmobile

Photo: Sports Mobile

Think a repairman’s cargo truck turned into a dependable BOV, and you’ve got the Sportsmobile Classic 4×4. This BOV has a Ford Cutaway body built with a fiberglass shell, steel reinforced for a streamlined look. As for the technical side, just know that this build is no joke. It’s one of the best bug out vehicles for a reason.

Some things we love about the Sportsmobile Classic 4×4:

  • It has well-thought-out living quarters.
  • Built for that off-grid van life and offroad terrain.
  • Beefed up with a lot of quality parts and accessories.

Things that might turn you away from the Sportsmobile Classic 4×4:

  • Looks like a repairman’s truck.
  • It might stand out on the streets.
  • It might have trouble on some off-road trails due to its size.

Final Thoughts

Whatever you choose, pick the best bug out vehicle that fits your needs. Whether you get a secondhand one or a brand-new vehicle, remember to plan everything down to a T to make the most of your chosen BOV.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below!

Source link: https://www.tactical.com/best-bug-out-vehicles-2021/ by Jay V. at www.tactical.com

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Family

Getting More From Your Garden: Preserving Your Home Harvest

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Home gardens are fun, but they can also be delicious if you’re growing things that you and your family can eat. Too many home gardeners, however, are content to have a ton of tomatoes that last a week and then give the rest away – or worse than that, throw them out when they go bad.

It doesn’t have to be this way. 

Homesteading Handbook

You can keep as much of your garden harvest as you like, give as much away as you like and throw out as much as you like. All you have to do is know how to prepare and store your harvest for long-term preservation. Once you learn how to do these, it’s going to make your harvest time much more satisfying. 

It’s Your Jam

If you’re growing fruit and not making jams, jellies and preserves out of it, you don’t know what you’re missing. Like a lot of other freshly grown foods, eating homemade jams and comparing them to what you’ve been eating from the supermarket is like you’re eating a completely different food. 

For those entrepreneurially minded, jams and jellies are great for selling at the local farmer’s market. So if you want to make a few bucks off of your home garden, this is a really easy way to start doing that.

Cure Your Vegetables

Your vegetables aren’t sick, but they might need a cure regardless. It’s not hard and doesn’t take it a lot of time, which makes it a very easy lift for someone who has a lot of veggies but not a lot of time. 

You have to wait until your vegetables are fully ripe before you cure them. Otherwise, they’re never going to get ripe. If you cure your vegetables properly they can last for weeks or months even if you don’t put them in the refrigerator. 

Homesteading Handbook

Dehydration Is Actually Your Friend

The main engine of vegetables going bad are fungus and bacteria. You can prevent this process by dehydrating your vegetables before they go bad. Some produce is much easier to dehydrate than others: If you want to dehydrate tomatoes, just slice them up, throw them on a sheet pan in the sun for a couple days, then store them.

For other fruits and vegetables you might need a dehydrator. Fortunately, these don’t cost much these days and can easily pay for themselves with all the produce that you save through the process. 

Can It Up

Canning is a great way to preserve just about every kind of food. You can can in either metal cans or in glass jars. The choice is yours, but the main thing you need to remember is that the main threat to canned food is botulism – and that can kill you or at least make you and your family extremely miserable. 

The good news about canning is that there are hundreds of centers across the country run by the Church of Latter-Day Saints where you can learn how to can without buying any equipment. Membership in their church is not required – all are welcome.

Ferment and Pickle Your Vegetables

One way to turn your veggies into something a little different is through fermenting and pickling. In the case of fermentation, there are also health benefits – fermented vegetables are great for your gut health. 

Unfortunately, however, fermented foods taste weird to some people. So pickles might be a better choice for you if you’re not into the taste of fermented foods. 

The Easy Way: Freezing

Of course, there’s always freezing your veggies. Your space might be limited here, however you probably already know how to freeze foods. You’ll want to prepare them specifically for the fruit or vegetables you plan on preserving. For example, some should be cooked, some should be chopped and others can just be thrown in the freezer. Look up whatever you’re looking to freeze before you freeze it.

Homesteading Handbook

There’s no reason for you to give away or waste your veggie garden when it’s time for harvest. With a combination of these methods, you can enjoy fresh-ish veggies all year long. 

What’s your favorite method for preserving your home garden for the long-term? What secrets have you picked up? Leave a comment below to help other homesteaders. 

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Emergency

Lone Wolves Won’t Make It: How To Build A Survival Community

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Forget an AR-15, an RPG or even a tank. The most powerful weapon you can have for a SHTF scenario is the community around you

In the event that the S does HTF, you’re not going to be able to rely on your contacts you made online. Maybe you can communicate with them with a ham radio, but they’re going to be too far away for them to offer much in the way of direct assistance at a time when you desperately need it.

This underscores the importance of making contacts in your immediate community and building a community of like-minded people who can immediately band together under dire circumstances. 

Lone Wolf? Why You Can’t Go It Alone

Too many in the survivalist and prepper communities think of themselves as “lone wolves.” This is fine if you’re building a homestead on your own during a time of relative peace, stability and plenty. 

Shockwave Mini

The issue comes in when the SHTF. This is when the rule of law will break down and it becomes every man for himself. No matter what you think about your ability to defend yourself and your family now, the simple fact is that you have a massive deterrent against crime in the form of a functioning criminal justice system and a supply chain that means there’s food down at the local grocery store.

What will happen when that all goes away? 

The short version is: absolute chaos. People will be doing absolutely anything they have to do to feed themselves and their families and obtain the other necessities of life. 

Now you might think you can take care of yourself… and maybe you can against one or two or even five attackers. The question is what your plan is for dealing with a gang of bikers 50 strong – or even eight guys with combat experience and knowledge of small squad tactics. In either of these situations, a lone wolf is about as good as dead. 

You need to connect with others, even if it’s a very small, tight-knit community that will have each others backs in the event the whole world goes sour. 

The Easy Way: Joining A Local Survivalist Community

Group of young people collects firewood together

Why build a community if there’s already one nearby?

Clearly, this isn’t the right option for everyone. However, if you live in an area with a survivalist community, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

Now we called this “the easy way,” but a better way of putting it might be “the easier way.” Breaking into a survival community isn’t the easiest thing in the world, especially if you’re new in town and don’t know anyone. Such communities are, understandably, close knit, closed off to outsiders and somewhat distrustful of new members.

With that said, once you earn the trust of a survival community, they can be not just a valuable asset with regard to your own personal survival. They can be an excellent source of support, camaraderie and even friendship that will last you your entire lifetime, whether the SHTF or not. 

Shockwave Mini

So how can you break into one of those existing communities?

The main thing is to make yourself capable and useful while also showing a willingness to learn and pitch in. These communities also highly value people with skill sets that do not yet exist in the community. It doesn’t matter if your skill set if graphic design and marketing – they can use that, especially if you’re willing to learn more “hands getting dirty” kinds of skills. 

Listen more than you speak. Be open to ideas even if they don’t quite make sense to you. If you can do that while being a valued contributor to the community, you can start making inroads in an already existing survival community.

The Hard Way: Building A Survival Community

The hard part about building a new survival community is finding the right people. They need to not just be like minded, but also have useful skills and, perhaps most importantly, be people whom you can trust in the event that the world turns into a massive game of dog-eat-dog and the devil take the hindmost. 

You can’t just go taking out ads in the local circular, nor can you put up a flier at the local supermarket.

The best way to find people is to get involved in communities with adjacent skills, or places where people might have interest in survivalism. Gun clubs can be a good place to start, as can political organizations, though it’s best to make your group non-political. Organic farming and other skills-based groups related to survivalism can likewise be good resources, such as the local DIY solar community. 

The main thing is to not go in, guns blazing as a loud and proud prepper. You need to cultivate contacts, gain people’s trust, be known as a normal guy and then just sort of casually bring up prepping topics and see who responds favorably.

A survival community can mean all the difference between life and death if the SHTF. In the meantime, it can act as a useful resource to pull from as you build out your prepper plan. It’s not easy and can take months or even years to accomplish. But you should absolutely be throwing your time, energy and resources at cultivating this kind of community.

Shockwave Mini

How have you built your local survivalist community? What “hacks” do you have for getting a community starter where there isn’t one?

Leave a comment below to help out other survivalists looking to build a community. 

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Emergency

Preserving Food for Winter: Time-Tested Methods for Flavorful and Nutrient-Rich Pantry Staples

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Preservation-salting-in-large-jars-

Winter is approaching, meaning the summer and fall harvests are just about done. Still, that doesn’t mean saying goodbye to fresh, delicious, and nutritious homegrown food until spring blooms anew. 

You can harness age-old techniques of food preservation, filling your pantry with flavorful, nutrient-rich staples to keep your winter meals healthy, hearty and satisfying. With food preservation techniques from smoking and canning to fermenting, you can savor the tastes of summer even in the coldest months.

Homesteading Handbook

Preserving Food For The Winter: The Art of Smoking

Smoking is a time-honored method for winter food preservation, infusing foods with rich, smoky flavors. Many people would smoke foods likemeats, fish, and cheese even if it didn’t keep them longer, just for the taste.

A quality smoker won’t cost you too much and it doesn’t really matter if it’s n offset smoker, electric smoker, or a traditional charcoal smoker. Choose your wood chips or chunks based on the type of flavor profile you want to infuse your food with.

You should also understand the difference between cold smoking and hot smoking. Cold smoking imparts flavor without cooking the food, making it the perfect choice for cheese and cured meats. On the other hand, hot smoking cooks the food while it flavors it.

Preserving Food For The Winter: Canning Your Food

You don’t have to rely on food canned from the grocery store. You can also can your own food at home. There are a number of different ways to do this for various kinds of food you’re looking to keep fresh for the winter season.

Homesteading Handbook

For example, water bath canning is the perfect choice for highly acidic  foods such as fruits, tomatoes, and pickles. On the other hand, pressure canning is the right choice for lower acidity foods like vegetables, meats, and poultry. 

You’ve probably never thought of it this way before, but pickling is also a form of canning. In this case, we will use vinegar or brine to preserve and flavor vegetables, fruits, and sometimes meats. You should experiment with various pickling recipes to create unique flavors for you and your family to enjoy. 

Preserving Food For Winter: Fermentation Of Foods

Fermentation is a natural process which can enhance the flavors and nutritional value of foods while also preserving them for long-term storage. Sauerkraut, kimchi, and sourdough bread are some of the more common kinds of fermented foods.

Beginners should invest in fermentation kits with airlocks. As you gain more experience, consider exploring more traditional methods, as well as the use of crocks and jars. Fermentation is both an art and a science. So you have to be patient while you experiment with different ingredients and techniques.

Preserving Food For Winter: Dehydration For Long-Term Storage

A food dehydrator is an excellent investment for removing moisture from fruits, vegetables, and herbs if you find that you enjoy those kinds of foods. However, you don’t need one to get started. You can also dehydrate foods right in the oven you already own or, in some cases, by air-drying.

If you want to dehydrate fruits and vegetables, slice your produce uniformly before arranging them on your dehydrator trays. Fruit leather can be made right at home by puréeing fruits and spreading the mixture thinly before drying.

It’s important to store dehydrated food properly. Store dehydrated foods should be stored in airtight containers or vacuum-sealed bags, which will prevent moisture from re-entering. Keep your dehydrated foods in a cool, dark place for the best preservation.

Preserving food for winter isn’t just about extending the shelf life of your favorite ingredients – though it is about that. However, it can also be a way to expand what you keep around by introducing new flavors into your pantry using the food preservation process. 

Homesteading Handbook

Smoking, canning, fermenting and dehydrating will offer you different options to ensure your pantry is stocked with a variety of food your family will want to eat. It can also be a fun hobby for the culinary master looking to break outside of just cooking on the stove – many of these are basically just “cold” cooking techniques. So, embrace the age-old wisdom of food preservation for winter and fill your pantry with unique tastes all winter long. 

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