Survival Transportation

A pedal bicycle in a garage.


Lets think about how you are going to get around if there is some kind of survival scenario that is keeping you from getting where you need to go.

Lets work under the assumption that there is no gasoline available. The wells have dried up long ago and the worlds governments are rationing the last of it for more important causes than your insignificant needs. What are you going to do?

Transport might be a necessity depending on your situation, but if you have to travel long distances to find water, food, or work, then you need a method of transport other than your two feet and a heart beat.

You are probably going to want to get yourself a bicycle. The stores will be sold out so get yourself one now. I’m not joking. If you want to consider yourself fully prepared, you are going to want to add a bicycle to your prepper grocery list.

Make sure that you are stocking up on supplies for you bike too. Extra inner tubes, a tire pump or two, and enough tools for every bolt on the bike should keep you going for quite a while.

You are going to want to learn about how your bike works and how to repair it in the field if you need to. It always surprises me to learn about how many people know absolutely nothing about bicycle repair.

When it comes to transport in an apocalyptic scenario, you are going to need to use your imagination. A dog sled is a good idea in cold climates. You just need to be able to keep the dogs fueled up with meat, otherwise they are probably going to eat you. I actually consider skateboards and long boards good methods of survival transportation, as long as you are going down hill.

Running for Survival

Don’t forget about the two feet and a heartbeat method. I might have crapped on that idea a bit earlier, but what I think is a good idea is actual running. This is how people have been getting around for thousands of years.

I had a history teacher tell me that the reason his people (Kenyans) win all of the marathons around the world is because that is how they get around. If they want to visit family in the next village, they just run there. Even today this method of transport is still in use.

In a world without petroleum based gasoline, people are going to start reverting to the method of transport that was most popular before the internal combustion engine was invented. Did you guess it? That’s right, horses.

The horse has been moving humanity for several millennia. It has been adapted for numerous climates and jobs. This might not be the most practical method of transport in modern society, but if you think about how life would be without any traffic on the roads, you can easily envision bicycles, joggers, horses, and numerous other methods of survival transportation out there.

So unless you have a place to keep a horse, my suggestion is that you get yourself a bicycle now before you can’t get one later. I have already done the research for you, The bicycle that you see below is the best survival bike that you can buy. It has saved paratroopers lives, just think about what it could do for you.

Montague Paratrooper Mountain Folding Bike, Matte Cammy Green
I wish I knew about these before I bought my piece of crap bicycle. Happy pedaling and enjoy your new form of exercise.

I have recently compiled a list of all of the methods of transportation that I can think of. I will be adding this list and discussing the pros and cons of why each vehicle would or would not be a good option as a method of transportation during a survival situation.

Walking / Running

Survival Walking

This is the most ancient and reliable method of transportation. It is actually one of the traits that define us as a species.

This is not only a quiet way of getting around but also ensures that you are going to be able to get almost anywhere. You won’t have anything to bring with you if you need to climb a mountain hill building or other obstacle that is nearly impassable.

One of the downsides to walking as a method of survival transportation is its speed. It is extremely slow compared to a powered vehicle and it is also slow compared to even a bicycle.

If you are planning on walking during a survival situation, you need to be in shape. You should be able to walk for several miles / kilometers with out a break. You are going to nee a back pack, better food rations to replace your energy loss and lots of water to ensure that you do not get dehydrated from physical exertion.


Survival Bicycle

I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again. Bicycles are second, only to horses, as the best form of transportation that humans have ever invented. It is quiet, energy efficient, fun and can carry cargo.

Any bicycle that you choose is going to be the right one. Here is a list of a few different kinds of bicycles that you can use for survival.

Mountain Bikes – This style of bicycle is good for anything that you need it to do. It is durable strong and geared well. If you do have a choice and some luggage that you want to carry, this is the survival bicycle that you want.

Road Bikes – Using this kind of bike for survival is a great idea if speed is what you are after. These bikes are incredibly fast. The downside to using a road bike for survival is that it is not a rugged bike. It is going to fall apart on you more quickly than other bikes. They are also extremely limited in the amount of cargo that they can carry.

Hybrid Bikes – Hybrid bikes are another good choice as a survival vehicle. They combine the best of mountain and road bikes into one marvelous piece of machinery. It is still not the best of choices, but it is pretty good and will work almost as good as a mountain bike.

Cyclocross Bikes – This kind of bike is very similar to the hybrid bike. It is designed more for racing so most likely wouldn’t be a good choice in a survival situation. If it is all that you have available to you then go right a head. Just know that sometimes these bikes don’t have any gears and as soon as you encounter a slight hill, you are going to be pushing it up that slight incline.

Recumbent Bicycles – These bikes are great. Absolutely wonderful inventions, easy and fun to use, as long as you stay on a paved surface. If you are planning (or not planning but end up on) dirt and loose surfaces, the recumbent bike is going to be nightmarish. It can hold a lot of cargo, move quickly and require less effort to operate, buts its abilities in off road or technical terrain are extremely limited.

More Human Powered Transport

Roller Blade Survival

Skateboards – Although Skateboards are extremely fun and cool, they are not the best method of transportation. The only time that skateboards are a viable form of transport is when the ground that you are riding on is perfectly smooth and free of debris. In a survival situation, that is probably not going to be the case. The only good aspect of a skateboard as survival transportation is that is can be used as a weapon.

Long board – A long board is a form of skateboard that is long. That makes sense right? It has all of the same drawbacks and benefits as a regular skateboard except that it is longer and the wheels are bigger. Not bigger enough to make a difference though. I have seen the smallest pebble cause a long boarder to fall off and lose a lot of skin, that is something that will make any situation much worse.

Scooter – This is another method of transit that can also be considered a toy. The scooter is about half the size of a skateboard with a handle on the front. It is fairly impractical for all the same reasons that skateboards and long boards are impractical. The only good aspect of scooters is that they are very compact. You can easily fold one up and throw it into a back pack.

Cross Country Ski Survival

Roller Skates / Blades – These are another form of impractical survival transportation. It is going to be a really bad idea to use rolled blades or skates in a survival situation unless you are completely desperate. I would like to say that fighting the zombie apocalypse on roller blades is a good idea for a character in a video game though.

Cross Country Skis – These are an excellent method of transportation in the winter. They are quiet, light and will improve your ability to move around in the winter. If you have nothing else to get you through deep snow, cross country skis are going to be your absolute best option. There is almost no drawbacks to using skis in a survival situation.


There are many, many, methods of survival transportation, but one way that is often overlooked, is animals. Up until about 100 years ago this was how everyone did it. Not everyone could afford animal transportation, but one way or another, everyone was affected by animal transportation.

It may seem low tech to use horses but if you find yourself in a long term survival scenario where fuel has ran out and the chances of finding other means of transportation are slim. Using animals as your means of survival transportation is going to make your existence so much better.

Survival Horse

Horses – Horses were first domesticated thousands of years ago and life for the human race has never been better. Horses are not just used as people movers, but work animals to plough fields, messenger service animals like the pony express and even war machines.

Horses are strong enough to carry you and all of the possessions that you need to survive a post apocalyptic world.

They can find their own fuel and will remain loyal to you if you treat them good. Horses might just be the best long term solution to any survival situation.

Dogsled – This method of transportation is very specific to different regions. It has been used by people in Northern regions for thousands of years. It is probably one of the more successful non-traditional people movers. It does require you to know what you are doing though. It is not something that you can just do with out the right experience, training and pack of dogs. Don’t think for a second that you can just hook up the dogs in your local neighborhood and go, it takes a very specific set of skills.

Camel – You might think that the camel is a desert only creature, but they can be found in lots of different regions such as Mongolia. If you are really resourceful, you can find them in North America as well. You can find them in certain zoos and petting zoos some farms might have them as well. They are a fairly docile animal and have been bred for thousands of years to be ridden. This means that you can use them quite easily as a method of transportation.

A donkey with a Harness.

Donkey – That’s right, we can’t forget about the noble donkey. This animal is abundant almost everywhere in the world. They can be ridden and loaded up with cargo. They can be stubborn sometimes but well worth considering as your trusted companion in a post apocalyptic world. Much like horses, they find their own fuel and can keep going all day long.

Mule – The mule is a mix of a horse and a donkey. This means that you get the best of both worlds. Or it means that you bet the worst of both worlds.

Goat – A goat is not really a method of transport if you are a normal sized adult. However, if you are a child or a small adult, you can consider a goat as a method of survival transportation.

You may not be able to ride a goat but you can still use goats to carry cargo. This will take some of your load off of your back which is going to make life a lot easier for you. Another advantage of using goats is that if you have female goats, you can milk them and consume the milk. It might sound gross but it will ensure that you have a means of nourishment that is mobile.

Survival Llama

Llama – A llama is similar to a goat in the fact that it is not really a riding animal. It can be done but it is not easy. It is good to keep a llama around as a source of wool and food if you are not going to use them as a pack animal to carry your cargo.

Oxen – The ox has been a beast of burden for thousands of years. You can ride them, pack cargo on them and you can also use then to plow fields. They are mostly used as farm animals though, their primary use is to work. Thy are used to pulling carts, ploughing fields, and working hard. They are an excellent option as a survival companion.


This is a personal favorite of mine. Not because I have much experience with survival on a motorcycle, it’s because I have a motorcycle. I think that these are one of the best methods of transportation that is available. If more people rode motorcycles, the world would be a better place.

Survival Moped

Mopeds – The moped is being used as a main method of transport in many countries around the world. When you go to many different developing countries you will find that there are more people driving mopeds than there are people in cars (cages).

The people who use the moped as their main method of transit have adapted them to what ever need you can think of. They are extremely inexpensive to operate, easy to use and don’t require a lot of effort to fit into your life. As a survival vehicle the moped would be a good option for any solo survivor.

Cruiser – These big mean bad boys of the biker world can cope with carrying a ton of gear, carrying an extra passenger and make you look super cool while doing it. The cruiser would be an excellent survival vehicle as long as you didn’t have to leave the roads. Cruisers are big and heavy, those are traits that no one is going to want in an off road bike.

Flying Dirt Bike

Dirt Bikes – These are great bikes off road. They are not as good on road because of their very knobby tires. There are two kinds of dirt bike engines, the two and the four stroke.

If you have a choice, you are going to have to choose which engine is better for you depending on your situation. The two stroke requires a oil and gas mix for fuel, and it has more power than it’s four stroke equivalent. It is also louder but it is easier to fix. A four stroke is quieter, requires normal gasoline and will generally require less maintenance.

If you can’t tell the difference between a two and four stroke dirt bike, look at the picture to the right. Look at the chrome slug shaped thing right behind the front wheel (expansion pipe). If the bike has that, it is a two stroke. Also, if the bike is flying fifty feet through the air, it is most likely a two stroke.

Chopper – If you don’t know what a chopper is, you definitely shouldn’t choose one as your survival vehicle. It would be a better survival bike than a cruiser because of how light it is, but the riding geometry is all wrong. A chopper is one of those bikes with the front tire way out front and the handle bars way in the air. Unless you are Darryl from The Walking Dead TV show, you are not going to survive anything while mounted on one of these bikes.

Sport Bikes – These bikes are probably the most abundant bike on the road today. Well, in the garage at least. Millions of people have bought one because they look super cool. They then store them in their garages because they are super uncomfortable to ride. This is due to the fact that you are always in an attack position and it leans your body forwards. A sporty racing bike is not going to be a good choice in a survival scenario. If you can get your hands on a sport touring bike, you are going to be much better with that.

Woman with Survival Dual Sport Motorcycle

Dual Sports – This is probably the best bet for a survival motorcycle. Dual sport motorcycles can carry loads of gear, have large fuel tanks for long distances, and are built to go almost anywhere.

There is not too much to say other than if you get to choose your survival bike, choose a dual sport motorcycle. The bigger ones, unnecessarily huge in my opinion, are called adventure bikes.

Touring Bike – The touring bike is similar to the cruiser in the fact that it is a big heavy machine. They can carry a mountain of gear and go forever, but when it comes to off roading, they are very limited by their girth.

Enduro – The enduro bike is very similar to a dirt bike. They are designed more for extremely rough terrain though. Their cargo capacity is limited and they have fairly small fuel tanks.

They are a fun and truly excellent bike to ride, but in a survival situation, you are going to want something that you can carry your entire life around on.

Other Small Vehicles

Dirty ATV Quad Bike

ATV / UTV – The ATV and the UTV are very similar. They are both basically a small four wheel drive truck. They are a fairly good choice for apocalyptic survival if you are going to be outside of urban areas. The more rural areas are going to become quickly overgrown and some places are going to become impassable, this is why any four wheeled vehicle that you choose should definitely be a four wheel drive, no matter how big it is.

ATV’s and quad bikes are capable of carrying lots of gear and can travel to some very inaccessible places. If you are using one as your survival transportation, make sure that you bring a lot of extra fuel because you wont be able to find a gas station where these vehicles can go.

Golf Cart – You might not think of the golf cart as a good vehicle in a survival situation, bit it could actually come in some good use. If you find one that is gas powered you could use it for as long as you can find fuel. They are designed to carry four fat business men and their overpriced clubs, so you know that they can easily carry your emaciated self around. They are a little bit exposed though. You might want to consider making some modifications if you can because a kid with a slingshot could take you out if your are riding one of these.

Survival Segway – Why did I even add this one to the list? The survival segway would only be useful in an action comedy movie. If you want to have a laugh for a bit then go ahead and ride on one. They can’t carry cargo, they can’t go fast, they are extremely dangerous and they offer absolutely no protection. If you think that your role in a survival scenario is the comedian, then get one. Other than that, stay away from the segways.

Off Road Go Kart

Go Kart – This is another option that is extremely cool but not very practical. They go fast, they run on gasoline and are pretty sweet. The list of cons for the go kart is a mile long but i’ll only mention that they have limited cargo capacity, they can not go off road and you will be exposed while driving them. If you want some fun, drive a go kart, if you want to survival, drive something else.

Off Road Go Kart – There is another kind of go kart that would make an absolutely excellent survival go kart. It is the go kart that is meant to be driven off road.

These bad boys have roll cages, loads of suspension, knobby tires and are meant to be driven hard. You can even strap a fair amount of luggage to the off road go kart to ensure that you will be able to run to or from any danger than might present itself.


Sub Compact Car – This is actually a surprisingly good choice for a survival vehicle. That’s because the sub compact car doesn’t take much fuel and they are abundant. People use them all the time as commuter cars so they can be found anywhere. That means that if you have to steal one or find parts for one you are going to have a much easier time.

The only downside to using one of these cars as a survival or bug out vehicle is that they can not carry much cargo. Not a little as a motorcycle or anything, but still a very small amount of luggage is going to make it away from the s**t hitting the fan with you.

Survival Rally Car

Compact Car – Another vehicle that is designed and used as a daily commuter. This car is small, fuel efficient, and generally reliable. The reliability depends on the manufacturer that you decide to go with though. I would delve into the general thoughts and opinions about who makes a better car, but I really don’t care.

If you are in a situation that requires you decide which car you are going to have to steal to survive, you want to choose the one that is easiest to steal. Since that is the case, go with an old one. Their are easier to take and will be easier to repair if anything breaks down.

Midsize Car – There is not too much difference between the midsize survival car and the compact survival car. They are both good choices, but neither of them are the absolute best choice. This car is going to carry more cargo which is good. It is going to consume more fuel, which is bad.

I suppose that what I am trying to say is that the type of car that you choose to bug out with depends on the situation that you are in.

Station Wagon

Full Size Station Wagon – If I had to shop around my neighborhood for a survival vehicle, this would be my second choice. If I had to purchase one this would be my first choice. It is my first choice because of the cost. If money was no issue I would get a military vehicle.

If I had to choose from anything in my neighborhood, I would be inclined towards that lovely black 4×4 truck that is two streets over.

I do like the station wagon though. They seem like great vehicles that can carry an absolute ton of equipment, gear, food or whatever you want. You can pile stuff up on the roof for as high as you can get it and there is even enough room inside to sleep if that is how you want to live.

Luxury Car – Why not? You deserve this car. You have worked hard for your entire life and became wealthy beyond measure. The starving peasants will know that you are in charge when you drive in one of these opulent pieces of motoring nirvana. Several tons of reinforced steel, bullet proof glass and puncture proof tires will ensure every excursion to the country club will be a successful one. Successful, just like you.

Ariel Atom

Sports Car – Just do it. You are over 50 and the apocalypse is looming. It is time for you to live again. Motorcycles are too dangerous but a sports car is the way to survival the apocalypse. They don’t have much cargo room and can only usually carry two passengers, but who cares, you are young again.

DISCLAIMER: If you are using a convertible sports car as your survival transportation, make sure that you bring a hat to cover up your bald spot.

Convertible – When I was a child I wanted to be a bird so I could fly. Now that I am an adult I want to be a bird so I can poop on convertible drivers.

I’m pretty sure that during a time of civil unrest where people are starving in the streets, a convertible is going to look like a sardine can with its lid open. I have never been a supporter of cannibalism, but that’s only because I have never been truly hungry.

Off Road Limousine

Limousine – This is actually a pretty good option as a survival vehicle as long as you don’t have to make any tight corners. You could live in this car, you could store everything you need in this car and you can even pick up chicks in this car.

I wouldn’t recommend one as your bug out vehicle, but I would recommend one if you are writing a comic book about an invasion of comically slow zombies invading Hollywood while the main character is a psychotic stuntman who drives a limousine that is covered in anti personnel paraphernalia. That would be your best scenario for using this as your main method of survival transportation.

Hybrids – If saving the environment is your priority during a crisis that puts your life in danger, then get yourself a hybrid. They carry a modest amount of cargo and the fuel in their tanks will last much longer than a non hybrid. I don’t know how easy they are to maintain but I do know that they let the world know that you are much more intelligent than us dinosaurs with out 100 year old combustion engines.

Electric Car

Electric Vehicles – NO! Unless you live near a power generating station and only use your car for short foraging missions.

DO NOT USE an electric car in a survival scenario. This method of transport is going to run out of juice very quickly and leave you stranded and probably dead.

If you really need this piece of advice, I say let natural selection take over for a few years. The entire human race would be a much better species without people that do not have the cognitive faculties to predict obvious outcomes in certain situations.

Dune Buggies – YES! Yes, please! If you have one of these you are going to be the king of survival transportation. They can go anywhere, small engines take very little fuel and they can also carry a ton of cargo. You are gonna be a little but exposed because generally they only have a roll cage for protection, but you are still going to be one of the best equipped vehicles on the road.

Dune Buggy on Beach
If you happen to already have one of these bad boys, you can expect your neighbors to come knocking on your front door when the s**t hits the fan.


Old Volkswagen Van

Mini Van – The mini van is going to be one of the most abundant vehicles out there. If you need to use as an emergency survival vehicle, it is going to be a good choice. They carry a ton of gear, a ton of people and a ton of fuel.

I can pretty much guarantee that if you poke you head out your front door, and if you live in suburbs and look up and down the street, you are going to see a mini van.

They are currently one of the most useful vehicles on the road and will be one of the most useful vehicles after the S.H.T.F.

Full Size Van – This kind of van is not going to be as common as the minivan, but it is still going to be just as useful. A full sized van is going to be stronger than other kinds of vans and it is going to be able to carry a lot more cargo. You can even turn one into a living space if you need to.

Just make sure that you don’t spray paint free candy onto the side of your fan, some other survivors might not think that is a funny joke.


Toyota Compact Truck

Compact Truck – The compact truck has been a favorite of off road enthusiasts for a very long time, it’s light weight and superior agility enables it to tackle the roughest of terrain. You will easily be able to out maneuver any military vehicles that might be chasing you, although that is just a scenario, I do not think that it will ever actually happen.

If you are planning on hiding in the middle of nowhere, this kind of truck is going to get you there relatively easily. These trucks may not have as much power as their full sized cousins, but when are you really going to need the maximum power of any vehicle.

The compact truck is my personal choice as a four wheel drive survival vehicle because it is something that is affordable and fits into my current life. I can use it daily to thrive and if I ever truly need to survive, I know that I have it there to help me get out of what ever bind I happen to find myself in.

Nissan Frontier Midsize Truck

Midsize Trucks – A better option than the compact truck if you are looking to carry more cargo. This truck includes greater suspension and much more room for passengers. Most people when they are considering their bug out choices consider the mid sized truck one of the best choices that is currently available.

When you are thinking about getting a truck as your main bug out vehicle you need to know that you are probably not going to be able to find any compact trucks that are reliable enough to get you into and out of the situation that you are in. Most manufacturers are not making compact trucks and most are converting their mid sized trucks to full sized. I think it is a bit of a shame because that kind of carrying capacity and versatility is nice to have in a smaller sized vehicle.

Lifted Chevy Tracker

Compact SUV – I have a very good feeling that your wife already has one of these. Whats that? You have thought it was a bad idea since she first laid eyes on it. You refuse to be seen in it? It’s PINK!

Guess what? That emasculating suburban nightmare just might be able to get your bacon out of the frying pan. Most SUVs are based on a truck platform so they are immensely strong. They can carry a lot of cargo and most have roof racks for even more.

Compact SUVs only have seating for five people at a time, but unless you are rescuing your entire neighborhood, five seats is going to be enough for most families.

The compact SUV is also a light vehicle which means that it is going to get you through a lot tougher terrain than must commuter vehicles. You wife was not wrong by choosing this little slice of heaven, now it’s up to you to toss a small bug out bag in the back to get her on board with the prepping ideas.

Midsize SUV – This vehicle is much like the compact SUV except that it is bigger. I know, well duh, but it is hard to think of any thing better to say about it because that is pretty it. It hold more cargo, people, and fuel. IT is a decent vehicle and you wont have to worry about anyone stealing your groceries or shotguns out of the back of it.

Toyota Landcruiser

Full Size SUV – Have you ever been inside of one of these? I’m serious when I tell you that it is like being inside a small apartment. Next time you get a chance, go poke your head inside the window and take a look around. I’m pretty sure that you will be saying “Dang! Justin was right. It’s like a fortress in here.”

Pretty much every survivor on the planet thinks that the full sized SUV is the best bug out vehicle available. As long as there is enough fuel to keep it going, it is definitely the right choice.

If subtlety is not in your bag of tricks you can put a plow on the front and just ram your way through anything.

These behemoths have been seen running every other vehicle off the road for a couple of decades now. They are commonly driven by psychotic individuals with no regard for any one other than themselves. If you are looking to grab one after TSHTF, be very careful, those psychos are also gun owners and are just looking for an excuse to kill.

Wow, that little blurb about full sized SUVs just a little bit dark. But seriously, they are definitely not the best vehicle to have before the s**t hits the fan, but afterwards, you are going to be quite glad that you spent all those extra thousands on the apocalyptic vehicle of your dreams.



Crossover Vehicles

Pontiac Aztek midsized crossover

So you think that you can successfully transport anything with these vehicles? Guess again. They are basically a car with a bigger body on them. The frame is weak and the suspension, even though it is soft, can not handle any kind of off road experience.

The only thing that cross over SUVs are good for is giving suburban housewives a false sense of security. The other thing that they have going for them is that if you happen to find yourself in an accident, you probably aren’t going to die. If that is your main concern, then by all means, go out and get one.

You might also want to know that they are one of the most common cars on the road and they can carry a lot of cargo so if you don’t have a choice in what you pick, this is probably what you are going to end up with.

Emergency Vehicles

YES! That is all that I have to say about using emergency vehicles in an emergency. Yes! I do want to add a bit of a disclaimer though, do not steal an emergency vehicle from some one who is using it for what it was intended to do. You will most likely have an entire village chasing you down for this heinous act.

82 plymouth caravelle police car in snow

Police Cars – This is a great option as a bug out vehicle. They are generally a good car to begin with, but it has been reinforced with upgrades to make it a much more powerful beast. If you check local auctions you can buy one and use it as your daily driver if you want.

The police car is also going to let people know that you are in charge and that you are not someone that any bad people are going to want to mess with. Lets face it, intimidation is a key factor in war, if your enemy is scared to attack, he wont.

If you are out on the road by yourself, remember that police cars usually carry all sorts of good supplies. There are medical kits, weapons and some of them even carry rations. I know rations is not standard equipment for police, but you should know that most police officers are former military and like to be prepared for anything.

SWAT Vans – This vehicle is another option that would make excellent survival transportation. It is pretty much a rolling fortress. It is a military vehicle for urban roads. I can’t think of any other accessible vehicles that are going to give you the same level of personal security that a SWAP van can. Here is a tip, if you need a weapon, some body armour, or anything tactical and related to self defense, you can find it in a SWAT van. Some SWAT vans even have their own bomb disposal robot in them.

FDNY Ford Ambulance

Ambulance – Using an ambulance as a bug out vehicle had its good and bad points. On the good side of things, it is a reliable, reinforced vehicle that can carry a lot of gear and passengers. You are also going to find a lot of great medical supplied on board.

The bad side of using an ambulance is that it is extremely noticeable. This is true of all of the emergency vehicles, but the ambulance is more so than some of the others.

The fact that it is an ambulance also means that people think that you are able to help them. If you are barely surviving yourself, the last thing that you want to be doing is running a medical clinic.

1923 Garford Pumper Fire Truck

Fire Trucks – You might thinks that using a firs truck is a good idea as a bug out vehicle, but it really isn’t, here’s why. For start, it is really big, you are not going to be able to get into and out of everywhere that you want to go. It is also a pig on gas. You are probably going to be spending a lot of time scavenging gasoline in an apocalyptic wasteland so the last thing you want is massive gas tanks that drain quickly.

The fire truck is also extremely noticeable, people are going to be able to see you for a long ways. This visibility might get you into a very bad situation. I also want to point out that even though the fire truck is a huge vehicle, it really can’t carry all that much gear. It’s enormous size is mostly for carrying water pumps, hoses, ladders and other fire fighting equipment.

The fire truck does have some uses in a survival scenario though, you can scavenge it. It is going to have great medical supplies, a few very nice axes, enormous gas tanks, and maybe some good boots. Scavenging a fire truck is probably going to be a lot more useful to you that using one, so even though you might think it would be cool to drive one through the hordes of un-dead during a zombie outbreak, the reality is far worse than the fiction.

Giant Mining Truck

Large Vehicles

That right, it time to get into fantasy land. If you happen to be a story teller then you might want to keep reading this section about survival transportation because most of these vehicles are not practical, there just cool.

If I was writing a zombie fiction, my hero would definitely be driving a combine harvester through the unfortunate undead.

Farming Tractors – I don’t really know why I added this one to the list. I suppose that I was thinking that you would use it to pull heavy loads. You would not want to use this as a bug out vehicle, or even a survival vehicle. The only thing that a farm tractor has going for it is the high seating position and tons of traction.

Bull Dozer – Once again we find ourselves getting into the realms of zombie fiction. The bull dozer is only a decent option if you are planning on flattening ground or driving it through a fortified position.

18 Wheeler Truck

18 Wheeler – This is one of those survival vehicle option that will only work if your are in a situation that fuel is abundant. It most likely is going to give you one long trip far from any problems that might arise, but after that trip is over, good luck finding that much fuel.

The transport truck is going to carry absolutely anything that you need though. You can even deliver entire neighborhoods from danger if you have one of these at your disposal.

Busses – Very similar to the 18 wheeler but with less cargo capacity. The bus is a vehicle that most people do not like to drive but do it out of necessity. Personally I think that the bus is a great way for lots of people to evacuate to a safe zone, but other than that it is not the best option as a bug out vehicle.

There are going to be many people that disagree with me on that one though, just because they think that it is a good idea to be able to have a lot of space that they can take anywhere. Some would call it a rolling home. To them I say, You have no idea what kind of situation you are going to find yourself in, make sure that you are able to leave your rolling home quickly if you need to.


RV – The recreational vehicle is a great idea in theory. You have absolutely everything that you need to live very comfortably, but if you are in a time of civil unrest and people are starving, you are going to look like you are driving a giant sardine can.

Another problem with using a RV as a survival vehicle is that is also takes way too much fuel. You are probably going to have to scavenge and barter you stuff away, just to keep that behemoth on the road.

Delivery Trucks – What was that post apocalyptic movie where there were postmen everywhere and delivering the mail while the world crumbles was an important job? Well, whatever it was, that could be you. The world is on the brink of collapse and the future is looking dire, but the mail must get through. So get yourself a delivery truck and make sure that the mail always gets through. Just make sure that non of the packages require signature on delivery.

Military Transport Truck

Military Transport Trucks – Yes ma’am! If fuel is not a problem, this is what you are gonna want.

Loads of power, intimidating, off road capable, lots of cargo and people space and you are probably going to get one that is already camouflaged. What more could anyone possibly want in a survival vehicle.

Just make sure you have the guns to protect it because a lot of people are going to be very jealous.

Armoured vehicles

This is what its all about boys and girls, as long as fuel is not an issue, armoured military vehicle are going to be the absolute best option as a bug out vehicle. You are going to be able to ride out any apocalypse with one of these bad boys. Nothing will be able to get in the way of your survival if you are driving a armoured vehicle.

Humvee in a River

Humvee – This is what you want. This is what anyone wants. This is the current face of the americal military and you can get one of these HMMWV military vehicle for relatively cheap. Check this humvee auction site. Pretty cool right? If I had any money I would definitely be buying one.

This is something that I think that your wife would kill you if you bought. Don’t worry though, if you can get your significant other on board with your prepping they might just accept a purchase like this. Consider that to be a disclaimer, I don’t want to be responsible for your marriage ending.

The Humvee has been the american army’s main method of transportation for the past 30 years, this means that it has been thoroughly tried and tested. If it can get the army in and out of battle then it can definitely get your butt to safety. You are going to be able to carry almost anything that you need on board, it has a ton of space for passengers and it also is resistant to small caliber bullets. What more could you possibly want.

If a Humvee is your primary bug out vehicle, I suggest bringing along some extra fuel, these heavy beasts are very thirsty.

Tanks – Yes! Get a tank! Do it! Now!

Mine Flail

Mine Flail – Here is another vehicle straight out of a zombie fiction writers wet dreams. This vehicle is a bomb proof well armoured tank that has a rotating drum on the front. That drum is covered in heavy chains that beat the ground to set off mines. It is extremely effective in clearing dangerous mines.

It would also be extremely effective against zombies, houses, cars, trucks, bus stops, busses, lamp posts, mail boxes, bikes, small gangs, and pretty much anything else that you can think of.

If you have access to one of these, you are probably a humanitarian that is only trying to make the world a better place by removing mines. If that is not an accurate description of yourself, just let me know when you are coming so I can get the f**k out of the way.

RMMV Survivor R - Military Armoured Vehicle

Armoured Car – The armoured car can be absolutely anything that is armoured. It is a very broad term so I am just going to say that depending on the type of scenario that you find yourself in, an armoured car is not going to always be the best option. They are extremely heavy and some times will be a nightmare to deal with.

Did you know that the American presidential limo weighs forty tons? That is about the same as a battle tank. Imagine trying to get that out of the mud.

Armoured Personel Carrier – The APC is another good choice that has a few drawbacks. The good news is that you are going to be able to escape almost any situation, even under a hail of gunfire. The bad news is that living with one of these big heavy brutes is not always an ideal situation. They take a ton of fuel and if it breaks down, good luck finding replacement parts for it.

I would have to say that any armoured vehicle is a good choice for one good trip. If you can load up an armoured vehicle with enough fuel and supplies to get you to a safe location, it is best to be thought of as a one trip vehicle. Make sure that you load bicycles onto your armoured survival vehicle because you are going to need to safe as much fuel as possible.

Rail Transport

Using a rail system is a bit of a risk during an emergency situation. The risks include broken rails and hostile forces blocking or sabotaging those rails that you are relying on. If you know for certain that the rail system that you are going to be using is 100% safe, then you probably have a good escape system on your hands.

Steam Locomotive

Steam Locomotives – Serious? What was I thinking when I made this list of survival vehicles? Well, I made it, not I have to follow up with it. The steam locomotive is a terrible survival vehicle. It takes coal as fuel, where are you gonna get coal? Okay, so maybe you find one with a full load of coal on board, you are only going to get one trip out of it. You also need loads of water to produce that steam. I hope that water is not scarce or you are never going to get that thing going.

Don’t bother using a steam locomotive train unless you are absolutely desperate of you are creating a fictional story about some one who is trapped behind a wall and the only way out is to use a steam train to break down that wall. Writing this article is really giving me good ideas for stories.

Diesel Locomotive

Diesel Locomotives – Using a train as a survival vehicle is generally not a good idea, but if you had to choose what kind of train to use, a diesel train would be the right option. Not for any really good reasons, it’s just that diesel fuel is easier to get than coal.

Remember that if you are in an emergency situation, the local emergency response teams are going to be in control of the rail system in your area. Do not operate a train while there are other ones running. Unless you know exactly what you are doing, you are probably going to cause a head on collision.

Electric Locomotives – This is only a valid option if the electricity is still running. In most situations that require you to commandeer an electric train, the power is going to be out. Don’t be silly, why am I still writing about using trains as emergency vehicles. I can not even begin to imagine any type of situation where this would be a viable method of trans port during a survival situation.

Rapid Transit Subway Doors

Rapid Transit – This is another option that is a bit ridiculous, You need a ton of fuel or a working power station to get these trains running and that is probably not an option during an emergency situation.

If you are in a situation where the power is on and you desperately need to move to another location, I am just going to assume that there are going to be a lot of other people in the same situation as you.

The only way that using a train during a survival situation is feasible is to hop aboard one that is working and the only person in danger is yourself. If that is the situation that you are in, trains are an excellent way to travel cheaply with out getting noticed. So good luck running from the police and hopping trains, I sincerely hope that you don’t lose a leg.


Water Transportation

There might be situations that you find yourself where you need to take to the water. Well me hearties, here is something for ye ta ponder. I promise to not write like a pirate anymore if you look at this list of survival boats and other watercraft. The boat is currently a great weekend escape for thousand of people all around the globe. Most people with boats use it for work. It is their means of feeding their families. Boats are far more abundant than you realize. You can easily find and even use one if the emergency situation come up that needs one.

Sea Hunting Kayak

Human Powered – Are you prepared for the outdoors? Do you love to camp? If so, you probably already have a human powered boat. The boats in this category have been used by native people for possibly tens of thousands of years, hopefully it is good enough for you to use.

If you have a canoe or kayak, you know just how easy they are to use but difficult to transport. A human powered survival boat is something that you are going to want to strap to the top of your bug out truck and just use it when you really need to.

Sail Powered – The sail boat has been an escape from the world for thousands of people all around the world. It was one of the first long distance means of transport and it might just pull your bacon out of the fire. Sailing does take some specialized knowledge though, so don’t think that you can just hop onto a sail boat and float away majestically. If you have the time and resources, I recommend learning to sail just to add to your skill set and be able to take a boat out if you need to.

South East Asia Raft

Rafts – When ever you think about lost on a Caribbean island, you always think about how to make a survival raft. This is something that is made by hand and is not meant for long term use. It is easy to make and rafts have saved countless people around the world.

I have also seen rafts used for non emergency uses as well. If you are trying to cross a river or lake but have no access to any kind of real boat, you can easily build a quick raft to float to where you need to go. Just make sure that you make and bring a paddle with you.

Catamarans – The catamaran is a kind of sail boat with two hulls. This means that it can carry a lot more people and gear than a regular sail boat.

The fact that it has two hulls also means that it is a much more stable platform than regular mono hull boats. They are also a lot more rare than regular boats. If you already have one in your possession, you are probably rich and know how to weather any storm. If I had to choose what kind of boat to have as a bug out boat, the catamaran would be it.


Speedboats – These boats are a ton of fun. They are designed to do only one thing and that one thing is to go fast. If that is what you are going to need you water borne survival vehicle to do, then you have got the right vehicle for you. If however, you have a lot of gear or several people with you, a speed boat is not the right water transportation for you.

Dinghy – This is another watercraft that might just work for you. It is small so you wont be able to load up all of the gear that you want to bring. You are also going to not be able to bring all of the people with you that you want. The dinghy is also inflatable so be prepared to patch it occasionally. These crafts are extremely capable and are used by military seal teams around the world. If the SEALS use them, you should too.

Jet Ski – As a bug out vehicle, the jet ski is a bad idea, unless of course, you are by yourself and don’t have a lot of gear with you.

Fishing Trawler – This kind of boat might actually be a good idea as a survival vehicle. As long as you can keep it fueled up, you are going to be able to catch all the food that you want. Fishing trawlers can carry a lot of survival gear as well as a lot of people. Just make sure that the people you bring with you are prepared to work, there are no free rides on this boat son.

Super Yacht

Yacht – Make sure you bring extra caviar on this bug out boat. If it is not free range organic caviar, don’t even bother. End of the world? Massive civil unrest? Who cares? You will not settle for anything less that the absolute best that life has to offer. Any supplies that you will need can be easily helicoptered out to you. Nothing will be stressing your mind except the problem of which tie to wear to brunch.

Neon Cruise Ship

Cruise Ship – This is the kind of post apocalyptic scenario that all great fiction writers dream about. The cruse ship is actually a good idea as a survival vehicle. They are generally well stocked with everything that thousands of people are going to need to stay alive.

They have food, water, desalination plants, septic systems, entertainment, and anything that you could possibly want during a disaster. The only problem with them is that they require tons of fuel. I am not kidding about that one, they literally fuel these massive vessels by the ton. If you are one and it is tied to a pier, then it would be just as good as a hotel to live and thrive in.

Oil Tanker – This a vessel that is designed to be a contained system. It is designed to me completely filled with fuel so that’s not really something that you need to worry about. You would have to think about getting food while on this boat. The easiest option for getting food while on a boat is fishing, but if you are on an oil tanker, you might not realize that the surface of it is several acres. Those acres could be covered with dirt and transformed into a farm. Just like that, you have a great vessel to ride out any disaster scenario on.

Shipping Containers

Freighter Ship – If you happen to find yourself on a freighter ship during a survival scenario, remember that you probably have unlimited supplies available. All of those containers are full of treasure that are going to help you and your friends. Make sure that you know which ones are refrigerated because they are going to be full of great food for you.

This is not going to be a survival situation, but more of a giant treasure hunt. Enjoy this party because you are going to not just survive, but thrive.

Military Vessels – Nothing says personal security like a phalanx gun. You are going to be able to survival almost anything on military vessel. As long as you can pirate other vessels for fuel, food and other supplies, you are going to be able to survival for a extremely long time.

Hydrofoil Hover Craft – This is not just a form of water transportation, it can actually go almost anywhere. It is an absolutely great all terrain vehicle. The only problem with it is that they are extremely loud. The fans are constantly running at very high speeds so don’t expect to be able to sneak anywhere.

Fiat Amphibious Car

Amphibians – Amphibious vehicles are always a good idea. Being able to traverse from land to water with minimal effort is extremely valuable. If any hostile forces are following you while you are driving your amphibious bug out vehicle, you would be able to evade them easily. Amphibious vehicles can range from small single seater ATV like vehicles all the way up to enormous military bus like vehicles.

Ferries – Using a ferry as survival transportation is probably a better idea than you might think. They are designed to carry a lot of people which means that if you have to, you can easily transport a lot of people to safety.

If you are on a big enough ferry, it might even be able to carry cars and other vehicles. They generally don’t have any kind of food on board so if you are looking to salvage a ferry, you are only going to be able to find fuel.

A blue Houseboat

Houseboats – This is something that would make an excellent vehicle and home all year round. You can easily fish for food and if you live some place warm, you can even grow fruits and veggies on a roof top garden. The houseboat is an extremely versatile vehicle that people have made into feasible and sustainable living spaces for many years.

Taking to the water is something that millions of people do every year for fun and enjoyment. Doing it for survival or emergency purposes is not going to be that much of a challenge and you should definitely consider it as a bug out option.


If you are in a situation where you life is in danger you are going to have to think that absolutely anything is at your disposal to save you life, or the lives of those around you. This includes airplanes. If you have never flown a plane, I wouldn’t suggest just hopping in one and hoping for the best. You are going to at least want to spend some time in a flying simulation before you actually give it a go. Remember that there is a huge risk in using a plane as your emergency transportation, but the rewards of being able to go very far, very quickly, might just be worth that risk.

Pokemon Jet

Large Airplanes – These are the behemoths of the sky. Planes like the Boeing 747 and others are deigned to carry a whole lot of any thing that you got. This is actually the preferred method of travel for the President of the United States of America during times of crisis.

If you know how to fly one, or have access to someone who does, and have full tanks, you are going to be able to go almost anywhere that you think is safe.

Business Jets – This is how the elite have traveled the wold for the past few decades. They have a smaller range than the big planes and cant carry nearly as much cargo, but the advantage of using a business jet over a bigger plane is that it requires a much smaller runway to take off and land on. They are also a lot quicker and more agile than the bigger jets. If you are fleeing an enemy air force, the smaller business jet is going to be able to fly lower than radar and outrun most non military planes in the air.

General Aviation Aircraft – If you go to any municipal airport, you are going to see loads of small aircraft. Those fit into the general aviation aircraft category. They are planes such as the Cessna and similar ones. For less than $100 you can pay someone to take you on an introductory flight in one of these. I suggest doing that, just so you are more comfortable in one, if you ever find yourself as the sole person responsible for piloting it to safety.

Float Plane

Float Planes – Even though float planes might not be as graceful in the air as something without two giant pontoons hanging off the bottom of it, it is probably a better option as a survival vehicle. This is because you can take it almost anywhere that has water.

Being able to take off and land where ever you want is an extremely valuable resource that is overlooked by most people. The float plane is being used every day as survival transportation in the northern wilderness, so it would be no different to use one during an actual emergency.

Fighter Planes – Using a fighter plane as survival transportation is a very bad idea. You are only going to be able to transport yourself. They are generally one seaters and there isn’t even enough room for someone with long legs. If you are packing a bag for this trip, you can forget about bringing it onto a fighter plane. It does have good speed though. Being able to travel at the speed of sound might be exactly what you need to get out of trouble but make sure that you have a runway to land because if you crash, these beasts are loaded up with some scary payloads.

A Yellow Helicopter

Helicopters – If you need emergency flight this is the vehicle that you want. Helicopters are already being used for all types of emergency situations. There are ambulance helicopters, search and rescue helicopters, police helicopters, and there are even helicopters to report traffic disasters.

The only down side to using a helicopter is that they are very tricky to fly. One wrong move is going to send the thing hurtling down to earth and the chances of surviving a helicopter crash is very slim.

Auto Gyro – If you don’t know what an auto gyro is I want you to remember the early mad max movies. Remember when he meets up with the crazy pilot? The thing that the pilot was flying is called an auto gyro. It is probably one of the most fun vehicles out there.

Auto Gyro

If you have one of these then you are far better off than I am. While the rest of us are stuck on the ground, you will be soaring up above among the birds in the air.

As a bug out vehicle, it is absolutely excellent if you want to make a quick getaway for a short distance quickly. It is not going to be able to carry much more than your bug out bag, so using the auto gyro as a bug out vehicle is going to take a lot more planning than the other options.

You are going to want to take into consideration things like how to bring as much as you can without over encumbering the aircraft and more importantly, where to land? You might even want to plan a back up landing site, just in case the first one is unusable.

Angry Birds Hot Air Balloon

Hot Air Balloon – If you are planning on proposing to your wife, this is the right vehicle to do it in. If you are planning on bugging out to a distant location, this is not the right method of getting there.

They are extremely slow and noticeable. Any hungry people on the ground are going to just be able to watch where you land and head that way to either say hello or kill you for your supplies (there is no grey area on that one ;p).

Also, if you are riding in a hot air balloon you are completely at the mercy of the wind. If it is too windy, you are probably going to crash into electrical wires, if the air is too calm, you are just going to site there and be a target. So don’t use a hot air balloon as a survival vehicle, the only good use for it is proposing to the wife or escaping from the land of Oz.

Goodyear Blimp

Airship / Dirigible / Blimp / Zeppelin – This craft is very similar to the hot air balloon in all aspects except for one, it is more maneuverable than a hot air balloon. It is still at the mercy of strong winds, but in a nice breeze it has the ability to head into the wind and whatever direction that you need it to go.

It’s capacity to hold cargo and passengers is based on its size. The bigger it is, the more it can carry. When these vehicles were first being used hydrogen was the primary lighter than air gas that was used to get them aloft, but after a few public crashes that ended in fiery explosions, helium started being used.

These vehicles have not been popular in the past 60 or so years, but in recent times, with concerns about non-renewable resources running out, the dirigible has made a bit of a resurgence due to its low running costs.

Soldier and helicopter in snow

Army Helicopter – This is probable one of the best choices in emergency transportation that you can possibly make. The army helicopter is pretty much exclusively being used for emergency use. As long as you can keep it fueled, you are going to be all right.

Also, just make sure that you know how to fly it, they are extremely unstable and it takes a skilled pilot a lot of training in order to master this tricky craft.

Parachute – As a survival vehicle, the parachute only has one purpose, survival. They are more often used for recreation than emergency survival, but hey, you never know right. You might find yourself at the top of a mountain, looking for a very quick way to get down. Or in a plane that is plummeting out of the sky. It might not seem like a normal vehicle but it still might save your life someday.


Justin Trovrt has been in plenty of situations that require a level of survival instincts that daily life can not provide. He knows that knowledge is power and wished to share some of his power with anyone who is willing to listen. Follow him at

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