Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Prepper Vehicles From the Ground Up

We've gone over ultimate bug out rigs, and some things you can do to make your current rig more prepper-friendly, but buying a new (or new-to-you) car presents some unique opportunities and considerations for a prepper.

The time came a couple weeks ago to replace my wife's trusty little SUV. It was becoming a bit of a money and time sink, and we were outgrowing it. Being preppers is part of our nature, so that just naturally flows into how we shop for big-ticket items like cars.

Let's look at some of the considerations that apply to preppers looking for a daily driver, and I'll tell you why we picked what we did.

Cargo and Towing
Prepping involves a fair bit of gear and supplies, even at a minimalist level, so the ability to easily haul those supplies is a huge consideration. Those little subcompact cars are affordable and efficient, but they can't haul much more than a gallon of milk, and the ability to tow light loads is a bonus for our lifestyle and for some prepping tasks.

We've talked about financial prepping before, and the cost of big-ticket items can put a serious dent in your budget. As much as it's nice to have something shiny and fancy and new, it can put you into a major hole in a hurry.

I live in a place where deep, wet snow is a regular thing, and we live a lifestyle that frequently leaves the pavement, so 4 Wheel Drive is a necessity for us. (All-Wheel Drive works, but not nearly as well.) In warm, urban and suburban areas 2 Wheel Drive vehicles work just fine, while being simpler, more efficient, and far less expensive.

We spend a fair bit of time on the road, and stretching each gallon of gas is important to us. Better fuel economy is also handy if you do have to evacuate an area, allowing you to travel further from the chaos before you have to stop to refuel.

The "White Bread" Factor 
I'm a car guy. I have a childlike fascination with rides that are loud and flashy. However, there is a lot to be said for hiding in the noise: while something like a Pinzgauer can go anywhere and haul anything, it will catch eyeballs wherever it goes, while a popular model of minivan or midsize SUV will disappear on any city block.

When we laid out our requirements they pointed pretty heavily at a midsize SUV, and my wife picked out a Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid. Fuel efficiency is excellent, it has plenty of cargo room, and it can tow a decent amount. It cost more than I've ever spent on a vehicle before, but if past history is any indicator, we'll be driving it for a decade and we'll get our money out of it. It is also about as white bread as it gets, at least on the outside.

Embrace your prepper nature when you shop for the big stuff. It will help you seamlessly advance your life and your preps.


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