Obviously if you have to travel any kind of distance in a bug out situation, a car or truck would be the ideal bug out vehicle. But realistically there may come a time when taking a vehicle to bug out just isn’t feasible or doesn’t work out. In those circumstances, here’s why bikes are great bug out vehicles.
Let’s face it, one of the biggest obstacles to a successful bug out is your ability to get from point A to point B. Streets could be congested with traffic or even blocked by debris which can make getting through roads with a car virtually impossible.
The width and size of a car or truck means you are limited as to the routes you can take. With a bike, you can dodge in and out of congested traffic, go around fallen debris, detour down sidewalks and narrow alleyways, take bike paths, or even go off road through the woods if necessary.
Bikes are Quiet
Unless you choose to use a bike with an electric motor, a bike is much quieter than a car. You’ll get where you need to go without announcing to others where you are.
This can be important in a bug out situation where others are desperate for supplies as it can reduce the number of confrontations you’ll have to have along your route.
Faster than walking
One of the reasons bikes are great bug out vehicles is that they are faster than walking. The longer it takes you to travel to your bug out location, the more supplies you have to carry and the more likely it is that you will run out of something you need along the way.
Bugging out on foot will take you up to 5 times as long than if you were traveling by car, but on a bike you can lessen the time it takes you to get from point A to point B and boost your chance of survival.
Another reason why bikes are great bug out vehicles is their carrying capacity. Bugging out on foot means you have to carry the weight of all your supplies on your back.
But if you bug out on a bike, you can boost your carrying capacity without breaking your back by using panniers or saddle bags along with front or rear racks, or even a bike trailer to carry your bug out supplies.
Bikes are also a great alternative for families with young children because you can modify your bike with seats or a passenger trailer.
Easy to Split Up if Being Pursued
If you bug out in a group or with your family by car and find that you are being pursued, there’s really no way to lead your pursuers away from the more vulnerable members of your group.
If each of your group is on a bike, there’s a chance the most able of the group could split off and lead pursuers one way while the more vulnerable of your group gets away to safety where you can rendezvous later.
Doesn’t Need Gasoline or Other Fuel
One of the big advantages of bugging out on a bike instead of in a vehicle is that you don’t need to worry about gasoline or fuel to keep going. The trade-off is you need to maintain your physical fitness so that you can pedal, but even those with lower fitness levels can bug out by bike using one with an electric motor that can be switched on to make pedaling and hills easier.
Spare Parts Will Be Plentiful
A huge reason bikes are great bug out vehicles is the fact that spare parts will likely be plentiful. Most people will rely on vehicles to get from point A to point B and that means there will be a lot bicycles left behind in garages or even laying in back yards.
If you need spare parts for your bike that you don’t have, chances are you can find a forgotten bike that has the parts you need. Just make sure you remember to bring along the tools you need to make the swap and learn the basics of bike repair and you’ll be good to go.
You Already Own One
Bikes make great bug out vehicles because chances are you already own a bike that is suitable for a bug out or can be modified to make a decent bug out vehicle. This means you may not have to spend money to buy a new bike and can instead focus on modifying your current bike to increase its carrying capacity with accessories such as panniers or a cargo trailer.
Easier to Learn to Fix
With a car or truck there are a lot of moving parts that can break or need repair along your bug out route. If you aren’t already familiar with how to fix a car, it will take significant time to learn to do reliable repairs.
With a bike, there are fewer mechanical things that can go wrong so it’s easier to learn how to make those repairs so you can keep on moving toward your destination. In most cases, bike repairs are quicker to do as long as you have or can find the parts, which means you won’t waste valuable time getting to your bug out location.
When it comes to bugging out, a vehicle, especially one equipped with computerized parts, can leave you stranded in the event of an EMP which essentially can fry sensitive circuits.
Bikes are great bug out vehicles because they are not impacted by the effects of an EMP. This means when others are stuck bugging out on foot, you and your family will be pedaling your way to safety.
Okay, so for all the reasons above, bikes are great bug out vehicles but which bikes make the best bug out vehicles? This next section will detail what to look for when purchasing a bike as a bug out vehicle, and how to modify your existing bike so you have the best chance of getting to your bug out location.
Durable and Lightweight Frame
If you’re purchasing a bike to bug out, look for a mountain bike frame which is built to operate on rugged terrain and withstand heavy use. If you have a choice of frame material, choose a frame made of lightweight chrome molybdenum steel over heavier carbon steel.
Aluminum frames are another lightweight option. If your budget will allow it, titanium is a higher end bike frame material. It’s as strong as steel but lighter and it will absorb vibration better and be more responsive if you have to go off road. Carbon fiber frames are also strong and light, but can be a stiffer ride, more difficult to repair and more expensive than steel.
Upgraded Bike Components for Your Bug Out Vehicle
When it comes to durability, you want your bike to be able to handle the wear and tear you put on it during a bug out trip. The upgrades you make to your bug out bike should be based on what the terrain along your potential routes will be and how likely it is you will have to go off road. Consider upgrades to the following bike components to increase the durability of your bike:
When it comes to a equipping your bike for a bug out trip, the accessories you add can significantly increase your ability to carry what you need and make it to your destination. Mix and match accessories from the list below to create a custom bug out bike that best meets your needs:
- Panniers or saddlebags bolt to the frame and fork of the bike and have rigid sides
- Frame mounted bags typically use velcro straps within the main bike triangle
- Rigid rack that bolts beneath the bike seat
- Lights powered by generator hubs that charge with the wheel movement.
- Bike Trailers work perfect for additional hauling
- Single wheel cargo trailer is best for rugged terrain or off road.
- Front or Rear Racks
If you expect to be off road or traveling over rougher terrain, go with something like this freeparable T2 trailer with up to 13 watts power for charging lights or cell phone. It can carry up to 60 pounds and the bag is 100% waterproof which means it keeps your gear protected even in water.
Do you already have a bike you’ve modified into a great bug out vehicle? If not, have we convinced you to consider one, at least as a backup to your car or truck? Let us know in the comments below.
A mother of four and grandmother of nine boys and one girl, Megan is living the lifestyle any prepper would want. Gardening, homesteading and constantly planning for emergencies big and small, she’s a beacon of knowledge in the prepping community.