When it comes to survival situations, having access to the right vehicle can make all the difference. Cars are far tougher and sturdier than we are as a human bag of meat, and running vehicles will be in hot demand once the SHTF. But while most people think of cars only as a way to get from “Point A” to “Point B,” don’t forget the tactical role the right vehicle can play in your survival. There’s a handful of things you can even start doing today, to ensure you’re ready to get every possible edge in a crisis.
Cars give you mobility
Getting around on foot will always be in my back up plans, but your car gives you mobility at a whole other level. You can cover greater distances, at greater speed, carrying far more gear and supplies than you’d be able to load on your back. If you’ve got elderly parents, or young children in your survival group, this extra mobility means you can perhaps make a faster evacuation, with everything you need to survive. So plan accordingly, and ensure your vehicle is more than able to get you and your loved ones to your bug out location.
I’d also recommend stockpiling the necessary supplies so you’re not wasting time to get your car locked and loaded when it’s go-time. My garage has a row of containers right there, that I can grab and get in my car in just a minute or two so I’m well equipped on the road.
Cars give you an escape
The speed you can drive is another tactical asset. Stomp your foot on the gas and you can quickly leave any threats far behind in your rear vision mirror. Or if you’re driving towards an obstacle or other roadblock, you have the option to simply switch gears into reverse, and back the hell away from whatever danger is lurking ahead. On foot, you’re much more likely to get caught in the trap. Backing out at just 15 or 20 miles an hour will quickly put a few hundred yards of distance between you and the danger, so you can stay safe.
If you’ve never tested your skills behind the wheel, there’s never been a better chance than now. I grew up in a rural area, thrashing beat-up cars around the dirt roads. If you’ve not got this option, sign up for a defensive driving course at a minimum, you’ll learn quite a lot.
Cars give you momentum
When stopping is not an option you also have the ability to speed up and use the momentum of your vehicle to make it through whatever obstacle you face. Just be careful, if you hit a stationary object at too much speed it will likely do a significant amount of damage to your car, and may even stop it in its tracks. Better to slow down and use your car to push, unless of course you’re certain that what you’re driving into is light enough that you’ll send it flying. I’ve hit a deer at 80 miles per hour, and it wrecked my car.
My advice, is to fit additional armoring on any vehicles you intend to use during a crisis situation. Since my accident, I’ve fitted a steel push bars (or bull bar) on every one of my vehicles. It’s a rigid defense tool, that protects your car against whatever you happen to hit.
Cars give you a weapon
While not as deadly as a rifle or a knife in hand-to-hand combat, the weight, speed, and solid metal construction of a vehicle is usually enough to give you an edge in any altercation. You could, if you were so inclined, run down an aggressor who is after you, knock over a trailing motorbike, or even push another car off the road. Of course, whatever situation you’re in you’ll have to decide in that moment the right course of action, for me, I put the health and safety of my own family far above that of anyone who intends us harm.
I’d recommend thinking ahead, and consider what you might need to do in a real crisis. Too many of us fail to plan, which leads to us freezing up with panic and fear when it all goes down. Two emotions that will not help you keep your family alive.
Cars give you shelter
Finally, when you’re on the road or have been pushed out of your home (for whatever reason), your car gives you a roof over your head. It’ll protect you from the elements, wind, rain and snow, and can even be a secure place to catch a few winks of sleep when the world’s gone crazy. But you have to remember that there will be people out there looking for easy scores, and the survivalist snoring in his car loaded with supplies looks like exactly that. You need to build OPSEC into your planning too.
For me, this means blacked out back windows. You can’t do this to all (otherwise how would you drive), so I’ve also made shade screens to perfectly fit all the other windows, which just suction into place. Looking in, it’s impossible to see what (or who) is inside.
As an asset once the SHTF your car is an incredible tactical advantage. You get speed, you get mobility, you get shelter and even a potential weapon. But it’s also important you don’t take this asset for granted. There are things you should be doing now, yes right now, to better prepare your vehicle for any dark days ahead. Many of these adjustments are easy to make, and I highly recommend taking action on them now, before it’s too late.