The Bug Out Van: Take Your Home With You

Bug out vans are an exciting new twist on the growing van life movement. Van living and other forms of mobile living have been around a long time, but they’ve recently gotten a boost. You may have seen YouTube videos or articles about people building out stealth living vans. Some even convert old school buses! What does this trend have to do with bugging out or prepping?

Bug out van under a full moon.

Quite a bit actually. The biggest reason we build bug out bags is to buy us time to get away from possible dangers. Whether the dangers are forming where we are right now or they’re already on us. The bag is great but if you can’t make it away then it may not really cut it. Then what happens when you get to your bug out location? Do you have a structure there already or are you planning on doing some bushcraft? Investing in a bug out van could answer these questions. If you don’t want to limit your bug out to a bag, why not take a whole home?

The Growing Van Life

Let’s start off by talking about van living. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s worth diving into. It’s a fascinating movement of people that are avoiding the rent or house status quo. They’re doing this by building fully functional living spaces in vans or trucks. Some of these vans even have toilets and showers! For most van-lifers, this isn’t an attempt at prepping for bugging out. This is an inexpensive and free way to live your life. However, if the SHTF, these van-lifers wouldn’t have to bug out of their homes, they can bug out in their homes! 

If you’re the owner of a van that’s built out for living in, you’re set.  When the going gets rough, you can drive your home straight out of the area. If you’ve got a bug out property or a location you’ve scoped out, you can park your house right there and boom! Instant structure. If you’re living in traditional housing, a bug out van might be an investment into being prepared. If you’re considering this, let’s talk about some of the pro’s and con’s of living in a van. And whether they’d apply in a catastrophic situation.

The Pro’s and Con’s of a Bug Out Van

One of the biggest drawbacks to living in a van is privacy. It’s hard (and sometimes illegal) to get your windows fully tinted. And needing to park your home to live means that you’re always going to be in public places. However, if this van is your bug out vehicle, this privacy shouldn’t be a big concern. An essential part of a good bug out location is isolation. If people are finding your bug out spot then you’ve got bigger problems. Somebody seeing you getting dressed through a tinted window will be a small concern. 

Most of the drawbacks stem from a lack of a permanent location. Cooking becomes difficult, you can’t really expand your space, you may not have much storage room. If your van is for bugging out then you really shouldn’t be on the road long. It should be a vehicle to get you to a permanent location, and then you can build up any sort of camp you want you’ve got it set. 

Bug Out Van Mechanical Considerations

There are of course mechanical considerations. You’ll need to be sure that your van is waterproof and able to retain heat or air out if it gets hot. For any of these considerations, a van is going to be a more comfortable bet than a straight up bushcraft lean-to. However if you’re looking at the decision to build a small home or park a van on your bug out property, these are great options. Vans can mean that you can drive the home right to the property and use it in the meantime.

When you’re looking at whether or not to invest in a bug out van, there are a lot of things to consider. It can be a viable option if you’re looking for a permanent shelter that you can stock and move if you need to. Plus, when times are good you can go camping or even live in it! 

You May Also Be Interested In: