*Out the Door and Hit the Road!*
Scenario: The phone rings at 4 am, and a familiar voice on the line says "It's hit the fan, you've got about thirty minutes to get on the road heading for the retreat before the news announces the disaster and the sheeple start clogging the highways!"
You jump into your clothes, hitch your Bug Out Trailer (already loaded with your "ticket") to your Bug Out Vehicle....and THEN:
You Realize there's an inch of ice on your windshield! Just using the vehicle's defroster could take an hour...a can of spray-on de-icer and a scraper will be faster, but even better: if the forecast the night before was for ice, you could have covered your vehicle with a tarp (or pulled it in the garage, if you have one). With the tarp, you'd just untie it, pull it off and go.
You've got a flat tire! "Oh, I've got a spare..." Have you checked it recently? Sure it's inflated? Is it an "emergency" spare, the kind people call a "bicycle tire"? How fast can you change a tire? The clock is ticking...Some tips: the jacks that come in most vehicles these days are crap, and ditto the lug wrench. Put a good 2 ton floor jack, or hydraulic bottle jack, in your BOV, along with a 4-way lug wrench...you'll cut your tire-changing time at least in half! Practice helps also:)
You've got a flat tire...and the spare is also flat!!! Do you have a powered air pump? A tire-plugging kit? Know how to find a hole in a tire? Hints: soapy water is good for finding leaks. Jack the tire, use a brush or sponge to spread soapy water on the tire generously, then look for the bubbles. Plug the hole, pump it up, hit the road! A cigarette-lighter-plugin air pump is good for roadside troubles along with the plugging kit.
The Battery is Dead!!! Here's a good reason for checking the water in your battery regularly, and making sure you don't leave car-lights on...even the little inside lights. Personally, I like having a deep-cycle battery under the hood...more reliable. IF this happens to you anyway, do you have a Quick-Start Jumper? This box-kit is designed to hook up to a dead battery, with or without grid power, and jump-start it FAST. Wal-mart has them...if you have one, jump it and hit the highway! If not...got a spare battery? Know how to do a changeout QUICK? Good, go to it!
There's a FOOT of SNOW on the driveway! Or mud, or whatever...if you've got a good 4WD with good all-terrain tires, great. If like many of us you have to "make do" with 2WD, let me say that TIRE CHAINS are the greatest thing since internal combustion! Practice putting them on though, it's tricky until you've done it a few times.
Your Radiator is FROZEN SOLID!! Some of us down south are prone to put a mix of antifreeze and water in the radiator, since it doesn't usually get that cold in Dixie...but it caught up to me one cold morning, and the payoff was being late for work and needing a new radiator. Don't compromise on this, use straight antifreeze, even if you live in Florida. A frozen radiator can result in an overheated (blown) motor. IF you do wind up with a frozen radiator, you wife's hair-dryer can help defrost it...but afterward, you'd be well-advised to check the hoses and put a can of Stop-Leak or No-Leak in, otherwise you might not go far.
A little pre-planning and careful, proper maintenance can help ensure that
your BOV is ready to hit the highway when you need it the most!
All materials at this site not otherwise credited are Copyright © 1996 - 2003 Trip Williams. All rights reserved. May be reproduced for personal use only. Use of any material contained herein is subject to stated terms or written permission.