It has been said when the going gets tough, the tough get going...so we’ve compiled a short list of our top picks for just that. Whether you’re a full blown doomsday prepper or just a realist that likes to keep their options open, we’ve got a vehicle to get you out when the going gets tough.
First on the list is the Cannondale Scalpel 29 Carbon Black Inc. XC mountain bike. A high-quality cross country (XC) mountain bike is a simple choice for the self-reliant who don’t want to depend on anything more than their own two legs to power their getaway vehicle. The obvious advantage of a bicycle as bug out vehicle is that it won’t run out of gas, and thus won’t need to be abandoned at some point on your journey out of harm’s way. This mode of travel can also be quicker in congested traffic heading out of town or in densely populated areas. Although most any decent mountain bike could fulfill these basic needs, we chose the Cannondale Scalpel 29er because of the high quality components, low weight, and robustness of the frame. With full suspension front and back that includes the super cool weight saving single-sided lefty fork, it has plenty enough travel to take off-road ruts and rocks with ease, but with a lockout function that means your precious pedal power won’t go to waste with unnecessary bounce and sway. This impressively light 29er owes its race ready weight to the BallisTec Carbon frame and Lefty fork. There’s a ton of debate within the mountain biking community of correct wheel size, and although even the majority of us at the Research Labs prefer a 26er for tight technical trail riding, we are exceptionally impressed with the handling of the Scalpel 29er and love the idea of the big rolling power and go-over-anything nature of a 29er as bug out bike. The beauty of the Cannondale Scalpel 29er is the frame geometry, a steep head angle combined with the short wheelbase means it turns tighter like a 26er, but has the distinct advantage of accelerating faster. Plus with a low-sheen all black finish the Cannondale Scalpel 29 Carbon Black Inc. is about as stealthy as it gets.
2. Stealth Bomber Electric Bike
If you like the idea of the mobility offered by a bike for the quick getaway, but are concerned that it might be a little short in the quick department, then an electric bike could be the perfect solution. At a top speed of 50mph the Stealth Bomber electric bike will certainly take you wherever you need to go much faster than pumping the pedals; at least with the competition mode engaged, otherwise the USA mode has a governor that reduces it to the max legal speed of 20mph. The Stealth Bomber does however also include pedals so you can supplement the 4.5 kW electrical output and increase acceleration using your own two feet. A max range of 50 miles may not work for everyone’s needs, but it could certainly help to get you out of harm’s way in a hurry or to your bunker off the grid. The Stealth Bomber electric bike also features advanced features like a smooth 9-speed transmission and powerful hydraulic brakes to keep you in control. Not to mention with a name like Stealth, aggressive styling, and an all black finish it seems to be the perfect fit as the Electric bug out bike of choice….plus we’re pretty sure it’s likely the electric bike Batman would have in his lair.
If speed and mobility are paramount in your plans for getting out of danger, then a proper motorcycle can’t be beat. You get the advantage of mobility with the distinct advantage of being faster than most anything on the road. We’ve chosen the Yamaha Super Tenere ES as our motorcycle of choice. This beast is big, bad, and capable of most anything you can throw at it. While it’s not well suited to tight single-track scenarios, that’s not the point of the Tenere. We’ve decided to go with a large adventure bike that doubles as a full-fledged tourer because of its ability to easily carry a passenger and the hefty amount of gear necessary to survive out there. With a 6.1 gallon fuel tank and an estimated fuel consumption of over 40 mpg this big bike can take you, a passenger, and your gear quite a ways on a single tank. An electronically controlled suspension that can take advantage of 7.5” of travel at both wheels means you are quickly and easily able to make adjustment for on-road versus off-road needs. Stopping power of the Yamaha Super Tenere ES is solid thanks to a dual disk setup up front and a good ABS system. Throw in proven reliability of the Japanese manufacturer combined with fuel injection and a shaft final drive, and you have a bug out bike you can load down and rely on.
4. 2015 Aston Martin Vanquish
For those who prefer four wheels to two, but still feel the need for speed, then we’ve got just the ticket (no pun intended). It’s the brand new 2015 Aston Martin Vanquish. Quite easily the best looking bug out vehicle on the list, and now that the 2015 model is capable of reaching 200 mph – it’s easily the fastest too. You’ll be rocketed to your safe house thanks to the latest generation V12 engine from Aston Martin, capable of producing 568 bhp and propelling this fine piece of machinery from 0-60 in a claimed 3.6 seconds. This incredible acceleration is in part due to the new eight-speed automatic transmission, with the eight gears produced by four gear sets and five shift elements to continually optimize the power being produced by the V12 and apply that energy to the tarmac. Unconventional, yes. Badass, hell yes! So what if it’s a little “one note”, if you need to get away faster than anyone else and don’t mind eliciting drooling jealous stares while you do – then the brand new 2015 Aston Martin Vanquish is the way to go….we know it would be James Bond’s choice.
Next on the list is the UEV-440. This is an entirely different approach to getting away from whatever badness you’re escaping from. Instead of relying on mobility or speed to outrun the threat, this vehicle is all about being prepared wherever you find yourself. What you sacrifice in agility you redeem in preparedness no matter the location. You won’t be nearly as mobile, but it does have the added advantage of being a complete bug out shelter on wheels. So, if you don’t have a specific place in mind where you’re going to bunker down, then this is an excellent solution. It’s one of the few all-in-one travel trailers that is truly off-road capable, and smartly designed with plenty of storage for all the necessary gear without being so large that you can’t get out of sight. When the proverbial stuff hits the fan, simply back up your favorite 4 wheel drive to the UEV-440 and head for the hills.
To round out the list we had to include a personal aircraft….’cause what more prepared than that?! Ok, we’ll admit this solution is not for everyone, but you’ll have to agree if the world is coming to an end, then your best bet is probably hopping in your personal plane and flying away from the nastiness. We’ve chosen the ICON A5 as our aircraft of choice because of its manageable size, safety and ease of flying. ICON’s mission is to build the safest light sports aircraft in the world, and it looks as though they are well on the way to achieving their goal. With revolutionary aero engineering, they’ve designed a plane that theoretically completely negates the hazard of a stall spin and allows the pilot to maintain complete control even in stall scenarios. Check out the ICON A5 video to see the demonstration of their anti stall spin technology in use…it’s pretty impressive stuff. Beyond the beginner friendly flight features, each ICON A5 also has the ability to land on the tarmac or water – exceptionally cool if your bug out preparedness plan involves an idyllic remote fishing spot.
Hope you’ve enjoyed our roundup of top bug out vehicles. Obviously there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, and truthfully there are a host of different factors you’ll need to account for in your individual bug out plan. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the perfect bug out vehicle for your specific needs. Use the comments section below to let us know your thoughts on your dream SHTF setup – make it as pragmatic or far-fetched as you’d like…. after all it’s still a free country.