I’ll have to confess something. The real purpose in my being involved in this blog, from my standpoint, is to force myself to think through and plan for whatever comes. If this blog does not become the most talked about thing on the internet, I will be okay. Thats not to say that I don’t want people to read what I have to say. To the contrary, I would love input. If you read something I’ve written, and you have a better idea, fire it off. If I think you deserve the day’s Asshat Award for your comment, I will probably let you know. Otherwise, input is both welcome and appreicated.
Onward to BOV prep. I spent 4 years maintaining HMMWVs for the military. 14 months of that was in Iraq, with an infantry unit. I spent weeks at a time driving around hostile territory with grunts, waiting for their shit to break down, so that I could try to fix it with few tools and fewer parts. Grunts are hard on shit. If there is a way to destroy something through use, they can and will find it, quickly. Through experience, I figured out what my toolbox needed, what it might need, and what it did not need.
If you are not able to fix basic vehicle problems on your own, you shouldn’t bother bringing tools, or parts. Hell, don’t bother prepping, cause you’re probably fucked anyway. If you are able to fix basic stuff on your own, teriffic. You may be able to extend your BOV’s range by a few hundred miles if something breaks.
To establish some basics, you are not going to rebuild an engine, replace a transmission, or change your brake pads while bugging out. If your vehicle reaches that point, time to go it on foot. That being said, don’t bother packing the manual, or the specialty tools. The tools you do need include open-box wrenches in common sizes (8mm to 20mm if your shit is made in Japan, Europe, or is new, 3/16 to 1″ if your shit is made here in the US, and is a little older). Be sure of which you need ahead of time, so that you don’t carry twice the shit. Also bring 3/8″ drive sockets in the same sizes, plus a ratchet and breaker bar. A pair of vice grip pliers, a pair of slip joint pliers, some needle nose pliers, and a pair of channelock pliers will be useful. Various sized phillips and flathead screwdrivers will be lifesavers. A decent prybar and a good sized BFH (Big Fucking Hammer, its a technical term) are always good. I would also throw in a bottle jack (powerful and compact) and a wrench able to remove your lug nuts. A razor knife is great in a pinch, and a cigarette lighter could prove useful. A pair of jumper cables will help if you need to transfer vehicles, or get yours moving again.
To go along with the tools, bring an 8′ length of hose, at least 1/2″ diameter. You can use this to siphon fuel from other vehicles. Some 3/8″ hose would be good as well. Between the two, you can replace a decent number of transmission/power steering type lines. A selection of various hose clamps won’t do you wrong either. Bring some solder and electrical tape, as these combined with the lighter will give you the ability to repair wire damage. Bring at least one tube of High Temp RTV Silicone, as you can seal all sorts of things with it. Also, grab a can of WD-40. You can use it to get water out of engine electronics or weapons, and you can protect metal from corrosion with it. Get a spare serpentine/V belt that fits your vehicle, as that is a quick easy fix if it goes. A tire patch kit is an affordable way to keep the rubber round, but you need a small compressor to go with it. I have one that runs off my cigarette lighter socket in my car. It kinda sucks, but it puts air in tires, so it stays. Bring a gas can along so that you can gather as much fuel as possible whenever possible. Also, bring a couple quarts of your vehicles specific engine oil, tranny fluid, power steering fluid, and brake fluid if you have room.
Remember, you can always replace one vehicle with another on the road. You can’t replace yourself. If your shit is hard busted, leave it and move on. You can always come back for gear if you need to. If you don’t have room for a lot of tools and shit because you have a 5 seat car and 4 kids, two dogs, and a hamster to pack in, then don’t take the tools. Tools without any parts won’t help you much, and parts with no tools won’t do shit for you either.
Just some thoughts,