11 Bug Out Vehicle Electrical Accessories For The Apocalypse

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When it comes to preparing for an emergency, having a well-equipped bug out vehicle is crucial. This mobile lifeline can mean the difference between staying safe or getting stranded in a dangerous situation.

Equipping your vehicle with the right electrical accessories can provide additional capabilities, enhance its performance, and make it a reliable partner in times of crisis.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss 11 essential bug out vehicle electrical accessories every prepper should consider adding to their arsenal.

LED Light Bars

LED light bars are a must-have electrical accessory for any bug out vehicle. These powerful, energy-efficient lighting options provide superior illumination, making it easier to navigate off-road terrain and spot potential hazards in low-light conditions.

LED light bars can be mounted on the front or rear of the vehicle, offering increased visibility and safety for both driver and passengers.

LED light bar

LED light bars have gained immense popularity amongst the off-road enthusiasts and adventurers for their bright illumination, long-lasting performance, and reliability. However, it’s important to keep in mind that laws concerning the use of LED light bars differ from state to state.

While they are legal to use during off-road activities, some states like California and Texas prohibit the use of light bars on public roads. The reason for this ban is to ensure road safety and avoid any accidents caused by dazzling bright light bars, which may temporarily blind oncoming drivers or pedestrians.

States like Florida and Arizona have regulations requiring light bars to only be used in a particular manner, with a certain level of permissible light output and conditions for installation.

LED Headlights

LED headlights have revolutionized the way we see the road at night. With their superior brightness and long lifespan, they have become an increasingly popular choice for motorists looking to upgrade their headlights, especially for those who use their vehicles for emergency situations like bug out vehicles.

My LED headlights
LED headlights on one of our Jeeps.

One of the biggest benefits of LED headlights is the immense improvement in visibility. Their brightness and intensity ensure that the road ahead is well-illuminated, allowing for safer driving during dark or foggy conditions. This is essential for bug out vehicles, which need to navigate through unfamiliar and potentially hazardous terrain without obstruction.

Upgrading to LED headlights is a smart move for preppers who want to enhance their vehicle’s performance. These headlights offer brighter, more focused lighting than traditional halogen bulbs, improving visibility and overall safety. LED headlights are also more energy-efficient, which means they won’t drain your vehicle’s battery as quickly.

Overall, LED headlights are an excellent addition to bug out vehicles. Their superior brightness, long lifespan, and energy efficiency make them a reliable and practical solution for ensuring safety and visibility in any emergency situation.

LED Fog Lights

LED fog lights are a great addition to any bug out vehicle. These lights are a helpful tool for when visibility becomes a concern, specifically during low-visibility weather conditions such as fog, rain, and snow.

One of the most apparent advantages of LED fog lights is that they provide a wider, brighter beam than traditional headlights, which is incredibly useful when navigating through the elements. LED lights also consume less power than conventional bulbs, which is a crucial factor when designing a bug out vehicle.

In conclusion, LED fog lights are a valuable investment for anyone who owns a bug out vehicle. These lights offer outstanding visibility, durability, and the ability to conserve power and last longer than traditional bulbs, making them a practical and functional addition to any off-road vehicle.

Off-Road Capable GPS Systems

A reliable GPS system is vital for navigating unfamiliar terrain during an emergency. Off-road capable GPS systems offer detailed topographic maps and trail information to help you find the safest and most efficient routes. Investing in a durable, weather-resistant GPS device ensures you’ll always know where you are and where you’re headed.

When it comes to survival situations, having a reliable off-road capable GPS system in your bug out vehicle can be a game-changer. The importance of navigation cannot be overstated, particularly when you need to quickly evacuate a disaster area or find an alternate route when the main road is blocked.

With an off-road capable GPS system, you can explore backcountry routes with confidence, knowing that you can track your location, plan routes, and find your way out of any situation.

In addition to ease of navigation, an off-road GPS system can also provide real-time updates, topographical maps, and satellite imagery, making it easier to plan routes that avoid hazards such as fallen trees, flash floods, or steep grades. You can even set waypoints, mark your favorite fishing spots, and create custom maps to share with your friends and family.

It’s always recommended to have a map and be able to read it in case the lights go out.

IR Flood Lights

IR flood lights for a bug out vehicle offer several advantages that other types of lights cannot match. For starters, these lights emit infrared, which is an invisible part of the light spectrum. As a result, they are ideal for use during nighttime operations where visibility is crucial. Bug out vehicles fitted with IR flood lights can easily navigate through dark and harsh terrain without attracting attention from potential threats or enemies.

IR lights
Source: Baja Designs

IR flood lights only work well with night vision devices such as googles, monocular and some vehicle cameras. Night vision technology amplifies low light conditions, making it possible to see in the dark. When IR flood lights are used in conjunction with night vision devices, they increase visibility further, enabling the user to see even in complete darkness.

IR flood lights can also be used to illuminate areas without alerting animals or humans who may be in the vicinity. This can be very helpful during hunting, camping or survival trips.

In short, IR flood lights are an invaluable addition to any bug-out vehicle that can provide a dependable light source in low light conditions while keeping the user low key and safe.

Thermal Vehicle System

A thermal vehicle system uses advanced thermal imaging technology to detect heat signatures from living beings and objects, making it easier to spot potential threats or obstacles in low-light conditions.

A thermal system for your vehicle is also great for tactical situations where you want to go undetected and go in dark.

A thermal vehicle system is a valuable addition to any bug out vehicle. This technology utilizes thermal imaging to detect heat signatures and provide valuable information about the surrounding environment.

With this system, you can easily navigate through low light, low visibility environments that would otherwise be almost impossible to navigate. The information provided through a thermal vehicle system is especially useful during emergencies or natural disasters.

The upside to thermal systems is you don’t need the added expense of night vision devices like IR flood lights.

Power Inverters

A power inverter converts your vehicle’s DC power into AC power, allowing you to run essential electrical devices like smartphones, laptops, and medical equipment during an emergency. Choosing a high-quality power inverter with sufficient wattage ensures you’ll have access to electricity when you need it most.

If you’re a prepper or survivalist who’s preparing for the worst-case scenario, then having a power inverter installed in your bug-out vehicle is a must-have.The benefits of having a power inverter in your bug-out vehicle are numerous.

First and foremost, it allows you to charge your electronic devices and power your appliances, even when you’re on the road. This can be particularly useful in emergency situations where power might be out for extended periods.

Additionally, a power inverter can help you stay connected with the outside world by allowing you to recharge your phone, laptop, or other portable electronics.

Communication Devices

When it comes to emergency preparedness, having a bug out vehicle equipped with the right communication devices can make all the difference. Whether you’re a survivalist or just somebody who wants to be prepared for anything, having reliable communication tools can help ensure that you’re able to stay connected with the outside world, get information on the latest news and weather conditions, and call for help if necessary.

Some of the main benefits of communication devices for a bug out vehicle include the ability to communicate with emergency services, family and friends, and other drivers on the road. You may also need to communicate with other members of your survival team or check in with your home base in the event of a disaster or crisis.

There are a variety of different communication tools that you may want to consider for your bug out vehicle, including two-way radios, satellite phones, emergency beacons, and even mobile hotspots for accessing the internet from remote locations.

By investing in the right tools and taking the time to learn how to use them effectively, you can help ensure that you’ll be able to stay connected and informed no matter what challenges you may face while on the road.

Under Hood Welders

An under-hood welder, also known as an engine-driven welder or welder/generator, is a versatile tool for those who enjoy off-roading or have a bug out vehicle. This type of welder is powered by the vehicle’s engine and can produce electricity to operate tools and welding equipment. One of the main benefits of having this type of welder on a bug out vehicle is that it offers a reliable source of power that can be used in emergency situations where electricity is not available.

Under hood welder
Source: Premier Power Welder.

An under-hood welder can also save time and keep you moving when making repairs or modifications to the vehicle. Instead of having to tow the vehicle to a repair shop or bring a separate generator to power welding equipment, the under-hood welder makes it possible to complete the work on-site. This is especially useful during SHTF scenarios or in remote locations where getting professional help may not be feasible.

Finally, an under-hood welder can be a valuable asset in a survival situation. Whether you need to reinforce a structure or create improvised tools, having the ability to weld on the go could make all the difference. In summary, an under-hood welder is an essential tool for those who want to be prepared for any situation, whether it’s tinkering with a vehicle or surviving in the wilderness.

Onboard Air Compressors

An onboard air compressor is an essential component of any bug out vehicle. It provides numerous benefits that can significantly increase the vehicle’s capabilities, especially in emergency situations. First and foremost, an onboard air compressor allows for the inflation of tires on the go.

On board air compressor
This is the same air compressor, made by ARB, that I’ve run for years in my Jeeps.

This is incredibly important when traversing tough terrain or in hitting the road in a hurry. A puncture or leak can be quickly fixed with an onboard air compressor, meaning one can continue their journey with minimal delay.

Secondly, an onboard air compressor provides a consistent source of compressed air for various purposes. This includes tasks such as running power tools, inflating an air bed or floating devices, and even providing air to engage locking differentials or operate air horns, to just name a few.

Winches with Winch Cradle

A winch is a powerful tool for pulling your vehicle out of difficult situations, such as mud, snow, or sand. Having one will save you from digging your way out with a shovel. Equipping your bug out vehicle with a winch and a winch cradle ensures you have the means to self-recover in case of a vehicle immobilization. A winch cradle allows for easy mounting and removal of the winch, making it a versatile and practical accessory.

winch with winch cradle

A winch cradle is a mounting system that provides a secure and stable platform for your winch. It can be easily attached and detached from your vehicle, making it a versatile option when you need to use your winch on different vehicles. A winch cradle can also provide additional protection for your winch and help prevent damage from rocks and debris.

Together, a winch and a winch cradle can give you peace of mind when venturing into remote areas. It allows you to explore areas that would otherwise be off-limits and makes your bug out vehicle more capable in extreme situations.

If you’re building a bug out vehicle or just looking to upgrade your off-road setup, investing in a winch and a winch cradle is a smart move.

Bonus Item – Solar System

A bug out vehicle can be outfitted with a solar system to provide a number of benefits. One of the most important benefits of a solar system is its ability to provide electricity to the vehicle without needing to be connected to the grid. This is invaluable during an emergency situation when power may be out for extended periods of time.

Another benefit of a solar system for a bug out vehicle is that it allows for increased mobility. Rather than being tethered to a fixed power source, the vehicle can travel as far and as wide as needed while still maintaining access to electricity.

Imagine having your battery go dead when off the grid. With an automatic transmission, you’ll be screwed. A solar system for your vehicle can recharge your vehicle’s battery and be used as a trickle charge as well.

Overall, a solar system for a bug out vehicle can provide a number of practical and tactical advantages. Whether you’re facing a natural disaster, societal collapse, or other emergency situation, having reliable access to electricity can make all the difference in the world.

Bug Out Vehicle Electrical Accessories FAQS

Can I install these electrical accessories on any type of vehicle?

Most of the electrical accessories mentioned in this blog post can be installed on a variety of vehicles. However, it’s essential to verify compatibility with your specific make and model before purchasing and installing any accessory.

In some cases, you may need to purchase additional mounting hardware or adaptors to ensure proper fit and functionality.

Will adding all these electrical accessories drain my vehicle’s battery?

While many of these accessories are designed to be energy-efficient, using multiple devices simultaneously could put a strain on your vehicle’s electrical system. To avoid battery drainage, consider installing a dual battery system, which allows you to dedicate one battery to running accessories while preserving the other for starting the vehicle.

Regularly monitoring your battery’s charge and health can also help prevent unexpected issues.

How can I ensure the durability and reliability of these accessories in extreme conditions?

When selecting electrical accessories for your bug out vehicle, prioritize high-quality, weather-resistant, and rugged products designed for off-road or emergency use. Look for reputable brands and read customer reviews to ensure that the accessory can withstand the challenges of harsh environments and extended use.

Regular maintenance and inspection of your accessories will also help ensure their reliability during emergencies.

Are there legal restrictions on the use of certain accessories, like IR flood lights or LED light bars?

Laws and regulations regarding the use of vehicle accessories vary by location. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with local regulations to ensure compliance when using accessories like IR flood lights or LED light bars on public roads.

In some cases, these accessories may be restricted to off-road use or require specific mounting positions and configurations. Always follow local laws and guidelines to avoid fines or legal issues.

How can I learn to properly install and use these electrical accessories?

Many manufacturers provide detailed installation guides and user manuals with their products. You can also find numerous online resources, including forums, blogs, and video tutorials, that can help you understand the installation and operation process for various accessories.

If you’re unsure about installing or using a particular accessory, consider seeking professional assistance from a qualified technician or a knowledgeable fellow prepper.

Bug Out Vehicle Electrical Accessories Wrap Up

Equipping your bug out vehicle with these 11 essential electrical accessories can greatly improve its performance, versatility, and reliability in emergency situations. By investing in high-quality lighting, navigation, communication, and utility devices, you’re setting yourself up for success when disaster strikes.

There is a ton of bug out vehicle electrical accessories on the market to upgrade your survival rig. This list isn’t all inclusive, however, it does include items we consider to be something to consider when upgrading your survival vehicle.

Don’t wait until it’s too late – start preparing your bug out vehicle today and ensure you’re ready for whatever challenges may come your way.

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