Consider this situation: A massive storm is bearing down on your city. A wildfire is quickly approaching. The local nuclear plant just had a melt down. All of these situations have happened. Yes, past tense. This is reality. It was my reality. More on that later.

but-out vehicle
Plan-B Bug-Out Vehicle

Exclusively on Survivalist! A guest post from Bennett at

Diversity is critical to survival. Mother nature proves diversity is an advantage through thousands of years of evolution and change. Your ability to survive a catastrophe may lie in having redundant plans for multiple situations.

Nature, and survival of the fittest, does not reward high performance and high maintenance. It rewards durability, low maintenance, efficiency, stealth, redundancy.

I know how important having a bug-out plan is because I lived through a real life bug-out situation. That unfortunate event was Hurricane Katrina. Some of the worst days of my life taught me some of the most valuable lessons I will ever learn. Here are a few pearls of wisdom I took from that event:

  1. Avoid what everyone else is doing. It is not enough to have a good car or 4×4 and a paved road escape route. Everyone will be using those same routes. Massive traffic jams are a death trap. The traffic jam cause by Hurricane Katrina spanned almost 100 miles in all directions. Fuel quickly became scarce. Credit card payment machines were overloaded and started to crash.
  2. Noise is deadly. After a grid down situation, the silence is deafening. Anything motorized makes noise. That noise is like a massive magnet for those who are desperate or seek to do harm.  The “have-nots” WILL take from the “haves”.
  3. Perception of weakness is your advantage. A large truck or RV full of potato chips, soda and ammo is the last place I would want to be. Wild animals do not attack other sick animals. They seek life giving minerals from other healthy creatures. A catastrophic collapse of society, like Hurricane Katrina, is a survival of the fittest situation. Mother nature takes over.
Wood Chipper Bars and Bar End Shifters

Given these real world lessons, your Plan-B bug-out vehicle should be simple, efficient, portable, and human powered. An ideal Plan-B bug-out would be something that fits in the back of your car or truck. Enter the Salsa Fargo and Bob YAK trailer!

Salsa Bicycles did not build this bike to be a doomsday life saver. They built it for one of the world’s toughest, and longest, endurance races. The Great Divide Trail spans 2700 brutal miles from Alberta, Canada to Antelope wells, New Mexico. The route has over 158,000 feet of climbing. It beats down both rider and machine with massive amounts of mud, rain, snow, extreme temperatures, rough dirt roads, mountain trails, grizzly bears, wolves, wildcats, angry cows, wild horses, and massive miles of nothingness.

Each piece of this machine was built to be serviced in the field, durable, stable, and to cover massive amounts of miles.

The frame is traditional steel. Cyclists know that steel is real. It dents but does not easily break. It absorbs shock. Steel can be welded or repaired with the most basic tools or welds.

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Reliable Cable Activated Brakes

There are no fancy hydraulics and no plastic on this bike. The shifters and the brakes are cable and lever actuated. When you are 100 miles from the nearest bike shop, the last thing you want is to break a hydraulic break line. A busted hydraulic line is a deal killer. No brakes means you will be pushing.

The shifters are bar-end levers connected by cables. This decades old design allows for the most maintenance free and reliable shifting possible. There are certainly more elegant and fancier shifting systems. Those are reserved for local rides where you have quick access to tools and your life does not depend on a quirky shifter giving you an attitude.

Large, Fat, Fast Rolling
Large, Fat, Fast Rolling

The 29er size tires will help you cover more ground in less time. Larger diameter wheels roll over bumps far better than the old traditional 26 inch. The larger diameter wheels also hold speed and momentum better. The knobby design is not for mud riding. The close in knobs allow for smooth rolling but still give enough grip.

Those funny looking handlebars are the gem of this bike. The Salsa Wood Chipper bar is a drop bar flare out design. The bar provides wide enough hand placement to be stable but allows you to drop down and tuck into the wind on rough days. If there is one thing that long distance adventure cyclists know, it is that wind is a killer. More than rain, more than snow, more than heat, wind beats you down, demoralized you and forces life threatening mistakes.

The Bob YAK trailer is an excellent addition. It attaches to the bicycle with the included real wheel axle skewer. It is also made of steel. The supplied waterproof dry bag is expansive enough to carry multiple bug-out bags. This cargo carrier is the tool of choice for many cyclist who set out across the continent and across the globe to test their toughness.

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Your Own Pack YAK

The combination of Salsa Fargo and Bob Yak trailer may be one of the most ideal Plan-B escape vehicles imaginable. It offers many proven traits of excellent survival habits. It allows you to avoid crowds. It needs no fuel. It is silent but it carries just enough supplies to make it to your safe house. The bike and trailer combo is still small enough to be stashed in the back of a truck or RV for emergency exits.

Between now and the dreaded bug-out day. The bike makes an outstanding touring and all round fun toy! I purchased both the Salsa Fargo and the Bob YAK trailer at deep discounts. The trailer retails for around $300 but I found this one for $100 in a used outdoor gear store. The Salsa Fargo came from a local craigslist advertisement for around $800.

Question: What have you done about Plan-B bug-out? How will you escape the masses in 100 mile traffic jam or a grid down situation?




Survival and being prepared should not only be a passion, it should be a lifestyle. The definition of a prepper is "An individual or group that prepares or makes preparations in advance of, or prior to, any change in normal circumstances, without substantial resources from outside sources" Like the Government, police etc. I don't believe that the end of the world will be the "end of the world" I believe it will be the end of the world as we know it now. You can also find me on Google Plus and Twitter

    7 replies to "A Plan-B Bug-out Vehicle"

    • James Epperly

      While I do agree with the point you are trying to get at, the fact is that the predators prey on the sick animals in the wild. It keeps the herd strong, and the predators fed. Survival of the fittest. In this case however, the perception others may have is that if you had anything of value, you’d have the big RV or the Suburban or Diesel truck and trailer. Mountain bikes are a very under discussed part of bugging out. Look at the VC during the Vietnam war. They ferried hundreds of pounds of gear to the south on bicycles down narrow trails in the heavy jungle.

      • Bennett

        Whoa! I never thought about the VC, and their bicycles, during the Vietnam conflict. That is an outstanding example of how low tech can be an advantage.

      • Bennett

        James, excellent comment on the VC during Vietnam! I never thought of that but it is widely documented that one of the greatest mechanized, and under appreciated, weapons of that war was the bicycle.

    • Heather Rodgers

      Excellent point. It is always good to have a back up plan, and a set up like this would be great. I’d have to look at other options, unfortunately, unless said bike comes with a passenger trailer! I’m a single mom with 2 children, so I would need a way to get them and all of our gear on the move. I’d really love to have an off-road buggy, with room for all 3 of us, our gear, and extra cans of fuel as well. In the meantime, it would be great for hauling the deer my brother bags back to his house 🙂

    • Bennett

      Off-road buggys are cool and maybe an excellent resource. They are often outside of a prepper’s budget. Consider a bicycle trailer that carries one or two toddlers. You can find low cost versions at garage sales, craigslist or department stores. For a higher quality model, check out the Burley brand of bike trailers built for small children or luggage.

      Apart from bugging out, bicycling is an outstanding way to keep your kids fit and strong while having fun. As soon as they are off training wheels, a young one is able to keep up on his own bicycle while everyone else is stranded in a traffic jam.

    • DK

      Really? “Wild animals do not attack other sick animals. They seek life giving minerals from other healthy creatures.” Predators usually go for the weak, old, and those less able to defend themselves.
      Even after a “grid down” scenario there will still be noise. Automobiles are not going to magically quit running, guns are still going to work, and people, all by themselves, make plenty of noise.
      This sounds like a sales pitch.

      • Bennett

        Thanks for your thoughts. It is always good to challenge the thoughts of others. It is best to challenge but support your challenge with something of substance, otherwise your comments come across as arrogant, uninformed or simply annoying and with no credibility. For example: Some wild animals definitely attack other sick animals. Sharks are know as being the cleaners of the ocean. Vultures and other birds of prey do the same. There is no magic to cars and guns. We know that grid down situations cause problems for machines of all types. Parts wear out. Electronics sometimes short out. Fuel and ammo gets scarce. All of which means that things stop working. A sales pitch by definition means that you are presenting an argument then trying to get someone to do or buy something. This article sells nothing and asks nothing of the reader other than considering the information for their own safety. Remember that those of us who volunteer our time, knowledge, and life experience do it to help others get informed and survive inevitable and unfortunate circumstances. Many of us have survived such life events and live to tell the story and pass on the wisdom so that others may do the same. Everyone’s comments are always welcome but it is best to stay positive, informed, and constructive. Do not be a jerk.

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