Issue 01 2010 Toyota 4Runner Trail Edition – Bugout Truck Recoil Staff 0 COMMENT Escape The End Of The World Or Just The Daily Grind Whether you’re fleeing a natural disaster or an all-out zombie infestation, a properly setup truck can provide the key to survival. When setting up a bug-out vehicle, the important factors to consider include the environment, what you’re escaping, who with and where you are going. Although the needs of someone traversing mountainous regions differ from someone driving through flat, open country, the basis of good transport is a four-wheel-drive truck, no matter where you are or are going. Having four wheels drive your vehicle gives you much more control when navigating everything from debris to boulders. Four-wheel drive is more stable in inclement weather, as well. Vehicle size is also a factor. Be sure that the truck is large enough to accommodate everyone and everything you will need. Nothing would be worse than having to draw straws to see if you get left behind. Think ahead to where you will have to travel. For example, a large, wide vehicle might not be a good idea if you need to drive over narrow mountain passes. The vehicle should be weatherproofed and capable of sustaining you and the other occupants for at least the amount of time that it will take you to relocate to a safe zone. It should be reliable and have high enough ground clearance to get over obstacles. Because there might not be a truck that is perfect for all of these contingencies, modifying one to suit your needs is your best bet. Our friends at Four Wheeler magazine recently built up a great example of a bug-out truck, starting with a 2010 Toyota 4Runner Trail Edition. Its fulltime four-wheel-drive system coupled to a 4.0L V6 engine provides an excellent mix of traction, power and fuel efficiency. To further perfect the Toyota to meet bug-out needs, the Four Wheeler staff added a few modifications. They ended up with a truck that can get you home from a rough day at work or a rough day running from mutant brain eaters. 1. Side Auxiliary Roof Lighting Extra lighting is essential for seeing what’s around. A set of flood lights was mounted to either side on the roof rack of the truck. Floodlights can provide security as well as a good work site in dark areas. Brand: KC HiLites Model: 26 Series 2×6-Inch 55W Floodlights MSRP: $62 URL: www.kchilites.com 2. RoofTop Storage A roof rack can be especially helpful for storing anything that can’t be crammed inside. Use it to store extra survival gear, provisions and, in this case, temporary housing. Brand: ARB Model: Steel Touring-Style Roof Rack MSRP: $752 URL: www.arbusa.com 3. RoofTop Tent Being able to sleep 6 feet above the ground solves many problems. A rooftop tent is easily deployed and keeps your living quarters out of potentially harmful environments. This means no sleeping in the mud or finding a snake in your tent. The higher vantage point is a bonus. Brand: ARB Model: Series III Simpson Rooftop Tent MSRP: $1568 URL: www.arbusa.com 4. Oversized All Terrain Tires What you need from tires is aggressive traction. All-terrain tires differ from regular road tires in that their wide tread pattern is designed to shed large amounts of water, mud and snow. All-terrain tires usually have stiffer belts and thicker sidewalls that allow for better survivability over rough surfaces. Brand: Falken Model: 285/70R17 Wildpeak A/T Tires MSRP: $229 each URL: www.falkentire.com 5. Strong, Lightweight Wheels Wheels that don’t bend or crack are important for fending off rugged terrain. Lightweight wheels can also help you increase the distance you can travel by saving fuel. Brand: ATX Model: 17×8 Mohave Cast-Aluminium Wheels with Teflon Coating MSRP: $174 each URL: www.atxwheels.com 6. Truck Armor Armor protects your vehicle from obstacles that can potentially destroy the undercarriage. A rock slider is an important piece that protects the doorsills. A pair of rock sliders will ensure that you can open your doors even if the sills are impacted by boulders or ruts. Brand: EVO MFG. Model: Rock Sliders MSRP: $639 URL: www.evomfg.com 7. Suspension We can’t say enough about a proper suspension setup. A 2- to 3-inch lift over the stock ride height of most trucks allows for ample clearance without sacrificing driving stability. More clearance means better survivability on and off the road. Stiff shocks help with the extra loads the truck may need to carry and allow for better traction. Brand: Old Man Emu Model: 3-Inch-Lift Coil Springs Front and Rear; Old Man Emu Nitrocharger Front Struts and Rear Sport Shocks MSRP: Complete Kit $919 URL: www.arbusa.com 1. Forward Auxiliary Roof Lighting Night driving on unpaved roads can be especially hazardous. Safe navigation starts with being able to see far ahead. Having two different-powered lights on the roof rack provides for lighting flexibility that can be chosen for the occasion. Their high mounting position gives the lights farther reach over longer distances. Brand: KC HiLites Model: 57 Series 5×7-Inch 100W Long-Range Lights; 57 Series 5×7-Inch 55W Driving Lights MSRP: Long Range $198; Driving $163 URL: www.kchilites.com 2. Auxiliary Bumper Lighting Closer to the ground than roof-mounted lights, auxiliary bumper lights are unbeatable at piercing the night during long, dark drives. Brand: KC HiLites Model: 6×9-Inch 50W Long-Range HID Lights MSRP: $1266 URL: www.kchilites.com 3. Front Utility Bumper A robust front bumper capable of mounting a winch is a must. A solid bumper can get you out of trouble in more ways than one. Not only can a winch be used to extract your truck if you ever get stuck, but also it can be used to help other stranded vehicles. If you’re traveling alone in the outback, a winch is an absolute necessity. Brand: ARB Model: Deluxe Bull Bar MSRP: $1237 URL: www.arbusa.com Brand: Warn Winch Model: XD9000i Premium Series Winch MSRP: $1259 URL: www.warn.com 4. Extra Fuel Who knows when your next fill-up will be. In most emergency situations, fuel and other supplies will be hard to come by. Keep a good stash of your own fuel on your vehicle for this possibility. Brand: Expedition One Model: Geri Can Fuel Packs MSRP: $76 each URL: www.exp-one.com 5. Communications Keep up to date on emergency broadcasts with a communications system. Some choose to go with citizens band (CB) radio and some go amateur radio (ham). Whichever you choose, it’s a good idea to have something to communicate with. Brand: Firestik Model: Cobra WX ST 75 MSRP: $23 URL: www.firestik.com 6. Rear Utility Bumper Like the front bumper, the rear bumper can get you out of a few jams. A good rear bumper can mount additional gear, including your extra fuel tanks and an oversize spare tire. Brand: EVO MFG. Model: Rear Tire Carrier MSRP: Estimated $1400 URL: www.evomfg.com 7. 13-Gallon Water Tank Water is a necessity regardless of the situation. Beneath the rear of this vehicle sits a 13-gallon water tank in place of the factory spare. The unit was custom built using marine tank parts and water pump and is fitted with a hose connection.