When it comes time to get away from it all, being able to grab as many supplies as possible can be paramount. New areas offer different resources or a lack of resources, so what you have on hand can be the difference between going through the ordeal or not.
Most people think of supplies as what they can carry on their backs in a bug-out bag, but under the right circumstances, you can carry a lot more.
With enough warning, an evacuation trailer can be prepared to allow one person to pick up multiple supplies. More supplies can dramatically increase a person’s chances of survival and add extra comfort.
What is a Bug Out trailer?
A bugout trailer is an open or fully enclosed trailer and can be packed with emergency supplies. The trailer can then be connected to the vehicle and in case of emergency, supplies can be transported.
Building a Bug Out Trailer
Assess your skills
The first thing you need to look at is what kind of vehicle you own and what type of trailer it can tow. A small car tows a very different trailer than a full-size truck. Before deciding what to put in your trailer, research the vehicle you own and determine what type of trailer the vehicle is capable of carrying.
Also, don’t panic and dismiss the idea of a trailer just because you don’t own a large truck or SUV. Yes, a larger, more powerful vehicle will be able to tow a larger trailer, meaning more supplies can be packed.
However, larger trailers can have their complications and a small trailer will come in incredibly handy.
Finally, if you don’t own a traditional vehicle (car, truck, etc.), don’t dismiss the idea of an evacuation trailer just yet. Although not as large, trailers are available for alternative vehicles such as ATVs and even bicycles.
The next step one should consider is where the trailer will be stored. Ideally, the trailer should be pre-loaded so that it is always ready to go and as close to your station as possible. This means that the trailer should be stored in a garage or as close to your home as possible.
If the trailer is stored outside, the climate must be taken into account. Extreme cold, heat and humidity can affect the life of tools and consumables. Some stocks may come pre-installed while others have to wait until the last minute to load.
Keeping an outdoor trailer safe can also be problematic. A trailer sitting outside can often attract unwanted attention, especially if someone knows it’s full of expensive supplies. Take all necessary precautions, such as locks around the connection point and all access points, to keep the content as secure as possible.
Closed or Open
Choosing an open-sided roof trailer over a fully enclosed trailer will be a personal choice and will depend on your budget. Both have their pros and cons.
An open trailer usually has lower sides to make packing and unpacking easier. The open configuration will also provide quick access to supplies from anywhere around the trailer. The trailer itself will also generally be lighter and more affordable.
The biggest disadvantage of an open trailer is the general lack of inventory protection. Supplies are more vulnerable to the elements, and predators of all kinds, and could even fall off the trailer while travelling.
An enclosed trailer usually has solid walls, a roof and a door. This configuration will provide better overall protection from the elements and predators. In addition, an additional layer of protection can be added to the door in the form of locks.
The attached trailer may seem like the best option, but it is not without pitfalls. Completely closed makes packing, unpacking and access to consumables difficult. These types of trailers can also be much heavier and more expensive.
When assembling an evacuation trailer, packing it can be an important step. Look at trailer packing the same way you look at bug packing. Keep items that will be used the most or that may be most important outside of the trailer. Having essentials packed like this will make them more accessible when you need them.
If the trailer is not full and there is room in it, secure as many things as possible with suitable fasteners. Normal driving conditions can cause objects in the vehicle or trailer to move. During evacuation periods, travel conditions can become less predictable and more chaotic. It would be an unfortunate situation to find out later that supplies were destroyed or perhaps dropped because they were not properly secured.
Here is a short list of items that would be useful to have with your trailer.
Lots of ropes, straps and bungee cords to keep supplies safe inside and outside the trailer.
Invest in some large and durable sails. These can be used to cover and protect stock in an open trailer as well as keep stock “hidden” from prying eyes.
Don’t forget to bring tools and materials to fix any problems that may occur on the trailer, such as fixing a flat tire and a broken door or barrier.
More locks and keys. If the trailer breaks and the only thing damaged is the lock, a new lock will allow you to reattach the trailer and continue on your way.
Not all trailers are equipped with interior lighting, so it would be a good idea to have an extra flashlight to help you see what you are doing inside and outside the trailer.
Pros and cons of the Bug Out Trailer
- Fewer supplies have to be packed in the vehicle, opening up space for other uses
- It allows you to bring more equipment and supplies with you
- It offers more space for refilling
- Provides a secondary structure that can be used for shelter and general protection
- A quality trailer will be available for an additional fee
- It will need a place to store it when not in use
- Trailers can be easily stolen or broken into
- They can attract unwanted attention, especially during an evacuation situation
- Driving a trailer takes a bit of learning
- There will be places where a vehicle can go where a trailer cannot
An evacuation trailer can be an asset worth investing in when carefully researched and assembled. It makes it possible to transport much more supplies than would otherwise be packed into a single vehicle.
The extra supplies provided by the trailer mean less energy and time wasted searching for supplies and keep you running longer without having to restock.