You need to get where you're going and time is of the essence.
Now what should I drive?
Well that better be the vehicle you have with you. For some of us it's a pretty, shiny 4X4 SUV, others will use the family camper (a great idea if conditions allow) but most of us have plain Jane vehicles for getting to work or doing the running around town thing. I wanted my vehicle to be a bit more user friendly and pro-active while still blending neatly into society. I couldn't have it look like the War Wagon but it couldn't have all those prissy ground effects and plastic parts either. It needed to be a tool not a toy.
For my needs, I chose a pickup truck. I wanted an older truck with less electronic crap that I would have a hard time finding parts for and would be easier for me to work on myself.
I went with an older Ford Ranger. I had plans for a conversion and this vehicle suited me just fine. I found one that had "the look". It had a ding or two (or three) was scratched by years of regular use and nothing about it stood out. The type of vehicle that could easily get lost in a crowd. I liked that.
It was a Forest/Hunter green which would help me hide it should I need to pull off a side road and ditch (Sleep) for a while. It had a long bed with liner and this was crucial to my plans.
I had seen trucks with "Sleeping Platforms" and thought this was a great idea. As soon as I could bring things together, I converted this small lite duty work truck into my Camping/Hunting/Bug Out vehicle. The cap was held on with standard cap "clamps", I wasted no time removing them and replacing them with eight stainless steel carriage bolts run through the side rails of the truck body then sealed. This was for all practical purposes, part of the truck now....forever.
The truck was not lifted but had great clearance, firm shock absorbers, and a set of aggressive tires, this would help me avoid trash and debris in the road. It had a simple ladder type frame and standard suspension, but I had no plans on over loading it so this was of little consequence.
The inside of the bed was my main concern. I carpeted it very well to act both as a sound and temperature insulation. Then I constructed a simple ladder frame of given dimensions that I could make storage compartments under and a sleeping deck above. The compartments need to fit items I would be using a lot and needed to get at easily. I also had "long term" storage area up front for jack, jumper cables, tow strap and lug wrench. I hoped I didn't need access to these items on a regular basis.
The deck was then padded with industrial grade "high traffic" carpet. The color and pattern chosen to match the truck well, keep the inside dark and for it's ability to hide dirt/blood stains (this is a hunters truck after all).
The deck sleeps two adults with room to spare (some) and stores all the items I might need to take with me on a long term trip. Water, food, stove, lights, sleeping bags, tools, extra clothes, first aid, fishing gear, anything I need. A tarp is on stand by to act as cover and protection for the carpet when I put wet items in the rear.
Although this is not a "full sized" pick up, that is not a terrible disadvantage as far as I am concerned. The smaller size allows me to fit in some tight places and the vehicle gets good mileage giving me greater range.
The truck suits my needs better then expected. I am ready to camp at a moments notice or head out to the trout stream. I just throw a few odds and ends in the back and off we go.
In the event of an emergency, I am able to do the Bug Out Boogie across town or to the out back with very little prep time or heads up. Truck owners should consider the idea. Check on line for plans and ideas for sleep/storage platforms.
Watch your six