We are here to discuss the most important equipment, set up and accessories required on any Survivalist Pick Up Truck. This can be useful if you want to make changes or upgrades to your survival truck. If still in the planning phase, this information should be very helpful too. Keep in mind that different people have different reasons for setting up their trucks for surviving in. Also, different geographical locations demand different survival tools. So please understand that some of these suggestions may not be suitable for your specific needs.
First and foremost, just about any survivalist truck needs to be off-road capable. Most people will want to be able to go to remote locations in their survival machines. And in the end times, not-so-remote places can also become less accessible. So needless to say, you need some off-road capable tires. If you know that most of your time is going to be spent away from paved surfaces, then definitely go all out with MT (Mud Terrain) tires, aka mudders! If you intend to just get off-road occasionally and will be on paved roads most the time, then go for AT (All-Terrain) tires. They will have a much longer lifespan on the road. But of course, AT’s won’t be quite as effective off-road. You can also carry tire chains. These are incredibly effective if you are into some serious mud or snow. And if you are running big off-road tires, then you definitely need fender flares too. Otherwise, your tires will throw rocks and dirt against the body of the truck. Needless to say, this is going to take its toll on the truck. You need your pick up to last so best to install some good Fender Flares. They are available for most truck models such as the Chevrolet S10 Blazer, Toyota Tacoma, Hilux, 4Runner or Nissan Frontier. A winch is also a great piece of equipment for a survival truck! It can really save your butt if you’re stuck in the wilderness and can be used in other emergencies too.
Naturally, you will need lots of storage as well as a place to sleep in your Survival Truck. We recommend getting something more than just a fiberglass cap on the back of your Pick Up. Try to find a used custom-built canopy from a commercial pick up truck. The big box look might not be pretty but it should give you a lot of space inside which is very important.
If you decide to go for a simple fiberglass cap, then you will likely need roof racks. But we’d be concerned about security and convenience if you have things up there full time. You’d surely be better to build or modify a rack to raise the cap higher. You could start with a used pick up truck ladder rack, then mount the cap on top of that. Then build some filler walls between the bedsides and the cap. Also, consider insulation at this phase depending on location and season.
Very importantly, you need a comfortable place to sleep. Build a raised bed that will take up approximately half of the space in the back of your truck. Make the bed top flip up so you will have a huge storage space under the bed. Then you can build a floor to ceiling shelving on the wall on the opposite side of the truck. You will also have space for a countertop which will be essential for food preparation and lots of other work.
Your big storage space under the bed will be ideal for large items such as:
- Tools (both mechanical tools for the truck and wilderness tools)
- Fluids for truck, antifreeze, oil, brake fluid, etc
- Come-along (hand winch) in case you do get stuck. Can’t depend on someone else getting you out!
- Cooking stove
- Cooking gas
- Big water tank
- Possible a fold-up table for outside
- Fire Extinguisher
Let’s talk about safety! If you have any gas such as propane in the back of the truck where you sleep, you need gas detector alarms! Be sure to have them in the same storage area as the gas tank. Your truck will also need an extensive first aid kit. You should also have a backpack with essentials ready in case of the event that you do have to hike out for any reason. You need to carry plenty of water and get in the habit of re-filling it every chance you get. Carrying extra water is an extra weight that is justifiable. You should also have water purification options, even if just for emergencies such as iodine. Be sure to have emergency dry food that can be stored long. You should also be carrying extra fuel for the truck. It is not advisable to store this in the back of the truck with you though. You will have to fabricate a rack that you can lock the fuel canister into on the outside of your truck.
You will probably be running electrical devices off the truck’s battery more than you expect. You will need an inverter to do so. They are available, if different sizes depending on the load of the electrical devices you want to use. If you park in one location for long then you won’t be running the truck enough to recharge the battery. Depending on your electrical usage, and the amount of time you will be draining the battery before driving again, you will need to choose how you’re going to recharge. If you don’t use electrical devices and chargers much, then you should be able to get away with using a small solar trickle charger. This will very slowly charge the truck’s battery while you are stopped during the day. If you intend to be parked for extended periods of time, you will need more. Or if you will use high consumption electrical devices you will need more. You might consider having an extra battery the same as your truck uses. You can run your electronics directly off of it. You should get a more substantial solar panel for charging it. You can also swap it with the truck battery not only to maintain it but also in case your truck battery gives up the ghost. Choose efficient electrical devices. For example, any lighting should use LED and be rechargeable (you can find some cool stuff at Boogey Lights).
This is by no means an extensive list of everything you should need. As mentioned, your personal needs and your location will affect the specifics of what exactly you need. After fully preparing your own survivalist truck, it will be very capable in all respects. And with big off-road tires and fender flares, your survival pick up truck is going to look like a beast! Be careful, be prepared, and think things through!