Bug Out Vehicles

Bug Out Truck Upgrades: Accessories For Your 4X4



Feature | Bug Out Truck Upgrades: Accessories For Your 4X4 | Truck Accessories

No matter the apocalyptic situation, escape is possible with these truck upgrades. Check out the accessories you need for a more solid bug out truck! When you need to bug out, a tough and reliable vehicle is an absolute necessity — just like food, shelter, water, and clothing. That's why a 4×4 pick-up truck is one of the most popular choices for a bug out vehicle. However, a stock or standard truck might not be enough to withstand the roughest terrain and grueling conditions you'll face along the way. Below are truck upgrades that will help you get away from a violent riot or a relentless surge of zombies and bring you to your destination alive and well.

Truck Upgrades: Monsterize Your Vehicle


1. Upgrade Tires

Upgrade Tires | Bug Out Truck Upgrades: Accessories For Your 4X4 | Truck Accessories

Most truck manufacturers put standard all-season tires on every vehicle they produce. They fit trucks with soft sidewalls and mild tread patterns. These tires will work well on paved roads, but when you need to go off-road, you'll need something more durable and sturdy.

You need tires that can take cuts from sharp rocks or intrusion by branches — a set of tires that will keep you running in snow, mud, or on any rough terrain. With this in mind, look for a tire with a wider footprint, fatter siping and lug treads, and rock ejectors.

2. Suspension Lift

Suspension Lift | Bug Out Truck Upgrades: Accessories For Your 4X4 | Truck Accessories

If your truck has limited ground clearance, you'll experience problems driving over rocks, debris, or even random zombies. Installing a suspension lift will provide you with immediate relief. However, you have to be mindful of the size of the lift that you add.

Every inch of lift will give your truck around 3% more drag. The higher the drag, the more it will hit your fuel consumption. When you're in a survival situation, your vehicle needs to be fuel-efficient. Adding two to three inches of suspension lift is ideal for your bug out truck. It will give you sufficient clearance with less drag.

3. Communication Equipment

Communication Equipment | Bug Out Truck Upgrades: Accessories For Your 4X4 | Truck Accessories

When you find yourself in a real survival situation, it'll be difficult to find a cell phone or internet connection. Still, it's important to keep in touch with other survivors. That is why adding a good and high-quality CB (Citizen's Band) radio to your truck is a smart move. Having reliable communication equipment during SHTF moments is as essential as storing water and stockpiling food.

4.  Winch and Recovery Equipment

Winch and Recovery Equipment | Bug Out Truck Upgrades: Accessories For Your 4X4 | Truck Accessories

You have to prepare for any unexpected circumstances in times of SHTF. Driving under bizarre conditions is one of them. You may have to run over rough terrain that offers a lot of challenges.

In the event your truck becomes stuck, having a winch and recovery equipment will make it easier to pull your vehicle to the solid ground. A jack, shackles, and a couple of recovery straps can help you get out of sticky situations. You can also add traction ramps to give your truck more grip in muddy or sandy conditions.

5. Skid Plates

Skid Plates | Bug Out Truck Upgrades: Accessories For Your 4X4 | Truck Accessories

Skid plates are also important to add to your truck upgrade ideas. Install skid plates over the major parts of the undercarriage to give your rig the protection it needs to handle the roughest terrain. Adding plates in the front will protect the steering, front axle, and the bottom of the truck's engine. Mid-section plates will guard brake and fuel lines, while the rear skid plates will protect the gas tank from rocks that can severely damage it.

6. Grille Guard

Grille Guard | Bug Out Truck Upgrades: Accessories For Your 4X4 | Truck Accessories

In a survival situation, while you're running away from the unruly mob or want to get out quickly from a zombie-infested area, it's possible you'll crash into a fence or hit an animal or trees. The impact can cause damage to the radiator, headlights, and other important parts of your vehicle.

That is why adding a grille guard is a must to provide your truck with the protection it needs against collisions. Additionally, grille guards are not only designed to absorb impact and minimize damage to your truck, but they also provide you with a place to install other cool truck accessories such as a winch and auxiliary lights.

7. Truck Snorkel

Truck Snorkel | Bug Out Truck Upgrades: Accessories For Your 4X4 | Truck Accessories

One of the most important things on this list of truck upgrades is a snorkel. We all know that water can be extremely damaging when it enters the engine, and in a survival situation, you may have to do a water crossing. Installing a snorkel in your bug out truck will prevent water from getting into the engine. A snorkel will also allow your engine to breathe cleaner air in dusty conditions. This allows your truck to achieve better performance and be more fuel efficient.


Having a bug out vehicle during SHTF is absolutely one of the best ways to stay alive. Watch this video from Canadian Prepper and find out if using a truck is better than an SUV:

A tougher and sturdier truck is an extremely vital part of your survival needs. When you have to traverse rugged and rough terrains or cross a river, a well-modified truck fit for conditions like these will increase your chances of getting to your bug out spot safe and fast. Truck upgrades such as installing beefier tires, adding suspension lifts, snorkels, and grille guards will make your bug out truck a dependable vehicle when SHTF.

Do you know other upgrades that can make your truck tougher? Share it with us in the comments section below! 

Placard | Bug Out Truck Upgrades: Accessories For Your 4X4 | Truck Accessories

Up Next: Best Bug Out Places in the United States


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on October 25, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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  1. Will K.

    November 7, 2017 at 1:16 PM

    Grille guards or brush guards are considered to be “Damage Multipliers”, and should not be on this list at all. A high-quality front and rear bumper from a well established fabricator is the best option. All-Pro, Relentless Fabrication, Shrockworks, Demello, Pelfreybuilt, and CBI Offroad all make quality bumpers for off-road oriented trucks.

    • Anonymous

      November 7, 2017 at 2:51 PM

      You obviosly are buying bullshit equipment, i had 1 go through 4 mooses a elk and 2 accidents one when my truck was parked and someone did a head on collision. My truck has minor damage their truck was toltaled.

      So you obviosly dono what your talking about. As a moose and elk are larger in height and width lenght tha a horse and weigh massive amount and would have wrecked my truck.

      Btw mine is barley but STILL FINTIONING and the only damage i recieved was when the dude toltaled his truck on mine.

      • Anonymous

        September 1, 2018 at 9:16 PM

        Bull bars and wrap around guards are worth the investment. I had a young fella ram the front right side of my truck with his car. His said; “You have no damage but my front end caved in.”

        Low budget, perhaps get the little things first: fire extinguisher, spare filter and pully belts, a shovel, hatchet, air compressor, old carpet for traction if stuck. Toe rope or webbing. 12″x12: block for the base of your jack. First aide kit, dependable flashlight, communication.

  2. Art Northrup, Jr.

    November 7, 2017 at 2:21 PM

    > “Grille guards or brush guards are considered to be “Damage Multipliers”, and should not be on this list at all.”

    Depends on what you’re using — a cheap aftermarket product that will bend back into the body of your vehicle, or one designed for the rig. I have a 2nd Generation Dodge Ram 2500HD 4×4 (Cummins diesel) that I bought new, and I bought the optional Dodge “brush guard” too. It’s curved to match the curve of the grille (so you can open the hood without smashing your fingers) & has mounting points for two lights that sit back far enough they won’t be broken by hitting small trees or underbrush. The guard is mounted to the frame in 4 places, underneath the front bumper (left & right frame rails) & thru the heavy front bumper. As to how strong it is, a gal ran a stop-sign & ran her car right into the front of my truck. Didn’t even scratch the paint on the brush guard — but the front of her car folded up like an accordion & her car had to be hauled away on a wrecker.

  3. Anonymous

    March 19, 2018 at 5:31 PM

    My boss at the car dealership called grill guards and etc trinkets. If you want tough get someone to fab it up for you. Snorkels are also a trinket if it is not made well and installed right and it is big enough to feed enough air to feed your motor. Another craptastic trinket of a snorkel is that many vehicles have computers in the engine gets wet so does the computer then you are screwed.

    • Midnight Rider

      March 24, 2018 at 11:54 AM

      That’s why you own a vehicle that doesn’t operate with a computer. I’ve got a 77 chevrolet Scotsdale, 3/4 t. Building custom “cow catcher/deflected for the front. My 12k steel cable winch is mounted on top if the back bumper. If you drove into a mss, isn’t it better to go backwards and fund a diff path rather th g as n go deeper into triuble? Full protective skid plates inderneath. Beefed up the core support and hood. Cb radio mounted to interior roof in case water from fording rivers. Fuse panel sealed to waterproof status. HEI ignition and a gel battery. Upgraded locking hubs. Steel plates behind seat, inside doors and in floor. Tires have new technology puncture resistant protection added. Anything I’ve forgotton, shoot me an email.

  4. Frank

    March 24, 2018 at 2:19 PM

    Move makes nice affordable prefab bumpers that you can have configured how you want and then you have to weld it yourself or have it welded. Traction bars/axle wrap bars are another good mod for leaf spring trucks, to help with wheel hop in soft dirt/sand. Diff. Lockers are a huge help with a 4×4 Offroad making it a true 4×4. Bed box with a built in fuel tank is good for extra fuel storage and can be plumbed in to the factory tank or have a transfer pump. Plus the tool box gives you extra lockable storage space. Dual batteries are another good upgrade if you have the space. Changing all the bulbs interior and exterior is good for less power use while the engine is off. Led light bars are helpful in dark night time scenarios. On board air or a small portable 12v air compressor for air tires up after a flat repair or air downed tires. Heavy duty diff. Covers are good to keep from damage stock ones on rocks or hard objects that can make a hole then you lose all your diff. Oil. A winch on a hutch set up so you could use it in front or back of truck depending on what direction you need to winch out. Good wheels that don’t pack up with much and debris are another good thing to look at. A full size spare tire is also a must have. Need a jack that’s big enough to lift a lifted truck and the correct tire changing tools.

  5. Eddy

    March 24, 2018 at 2:57 PM

    I always look for upgrades for my Honda Ridgeline but never see any thing on the market.

    • Shane

      March 25, 2018 at 12:13 AM

      That’s because you need a truck. That could handle the weight of these upgrades.

    • Randy Baldauf

      September 1, 2018 at 8:31 PM

      Hate to say this but the Ridgeline is NOT a truck and it can barely be considered an SUV. Most companies won’t waste time and money in R & D for it.

  6. Tim

    March 24, 2018 at 5:49 PM

    All those upgrades are useless if there is an EMP strike, If you’re gonna upgrade your rig make sure it is old enough to stow the critical components in a faraday crate so you can bug out and not just have a nice Junker in the yard.

    • Micheal

      August 29, 2018 at 11:27 PM

      I wondered if someone was going to address this issue! If an EMP strike were to happen, we would probably be just as well off by sheltering in place.

      • Mike

        September 1, 2018 at 11:12 AM

        Agree unless there is the possibility of radiation contamination… EMP almost puts 70% of the prep’ers in a none mobile situation.. An old vehicle is always a plus if it is in running condition.

      • Anonymous

        September 3, 2018 at 10:06 PM

        Thank You for your advice and wisdom! Will follow your advice. James

  7. Mity Cheese

    March 27, 2018 at 3:47 PM

    A suspension lift does not increase your ground clearance. only larger wheels/tires will. a lift will, however allow for that extra sized wheel/tire.

    • skip

      September 1, 2018 at 5:31 PM

      suspension lift provides additional clearance to mount larger tires

  8. michael

    March 31, 2018 at 6:00 AM

    The point(s) has been made, go for quality, not cheap! Lots of good point actually.
    How about editting your comments and using the spell checker, so the rest of us can understand what you are saying without an interpreter?

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  10. Chuck Cochran

    September 1, 2018 at 12:46 PM

    Sorry, but most of this is crap. Nothing stands out like a sore thumb like a monster rv rig. Yep, let’s advertise that we’re prepping. Idiocy really.

    • Bigg D

      September 3, 2018 at 11:11 AM

      Depends on where you are. In my state of, they’re not uncommon and would draw little attention.

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