Bug-Out with Tent? Trailer? Other?

Guest Post: by Hal

Modern motor homes can cost several thousand dollars. Travel trailers, especially some of the fifth wheelers can go for the price of an inexpensive home. With the slide-outs and other amenities they will provide a high level of luxury to the owner. But, they are not realistic answers to a survival shelter if a person must bug out when TSHTF. Let’s consider some options available to the average guy under such circumstances.



Tents, say a six person pop-up for example will provide a compact, inexpensive degree of privacy and shelter from the weather under normal circumstances. It won’t take up a lot of valuable space in the SUV and can be set up virtually anywhere there is a campground (especially the so-called primitive ones). They’re used by camping families around the country all the time. They can be set up in a town park if a person found himself stuck in the suburbs somewhere and there were no motel rooms available.

There are numerous problems with considering using a tent under social breakdown conditions however. A tent will provide no security. They make poor living quarters for long term use. They’re hot in warm weather and hard to keep warm for long periods of time when the weather gets cold. And they’re not overly durable.


Travel trailers

Travel trailers can offer the conveniences of a small efficiency apartment. They make a good choice during breakdown conditions but they require a potential owner to be willing to lay out the money for a medium-size pick-up or Chevy Suburban type vehicle to pull it. These cost big bucks if you don’t already have one; are expensive to drive and will demand having that much more extra fuel to get to your ultimate destination.

The travel trailer will be difficult, if not impossible to negotiate through panicky traffic in those immediate, post SHTF highway conditions and on those back woods and mountainous roads you my want to travel on. They will also be a target for others who might want to appropriate the travel trailer for their own purposes.


Cargo and Bug-Out trailers rigs

This type of trailer may be the best option for the person wanting to get out of Dodge. For one, they can be pulled by the average car or small pick-up with a basic hitch. They are smaller, and subsequently more maneuverable. They can be pre-packed with much of your emergency/camping supplies thereby saving critical time when the decision is made to “book out.”

They are used regularly by landscapers and carpenter-types and won’t attract the attention of the motorhome/travel trailers. They’re easier to park in your driveway or side yard without attracting the unnecessary attention of the neighbors or town codes enforcement officer (no small thing).

Once at your destination – maybe a distant, small campground, friend’s back field or a lot you may own out in the hinderland you can set up the tent you also carried to handle chairs and folding table for meals and relaxation. You can set up an awning from the back of it for more useable space. You can set up sleeping quarters inside for the privacy and security hard walls can provide.

The cargo trailer option would not be the Waldorf Astoria but with a little creativity, could be a viable choice for the person who doesn’t have a retreat somewhere and can’t afford a big travel trailer.


  1. Another option, which I have ready, is a small motor boat. I have a 14 footer with lots of room into which I can throw a lot of equipment, including tents. Here in the Northwest, we have plenty of places to get away on the water.

    1. A survival shelter must be hidden from others. It is hard to “hide” a motor home or other. Going to “camp grounds” and other places where people used to go is not a good thing. There will be fights, looting and violence. Remember the more you have the more they want. I suggest having your Bug Out Shelter ready to go to where all you have to do is set it up. Bamboo is usually free and you can stockpile a lot of it and it will not rot like other wood. you can keep your ready made housing, try and get that motor home far enough off the beaten path and hid. That is the key to survival. Be UNSEEN!

  2. Check out their web site. They also make different types of steel shelters for survival.

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