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5 Must Have Survival Skills For Car Preppers

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During an emergency situation, having your prepper vehicle on standby is obviously crucial to long-term survival. However, a few custom modifications on your van and a fully stocked bug out bag will only take you so far. Being a serious survivalist will also require you to upgrade your physical and mental preparedness as well. Many people want to know some of the other critical survival skills for Car Preppers. Just like anything else, when total preparation meets opportunity, often good things can happen.

Here are the 5 must-have survival skills for Car Preppers:

  1. Mechanical
  2. Lock-Picking
  3. Astronomy/Navigation
  4. Gas Siphoning
  5. Geocaching

1) Mechanical

Picture of a engine


As a Car Prepper, you will need to master the art of self-sufficiency and turning lemons into lemonade. In this case, the lemon is when your vehicle ultimately has a breakdown or begins to malfunction. Whatever model of  bug out vehicle you chose, you should become an expert on every aspect of it, including the engine, suspension, circuitry, etc. Begin sourcing spare parts that are hard to find and research the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations. Keep repair manuals handy and store backups of critical car components onboard at all times.

2) Lock-Picking

Man picking lock using tools


Learning the basic mechanics of locking mechanisms and how to bypass them could be an extremely valuable skill to use during a catastrophe. Often Car Preppers may find a need to bypass their own security locks for a variety of reasons. Lock picking is also a skill that promotes critical thinking and pattern recognition, which are both skills that could serve you well when you need them most. There are many different types of lock configurations, so it may not be possible to master all of them, but at least knowing some common types can help you become better prepared.

3) Astronomy/Navigation

Stars in a night sky and a snowy road


Finding your barrings while driving is important, particularly if you find yourself without a compass in your car. Many preppers rely on keeping a physical map in the glove compartment but can easily overlook having a backup method for determining directions and navigation. Also, keep in mind that there may come a need to travel off-road, meaning you will drive in remote areas that do not have an overpass or directional signage. Using the stars to determine direction is a skill-set as old as time itself, and a survival must-have for all serious Car Preppers.

4) Gas Siphoning

Old car with potentally gas in the tank


There may come a time when you need to extract gasoline from your own vehicle, as a means of heat, cooking, or even protection from wildlife. Siphoning gas is the process of using clear hoses of multiple lengths to reverse pump fuel from a tank into an external container or gas can. While the fuel siphoning process is pretty straightforward, knowing how to accomplish this critical task on the fly could make a substantial difference in your ability to press forward to another day.

5) Geocaching

Geocaching device


Serious Car Preppers know that long-term survival can hinge on pre-planning and stashing goods away in remote caches, in case SHFT. In fact, having supply sites that are well hidden helps protect you if somehow you were to lose your vehicle. Geocaching is used as a recreational game of GPS hide and seek during normal times, but during a disaster, it provides you with the global coordinates to potentially life-saving supplies.


While this list only included five of the top skills recommended for all Car Preppers, you can never put a limit on learning, as there was many others that are also essential. Consider learning about ways to physically secure your bug out vehicle as well.

The name Rugged Man was born out of a bet gone horribly wrong, however, the name stuck. Technology nerd by day, and survival enthusiast by night, he is committed to helping thousands of everyday people become more educated about topics such as Prepping, Survival, and Bug Out Strategies.

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