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Left flat!

June 16, 2013
Off-Roading to Convict Lake Overlook (2011)

Off-Roading to Convict Lake Overlook (2011) (Photo credit: colleengreene)

Well, I get up yesterday morning and the fresh day begins with a flat tire on my BOV (bug out vehicle). Wow. That’s the first flat I’ve had on any vehicle in probably 10 years, thanks to decent American highways and streets that seem to keep themselves free of tire damaging objects, for the most part.

So, it occurs to me in the middle of the tire change, how many survivalists think of what kind of equipment do we have in our BOV to deal with a basic road side hassle like a flat? Key issues like breakdowns are sometimes overlooked by our concentration on the other things on one’s survival list, such as dried foods, water and so forth. You get caught by surprise in the off road boonies where a flat has a far better chance of happening, your whole bug out adventure just got a whole lot more complicated. If you have ‘typical’ over sized off road tires on your rig, the wimpy little factory jack the truck comes with will do you no good, as that joke of a jack will barely raise the truck up far enough on a paved driveway to get the tire change done.  Is your spare tire(s) the same size as the main tires? If you have left the factory spare on board, your BOV will now be lurching down on the corner where the flat was replaced, and will certainly contribute to ‘weird’ road handling and possibly due to the large diameter difference will cause axle or differential problems. And unless you’re traveling in a caravan of other off road vehicles with such extreme spare parts as an axle / differential assembly, you are now for sure on foot to your BOL (bug out location).  Notice that I mentioned spare tires, in plural? Spares for your BOV should, ideally, be stocked in pairs for items like tires which will be getting serious abuse during hard off road conditions. Also spares like fuel cans like a ‘jerry can’which hold 5 gallons or so but have a compact ‘footprint’, and are air tight.

You need a good local source, if you can find one, for off road gear, spares and modifications. If not find a reputable on line source. 

The vehicle jack you need for serious tire changing and other functions is this ‘High Lift Jack’ which can raise the average BOV with good offroad tires far enough to change a tire in the boonies. High lift Jack Is it radically crazy compared to the vehicle jacks you’re used to? Then, probably, you haven’t done much serious off roading, where everyone in the caravan typically has such. Because this tool can do a lot more than change a tire.

High lift Jack BOV extractionHigh lift kit

With the appropriate options, you can extract your BOV from a stuck situation, where sometimes even a front mounted winch option isn’t much help. Or in combination with a front winch, for really crazy stuff, like righting your BOV after a minor roll over.  As always, with items I source for my readers, look over the customer reviews for whatever you may have interest in, so you may decide if the item, if not at least the idea, is up to your standards of expectation. If, like the extraction kit pictured, the item has a ‘low’ rating, well fine, I wouldn’t buy it either. But, now that I’m at that source, I can search the same item and find one that has a better rating. And one other thing, ALWAYS practice / rehearse with your gear BEFORE you find yourself in a situation, as the raters of that kit find out as they unpack it for the first time, while their BOV is up to the door sills in muck.

Anyway, food for thought on your BOV preps today. The prepared survive.

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