Prepper projects: 5 Ways to make an old car SHTF-ready
07/13/2021 / By Virgilio Marin / Comments
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Prepper projects: 5 Ways to make an old car SHTF-ready

An old car may not be as quick and sleek as a new one, but it can still take you places in a survival situation. As long as it has enough miles left and is in good condition overall, it should work as a survival vehicle. Here are five tips to make your car SHTF-ready: (h/t to

Stock up on food and water supplies

Your survival vehicle should be furnished with enough food and water supplies so you don’t get hungry while bugging out. Though you already have food and water in your bug-out bag, you should also keep extra supplies in your bug-out vehicle in case of an emergency.

Stock your car with food and water supplies before SHTF so you can hop in and drive the moment a survival situation arises. Excellent survival foods include dried fruits, peanut butter and canned vegetables.

Keep a first-aid kit

You also need a first-aid kit in case you or someone from your survival group gets injured. The first-aid items you need for survival include:

  • Gauze
  • Bandages
  • Sticky tape
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cleansing wipes
  • Antibiotic cream

You should also keep things like tweezers, scissors and safety pins in your first-aid kit. In addition, don’t forget to bring any medication or medical devices that you may need.

Perform routine car maintenance

Car maintenance is especially important for old cars since they’ve been on the road for a long time. Do the following to keep an old vehicle in working order:

  • Give your car a once-over every day and look for anything out of the ordinary.
  • Check the gas levels, transmission fluid, oil and tire pressure every month.
  • Bring your car to a trusted, certified mechanic for professional inspection every year.


If your survival vehicle is not what you use for work and other normal occasions, take it for a drive once in a while so it doesn’t sit idle for long stretches. If you leave it unused for a long time, its health will deteriorate.

When changing the oil, choose a brand that uses zinc additives to keep your car’s engine in good shape. Zinc bonds to the engine’s metal components to create an anti-wear coat that keeps everything running smoothly.

Keep alternative sources of power

You can use your car’s battery to charge your electronic devices but it’s a limited resource. If you drain your car’s battery of charge, you won’t be able to get around during SHTF.

To prevent overloading your car’s battery, keep solar chargers in your survival vehicle. If your car has enough room, consider storing a portable solar generator for more power supply. This extra electricity will come in handy if you need to take a pit stop and camp out for a night.

Install a two-way radio

You need to be able to communicate during a survival situation so you can call for help or communicate with your loved ones. Your best option for survival communication is a radio.

There are different types of radios that you can use. Citizen-band (CB) radio is low-cost and used widely. It has a range of up to 15 miles but works well only when the path between the radio and the receiving antenna is unobstructed.

A better option is ham radio, which has a far higher range than CB radio. The downside is that you need to obtain a license first before you can operate a ham radio.

The old car gathering dust in your garage can be converted into a survival vehicle that you can use to bug out when SHTF. Follow the tips listed to make your car SHTF-ready.

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