Skip to Content

Survival Campers

When bugging out, there are several different bug out vehicles to choose from and survival campers are a great on-the-go survival option. Whether you need them for winter camping, backcountry camping, or other types of camping, with plenty of storage available, survival campers are essential to make sure that you have what you need when you need it.

Tow your survival camper anywhere
Tow your survival camper to a safe bug out location

Bug Out Vehicles

A bug out vehicle is a vehicle that is designed for you, and your family, when SHTF. You’ll need a vehicle that can get you to your bug out location, or that can be packed with supplies to guarantee that you and your family can survive living off the grid. When it comes to bug out vehicle ideas, there are several options to choose from, and each one has its own list of pros and cons.

Bug Out Vehicle Options

When determining the best bug out vehicle for yourself and your family, it’s important to consider the purpose of the vehicle. Will you be using it to move your entire family to a new location? Or will it be your primary source of transportation and storage when SHTF as you live the nomad life? These factors will help determine the appropriate survival vehicle for your situation.


Remodeling a bus into a motorhome is a popular trend that is seen across all social media platforms as more families opt to both homeschool their children and enjoy the benefits of off grid living. There is ample space in a bus for the entire family as well as your survival gear.

There are enough options for this DIY project that you can guarantee every day will feel like summer camp. Buses can be fitted with everything, ensuring that your family has a supply of fresh water.

However, there are several downsides to using a bus as a survival vehicle. The lack of ability a bus has for off roading makes it less than ideal for a real camping trip. You’ll be severely limited as to where you can go in an actual survival situation.

Buses are loud and large, which means that they are not going to be inconspicuous. This leaves you as a giant moving target for other people in the midst of chaos.


A motorhome is another popular option when it comes to recreational vehicles. These are frequently used for luxury camping trips that involve the entire family. Because of that, these recreational vehicles already have a kitchen, living, and sleeping area. Most people will feel safer sleeping in a large vehicle instead of in a tent.

Aside from the larger space and already being equipped with facilities, these are not a great idea for a survival camping trip. Their large size makes them top heavy, and it will be difficult to take them off the road.

Because of their size, they remain a target for other people in a survival situation. The large amount of gas that they use also makes them slightly impractical when SHTF. Having the wrong bug out vehicle can spell trouble for your family.

Popup Campers/Truck Campers

These portable campers are an exceptional choice for both individuals and families. They fold up, and can then be unfolded to sit snugly on top of a truck. Truck campers were common in 1960s camping before RV’s made a splash in the industry.

Truck campers can be purchased in various sizes, ensuring that whether you simply need to store your survival gear or need a place for the camping crew to sleep, you can find exactly what you’re looking for. Portable campers have several benefits that make them an ideal choice for SHTF scenarios.

Benefits Of Using A Camper

 Popup campers make great survival campers
Popup campers make great survival campers

A popup camper is not necessary if you have survival skills that can get you through when SHTF, but there are several advantages to owning one. In addition to those advantages, there are a few key benefits that make a truck camper truly stand out on the list of survival vehicles.

Easily Portable

Because popup campers are designed to fold up, they are more portable than other options. Not only are they easier to move from one place to another, but they can also go with you to off grid locations that you won’t have access to with a bus or motorhome. Simply attach one to a 4 x 4 truck and you no longer need to stay on the beaten path.

Their small, portable nature makes the popup camper more inconspicuous than other options. Other people won’t see it from a mile away like they will a large bus.

The Additional Storage in Survival Campers Make Them Ideal For Surviving Off the Grid

Although you will not have the same amount of space that you would in a bus, you will have ample space to store your survival equipment. Larger campers are available so that your camping crew can have additional sleeping space. While they do not provide the same storage you would have on a luxury camping trip, they are ideal for a survival camping trip.

Camping Equipment To Include In Survival Campers

Once you have a survival camper, it’s important to make sure that it’s ready to go at any given moment. You should always be prepared for a SHTF scenario. Making sure that your camper is properly packed should be your first goal. Then, take it with you on a survival camping trip to determine whether you need additional things.

Camping Gear

Your camping gear should be minimal, yet cover what you will need for the weather. Camping shelters and campsites often provide things like fire pits, showers, etc. However, you will not have those in a SHTF scenario, so make sure that you look at that aspect of camping. Imagine that you will not have access to anything of that sort when planning what camping gear to include in your survival camper.

Camping Furniture

Camping from day to day is going to include plenty of activity. However, you’ll also have some downtime. Having a comfortable camping chair to relax in at the end of the day can be the perfect way to end a stressful day.

Camping Tent

You want to have some privacy while you are camping. Tents can also protect you from the elements. You don’t want to force the entire family to huddle inside the truck to get out of the rain. Instead, have a tent for each person.

It is also a wise idea to include makeshift tents created with a piece of rope and tarp. Make sure that tents are not big and luxurious to avoid attracting unwanted attention in a survival scenario. Most tents are available in camouflage colors.

Camp Stoves

In a SHTF scenario, you’re not always going to have gas for a camp stove. However, these can still be useful.

Rocket stoves that can be used with wood found nearby are an exceptional idea. Everyone should have one in their supplies. It can be used to keep a camper warm, boil water, and cook food. Most of these are sold in an aluminum-like color, which is also ideal. You want to avoid bright colors.

Other Mandatory Items You Will Need

Ensuring that you have additional water is important. There may be a period of time when you do not have access to fresh water. You’ll want to make sure that you keep an eye on your water level in each storage container as well. Knowing your water level will tell you when you need to fill them up again.

Food is something else to consider. Having non-perishable food is important. However, non-perishable food will only get you so far. Your stash in your bug out pack will not last forever. You’ll also want to include hunting and fishing equipment. (Include hunting and fishing in your skill-building activities.)

Solar power and solar batteries for power are other things to consider. Tools for navigation will be important. Extra clothes are another thing to include.

Testing Your Survival Camper

Once your survival camper is set for success, it’s time to test it out. Do not go camping at a local camping site. Instead, travel into the woods where you would if you were in a bug out situation. Plan to live off of the land. You’ll want to do this to practice both winter camping and summer camping.

Preparing For A Survival Situation

After you are sure that your survival camper is good to go, it’s important to remain proactive. You should continue to prepare and grow your survival skills for all possible survival situations.

Survival skills will be important. Skill-building activities such as rock climbing will be important. These are important skills to learn before SHTF. You and your family will need to know to look for larger rocks when rock climbing, and how to determine which larger rocks are safe to step on.

Investing in survival gear is equally important. Having backpacking packs or bug out bags will benefit your entire family. Dehydrated food and other items can be bought a little bit at a time.

Survival, camping gear
Survival, camping gear

It’s a good idea for preppers and their families to practice trial survival situations in their survival campers. During this situation, you leave in your survival camper or bug out vehicle of choice, head to a predetermined location, and then live off of the land using your survival skills and survival gear. This is a great way to determine what gear and supplies are still needed and to practice those survival skills.

The Bug Out Vehicle of Choice

Survival campers are the bug out vehicle of choice. Survival campers are inconspicuous, affordable, and provide all the additional storage you need for your prepper supplies and survival gear. However, it’s important to remember that you need more than simply a survival camper to survive.