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Survival planning: Pros and cons of bugging out in an RV and a tent
By Zoey Sky // Dec 02, 2022

As a prepper you have two choices when SHTF: bug in or bug out.

If you are dealing with a scenario like a long-term power outage, you can simply bug in or stay at home. However, if you're facing something like a hurricane, a wildfire or a nuclear war, it might be better to bug out or evacuate. Once you decide to bug out, you have to decide if you want to stay mobile or if you prefer to camp out in a tent as you head to your bug-out location.

If you're having trouble choosing, detailed below are the pros and cons of bugging out in an RV or a tent. (h/t to TheOrganicPrepper.com)

Pros and cons of bugging out in an RV

RVs are popular among preppers because you can bug out in one with your whole family. There's also enough room in an RV for your gear and supplies.


An RV is fast

If you want to prioritize speed while bugging out, an RV is the best choice.

Using an RV, you can get on the local interstate and cruise at 70 mph to escape whatever threat you're facing. In an RV, you can also leave your state within hours. (Related: Mobility or defense: Should you bug out or bug in when SHTF?)

An RV provides better shelter than a tent

A tent may be light and compact, but an RV will give you better shelter against the elements. If you're bugging out in winter, an RV will be more comfortable than a tent in the woods.

You can bug out longer with an RV than a tent

A tent won't hold up as well as an RV when SHTF.

If you have an RV, you have a mobile shelter that can easily transport your bug-out bag, gear and even a month's worth of extra supplies. An RV also comes with amenities like beds, a kitchen, a toilet, a shower and seating for your group.


If you have an RV, you may get stuck driving on a road. You can't get around traffic jams, dangerous roadblocks or washed-out roads.

An RV will also require fuel to keep moving. When disaster strikes, you might not be able to gas up like you normally would.

If somebody is following or actively looking for you, an RV is easier to spot.

Pros and cons of bugging out in a tent

If you prefer bugging out on foot, a tent may be a better choice.


It's easy to store 

If you're alone, a small tent can easily fit in your bug-out bag.

And if you're bugging out with your whole family, you can task one person with carrying a larger tent while the others carry supplies.

Tents are affordable

A large tent will cost about $300, which is easier on the budget compared to at least $30,000 for an RV.

Minimal upkeep is required for a tent

Tents don't need constant upkeep, unlike an RV which requires fuel and regular maintenance.

If you're bugging out on foot, you can easily get around man-made or natural roadblocks.

Tents make for true off-grid capability

When bugging out in a tent, you can truly go off-grid. After SHTF, you can hike to your bug-out location and set up your tent somewhere completely hidden and safe.


While a tent is affordable and compact, it won't provide as much shelter as an RV. Things might get worse if you have to bug out during winter and the weather gets bad.

If you choose a tent, you will still need to carry the rest of your gear, which might be a problem if you aren't physically fit.

Even if you're strong, you can only bring what you can carry on your back, so that means about 50 pounds of gear and food. If you're facing a long-term survival scenario, that might not last too long, even if you are trapping, hunting and foraging for food.

Before disaster strikes, your choice depends on what you're preparing for.

If you want to stay mobile with a secure shelter, opt for an RV. If you want to keep your gear light and walk or hike, a tent is a better choice.

Visit Bugout.news for more tips on the best bug-out gear.

Watch the video below for a list of 10 items you need in your bug-out bag before disaster strikes.

This video is from the Prepping101 channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

Bug out survival planning: Prepping a bug-out bag in less than an hour.

Emergency preparedness: Do you have a tent in your bug-out gear?

5 Survival essentials for your bug-out vehicle.

Sources include:




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