By April 2, 2014 Read More →

Turning Your ATV Into a Survival Vehicle

ATV in the mud and dustWhat’s maneuverable like a dirt bike, can hold two people, and is more flexible than an all-purpose tractor? It’s an ATV, and it may be the only vehicle you’ll need once you settle into your bug out shelter. Whether you’re patrolling your perimeter, carrying heavy supplies, or plowing snow, an ATV can do as much work as a number of other vehicles. Getting an ATV ready for survival mode is simply a matter of preparing it to fit your circumstances.


ATVs were originally created to carry people across rough ground. Just because this turned out to be fun doesn’t change the fact that it can be a serious tool. If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, make sure you get one designed to carry two people. It will be sturdier and have adequate seat room and foot rests for the passenger.

As in all things prepper, stealth is key when it comes to driving your ATV around your property and on other land. If yours is cherry red or electric purple, it will be easy to spot. Get an adhesive skin to cover all the plastic body parts, and make sure the camo pattern matches the prevailing color scheme in your environment.

Hauling Goods

An ATV can replace a small pickup truck for hauling small loads such as firewood, crops, rocks, or personal items. An ATV will fit the bill while using less fuel than a pickup truck. In addition, ATVs are much more useful in wilder areas of your compound, such as hills, forest, and river beds. Look through ATV store websites to see what equipment you can add to your vehicle to make it haul-worthy. You’ll find trailers, saddlebags, cargo nets and multi-use bags, eliminating the need for a truck.

Replace a Tractor

If you have an ATV on your compound, you’re not going to need a tractor unless you are planning to cultivate a large plot of land. You can find accessories for your ATV that will convert it to almost anything a farm could need. Stock up on every add-on you think you may need, and switch them out as needed. A winch attachment will be useful for pulling dead trees or getting other vehicles out of sticky problems. Sprayers can be used for mosquito control as well as a possible self-defense accessory.

Setting up a compound in the northern half of the country? No problem. Get a snow plow attachment for when you want to reach the wood pile without slogging through snowdrifts. Add tire chains to get your vehicle through the worst snowdrifts. More farmers are converting from tractors to ATVs for their daily chores, notes Hobby Farms. Always go the with wisdom of those with experience. If it works for farms today, it will be a great asset to your compound later.


Author Bio:

Ronnie Blythe is a prepper, survivalist and dog lover.

Posted in: Bug Out Vehicles

About the Author:

The APN Guest Author account is the profile used for posting contributed articles by authors who write for the APN less than a few times per year. Authors who post more frequently are given a permanent account under their own username. To write for the APN as a guest author simply email us at

7 Comments on "Turning Your ATV Into a Survival Vehicle"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Jacob says:

    Good points about using an ATV. It’s affordable and relatively low maintenance as well so can come in quite handy in a survival situation.

  2. Lt Dave says:

    I disagree that an ATV can replace a tractor. I currently own both (in 4WD versions) and live in the forested portion of Oregon. Even the most powerful ATV (more power = less fuel efficiency)cannot do the work that a tractor can accomplish. Each has it’s place, but one cannot replace the other.

    • Willie says:

      Unfortunately you’ll have many who try.

      I have an old ford jubilee tractor. It does all my tractor stuff

      I have a 650 Kawasaki prairie… I’ve pulled more weight than an 800 artic cat… Bush hogged, even tilled a little once when the tractor was down… It took me 8 hours to do a 20×20 plot for a guy and get it decent. I perfer no till but we wanted to disadvantage the grass that was already there. My tractor could have done this in 10 minutes tops. My tractor can’t get the places my 4 wheeler can but my tractor can easily pull a trailer with a couple tons of wood anywhere I need it. My 4 wheeler not so much… My tractor can easily pull a whole tree out of the woods… My 4 wheeler not so much. But if I need to fix the fences my 4 wheeler is the go to. Put my roll on the front my tools in my box strap everything down and with the winch I can tug wire tighter than I’d be able to pull it. And it will stay there til I’m ready.

      Using my 4 wheeler for what it’s made it’s an amazing tool on the farm… But my 50 year old tractor beats it hands down when I need a tractor.

      And for the record my 50 year old tractor that I got 4 2 grand has out lived 2 of my neighbors kabotas (since I’ve had my tractor) and I work mine harder than he does his. I maintain my tractor maybe a little better but… If I need to pull a stump… Or if I need to pull a tree… I’m going to use the tractor I bought it for that purpose and guess what that old ford was built to take a beating. And it does easily. At one point I drove it about 20 miles to help a friend. It does what ever I ask of it. But I haven’t ever asked it to the job of a skidder or a combine. Because that’s a job for another tool.

    • AK-Bob says:

      I agree with you 100%, and I do own both as well.

  3. Michaellonesomewolf says:

    All you say is true . However , You will compromise your op/sec as soon as you start it up . I live about a mile from my nearest neighbor he has three ATVs . When he starts them up I can hear them every time . I can tell where he is going and even if it is in the other direction , I can hear it go for at least a couple of miles . This would tell all in hearing that you have gas and a ATV and exactly where you are . Its a recipe for an ambush or an assault on your BOL some night .

  4. Billy says:

    Turning Your ATV Into a Survival Vehicle:, The problem that I see with this, is if the ATV will run after an EMP attacked like all today’s vehicle the ATV’s have has electronic ignition which will burn out in an EMP attack. The way things are going in today world its not a question of if, but when.

  5. Carl Haggard says:

    You can put a stealth muffler on an ATV and it really quietens it.