Bugging Out With Children?: The Last Ditch Bug Out Concept Wagon

Preparing for a potential Bug Out Scenario takes a lot of thought & time.  There are all kinds of factors to consider.  If you are preparing for 1 or maybe even 2 adults, you’ve got it pretty easy.  If you’ve got small children – now that’s a whole other set of criteria to consider. 

Ideally, if you and your family are ever faced with a Bug Out, you will be able to drive your vehicle (Bug Out Vehicle).  Since when are disasters IDEAL, though? You have to be prepared for the worse case scenario – Bugging Out on FOOT.  You very well may start the journey in your vehicle.  However,  a number of things could happen that might force you to continue on foot.  Among these are:

  1. Your car breaks down
  2. You run out of gas
  3. Traffic is jammed and you cannot continue
  4. The roads are destroyed and you cannot continue

This post will help to address the TRANSPORT concerns of Bugging Out with small children.  It’s just not realistic to take on the task of CARRYING your Bug Out Bag and your children and their supply items.  Ok, maybe you could do it for a few hundred yards, but much more than that and you are probably going to have issues.  For children who are too young to walk or too young to walk for very long, my answer is the Last Ditch Bug Out Wagon.

Imagine a Radio Flyer on steroids. 

Of course, a Bug Out wagon doesn’t need to be so ‘out-fitted’ to be effective, but why not go the extra mile and add some features to your wagon that can serve a variety of purposes.

  The wagon above didn’t start out so Bug Out-esque.  Beefy, rugged wagons like this one are available at many farm and/or hardware stores.

They come in many different shapes and sizes and vary in price as well.  The one I chose cost $69.  It’s made from a heavy duty metal wire with solid uprights and has off-road pneumatic tires which travel across rough terrain pretty easily – much better than the old school radio flyer wheels.  Some of the wagons even came with ‘no-flat’ tires.

I made several modifications which would make the wagon better suited for a Bug Out scenario.  The first thing I added was a PVC storage tube to the side.  This kit cost about $13 from Lowes Hardware.  It’s the same exact set-up I use for Burial Cache Tubes (I’ll do a post on Burial Caches later).  It’s just a length of PVC with an end cap and then a screw on lid.  It’s water-proof and incredibly durable.  You can use this tube to stash and store a huge variety of tools and/or supplies that you might need on your journey.  Below are some ideas.

Bottled Water in Storage Tube

Bottled Water in Storage Tube

Machete in Storage Tube

Machete in Storage Tube

The sky is the limit with what you could store in tubes like this.  You can also mount multiple tubes as well for more secure storage space.  This is a 3″ diameter tube mounted directly to the wagon with 6″ diameter pipe clamps.

The Bug Out Wagon wasn’t available ‘off the shelf’ in this camo color scheme, either.  I purchased some camo spray paint (4 colors – BLACK, GREEN, BROWN & TAN) at a local hardware store and painted it myself.  Here is a pic mid-construction before paint.

I painted it camo for several reasons.  The main reason is that if you ever needed to stash the wagon, it would blend in better and you would minimize the risk of theft.   You will also notice in the pics above that I have attached upright lengths of PVC.  I felt it was important for the wagon to have a canopy for protection from the elements. 

Children are more susceptible to exposure and the more measures you can take to protect them, the better.

  An overhead canopy provides rain, wind and sun protection.  3/4″ diameter 5 foot sections of flexible PVC provide a perfect framework for the custom canopy which snaps on to snaps along the sides of the wagon.

When detached, the PVC supports simply bend and store in the wagon bed.  These lengths of PVC are also very multi-functional and can be used for a variety of tasks in a wilderness or urban survival scenario.  They can be used as siphons or drinking tubes.

Also, when not in use, the durable water-proof vinyl canopy can be used as a ground cover or gear cover.  It could also be used as a water catch for holding rain water.

There are many different ways to accessorize such a wagon.  I outfitted this one with several useful products.  I added a mag-light mount to the front.  I wrapped the handle with paracord – you can never have too much of this stuff!  I mounted a small camp axe.  I also mounted a set of bolt cutters.  I decided to line the bed of the wagon with a heavy duty wool blanket.  This adds riding comfort and can also double as bedding.

The cage-style wire sides on this wagon are also MOLLE compatible – which I thought was very cool.  I added a MOLLE style First Aid kit to the side.  Additional MOLLE pouches and accessories could easily be attached to other open areas.  You can pick up MOLLE pouches at pretty much any ARMY/NAVY Surplus store.  You will also notice I added a military camp shovel to the back ‘tail-gate’.  This particular shovel has a built in saw and pick which adds to the functionality.

If you start out in a Bug Out in a vehicle, transporting a LAST DITCH Wagon is fairly simple.  The wagons are very light-weight.  Ours weighs about 30 lbs.  With a couple of ratcheting tie-downs, I secured our wagon to the roof rack of this SUV in about 5 minutes.  You will want to practice this in advance because every second counts.

Fairly simple and inexpensive solutions such as this Last Ditch Bug Out Wagon can have huge rewards in the long run.  Even with no accessories or modifications, a ‘stock’ wagon like this one could be a life-saver in a Bug Out On Foot situation with small children or even pets.  If you have small children, consider picking a wagon like this up and keep it at the ready just in case.  It could make all the difference.

I hope you’ve found this post useful. 

Last Ditch Bug Out Wagon

Last Ditch Bug Out Wagon

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,


Like Bugging Out? Subscribe for FREE now! More great posts in the pipe-line:
Delivered by FeedBurner


  1. Good post! I like the mods. Keep up the fine work.

  2. This is pretty cool and appears would be very effective.

    The only drawback I can see is how you put it on the roof of your truck. It is both empty up there and probably a bit cumbersome to get down.

    I would recommend getting a receiver hitch cargo carrier like this:

    Being behind your vehicle and easier to access, you could keep it stocked and ready to go much faster. A simple tarp and some bungees is all you’d need to keep it protected and secured.

    Kids are a hassle enough on an everyday basis. In an emergency situation (total chaos) that 5 min. putting that thing up there and getting it back down then the time to set it up and stock it would seem like an eternity.

    I should note, we always keep a two seat three wheel jogging stroller with an awning and under pan storage in the back of our BOV. Although, more for convenience than survivalism at this time.


  3. Takes a little more time but the garden cart rides much nicer if sides are removed and cart is placed wheels up. We pack our garden cart on many campouts to haul gear to the campsite depending on where we are going and how much gear we are packing – like to camp comfortably. The cart is also great to hold down gear in the back of the old pickup.
    The 3 wheel jogging strollers are great for rough trails. My son had many rides up switchbacks to the top of mountains in 1 when he was much younger. They are very maneuverable over rough trails.

  4. Gunship Cowboy says:

    Always wanting to keep things light, makes for less energy spent pulling. Don’t use Schedule 40 PVC for your carry tube. Use the lighter weight Schedule 10 drainage tube. Same outside diameter, thinner wall. It will give you the strength you need for storing items just lighter in weight. For the canopy tubes use 1/2 inch PEX water tubing. Its still flexible, will support the fabric canopy and is smaller diameter and lighter weight than the PVC you suggest. Like you preach elsewhere, conserve energy!

  5. Robin Smith says:

    There are also several sizes of game carts on two wheels which are super tough and maneuverable, plus they fold up nicely.

  6. I would recommend spare tires, a small toolset for repairing the cart, and a quick-detach harness, so you can pull it behind you hands-free. You may also want a bike lock that could be used to make it a little bit harder for someone to simply wheel away all of your stuff if you have to leave it briefly unattended.

    • Also, I was thinking if your vehicle has a trailer hitch, you could weld a hitch onto the side of one of these wagons, and haul it that way (wheels off the ground). They make trailer hitch cargo racks, but I haven’t seen any that double as wagons.

  7. rather than a wagon a garden/yard cart would be much better. they have better ground clearance and better for rough terrain, more maneuverability. less over all weight which means you can add some extra goodies for the kids, can utilize a small matt or cushion and lay it on top of your gear or bobs and let the kids lay on it and sleep.

  8. Rodrigo Suárez Groult says:


  9. Maryanne Vaeth says:

    I use one of these around the yard and garden…never thought of outfitting it for Bug Out! Thanks for sharing! Great ideas! Could also be used by older person to carry bug out stuff that they cannot carry on their backs!

Creek's new survival fiction novel, RUGOSA, now available on Amazon.com!