DIY Bug Out Power Pack Upgrades

Here’s a perspicacious fellow who built his own bug out power pack, with a solar battery installed on the top of his ’78 Ford Bronco.

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Brandon Barton runs the emergency preparedness facebook page Last Man Projects.  He recently ran a two-part series detailing the construction of a DIY bug out power pack, which could be charged by a solar panel that he installed on the top of his 1978 Ford Bronco.

Having something like this is nice for camping, your bug-out truck, or running electronics during sudden power outages that aren’t expected to be long enough to fire up the gas generator.

 Barton built the marine-battery-based power pack for $210, which is significantly less expensive than an off-the-shelf solar generator, like a Yeti from Goal Zero, which can range in price from $500 to nearly $3000.  Features of the bug out power pack include:
  • 1,212 Watt-hours
  • Two 12V plugs
  • Two AC plugs
  • One 2.1A USB plug
  •  External battery post terminals
  • Adapts to solar, wall, and car charging

Additionally, Barton says,

 …my power pack can change batteries and run using a 12V battery scavenged from a car, ATV, or lawnmower. Capacity results will vary, but the Yeti can’t do that.

Image of Brandon Barton's DIY bug out power pack.
DIY bug out power pack. Photo credit Brandon Barton.

The secondary step in transforming Lucille was installing the solar panel on top.

To finish up this project, I wanted to mount a solar panel to Lucille’s roof rack with a charge controller that monitored the battery and kept it topped off. That way it would always be ready to use; I could take off in Lucille for weekend of truck camping and have power ready to go, or remove the pack from my truck during short-term power outages when firing up the generator isn’t necessary.

Image of solar battery attached to the top of the Ford Bronco
Bug out vehicle solar battery.

The total cost of supplies associated with rigging the $210 DIY power pack to a solar charger was $172.

  • ECO-WORTHY 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel – $114
  • ALLPOWERS 20A Solar Charger Controller Solar Panel Battery Intelligent Regulator with USB Port Display 12V/24V – $20
  • ECO-WORTHY 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel – $114
  • ALLPOWERS 20A Solar Charger Controller Solar Panel Battery Intelligent Regulator with USB Port Display 12V/24V – $20
Image of bug out power pack, solar battery tech
Bug out power pack solar battery tech.

You can Barton’s article about building the bug out power pack here, and about the installation of the solar panel here, both on

Bug out vehicles can also be two-wheeled, as in these badass bicycles,  up-gunned motorcycles, and the amphibious ROKON.

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News Desk

Reported on today by the News Desk. Our goal is to inform, educate, edify, and enlighten. Warrior-scholar or everyman, we believe everyone should think and be dangerous.

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