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Hey everyone. This is my first Instructable, so please don't be too harsh. :)

I'm gonna teach you some mods I've done to my bike, which unintentionally and accidentally turned into this crazy survival bike. It basically turned into a fully self-sustainable bug out "battle bike" quite by accident. LOL

So one day my girlfriend wanted me to get a bike, so we could go riding along the various beaches of southern California together. I picked up a mountain bike of Craigslist for $30. It was a shiny, sparkly deep purple mountain bike. I don't have a picture of the bike's original paint job, but trust me, it was ugly. Ha!

Step 1: New Paint!

So once I had the bike at my house, I decided to give it a better paint job. One that more reflects my personality.

First thing I did was spray the whole bike down with degreaser. I then sanded it all down with 400 grit sandpaper. Next I coated the entire thing (chain, wheels, and every visible surface, except the gel seat) with various flat camouflage paints. It's important to understand proper technique on how to break up the pattern of straight lines. Making certain colors touch, others not, and the proper way to counter shade makes or breaks a successful camo paint job. I tried to get rid of all major black surfaces, as there is no black in nature. I also added a lighter rust brown after these 2 pics were taken.

I think it turned out pretty well. Remember, this was meant to be just a bike to cruise around on with my girlfriend around the beach.

Step 2: Bike Rack

I figured if we were going to be cruising around long distances, I should install a rear bike rack, in case we need to bring any supplies with us to the beach (eg: towels, food, water). So I bought a Bell rear rack, and 2 collapsible metal pannier cage thingies. These things are super strong, fold flat (as you can see in the picture, the left side is collapsed, and the right is expanded), and they're generally pretty nice for the price. I added a waterproof bag that my father brought home from his time in the Army during the first Desert Storm. Not sure what it was used for, but it has a heavy duty zipper, and is rubberized. That lays flat under the spring loaded "clasp" on the top of the bike rack, and has extra cables for my bike, should one break, and I've used it to store other "flat" things on occasion, such as rubber gloves and a hand towel.

I'm going to weld the rack straight to the bike frame mounting points, because I do not like the 6 small nuts and bolts that hold it upright. They can wiggle loose, and I want/NEED a more solid base in case I carry a heavy load. I'll have to clean my paint job off to weld to the metal, I know, but I'll repaint afterwards, and it'll be fine. Sorry I only have the 1 pic, but you can see in the first 2 title pics how my rack is set up.

If you're wondering about the little camo box on the left side of the bike rack, it holds a pair of binoculars in a ziplock, for nature rides with my girlfriend. :) I'm going to get a smaller, just as/if not more powerful pair of binos eventually.

Step 3: Accessorize!

After the rack, I sort of went nuts adding lots of accessories, but trying to make sure I had all bases covered, in case we were camping and brought our bikes. I want my bike to be fully self sustainable no matter what emergencies arise.

1st Picture: I hooked an M249 ammo pouch to the handlebars, to hold my military issued mess kit (in case we want some hot stew or something out on a trail).

2nd Pic: Inside the deep "pot" of the mess kit, I have a combination cutlery tool, waterproof matches, a couple Bic lighters, ferro rod, various tinder to start fires, and some fat wood. I also have a small journal with pencil in a Ziploc, that slides into the ammo pouch behind the mess kit.

If you're wondering what that black tube is, it's a section of cable protector from my bike. I've used it to reignite coals in the morning after a fire. Or can be used as a straw I guess.

The green package next to the mess kit is a large military issue bandage, that can also be used as a sling in case someone breaks an arm or something.

3rd Picture: So on top of the handlebars, I made this little canvas pouch to accept an A.L.I.C.E. clip, and it is clipped around my brake lines. It holds extra metal tent stakes for my tent (more on that in a sec). They can also be used as weapons, for traps, or various other needs.

I added a folding side mirror to the left side handlebar, which lets me see cars behind me on the road. Can also be used for signaling in an emergency. Safety first!

The small square "US" pouch used to house the military bandage, but I have a small tube of sunscreen, a military lensatic compass, and a couple other small stuff tucked in there. Things you might need to get readily, but don't wanna dig around too much. Quite handy, being RIGHT there.

On the handlebars, you may notice the 2 upright "horn" looking thingies. Helps keep bike stable when its upside down (in case you need to do maintenance on the chain or something), help give you a different grip to really torque the bike for strenuous uphill climbs, and also they are hollow, which I have 2 thin glow sticks in each one. Can be used for signaling, or whatever.

4th Picture: On the left side of the bike frame, I added an M1 Carbine dual magazine pouch. I put a little plastic box, which fit PERFECTLY, in one section, and it houses Band-aids, mole skin, anti-septic and anti-bacterial wipes, and other stuff like that. In the other section, is a Ziploc baggie full of various medications like Tylenol, aspirin, and other assorted misc medical stuff like rubber gloves, non-lubricated condoms, etc... There is also a military whistle dangling from my handlebars on a short string. Will help for signaling in case of an emergency.

5th Picture: I strapped my Vietnam era Ka-Bar in a Kydex sheath to the right side of the top part of the frame. That knife has never let me down. It's also a very quick draw in case I have to use it for protection. I also slipped my Blackhawk Serpa holster for my handgun over the sheath, and the little "teeth" hold it perfectly, with just a little up-down motion, so I can quickly remove it, and put it on my belt or pant line if needed. My handgun is also camouflaged, and blends in PERFECTLY. You can't tell I have both a fighting knife, and a handgun ready for insanely fast access. I don't ride around the beaches with my handgun, in case you're wondering. Usually leave the knife at home too. So bike is legal. LOL.

6th Picture: Wrapped up inside a camo bandana, and tied off with paracord, is a 1 person tent that actually sleeps my girlfriend and I just fine! Super compact. Easy set up. And just a well built tent. Sorry, no pics of that though.

The next picture I have for reference, because I actually relocated the items since the pic were taken.

7th Picture: You can see an solid, 1 piece stainless steel water bottle, with a soup can on top, that I modified with bailing wire. Now I can store, and boil water to drink out on the trail! This has been relocated to where the next item is.

The little pouch on the down tube carries my tool kit. Everything I need, for every part of this bike, should I need to do field maintenance. I also have a Leatherman multi-tool in there (as seen sitting next to my mess kit). This has since been relocated to beneath the underside of my seat, where I also have a bug net to cover my head stuffed underneath.

The seat is also wrapped in a second camo bandana, and tied down with an extra set of hiking boot shoelaces. Can be seen in the title picture.

Step 4: Conclusion...?

Some things you may have noticed in the pictures, that I didn't mention because I am continually upgrading this rig, are as follows:

I ditched this bike frame with its dual front shocks, and bought a different frame with a simple, no fuss straight fork. This new bike has quick release axles, front and rear. I have removed the innertubes from both tires, and installed 1 piece, completely solid rubber innertubes. Like giant rubber doughnuts! LOL. This is why I do not carry a tire repair kit. I simply do not need one. My tires are 101% guaranteed never to go flat. You could probably even shoot the sides of my tires with a .22lr and they would be perfectly fine. Take that nails, glass, caltrops, sharp rocks, and various other spiky stuff!

On the side of the rear rack, I have added a folding shovel, in a custom made camo pouch with a pocket. Handle wrapped in paracord, body wrapped in duct tape, sharpened edges. Reworked saw teeth. It's nice to have for latrines, defense, clearing space for shelter.

Where the water bottle holder USED to be, on that angled section of the frame, I now have a camouflage tarp with grommets. It's like those big blue tarps you see people throw over cars, but mines camo! I also cut it down large enough to act as a ground cloth for the tent, or to go over it in case of rain if need be. I can also throw it over the bike to help camouflage my bike. Or wear it... heck, tarps are awesome!

I ditched the foam pad/bed roll as it was too awkward.

Future upgrades are going to be a front rack with panniers, to carry maybe an extra set of clothes or something. Or I can be awesome, make some brackets and mounts, and allow the front to hold a couple military ammo cans. I'm not sure what to do yet. LOL. Ammo cans would be fun, but they are a lot of extra weight to the front. Would make turning a real pain. Not sure yet. I'll figure it out eventually. Haha.

So there you have it! Thanks for taking the time to read my first Instructable. I hope you enjoyed it reading about my crazy build. It is a lot of fun taking something plain and boring, and really making it yours and giving it a TON of character.

ps: I have since had to buy yet ANOTHER bike (this time a road bike), because my girlfriend thinks this is just way to much overkill for going on a simple bike ride. HAHA! Oh well...

pps: Wait till you see the low profile trailer that I'm building that gets towed behind this thing ;) It's a slow process building, but it's going to be all hand made and RIDICULOUSLY multi functional!

<p>From a vet to another - looks nice, and brings back memories...would like to have on in my garage.</p><p>But is it all necessary? Ofc it's not, but hey.<br>I have been cycling for few years now and I can tell you that I would rather have it all on me than on bike.. but that's just me.<br><br>Anyways, great job, thumbs up!<br>SF</p>
Thanks for the kind words. I consider my bike and trailer (which I have yet to show anyone my build) basically the equivalent of the trunk of my car. This frees up my backpack from weighing me down.<br><br>Is it all necessary? Not in the slightest. But when bike camping, better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.
<p>Hey, its me again lol. I have been working on a project I thought you might be interested in. I've started working on a wood/bio-mass gasifier, and I thought of that cart you are making. I was think of a miniature gasifier that could run a small generator and/or small motor on back of the bike. Just a thought.</p><p>Please let me know what you think. :)</p>
<p>I am no pro builder, but if you make it, will be epic! Keep it up</p>
<p>Lol, I am no pro builder, but thank you. I found some FEMA gasifier plans online that I am basing my design off of. The web site is: <a href="http://www.build-a-gasifier.com" rel="nofollow">www.build-a-gasifier.com</a> if you want to check it out. I might post an instructable when i'm done. I wouldn't recommend attempting to build one without understanding all the hazards though. So be sure to do some research first.</p>
Couldn't agree more. Thus, I have a question, where you infantry or engineering?<br>As I told before, I really do like it A LOT. What I would like is if you could give me an idea of making it all more flexible, easier to detach and leave - in case I have to continue on foot asap.<br><br>I am starting my. Project in couple of days, so take your time. And pm your trailer. Would aprisciate!
<p>hmmmmm... I wonder if I could do this to my unicycle? lol</p>
<p>I would pay money to see a Bug-Out-Unicycle</p>
<p>lol, Hey you never know.:)</p>
Sounds like a fun idea. If I had a unicycle, I would totally say &quot;challenge accepted&quot;. Haha
If you did, I would be thoroughly impressed! LoL
<p>oooohhhhhh Maybe I could make a unicycle trailer? hahaha :)</p>
<p>You should make a cargo bike with a built in water filter, solar charger and/or generator, and maybe a caltrop deployment system? That would be fun. lol</p>
<p>I am in the process of modifying a child stroller into a trailer. I have a bunch of customization done so far, but do not want to show my ideas in public yet, and I'm trying to design a feature, and I do not want another company stealing my idea, marketing it, and making money that should be mine! LoL</p>
<p>haha, Good point. Are you planning on posting an instructable on it, when you are finished?</p>
<p>Possibly. Maybe once after I get the design patented. I am trying to figure out a bomb-proof way to design this so it will not fail. I need to have an engineering degree it seems. Multiple, seperate cantilever systems are a pain in the... brain! LoL</p>
<p>lol, ok. Good luck, and I am looking forward to it. :)</p>
Isn't it legal to carry a handgun in California? It is in da states and (no offence) the laws there r kinda stupid.
You need a special license to carry a concealed handgun in California. Arizona you do not need anything to legally carry concealed. Every state is different, and California is the worst.
<p>Like Your setup, I have something similar, not camo. I also built a trailer out of an old jogger stroller, Except the hitch I made is Awesome. I will include some pics soon.</p>
Thank you :) I am also working on a trailer from an old stroller. Replaced the pneumatic wheels with solid wheels from wheelbarrows, and I flat bottomed it, by welding a metal plate and some cross braces. I can tow at least 200lbs now, as my friend sat on it and I pushed him around. Im sure the bottom can hold a lot more, and the axels of the wheels would give out before the bottom of my trailer gives way.<br><br>I have done some other special things to it, but I dont want to share what they are quite yet ;)
<p>since you replaced the tire inner tube with a solid piece of rubber how has that affected your riding? I'm curious because a bike is so much better than walking, especially if you have a cart in tow (which I want to see btw), but I'm just wondering how much of a pain in the ass it would be with the additional weight.</p>
It does make a little difference (my bike can't coast as far as it use to), but just switching to the right gear, and pedalling, you don't really notice it long term. Especially not when going slow or climbing hills. Plus, I have a LOT of stuff on my bike, so the tire weight doesn't really bother me at all. Haha<br><br>As far as the trailer, well... it'll take me a while yet to build. I have the basics of it done, and it works fine as a trailer... but I'm working on a super special secret cantilever system that will make my trailer 1 of a kind, and allow me to ditch certain aspects of what I have on my bike ;) I don't want anyone to steal my idea. Haha
<p>Weight doesn't bother me either, it's nice to have the gear, I use mine as a daily rider. trailer on most of the time</p>
<p>Ohhh thanks I just got solid inner tubes for my bike project and hearing that they work well is a good moral boast.</p><p>I'm going to be building my own bike up and may steal some of your mods. I know this is something you did for camping and trekking with your GF but if it was a pure survival bike you might wanna look into a motor kit. you still get all the benefits of a pedal bike with the option to switch to motor power in a pinch. </p>
I was thinking about motor kits, but they take up a lot of valuable real estate inside the framework. <br><br>The solid tubes make you feel like you are always peddaling through wet sand... But that just makes your legs stronger!
<p>that's pretty cool. making me want to build something like this but something that can be broken down into a small car trunk. i work a good distance from my family, in the event of a crisis I would like my survival gear to include a bike.</p>
I actually looked into the folding bikes for just such an occasion. Tricky thing about bikes, is how to utilize the extremely limited space. Especially on a folding bike. Hopefully some of my ideas can help you in your future project
<p>this is awesome!</p>
Thank you!
<p>I am so going to make this ahaha, thanks for the idea.</p>
Please do! And be sure to share pictures!
<p>I will do</p>
<p>That is a KILLER paint job. I may do that to my everyday bike just for kicks!</p>
It definitely gets a LOT of looks on the streets... Not sure if thats good or bad. Haha
<p>Looks like my weekend is full now. Thanks for the idea.</p>
Lemme know how yours turns out!
<p>awesome</p>
Thank you very much :)
<p>Very ingenious. I like it.</p>
Ingenuity at its zombie apocalyptic best! LoL
<p>Nicely done!!!!!!! </p>
Thank you! Sorry for late reply!
Thank you! Sorry for late reply!
<p>This looks pretty B.A.. Now all you need to do is replace the back wheel with a Ktrak. It's basically a set of tracks that allows your bicycle to have traction on sand, snow, wet surfaces, and gravel. There's also a ski to replace the front wheel.</p>
Awesome suggestion. Not much snow in Los Angeles though. LoL
no snow in Jacksonville, Florida either...:(
hello! very impressive set up. I have a 15 year old aluminum frame mt bike that needs some of the stuff you mention. I have a kiddie trailer I already tow, having already stripped out the seats and converted to a flat trailer with a plastic bin and storage rack. (the trail has no bottom after I stripped, so a going a light metal bedrail from a crib that works). I love your ideas, but I think the trailer makes the best way to stow gear, plus your not lugging your bike down. except for the knife and gun of course. luv Ya bye.
Thanks for the comment. I also have a kiddie trailer that i flat bottomed (welded 1/16 inch sheet of metal onto 3/4 inch square tubing, and that welded into the frame). Im still modifying it, and it will actually double as a half hammock, half tent hybrid on a cantilever system. I am also replacing the &quot;push&quot; handle with something much more stout, since the stock one that screws on is junk, held only with plastic and such.
hi. I can't wait to see your trailer. I put an instructible with pics of my set up.

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