31 August 2012

The realities of "bugging out"

There is a growing cottage industry around everything related to bugging out from bags to vehicles. Let’s take a detailed look at the realities of bugging out.


Who is bugging out with you? The lone survivor is the minority here. Many of us have a family we live with or at least family close by. How do these people fit into your bug out plans?

For those with families, consider how smoothly it went the last time you left for a road trip to travel anywhere for more than one night. During this planned event that you had time to prepare for, was there any stress involved? Did you forget anything? What percentage of things that you would want to take during a “bug out” did you take with you?

Do you anticipate any resistance within your family if you decided to bug out? If you have pets, will you take them? Do you have food and water packed for them? For those who say that they will leave their pets behind, this is easier said than done in real life where the kids are crying over leaving Old Yeller to die.


What are you going to take with you? Do you have 3 years’ worth of beans in your bomb shelter, but no food packed to go with you should you leave? Are your water stores portable? How much water can you carry in your vehicle? Is that water for drinking, sanitation, and cooking? Of course you will want to take firearms with you to protect what you have. Which of your guns would you take and how much ammo? Would you keep it hidden so that people could not see it when the vehicle was parked, or during a checkpoint? But if you do that, then it will be harder to get to if you need it.
Since you are leaving your home behind, are you bringing another form of shelter with you in case you don’t make it to where you are going? Or do you plan to just hunker down in your vehicle? Even if that is the case, do you have sleeping bags to keep you warm? You obviously would not want to risk poisoning and wasting gas by leaving the vehicle running. Speaking of gas, do you keep your tank full all the time, or do you plan on filling up on your way out of town along with everyone else? If your vehicle does break down or run out of gas, is your gear packed in such a way that would make carrying easy? Under what circumstances would you leave your vehicle? Knowing you could not carry it all, what would you take? Do you plan on taking a gas can for spare gas? How is that going to fit into your bug out vehicle with your family, pets, food, water, gun, ammo, and sleeping bag?


When you decide that it is in fact time to bug out, where do you plan to go? On a regular uneventful day, a serious traffic accident can turn the biggest roads into parking lots. If the routes to your retreat are impassable, what are you going to do? At this point you may notice the other people around you that have not prepared at all, but are fleeing none the less, have taken notice of the large amount of things you have in and on your vehicle. Those things are not just anything; they are the items that after careful thought and deliberation you decided that you would take with you when leaving your home not knowing when, or if you will be able to return. Are you mentally prepared to defend them in front of your family?


What would likely be the straw to break the camel’s back when it comes to deciding if it is time to bug out? If you leave too early, you expose your house to looting early. Not to mention that the earlier you leave the more you need to take with you. If you wait too long, you may be forced out by authorities in a rush. Waiting until the last minute may mean waiting in slow moving evacuation lines in extreme hot or cold temperatures or bad weather.


What are some things that would force you to consider leaving your home? For most, it would be bad weather such as hurricanes or tornadoes. Then there are other natural disasters that strike with little to no warning like earthquakes and solar flares. How far would you have to be away from these threats before you were safe?


How would you know how long you would be gone? How many days are you prepared for? Was your thought process short term packing things like lighters and bottles of water, or more long term like a fire starter and water filter?

Hopefully after answering all the above questions in addition to all the ones they lead to, you can see how bugging out for most people would be a last resort and extremely difficult even under normal circumstances, much less during one that is life and death surrounded by others trying to survive.

Personally, I believe and teach that when available the best option is always to stay put and shelter in place.
In future posts, we will talk about options when staying put is not an option as well as the basic gear and skills you need to have and share with your family.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and pointers on bugging out, George! I think all those preppers out there should bear these questions and things in mind to have a proper plan in the event that they need to do it. And yes, it is important that you know the things you will take with you when you bug out. My advice is to carry the essentials and pack light. [Kisha Kitchens]