Much, if not most of what a number of people know about bugging out, is gained from watching reality television shows and from research on the Internet. Everyone has an opinion, a way of doing things, and everyone is an expert (just ask them) according to what you read on the Internet.
You as an individual will have your own ideas and thoughts on the subject of course, and when you find information that seems to validate what you already believe then perception becomes fact. However, if you have never had to bug-out and the ones writing the articles and giving advice have never bugged-out, where does that leave you.
People Tend To Misjudge Their Own Abilities
Bugging-out from a tactical standpoint is essentially a forced march. The fact that you had to bug-out means danger is all around you. The reality is that you have to move quickly, but you can only move as fast as the slowest person can in your group. The three miles an hour, you average on a flat sidewalk and the cinder path around the lake is not going to be the reality in a crisis.
During practice, you decided that a 50-pound pack is “doable”. A few times around the small lake down at the park, was literally a walk in the park, so you think you are ready now. It may be doable for you but what about your partner/spouse and children, elderly family members and even friends. You will now be carrying a backpack stuffed with last minute items as well. The 50 pound pack you started out with is now 60 pounds plus.
The reality is that most families will not be able to bug-out on foot. The only way to bug-out and survive the crisis and to be able to survive the trek itself is by vehicle. This leaves some in a predicament because any number of disasters can leave the roads and highways impassable.
The conclusion is fleeing on foot for a certain number families will not be a possibility, but you are the only one that can make this determination.
Living off the Land Is a Fallacy
If you are alone and have experience, bush craft skills, can endure long periods without proper nutrition and sleep, and can move around quickly you may have a chance. Blog after blog and article upon article says you can, and again you can if there are certain conditions that can be met. One condition that must be met is having a bug-out location that is remote, and has natural resources that you can take advantage of for a number of weeks and possibly months. Another condition is being able to get there.
You cannot grab your family, just flee for the hills, and begin living. It is not possible unless you have set up the area in advance, and even if you did what is to say someone else has not decided it looks like a good place to settle into before you get there.
Too many people tend to assume they are the only ones with the best ideas. If you can come up with the idea or read about it online then literally, millions of others can and have as well. The only advantage you may have is that while the other 1.9 million other people are following the advice on some blog, you are actually using your head, reasoning through the problem, and ultimately surviving.
There are situations that will force you from your home, chemical attacks, bombings from terrorists and so on. However, unless it is nationwide and the attacks take out the nation as a whole then there will be resources and areas to flee to close by that are set up for short periods. If a city or even several cities come under attack and forces, the citizens to flee you will flee to a neighboring city in all likelihood, not to the great outdoors.
You have to remember that SHTF scenarios will essentially be localized, unless the nation collapses at once, which means you do not have to worry about fleeing or living anywhere. If the financial market collapses or energy becomes scarce, then bugging-out is not needed in the short-term unless riots or demonstrations get out of hand and even then, you can plan, or prepare to shelter in place.
For most families walking between five and seven miles a day is probably the best you can do. This means you may not even be clear of the city in the first day and that is providing you started early enough to give you the daylight for traveling. It may take two days just to get clear of the city. In those two days you will have used up most if not all of your supplies and at this point you are looking back wondering if maybe you should head back home.
Much depends on what you truly believe will happen. Once you have decided what is more likely to happen then you can realistically begin planning for the crisis.