When you research online about bugging-out the pictures associated with the articles or blog entries usually shows the person humping along a path or roadway free of snow. Do the articles talk about bugging-out in deep snow, in frigid temperatures, when there is a baby strapped to your back, when you have elderly relatives trekking alongside you?
Rarely do you see anyone huddle up against freezing rain or blowing snow, making his or her way out of a disaster area. The doomsday shows depicted people fleeing an urban area in the heat of summer, never when the roads are clogged with snow, or the bridges are slick with ice, so what if you had to bug-out during the coldest part of the year.
Previous articles have talked extensively about bugging-out, and how in most cases, it is safer to shelter in place. However, we must always assume the worst and plan for that, and then hope for the best, so you do need a plan for bugging-out in the middle of winter.
You know better than anyone does what type of weather your area receives during the winter. Do you get heavy snows, ice, cold rains or is it dry and cold. However, what has been the pattern in the past may not necessarily apply, because of El Niño. In other words, you may get more or less of the same, or experience some dramatic changes. You would have to expect, snow, ice, winds and cold temperatures if you live in the Northern States.
We will not get into all of the reasons why you may have to evacuate, because that is a decision that has to be made by you as the situation unfolds. You will know when the time comes whether you have to leave your home or not, and in some cases, there may be a mandatory evacuation order issued by your local government.
How Would You Leave
You have to remember that during a major crisis the roads would not be plowed or treated, so the snow and/or ice may prevent you from leaving in your vehicle. Even a four-wheel drive vehicle can get bogged down in the snow and they cannot get far on icy roads.
Options include snowmobiles, skies, and snowshoes. Ideally, you would have snowmobiles with pull behind sleds so you can transport supplies and people. There is ideal, of course, and then there is the reality, so you may have to travel on skies or use snowshoes or simply try to forge ahead with what you have. You can pull sleds, or toboggans behind you, as well, to transport supplies and children or those with physical impairments.
If you live in a city having a snowmobile would likely be out of the question. You can however, use sleds, skies and toboggans, and they can be stored relatively easily. You can pick up plastic sleds with tow ropes at any Wal-Mart store, keeping in mind they are seasonal items so pick them up as soon as they are displayed.
If you had to leave in the winter you would have to get to your destination before dark unless you have extensive cold weather survival training and the proper gear to spend a night in the cold. You may be trying to get to a relatives’ home, a friend’s house, to a city close by, or to any emergency shelter, so it is important you know multiple ways of getting to your destination, and know how to get there essentially on foot.
It takes planning and knowing how to get to your destination without using roads or highways because they may be clogged with those that tried and failed to get out of town. You may very well have to travel cross country to get to your destination. Going across country may reduce the number of miles, but the terrain may be restrictive, so you do have to know what to expect if you have to get to a relatives’ home or to a neighboring town or city where there may be emergency shelters.
Pack your supplies in plastic bins with lids so they can be secured to sleds or trailers. The biggest concern is the cold. Preventing hypothermia is a priority especially if you have young children or older adults. You have to keep dry and block the frigid wind with the proper clothing.
Bugging-out in the winter should be the last resort, but it has to be an option, so make sure it is a viable option by proper planning.
This article is merely a reminder that disasters can happen to anyone at anytime of the year. Your plans have to take the seasons into account. You need plans for bugging out in the cold and in the heat. This article is more of an academic exercise, than it is anything else, one to get you thinking about what if’s, and to get you to think about your plans for cold weather travel, because it could happen to you.