Redefining Bugging Out
Things to Consider Before Charging Out the Front Door with Bag In Hand
Some of the survival blogs would have you believe that if you “bug-out” you are never coming back. Based on some of the recommended items that “absolutely” must be in your bag, it seems that some are having you pack as if you are going on vacation never to be seen again.
Extra clothing, extra shoes, heavy coats, empty the medicine cabinet into your bag and gather all of your toiletries. The lists go on and on before, you even get to shelter, food and water. Who is going to carry all of this, well you are of course?
Define Bugging Out
Bug-out is a military term coined, according to most experts, during the Korean War. It means to deploy rapidly from one position that is likely to be overrun by hostile forces to another more defensible position. Generally, units or even individuals moved to a pre-determined location. Units may or may not return to retake the position after bugging-out.
A bug-out bag is likely an adaptation of the “bail-out- bags” carried by military pilots and other personnel on a military aircraft. Once an aircraft is damaged to the point, it cannot be flown personnel on the craft bailed out before it crashed. Aircraft of course will also crash land, putting all members on the craft in a survival situation if it went down in a hostile area.
A bailout bag has survival items needed for personnel to survive on the ground. The bag is generally strapped to the body at all times while in the aircraft, and is relatively small. The survival gear allowed those that had to bail out to survive until reunited with allied forces. Personnel that bailed or had to crash land usually had to land navigate back to safe territory.
You as a Prepper in most if not all cases, will be relocating until your area of operations is no longer hostile. Once deemed safe you would return. Your bug-out location may only be a hotel a few miles up the road or a friend’s house in the next town over.
If a train derails in your community, for example, and it is carrying toxic chemicals, the authorities will issue evacuation orders. You have to leave to save your life, you need to “bug-out” until it is safe for you to return, but return you will. Where will you go, likely to a motel in a neighboring town or possibly to Red Cross or FEMA Shelters, or to a friend or relative’s home? Prepare based on where you will be relocating to.
Can you imagine a situation where you would not be able to come back, and would have to survive in the wilderness, and if you can imagine one, ask yourself is it likely to happen?
Not probable to the point it should never be a worry
Highly likely but again you would return, even if your home is damaged or destroyed. You do not simply set off for the wild blue yonder never to return, surviving on your wits and with what you have in your bag. You move away from the danger zone for a short period and then you return.
A Chemical, Biological Or Nuclear Attack Or Simply An Accident
This can happen in any city, town or community at any time. A chemical or biological agent can be released accidentally or on purpose in your city or town prompting a mass exodus from the area. Nuclear waste traveling by rail or truck can be involved in a derailment or accident at anytime or it can be a dirty bomb set off. Whether an accident or an attack, it will cause a mass evacuation but how far will people have to go, how far will you have to go.
The attack or accident will likely be localized however, so this means there will be areas close by that you can relocate too temporally. This is not an end of the world scenario. You will not be required to slash and slay your way through devastated towns and cities to reach a rallying point on the coast.
Grid Failure Nationwide
If the grid fails nationwide, you probably will not be prepared enough to go anywhere. If you do leave, it will likely be on foot. You can of course walk until all you see is wilderness but then what. You used up all of your supplies getting to where you are, so did you expect to find a cabin with a garden flourishing out back, and wild game just milling around waiting for the skinning knife.
This bug-out scenario is only possible if, you had spent the last few years getting ready for it. This means you would have built a cabin, maintained the cabin, planted crops, maintained those crops and developed a reliable water source and possibly provided yourself with an energy source such as solar, wind or water.
This of course is quite possible and some people have done it and/or are doing it now, but the question is, have you already set it up, or are you in the process of doing so, if not then where are you going to bug-out to.
Probability is low to non-existent to the point it is not something to worry about or even prepare for. Of course, some believe there are disasters out there that will upend the country and the world, and they are just around the corner. Anything is possible but you have to consider probability, or otherwise you will go broke and possibly slightly crazy trying to prepare.
Some may be wondering what the point of all this is. The point is that a bugging out is temporary for the vast majority of situations. You left your home because of a crisis but you still have a home to come back too, so prepare with this in mind.
Somewhere in the back of your mind you do expect the “big one” to come along, that one disaster that essentially shuts the country down. A catastrophic event to end all events, but what about all of the disasters in the meantime, the ones that will happen, the ones that are not a matter of if but simply a matter of when.
Many people advocate bugging out to a wilderness environment, which is fine if the situation requires you do so, but you do not “bug-out” to the wilderness during a tornado, hurricane or toxic chemical spill in your neighborhood.
You of course should learn wilderness skills, because you have to train for all possible scenarios, but remember it is not likely that you will have to escape to the woods in most cases.
This means you have to prepare for a temporary relocation. You probably should prepare to stay at a motel for a week, at a shelter or at a friend’s house or even your great Aunts house for a few days or a few weeks. Therefore, gather the supplies and things needed to survive based on where you will be staying, and not so much based on the crisis itself.