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Things to Think About Before Bugging Out


Things to Think About Before Bugging Out

A year or so ago, I became interested in preparing for a disaster, so I went to the internet to see what other people do to prepare. I was surprised to learn the number of people who have been preparing for quite some time, and also at the level of their preparations; purchasing remote properties, building up a personal arsenal, and shopping for and storing food stocks for their families.

I figured I needed to ‘get on board’ and start my own preparations. I had plenty to do and a lot to consider; food stocks, weapons and ammunition, off-the-grid living, communications, tools, skills, bug out bag, get home bag, maps, cash, precious metals, and much more.

I am a planning-type person, and I don’t usually do something without careful consideration and a solid plan. I prefer to think through what I’ll do, what I might need in the way of tools, parts, etc., and what my desired results are before I begin a project. Like all my projects, whether they be a family vacation, changing the brakes on my car, or getting ready for a disaster, I feel a need to set up.

I decided to work on my preparedness tasks in parallel. As I was building up my food stocks, I also built up my weapons and ammo stock, and continuing to read and study preparedness and survival. When I began to tackle a bug out set up, I found the task quite difficult as I thought the three components of however I tackle projects:

  1. What is the task or tasks involved?
  2. What items and tools will I need?
  3. What are my desired results?

Right away, I knew the answer to question three. In a bug out scenario, I desired to remain alive and have the best quality of life potential for the situation. Answering questions one and two were not so easy. The planning gene in my head caused me to think about what really is involved with pre and post “bugging out” in order to answer the first two questions. As I thought regarding creating my plan, a sound solution to bugging out became quite murky.

There are several websites, blogs, and videos available via the internet that give info, ideas, and examples of bug out situations, bug out equipment, and bug out methods, and I eagerly studied as much as a I could. I initially thought bugging out was a mighty fine plan when the SHTF. After careful thought, though, I have complete that bugging out should be my last resort, my “plan Z”, and only when I’ve tried each possible way to avoid it. I provide these bug out cons for your consideration:

The Plan

Everyone should have a plan and equipment for bugging out for those extreme situations when your back is to the wall, or marauding gangs are torching each house on your street. If you need to bug out, have a pre-planned destination, and you need to get there before your provides run out. Essential to your bug out plan is to obviously define the conditions that would trigger your “got to bug out” alarm.

Remember, though, you’ll be quitting your job, abandoning your house, and your bills will pile up in your overflowing mailbox and remain unpaid. When a crisis happens, you’ll not have time to make a successful bug out plan, therefore you must make your plan now. Anyone will make a plan, but it takes careful thought and consideration to make a successful plan.

Quality Of Life

The notion of bugging out is quite simple; grab your stuff and go. However, once bugging out and arriving “somewhere”, then what? What will you do and what will be your quality of life? Once you are at home, all your equipment, food stocks, weapons, and gear are primarily within simple reach.

If you have ready and planned well, you can stay indoors for quite some time and enjoy a high quality of life. You can still sleep in your bed, have a bathroom down the hall, and even keep up with current events and what’s happening in your neighborhood.

The act of bugging out brings on its own set of potentially dangerous issues that you will have to deal with and suffer through “on the fly.” In all of my internet travels, I have yet to see a bug out bag that was stocked and equipped as well my home. Bug out bags sometimes offer basic survival-type equipment and rations for up to seven days.

The prospect that my situation would become that much more precarious after my rations ran out is none too appealing. Can I very depend upon hunting, fishing, and berry scavenging?

Land Mines

You are a lot of safer in your own residence in most things. With adequate planning and provides, you can hunker down and survive through chemical and even biological gas clouds. You still call the police who may be able to assist you. You and your neighbors might band together to improve your collective security. Think long and hard before you engage in bugging out.

On your way to your pre-determined bug out destination, you need to avoid being ambushed, injured, robbed, or worse. You’ll not know who is friend or foe, and you must remain as inconspicuous and “normal” as possible.

I think it’s unwise to assume you can and will homestead in the forest, hunting and fishing like Daniel Boone until “someone” provides an “all clear” and you can return home. You’ll not be the only person in the forest, and any food that’s available will quickly be hunted or scared away. Your forest can soon be overrun with survivalist who claim hunting territories, and battles will ensue. Gangs will form and if you’re a loner, you’ll not survive.

Under such conditions, it would be nearly impossible for you to rest or sleep. You’d have to be on your guard 24/7. You couldn’t leave your camp to hunt or fish for worry of coming back to nothing, or a pack of squatters who have confiscated your camp and everything you depend upon.

If you knew or sensed that others were in your forest, having a camp fire would be a foul plan because it’d give away your location. However would you stay warm, or cook your kill? What if someone off in the distance sees smoke and calls 911 to report a forest fire? What regarding the winter cold or the summer mosquitos?

What would you do? Keep in mind, you took only your bug out bag which didn’t have a sleeping bag or multi-season clothing. Sure, you’ve got your big bowie-knife, your .22 rifle, and your length of paracord, but what regarding those different hundred things you need now that are back home?

Remote Hideaway

If you’re one of the fortunate people who has some land in a remote location that you have already set up to be your bugged out location, great! The difficult task for you is to know when to bug out and before the crisis or disaster occurs. Timing is vital. Bugging out once the crisis solely will increase your possibilities that you’ll be stuck in snarl-up traffic, apprehended, robbed, or again, even worse.

Predicting when and where a disaster or crisis will occur is anyone’s guess. If you guess wrong, then you’d have bugged out for nothing, and increased your probabilities of coming back home to a looted and ransacked house.


If you choose to come back home, your immediate task would be to navigate your way through or around newly formed gangs and different non-friendlies you may encounter. If you bugged out with your get home bag, it’s safe to say that any food you had in your get home bag would have already been eaten a long time ago.

You might arrive home only to search out that your house has been looted, and all the food, gear, weapons, and supplies you didn’t take with you when you bugged out are gone. Your windows are broken, your electronics have disappeared, and you quickly discover thieves stole all the copper wires and pipes in your house, along with your refrigerator.

We all understand that thieves aren’t a considerate lot. Since they took your copper pipes and left the water turned on, your home is now flooded, and your water bill is over $1,000. To feature insult to injury, every thread of clothing, shoes, tools, and anything of any value that you had is now gone. Was it bugging out or going home that was the wrong decision?


I am unable to convince myself that I, after being so dependent upon grocery stores, utilities on demand, and sound shelter for many years, could just set up camp in the forest for an unknown length of time with only a bug out bag.

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John Turner
John Turnerhttp://www.patriotdirect.org/
Dedicated to upgrowth, developement and prepared for the "worst" to come... Simple guy, simple skills, simple attitude. Just an ordinary guy who tries to survive!

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