One thing I’ve always thought was a little strange when I talk to people about bugging out is that there is usually this predetermined notion that the bug out is going to be on foot. People talk about the right packs to buy, weight distribution and how much distance they can travel on foot.
It seems to me that if you were ever in a situation where bugging out was really your best option that you would want to use a vehicle to get to a predetermined location as soon as possible. Hiking with a 60+ pound pack on your back doesn’t exactly seem practical to me. Many people say that in a true SHTF disaster that vehicles would be useless and therefore you have to travel on foot. Although I can see in some very specific situation where this might be the case, it seems a little unrealistic in most disaster scenarios. It also begs the question why you’re even bugging out in the first place if you have to travel several days or even weeks on foot.
What seems a lot more realistic is using a vehicle for bugging out. While it is theoretical that it could become blocked in by traffic congestion, could break down or even run out of gas, to me these things could be easily mitigated as long as you’re thinking ahead.
Today we’ll go over 7 steps that you can take to make sure that if disaster ever does strike that you’ll make it to your bugout location a lot faster and with a lot more supplies than what you can fit in a backpack.
- Perform routine maintenance and repair regularly – It seems like it would be common sense, but there are some people that simply don’t take proper care of their vehicle. They’re always a month or two behind on oil changes, their tires are almost bald and their brakes sound like fingernails on a chalkboard. Without a well maintained vehicle, your chances of being stranded while bugging out are significantly higher.
- Keep adequate fuel reserves– In the event of a real bugout where you have to drive for long distance it’s highly likely that you’ll need to refuel during the trip. You’ll need to store some extra fuel now so that it is there when you need it. Be sure that you are using some sort of fuel stabilizer so that it can be stored long term.
- Maps Maps Maps – I think this is one of the most critical parts of bugging out in a vehicle. In most major catastrophes in recent history, vehicles have congested major roadways n the affected areas. In the event of a true, SHTF disaster scenario it’s likely that this will be the case. You are going to need several alternative routes to your bugout location in case the road you are travelling is blocked. This is another reason why extra fuel is so important. You may be required to double back numerous times to find alternate routes around blocked roads. Without a map, you’ll quickly get lost.
- Be ready to clear road obstructions – Sometimes there may be obstructions on the roads where going around or finding an alternative route isn’t practical or possible. You may need to clear the road yourself. In this case you will want to have the right tools for the job. Heavy gloves, a winch and chainsaw will move just about anything that’s in your way. Also be sure to bring safety equipment such as eye protection and a first aid kit.
- Always store roadside emergency equipment – Even outside of a disaster scenario, it’s a very good idea to have a roadside emergency kit in your vehicle. This kit should include: Jumper cables, fix-a-flat, a portable air compressor, a heavy duty multitool, wrenches, a hammer, water, tire jack and oil.
- If at all possible… don’t stop – You never know what kind of situation could cause you to have to bug out. In a serious SHTF disaster, you likely are not going to want to point attention to yourself if at all possible. Don’t stop to camp out on the side of the road, get to where you are going as quickly as possible and secure your position at your bug out location.
- Bring enough ready to eat food and water to get you there – If you are bugging out in a vehicle in a disaster, don’t take time to cook. This is unnecessary and just makes your trip take longer, which could potentially be very dangerous. Bring enough ready to eat foods without to hold you over for the entire trip. In fact, bring double what you think you’ll need because it may take much longer than you expect to get to your bugout location.
Bugging out in a disaster situation isn’t something you should take lightly. If we ever find ourselves in a true SHTF disaster scenario then the decision to bug out could literally be the difference between life and death. Don’t take it lightly, don’t expect to trek hundreds of miles with a backpack and an AR15 and most importantly, expect the unexpected when you’re on the road. Don’t take any unnecessary risks; just do what you have to do to get to your bugout location as quickly and safely as possible.
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