The debate about bugging out and bugging in is as old as prepping itself. There are advantages and disadvantages to each strategy, but the reality is that in order to be truly prepared for any local disaster scenario, you need to be prepared to do both depending on the situation.
In today’s post we’re going to go into a little more detail about the preparations you need to take when planning a bugout. Specifically, we’ll be discussing the best way to plan your bugout route and what to expect along the way.
Where are we going?
Obviously, the first thing you need to decide when making your bugout plans is where you’re going to go. As basic as it sounds, there are a lot of people that gloss over this area and think that they’re just going to haul some camping gear out to the woods and survive off the land. I don’t want to insult anyone with this, but honestly, bugging out to the woods is the absolute worst plan you could make.
Having a secured and well-supplied bugout location is probably the most important piece of a bugout plan. Without it, you’re not really bugging out; you’re simply giving up your home to become a refugee.
How do we get there?
After you’ve set up a secured bugout location, next comes the tricky part. How are you going to get there?
Obviously, if you are able to drive to your bugout location then this part will be fairly easy. You’ll be able to bring a lot of supplies with you and simply being in a vehicle will take care of most of your security concerns when travelling to your bugout location.
However, in a major disaster scenario, where you’ve been in bug-in lockdown mode for weeks or more, there’s a real chance that driving out of your area may simply not be an option. You could use alternative forms of transportation like motor bikes or bicycles, but for a lot of people, bugging out on foot may be the only option.
Bugging out on foot is extremely dangerous in the aftermath of a disaster. You’re completely exposed, it’s very difficult to being more than a couple days of supplies, and with a 50lb+ pack, the pace is going to be pretty slow for the majority of us.
To give yourself the best chance of making it to your bugout location, you need to have a plan. You’re going to have to find the best route to your location. This is harder than it sounds.
Along the way, you’re going to have to take advantage of any available resources in order to survive. You simply can’t carry everything you and your family may need for a 3-4 day long hike on your back. Even rationing water to a gallon a day is still a surprising amount of weight. A gallon of water weighs in at a little over 8 pounds. For a 4 day hike, you’re looking at around 32 pounds of weight just in water.
Not to mention, 4 gallons of water would take up the majority, if not all the space in your pack. This means that you’re going to have to carry less water than you actually need and will have to rely on gathering water along the way.
This is an example of where putting together a well-thought out bugout route makes all the difference.
When putting together your bugout route, you need to pick a route that is not only quick, but also has the resources that you may need along the way. Below is a short list of considerations you should keep in mind when making your route.
- Water sources along your route
- Availability of edible plants or hunting/fishing opportunities along your route
- Availability of pre-made shelters like abandoned buildings, overpasses or other emergency shelters
- Landmarks to help with navigation for both yourself and anyone that you plan on inviting to your bugout location
- Does your route take you close to any towns? Are there routes to get around them without being seen?
- Are there any stores, restaurants, etc. on your route that could be possible re-supply points?
- Are there any areas along your route that you could potentially store a cache of supplies? Is it likely to be discovered by someone else before you get there?
- Are there any law enforcement buildings along your route? These could be used for resupplying or a potential source of aid or even a ride to your bugout location. Or, depending on the situation, these locations may need to be avoided at all cost.
- Are there any doctors’ offices, clinics or other medical facilities along your route? These could also be used for resupply, or again, may need to be avoided for security.
- Are there any industrial areas or buildings along your routes? Places like Walmart or obvious large stores will probably be cleaned out or could be very dangerous. However, something like a small food distribution plant or factory, a meat processing plant, or even storage lockers could have been overlooked and could be potential resupply opportunities or temporary shelters.
This is just a small list of considerations you should keep in mind when planning your bugout route. The more thought you put into this, the more potential dangers and opportunities you’ll come up with. The point is that the more you prepare your route and practice your route, the easier and safer it will be if you ever have to put these plans into motion in the aftermath of a serious disaster scenario.
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