So, you’ve been getting into preparedness for a little while now and you’ve finally completed that big, heavy bug out bag and you’re ready to flee from the ensuing hordes of mutant biker gangs and suburban apocalyptic raiders. Now, you’re probably thinking; “what’s next?”
First and foremost, putting together a bugout bag has gotten far too much publicity in the preparedness world in my opinion. Simply for the fact that, for many of us, bugging out is probably one of the last things you should be doing in a disaster situation. Here are 5 reasons why bugging out doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, we’ll call them the 5 S’s
If you’ve been of the preparedness mindset for any length of time, you’ve probably a lot of food stored up at your residence. Canned foods, MRE’s, freeze dried foods, etc. etc. This stuff isn’t light. As an experiment, gather together 72 hours of food and water (about 6,000 calories and about 3 gallons of water minimum) and then stuff it all into a backpack or even a hiking pack.
How heavy is that pack? Now, put all your other bugout gear in there. Defensive tools, clothing (just the essentials). You’re probably looking at a very big, 60 pound+ pack. Now do the same thing for the rest of your family. For the average person, you’ve now got about 240 pounds of gear you need to get to your bugout location.
One of the biggest drawbacks to bugging out is that you’ve lost your 1st measure of defense; Walls. When you are on the move, you are visible, people can see how many people are in your group, they can often times see your gear, and you simply become a target for anyone that decides they want what you have.
In a real disaster scenario, it isn’t about playing Rambo and fighting through hordes of raiders to get to some bug-out location mecca. It’s about staying alive and thriving while the usual systems of modern life are down. Bugging in allows you to not only be next to all your preps, but it eliminates 90% of all the confrontations you’ll encounter in a disaster. Defending a doorway and a few windows is much easier than trying to outrun hungry survivors.
When bugging out, you’ve got 2 options. On-foot or vehicle, and even when bugging out in a vehicle, you’re going to have to be ready to bug out on foot because that vehicle may break down or run out of fuel. It is also a very poor shelter. It doesn’t retain heat well and can become hot very quickly. It also has big windows that anyone can see though. A normal residence has insulated walls and, with alternative energy, modern conveniences even when the grid is down.
In disaster situations, the biggest threat to survivors isn’t the roaming hordes, its typically disease, dehydration and infection. A bug-in location has dedicated areas for cooking and a restroom separated from the main living area. This alone makes a world of difference when it comes to sanitation and fending off diseases. Regular toilets can be easily modified to a compost toilet in a disaster situation and your kitchen is much easier to sanitize than the hood of a car or tree stump in a bugout situation.
As anyone that’s been on a long car ride can tell you, travelling gets old real fast. There are so many more complications to a bugout plan compared to bugging in that eventually; the road WILL take its toll on you. You’re already going to be at a higher stress level dealing with whatever disaster has struck, you don’t need to add on the stresses of reaching a bugout location. Additionally, with alternative energy, a bug in location allows you to use modern conveniences and electricity, which is much harder to do, and much harder to conceal in a bug out situation.
Now don’t get me wrong. EVERYONE should have a bugout bag. A simple kit that is tailored to your person disaster preparedness plans should be easily available and should be able to sustain you for 72 hours if your current location proves to be less safe than bugging out.
That being said, a bugout bag does not a prepper make. Being prepared means making smart decisions that WILL help you stay alive and thrive in a disaster, not MIGHT help you stay alive. Barring the house coming down around me, I’ll be staying put and hunkering down with my preps.