Bugging Out is an Emergency Preparedness concept that considers evacuating an area during disaster to be the best course of action for said scenario. Making the decision to bugout, or to shelter in place, is a personal choice for most preppers. However, before one can make the conscious decision to bugout of a disaster area, they must first have somewhere else to go, which is safer than where they are. As you embark on your journey through self-discovery and become better prepared to handle what life has in store, you will eventually arrive at the precipice of picking a bugout location. Before that day arrives, here are a few things to consider with regards to the bugout location.
How far away should you travel from your current residence to a safe bugout location? If you live in a flood plain, you might be able to walk a couple of miles to higher ground. However, if a large-scale disaster occurs, such as nuclear, EMP, or martial law, then you will probably need to travel much further to find the safety you seek.
If you have a parcel of property set aside specifically for bugging out, then you may have built a permanent shelter for such an occasion. If you have no land, or there is no permanent shelter on site, then you will have to consider your options; will you live in a tent, make a temporary shelter out of natural materials, or sleep in the vehicle (if you were lucky enough to arrive in one)? The type of shelter is an important consideration, especially in areas that experience seasonal weather patterns. If all you have is a tent and you’re bugging out in the dead of winter, things are probably not going to be as easy as you would like.
If financially feasible, purchase bugout property and begin to build a permanent bugout shelter, even if it is a slow process; this allows you to store more gear at the destination, which means there will be less you have to carry.
While it is possible to bugout without an actual bag, your chances of arriving at a safe destination are drastically reduced without the emergency gear you have assembled for just such an occasion. The contents of your bugout bag may differ from those living in other areas, and that is to be expected. People living in the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico need different items than those living in the frozen tundra of New Hampshire and Maine.
This is the heaviest item to carry when bugging out, which is why most preppers prefer to pre-select a bugout location that is in close proximity to a source of fresh water. Bear in mind that if you are in need of water, everyone else will be looking for water as well. With that in mind, you will want to ensure you have the ability to filter and purify water from all unfamiliar sources.
Again, this is normally a heavy, bulky, and cumbersome item to carry when bugging out. Most preppers pack enough food to last them 72 hours, after which they resort to their foraging and hunting skills to provide the protein and sustenance required to continue surviving. When selecting a bugout location, consider the long term and focus on an area that has arable land for crop cultivation; if you’re going to be there awhile you may need to plant and raise food in order to keep living.
Familiarity of Location:
Far too often people stumble across what they think is a secluded site, consider it acceptable for bugging out, only to discover that dozens of other people know about it too. While it might be necessary to defend yourself on occasion, having others in your bugout area may be a blessing. The more people there are, the better opportunity for creating a community. With a community of like-minded people, there will be better chances for socializing as well as for bartering; all of which will breed a sense of familiarity and normalcy.
How will you arrive at your bugout location? As Hollywood has so accurately depicted, when disaster strikes the unprepared flock to their vehicles and cause massive traffic jams that literally choke off the chances of escaping by automobile. Motorcycles, mopeds, bicycles, pack animals, and walking are the preferred choices of experienced preppers. If you do not have these modes of transportation, you may want to consider investing in them.
Prepper Group Dynamics:
How many people are you preparing to relocate to the bugout site? What ages and genders are those in the prepper group traveling with you? What are the physical limitations of those you will be making arrangements for? Are there pets that need to be moved along with the prepper group? These are things you will want to know well in advance of making a decision to bugout. If you wait until the last minute to address these dynamics, they could doom your entire bugout blueprint.
Having various means of communication will make matters easier to accommodate should you have to bugout. You may need to stay in contact with a handful of stragglers that didn’t make it to the predetermined meeting place, or maybe you need to reach out to long distance relatives to let them know what is taking place. If nothing else, you will want to have AM/FM radios in order to keep up with the latest news on what is taking place, where people are being directed, etc.
Injuries walk hand in hand with disaster, trying to avoid it, and being outdoors in unfamiliar territory. You will need medical care equipment in your bugout bag, or at your bugout location, to address any minor injuries, scrapes, sprains, strains, and bruises.
That’s where your part comes into play. We can’t possibly think of everything, so we’re asking this question of you; is there anything obvious that we forgot? What considerations did you take when deciding on your bugout location?