By Gaye Levy – Backdoor Survival
Over the past five years, I have seen the concept of bugging out escalate to the realm of ridiculousness. Much of this, in my opinion, has come from the commercialization of bug out bags, the glamorization of bug-out preps in the media and within entertainment circles, and, quite simply, blogging sites that promote bug out strategies as part of their down and dirty fear mongering to get you to purchase over-priced info-products or survival gear.
Circling back, bugging out has its place as I will explain in a moment. But for 99% of the disruptive events out there, my vote is to stay put and hunker down in the comfort of your home, surrounded by your preps.
About the author:
Gaye Levy started Backdoor Survival so that she could share her angst and concern about our deteriorating economy and its impact on ordinary, middle-class folks. She also wanted to become a prepper of the highest order and to share her knowledge as she learned it along the way. On Backdoor Survival you will find survival and preparedness tools and tips for creating a self-reliant lifestyle through thoughtful prepping and optimism.
To read more from Gaye, visit her website, Backdoor Survival. You can also follow Gaye on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest or purchase her eBook, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage on Amazon.com.
By Ken Jorgustin – Modern Survival Blog
A SHTF ‘bug-out’ to someone else’s place may not end up the way you envisioned.
Will the doors be open?
The circumstances which caused the decision to bug-out (evacuate) may be a factor that will affect how well one is received. The relationship with the person (people) at the presumed destination will be a factor. One’s past history, reputation, and behavior will be a factor. The probable length of stay will be a factor. One’s skills, potential contribution, and what is brought to the table will be a factor.
There are all sorts of factors which may help or hinder one’s ability to get in the door at the other end of a bug-out. In fact, the door may very well be shut…
It’s one thing to have everything you need prepared and ready to go in case of disaster; it’s quite another to know exactly what to do and to stay calm under pressure. In a disaster, what you do in those first crucial moments has a lasting impact on your long-term survival. However, preparing for survival and actually surviving are two very different things. To improve your chances of survival after bugging out, we’ve prepared a list of priorities to help you plan your long-term survival strategy and ensure you’re ready for life off the grid.
Priority #1: Securing the Area
Once your party has all arrived to your designated bug-out location, the first thing you want to focus on is ensuring the area is still a safe place to spend the night. Check out your perimeter and, if you haven’t already, sketch out a rough map of key area features. Find a decent vantage point that allows you to get your bearings and view the surrounding area, making note of any bodies of water, visible trails, roads, and train tracks.
Another important sign to look for is evidence of other travelers; you chose your bug-out location because of its desirable features, perhaps other bug-out parties have as well. Key indicators to look for include man-made items along the trail to your bug-out location, rising smoke, and bright colors indicating tents or tarps. Additionally, listen carefully for footsteps and voices, especially if you fled a nearby disaster.
By Pat Henry – The Prepper Journal
I routinely think about the potential of bugging out with my family. When I do consider how this would work logistically, I probably paint a rosier picture than is prudent from the standpoint of the circumstances that would necessitate me having to resort to this option. If my family is bugging out, things are very bad. If I am bugging out, it is with the plan that we won’t be coming back and the situation on the ground at my home is one that is not suitable for living any more. As it stands right now, I don’t have a large survival group or network of friends that plan to rendezvous on the outskirts of town at our rally point. It would be me and my family which believe it or not does not consist of a high-speed, low drag platoon of Army Rangers.
Assuming again that the circumstances were unlivable at home and we were forced to hit the trail with only our carefully selected survival gear in our pre-packed Bug Out bags. The act of simply walking into the wilderness for many miles exposed to whatever the element conditions were on that given day, with my family would take more time than I would like, cause them a lot of stress and frayed nerves and would make us extremely more vulnerable. This is assuming everyone was healthy, suffered no injuries along the way and we actually had a place to go. I view aspects of bugging out with caution but I still think my immediate family could make it physically. I know there would be dangers if we were forced to hike to a safer location, but I usually stop at plans for minor first aid, shelter from the elements, food and water and lastly security. It would be tough, but we could make it I believe if grace were on our side.
But what if members of your group weren’t at the top of their game physically so to speak. What if some have serious health issues? What if someone was gravely injured or had a serious medical emergency that you simply couldn’t deal with? What if you couldn’t go on?
A recent and recently frequent contributor to the Prepper Journal, Bolo asked me the following question the other day.
What would you do if someone in your group became unable to continue the journey? This frequently happens with smuggling groups, where a person is suffering from hyperthermia or has a heart attack or stroke. Predictably, the “Coyote” guide will abandon them in the desert and continue on with the rest of his group. He has a schedule to maintain, a pre-set load up area, and a pay day to think about. Many of these people die where they were left on the trail and the Coyote would be facing murder charges if he was apprehended
I think Bolo was framing this question from the perspective of a bug out scenario that involved his local regional desert environment but the risks aren’t limited to long treks over barren stretches of uninhabited land. The potential for circumstances arising in your group that would cause you to be forced to stop or radically change your travel plans are common to every prepper I think and I found this question intriguing because it wasn’t something I had spent too much time thinking about.
By Chris Ruiz – The Bug Out Bag Guide
In a survival situation, timing is everything. The extra couple seconds it takes you to reach something in your pack can very literally mean the difference between life and death – especially if that item is needed for first aid or self-defense. Having both hands available at all times can be a huge advantage, and a great way to ensure you can maneuver hands-free is by wearing a headlamp.
In survival situations, headlamps (or headtorches, depending on where you hail from) are extremely convenient and useful, as well as having a variety of applications outside of survival situations including outdoor / camping adventures and home projects.
However, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, different circumstances will require headlamps of a certain quality. While you may not be concerned with the quality of headlamp you’re using to complete repairs in your garage, you’ll definitely want to ensure the one in your bug-out-bag is the best headtorch for your needs.
In this article, we delve into the key features that differentiate the best headtorches from the mediocre, what you should look for in a headlamp, and provide our top picks for:
- The most powerful / best LED headlamp
- Best hiking headlamp
- Best camping headlamp
- Best compact headlamp
There is a lot of information and variety out there as to what preppers specifically need to stock up on, pack, and carry in terms of necessary survival supplies and equipment when ‘bugging out’. But you won’t find much about the actual physical movement during your actual journey, and specific modes of transportation.
Why? Perhaps most of us take for ‘granted’ that any traveling is usually on four rubber wheels and depending upon how new and luxurious the ride is, that’s about as good as it gets for the big escape from New York.
But our cars are like the horses were to the Old West. You simply don’t do much in life because you can’t really go anywhere without them! This means that while most preppers might be very well organized and supplied, far too many overlook this basic, but very important, necessity in their plans.
Estimates claim that only about 4 to 5% (but steadily growing) of the U.S population is interested in hard prepping, for major disasters or major SHTF scenarios. Like most of everything else in the related schema of emergency survival mobility, the determinate parameters depend upon your indigenous location, your destination habitat, and what you encounter “in-between”. For most people, their expenditure budget is also a major factor in planning for the end result.
Fortunately, there is a small niche of actual vehicles designed and created just for the state of the art purposes of extreme travel survival that you can get ’right off the shelf’ ready to go. And a few out there that simply would naturally work so well that they could have been primarily designed as a survival bug out vehicles (SBOV), even though they are not!
Here are some currently exemplary vehicles and overview that anyone who will be bugging out on anything but their feet could study to help make their own critical choices.
The list does not indicate or determine the actual Number One Best all around vehicle for obvious logic that not one vehicle fits everybody’s needs. Instead we have a loose descending order going from most expensive to the least expensive, that generally represents what most serious minded bug out preppers would likely wind up using or replicating. Check out the following for ’educational purposes’ and check out any websites of these vehicles for foundational details to get you ’started’.
NOTE: All prices in this article are approximate for standard new vehicles. Second hand vehicles are available for some of these models.
1. Knight X5 from Conquest Vehicles
When you hit the next Powerball numbers this is a ‘must have’ SBOV. Its main asset is that it is just so damn cool that not only will it impress your neighbors but any stragglers blocking traffic along your escape route will quickly be getting out of your way just because of the ‘intimidation factor’ with this very bad puppy.
If they didn’t move aside fast enough this 13,000 pound beast can easily plow through most vehicles in your way. It has everything any urban escape vehicle could desire from run-flat tires, to armor being able to stop anything anybody is likely to shoot at you on your way out of Dodge.
There’s enough square feet of roof area to set up a nice top cargo carrier for all the supplies you’ll need for any extended trip. You’d be surprised how many rich people or government agencies have these. It even has those special tinted windows that will freak out the cop when he stops you to write the ticket for having ’dangerously dark’ windows and…they suddenly aren’t dark anymore with the touch of a button!
Luxury options are almost endless and even James Bond’s equipment expert would be envious of this amazing piece of mechanical efficiency.
Who was the dummy that said money can’t buy everything?
2. Unicat Expeditionary Vehicle
This vehicle represents a world class level of getting anywhere one way or the other known as ‘Expeditionary’ vehicles. Kind of a Frankenstein Monster version of a pick up truck with a topper on its bed. There are other companies out there making versions of this theme, and it represents a need to utilize your SBOV platform for the dual purpose of living in it without the need to tow a camper.
Advantages and options are too many to list but this thing will definitely take you to places you’ve never been or even imagined you could go in a style that resembles more of a ’vacation’ than a survival mode. If you didn’t have or want a permanent BOL dwelling, then something like this is the next best thing offering maximum survivability and the versatility of anytime relocation escape.