Archive for the ‘Bugging out’ Category

Run to where? Taking an honest look at getting out of Dodge.

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

One of the central themes of a lot of readiness thinking and training is the notion of bugging out when a disaster strikes. There are a lot of reasons for that fact, mostly driven by people living in urban and suburban areas that are critically unsustainable in a crisis situation. That said, one of my major misgivings about the notion of getting out of dodge, and I think one of the major failings of that kind of readiness, is that it often ignores where someone will run to if they run away.

This isn’t a question of standing your ground, but rather it is one of figuring out how not to be a refugee. Why is avoiding that state so important? Because, as a refugee in a crisis situation, you become dependent on whatever aid someone else can provide, and in the worst cases, those providing that aid triage it just like medical care. Unless you have a plan for how to get somewhere that can support you and alternative plans for what happens if you cannot get there, it may prove to be the case that it’s a better call to stay where you are, even in a worst case scenario.

Consider the standard planning for a so-called bug-out kit. A single kit usually contains enough supplies to support one person for three to five days, and with proper care, rationing, and a little luck, could probably last two weeks. What happens after that? Keep in mind that, if you’re in a situation where there is a crisis bad enough to warrant leaving home, it’s likely there are going to be many other people, often far less prepared, doing the same exact thing. If the refugee crises of the past few decades have shown us anything, mass migrations of people fleeing a crisis usually end badly for everyone, even for people who were prepared for short term fleeing.

So, again, what happens after that? If you want to avoid finding yourself in the middle of exactly the kind of secondary disaster a large-scale crisis is likely to create, the only real answer is to have a known destination that you know will be well-supplied and, unfortunately, well defended, along with secondary options for how to get to that location if the primary way is blocked and places to go, at least temporarily, if you cannot get there at all.

Of course, this kind of planning becomes very unique and depends on all sorts of variables, making it far more complex than stocking a backpack with three days of supplies, but the fact is that readiness is a state of mind and a constant practice. The best bet is to add the, “Run to where?’ question to your readiness planning so that you don’t find yourself just trading one disaster for another.


Be ready now: 3 things you can start doing this week to be ready for whatever comes next: Bugging out

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Be ready now is a weekly post about things you can do right now to get ready for whatever might come next courtesy of Dennis L Hitzeman’s Readiness Weblog. You can find other posts in this series in the “Be ready now” category.

This week’s theme: Bugging out

  • Immediate: The main part of being ready to bug out is to know where you are headed. Develop a plan around the kinds of emergencies that might occur in your area and consider everyone involved in your backup plan. Be sure to have secondary and even tertiary rendezvous points in case the primary location becomes inaccessible. Also, be sure that everyone involved in your plan has the proper gear available in the case of a bug out. Such kits should contain at least a three day supply of food and water as well as appropriate foot and weather gear.
  • Intermediate: Consider what you will do if a bug out lasts more than a few days. Where will you go? Why will you go there? If you are headed toward a particular place, is anyone there expecting you? How will you get there? For every answer, you should also develop alternatives.
  • Long-term: Plan how not to be a refugee. Refugees are people fleeing an emergency but who do not have the capacity to care for themselves in any appreciable way. The best way not to become a refugee is to accumulate the necessary gear and skills to be able to survive even if every other part of your plan falls apart. For instance, learn how to hunt with simple tools like bows or spears and learn how to properly prepare and preserve meat. Learn how to start fires without matches, and so on.


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