Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bugging Out Revisited

Our discussion yesterday brought up some interesting points. I think the idea of bugging out gets misinterpreted and overblown to the point of silliness. Folks get into a "bug out" vs "shelter in place" argument about philosophies and locations and all that junk. Let us just take a step backwards. In taking this step backwards we are avoiding going to magical WROL fantasy land and instead will deal with realistic scenarios.

I look at most things in life from the same psuedo military mindset, it's just how I have grown up. Going to the grocery store is a supply run, errands in town are a patrol of sorts, bugging out would be a hasty withdraw, etc. Obviously I temper the security posture to the specific event but the same general considerations apply to most situations.

My preference whenever possible is to ride out whatever may come at home. We are in a safe place, pretty well prepared and set up to be reasonably comfortable under less than ideal circumstances. Given what may happen in our area the odds are high we can simply ride it out here. Personally I do not see a need for us to "bug out' due to weather or a storm as we are pretty far from the coast. Short of some so sort of chemical spill or natural gas problem I see us being able to shelter in place through whatever.

That being said obviously the first way to successfully avoid the downsides of a disaster is to simply not be there. In choosing where to live we can take a variety of factors into consideration to lessen these risks but that is a topic for another day. If a major disaster is coming to our area it might just be prudent to leave. Hurricanes are a prime example of this. If you live on the coast and a big hurricane is coming the smart thing to do is to pack up as much important stuff as you can and de ass the area before the hurricane comes. 

When I speak of bugging out I generally refer to a short term move to avoid a nasty regional disaster. The best place to watch the Hurricane is from a Holiday Inn 500 miles inland. Strictly speaking you don't really need any cool survivalist stuff or kits to do this. Sure it is smart to have some jerry cans of fuel to make sure the family hauler can get to the Holiday Inn and having some bags packed is a good idea. I would be inclined to bring Bug out Bags and some other kit with us but the only stuff we'd really use would be CCW handguns and the all essential survival tool, the credit card.

Of course we could end up camping somewhere at which point considerably more gear would be needed and food might be hard to come by. This brings us back to more of a heavy bug out scenario. Bayou Renaissance Man did an interesting post on this some time ago.

Despite the unlikeliness of needing to leave our home I find it prudent to prepare for that eventuality. Why do I think this? Most places have at least 1 risk that may lead to them needing to leave in a hurry. I think this because bad things can happen in life and it is prudent to be prepared for them. A safe place up in the mountains can be overcome by fire. If a person finds themselves needing to evacuate with only 20-30 minutes notice it would be awful nice to have a plan so they can get the most important irreplaceable stuff, papers, photos, cash, pm's, the pets, a few guns and some survival stuff into the car instead of a single handgun, half the animals and a box of granola bars.

It is important to remember that in real life the smart thing to do against overwhelming localized danger is to leave.  Sitting in your bunker while it gets burned up/ flooded/ smashed is stupid. Go someplace else and rebuild after the disaster if needed. On the other hand in magical WROL fantasy land where displacing doesn't mean going to the Holiday Inn in Anytown Arkansas to ride out the storm but instead your own family version of The Road one might look at it differently. However applying that dire scenario to everyday life NOW is just silly.

So those are my thoughts on that.


Constitutional Insurgent said...

This is a conundrum that has plagued me for the last few years. After retiring from the military, I live in a small neighborhood, offset a few miles from a smallish town. It's located not far from the wild expanse of western West Virginia, but also perilously close to an interstate leading away from the DC beltway.

Bugging out is an easy option [barring an EMP/CME] but I also have a few close knit and prepared neighbors who can got the distance.

What to do, what to do....

I'd certainly rather ride out the crisis at home, as I haven't yet chosen a location west of me to actually take for my own, but all of my food/water/ammo/etc s here at the house.

Thank you for putting the dilemma to words. Natural disasters are easier in that civil order "should" be restored. It's the social unrest from a hemispherical/global event that really has me pondering my options.

Meister said...

Plan for the normal disasters for the area, then expand as time and resources permit to a more encompassing state of readiness. My immediate threat is power outages, then flood, then tornado, then civil unrest, then EMP, then WROL. It's way down the list and I'm in no way prepared to fight off the golden hoard.

Much like the LE threat index or application of force, I would stay home until a certain threshold was reached.

Anything is possible, and an EMP would be the worst possible scenario IMO, but resources dictate that our immediate need is to be ready for a power outage due to winter weather. This spring we will go into Tornado mode and be ready for that.

Harry Flashman said...

Even given my age and naturally sedentary nature I am starting to rethink my die in place attitude towards bugging out. A forest fire could destroy my buildings and all I have stored over a thirty plus year period. If that were to happen I would need some kind of plan. I just don't want to think about the possibility. But I have been watching the coverage of the big Australian fires and they are directly to ignore.55958591

Theother Ryan said...

Harry, Good call. A well thought out packing list coupled with as much stuff as possible packed in totes ready to load if need be would let you move on little notice in a well thought out way. It would just be a reorganization of stuff you have now.

Peter said...

I did another in-depth article (and a follow-up piece) on bugging out:

You may find it of interest.

Theother Ryan said...

Peter, I will have to check that out. Thanks for stopping by.

Aesop said...

Bugging out is pretty much contingent on having some place to go to.

For an impending hurricane, the fact that one can count on finding a Holiday Inn or equivalent is part of the equation.

For less likely but more serious problems, the dearth of a landing zone somewhere at the end of your gas tank puts a serious crimp in that option, let alone if deployment of the Tactical Survival Credit Card option is non-operable.

It all depends on what's going down.

Meister said...

Looks like most are on the same sheet of music. Harry, you might consider a trailer of some sort, such as a cargo trailer to carry your stuff away. I keep about half my stuff loaded in a trailer next to my house. The trailer has the backup genny mounted to it and a recon dirtbike inside. All my camping gear except our bags are inside, as well as enough fuel to get to the secondary location. It takes about 15 minutes to finish loading the trailer and get gone. If I have a day I can reinforce the house and pack everything we will need for a few months away from town.

You HAVE to have someplace to go, or a way to have shelter where you are headed. The trailer I built has a generator, lights, heat, ac and is big enough to sleep in for the whole family. It's insulated and built to haul all the weight of our stuff. a 16' or 18' trailer will carry more than you think if you pack it right. Your vehicle will need to be able to haul it. A good bet on the cheap is the older excursion from ford. Prices are low but they haul as much as a f250 pickup.

Yeager has a youtube series on his trailer and it's pretty impressive, but nothing like mine. Mine was built back when I raced bikes so it has more creature comforts.

Theother Ryan said...

Aesop, I agree that having a plan of where to go is important. Tactical Visa might not work but the emergency Tactical wad of 20's is essential too.

Meister, I liked that series and have something similar in mind for next year.

Pineslayer said...

Bugging out or the more appropriate term might be, Running for your life. We live in a area where wildfire is the biggest threat. I think it just like living in Tornado Alley because it can happen any time and you might not get much of a warning. We ran a workshop to get people to put together an Evacuation List/Worksheet, it was a big success. It also gave me a new perspective on saving all my crap. I have decades worth hoarding gear and materials.

Underground storage is becoming my new best friend. Too bad you need dynamite to make a hole up here. I plan on staying put if I can, if I get forced out by anything other than the weather, I will be a very unhappy camper.

Have you made your Evac List?

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