Saturday, April 5, 2008

Reviewing My Bug Out Options

This is kind of a follow up on my last post about bugging out. Although each situation will require a unique bug out plan, these are some of my thoughts about my bug out options.

  • House. PROS: This would be an optimal location to bug out (I guess that would be bugging in?). My house is fully stocked with everything my family and I would need to hunker down for a good eight months to a year. We have a garden, water is generally plentiful, it would be fairly easy to defend, and the general location/neighbors are good. We are located close enough to an international airport yet far enough from the big city so as to feel relatively secure. Lots of gun owners in the area :) CONS: Generally "bugging out" means you need to leave for some reason. Obviously, such as in the case of a flood, tornado, earthquake, fire, or other disaster that would obliterate my home, staying here would not be an option. In the case of socio-economic collapse, it may make a good target for the desperate.
  • Office. PROS: My office is a ways from my house so it may remain standing should our home be unlivable. My office is fairly easy to access, has heat/water/food and would be a roof over our heads. It would be a comfortable place to hang for a while. CONS: The building would not be very easy to defend. We would need to basically live out of our BOBs as it is geared for working, not living. Once food and water runs out, that would be it--I would need to find a way to acquire more of both. The neighborhood isn't the greatest.
  • Family who live on the other side of the state. PROS: Would be an excellent place to live, having basic supplies/food/water for a short period of time. Where they live would have options for hunting and foraging, and there is plenty of water. CONS: Getting there would be nearly impossible if everyone else were evacuating at the same time...the freeway is nearly at gridlock during the normal, everyday rush hour. This may or may not (I really think not) be a long term option as the people we would be living with have very little desire/knowledge/skill to be prepared for anything...and aren't all that dependable on a good day.
  • Family who live on the other side of the country. PROS: There is a large group of close family members who live in near proximity to each other on the other side of the country. Some family members have excellent survival skills (one is a dentist, one is a self defense expert, most all have experience living in third world countries). CONS: Getting there would be difficult depending on the situation (for a localized disaster, flying there would not be a problem, however a country-wide situation would make getting there near impossible).
  • Friends. PROS: We have many friends all over the country and the world. Some would make excellent team members in survival situations due to their skills and experience. CONS: Getting to where they are may be difficult. Since we haven't actually lived with these people there could be issues that come up such as when any diverse group of people live together (think Survivor).
  • The RV. PROS: Is a complete home on wheels. It's portable so we could change locations when necessary. Can bring along a stock of supplies/food/water with ease. Would be good to use in the case of a localized disaster. CONS: Requires fuel. Is as big as a bus so no way to keep a low profile there--I'm guessing it would stick out like a very big target.
  • The Boat. PROS: Basically the same as the RV except for lots less space. Great access to fishing! CONS: Requires fuel. Would be hard-pressed for any ocean-going travel. Also, generally is quite easy to see thus making hiding our location nearly impossible. No real way to be self reliant and provide for food, water, etc.
  • The wilderness. PROS: Away from the city and crowds. Fishing, hunting, and foraging opportunities galore not to mention easy access to water. CONS: Any country-wide disaster will inspire many to "head for the hills" which will create quite a few problems (whether from the unprepared dropping like flies to the unprepared trying to take what others have built in the woods--such as a homestead--for their own use). Takes quite a while to set up a location there (gardening, hunting, and fishing are not sure sources of food at least right away) and making your home with your bare hands is no quick activity either. Truly living off the land is rarely done for obvious (and many) reasons.
  • A foreign country. PROS: Could be much more stable (politically/financially/socially) than our country depending on the situation. Could be able to set up a home and easily access food/water/medical care/education/etc (depending on immigration rules). Would be a good base from which to help save America depending on the situation. Would be a good temporary option to wait out certain disasters. CONS: During a country-wide disaster many others will be thinking the same thing. Will require a good supply of cash or the equivalent to get settled. Could make you feel like you are unpatriotic for abandoning your country. You know all of the problems that beset immigrants to America (racism, taking advantage of them, treating them like second class citizens)? Well in this case we would be the immigrants.

The bottom line is that each and every survival situation will require a plan. No two situations will use the same plan so it is nearly impossible to say "my bug out plan is X and that's it". Also, people react differently in each situation so anticipated problems in your plan could turn out to be nothing and the "pros" that you count on could not work out the way you expected thus causing you to rethink your plan on the fly.

My generic bug out plan is to gather the family, gather the BOBs, then decide on the best course of action depending on the situation--we may "bug out" to a hotel, in the RV, stay with friends or rent an apartment if a fire ravages our home, on the other hand, if the economy collapses we may weather the initial days in our home then make decisions on a day by day basis based on the best information we can get. Or not. If it looks like an American version of Baghdad/Sudan/Kosovo is coming to a town near me, I may determine it is best to remove my family from this country all together and live to fight another day.


  1. Well you can choose your friends but not your family. It can be a tough choice.

    I live in the more rural mountains of northern NH, which has potential for survival come SHTF except that it is just several hours drive from major population centers.

    If the shtf in mid-winter when it is -20F up here, many might be convinced to head south instead. Certainly in the ensuing weeks there would be a great winnowing of the hordes as winter takes it toll - but it would also cause them to become very desperate and desperate people do desperate things.

    How about an island nation for a pre-emptive Bug Out? New Zealand might be a good choice, for example.

  2. Excellent comment about how the weather would affect the bugging out situation. Should a disaster happen during the winter, it's a good bet that the masses aren't going to head north as it takes skills to live in sub-zero conditions that many of our southern neighbors don't have.
    As for an overseas bug out location, I would say start traveling now. Check out possible locations, get to know the country. make contacts in your chosen destination, and if necessary, brush up on the language. A country that may seem ideal from afar could be less than stellar once you get there while a third-world backwater may suit your purposes just fine.

  3. My current plan for the collapse scenario is to go into the wilderness. By law a wilderness has no roads other then the occasional cherry stem. Therefore in theory it should be harder for the masses to flee there. I don't give much chance to the unprepared to go into the wilderness on foot. My current thoughts are to go via bike/hike. I'm currently looking for the right place: away from population centers, military installations, etc., not too far from home. Then I have to plan the route: where to cross rivers, avoid cities, etc.

  4. I would suggest not waiting until a disaster strikes to put your plan into action. Take a week (or four would be better) and go into the wilderness and actually survive on your own for a period of time. You will definitely find out how difficult it is but better yet, you will learn a whole lot about what works, what doesn't and what additional plans you will need to make.