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Anyone who doesn’t have his or her head buried in the sand has probably considered what they would do if something happened and they had to flee their home.  Sort of like when some people imagine what they would do if they won the $1.28 billion Mega Millions lottery.

The common refrain remains “I’ll bug out.” But clearly it’s far more complicated than that.

Unless your residence is on fire, bugging out in an emergency should be akin to pulling the trigger in a confrontation. As in something that’s done as truly the last resort – because nothing good happens after you execute that trigger pull.  Just as lots of bad things may happen after a defensive gun use, lots of bad things may happen after you leave your home during turbulent times.

Screen capture by Boch via YouTube.

What sort of bad things can happen when leaving your house behind?  Becoming a refugee for one, either voluntarily or forcibly.  Or dying from exposure to the elements or from an armed bad guy who wants your stuff.  One or more of your family members could be abducted or sexually assaulted.  Then there’s dehydration.

You will leave most of your stuff behind, even if evacuating via your motor vehicle(s).  And if your transportation breaks down or runs out of fuel (or gets stuck in an Interstate turned parking lot), you will have to leave a lot more behind.

Just like people who have a tendency to reach for the gun at the first sign of trouble, some people seem inclined to “bug out” from their homes the moment the going gets tough.

For some, especially apartment dwellers in big cities, bugging out early might be a good call for them.  Provided they have a place to go where they will be welcomed and a means to get there in relative safety.

On the other hand, staying at a private residence, around neighbors you know, will prove better than leaving – for virtually everyone.

At home you (hopefully) have a handle on who’s who and what’s what. You have all of your clothes, tools, medicines and medical devices (think C-PAP) and your supplies right there. Home represents normalcy psychologically as well. What’s more, if you’ve made half an effort to get to know your neighbors and shown yourself to be an asset, you’ll have help nearby.

Screen capture by Boch via YouTube.

Not only that, but water and ammo is heavy.  Your UPS man probably thinks unkind things about you while carrying 50 or 75 pounds of ammo from the curb to your front door, especially if you live somewhere besides the ground floor.  (Just as Brown’s drivers no doubt hate humping heavy bags of cat litter or dog food from chewy.com.)   The average Joe (or Jane) is not going to carry a case of .223 (or even 9mm) on their back for long at all.

Instead of risking a herniated disk prematurely, build relationships and communications with the good people nearby and identify the dregs to watch. Be polite to the dregs, but have a plan to, ahem, “deal with them” if they become… dangerously uncivilized.

“How many of you know your neighbors by their first names?” Nick Klementzos asked at a Guns Save Life Chicagoland grassroots gun rights organization meeting back in early 2020 just as COVID was getting underway.

Nick encouraged everyone to build relationships with their neighbors. Learn their names, their kids’ names and even their pets’ names. Get their phone numbers and email addresses and share yours with them. Assess whether they are a potential asset or a liability in “challenging” times.

Help your neighbors put you into the asset column. Whether or not you let them know you’re a gun owner is up to you. But if you do, offer to take them (and their kids) to the range sometime. Either way, let them know if they need help they can call upon you.

He gave the example of his neighbor needing someone to dog-sit their mutt after their usual dog sitter became temporarily unavailable. “Sure, I’ll watch your dog,” he told them, assigning his teen daughter a task she truly enjoyed.

Hey, it’s summertime right now.  Buy some cookies or other sweets from your local bakery, then share them with the neighbors as you introduce yourself – or build upon previous introductions.

Again, spend more time getting to know your neighbors than fine-tuning your bug out bag.  The BOB might prove priceless in a once-in-a-lifetime instance, but good neighbors will help you on a regular basis.  Later, among the best and most dependable friends, family and neighbors, formalize agreements to look out for one another and to provide assistance during an emergency.

Then if there is a multi-day power outage for whatever reason or other disaster strikes, and things get worse as food and fuels become scarce, you’ll have identified allies nearby instead of unknowns and suspicions.

No matter if it’s a housefire, tornado or a local or regional disaster such as an earthquake, good friends and neighbors (and family) will prove priceless in many ways.  Allies can turn life-threatening problems into inconveniences. Especially if traditional first responders become unavailable or greatly delayed, leaving everyone pretty much on their own.

Allies in your neighborhood and the support they provide are a precious reason to stay put during a crisis and not “bug out.”  As are your pets.  Ditto if you have young children.

But let’s say you decide to execute Plan Bug Out. You load up the car, van, SUV, or Lord forbid the Tesla, and “bug out.”

Finding the hotels full – or unwilling to take your credit card because the internet’s down – will pose your first challenge. So then you decide to stop and “camp” at a local, county or state park. Or maybe an Interstate rest area.  At any of the above, you will probably find many ill-prepared folks, some of whom are downright desperate.

The ethically-challenged desperados will eyeball your “stuffed to the gills” vehicle and smile. While you’re taking a leak inside, they’ll bust out a window or two and help themselves to your stuff.  Maybe truly derelict sex offenders will help themselves to your son or daughter, too.

Oh, you’ll shoot the bad actors? Have you considered they will likely be armed too? Maybe with rifles or shotguns – and you, if like most, haven’t practiced for months with your pocket carry piece. How’s that gonna play out for the home team?

Okay, you’ll skip the state parks and rest areas and look for a place to sleep in the woods somewhere.  Assuming the authorities don’t corral you into a refugee center while you’re finding a spot…  Oh, they’ll call it something nicer, but it won’t be pretty.  Remember the Superdome in New Orleans during Katrina?  Google it and look at the images.  You want that for your family?

Screen capture by Boch via YouTube.

So you found a spot.  Great. Got a tent? Know how to set it up?  Do you know how to build a fire (which will give away your location, of course…)?  How many nights have you tent camped in October through March in near or below freezing temperatures?  Or below zero temps for those living above the Mason-Dixon Line?  You better have brought a really warm sleeping bag for everyone.

Screen capture by Boch via YouTube.

Whatcha gonna eat?  Do you have a way to make water that won’t cause you and your loved ones to defecate frequently and uncontrollably?  Speaking of water, what happens if you get wet?

Got your medicines?

What will the property owners think of squatters like you camping on his/her/their (or whatever their preferred pronouns) property? Don’t expect a warm apple pie or a bottle of fine wine as a squatter-warming gift.  They might, however, share some hot lead with you.

Screen capture by Boch via YouTube.

Nah, if you don’t have a pre-planned destination not too far away where you will be welcomed and a way to get there that doesn’t involve an Interstate or crossing bridges over major bodies of water, you should start planning – TODAY.  In addition to getting into better physical shape (a tall order, I know) and beefing up your emergency food supplies and potable water solutions, build those relationships as part of your layered preparedness plan.

Also, have a way to communicate with your circle of friends that doesn’t involve a cell phone or the Internet. Yes, that means either smoke signals or radios, so if you don’t have a radio, you best be getting one and figuring out how to use it to communicate. Or you better get good at waving a blanket over a smoky fire.

The alternative to planning ahead? Finding members of your family dead, or traded or sold into sex slavery, or maybe sent to a government camp as refugees.

For most folks who aren’t apartment dwellers, staying home is almost certainly the best course of action in any emergency except under the worst of the very worst conditions.

There’s a multitude of good videos out there about bugging out.  One really good overview is by City Prepping at YouTube.

Plan accordingly and work towards improving your “stay at home” option. At the same time, flesh out plans for where to go in case of fire or other emergency forces you out of your home. Just don’t plan on coming back to your residence if you leave when things are really bad, because if nobody’s home, it’ll probably get looted at best, and burned to the ground at worst.

 

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119 COMMENTS

  1. Have enough food and water to last a couple of months at home without resupply. At the end of that time if you have to bug out maybe the kill off will have made it a little easier for you to travel unmolested.

    I have a bike and have a jogging stroller. I can push or peddle a whole lot more weight a lot farther than I can walk.

    • Bottom line? You bug out if you’re more likely to die staying put, than if you left on foot. I can’t imagine anything other than a category 5 hurricane making bugging out a sensible decision.

      • Worse comes to worst, I have an off the grid hardened underground bunker in which pains were taken to make it very unobtrusive, in an also very remote location.

        Never did understand the POV that being prepared for various disasters is stupid or somehow lunatic fringe. Seems rational, and something that was drilled down on us from an early age when I was a young cub through eagle scout. More so in the service.

        About that cat 5 thing, survived two already. No thank you sir, never going to try that again.

        • I have family members who know we prep and they somehow think that if it all goes sideways, they’ll just show up here and be welcomed with open arms. Not happening.

  2. I’ve never understood the American obsession with ‘disaster’ that seems to, go alongside the obsession with fire arms. It all seems to revolve around some kind of fear about an impending invasion of some sort by some kind of imaginery ‘enemy’ . America is probably the least likely natioin in the whole wide world to EVER be subjected to any kind of enemy ‘invasion. Even the British did not ”invade” America because they were already there. I can perhaps understand preparing for natural disaster but even there only a tiny fvracy tion of Continenta America is subjected to them and even they could have been avoided if people had had enough bloody sense not to undertake the built environment iin high risk areas I mean whomthe hell would deliberately build a Great City of the St Andreas Fault when they KNOW that at some time in the future the whole lot is going up in earthquake, fire, flood and tempest – [yes I’m talking San Francisco here]
    Half of America seems to be preparing for war at any one time. It would perhaps be understandable if America had been under the bombs and had suffered past invasions like Europe has but apart from the Twin Towers as I can ascertain only THREE elfin bombs have ever dropped on Continental USA and the USA has NEVER been ‘invaded’. [Though of course the BRITISH/ CANADIANS did invade and burn down the White House in retaliation for an attempted invasion of Canada by the USA. Even with the Twin Towers of 9/11 the organisation that planned and executed it was as surprised as anybody when the whole lot collapsed

    • One word, Prince Albert. Earthquakes. Here’s another. Hurricanes. And another. Tornados. And another. Flooding.

      Its better to be thought a fool, your Grace, than to open your mouth and removed all doubt.

      • Jimmy Beam,

        Prince Albert clearly lives in a can. As a result, his only perspective is England which is extremely fortunate to be at almost zero risk of any natural disaster.

        On top of the disasters that you mentioned, some people are also at risk of blizzards, ice storms, and wildfires.

        I would estimate that about 85% of the United States land area is at significant risk of one or more of those natural disasters.

        • Uncommon sense – you forgot to add global warming. Hell, the Limeys cant even build roads, airports and railway tracks that withstand 100 F heat waves.
          So sad – the Brits use to be such a great people…

        • Wild Man, 100+ F happens about 25% of days during summer where I live.

          But good ol’ blighty does get some bad storms that shut down parts of the country. But the subjects are conditioned to wait for the authorities who are usually shocked into inaction.

        • @ Southern

          Right there with you for temps. And powerful storms outside the purview of hurricanes, which we also get fairly often.

          Authorities here, much the same. Inconceivable that with so much frequent experience they can also be so damned incompetent.

    • Your ignorance regarding the USA is truly amazing. Your Google-Fu also truly sucks.

      The Japanese invaded and occupied Attu Island in the Aleutians during 1942.

      You are a brainless, mindless troll…you’re ugly, your feet don’t match and your Mother hates you since your Dad left.

    • The Brit retard says, “I’ve never understood the American obsession with ‘disaster’ that seems to, go alongside the obsession with fire arms. ”

      Obviously, he hasn’t seen a headline from Ukraine in the past several months. It’s not like Ukraine is truly unique, either. At least a dozen other places in Africa, the Mid-East, and Asia are experiencing similar turmoil.

      Only two generations ago England was under attack by the Luftwaffe and those new-fangled V1 and V2 rockets, and threatened with an invasion. Unexploded ordinance is still found in England today.

      There is much that the idiot doesn’t understand, and he has no problem telling the world what an idiot he is.

      • Because he trusts in the benevolence and wisdom of his betters in The Establishment he so joyously fellates.

    • Because tornados never rip states in half and floods never wipe out entire towns and power outages never last for days or weeks in the middle of winter and mostly peaceful mobs never burn down city blocks.

      That dementia slide must really be kicking in.

    • Sounds to me like you just want us all fat, oblivious, and happy so that when the world changes we all starve to death (eventually, gotta burn that fat first).

      I’m not obsessed with a disaster, but I am paying attention, which means you’d consider me obsessed. Ours is a world in transition right now, and I think it’s safe to say that anything is on the table in the coming decade. I don’t expect something like “walking dead” or “book of Eli” type bad, but I definitely expect things to get a lot tougher for the average American.

      Go back to your prison nation that you call home.

      • Dollar General is raising its prices.
        I wonder if it’s going to be called
        Two Dollar General.
        Nah then theyd have to raise the prices to afford the sign change, itd be never ending.
        I have found Dollar General’s sht is cheaper made then Walmart’s sht.
        Dollar General should sale emu nition, I’d be spending more money there.
        Hey theres an idea, when sht hits the fan just go live at Walmart. Got everything you need. First place I’d go is the bullets and gunms department because I cant be the only one thinking about hanging out at Walmart. Make a lot of friends and we could start the Walmart Gang.
        By golly, I’ve got a plan.

        • My grocery bill has gone up by 50+%. I am now constantly looking for specials and alternatives to keep costs in check.

    • Perhaps a literary assignment is necessary. My favorite, and most likely accurate representation is ‘one second after’. Read it. Learn from it. It harkens to what this articles author is alluding. Unprepared neighbors will always be your first adversaries, and movement would only be possible by convoy. Your comments illustrate that you will join the “zombies” in taking what you believe is yours from those that will be accused of hoarding or are otherwise prepared. The reality is far more simple. In the face of societal collapse, even slightly, many people who were already morally and ethically compromised, such as yourself, will always revert to your basest instincts, and at that point it’s just you versus not you. And those are not odds to bargain with.

      • Going to agree with you about the book. The descriptions of the first waves of death, especially the medical, is pretty accurate if you reason it out. Heck I’m on BP meds, could probably do without but I risk running hot if you know wht I mean.
        A lot of desperation in that book. A lot of doing what has to be done and a whole lot of sadness.

        • My comment when asked what I would ever do if TEOTWAWKI happened. Die, which stopped conversation as they started at me.
          I’m a type one diabetic, have Crohns so I am quite aware my chances of surviving a non civilized world are nill.

          I will protect what is mine and my wife as long as I am functional

    • We can now see what happens to the socially maladjusted who were stuffed into lockers and given atomic wedgies and swirlies every day in elementary, middle and high school…they start pretending to be British and make nonsensical comments on subjects they don’t understand.

      • The problem isn’t with people who read his tripe. The problem is that Al doesn’t ever read responses. He asks questions, but they’re all rhetorical. He doesn’t know and he doesn’t want to know.

        Being prepared is a good thing and for some people a hobby. Better to be too prepared (assuming you don’t run into financial stress over it) than not prepared enough.

    • A tally Albert, Japan did invaded the US in WWII. they landed some troops on some Alaska islands. Some American troops at the weather station engaged them.

      German subs were routinely sighted off the coast of Florida in US territorial waters.

    • Well duh Albert. We live on a continent. With millions of free men. You supposedly live on a tiny island of subjects. One we saved twice. I doubt they’ll be a third oh BS troll…anywho I ain’t bugging out. I am my own 1st responder & hero. How the he!! did you brits ever have an empire?!?

      • So true, “former water walker”, so true…!! I’m staying put. I live in a house with guns & a 2-year emergency (“25-year storage life”) food supply, which today can be purchased for around $2,700. Why in the hell would I wish to “bug out”…?? Let “the enemy” come to me. I’ll welcome them with closed arms and warm lead. I have no problems with helping my neighbors, but extreme strife changes things, I guess. At the end of Charlton Heston’s autobiography titled “In the Arena”, he talked about how a neighbor of his came knocking on his door one day during the immediate aftermath of the Rodney King incident in L.A. (Calif.) many years ago. The neighbor wanted to “borrow a gun” and some ammo until the “disturbances” had died down. Heston told tge man “Hell no..!! You voted for the idiots that caused this situation to occur, and besides – all mine are being used right now…!!” ‘Nuff said..!!

        • I would like to be your friend. Can I make your place my buggout location?
          Please send me your address.
          Thanks!

        • If all you have is two years’ worth of MRE-style “25-year storage” food, your stomach will cramp and your exit hole will scream for mercy within only a couple of days. And your family will hate you for the torture.

          Make sure you have adequate stores of “real” food to mix in with that stuff, to keep everyone ship-shape and on friendly terms. I have the long-term MRE stuff (20+ yr shelf life), high-calorie emergency ration bars (5 yrs), and canned foods (2 yrs). Mark each can with a sharpie to make its “best used by” date easily visible, and maintain a spreadsheet to keep track of your inventory.

          For the shorter-term canned foods, mix it up between soups, vegetables, fruit, meat, etc. Or pressure can, if that’s your style. But make sure it’s food you and the fam (especially Mrs. Youngs, if you have one) will actually eat. Otherwise, relying solely on the dry stuff is a sure recipe for mutiny.

        • I haz sez “Make sure you have adequate stores of “real” food to mix in with that stuff,”

          No worries mate. Looters go on the menu.

    • “American obsession with ‘disaster’” – because we have seen, time after time, Euro morons lined ahole to elbow on roads pulling/pushing their wagons/carts/baby buggies as the Germans (and others) have invaded. And we control our own destiny. No royalists to take care of us.

      Now see the failure of Oncegreatbritain and the skum you have allowed in/on your island.

      Al is a moron the needs to just STFU and GO AWAY.

    • Dear ALJ Hall – When the global pandemic begins, and the hungry crazy zombies come to eat your family’s brains, you better be prepared to protect yourself and your clan.
      Don’t come to me for protection when that happens…I’m letting them eat you, and then I’m coming in for your leftover food stocks.

    • Could it be that our “obsession” makes us less vulnerable to global aggression? Sure, our geography helps isolate us from conventional military incursions, but a weak nation is always vulnerable. An armed, “well-regulated” populace intimidates adversaries.

    • Where I live it’s hurricanes. They can really mess things up so you need to be prepared to be without power, services and such.Since there is no power fuels like gasoline will be either unavailable or in very short supply. Many of the local Publix have invested in generators so maybe there will be food but if its a large scale disaster where is their resupply coming from?

      Since I’m insulin dependent I make sure to have my generator ready to go and enough fuel to last 2 weeks so I can keep the insulin cool. And like many of us a 6 month supply has been built up of medications and supplies. I also have a larger generator that can be used to run the well as needed and assorted repair items like tarps and such. We keep a supply of food that can be prepared with minimal fuel needed and no cooling needed to store. And yes I also have weapons. We have learned some think disasters means time to steal.

      Andrew left us without power for over 2 weeks and was miserable with the heat. Did not want to be near a BBQ grill after that for years. Someone stole our generator before we returned and none were available so I kept my medications cool with ice from work. Food took a long trip to get as well as fuel and theft was rampant. If you did not have someone watching the thieves were sure to go through your stuff and take what they wanted. Worked for the Power Co and was working 16 hours a day doing storm restoration. Since our house was a loss we moved to the West coast of Fl.

      During Charley we were without power for only 5 days but it was considered a small hurricane. My wife had someone pounding on the door and peering in windows while I was again doing storm restoration. Luckily a neighbor started yelling and they quickly ran down the street and left in an old black truck. After that she decided maybe she did need to keep a gun handy. Too bad that quickly ended after everything returned to normal.

      Been through quite a few of them over the years. From Donna then various smaller or near misses to Andrew which was a wakening. My house had minimal damage from Charley since I built to meet a wind load of 150 MPH. But no power meant we were not nice and comfy.

      Maybe the gulf stream will stop and you too can experience problems as your climate matches your latitude. Or Russia can fire a nuke off your shore. Or your inept government
      keeps screwing the pooch and your economy collapses.

    • Hmmmmm, you don’t know much about the War of 1812? Or, for that matter, about the US Civil War? Or about living in rugged conditions on the frontier in the 1800’s? Or, for that matter, much about New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina? In fact, I don’t think you’ve got much experience in conditions caused by man or nature that lead to disaster.

    • Albert the Poncey Poofter of a Miserable Subject,

      We already know you’re stupid. You don’t have to keep demonstrating your stupidity to us, emulating dacian the demented dips***.

      “only fractions” of America are subject to natural disasters??? AYFKMRN???

      Google a few terms:

      American flood plains
      areas with frequent tornado formation
      know active earthquake faults
      forest fire patterns

      Those are just the easy ones. Now do a little research into the recent “gain of function” research Senate hearings. Also research why/how yersinia pestis has become a relatively minor threat, and how easily that could reverse itself. Know anything about solar weather, frequency of solar flares/CMEs?

      Why we are “obsessed” about things like this is akin to our very rational decision to kick your lot the f*** out of here – we like to deal with problems BEFORE they become intractable. But y’all are too effin’ inbred and Leftist to have a clue about any of that. And, YES, firearms are a part of that, because we are smart enough to realize that, when the cheese gets binding, our “first responders” are . . . us.

      Sweet baby Jeebus on a frickin’ nuclear-powered pogo stick, you wanking fake-Limey poofter, is there any limit to your @$$hattery???? BTW, if YOU are an example of a “patriotic Brit”??? Lord Baden-Powell doesn’t recognize you, you fake-Limey @$$hole.

      Go back to wanking and diddling your neighbors’ kids. Sod off, swampy.

  3. I have stockpiled food, have access to a well, a generator, and, of course, collected a number firearms and associated ammunition. I know all of my neighbors, which ones I can trust, and which to avoid. I cultivate relationships with the sane neighbors, and ignore the others (other than treating them politely).

    All that said, I keep a BOB ready, a habit from living in Southern California earthquake country for 17 years. Water, compact foodstuffs, extra footwear, first aid, etc. I carried a BOB in the vehicle the entire time I lived in SoCal, just in case collapsing freeway overpasses and reverse faults exposed at the surface impeded vehicular travel. I needed to be fully prepared to walk home in the event of The Big One.

  4. “…or Lord forbid the Tesla…”

    That mental image (and connotations thereof) made me snort Mt. Dew through my nose…backwards!

    You just know that there are some people out there that are planning that very scenario…’cause there’s SuperChargers every so many miles, ya know.

    • Florida is supposedly #2 in EV ownership right behind Californika. On our block 3 people own Tesla’s and someone owns a Ford Mustang Mach-E EV (which is FAST!! ).
      That means somewhere around 0.7% of all vehicles registered in our state are pure EV.

      We own a plug in hybrid as well as our truck. We bought the hybrid due to the 500 miles plus highway miles it can do. Throw 10 gallons of fuel in back and we can easily head to NW Georgia with fuel to spare. Same with return. Since it is so complex we bought our first vehicle warranty.

      I read your comment last night and asked my Tesla owning neighbor what he would do if we had another mass evacuation like a few years back. Returning after the near miss we found gas stations closed and were lucky to have four 5 gallon cans of fuel in the bed of the truck. We made it home on fumes.

      He had never thought about that. Can’t throw spare batteries in the trunk and odds are the charging station will either be down or packed so he would be limited to around 130 miles if he expected to return on what he had in the vehicle.

      He said sounds like they need to buy a second vehicle.

  5. Many outstanding points, but I’d caveat one.

    Personal alliances have the same natural implications as national alliances. Focus primarily on your own family; network closely with a small circle of neighbors and co-workers who share your values, interests, and goals (and/or actually have something to offer), while cultivating basic respect and civility with the rest. The unwilling and unable will always outnumber go-getters. Becoming known as the go-to go-getter amid a large circle of the unprepared is almost pure liability.

  6. So many thoughts left unsaid.
    One must be constantly assessing those with whom you socialize or are neighbors with. Are they a potential asset or just best to shoot before their stupidity gets you and yours killed; because you can’t fix stupid.

  7. The overall point/theme of this article is incredibly accurate and valid.

    Unless you have spent hundreds of hours training in a first-rate survival school, you will not survive bugging out unless you bring a lot of resources with you.

    Please note that, in the best possible circumstances, 10 days of provisions weighs a lot–beyond the capabilities of 99.9% of our population to carry (hike) for miles on end. Remember, not only do you have to bring enough food, you also have to bring at least one change of clothes, a sleeping bag, tent/tarp, toiletries, a small shovel, small saw, hatchet, fire-starting, water purification, a small pot (to boil water and cook food), knives, first-aid supplies, flashlights (and extra batteries), monocular or binoculars, compass, and of course at least one firearm and at least 100 rounds of ammunition.

    All of those items will probably add up to well over 40 pounds (assuming freeze-dried foods). And we have not even talked about carrying at least two quarts of water with you–assuming that there are ubiquitous water sources around where you can refill, which is not the case in something like 40% of our nation’s land area.

    And then there is the fact that bugging out with a huge backpack (to carry all of the above items) makes you a big obvious target for others to steal your resources. Note that your giant backpack also slows you down significantly if you suddenly find yourself under attack.

      • tsbhoa.p.jr,

        I have the experience of having hiked and canoed in a remote wilderness area with my father. We had supplies for 10 days and our load-out was on the order of 100 pounds per person as you say.

        At each portage we would wear one pack on our back and one pack on our front. (We had two packs per person.) And then we still had to carry the canoe as well as its oars and flotation cushions. Most portages were short, about 100 to 200 yards. The longest was something like a half mile or so.

        Only people in peak physical condition with good genetics (e.g. sufficient skeletal structure and baseline muscle-tone) are able to carry that much stuff and do that trip. And even then, we were paddling 99% of the time and portages were only short distances on relatively flat terrain. There is no way on God’s green earth that we could have carried 100 pounds per person for more than a few miles. I honestly do not know if we could have carried that much load for a few miles on several consecutive days–at least not without substantial conditioning well before that trip.

  8. Earthquakes and tornadoes would be my biggest concerns. Little to no warning, and the devastation could be terrible.
    Fast moving wildfires too.
    As long as the weather channel is still on, or the radio works, other storms and events I can get a heads up on.

  9. Staying put. I know this place better than any, its strengths (and weaknesses), and everyone that knows me well will be coming to my house when SHTF. They’ve already been told to show up with a truckload of food or they’re not welcome. They know what that means. lol

  10. I’m just too damned old to be tramping through the woods, sleeping on wet, cold ground, trying to find water, while carrying two weeks worth of groceries, all while herding grandchildren. If it comes to a bugout situation, I’ll die on my own property, thank you. I have three wells, a stock of food, a hot shower, and a warm bed to sleep in, until the bad guys come sneaking around.

    My idea of “roughing it” is taking up a position outside the house, hidden in the trees, watching for prowlers.

  11. I have never understood bugging out. But I don’t live in shithole city, either.

    I keep stuff in my truck to help me “get home”. (Is that bugging-in?)

    After Ivan, Katrina, and most recently Micheal, I think it’s much easier to stay home even if it’s not as comfortable as it once was.

    We did have problems after Michael with shit-asses trying to loot and burgle. It was short lived.

    My personal opinion is that in a larger disaster, the tacticool fools bugging-out of bigger cities is what we in rural areas will have to survive.

    They will be armed and under the impression they can “harvest” our stocks.

    Best for everyone to stay put if at all possible.

  12. I don’t need to bug out: I already did after Floyd-19. Sold my home in the cities in 2021 and moved to a small property with a couple acres, a well, and in general a better area with none of those looters waiting for the excuse.

    At this point, anyone scoffing at preps is just a Moron: food bought last year has already saved you money this year as the prices have soared on every grocery known to man, and it’s only getting worse. I look at food storage as an investment in the future that way – it’s cheaper/more available now than it will be.

  13. I echo the author’s sentiment: your odds of survival are significantly greater if you have substantial resources at your home and stay at your home. Knowing your neighbors and having strong positive relationships with them is frosting on the cake and increases your odds of survival yet again.

    Ensure that you have a LOT of drinkable water at your home. I am talking 100 gallons absolute minimum if you want very good odds of surviving a prolonged period of time. Remember, you need to consume at least 1/2 gallon of water every day for optimum function AND you will need some water for sanitation. A family of four would drink at least 2 gallons a day–and would use even more for cooking, washing hands, and potentially even minimal bathing. I could see a family of four easily averaging 4 gallons a day. Thus that 100 gallons would last at most 25 days. And we have not even discussed washing clothes.

    Next up on the priority list after a LOT of water, is a LOT of energy. Ideal energy sources are propane and/or firewood. It could conceivably even be charcoal. Another possibility: large marine batteries with two (or more) solar panels to recharge them. (Note that a solar panel and battery configuration will probably not provide any significant heating nor cooking–which could be totally fine in the southern states.)

    • You make a lot of good points, but the only situation where I’d consider firewood “ideal” is if you both live in a cold climate and have access to your own free supply. Wood has the worst ratio of energy content to bulk or weight of any fuel, requires cover, and isn’t convertible (by any common means) into anything but heat.

  14. Bugging out only makes sense if you need to evacuate a natural disaster.
    Otherwise, bug in and enjoy the supplies you (hopefully!) have.

  15. Couldn’t disagree more.
    Your first plan should be to GTFO and your last option (and yes you should plan for that too) is to stay and wait it out.
    Stillness is death. Movement is life.

    • I would love to see you write a full article giving your perspective. I know you’re a busy guy but I and many others respect your opinions and enjoy your writing. Seems like you live in an ideal place to stay put, if you’d go on the move maybe I’m not thinking of something.

    • IF you’re living somewhere that you would NEED to GTFO (within 100mi of Austin) then you are WRONG. MOVE NOW.

      • I’d love to reply more fully but I can’t right now because I am helping people evacuate their homes because of a wild fire just south of us. Not kidding

    • Why GTFO from what for which reason?
      If you are at a mall and something stupid happens, sure, run and get home safe.
      But if you are already home? Where to? At which cost? To gain what?
      If there is a forest fire running everything over, sure, GTFO. But a tornado or earthquake will be over within minutes. A hurricane within days. And where better would you go? A shelter in an overcrowded school gymnasium 100 miles away? Who wants that? And how do you get there safely?
      If you have supplies, maybe a generator and a shelter room, where else would you be safer? Reinforce your home, set up security, and if you encounter looters or maybe an antifa riot or civil unrest, enjoy the target rich environment.

    • How would I know to GTFO?
      Say I wake up tomorrow morning and the power is out. No cell phone. I would not know it, but China launch a EMP over the Pelosi, Taiwan visit.

    • Mr. Taylor,

      Whether or not it is wise to stay versus bugging out depends almost entirely on your living quarters, location, and the particular disaster (both its severity and the length of time that it is problematic).

      Do you live in an apartment in downtown New York City and electricity for the entire region will be out for three weeks? Bug out immediately. Of course that assumes that you somehow know that electricity will be out for three weeks–a near impossibility at the outset. And that also assumes that you can somehow make it the 15 or 20 miles to get beyond the core of the metro area to some alternate transportation.

      Do you live in a semi-rural and “safe” area and flooding has water three feet deep inside your home? You should probably bug out as soon as possible. Of course that assumes that you have a boat.

      Do you live in a home in a suburb and a hurricane wiped out all infrastructure (electricity, natural gas, telecommunications, businesses, and transportation will be unavailable for four weeks)? If you have adequate supplies and some neighbors have adequate supplies as well, I think you are better off staying put, especially if your nearest “safe haven” is over 100 miles away.

      For the millions of U.S. citizens who live in apartments in urban cores or who live in homes that are flooded, bugging out for any disaster lasting more than two days is probably the wisest choice. For the remaining millions of U.S. Citizens who live in homes that are not flooded, staying put is probably the wisest choice–assuming of course that they have adequate resources already on hand and at least one neighbor who will assist.

      • uncommon_sense,
        I live in a near perfect stereotypical mostly white, middle class, sub-burban town outside of a major city. The bypass is a 10 minute drive. The not so nice part of the city, another 20 minutes down the bypass.
        Going with the author of this article premise, if I had to “bug out” it would be a 60 mile hike on two lane highway to my inlaws, a small mostly rural village.
        Me and my son, we could do it in about 3 days with 30 to 40 pound packs.
        With my daughter and wife, might have to add another day. Perhaps two.
        My son’s friends on the wrestling and cross country teams, they could do it. But their parents whom I met at meets and tournaments, I would argue they could not do it, even if they did not have to carry a pack. What do you call it when a person’s calf and ankle seem to merge together? Cankles?
        Are these people supposed to hike out to some other location, with a 30 or 40 pound pack, miles away?
        The author of this article mentions of “ethically-challenged desperados”.
        How does anyone survive that?

        • JimmyDean,

          Me and my son, we could do it [60 mile hike] in about 3 days with 30 to 40 pound packs.

          You would be very unlikely to cover 20 miles per day–especially for three straight days–unless you regularly condition for that. Not only would that require serious endurance, it would also require carefully selected socks and hiking shoes or else you are almost guaranteed to get blisters on your feet. (Good luck hiking another 20 miles with a 30 pound pack and blisters on your feet.)

          And then there are security considerations. There is a decent probability of opportunistic criminals when a disaster occurs. Thus it may not be wise to waltz along a two-lane highway in broad daylight with full backpacks. Instead, you may have to go brush-busting, scamper off the road to concealment every time a car comes down the road, and/or only move at night. Any of those elements would probably slow down your pace significantly and that optimistic three-day hike could easily turn into a five or six-day hike. And that requires more provisions which increases the weight of your load which slows you down even more which makes your hike take even long and … it becomes a vicious circle.

          If at all possible, can you actually try that hike some time soon? It would be very educational for you and the rest of us to see how closely your plan matches reality.

        • This is to uncommon sense,
          I did my math wrong.
          Lets call it about 8 days, averaging 7.5mi a day.
          Good points!
          I will have to get a better map for water, but I know the road is mostly through rural areas. Not sure if there is much of a criminal element. There are a lot of Trump flags long the road to this day.

    • As I see it, stay / go hinges on two main questions: Is staying likely to kill or incapacitate me in the initial event, and is my home (after the fact) likely to be less livable / safe than a tent or improvised shelter? In nearly all manmade disasters and most natural ones, the answer to both has been “no” for the overwhelming majority of homes in the overwhelming majority of events. Many/most of the few exceptions were unpredictable or unavoidable. Furthermore, staying increases your chances of changing the answers in your favor.

  16. My like minded neighbors and I have discussed this. One them is a retired special forces veteran. There is strength in numbers. We are fortunate to live on the edge of the city limits and a protected wilderness of about 5,000 acres backs up to us. We have plenty of food out there. We have decided we will hunker down.

  17. OOO THA COMMENTS …
    UUUM STAY HOME PREPPER , KEEP CASE OF JIFFY ON STOCK IF CAN FIND IT , 20 ONE GALLON OR SO OR MORE WATER ON HAND TO WASH DOWN THA PEANUT BUTTER.
    PRAY WATER DOES NOT GET CUT OFF IN DRAIN LINES WORK OR THAT STOCK OF TOLET PAPER GONA END UP IN BACK YARD . MAYBE SKINKIE STUF KEEP RIOTERS AWAY ?

    • NTexas,

      WTF DID YOU SAY???? I COULDN’T HEAR YOU, SOME ASSHOLE WAS SHOUTING AT ME.

      Learn to turn your CAPS LOCK on and OFF, and start using that feature, or stop f***ing posting comments, you blithering @$$hole.

  18. Boch – you have already failed if you’re now living within 100mi of ANY significant sized City in the Peoples Rep of Illinois. MOVE

    • neiowa,

      You may have hit upon the single most important element–living in very close proximity to a major urban Hellscape.

      My only quibble is that you don’t have to be 100 miles away to attain a great measure of isolation. I think 25 miles away from an urban Hellscape is far enough to be very well isolated. Remember, the goblins who reside in urban Hellscapes almost universally lack the resources to travel beyond their urban Hellscape (or else they would not live there). The tiny number of goblins who would actually have vehicles and more than two gallons of gasoline in their tanks would plunder the nearest homes–and there are plenty of other homes with significant resources well within 25 miles of their urban Hellscape. Why travel 25 miles to loot your home when they can travel 10 miles and loot someone else’s home?

      • 25 miles is far too close, IMO.

        That’s just a 2 day walk from a major urban center. And 1 million folks will be heading your way, looking for something to eat. Something you own, like your survival supplies.

        Mobility will be something you want as an option. My latest project is an old battered folding bicycle, something like this :

        https://www.cyclingweekly.com/group-tests/best-folding-bikes-2-324714

        Highly puncture-resistant tires are under 100 a set, and a frame pump will keep the tires inflated, if you ignore it a few years.

        The whole thing fits in a smallish trunk, and you you always have transportation home available to you if needed…

        • Geoff,

          Whether or not 25 miles is a two-day walk is up for debate.

          First, if you are in a very hot climate, good luck walking 12.5 miles per day for two days without water, which would almost certainly NOT be available in a severe disaster which motivates a million people to migrate.

          Second, if you are in a very cold climate, good luck walking 12.5 miles per day for two days in serious cold (especially if there is snow on the ground) and surviving the extremely cold night.

          Third, if a million people are migrating in such a severe disaster, there could be all manner of violent criminal activity happening which would greatly slow down progress–due to constant attacks or blockages (which could be vehicle crashes or even engineered ambush points) that could turn an otherwise straight 25 mile walk into a zigging and zagging 40 mile slog.

          And we have not even touched upon the fact that almost everyone would be trying to carry a fairly substantial load with them in one fashion or another which would also hamper their progress.

          Sure, farther away is better. My point is that being even 25 miles away from a major urban Hellscape provides a significant degree of isolation/security.

  19. I live on about 800 acres of hilly terrain. I have multiple chest freezers that are full of deer, elk and bear, all of which were shot on my property. I can always obtain more meat. My nearest neighbor is about a quarter of a mile away. My property includes a hill a few hundred yards from my home from which I have a commanding view out to about a mile. I own rifles chambered in 50 BMG with which I can fully exploit that mile deep kill zone. My neighbors know me well enough to be scared shitless of me. The local police tactical teams as well as the USAF pararescue squadron have been allowed to use my property for training, so they know me to.

    Assume that you bug out.
    Assume that you make it through the urban riots or nuclear weapons effects or whatever.
    Assume that you make it as far as my place.
    What are your prospects of surviving invading my domain?

    • I forgot to mention that residing in my mancave where I cling to my guns and my religion is about a cubic meter of ammunition. This does not include my assortment of thermonuclear handgrenades.

      • Dear Mr. Fudd – How much you want for one of those thermonuclear hand grenades?
        I’m interested as long as it has no serial number or registered with the ATF.
        Please advise
        Thanks!

      • “My neighbors know me well enough to be scared shitless of me.”
        ooooo scary, I once wore calluses on my hand from patting myself on the back. I’m just wondering if your chest gets sore from all that pounding?

    • “What are your prospects of surviving invading my domain?”

      A roving band of thugs will have little problem sacrificing a few lesser members to take you out…

  20. Being officially “elderly,” my wife being totally disabled, and both of us reliant on monthly refills from the pharmacy, we are going nowhere if SHTF. I just wish I had a basement (a rarity in most of California. Forest fire, volcanic eruption (yes, that is a realistic possibility), massive earthquake, sure, we’d probably try to flee, but otherwise we are stuck and will shelter in place.

    • “a basement (a rarity in most of California”

      It still baffles me. I grew up on the East Coast with basements and dampness (and even appliances floating on storm surges when I lived closer to the water). Once I moved to San Diego and then Nevada (where it would not only be a complete non-issue, but also offer welcome respite from the heat) there was not a single basement to be seen. Why is that?

      • It mostly has to do with water intrusion issues.

        Not so much the height of the water table, more to do with the soil being excessively damp due to high levels of rainfall…

        • Nah. It has more to do with developers wanting to save money by moonscaping the lot and pouring pads. Unless yours is an older house, few are even raised foundations. Those are built where they can’t grade a flat building pad. Where I live, ground water is not an issue unless you are very close to the river. Elsewhere it could be 200 feet down or more, the higher upslope you go, and the soils are cobbles and clay.

        • Mark N.,
          Thank you.

          Geoff,
          If you weren’t already familiar with the climatic differences between the East Coast and Southwestern Deserts, I think I made clear in my comment that basements are common in the former, where water intrusion is much more likely. Rainfall here is about a twentieth of what it was in Newport or Norfolk.

  21. Most people commenting on this article assume some type of SHTF type of situation where civilization has descended into anarchy & that they will have a choice whether to stay or leave. Most are ignoring a much more plausible situation like a mandatory evac due to a natural disaster. Staying wouldn’t be an option if your place is in the path of a flood or a wildlife. And if you haven’t seen the effects of a tornado or even a hurricane you may not have a place to live anymore. In that case you should have a plan ready to go in case you have to leave in a hurry. A pre-packed B.O.B with enough essentials to get you thru 72 hours would seem to be a reasonable option.

  22. It’s hurricanes and tropical storms for me. Lived through Kate and Michael. Michael was something. Worked everything from Opel to Katrina. Best to be able to jump both ways. Stay home if you can, but don’t be stupid. Leave if there is a doubt. Either way. Be well supplied and we’ll armed, or you will no longer be well supplied.

  23. Several years ago, I thought about whether it would be better to stay or go if some major catastrophe occurred which motivated large numbers of people to migrate. At first I thought it would be a huge advantage to move to a better climate.

    For example if you live in Phoenix where summer temperatures hit 110 degrees, you would probably have a much higher chance of survival if you could get to a mountain range with much cooler temperatures. Or if you live in a northern state where winter temperatures hit -10 degrees and you have no electricity/heat, you have a much higher chance of survival if you go 600 miles south.

    Then I thought about the fact that you would have to drive that distance on roads. Even if you could somehow get gasoline to make that long trek, those roads will inevitably have dozens of “pinch points” (such as bridges over large rivers) where marauders are virtually guaranteed to set up and decimate anyone and everyone coming through. I decided that staying put, if at all possible, carries the lowest risk of attack and thus the highest odds of survival.

    • “…don’t expect a welcome mat.”

      Damn straight.

      The nice ones will tell you they aren’t welcome and ask you to leave and never return.

      The not-so-nice ones will turn interlopers into dried meat for dog food… 🙂

  24. Planning on staying put, but….

    As to knowing neighbors, my immediate neighbors are known as “neighbor south of us”, and “neighbor north of us”, everyone else is either, “neighbor up/down the street”, or “neighbor across the street”. Caused considerable angst with security officials when applying for security clearance in last fed job.

  25. Between the article and the comments, I see I made the right decision when I bought/built the homestead out here. We have a square mile of property that backs up to more farm and forest land. Plenty of game, we already grow/raise nearly everything we need. A few items like coffee and refined sugar and imported things like spices and chocolate we still buy. But produce our own staple items. Even wheat for flour.
    We are off grid for electric, have our own wells and septic system, and, while it is still useable, there is a gas well on the property. So free NG as long as the gas company runs the well. Already have the propane tank filled with enough to run off of for a couple years.
    14 miles from the nearest small town, and several miles off the paved roads. Not easy to find if you’re not familiar with the area. We also know and are good friends with the few neighbors. All are of the same mindset and we help each other out. And it doesn’t hurt that I am the only blacksmith around for quite some distance. If the worst happens, I can make the tools people will need. Or make parts for the machines they will have to use if fuel supplies become non existent. As well as simple things like horse shoes, nails, chains, and the various metal parts for harness and wagons. I can also teach those skills to others.
    Sure, I’m an old man now. Still healthy, and the old dog can still bite if needs be.

  26. A bandit is a bandit no matter where they’re from.

    Though you’re definitely right in that most prepping discussion focuses almost exclusively on rural landowners, often completely omitting discussion of prepping in urban environments.

  27. A person would have a smaller chance of running into mobs of people or one particular individual hoping to settle a grudge out in the wilderness.

    Other than an instance like those, I can’t see how the wilderness would be better than a home. Even without power, my house has better shelter, better storage, more food, and better security than I could hope to carry on my person or pack in a vehicle.

    I try to keep a week’s worth of planned meals plus a stock of staple foods like rice/canned foods/etc plus a propane generator that can run the fridge/space heater/window AC unit. It’s not what dedicated preppers have, but I can wait out a pretty severe storm that knocks the power grid down without any real inconvenience.

    • And even if your home was damaged or destroyed (short of being burned to the ground) it could still provide better shelter / building materials than anything you could find or carry in the wilderness.

      There may be fewer hostiles in the wilderness, but if you did encounter them you’d be at much less of an advantage than in your home.

  28. It could be nature or an EMP or … BUTT we are already seeing it. A slow steady decline in civility, the absolute lying by the MSM, crime waves and the oligarchs in this country preaching to us to not eat meat…or in some cases, food.

    All our politicians are corrupt and purchaseable.
    This is a slow steady decline of a civilization, it happens to every country/empire.

    Do you need a bug out bag? Yes. Will it help? Probably not. The infamous Build Back Better law included the requirement that within 5 years all vehicles had to have the ability to be shut down by the government. When the Russians started driving John Deere farm tractors from the Ukraine to Russia, the tractors were shut down by Mr. Deere (US Govt).

    The Patriot Act took care of a speedy trial.

    Why the attention on AR-15’s? Because a disarmed society is more easily controlled. If it was about stopping murders, they would start with handguns. AND don’t rely on the police or military to refuse to disarm you.

    The next attack will be an oligarch in this country buying up ammunition, powder, bullet, shell casing or primer manufacturers. Speaking of oligarchs, why do we call rich Russians oligarchs but not rich Americans? You were being groomed the day you were born, so was I

  29. John Boch,

    Please tell us you know NOTHING about “prepping”, without saying you know NOTHING about prepping. Oh, sorry, I notice you just vomited up an entire article demonstrating that.

    First, you utter moron, “prepping” is neither a result, nor a formula. “Prepping” is a mindset and an awareness. “Bug out” is a valid strategy – if you know WTF your are doing, and have made adequate PREPARATIONS. Alternatively, “bugging in” can be a valid strategy, if you know WTF you are doing, and have made adequate preparations. Or, it can be your ONLY ALTERNATIVE if you DON’T know WTF you are doing, and haven’t made adequate preparations.

    Do yourself a favor, and DO NOT post any of your drivel on any prepping fora . . . they would laugh at your idiocy harder than we laugh at dacian the demented dips***.

    You MAY know something about guns; you know sweet f*** all about “prepping”. Don’t pretend to knowledge you do not, in fact, possess – again, that puts you in dacian the demented dips*** territory.

    This is not a subject on which you should pontificate.

  30. Such a vicious comment is supposed to accomplish precisely, what?

    I knew/know nothing about nuclear physics, but I was expert at understanding how they work, and what they can do. I had an opinion about how nukes should be developed, stored, carried, delivered. My lack of expertise in nu-clee-er physics did not automatically make me a moron.

    Did you know that a ventriloquist invented the first chill suit to be used in certain surgeries? It was successful, adapted and modified over the decades, but no research scientist, or surgeon was involved in the development of the first chill suit.

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