Thursday, February 11, 2021 by Zoey Sky
When SHTF, you might need to bug out once it’s no longer safe to stay in your homestead.
But before you choose a bug out location for your family, you must first determine if you have the skills and the supplies necessary to reach your hideout safely while traveling on foot. (h/t to SurvivalSullivan.com)
Different scenarios may require you to bug in or bug out.
Before you decided to bug in, you should have enough food, water and supplies for your whole family. Your stockpile should last for as long as you plan on bugging in at home, whether that’s one week or several months.
Preppers might bug in if traveling is too dangerous. Consider this option if you face scenarios such as:
You will need to bug out if your home is destroyed after SHTF or if the threat you’re facing is too dangerous to deal with on your own property.
Ideally, you can bug out using a vehicle that’s also full of supplies. But preppers know that life is unpredictable and your whole family should be ready to evacuate on foot if needed.
Bugging out might be the only option if you’re facing situations such as:
But compared to bugging in, bugging out is more dangerous because you may be forced to deal with a natural disaster that you’re trying to escape from. You may also have to deal with other threats you normally wouldn’t have to face when bugging in.
Since you’re leaving your home, each family member must have their own bug-out bag (BOB) with enough supplies to keep you safe and fed until you reach your bug-out destination. It’s also important to learn survival skills so you can protect yourself and provide for the group once you need to evacuate.
Once you’ve found a safe place to bug out to, you’ll need to find a safe route to your destination. If you can, plan a weekend where your whole family can practice traveling on foot to your destination.
After the drill, ask each family member to think of ways to improve your travel time. You can also look for safer and faster routes. Doing this ensures that when SHTF and you need to bug out for real, you’ve already thought of solutions for problems that you might encounter along the way.
It’s also important to memorize the route to your bug out location. If your group gets separated, each member must know how to read a map so they can find your hideout. (Related: Making your escape: 5 Factors to consider when developing an emergency bug-out plan.)
You’ll also need several alternate routes so you can continue traveling even if your primary route is blocked for whatever reason or if it’s unsafe to use it after SHTF. When choosing alternate routes, consider factors like the likelihood of meeting other travelers, the weather and seasonal changes.
Use a map of whatever type and scale suits your objective and your area then outline the route clearly. Before SHTF, you and your family need to learn how to use this map.
If you live in a suburban and rural area, you’ll need a topographical map if your destination is over wild country. Use different colored pens, pencils, or markers to indicate the main route, several alternative routes and other points of interest.
After you finish a practice run to the bug-out location, mark potential hazards, no go areas and safe zones like the houses of family and friends on the map.
After marking your maps, keep them safe in your BOBs. Next, learn how to use a compass so you can properly orient yourself and navigate to your destination.
You also need to prepare yourself physically before you bug out. This means following a healthy diet and exercising regularly so you can travel long distances while carrying a heavy backpack.
Learn how to deal with stress and how to lead your group well so you can stay calm when SHTF.
Once you’ve attained physical fitness, practice hiking with your gear. You need to get used to carrying your BOB so you don’t get overwhelmed with the long journey and having a backpack loaded with supplies once you have to head to your location.
Your work isn’t over after you’ve finalized your emergency plan, worked on your overall health, chosen safe routes and reviewed backup plans.
Before SHTF, you also need to accomplish items from the pre-bug out checklist below.
Before SHTF, plan ahead. Find a safe bug-out location, prep the necessary gear and supplies, and make sure your whole family knows where to meet up so you can all travel safely to your location when it’s time to bug out.
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