18 November 2012

Thoughts: Planning on bugging out?

Frankly, it baffles me that so many preppers place most of their emphasis on bugging out.

Where are you going?

The wilderness? I was an avid backpacker B.C. (that's Before Children), and I can tell you that the "wilderness" gets pretty crowded on weekends and holidays. There may be plenty of empty land, but water sources are another matter. I might also mention that there's a reason hunters wear blaze orange, because open season brings a whole 'nother group of outdoor enthusiasts tramping around your pristine wilderness. Think people are going to pay strict attention to the "No Trespassing" sign on your deer lease when they're hungry?

To a "secure remote location"? Okay. If you can afford to buy the land, dig a well, build a concrete bunker, put up a wind turbine or solar array, store or raise enough food, make your own clothing, cook your own meals, cut firewood, AND defend all this. That's either going to take more money than most folks have, or more hours than there are in a day. If you've got a group of like minded people, that's a bit better. You can share the workload and the expenses- but are you getting into petty arguments with your survival buddies while you're still building your retreat? How well is that going to hold up when stress levels are much higher and you're stuck in close proximity to each other?

To family? Do they know this? Do they have somewhere to put you? Do they have enough food/water/ammo/what-have you on hand to take care of you as well, or are you bringing it with you when you come? Is where they are significantly better than where you are? Can you be obedient to the rules of their house (YOU are the guest, after all)? If you can answer yes to all of the above, you might be on to something. It still leaves the question, though:

How are you going to get there?

If you have a plan, a back-up plan, a back-up back-up plan, if it's not too far, if everything goes right, and if you are lucky- you may get where you're going. I pulled overtime working at a shelter after Katrina, and I talked to a lot of people. A lot of them had had plans, too, but reality happened.

Americans have gotten used to easy travel, and don't give enough consideration to the fact that traveling is dangerous. Once you hit the road, you are a REFUGEE. If you must, you must, and if you must it's better to be a prepared refugee. However, I served in the Balkans, and I can tell you that Bad Things happen to refugees. Many of the people had no choice, because they were caught between a rock and a hard place, but witnessing what happened there was a formative event in my life. (I have pictures I will add to this article later, but they still need to be scanned.)

I'm not saying you shouldn't bug out. It may prove necessary and you should have a plan for it. For most people, though, it shouldn't be your first or (god forbid) only plan. As for me, I will only leave my home if it becomes uninhabitable.