Bugging Out For Beginners – A Simple Guide
Bugging out for beginners can be intimidating. But like all things, preparation is key! That’s why we’re proud to present this simple guide to bugging out if you’re a beginner. This is a great starter guide for your prepping library, and it’s chock-full of tips and tricks to help you get started on the right foot.
Survival Basics: Why You Need a Bug Out Bag
A bug-out bag, sometimes known as a “go bag” or “grab bag,” is just what it sounds like: a backpack you can grab up and go at a moment’s notice. It should include all the survival gear you might need to evacuate your home in an emergency situation.
It should have everything from food and water to emergency shelter and first aid essentials.
All of this will help provide for your basic needs while on the move. Since you won’t know how long it will be before you get back home again, or even if you will ever see your home again, it’s best to be prepared for anything.
Bug Out Basics: When Should You “Bug Out”?
When it comes to bugging out, there are a lot of different opinions. While some people believe that “bugging out” is never the right course of action, others insist that bugging out should be your first and only response to any sort of disaster or emergency situation.
Our opinion? It depends on the situation. You should only bug out if and when you absolutely have to do so. In other words, your life or the lives of your family members should be in direct danger before you consider bugging out.
Bugging Out: Where Should You Go?
- Consider your options.
First off, you need to decide where you’re going to go should society collapse in a horrible heap around you. The two primary destinations are your home and a bug-out location, which may be a friend’s house, a campground, or any specific spot that you have never been to before but know is there.
- Distance matters.
How far can you travel by foot? It’s an important question because it will tell you how close to the epicenter of the crisis zone your bug-out location needs to be. Of course, if the crisis is caused by nuclear war then anyone within 100 miles of ground zero will die anyway, and bugging out won’t really matter much at all. But for most other scenarios it will make sense for your bug-out location to be “nearby”—that is within walking distance or at least accessible by car without having to drive through too many populated areas.
Bugging Out: Preparing for the Trip
Bug-out survival is about more than just having the right supplies. Preparation is key to successfully evacuating with your family and all of your gear. Here are some things to keep in mind as you prepare for a bug out:
- Prepare Your Car: If you’re going to be driving long distances, make sure that your car can make it. If needed, get an oil change, check the tires and make sure that everything important is in working condition. Also, check on any mechanical problems that could occur on the way to your destination and make a stop if needed at a mechanic or auto part store along the way. Make sure the car has plenty of gas – but only fill up when you need to because you never know what type of situation will arise during an evacuation. Also, have a bag packed in case you’re forced to travel by foot or need supplies while evacuating (this will be used later).
- Prepare Your Route: Have a few routes mapped out beforehand if possible so that you aren’t stuck trying to figure out where to go once everyone is ready to leave. Think about where you want to go ahead of time so that you can avoid traffic jams and potentially dangerous areas on the journey there.
Setting Up Your Bug Out Bag Checklist
So you’ve spent hours scouring the internet, watching dozens of YouTube videos, and reading hundreds of articles on bug-out bags. You’ve identified what’s important to you and what will make your bug out bag extra special, but now it’s time to get a little organized. One thing that can be helpful is creating a bug-out bag checklist. This simple list can help you organize your mind and figure out which supplies are a priority for your survival pack.
It’s best not to overpack or come across as being prepare for the apocalypse, so keep an eye on how much gear you take with yourself.
Antibacterial hand wipes
Cash – $100 in ones, fives, tens
Cell phone and charger
Handgun and 200+rounds of ammunition
LED flashlight (small) with extra batteries, as well as crank-type flashlight that doesn’t require batteries
Map of area( detailed) and compass
Prepaid calling card
Prescription medications, as needed
Sewing kit( small)
Portable folding stove
Trail mix, a box of energy box, and electrolyte pockets
Wooden matches in a waterproof container
Water filter or bottle
Making Your Getaway as Easy as Possible
- Make sure you have fuel in your car. Running out of gas can be a big problem on the road and make your bug out much more difficult. Try to fill up when you’re at half a tank or less, and always keep a few extra gallons of gasoline or diesel on hand if possible.
- Be ready for flat tires. Nothing can turn an otherwise smooth evacuation into a frustrating nightmare quite like dealing with a flat tire in the middle of the night. Every vehicle should have the tools necessary to change a flat tire, including a jack and lug wrench, as well as an air pump or spare tire (and skills to use them!).
- Have road maps handy. While most people rely on GPS navigation for their daily driving needs, don’t forget that this technology has its limitations—especially when there’s no cell coverage! Having physical copies of maps on hand is always a good idea, especially if major highways are closed during your evacuation.
- Make sure all car lights are working properly. Being able to see the road ahead at night is obviously important, but this goes both ways: other vehicles need to be able to see yours as well! For safety reasons alone it’s essential that all exterior lights (headlights, taillights, and brake lights) along with interior lighting (dashboard lights) are in proper working order before you hit the road during an evacuation situation—that means turning them on yourself before setting off after dark and ensuring they do what they’re supposed to without fail.
Bugging out has advantages and disadvantages. You need to weigh your options.
You might also consider some of the pros and cons associated with bugging out. Bugging out can allow you to get away from a dangerous situation quickly and easily, but it also entails some risk. You may not be able to reach your bugout location, for example; you may have an accident on the way there, or you may make such a quick departure that you forget something important at home.
The best survival strategy for any given individual will depend upon the circumstances at hand as well as his or her personal preferences. To be sure that you are prepare for any unforeseen emergency, it is crucial to create a survival plan which outlines several different strategies—including both bugging in and bugging out—and then practice each of these strategies, in turn, allowing yourself to see how workable they are in real life.
We’ve come to the end of our guide, but hopefully, you are just getting started. No matter where you are in the process of bugging out, there’s always more to learn and more to do—and we’re here to help you every step of the way.
Until then – stay safe out there.