Common Bug Out Mistakes to Avoid
When you experience a disaster like situation, it’s likely that you face a roller coaster of stress and emotions. In these situations, you can’t risk facing additional burdens due to mistakes like not being prepared. Bug out mistakes can force you to make poor decisions in the heat of the moment or simply make it difficult to survive. Therefore, it’s vital to learn how you can avoid common mistakes during natural calamities or disasters to protect you, your family, or your pets. Being ready to deal with any circumstances will improve your chances of survival and cause no additional problems for you. So, here are some bug-out mistakes to avoid.
The most common bug-out mistake is bugging out without a plan. When you’re already experiencing a natural calamity, doing this could end in a disaster. A person needs to have a destination in mind- a destination that is safe and secure under the circumstances. Well, don’t knock on your neighbor’s door for help if they are also dealing with the wildfire that sent you running away from your home. It’s important that you coordinate with your family and friends and stay with them in case of an emergency. Make a plan with them, and decide on a destination so that you all can gather at the same place if they have to bug out in the future.
You also need to plan the route to reach that destination and discuss alternatives. Make sure to include transportation alternatives, as the interstate will be blocked in case of evacuation. Hence, you might have to ride a bike or walk. While you are creating a bug-out plan, think about what you need to do once you and your family and friend reach the destination.
Evaluate how long you can stay. After all, it’s not a great idea to bother your in-laws or a friend out of town by overstaying there. Plan what other places you can go if your stay is longer than three days? You need a proper survival plan for at least 10 days or more, as you never know how long it will take before things go back to normal.
Less Physical Strength
Whether you are experiencing a flood or wildfire, an emergency can cause great stress. In most cases, you don’t even have time to wait for help- all you can do is run to save your life. So, it’s possible that you’ll need to leave everything and carry your bug-out bag on your back and lug it for miles before you reach a specified emergency destination. Don’t believe us? Take a moment to remember how residents of New York City evacuated during the 9/11 attack. A significant population walked from New York to Manhattan.
Apart from the mental pressure, you might also experience physical problems, such as fatigue and body pain, if you have to walk long distances. Can you walk all the way to the safe house while carrying your heavy backpack? Answer honestly, because factors like low physical strength or being overweight can put you at risk. You might suffer from dehydration, serious injuries, a heart attack, or heat stroke. Not only will this be problematic for you, but your family will also struggle. How can they deal with a health emergency in the middle of a natural disaster?
So, if you think you lack the physical strength to make it through a natural disaster, start working on it. Consult a physician to understand your health problems. They will help you find ways to build strength. After that, start jogging or walking long distances to prepare your body. Also, go for hikes with your family. This way, everyone is prepared, and you learn to walk on different terrains.
No Plan for Pets and People You Left Behind
Do you have a bugging-out plan? Have you included your pets and people dependent on you in this plan? Have you wondered what they will do when you leave? When you are making a survival plan, it is vital to think about people who are dependent on you. This includes your children, old parents, or an ill family member living with you. A plan needs to include things that can support these people.
For instance, if a family member can’t walk fastly, you need a wheelchair so that you take them to their destination. Plus, share your rescue plan with them so that they stay prepared for the disaster. Don’t forget to carry a few important things in the bugging out bag because you can’t handle your bag and family member together.
In the case of pets, think about how you can save them during natural calamities. Can you carry them with you, or can you simply free them to run for their life? Well, it’s better to have some cages that are lightweight and easy to carry. Keep these at home within reach. This way, when the disaster hits, put your pets in a cage and take them with you.
Heavy Bug Out Bag
When preparing a bug out bag, your first instinct may be to pack as many things as you can because they might ‘come in handy’ when facing a natural calamity. Unfortunately, this is the wrong approach, and it’s dangerous too. Your bag must only have enough items for survival until you reach your bug-out destination- not to support you forever.
Your bag should not cause backache or injury after you’ve carried it for several hours. Since most people reading this are not athletes or fitness enthusiasts, there’s a great chance that they’ll feel some strain while carrying a backpack. A bug-out backpack needs to be 25% of your body weight. If you are used to strenuous physical activities like hiking, weight lifting, or cycling, you can increase the weight based on your strength, but only if needed. Note that even if you have the strength to carry it, you will be more susceptible to injury.
Here are some tricks to cut down your backpack weight.
Opt for multi-tools, as they reduce weight and save space.
Invest in lightweight backpacks.
Only pack things that are important for survival, such as water bottles, first aid kits, etc.
Less Water in Bug Out Bag
Another common bug-out mistake people make is that they don’t carry enough water. Typically, people first pack food items, but that’s the wrong way to go about it, as water is more important than your favorite crisps. Generally, a person can survive without food for around a week. Your belly fat provides your energy in the meantime. However, you can die of dehydration if you don’t drink water for three days.
Experts recommend packing 1 gallon of water per day for each individual. For instance, if you are packing for two-person and need three days to reach your destination, pack 6 gallons of water. Keep in mind that you not only need water to drink but also for cooking and hygiene purposes. If you’re taking your pet along, you need to pack more water by considering how much they drink in three days. While it’s true that water bottles take up a lot of space and can be heavy, cutting down on them is not a choice.
If you think you can’t carry so much water, learn how to use an emergency water purifier. This way, you can avoid carrying more weight. It might be challenging to harvest clean water from things around you, like plants, but it’s definitely possible.
Leaving Essential Documents and Paper behind
Packing important personal papers and documents is vital to planning for the future. What if the disaster hits your home and damages everything? How will you rebuild your life after that? Make sure to place the following things in your bug-out bag.
Bank account information
Credit card information
The contact number of your close friends, family members, and local authorities
Carry every document in a folder so that you have what you need to get back on your feet after the disaster. Most importantly, make sure to update information in your folder as time passes. To save space, you can keep a soft copy of every document on the flash drive.
Besides the above-mentioned bug-out mistakes, you also need to avoid packing things in an unorganized manner. Because of this, you have to go through each compartment of your bag to find a single item. Keep all the emergency items above, like a first aid kit and water, and less important things in the bottom of the bag, such as clothes.
Planning for each step can save you from getting into trouble. You will be more prepared to deal with any situation. Of course, think several times before making any decision while making or executing the plan. Last but most importantly, each member in your house needs to know the bug-out plan, so you don’t have to waste your time telling them during the disaster. If you want to learn more tricks and tips for survival, check the Survival Hacks.