So you’re doing your research. You’re checking websites, books, watching TV shows… making plans for if the stuff ever hits the fan.
That’s great, but what if it all hit the fan tomorrow? What if you had to actually bug-out?
The term “urban breakdown” or “societal collapse” has been used in the recent past to describe any situation that would cause society to fall into a state of chaos. When widespread panic, looting, and other terrifying situations arise, will you TRULY be ready?
These 5 tips will make sure you’re a lot closer to a successful bug-out.
1. Have Your Equipment Ready to Bug-Out
Basic supplies such as paracord, a knife, a tarp, a container, emergency food and a fire-starting device are among some of the items you should have ready to go at a moment’s notice in your 72-hour kit. You should have a bug-out bag packed and ready to go at all times, have it in an easy-to-reach place (not in the attic or under a pile of shoes in your closet) and be able to grab it and get out the door in as little time as possible.
But once you get out the door, what next? Are you going to jump into your vehicle? Most likely. You need to make sure your car is prepared, as well. Think about what you would need in case of emergency and have it all in one place so there is absolutely no hesitation when you bug-out.
Be sure you know how to properly use any equipment you have in your bug-out bag. If you can’t use it, it’s no good to you.
2. Know Your Bug-Out Route
Where would you go in case of a natural disaster? Terrorist attack? Political breakdown? Knowing where you’re going will determine the possible routes (and the best possible route) you should take in case of emergency.
During a flood, you’ll want to travel higher paths with no bridges or low spots. If a massive fire comes your way (one that could potentially take out an entire block), knowing your area will allow you to take detours to avoid hot spots (no pun intended).
Stay tuned to local radio stations to monitor whatever situation you’re in so you’ll know where the danger lies (have an emergency radio just in case). Keep in mind, the more urban an area you are in, the more likely that area will be full of desperate people. Think about taking routes to avoid the majority of the traffic that could potentially be travelling in the same general direction you’re travelling. Desperate people do desperate things!
3. Form a Trustworthy Survival Network
Sometimes people aren’t who you think they are at first thought. That friend you had in high school may become a totally different person in an emergency situation. Your cousin might not be the best choice of traveling companion, either. Know your neighbors, your friends and your family. Know their strengths and weaknesses.
A good idea would be to stage a “survival weekend” and tell a few friends or family members that you’d like them to go. If they’re in at first mention, they’re probably more likely to be an asset in an emergency than those that say, “Eww, I’d rather go to the spa!” Let them go to the spa, but remember that when the time comes to bug-out. They’ll probably be more of a detriment to your escape if they don’t know how to escape. People like that will become desperate… and what do desperate people do, boys and girls? That’s right. Desperate things. Potentially endangering your life either directly or indirectly.
4. Learn Survival Skills… and Practice Them!
Knowing how to make a fire, learning to forage, and understanding the basics of water purification are great survival skills to know… if you’re going to be in the wild. But what if you’re in a constant urban setting? It’s highly possible that you’ll be in the city at least a little bit of the time — even if it’s just to scavenge for supplies.
“Urban camouflage” is an underrated skill that most people don’t think about. What is it? Well, it’s the ability to blend-in when you’re in the city. In a state of emergency, there will surely be authority figures roaming the streets. You wouldn’t want to be carrying your assault rifle with you or you might be detained. Basically, it’s the ability to be “a gray man” so you blend-in with the crowd and aren’t noticed.
Likewise, you wouldn’t want to have everything you own on your back for fear of being attacked by looters. I know, that’s an extreme situation, right? You need to think about every situation, not just the ones you think are cool like making a fire by rubbing two sticks together.
5. Have Good People Skills
This is questionably one of the most important skills you can have when bugging-out. You might be bugging-out alone. You might have a small cabin in the woods unknown to the majority of civilization. But you have to understand that at some point in time, the possibility of happening upon another person is highly likely. There will be like-minded people that will flee to those same woods (and may even already know of your bug-out location).
The point is, no matter how it happens, the likelihood that you will run into at least one other person is high. Especially if you’re in a network of survivors. You’ll need to know how to diffuse potentially tense situations. Be able to talk to people without agitating them. The more you can avoid dangerous confrontations, the higher your chance (and theirs) of survival climbs.
How successful will your bug-out be?
These 5 tips will certainly help you avoid certain disaster. A successful bug-out is essential for survival. Some of the examples within these tips may seem silly or extreme, but if you’re not preparing for every possible situation, why are you preparing at all? Things will most likely not go the way you hope, so be ready to adapt and overcome any situation by thinking ahead. It’s like a game of chess — you have to think 5 moves ahead to form a winning strategy!