Monday, April 18, 2011

Top 10 Bug Out Tips

Although most long-time readers of Bug Out Survival know the basics of bug-out preparations and why they may be necessary, I thought it might be useful to post this basic top ten tips list from the final chapter in Getting Out Alive: 13 Deadly Scenarios and How Others Survived.  As many of you who have read my newest book know, Getting Out Alive is not targeted at the hard-core prepper/survivalist reader, but Chapter 13, Urban Breakdown, paints a description of a situation in a city where leaving may be the only safe option.  The top ten tips for preparing to bug out and actually going through with it are a good introduction to the subject that you may want to share with friends or family, and can also be good reminders even to those who are prepared.  As this photo of a hurricane evacuation shows, chaos can reign supreme when things go wrong in a big city.  A real SHTF scenario would make this look like Friday rush hour traffic.  Those who live in cities by choice or necessity should always keep this in mind and not get complacent about the possibility of having to bug out.


1. Understand the Risks.  Stay tuned in to current events, weather and science so you will be aware of any potential threats to normal life in your area.  Be aware of specific natural disasters, terror threats or political situations that can pose a risk where you live or work.  The more urban the environment, the more likely you will have to bug out if something serious happens as areas with large populations will be full of desperate people. 

2. Prepare a Bug Out Bag.  Once you accept the possibility that you may have to bug out someday, prepare your bug out bag in advance.  Gather the necessary gear and supplies and learn to use any items that you may not be familiar with.  Make sure all the stuff you need fits in the bag, and that you can carry it on your back while traveling on foot if you have to. 

3. Have a Pre-Planned Bug Out Location.  Being prepared to leave will do you little good if you don’t know where to go.  Scout the potential bug out locations in your region through the study of maps, research online and in books, and by on the ground reconnaissance.  Evaluate a bug out location based on remoteness and inaccessibility to the masses, natural hazards such as wildlife and climate, available resources such as water, plant foods and game and reasonable proximity to your starting point. 

4. Know the Best Escape Routes.  Know in advance the route you will take to your chosen bug out location using your available transportation options and back-ups.  Chose routes that are not likely to be the scene of mass evacuations and traffic jams, and practice traveling them so you will know the way no matter what the circumstance.  Consider unconventional routes that will allow you to avoid as many people as possible.

5. Keep your Vehicle Ready.  If a motor vehicle is part of your bug out plan, make sure it is well-maintained and that the fuel tank is kept topped off as much as possible.  Have the necessary emergency equipment to deal with different weather conditions and have spare parts that commonly need replacing and the tools to install them.  Include towing gear, a winch and bolt cutters to open padlocked gates. 

6. Consider Alternate Transportation.  In many areas motor vehicles may not be the best option.  Bicycles can get you out of a grid-locked city faster than sitting in an traffic jam with thousands of stalled cars.  If there is navigable water such as a stream, river, lakeshore or coast a boat may be the best option as there will be far fewer people trying to bug out by boat and it will get you to areas those without boats cannot reach.

7.  Be Prepared to Walk.  Always be prepared to bug out on foot if all else fails, including your vehicle.  In some cases walking may be the best option even if you have other choices.  Unconventional routes you can take on foot include railroads, storm drains and many other cross-country options.  With careful planning you can find a way out while those confined to vehicles remain trapped. 

8. Be Inconspicuous and Blend In.  Remain as unobtrusive as possible by not dressing in a way that says you are a prepared survivalist or openly carrying a weapon such as an assault rifle.  If you do, you may be detained by the police or other authorities, or have your weapon and other gear confiscated.  You could also be targeted by others who see that you are prepared and want your stuff. 

9.  Avoid Confrontations.  Although being armed is a good idea and suitable firearms for both hunting and self-defense should be part of your bug out bag, you should seek to avoid confrontations at all costs.  Chances are you will be out-numbered or out-gunned anyway.  Staying hidden, moving at night and choosing routes away from mass evacuations are among the best tactics for avoiding confrontations. 

10. Resist the Urge to Go Back Too Soon.   If all has gone well and you’ve reached your bug out location safely, stay there and try to remain out of sight until you are sure that order has been restored and that it is safe to return to the city.  It may be lonely out in a wilderness of forest, desert or mountains, but you will be safer there than among a lawless population without adequate resources.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Interview on SHTFM Radio

I spent an interesting two hours yesterday evening talking with Johnny and Lumpy on their SHTFM Are You Prepared Radio Show.  These guys asked some good questions and brought up some great points, so we ended up discussing a wide range of topics related to bugging out and the survival mindset, as well as my background of adventuring that eventually led to the books I have written and am currently working on.  You can listen to it at any time by clicking on the player below:

Listen to internet radio with SHTFM on Blog Talk Radio


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