When Bugging Out Is Your Only Resort

It’s no mystery why someone would choose to leave their home when an imminent threat could end in tragedy or death if they stayed.

Types of bug out scenarios:

Threat of Natural Disaster – wild fire, snow storms, lightening strikes, hurricanes, tsunami, tornados, volcano, earthquake or flooding

Threat of Manmade Disaster – Civil Uprising, Civil Race War, Foreign Invasion, Economic Collapse, World War III, Nuclear War, Coronal Mass, Horrific Weather, Plague or Famine

These threats are all real; we have seen civil uprisings across the globe in a dozen countries. We only have to look back at our earth’s history to imagine many other forms of manmade disaster.

In our own American civil war fought with what today are considered primitive weaponry over 600,000 people lost their lives and hundreds of thousands were wounded and maimed, tens of thousands were left homeless and destitute in the aftermath for many years. This is happening in our own times in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and other places where hostilities continue and the survivors become refugees literally forced to bug out and it could happen here as well.

If you consider natural disasters the greatest threat in the last 100 years it was from flooding in China where millions perished and in two tsunami’s one in Japan and one in the Indian Ocean in both instances killing over 300,000 and leaving nuclear radiation scattered for miles in Japan; with the chances of thousands more dying of cancer in years to come.

In wars hundreds of millions died and the survivors became refugees often escaping with the clothes on their back.

How can Bugging Out be a wise choice then?

Sometimes circumstances force people to flee to save their lives, having to live in refugee camps with thousands of others and in some instances using alternative methods of survival.

This alternate method of survival is what I will discuss here. A Bug Out Location

  1. Organized Planning – many people living on coastal areas that experience hurricanes chose to leave rather than face the threat and many have prepared themselves with the necessary items to sustain them for days or weeks and have a planned evacuation route and destination far from harm’s way. The nice part is with the advent of Doppler we are given days of notice before the hurricane strikes and we have apple time to get to where we need to go to find safety.
  1. Location – location – location – The importance of the where we go is an imperative. Location is germane to our circumstances which can be the part of the country we live in, weather conditions, financial conditions we may have, the kind of transportation and the biggest thing who else has that same idea?

It’s too easy to assume you have an original thought when it comes to hitting the road for the mountains for instance – if you’ve thought of this so have others.

What I suggest is proper planning of your route, having a planned destination and a second location should the first not become suitable once you do arrive.

We will cover this in more detail in our series on choosing the right location.

The location should contain four important items: water, food, shelter and fuel


Katadyne-Vario-Water-FilterWater is life and without it you will perish in days. Making certain you have access to a water source, that it is processed to make it safe to drink by boiling, filtering or chemical means to kill bacteria and other dangerous chemicals or microbes.

Katadyne and other manufacturers make personal water filtration equipment capable of producing hundreds of gallons of pure water but these devices require replacement filters and once they are gone – they are gone.

Chemical additives such a hydrogen peroxide, iodine or chlorine to kill bacteria and viruses can work as a limited means of purification also but often leave behind an odd taste.

Evaporation pits, distillation or filtering through natural media. We will breakdown each in a future series.


We assume we can sustain ourselves in the wild as did our ancestors well partner you are not our ancestors and they had to grow crops, fish, trap and hunt to survive and often to clothe themselves with leather and furs.

Growing Crops – This is not easy even for an experienced farmer who has experienced their plantings being eaten by omnivores such as deer and cattle; dug up by routing wild hogs, suffering drought when no rain falls and the plantings shrivel up and die and insects that destroy your crops before you can harvest your bounty. And you need seeds to plant too.

fishingFishing – If you’ve ever been fishing in the wilderness without you spin cast equipment and fancy lures it too isn’t a picnic. Finding a stream, river or body of water with fish is the first task, the second is easy cutting a pole, having line and a hook if you’ve planned for it and now bait the fish find attractive worms, minnows, grubs or bright colored berries work well.

If you come across a schools of minnows close by in shallow water get yourself a big rock and drop it into the middle of the school and you have dinner.

Trapping – now this requires another entire skill set. No you don’t just go out and make a snare and hope by chance you catch a meal. Setting a drop or pull up snare along a path game travel can work but you have to know how and not everyone out there was an Eagle Scout. So find a small pocket size book on survival that has just such a section and read up – it may just be one of several methods you can use to feed yourself trapping varmints and birds.

Hunting – As an avid outdoorsman in my youth I hunted quite a lot both small and large game. Many times I’d sit in a blind, walk for a dozen miles through the woods and go home without anything – yes they are animals but not dumb animals, they have to be aware of their surrounding, detect noises and smells and be able to run from danger. And my friend they will smell you, hear you and run away and you’ll get lucky in one of maybe six trips out. 


Here is a biggie too. Having a safe, dry and comfortable place to sleep should be a priority.

While sleeping outside under the stars may sound romantic to some and mountain man like to others it’s neither and many dangers can be experienced trying to do just that.

In the wilderness you can run into wild carnivorous animals such as wolves, coyotes, mountain lions, bobcats and bears and contrary to popular opinion they are not as afraid of you’ve been led to believe. They will raid your food stuffs if given the chance; they could attack you if they felt threatened and come face to face with a 1,000 pound grizzly bear you may suddenly be on the menu.

One thing people will be faced with in the case of the SHTF are packs of wild dogs roaming in search of food and a sole hiker may end up facing a menacing horde of 15-20 hungry sets of fangs and your chances of survival may have greatly diminished.

So finding or creation of a shelter can not only provide safety and comfort but protect your life.


You need to be able to have fire to cook, keep warm and dry and perhaps to smoke, dry or jerky your meats for longer term use and storage for leaner times.

What is in the wilderness that burns – oh yes wood but it needs to be dried out or all you get is a smoky mess you can barely sit around let alone cook on? Find fallen or dead trees is the easiest gathering enough wood, breaking or cutting it to size to fit into your fire pit and having enough to last through most of the night. A rule of thumb is to gather smaller dried sticks and break them into pieces 6-12 inches long for kindling, the find thicker 2” – 3” branches for your tenting breaking or chopping into 12” long pieces and then comes the logs of any thickness but only long enough to fit into your fire pit.

Gathering and covering enough wood to last you for any length of time will require a few days work. But it will be worth the effort when it rains, snows and when you need heat.

Hopefully this gives you food for thought.

1 Comment
  1. Reply
    Lefty July 19, 2015 at 1:46 am

    Your potsnig lays bare the truth

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