I’m not a single mom, however, it’s possible that if there was a need to bug out, I would be bugging out as a single mom. A lot of my training is done without my husband because he’s often not around because of work. Tragedy can strike at any time, and that could include times when our family is split in different locations.
I have two young kids and two dogs which I am responsible for at all times. I may be responsible for getting the kids and pets out of Dodge on my own if the need arose. Of course, bugging out isn’t ideal, I’m going to remain at home for as long as possible.
However, I can’t ignore the possibility of the potential for bugging out. No matter the best laid plans, you cannot plan for every SHTF scenario as situations are always in flux. Whether you live in a fortress or not, there is a potential that in order to save your life, you may have to leave. Part of being a prepper means being prepared for anything, even leaving our home.
I camp and hike often with my kids and dogs and even if when my husband is alongside us, I’m always thinking, “What would I do if he’s not here? How would I do things differently?” This is a thought process built out of habit, playing out scenarios, building independence and self-reliance. It is even more important when young lives could be on the line and you face the chance you will have to bug out as a single mom.
Having the entirety of the situation lay on your shoulders without help from any other adult is a truly stressful and terrifying thought. I’m often alone with my kids, sometimes for days or weeks at a time and I have to think about ‘what if’ situations without any help.
Danger Lurks in Times of Crisis
If you’re a single mom or if you’re in a situation where your spouse isn’t around much due to other obligations, there are some things you need to keep in mind beyond bug out bag advice for women. We are talking bug out advice for single women with kids!
We all know that criminals use unfortunate events as opportunities to loot, steal, and take advantage of people in dire situations. This is doubly true for women. Here are a few facts about violence against women:
- Most women experience physical abuse in their lifetime
- One in five women are raped in their lifetime
- One in ten female assault victims has a head or spinal cord injury as a result of the attack
So, bugging out as a single person can be dangerous, but bugging out as a single mom can be particularly dangerous.
Here Are 5 Tips for Bugging Out as a Single Mom
#1 – Nurture Community
Having neighbors or friends or anyone you may be able to call on for help in a crisis is certainly something to consider. You may not be able to rely on them 100% of the time, but talk to them. Ask them if they would be interested in helping out in certain times of crisis and what they would be able to help out with. Even if it’s just helping to pack the car while you take care of your children, that could be a huge help. Write a list of the type of help you might need before asking for it.
#2 – Make Travel as Easy as Possible
If you have young kids, you may want to consider back or front carriers, stroller or a wagon. In general, you’d most likely be spending most of your time in the vehicle and if all goes well, you won’t need to walk for miles with your kids, but you never know. Plan to walk with them. Understand that your kids are still kids and will need a break or you’ll need to carry them so you can walk quicker.
#3 – Teach Your kids
Teach them to be an asset everyday and especially during a bug out situation. Can they help carry bags to the vehicle? Can they help setup a tent? Can they help to cook food? Can they help purify water? Can they collect sticks?
Not all bug out situations are going to be camping, but in general, teach them to help out when needed. Letting your kids help will relieve your stress and it will make them feel valued. Encourage and praise their help.
#4 – Plan Food and Entertainment
Don’t we all love food? Absolutely. Kids especially love to eat. Don’t forget to pack plenty of snacks in their bags that will be ready to eat without any cooking required. Pack some food in the vehicle and in a separate zipper bag (such as making a homemade MRE) that you can grab and go as you leave. The more food options, the better.
In addition to food, entertainment is important. Books, busy bags, travel games, songs, etc. Pack items in the vehicle and in their bags that they’ll enjoy as you bug out.
#5 – Special needs
Do you or your kids have any special needs? For instance, does anyone wear glasses? Do you have a backup for those glasses?
In general, don’t forget any special needs that will keep everyone comfortable and safe during a bug out situation. Write a list of their needs then get together the items or keep a checklist handy.
#6 – Defense
As a parent, it’s our duty to protect our children. What type of safety and security options do you have in place? Plan routes that get you to your destination quickly, but safely. Don’t stop until you’re safely at your location. Be situationally aware.
Have a self-defense option available to you while driving and while at your bug out location. Know how and when to use it. I would highly recommend doing as much training as possible now.
Bugging Out as a Single Mom Summary
You can’t take care of anyone if you’re not taking care of yourself first. Keep your own mental and physical wellness a priority everyday so that you can stay strong in a crisis.
Bugging out is stressful enough but when you’re doing it by yourself while having to be responsible for the well being of children; it can be disastrous without proper planning.
Take the time now to be prepared for a bug out event. Even if you have a spouse, you never know what could happen which would force you to go it alone.
Any tips I missed?
Well, you can always joint the Mormons (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints). They’re into prepping and looking out for each other. Good article.