Seven Reasons Your Bug-Out Will Fail

The S has HTF and you’re ready to bug-out.  You grab your stuff and hit the road and ride off into the sunset, happy to be alive.  Right? Hold on a minute.  Let’s make sure you’re not making a mistake that could derail your bug-out. Here are seven reasons your bug-out might not go as well as you hoped.

1. Failure to Act

The first one is a failure to act.  You might have the best bug-out plan ready to go, but if you miss the cues of when to leave you might be trapped in your current location with bad things about to happen.  Recognize when it’s time to get out of dodge.  Some of this is going to come from the media in the case of a natural disaster.  Listen to the radio and news stations and if they say it’s time to get out of Dodge you better load up the truck and move out.

In the case of something like civil unrest, a market or money collapse, rioting, or anything caused by your fellow man you’ll have to keep a close eye on the situation.  It comes down to what you can bear.  If you have a low threshold for danger it might be a good idea for you to leave as soon as you suspect something is going to happen.  For those of you who have work and/or family pressures or a spouse that doesn’t believe in prepping and thinks you’re foolish for even considering moving out, you’ll have to have a higher tolerance.  At some point there will be a kick-off event that will decide for you when to leave.  Let’s hope it’s not too late at that point.

Just remember that the longer you wait the more likely you are to be sharing the roads out of town with a bunch of other scared refugees.

When you decide it’s time to leave don’t screw around.  Get moving!  In the case of a quick bug-out you need to be prepared to move fast.  During my time in the service we used to bug-out when the CO went around and started yelling CSMO!  That stands for Close Station March Order and it meant to pack up all the gear and get out of the current position as fast as we could.

If you have your plan laid out and your BOB’s are ready to go then it’s just a matter of throwing stuff in the BOV (bug-out vehicle) and exiting stage left.

2. Inadequate BOV

The BOV you use should depend on the situation.  I’ve heard folks saying they’ll bug-out using a bicycle, which is fine.  But if you’re trying to get out of a city on a bicycle and there’s a tsunami coming, or you’re trying to move through a riot in progress you might be in trouble.  Make sure the BOV you choose is adequate to the task.

Having said that not everybody has a HMMVW in the garage waiting for the day the economy collapses causing you to flee the city with the ring-mounted .50 cal M2 blazing away from the gun port.  Most of you reading this are ordinary Americans driving minivans, passenger cars, or any one of the thousands of passenger cars out there.  This means you need to adapt your bug-out plan to whatever vehicle you’ll be driving, which can be a compromise to the situation.

If you look around the area in which you live you can probably come up with a few likely scenarios of why you might have to bug-out.  For example:  if you live near a railroad maybe one of your scenarios revolves around a chemical leak.  If it’s a small town your car is probably more than adequate for this type of situation.  Or maybe you live in hurricane country along the coast, in which case you’ll want to avoid any Katrina type storms like the plague.  In most bug-out situations you’ll want to move fast, unless you’ve exercised your judgment to leave early.

However, living in a city will present a whole other list of issues and I’ll address this is another post.

3.  Poor Route Planning

Do you have a plan for your bug-out?  Have you thought through all the possible scenarios?  If you’re getting out of Dodge in your vehicle have you prepared a good route and a few alternate routes?  Because if you’re in a city and you’re taking the main artery out of town guess what?  A million other people will be doing the same thing.  My idea of surviving is not being stuck in traffic when the tsunami rolls in destroying everything in its path.

Make a detailed plan of your escape route and have it written down along with some alternate routes.  Take the time to actually drive the route and make notes in a notebook about what you see.  “Big bridge six miles out of town over fast moving water.  It might collapse or cause a jam up during an ice out.  Or maybe it’s a tactical situation where some group is holding the bridge and not letting anybody through.  (Don’t think that would happen here in the U.S.  Did you forget about the bridge into Gretna and how the cops shut it down to refugees?)  There’s a less traveled bridge two miles south in case of emergency.  Take Route 3 south to Old Town Road to bypass.”  If you don’t make notes there’s a good chance you’ll forget about it when you have to use it.  Or maybe you’ll be incapacitated and your significant other or a friend will be at the wheel.  If they have good notes to go by they might just save your butt.

Make sure your BOV is up to the route.  As you do a dry run over the escape route ask yourself questions as you go depending on the various scenarios you could expect.  I might ask myself, “If I had to move during a blizzard would my vehicle make it to the next town over?”  Answer:  in my minivan hell no, but in my pickup with the plow attachment I just might be able to get the ten miles in order to save myself and the family.  Maybe you live in a flood zone and might have to drive through water up to your hub caps.  Could your vehicle make it?

4.  Tactical Negligence

This is a tough one and not a lot of people think a lot about it.  What I mean by tactical is the ability to move you or a group of people safely through an area without being deterred by your fellow man.  During a disaster of any kind there will be people looking out for each other because there are a lot of good people out there, but there are always a few scumbags looking to capitalize on others.  Or sometimes it could just come down to a family that hasn’t prepped deciding to go next door to the family that has and taking their stuff at gun point.  People will do bad things when desperate.

One of the big ones is OPSEC or Operational Security.  It’s a military term that means don’t go blabbing your plans to anybody.  If you tell one person, that person will tell someone else.  And that someone else might mention it to another someone else and so on.  OPSEC can also be compromised by having a truckload of freeze dried food delivered to your house in the middle of a busy neighborhood.  People notice things that go on in tight communities.  I’m not saying don’t get prepared, just use a little discretion when doing so.  And don’t go telling your neighbors about your preps either.  Friends have seen my pantry and invariably they’ll say, “Well, if anything ever happens I’m coming over here.”  Guess what, I won’t be rolling out the welcome mat to any schmoe that shows up on my doorstep.

Another area you might have to worry about is armament.  Americans love guns and sometimes it seems like everybody and their little sister has one.  Having a great bug-out vehicle and lots of preps might be for nothing if you get held up before you can get out of town.  Be prepared to defend your family, yourself, and your stuff if necessary.  Some people might ask if you’d really shoot someone for a vehicle or a sleeping bag.  Here’s what I say about that.  If that vehicle or sleeping bag is critical to keeping you and your family alive and someone is trying to take it from you then you have the obligation to defend it.  It may sound stupid, but your gear may what is standing between you and death.  If that’s the case and you have the means and skill to protect it I’d say it’s your right.  Having said that, if it means putting yourself or your family in mortal danger don’t be afraid to bail and let them have the stuff.  You can always attempt to get more, but if you’re dead you won’t be able to try.

5.  Poor Planning

When you plan for a bug-out you have to take into account all the variables that your situation brings with it.  Do you have young kids?  Pets?  Older people to look after?  Special medical needs?  Special fuel requirements for you BOV?

I have two small kids and walking any distance with them is a pain.  The oldest can walk by himself for a while, but the 2 ½ year old can’t go any significant distance.  Last year I took the family up a mountain with a full bug-out bag on my back (about 50 lbs for me) and we set up a little camp, made a fire, heated up some noodles and coffee, and generally chilled out for an afternoon.  It was a lot of fun.  Then came the hike down mountain.  My wife carried the baby and then my son (4 at the time) needed to be carried after walking a short distance.  I picked him up and carried him in my arms while wearing the back pack and we made it down the mountain.  This type of activity uses a lot of calories and you need to be in good shape to do it.  It would be exceedingly difficult to do this for any amount of time.

At that point I decided it would be very difficult for us to do any kind of bug-out on foot and re-thought the whole situation.  The gear I carried was enough for me and the missus for a day or two, but have you ever taken two or three young kids to the beach for a day?  Baby bags, diapers, bottles, wipes, extra clothes, toys, etc.  And that’s just for the afternoon!  Imagine trying to do this for a week, on foot and moving through harsh terrain and weather, with two or more little ones.

This meant I’d have to find a way to move my family without moving on foot if at all possible.  I have a four door 4 wheel drive pickup that I’d use in most situations.  The worst scenario for me would be having to move after a CME or some other event has fried all the electronics.  Ironically, it would be easier for me to move the whole family in the winter on sleds than in any other season.  My wife and I are quite skilled on snow shoes and pulling a couple of sleds would be manageable.  Other than that we’d probably be reduced to pulling a crude cart like they do in “The Road.”   We might be able to bicycle once the kids are a little older, but until then I’m just crossing my fingers that nothing bad happens.  (And even then I’ll be keeping them crossed.)

For older people you have to take into account meds, their ability to move, their mental state, and things like that.  If someone has Alzheimer’s disease it will be very difficult to move them.  If they have heart disease or diabetes or any other condition that needs constant medication you’ll have to make sure there’s a way to carry that medication while keeping it cold, or whatever conditions it might need to be stored in.

Do they have a cane or walker?  Are they confined to a wheel chair?  Plan, plan, plan

6.  Bug-Out Location

Many people think they’ll bug-out to the woods and live off the land for a few weeks until things blow over.  Let me put this notion to rest for you right now.  You won’t be able to survive off the land for very long.  Very few of you reading this might have the skills to do this, but the vast majority will starve to death in a relatively short period of time.  Do yourself a favor and find a relative, or friend, or a shelter, or a camp, or some place you can go to in case of an emergency.  Have some cash on-hand in case you need to stay at a hotel.  Whatever it is don’t try and convince yourself that you can survive in the woods for an unrealistic amount of time.

An ideal bug-out location would have a source of running water, be fairly well hidden, easily defendable, and if you have neighbors that think the same way you do there’s always strength in numbers.  Another good idea is to know exactly what resources you have on the property, which means you’ll need to get out and recon on it.  I know the woods behind my house like the back of my hand.  If things went to Hell and I was driven out of my house and had to hit the woods there are many good spots to hole up for awhile until I can get a plan together to get the house back.  If you haven’t hiked an area it’s just a great big black hole until you get out there.  I’ve gone so far as to draw rough maps of resources such as camps I’ve set up, streams, bogs, old logging roads, etc.  It’s nice to have something like this so you can look at it and know exactly where things are.

Do you plan to cut off any roads in to your area if the balloon goes up?  Do you have the resources to do it?  How many people can you rely on to help you out?  Or are you going it alone and hope not to be discovered?

7.  Unrealistic Expectation Of What Camping Out Is

Let’s say that worst comes to worst and you have nowhere else to go, but to the woods.  Many people have no idea what an extended stay in the field is actually like.  Many of you with military backgrounds probably get it.  Ever hiked the Appalachian Trail?  Then you know what I’m talking about.  But if your idea of getting outdoors experience is watching back to back episodes of Dual Survivor you have a tragic wakeup call ahead of you. Get out there and test your gear.  Spend a weekend, or better yet a week, in the bush.  I’m not talking about camping at the local campground, I’m talking about hitting the back woods with a backpack and doing it Alpine Style.  Not only is this a good test of your gear you’ll also start to appreciate what it takes to live in the woods.  It’s hard, folks.  Living without electricity and running water sucks.

You’ll also get a good idea of just how far you can hike that heavy BOB you have in the closet.  If you try to hike a 70 lb. bag any distance when you’ve never done it before it will likely kill you before you’ve gone a mile.  Get realistic about what you need for gear and pack only what you need.


Now you have a few things to look at when planning your bug-out.  This list is by no means comprehensive, but it should get you started in the right direction.  Remember the 5 P’s (Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance) and you’ll be head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to a real exodus from your area.

Questions?  Comments?

Sound off below!

-Jarhead Survivor

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40 comments… add one
  • FreeSlave June 23, 2014, 5:41 pm

    Bugging Out too early is a fail.

    I’m not wedded to bugging in (i.e., the house is on fire or there’s a horde of 100 savage, hungry, and armed looters on the way), but what you say in #6 describes us quite well. I.e., “You won’t be able to survive off the land for very long.”

    Nope. Sure won’t. Not with two young kids in tow. The water and food we take with us will only last so long. Just staving off what’s likely to happen, and just buying more time so that a “miracle” can happen.

    As a newbie prepper, I’ve got a couple hundred gallons of water stored in barrels, couple months of food, and some other stuff at home. Chances of long term survival is so much better when bugging in.

    No BOL available. Unless driving to some boondock motel counts as a BOL.

    So…. I’m relying on fire extinguishers and ammo to keep bugging in. If that looks like a fail, then it’s time to bug out, and try to buy another week or two. “The Road” is depressing.

    • Jarhead Survivor June 24, 2014, 6:13 am

      Having two young kids I’m in the same boat as you, Freeslave. If at all possible I’ll be staying home as well.

      • j.r. guerra in s. tx. June 24, 2014, 1:56 pm

        I agree too, especially with young children. Bugging out in those conditions will be putting them in harms way. If you have a planned destination, I’d consider that an evacuation. To me, the lack of a place to stop makes it a bug out. That is splitting hairs though.

  • Michael June 23, 2014, 6:38 pm

    I have no plans what so ever for a “prepper style” bugout. By “prepper style” I mean the more grandiose the world’s failing apart around me scenarios that one reads about on the web. The prepare style bugout always seemed to me like it came from the misanthropic wing of prepperdom and was as much about yelling “screw you” at general society as it was about surviving a bad situation.

    There are normal reasons why someone would need to leave home, I live near some railroads and factories and there could be a chemical spill, or my apartment might catch on fire. In these cases I grab my wallet and keys and run out the door. My car’s right out side, it has clothes, food, water, $100 cash in it and a full tank of gas. The rest of the world is still functioning. I can go to a friends house or grab a motel room.

    If I’m wrong and the world does go to pot, I’m better off where I am. My neighborhood is stable people know each other, crime is super low, people have gardens and stocked up pantries. If something bad happens people would help one another. I’ll make my stand right here with the folks I have around me.

    There are dangerous places in America. Places that if something bad were to happen (and bad things will happen) people wouldn’t have the mental, economic, and physical resources to deal with what’s going on. Those place will become violent (if they’re not already). We have places that have already failed. Where hunger, violence, and theft are already the norm. If you live in (or near) one of these places don’t wait around for TEOTWAWKI to come to leave. Leave now. Don’t Bug Out later, move out now.

  • Steve suffering in nj June 23, 2014, 7:41 pm

    I agree with the comments this far. Every resource I would have available to me would be at my home. Is it ideal, nope. Is it lacking in some prepper areas, yup. But there’s a whole lot more resources here than on the move.

    Anything short of chemical weapons or radio active fall out I’m sheltering in place. That said I do have plans to make choke points into my community so we don’t have ill doers coming in force.

    • Michael June 23, 2014, 9:07 pm

      We’ve got nice big oak street trees and telephone poles that, if need be, could be dropped to make it harder to get in an out of the neighborhood. My neighborhood’s an old fashioned grid, but with two sides of the grid blocked off by a steep hill. Did I think about this before I rented here? Yes, yes I did.

      • Steve suffering in nj June 23, 2014, 10:22 pm


        That’s exactaly what I’m talking about. Dropping trees.

  • irishdutchuncle June 23, 2014, 9:42 pm

    I’m not a refugee, I’m a vacationer…
    yeh, we’re going on a vacation. (that’s the ticket, it’s a vacation)
    I’m bringing a swimsuit, yeh and long underwear…
    we’ll make a picnic lunch when we get there. if we like it there maybe we’ll stay a while, yeh that’s it: vacation…

    • sput June 24, 2014, 10:12 am

      That is a good attitude to take when bugging out, as long as you have your preps and the skills to use them. I view the possibility of a SHTF bugout as the ultimate adventure.

      • irishdutchuncle June 25, 2014, 3:39 am

        thanks sput. unfortunately, neither my skills nor preps are ready for the challenge. attitude is mostly what I’ve got. (it’s a Philly area thing, I don’t expect anyone to understand)
        I’m packing a duffel for a one week excursion; mountain resort, overland, or cruise. (plus a “man purse”/ day hike bag) I expect that will get me through anything I’m likely to survive.

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  • Roger June 24, 2014, 12:17 am

    Two words: prepositioned cache! Preferable several in different directions, since if your cache(s) are all to the west and the forest fire is coming from the west, guess what? I think pulling a cart or pushing a wheel barrow (maybe with small children on board) is more viable than carrying a 75lb. backpack; though it might make you more noticeable. Wear your survival vest at all times, because you may need to abandon your backpack or cart with no notice at all! What do you need for a cache? Well, assuming you’re carrying or pulling your BOB, then First a container, water tight, able to be buried or hidden up a tree, I wouldn’t recommend hiding underwater as this requires a much higher level of container and hidy-hole preparation, then basic contents should include at least water (canned?, long shelf life) and/or a means to acquire and treat local water (i.e. filter and metal pot to boil water in). Second, several days (weeks) worth of dry or freeze-dried food, I prefer FD in #10 cans, again for long shelf life! Third, a poncho and wool blanket for shelter and warmth since you could lose (maybe at gun point) your BOB. Fourth, a change of clothes, including broke-in shoes/boots, for both physical and psychological reasons. Fifth, a good knife, maybe a firearm, fishing kit, etc. Sixth, fire-starting gear, lighter, magnesium bar,etc. and tender (I prefer tea candles). Seventh, anything you don’t think you can live without and can stuff it in the container (coffee comes to mind for me). I use 6 gallon, food-grade plastic buckets (2 per cache) with snap-on lids and handles which hold about 2 weeks food plus, and can be dug up and carried off fairly fast if need be! Good Luck!

    • Armed GrandPappy June 24, 2014, 8:53 am

      You can get wagons at places like Lowes and Home Depot with ball bearing wheels. It would be the ideal way to transport your preps if you have to bug out on foot. After carrying a 75 lb. pack for more than a couple of miles, most people would be exhausted to the point of dropping. Just a thought. Don’t try to depend on the kids little red wagon. But if thats all you have, then it’s better than nothing.

  • Chuck Findlay June 24, 2014, 12:34 am

    For most people there is not a destination to go to that will provide them the means (sustainable shelter and food) to survive.

    Bugging out = refugee, and everything history tells us is that being a refugee is just about the worst thing that can happen to a person.

    Modern (supposed) survival experts focus on things that (again) history has shown to not be much of a factor. First being that the world is going to go Mad Max on us. Yes anarchy can happen, but it always is short lived and order is restored. All you have to do is ride it out in-place and have supplies and food to do so.

    The second thing is that there is always the idea that you will have to run away from home to survive at a moments notice. I see this as an incredibly stupid thing to do for most situations we are likely to see. Refugee = Very Bad for you and your family. (Can you say Superdome and FEMA?)

    These survival experts write interesting books to read, but for almost all of them there is not a bit of experience talking.

    Another thing is the idea that if it does hit the fan people will run to the country. But during the 1930s depression and the 2001 Argentina collapse the opposite was the case. People needed money to live and there were NO JOBS in the country and there were some jobs in cities. So people went to where the work was, the cities.

    The only survival writer I trust is FerFal as he lived through the 2001 Argentina collapse and wrote about it from first-hand experience. Not from a Prepper-Porn wishful thinking mentality as other survival writers do. FerFal’s book is a Must Have book, it’s on Amazon and is worth many times the asking price.

    • Jarhead Survivor June 24, 2014, 9:58 am

      Agreed about not wanting to become a refugee. I can’t think of anything worse – short of dying – that could happen to us.

      • axelsteve July 31, 2016, 3:46 am

        Last year I almost had to bug out due to wildfire. That is one reason to bug out. I have a remote place to camp if I have to.At least til the evac order is lifted.

  • Ansidian June 24, 2014, 7:27 am

    I’m increasingly becoming more and more anxious over my limited ability to ensure my family’s survival. Growing up in NE Ohio I spent the majority of my childhood running the streets and crashing through the woods. Since moving to Australia and with 5 children these days, i find myself in an area not feasable for ‘bugging out’. High population density, and a real lack of suppliers for any long-term planning make it extremely difficult. Guns are difficult to come by as they’ve been banned for anything other than target/comp shooting or legitmate vermin control on rural property. Unfortunately, my family and I have discussed at great length the best solution for a number of scenarios is simply to strategically acquire a boat moored in the nearby river, and put as much distance between us and civilization as possible commandeering supplies along the way. Ther’s simply no other option available.

  • Ansidian June 24, 2014, 7:28 am

    I’m increasingly becoming more and more anxious over my limited ability to ensure my family’s survival. Growing up in NE Ohio I spent the majority of my childhood running the streets and crashing through the woods. Since moving to Australia and with 5 children these days, i find myself in an area not feasable for ‘bugging out’. High population density, and a real lack of suppliers for any long-term planning make it extremely difficult. Guns are difficult to come by as they’ve been banned for anything other than target/comp shooting or legitmate vermin control on rural property. Unfortunately, my family and I have discussed at great length the best solution for a number of scenarios is simply to strategically acquire a boat moored in the nearby river, and put as much distance between us and civilization as possible commandeering supplies along the way. There’s simply no other option available.

  • Johnny June 24, 2014, 7:31 am

    When I saw the title my first reaction was, “another know it all”. But, having read this article I am impressed. The points are valid and well laid out. THANKS!!!

    As for Chuck Findlay (above), I agree FerFal went through an economic collapse and one could learn much from him. Consider Selco’s information as well. He lived through it and experienced a political collapse/war. Much can also be gleaned from current news events in Ukraine, Iraq, and Syria. Watch what happens to the people. Sadly, the situation on the Mexican border with people coming in from Mexico and Central America shows what happens to refugees. I’ll do whatever I can to avoid becoming a refugee.

    Speaking of OPSEC, if the topo map and the picture are of the same area, you may have given up a lot without intending to.

    Thanks again for a great article.

    • Jarhead Survivor June 24, 2014, 9:51 am

      Thanks Johnny. I never claimed to know everything, but I’m glad you found the article useful.

      I like reading FerFal and Selco’s blogs as well. those guys have interesting insights into what a collapse really looks like.

  • Leon June 24, 2014, 11:32 am

    One of the big myths out there among the uninformed is that they will just head for the hills and weather the storm/disaster/social disturbance/etc. There are just not that many wilderness areas people can go to, and any sort of evacuation plan must take that into consideration:

    • FreeSlave June 24, 2014, 12:11 pm

      That’s a good article. A lot of refugees will die out there trying to live off the land. But presumably they didn’t have a good alternative either. They would have sheltered in place, but they had to leave or face certain death staying home.

      Two more gruesome scenarios:

      (1) Go to FEMA camp and take the Mark of the Beast to stay alive. (I’d rather die, and rather my immediate family die than for any of us to take the Mark of the Beast).

      (2) Band with some neighbors to defend against crazy gangs and looters. Defense is successful.

      Some days or weeks pass. With great situational awareness, you sense that you are about to be shot, and move ever so slightly so that you don’t get shot by your starving neighbor who was your foxhole buddy just a week ago.

      You have more preps than your neighbor, and he wants it for his family. He shot at you. You run for cover and concealment, yelling to your family about what’s happening.

      You don’t want to do what you probably gotta do.

      It’s called Last Man/Family Standing.

      So soul-sickening, you don’t even want to think about it.

      • Jason June 24, 2014, 5:48 pm

        It’s this kind of Mad Max/World War Z/Red Dawn influence and thinking that makes me fear the species.

        Let me put it rather succinctly – IF IF IF IF IF IF IF it ever, ever, ever, ever came remotely close to the survival of the last man standing scenario, everything you have prepped for or even imagined would vanish like a fart in a stiff breeze. We live in a spoon fed culture that can barely survive without an iPod and a shower stall.

        Try reading some of the accountings from those who lived through the Holocaust or Pol Pot’s brutality – better yet, read Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning, that will give you some insight as to how people truly respond to times of severe crisis.

        As Col Hans Landa said so brilliantly put it in Inglorious Basterds as the reasoning why he was so successful catching Jews who hid during WW II:

        “I’m aware what tremendous feats human beings are capable of once they abandon dignity.”

        In other words, you have no clue what you’d do when the diarrhea hits the fan.

  • Bill K. June 24, 2014, 12:39 pm

    Great post.

  • Jason June 24, 2014, 1:13 pm

    About Ferfal (Fearful) – it has been more than a dozen years since the collapse of Argentina and yet he keeps on writing about the event. Clearly he is making money and continues to from the collapse of a pseudo-democratic government and a limited economic base.

    The economic base of Argentina is nothing close to the United States but somehow his message is supposed to have relevance for us. If you would bother to read about what happened in Argentina with their economy and that the riots were contained in a small handful of areas, you might see the cause and responsibility of an ill informed population and culture.

    So here we are 12 years later and he keeps banging the same drum while cashing your checks. It will never cease to amaze me the dichotomy between what is actual and what is perception or what we are being led to believe.

    We have evolved into a culture where first we believe then we see. The sad part to me is, the curtain is right in front of us and very few are willing to pull it back to see the truth.

    As to the subject of bugging out, I believe is fraught with failure unless of course, you can get a substantial head start, which is completely counterintuitive with the base human emotions.

    As I alluded to above, we all want to believe that all is good and really can’t get that terrible to the point of leaving everything we know and at our level of comfort. There inlays the problem – when do you go, what do you take, who would you invite, what path shall you take and while you try to consider all of those variables, time marches on and soon becomes the enemy. Can any of you clearly cut and run? I doubt it.

    You can prep to the Nth degree but unless you have your emotions clearly identified and handled you will hit gridlock WITH everybody else. Every road in America was built to handle an average number of commuter traffic. Should some disastrous event take place in any geographically specific area, all of the roads, bus terminals, airports, train stations, Walmarts, sporting-goods stores etc. would be severely impacted – all at once – making it far more dangerous than staying in your current home.

    So what’s the solution? Turn off the news, stop watching TV and most of all, stop reading the fear laden trash that causes you to live in fear or uncertainty. The only thing you can control are your emotions and the input you are willing to accept. As for me, I will stay put.

    Be wise and stop looking up waiting for the ceiling to collapse on you because while you are distracted at looking up, you will trip over life and opportunity.

    • Jason June 25, 2014, 12:22 am

      After thought ….

      MD Creekmore, the brainless “writer” at the Survivalist blog dot whatever has been saying for 5 YEARS that I am aware of that the end is near, collapse is coming a week from Tuesday.

      When Fukushima melted down, he and his readers raided every website of their potassium iodide because, you guessed it, the end was blowing it’s way to the U.S.

      Time may have been better spend searching for the cure for stupid ….

      The only thing that has changed in this scenario is his readership. I think most people have wised up or just got tired of the same old regurgitated survival cud.

      • irishdutchuncle June 29, 2014, 1:23 am

        the atrocities you’ve just listed happened from less than fifteen years before, to well into our lifetimes/ memories. we haven’t evolved so much that it couldn’t happen again.
        (although I admire your optimism) I know in my heart that my own lifestyle is not sustainable, I don’t believe our country can likewise sustain its current course. Creekmore isn’t necessarily wrong. (nor are you).
        I’m not brave enough to face the future without a few preps in place. if I am prepared for the next Noreaster, its probably enough. if you are prepared for the next SOCAL earthquake, it’s probably enough, but why not allow for a little. “surge capacity”? the prepper “hobby” is pretty much about that added capacity. we are “thrivalists” at heart, not just survivors.

    • irishdutchuncle June 29, 2014, 1:43 am

      … and FerFAL will not be “over it” until he’s over it.
      (even though he now lives in the safety of
      “occupied Ulster”) (and Selco likewise. traumatic stress tends to stay with one for a while)

      If we only decline as far as Argentina did, it will be a blessing.

      • Jason July 2, 2014, 10:47 pm

        Point being Irish, it is over & he keeps regurgitating it & promoting fear because …. it sells just like Creekmore.

        Personally I despise those who promulgate fear, especially when it is based upon supposition, conjecture & wild speculations because it is very dangerous. The idea of the collapse of any society is extremely complicated with numerous components – most of the triggers that the average Joe & Jane Doe never have access to, yet the ill informed will stand on the soap box and declare the end is now … I mean now …. no really, now …. for sure now …. wait …. it is coming ….

        I was involved as a consultant to a couple of banks when we hit the “Armageddon” in 2008. My expertise is in mortgage defaults primarily, the triggers behind it i.e human emotions. My initial look behind the curtain was very scary to say the least. Banks had default rates that made the Depression numbers look like a fun day at Disneyland. It was so spooky that I wished I had never seen it & myself, thought the S was hitting a million fans within less than 12 months.

        However, their solutions were not only brilliant but counterintuitive as well. They made an even more brilliant move to hide the information from the public, which I agreed with, not that my opinion was solicited. Why? Because mass panic would have completely upset the entire balance & solution models that needed a chance to work. What many do not realize is we averted a massive catastrophe because the real info was hidden (shielded) from the public.

        The Creekmore’s of the world only hurt or exacerbate the problems with their stupidity & complete lack of understanding or objectivity of the issue(s) at hand. I am not a proponent of trusting the government BUT there are far more intelligent people at work (me, not one of them) whom all actually try to make America a better place in the midst of chaos or bad leadership such as Obama.

        Ferfal, Creekmore, Rawles are completely clueless & are merely trumpet blowers for the lemmings, keeping people in fear & uncertainty because …. yup, it sells – otherwise it wouldn’t be mainstream & they’d cease to exist.

        • irishdutchuncle July 6, 2014, 4:34 am

          don’t insult the lemmings.

  • ArmyVet June 24, 2014, 2:51 pm

    It should be clearly stated, bugging out is a last resort measure. Hunkering down, aka sheltering in place, is preferred to hitting the road – especially if your plan is not fool-proof ( and what plan is?).

    Mrs. Army, a stay at home wife of an over-the-road trucker, is prepared to bug-out. She and our 4 fur-babies can be loaded and rolling in less than 1/2 hour. If she is forced to leave our home, she will seek refuge with one of two family members outside of our immediate area. As the OTR trucker, it is incumbent upon me to get to her as quickly as possible.

    We have long decided that to hunker down at home is what we are more likely to do, but then again, we live in rural USA, somewhere in the Ozarks. Hunkering down allows us the comfort of familiar surroundings, and access to our preps (rather than the abbreviated bug-out version). Our home 20 is defensible, and we can take in family members who can help with security and daily living chores.

    Great article, Jarhead. It is articles like this that attracted me to this site in the first place. While Ranger Man is missed, the three current bloggers are knowledgeable and are fun to read. Keep up the good work.

    ArmyVet out.

  • Pineslayer June 24, 2014, 8:37 pm

    I have a stay put plan for my neighborhood. I haven’t shared it with them. The biggest obstacle is most of my neighbors have no idea how to live in their home, for any real period of time, without electricity. I would rather fortify the ‘hood than run, at least initially. I live in a rural mountain community, so massive hordes that have to climb 3000’ feet up 15+ miles of canyon, will be minimal. My “neighbors” that can’t do anything will be told a tall tale of manna being given away down the hill and then hope for the best.

    The only substantial natural/man made disaster would be fire up here. I have a plan for that too. I would recommend that anyone planning on staying home have a perimeter with fortified positions established. Large raised garden beds blend, so do old F250’s with scrap metal stored in them. If your house goes bye-bye for some reason, do you have supplies and shelter stored/cached outside of it?

  • Chuck Findlay June 25, 2014, 12:48 am

    There will be no massive hordes that have to climb 3000′ feet up 15+ miles of canyons because they will stay in their homes waiting for daddy-Government to come save them. But at the same time they will be burning up all the very limited food and supplies they have. By the time they figure out Uncle Sam can’t give them what they need they will not have the resources to drive into the country looking for things that are not there as country people would be in the same boat. I read that there are about 3 million preppers, in a country of 330 million that is not even one percent. Food, gas would be in short supply and to go burning gas up looking for an unsure food supply will not work.

    But then I don’t think we are going to get to the Mad Max stage so it probably will not be an issue…

  • Pineslayer June 25, 2014, 11:52 pm

    Findlay, besides your points add that most couldn’t or wouldn’t walk the Canyon. Driving would be not possible as the locals will have blocked it by the time most people realize it is time to flee. I have to agree that Mad Max world is a long shot, at least in the short term. But this a fun mental exercise compared to talking about who will be in the White House in 2 years, which is the scarier subject.

  • XOlhgc June 30, 2014, 8:52 pm

    Semper Fi

  • child of Odin July 1, 2014, 7:33 pm

    I’ll be bugging out, for two reasons: only reason I don’t already live like a mountain man is the old lady. I know I can live out there in the woods. I’ve done it. Second, I live in a densely populated area where its nit tge easiest thing to grow food. Neighbors might not stay friendly when starving. Course, this is SHTF scenario. Other, less dramatic scenarios, I would do the same, but the ball and chain wouldn’t.

  • KJQ July 2, 2014, 8:44 am

    My wife and I are 56. She has arthritis and I’m no athlete. We gave up on the idea of bugging out and moved to the countryside a few months ago. We’re 40 miles from the nearest town, 20 miles from a highway, and 5 kms up a dead end dirt road. We have maybe 10 neighbours in as many miles. No one will bother coming our way, certainly not in numbers. We are bugging in no matter what. We have sons and friends who will be using our home as their BOL. We have everything we need for long term self reliance, and are prepared to repel almost any armed group short of a large SWAT/Tactical team from hardened positions in and around our home. The worst case for me is being in town when the SHTF. I have a get-home bag with me always. It would be a very tough slog to get home the 40 miles on foot at night cross country (mostly woodlands), but I’m a tough SOB. If something like chemical/nuclear war hits, well then it’s time for us to meet our maker.

  • armsdealer September 11, 2014, 7:47 am

    “You kind of assume that great geniuses [are] like Mozart,” Fiegerman says. But few successful people were child prodigies, and prodigies don’t necessarily find success. “Most people don’t stick to it.”

    Author Jennifer Egan stuck with it. She told Fiegerman that her first novel was so bad even her mother hated it. But Egan kept writing, and her writing got better—in 2011, she won a Pulitzer Prize for her novel about growing old in the digital age, A Visit From the Goon Squad.

    The nicer resort areas are being threatened by suburban style development, chain stores and traffic conjestion. You could bug out and end up stuck in traffic with all the other road hogs. The resort areas can operate with horses and wagons after the filling stations and state lottery terminals die.

  • Allen Currie Author February 5, 2015, 8:31 pm

    Having studied how empires fall for 25 years (and in this case a financial empire) I can say that the event will happen with blinding swiftness and inhumane violent crime.

  • Sapper April 5, 2015, 7:28 pm

    Hmmm, lets see, I am military trained and was raised by people who grew up during the great depression. I was raised farming, ranching, hunting, camping and roughing it. I’ve been gathering supplies and planning for bug out for several years. The route we need to take is the same one we have been driving for twenty years. I also have several alternate routes mapped. I am trained in land navigation, jungle survival, escape and evasion, weapons, tactics, etc. and I am training my family in such also. We have no small kids, pets will be left behind except for the dog as she is an asset. We have two expeditions to carry as much as we can but also have rucks ready to go if we have to either ditch the trucks or hoof it out of here without the trucks. We have a horse with both pack and western saddles that can be switched out as needed. We have plenty of weapons and ammo. I’m an expert shot on many weapons and have trained my wife. I have rifles, pistols, bows, sword, axe, tomahawk, throwing knives, blowguns, machete, regular knives like my Kbar and even slingshots as weapons and for hunting. Anyway, you might be right about most people but there are those of us who actually are trained, prepared and practiced in wilderness survival. I’m one of those who chuckle at the tv show survival experts. They are entertaining but I only need to know how to survive in the same woods that I grew up camping in. I’ve survived in much worse places including jungles, deserts, coastal marshes and medieval forests. That said, we are working on moving north and getting a place in the country where we can stay without bugging out. Our bug out plans are to leave this area of Houston where we are less than ten miles from sunnyside which is the sixth most dangerous hood in the nation and we will head to our family ranch which is stocked with cattle, fish, natural springs, game, poultry, gardens and years worth of canned food. We will be doing just fine if we have to bug out. For most people I would advise to listen to this article. If you are not trained, prepared and practiced for living in the woods then stay where you are and stockpile food, water, guns and ammo.


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