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Things To Avoid When Bugging Out

bugging out with caution

What would I do? What would you do if we had to leave home in a hurry? What bugging-out precautions must we understand when leaving home in front of a natural disaster?

Bugging out is a complex task that takes planning and preparation. It is even more complicated and dangerous if you’re taking off at the same time as thousands of other people, as in the case of a general evacuation from the path of a major hurricane or fire and flooding.

According to Merriam-Webster, bugging out is: to depart, especially in a hurry.

But there is really nothing simple about actually doing it! You are going to need precautions.

What Bugging Out Means

If you want a successful bug-out, you have to think of what you will do and how everyone else out there—all those unprepared people—will react. What bugging out precautions, did they take?

You might think that you are ready if you have your bug-out bag packed and a general idea of where you want to go. Nothing could be farther from the truth. You might manage to get away from your home and maybe even out of town, but you probably won’t make it to your bug-out destination. You will either give up and end up stuck in the wrong place, or you won’t survive.

People die almost every year trying to outrace that fire, incoming storm, or flood.

You must think of this now before all hell breaks loose so you can develop your plan so that you manage to avoid many problems. In addition, you have to have alternate plans for almost everything you will do, as things never seem to work out quite the way you want when you need to get from point A to point B quickly.

Bugging Out And Relocating

So you decided it would be best to get yourself and your family out of harm’s way. What now? Here are some bugging out precautions to aid you in reaching your goal.

bugging out route

Avoid The Highways. In a general retreat, you can be sure that the highways will turn into parking lots. The U.S. highway system is not designed to handle the traffic needed for a general evacuation of any major city.

There are selected evacuation routes and even signs showing where they are, but that doesn’t mean those evacuation routes will work. You’ll be better off sticking to side streets than going the same way as everyone else.

Find several ways to get out of town as far from the highways as possible. Don’t even think of using side streets that are close to major highways and thoroughfares; find the ones that nobody else will use. Those will be the quickest way out of town.

If you have to leave your vehicle and set out on foot, then go cross-country. That way, you have much less chance of running into other people. While many of those other people will be self-sustaining, some will see you as a means of supply and look for an opportunity to steal from you or harm you for your stuff.

Avoid a Close Bug-Out Goal. If you are going through the trouble of leaving, you want to make sure that you have a go-to location far enough away from your home that it won’t be affected by any regional events. While having an alternate site is a good idea, you probably won’t be as prepared to use it as you will for your primary.

Avoid Looking Prepared. I know many of you like the idea of a big 4×4 truck for a bug-out vehicle. There might be a good reason for having one, but don’t have it just because you think it makes a cool post-apocalyptic vehicle.

bad bugging out precautions

Avoid dressing in camo-style clothing and anything else that makes you look like you know what you’re doing. As people’s tempers rise and they get more desperate, you might look like a target.

Avoid Visible Weapons. While I am not a firm believer in carrying weapons on a bug-out, and if you do, I don’t think those weapons should be obvious. In much of the country, you don’t want to invite attention from the authorities.

You might also attract those desperate people who didn’t bring any supplies. Having a visible weapon might be enough for them to think you have something worth stealing.

The big problem here is who surprises who. If you’re walking around with a gun, anyone who wants to steal what you have will probably make sure they’ve got the drop on you; if not, shoot you outright before you know they’re hunting you. On the other hand, if you have it hidden, you can surprise them if they try and attack you.

Again, I do not believe firearms should be on the list of your bugout precautions.

Avoid Taking Too Much. While taking enough equipment and supplies with you is necessary to survive, you don’t want to take so much with you that it will impede your movement if you have to abandon your vehicle.

Since the possibility of abandoning your vehicle is high, that limits how much you can take. One way to increase the amount you can take with you without slowing yourself down is to build a lightweight cart to carry your supplies.

This needs to be something you can use cross-country because staying on the roads on foot is a bad idea. You can carry much more with such a cart and not tire yourself out.

Avoid Sharing Your Plans. As with any other tactics associated with prepping and survival, you need to keep your bugging out precautions secret. Unless you have a survival group that you will meet up with, nobody outside your family needs to know the plans of your bugging-out precautions.

Avoid Leaving Too Late. This, I believe, is the biggest mistake. If you think it might be time to bug out, do it. Don’t wait! That first inkling you get might be the warning that keeps you going. Remember, you can always head back home if it turns out everything is okay. But you can’t turn the clock back if you didn’t leave when you should have.

Bugging Out Precautions With Family

All this talk about leaving, and you may ask yourself, ‘Leave with what’? Here are some things you must have packed and ready for any ‘bug-out’ for a family of four:

Water and hydration is the most important and must-have essential in a bug-out bag. Various scientific researchers have shown that the human body can go without food for about 3 weeks but cannot function if it goes without water for more than 72 hours.

It is, therefore, very important to include water in your bug-out bag, especially if your family of four includes children. We recommend carrying at least 10 to 12 gallons of water to keep all four family members well-hydrated.

When surviving or just bugging out, it is important to have multiple plans. Portable water filters like life straw can serve as a good secondary plan and can save your life and your family members just in case you run out of water.

First aid tool kit Accidents are bound to happen while rushing. A first aid kit will help provide help during various emergency situations. Basic things to include in the first aid kit include adhesive bandages to cover simple cuts and scrapes, butterfly bandages, chemical ice back, a first aid handbook, hypoallergenic adhesive tape, and individually wrapped gauze packages.

It’s also important to include medications in your first aid kit to help treat non-topical injuries. Some things to include under this category include eye drops, anti-diarrheal eye drops, antihistamines, stomach medication, and fever reducers.

And please don’t forget any prescription medicines someone might be on.

A radio. Many overlook This crucial survival kit when coming up with a list of things to include in a bug-out bag. When disaster strikes, you need to be alert and informed.

There is a high chance that your mobile phone may not work due to the high level of traffic or downed towers, but the radio will work provided you have good batteries or one of those hand-crank jobs.

Lighting It is a good idea to carry multiple illumination sources to have a backup just in case one fails. For instance, a flashlight will help keep the camp well-lit just in case rain makes it hard for you to put up a fire. All your family members need to be included as the owner of a flashlight. Again, don’t forget working batteries.

Self-defense supplies There is no doubt that this is a hot topic. However, you never know what is awaiting you when disaster strikes. It is, therefore, very important to carry self-defense aids such as pepper spray to defend your family if you find yourself in a position to protect them.

Food You got to eat.  You and your family members cannot survive for long without food. In fact, very few people can survive for more than two weeks without eating something. The mistake that most people make is carrying perishable foods. When disaster comes in, you never know when it will end or when help will come knocking. It is therefore very important to carry ready-to-eat foods.

Lighter & matches You never know when you will need to light a fire to warm your family, cook, boil water, keep wildlife at bay, signal for help, or even sterilize medical equipment. Sincerely speaking, without fire, it will be very difficult to survive for long when disaster strikes.

Personal care aids think of basic hygiene, and you will think of toothbrushes, soap, wipes, feminine products, and extra diapers if needed. It’s amazing how many people forget those diapers before a crisis hits!

Bugging Out And Going Home

The biggest risk you will face if you have to bug out is from other people. While there may be hundreds of thousands of people in your city, who are all trying to get out at the same time, keep in mind only a handful will be truly prepared.

Thinking proactively drastically increases your chances of survival, but stockpiling the right supplies also increases your chances of becoming a target to those who aren’t as well prepared.

Keep that in mind in all your planning and develop ways to avoid becoming a target in a desperate survivor’s gun sights.

Planning well and way ahead of time will put you in the position of getting yourself and your family back home again in one piece.

Your Safety Blueprint for the Unknown Ahead

Navigating uncertain terrain requires not just preparedness but the conviction to act wisely.

Now, with the insights from this article tucked under your belt, your very first step? Evaluate your current plan, and spot the gaps. Remember, your safety and that of your loved ones isn’t just about having the right gear; it’s about adopting the right mindset.

This isn’t a drill, but your ace in the hole against unpredictable events. So, what are you waiting for?

Dive in, upgrade your bugging-out precautions, and stride confidently into whatever the world throws your way. It’s time to become the beacon of preparedness your future self will thank you for.

Let’s get to it!

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