The Fallacy of Bugging Out – Are You Prepared to Be a Refugee?

by | Apr 19, 2012 | Emergency Preparedness | 326 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    This article has been generously contributed by Survival Acres – Sustainable Living & Common Sense.

    Many websites, blogs and forums have covered the topic of bugging out in excruciating detail, all under the assumption that this will be a necessary escape plan for many of us when the proverbial shit hits the fan.  This notion is predicated upon the belief that escape and evasion, necessary for your immediate survival will be a (likely) event that you must plan and prepare for now.

    However, nothing could be further from the real and actual truth.  This cherished myth is a deceptive and dangerous notion that has little place in reality.  I’ve long held a stanceagainst this notion because in nearly all cases and all situations, this is a very bad idea with oftentimes fatal consequences.  Bugging out is embracing the refugee lifestyle – a very bad idea.  Refugees throughout history have fared very badly, suffered extreme hardship and deprivation, with many not surviving the experience. There is a far better alternative to this.

    The rejection of the “bug out” mythology flies in the face of the so-called ‘expert advice’ and theory being proposed by many websites and authors, who are also very active in selling products and gear specifically oriented around this concept. You could say quite rightly, that there is indeed a agenda at work here, but it is not one in your best interests.  Hold onto your pockets and read on.

    Bugging out entails leaving everything you are, and everything you own, and everything you useday in and day out, and everything you cannot carry or transport with you, behind. Not only behind, but inaccessible, unusable and abandoned.Potentially forever.

    How much of our lives, and the things within our lives, do we truly want to abandon? You will also leaving behind all rules of normalcy, the concept of “plenty” and abundance (which also means replacements and repair), all laws, rules, behavior andexpectations that we have come to expect from each other and within our society, both good and bad.

    Let’s make a list of these things to put this reality into perspective:

    You will be leaving behind your job (income), perhaps your family (wife, kids), your home (shelter), your friends (support network), your contacts (other people you know), your bank accounts (money), your credit (ruined), your retirement (pension), your property and everything you own (everything you cannot carry with you), your vehicles (except perhaps one, at least until the gas tank is empty), your future (prospects, employment, credibility, integrity). Don’t forget things also left behind, such as electricity, running water, Internet access, news and information, communications, telephone and even cell service, a warm, dry bed and other ‘essentials’, some more then others.

    You will also leave behind all expectations of normalcy, decency, morality and expectations, i.e., a “normal life”,forever – more on that below.

    If you were dependent upon a job, it will be gone. You will have either been fired or laid off with a ruined reference for any future employment. You would not be able to pay your rent or your mortgage, your utility bills or any of your monthly obligations. If they’ve lapsed far enough, then you would be facing bankruptcy and / or forfeiture of your (remaining) assets, or at the very least, their liquidation (if you still have them) in order to survive a few more weeks.

    It’s possible your kids or your wife could be gone, having abandoned you for abandoning them or sucked up into the system by the welfare state or child protective services. Your marriage could be in ruins, your family and friends could disown you, but in any case, what would be left of your relationships could potentially be in complete tatters.  Worthwhile?  You decide.

    Your connections to society and civilization would also be destroyed, or certainly damaged, perhaps beyond repair. In effect, you’d be “cashing out” completely and perhaps forever, of the life you’ve lived and starting over.  Worthwhile?  You decide.

    But you’d be alive! (supposedly).

    In effect, bugging out will mean you will be totally abandoning your present life in exchange for huddling under a tree in the woods, trying to avoid hypothermia and starvation, wondering where you next meal will come from, and how long you can hold out in your new ‘reality’.  And whatever it was that you chose to run away from — will still be there.  This is perhaps the most overlooked point of all.

    How long could you hold out?  Not long.  The reasons are many, but they are sound.

    The need to bug out is an exceedingly tiny reality — a future event that will probably never happen. But it is not a zeropossibility (nothing is, not even an alien invasion).  Yet this topic still receives a ridiculous amount of attention despite its extremely low probability, which makes no sense at all. The reason is because escapism is thought to be a ’solution’ versus contributing to the problem. It’s not, as the points above demonstrate.

    Running — from whatever the problem is, usually ensures that you are taking your problems with you. Only if your life is inimmediate danger does running offer a better opportunity then staying put and dealing with the problem. Running does not make problems go away, it will very often make them much worse.

    Running is also thought of as being romantic, adventurous and even ‘brave’ in some circles. Taking on the world all by yourself while you’re on the run is a common theme in movies and books, but has nothing to do with real life.  Running means you’re in full-blown survival mode and all bets are off, including all notions of morality, right and wrong, doing the “right thing” and what you can even reasonably expect to happen. Anythingcan happen if you run, and often does, because you are replacing all of your security for a whole series of things unknown (and insecure).

    Did you know that if you abandon the system, then the system will also abandon you?  Nobody much talks about this point, but it is true. You will find yourself outside of society, unhelped and unhelpable, unknown, disconnected and even hated for being what you have now become. With no address, connections, no references, no family or friends, nothing with which to help connect you back into society, society will turn its back upon you in fear, and you will be outside of all normal channels of help and assistance, effectively cut off.  This is a huge issue, but nobody ever mentions it.

    To The Woods

    Bugging out is usually assumed to mean “to the woods” where survivors, patriots, militia, end-timers and others will be making “their last stand” (apparently together, whether they like it or not) while roasting hotdogs and marshmallows.  Instead, it will be the last man standing over a pile of rotted and half-eatencorpses, since the food and supplies and the notions of ‘living off the land’ will have died out with the last slaughtered deer to be found. And every ’survivor’ will have been hoping all along that nobody has turned them in for poaching.

    Campsites, caves and hidey-holes will have become armed, dirty and infested encampments of hungry and desperate men (the surviving women would have long since been forced into prostitution and slavery), all fighting over the remaining scraps to be found (and newcomers showing up) necessary for their survival. Informants, traitors, thieves, murderers, rapists and thugs will quickly become the defining characteristic, with the strongest ruling (or eating) the weak.  Those who arrive “first” will potentially be better prepared to prey upon the late-comers or the weak, so if you are still planning on trying this, get your seat at the table early.

    Think not? This is exactly what happens during civil wars and internal conflicts when a country turns against itself. The war in Bosnia saw tens of thousands of murders, rapes and thefts as the people turned on each other.  It was a fight for survival, for food, for weapons, for money, for women.

    It has happened all over the world, and it will happen again. Whenever there is not enough to go around, and whenever there is strife, secrecy and conflict, those involved will resort to whatever methods of survival that they have to in order that they might live another day by whatever means possible.  It will be no picnic, no romantic “retreat into the woods” where faith, truth, righteousness or rebellion will flourish and grow. Instead, it will be a bloodbath where the young, old and the weak succumb the quickest.  I suggest you bring lots of Tabasco sauce, as it does make the meat taste better.

    Bugging out also means you are leaving the norms of society behind. These are the rules, laws, restrictions and expectations that you have come to expect (and largely appreciate) that govern human behavior. Would-be dictators and gang leaders will spring forth from unlikely sources. Since there is nothing to hinder them, then they will allow themselves to be unhindered. Unrestrained, you will find the true nature of what your “friends” can really be.  You’ll soon regret not locking up the mad caps among you and taking away their weapons.  If food or medical supplies are in short supply, then expect gang on gang, tribe on tribe warfare to begin.  Expect slavery, torture, imprisonment and rape.  Also expect the nearby communities (cities, towns, villages) to become their prey, as theft, robbery and murder to go hand in hand with their (daily) need for food and other things like fuel and medical supplies.

    Inversely, you could also expect smart and prepared communities to expel, exterminate and hunt down these refugees if things get way out of hand, exacerbating an already bad situation. Forget for a moment the military or law enforcement going after these woodland refugees (a topic unto itself), the locals themselves will not be the helping hand that you may have naively come to expect, especially if you or your gang have already trod upon their welcome mat.  They’re trying to survive too, and live normal, unfettered lives as best they can. They don’t need nor appreciate you coming along and messing things up. Camping out in their back yard or nearby forests will often pit you against them in violent and lethal ways. And they will be far more adept then you are outlasting you because they will have the infrastructure and support network to do so.

    Survivalism is only rarely about ’surviving in the woods’. Rather, survivalism is about living, and staying alive, and how you might do that while experiencing as few hardships as you can. Bugging out to the woods to survive your end-time fantasies is going to be a quick path to death for the majority of people that try this route. There is a better alternative to this.

    Staying Alive

    Bugging out is never quite what everyone seems to think it is, where living off the land and finding adequate nutrition and staying healthy is grossly overlooked. Many people claim that they can “do it”, yet return year after year from hunting season empty handed.  When the beer runs out, they head home. Or when the food is bland or gone, they’re beating tracks as fast as they can to the nearest restaurant.  These ’survivalists’ and ‘outdoorsman’ will not survive their voluntary refugee status by bugging out, but they will (if they show up, far from home) be a serious problem for the locals.

    You will burn up a tremendous amount of calories (as much as 3 – 4 times as normal) while trying to live off the land.  Finding and building shelter, hunting and gathering for food and water, providing heat, establishing security and working and waking / walking for long hours at a time, will cause you to expend far more calories then you will be taking in. Even if you are very well supplied, you won’t be for long (you cannot carry enough). Foraging for food will very rarely provide enough calories versus what you are expending while looking. You will quickly go into a calorie deficit, burning off fats and muscles as your body adapts to your new environment and demands.

    I’ve seen lot of ill-informed discussion of ‘nomadic lifestyle’ whereas the individual or group is roaming about, living off the land. This notion is pure b.s., as it is calorie-deficient, ill-advised for security reasons and will increase the risk of injury and health issues. You will need to preserve calories — not expend them (if you can).

    Calorie deficiency cannot last very long (mere days in most cases) before your health diminishes and your strength drops. You risk hypothermia, vitamin deficiencies and a higher risk of contracting illness and injury due to your weakened condition. Unless your nutritional needs are met and you are able to also stay warm and dry, avoiding hypothermia (core temperature drop) and frostbite / exposure, then it is just a matter of time before you become incapacitated, unable to effectively help yourself.

    There are countless examples of ‘modern day survivalists’ who have found this out, believing that they too could live off the land and survive, but lacking the skills and experience to do so.  Additionaly, our forests are not the cornucopia of food waiting to be plucked many seem to think, they’re vastly depleted monocultures of trees, lacking sufficient edible foods and wildlife. Some of these people wound up dead, others were found or rescued. All of them learned that foraging for sufficient nutrition and calories is why we have modern farms — it is the most efficient way of meeting our nutritional needs. Even growing your own food at home in a controlled environment (garden) with a plentiful supply of soils, seeds, water, tools and time is extremely difficult, if not nearly impossible for most of us (really) to meet all your daily nutritional needs, all while leading a far less demanding lifestyle then living off in the woods in survival mode. I’ve long been advocating sustainable living and raising your own food, but here in the woods where I live, I cannot even grow half of the food I need to stay alive and healthy, let alone expect to hunt it down. Nor can I grow enough to feed my family, compounding the nutritional needs required.

    Bugging out is in nearly all cases, a very bad idea, fraught with danger and pitfalls, destined for failure and doom for those that believe that this will be “their answer” to whatever they’re running away from. It would only be necessary in the most extreme circumstances (extremely rare) and for very extremely short periods of time and for extremely few (skilled) people. This rules out almost everyone else. You would need to return to civilization far sooner then many seem to be planning for.  If you did run off into the woods, you’d soon be back (as many Y2K refugees found out).  Wouldn’t it then be a better solution to avoid this unnecessary step altogether if you could?

    Ultimately, this then is the far better solution — bugging in, back to safety, food, heat, clothing, medical attention and survival. If you truly think that you foresee a need to bug out — then revise your plans to bug in to a new location within civilization where you can find (or work for) food, clothing, shelter, safety and security (including an income) where your survival is a far more sure thing. This is the only long-term answer there really is. You will also be in a much better situation to deal with whatever the problem was in the first place that caused you to leave.

    I do not have a bug out bag anymore, since it no longer makes any sense to me to have one. I do have cash, toys, tools, vehicles and other things of interest at my disposal. Disappearing off into the woods is a dead end and it will not work for the vast majority of people that would try this. You would have to come out sooner then you think (if you survive) and return to life within civilization somewhere. You’re not going to live off the land indefinitely, and not even as long as you may think, so it makes far more sense in your ‘escape plan’ to prepare for living someplace else instead.

    The entire concept of bugging out truly needs to be redefinedto fit within the parameters of reality and how this would really work for the vast majority of people. Leaving for reasons of safety, security, natural disasters or some other valid reason is perfectly acceptable — but where you go and how you will plan on surviving while you are there seems to be where this theory falls flat on its face against reality.  Having the means to leave, but having some place to go, where you can find safety, food, shelter and sustainability is key to a true “bug out” plan.  Planning on disappearing into the woods is in all probability one of the worst ideas you could attempt. You would have to come out sooner or later, weakened, possibly sick or injured, broke, destitute and impoverished — a true self-made refugee.  Basically, a dumb idea all around, one that should only be tried in the most extreme circumstances and only for the adept.

    Visit the Survival Acres Blog and Storable Food & Supplies


    It Took 22 Years to Get to This Point

    Gold has been the right asset with which to save your funds in this millennium that began 23 years ago.

    Free Exclusive Report
    The inevitable Breakout – The two w’s

      Related Articles


      Join the conversation!

      It’s 100% free and your personal information will never be sold or shared online.


      1. interesting….

        • Very Interesting, indeed. Although, not quite the entire picture. “Bugging-out” is always an option; albeit, not always the best option.
          There are multiple scenarios (from which to retreat) and an endless supply of personal situations which are completely individual.
          Not to naysay the authors, (they are correct for certain situations)–but, even the author propitiates “alien invasion” LOL
          Hurricane landfall and your in New Orleans–Bug out (didnt we cover this?)
          Yellowstone Caldera goes into overdrive and your East of the Mississippi River–Bug-out or Bug-in
          (depends on your preps)
          Executive Orders make Nazi Germany look like Paradise compared to the U.S.
          Bug-in–stand and fight
          (at least be a pain-in-the-ass and go down swinging)

          • I’m trying to determine if the author is writing about “bugging out”, as the title implies, or being a fugitive from society during normal times.

            Who the hell is going to care about their job and credit when the S is HTF? I mean, seriously? “The world is ending and there is chaos and death in the streets, but I’m going to stay put to preserve my credit score.” WTF?

            Also, if one is bugging out, why would they be abandoning their family? What kind of idiot is going to be like, “Dang, the S is HTF, I better get out of here quick! F the wife and kids, they can fend for themselves!” I mean, seriously? This is what the author wrote! How else are we to interpret that?

            Is this article serious? Is it even for real? It seems like a joke written by someone being paid by the word.

            The whole idea of bugging out is that the location in which you are in becomes untenable, forcing an evacuation. At that point, there isn’t going to be a job, electricity, rule of law, government, etc. anyway. “There are bodies in the street and half the city is either on fire or under rubble, but I’d better not bug out because I have to be at work at Walmart early tomorrow!”

            Stay if you can but leave if you must. That’s all this article needed to say.

            • Agreed!…had me scratching my head a bit too….I have and maintain the means to bugout on a moments notice with several destinations in mind for differing scenarios…I tend to lean at staying put and only if I absolutly can not stay,then leaving…some good points but rather a rambling article to me….

            • I wholly agree and was coming down here to leave the exact same comment!

              I didn’t even finish the article, as it was clear about 1/4 of the way through that the author was more concerned about an imaginary credit score being maintained while the world is burning down around them rather than looking at the situation realistically.

              Does he think people will start bugging out because it’s Tuesday? Because the weather turns bad? What cannibalistic camp is he talking about while worried about going back to work and job references…?

              I could not have left a better comment, ChumbaWamba!


            • I was wondering the same thing, if the power and water are off anyway and there is chaos everywhere, do you really think youll have a job anyway?
              And if the banks go belly up and the doors are locked are you still going to be making that mortgage payment on that house that isnt worth anything?
              I get it that refugee = bad but staying put without enough people in your circle to defend your location could be worse and perhaps deadly.
              This is what i have been pondering lately, i live on an island, there will be no food in short order if its a shtf situation, when the hungry people start coming to our neighborhood to take what they want, even though i have enough firepower to eradicate a small town in california i wont be able to get rid of all the looters by my self and i know my girlfriend or her mother will be no help they already think im nuts for even thinking about this or trying to store food and ammo, i think id be better off to load up my truck with the important stuff and cut my losses and hunker down with some other folks who think like me. If i want to live that is, if i want to get all sentimental and mushy i guess i can sit tight and try to protect these people who have no interest in protecting themselves, yea right, as they say, its been nice but i gotta go!

        • The argumentation of this post is partially true, and while this applies to a citizen profile habituated to live in the city. Country people can live off the system with far fewer problems than those listed in this post, because they know where and how to obtain the necessaries of life, and their levels of tolerance for austerity is much higher than average.

          I’ve have lived a “SHTF” situation in the decade of the nineties, and have lived halfway between the forest and the city, in a situation that could be extrapolated (with several exceptions) to a “SHTF” generalized.

          The forest can feed you if the area chosen has the potential and if you possess the knowledge, tools and skills, but the sea is a near certainty to survive, at least in the alimentary sense. A abrupt wooded coastal area (or a deep forest with a lake or big river) can be an excellent place on condition that you know to hide and live a life of stealth and austerity.

          • Unless lol everyone moves out into the forrest with you…than all of the hell break loose scnerios the author shared comes true…think about it. Forrest or whatever place the ‘good country folks’ have cannot sustain everyone running into them.

        • Interesting, but it feeds a fallacy: That this is somehow a black-and-white issue.

          “OAMG! Bug-In or be a Refugeez!!1111WTFBBQ!!!1!”

          Umm, yeah. Let me relay how it’s really going to be for most folks:

          * The dumbest ones of all will patiently sit there and wait for Uncle Sam to stop by and handle it for them.

          * The mere idiots will see the world go ‘splat, and having been fed heaping doses of the evening news, coupled with nearly every apocalyptic fantasy horror flick plot? They’re going to run like hell, and only have the faintest destination – usually it’ll be Uncle Louie’s farm in West Bumfuckia… on the other side of the continent. Did I mention they’ve only visited it once, as a kid, and have no clue as to where it is aside from maybe which corner of which state?

          * The somewhat smart ones will have at least prepared a bit, and will either be sitting tight and keeping a low profile, or will be getting together with their buddies and emptying every store they can get to – starting with the groceries, then the hardware store, etc. Or, if they’re criminally-minded, they’re going to get together and hijack the nearest warehouse, store, whatever… The more criminally-minded will be staking out anyone with a running generator, obvious prepper stuff, etc. The actual preppers in this crowd will be hauling ass towards their “BOL”, in the hopes that no one else has gotten to it first.

          * The one who actually have a brain will get the hell home, or will already be at their BOL – both groups will be bolstering security, counting stores, getting out the weapons, etc. No matter where, both groups will also have a solid plan (or will be working one) to sit tight, defend what you have, maybe reach out to trusted friends, corral the community together and get them organized with raiding parties to gather food/supplies/etc for them from the local stores, etc. They will also have provisions and plans set aside in case they’re forced to leave where they are now, but otherwise they aren’t going to leave until it becomes apparent that they have to.

          There is no such thing as an either/or deal. Sometimes you’re stuck with being a refugee from the start (if your house burns down, or the entire city goes apeshit with violence, then what?) Sometimes, you have the luxury of sitting tight at home. Always, you have to keep in mind that the situation may change. You may have to move all your stuff to an abandoned home just up the hill because yours is being threatened by a flood. You may have to truly run for the hills.

          • ~~~ or will be getting together with their buddies and emptying every store they can get to – starting with the groceries, then the hardware store, etc. Or, if they’re criminally-minded, they’re going to get together and hijack the nearest warehouse, store, whatever~~~

            Locked, you say?? Ahhh, we all know a backhoe, heavy equipment operator.
            Not?? Then, learn one fast!!

          • the best bug out practice we have had in our family is the military transfer every two or three years..sometimes you get to take your stuff with you and sometimes not..and if it is an overseas transfer you are dealing with or a east to west (or visa versa) it can be quite a stressful and hair raising event. i agree with you, always be prepared to do whatever ya gotta do-be it bug in or bug prepared always for a change in plans.

          • West Bumfuckia…….Oh, that one made me laugh. I’ve been there.

          • Well put OQ. I think the biggest (erroneous) assumption made in the article is that if you’re bugging out, you are eventually coming back to the society you left behind, i.e., your old job, your wife and kids (WTF?), your bills, etc. Ummm, I ain’t bugging out of ANYWHERE while abandoning my loved ones, and why the hell would I bug out if I still have my job and the lights are still on?

            The author had some realistic insights into what we may see in a truly refugee-state world, but your assessment is more realistic in the period of transition to that state. Once we’ve reached such a refugee-state, those who survive will be those who have already re-established community of some sort, along with the efficiencies in food production and security that come with it. Those people will not be nomadic, in most cases, although they are the most likely to be effectively mobile. Horses, people, horses.

          • “Who Moved My Cheese” (by Spencer Johnson), discusses how people react to change. The story is about 4 mice who, IIRC, are used to running a maze to get their food (cheese). Things were OK until the cheese got moved.

            IIRC, 1 mouse immediately began looking for new cheese. 1 mouse hung around a day or so but then began looking for new cheese. 1 mouse stayed for much longer before deciding that, indeed, the cheese wasn’t coming back and began searching. The last mouse refused to believe that the cheese was actually gone and stayed, hoping it would come back.

            This book is a quick read (96 pages, hardback) and I recommend folks reading as it will give you a quick understanding of how people respond to change.

            • I remember that book (I once worked for a company who gave us a whole new box to think outside of each year).

              It’s a good introduction for folks unaware of the concepts, but I’m not sure exactly (aside from the obvious examples in it) how you could translate that to behavior in a SHTF scenario.

          • “Emptying stores” “hijacking warehouses” = being shot as a looter, regardless if you’re just stocking up for a bunch of “Good People”. If and when the situation has come to this, make no mistake, people WILL be shooting looters. If you are taking things that don’t belong to you, from someone else’s property, you then become fair game. Not my opinion, just a fact.

            • Yep, I remember the riots in L.A. after Rodney King. The Korean guy on the roof of his gun shop shooting at people to stay away!

            • ““Emptying stores” “hijacking warehouses” = being shot as a looter, regardless if you’re just stocking up for a bunch of “Good People”.”

              Yes and no. The Mom-and-Pop operations certainly will be defended (it’s all they have, after all). On the other hand, I sincerely doubt the local Safeway or Home Depot is going to have an armed contingent of bag-boys and cashiers defending the place with their lives. Warehouses are even less likely, unless defended by the first gang to get there.

              There is also the law of numbers… you only have so much ammo, and all those people out there are hungry. Sibling posts points to the LA riots, but both of you forget that the mobs weren’t think of possible starvation, and the mobs would largely avoid the armed stores because there were so many unarmed ones still to hit.

              I guess what I’m saying is this: don’t turn examples into laws, and instead look deeper at why some examples worked, while others did not.

              • Smart!

            • I would never steal from a person, after all they have as much a right to
              live as I do. BUT in a true TEOTWAWKI situation all that stuff in Walmart, or Dick’s sporting goods that doesn’t belong to the employees but to far off stockholders will be essentially abandoned and IMHO fair game of you are in need.

        • The article is too black and white. It does not address the fact that many have good paying jobs in or near the city that allows them to purchase supplies and preposition them at their retreat. Everything they need to survive is at the retreat and they just need enough food and fuel stored to make it there.

          As Rawles says, the best plan is to live at your retreat. For many, the best they can do is option “B”.

          “Bugging in” near or in a city is not a realistic option in a major long term collapse scenario.

        • Bug out becomes viable when retreating to a pre-prepared and stocked location.

          • I think everyone should have a bug out bag.

            We live in the country. But, I still have a bug out bag (imp. documents, supplies, tools, money etc.), the vehicles at least 3/4 full of gas and some containers of food ready to go… should we need to.

            The recent tornados in this area made me glad I had that all ready – should we need to leave quickly. With all the downed trees from the tornado, forest fires may be a concern at some point in the future.

            I plan for the worst, but hope for the best.

        • To all you John Rambo’s. Sorry he pissed all over your parade, but it is exactly right.

          And he wasn’t talking about a hurricane….

          You all think this is M*A*S*H and you Colonel Potter Yelling BUG OUT…

          ya….good luck with that one. Have fun in the woods.

        • A great reality check, thank you.

          But seriously if you live in the big city, you might want to think about moving to a smaller rural community now before the already scarce jobs get even scarcer(im not saying to quit your job before finding a new one). It takes years to integrate into a small community, and to find and prove your value unless you have aalready needed skill. When shtf, it will be nearly impossible to prove your worth to the community you plan to go to, that is, if they give you the chance to prove yourself.
          The author makes a good point, you might just be better off sticking with your friends, and family who already know, trust, and value what you have to offer the local community.

          God love you all,
          VIVA LA REVOLUTION!!!!!

          • I agree.

            You have to get to know the neighbors first, and if you’re not already doing that, then you may not have a whole lot of time in which to do so.


          • He’s got a point. Just one example-“Running — from whatever the problem is, usually ensures that you are taking your problems with you. Only if your life is inimmediate danger does running offer a better opportunity then staying put and dealing with the problem. Running does not make problems go away, it will very often make them much worse.”

            C’mon-we’re thinking collapse. This is just corny.

          • “THE WRITER IS A F***ING IDIOT.”

            If you are referring to your posting – you are 100% correct.

        • Nice to see that the original author of the article has closed comments…guess he doesn’t want to deal with the flak.

          Yet another expert, who’s got all the answers. Hey! That sounds like me!

        • Yes interesting! However, we cannot have infinite growth on a finite planet. Therefore, the author suggests that what ever hits the fan, that human industrial life will resume. This is also a fantasy. Industrial way of life is over and it is just a matter of time when our species realizes this. So just make sure when it does hit that your community is strong enough to sustain itself. Where ever that may be.

        • Buy the two books from Amazon, Fugitive!: How To Run, Hide, And Survive & Advanced Fugitive: Running, Hiding, Surviving And Thriving Forever both of them are by Kenn Abaygo.

          Bugging out, running away, hiding…. you wont be so worried.

        • Well, this guy certainly wasn’t overly repetitive or redundant in this 256 trillion paragraph essay. Also I like how he tells us the correct solution is to rely completely on the infrastructure of the very system that is collapsing, the exact thing we would be running from. Really sound logic…

        • All of the author’s points are well-reasoned — for the scenario of an economic collapse.

          I know that FerFal (author of Surviving the Economic Collapse) has spoken to this issue both on this very website and in his book. He is still surviving a collapse in Argentina — and points out that out-and-out collapses of society are extremely rare throughout history. Yes, Rome “collapsed,” but it really fragmented into various regions ruled in various ways (mostly despots). People reorganize and adapt as best they can. I don’t know of a single modern instance of COMPLETE societal collapse — TEOTWASWKI. You modern history buffs out there can correct me if I’m wrong. It could have happened, but I don’t know of such an instance.

          No one — NO ONE — these days can survive long-term without help from others. You can’t both grow crops and livestock, produce your own tools, energy, etc. — AND protect it from those who would take it from you. Not by yourself. How are you going to stand 24-7-365 watch over your bugout location with only your wife and children to help? The more people you have with you, the more supplies you will need — and the faster you’ll use them up. We are far more dependent on far-away production than we realize. EVERYTHING we use is produced by someone else — even things like pencils and paper.

          Further, you can only stock so much food and supplies in a bugout location. What do you do when those supplies run out? They most assuredly will in a long-term bugout scenario.

          Those who plan on hunting deer and other wild animals for food will be in for a big surprise. About a month or so into your bugout after a severe economic collapse, the local deer population will be nigh on extinct, and the ones that are left will seek out ever more remote foraging area.

          What then?

          I’m not saying bugging out is not appropriate in some situations. I am a Mississippian. We know all too well that disaster — BIG disaster can strike anytime. Katrina has taught us well.

          Also, bugging out may well be an excellent temporary strategy to avoid major civil unrest (such as the various LA riots). A well-stocked bugout shelter would work for a while, but so would holing up with some relatives for a few days.

          It seems to me that way too many commenters are discounting the very real problems with bugging out that the author points out.

          • Hey I am also in the deep south, can you send me an email? [email protected]

      2. My Bug Out plans are mostly for getting home , not leaving home.
        getting back to home from say , work..the freeway..or if I were out and about and SHTF

        reason I would want to get back home is, all my preps are bug out bag is limited

        • This guy is an Idiot.
          You dont bug out when everything is great, You bug out when everything goes to hell. You are not going to have a job or bank acount or credit anymore to worry about loseing. But you do still have your life and the life of your fammily to worry about loseing.

          • Wrong Joe. If you wait till everything goes to hell, you’re headed there too.

            Today from Paddy O’:


            Either get out now or plan on staying put no matter what happens.

            • I think the truth lies in between.

              If you wait until things are completely out of control, then you’re going to be stuck on the road, being rounded up or funneled to wherever the {local|state|federal} government wants you to go, or you’ll be fending off raiders at your front doorstep.

              If you “bug out” now in full crisis mode (while things are still relatively stable and safe), you’re going to miss the opportunity to stock up more goods, the chance to meet others who are similarly prepared, and will have to fend off a family who will increasingly demand to “go home”.

              The trick, if you are truly intent on the bugging-out option, is to do so when things are bad enough to make staying increasingly dangerous for you, but not yet bad enough to cause mass panic or martial law.

              The best bet is to find a place that is safe, set up shop there, and make your life and living there. That way there’s no moving involved when things go ‘splat.

            • PS: Good article.

              As someone who did ‘bug out’ earlier this year, I can say that the smaller towns are pretty cool. Folks are much friendlier to their neighbors, and people will likely band together more easily when shit hits fan.

              This also means banding together against the hordes, should there be any (it may come as one big clot of humanity, it may come as a trickle, etc).

              In my case, the best way to do that is to block the main roads between the big cities and our little town(s – there are a few out here together). Blocking these roads is laughably easy to do, and while you could still get here by hiking, it’ll mean hiking over some very steep and very ugly mountain terrain (oh, and then there’s walking by a prison at around the halfway point along one of the roads. Good luck with that.) In winter, the blocked roads and mountains form a veritable deadly gauntlet to the unprepared city dweller. In summer, it’ll still be a beast, and one that will require 4-6 days of hard hiking just to get here.

              OTOH, it may not be necessary… a good hard panic will clog the roads to an impassable mess in either case, holding back the majority of people.

              That last bit is why the whole bug-out deal is something that should only be a last resort, and I mean a no-shit full-on very last resort.

            • Nice article, Paddy O. 🙂

          • No S*

            Thats what I was thinking… The whole city is burning…and Im going back to work next week??? lol foolish examples

          • After everything goes to hell no one is going anywhere. The roads will be blocked and gas will be unavailable. Having a place close by is the key. Out of town but not too far. You also need neighbors that you are on good terms with. You cannot survive on your own. The best is a semi rural area where you can just stay in place.

        • Refugees are people who had no bug out plan and were forced to get out instead of people who planned to get out.

        • I totally agree there. I have my hiking pack which mirrors as an emergency disaster bag. However, more importantly, in my car I keep what I call my GTFH (Get The Fuck Home) bag. It includes all the essentials of a BOB, but I know the purpose of it is to provide me with the tools I need to get home. I can maybe last about 1 week with this, while staying focused on the target of getting home. Much more than that and I’ll be in some serious trouble. Yet, I never leave home without it because if a major disaster did strike and I’m say, only 30 miles from home without a car having to dodge perilous situations, it could take several days to get back home.

          My wife and I have long since made a pact that bugging out is for when the roof is on fire. We would have a much greater advantage in our familiar home than out in an unfamiliar wilderness. What the hell are some people thinking?

          Additionally, we sometimes go on camping trips into the middle of nowhere for several days. I’m talking hard style, not some fluffy campground with running water, electricity and other campers. This is how we remind ourselves of how shitty life would be if we were ever forced to do this. It isn’t pretty as you spend the entirety of each day just assembling and acquiring the things needed to barely get by. Just consider firewood for example. Each day in the woods I easily spend 2 hours looking for downed trees, hand sawing limbs and chopping blocks just for a daily burn. Yeah, you’ll want that fire smoldering all day long.

          The next thing many forget is the cooking difficulties even when you have food caught, killed or found. Then there is the fact that cuts, scrapes, infection, foot rot and everything else that goes along with just being out in the wilderness, so that emergency medical kit will be finished in no time. Finally, there is the hygiene issues of limited teeth brushing, scarce water and shitty sleep.

          Yeah, bugging out is a fool’s prospect I agree. For anyone arguing this, go try a few test runs in the wilderness with nothing more than what you can carry on your back. Sure, a select few “Survivorman” types can do 7 days, but most can’t last 3 or 4 days, let alone even thinking of a month. Go ahead, do a rustic camping trip, you’ll see.

          I’m in high concurrence with the content of this article.

          • Some people have their “BOB’s”, I have my “BIB”. ‘Just in case’, it always sits in the back seat of my truck. If a man-made or natural disaster takes place and I’ve got to abandon my vehicle and make it home on foot, in condensed form, all the “provisions” inside are designed to get me there, fast.

            I have always felt that many people believe the grass is greener on the “other side” when it comes to survival. This romantic notion has been created by movies and books where the “hero” wanders aimlessly from one drama to the next, doing what’s necessary to survive. That might work for maybe 5% of Americans. THe other 95% are sitting ducks, not matter what kind of technology and weaponry they have in their backpack. Those 95% are going to last a week. THe 5% a month, if lucky. Those who have a retreat in the hills and the plan is to get there ‘by foot’, depends on physical and mental health of individual, distance and “what’s in the bag”. But that’s an “iffy” one too.)

            The best place to ride out the storm in most scenarios is in the environment most familiar with. Many are not prepared so that romantic notion of living off of others preparedness seems to be a natural consideration.

            I wouldn’t be caught dead out there, scavenging aimlessly. Leave that to the 5%.

            There’s no place like Home.

          • In the days before towns & agriculture the life expectancy was much shorter. It’s damn hard for hunter/gatherers, that’s why towns formed in the first place. Large cities are another animal altogether. They will probably experience a reduction in population, and you would be more likely to have to flee.

            This article assumes a sudden event. While this is certianly possible, I agree with DK that it is much more likely that our civilation will continue to auger downward, unable to break the cycle. I believe pilots call this a “dead man’s spin”.

        • Same story here.

          I live in the sticks, but have to go to the office in the city a few days a week. If I’m stuck out there one of those days, I have to be able to get home, and I know the roads well enough now to know that no car will make it (imagine a two-lane road going through mountains. Imagine that road jammed with panicked asshats all trying to get out of Dodge.)

          That’s where the bag comes in. It’s enough to keep me fed and warm for a week, which should be more than sufficient to get me home.

        • I will have to agree as well, I dont need a cave, My family has property in Montana that nearly perfect, just need solar panels, the rest is set and has been for 30 yrs. Most neighbors have known our family for that long and are quite set themselves. I’m not worried about living in a cave. I’m more worried about how “americans” will work together to make a stand and live on.

      3. I think this article is spot on. If you honestly give yourself a good hard look, how good are you at surviving on the move? Have you had military training, or simply taught to forage? There is a difference between we preppers and man like Bear Grylls who has honed his skills over countless years in the British SAS. (By the way his book “Mud, Sweat and Tears” is a great book.) But with all that being said, its illogical to rule out the necessity of having to bug out if the extreme were to occur where you reside. Are you ready though?

        • Bear Grylls might be a SAS member and that means a lot, but if I was to judge him by his show, I’d say he is a frakking wanabe. by the looks of his show he would be dead in days. if you want a true survivor check out Les Stroud. now there is a man that I would gladly have at my side in a stick situation.
          as to the article – yes the whole idea of staying put instead of bugging out is quite good as far as situation allows. however, the text and argumentation is so faulty that I don’t truly know where to start… author is saying “You will be leaving behind your job (income), perhaps your family (wife, kids), your home (shelter), your friends (support network), your contacts (other people you know), your bank accounts (money), your credit (ruined), your retirement (pension), your property and everything you own (everything you cannot carry with you), your vehicles (except perhaps one, at least until the gas tank is empty), your future (prospects, employment, credibility, integrity). Don’t forget things also left behind, such as electricity, running water, Internet access, news and information, communications, telephone and even cell service, a warm, dry bed and other ‘essentials’, some more then others.”
          oh man… if you don’t see fallacy in this, then there are serious problems with your analysis and evaluation skills… electricity?JOB?BANK ACCOUNTS??? people, if you are in position that you might consider bugging out, those things will not matter anymore…
          however, it is very true that few can survive doing the bug out… there are few with military/civilian survival training… and those who are not proficient in this should not even try bugging out. you’ll die more peacefully at home. so if you are a prepper and you live in a city (very bad thing by itself) and you plan on bugging out – look up survival courses and practice those skills. and then there is of course good and bad courses so take heed – if you think that Bear Grylls show is a source for survival technique, when you join your ancestors, don’t forget to thank Gryllz [sic]
          Gryllz is a good example of how a serious business of surviving is transformed into stupid and dumb negro style monkey show…
          sorry for the rant, but I hate unprofessional approach to anything…

          • +2 Giurza. one because Bear Grylls is a farce and one for pointing out the ridiculousness of the job, credit rating, internet, etc, etc statement.

          • Strangely enough, you do make a good point (pity you had to throw that dumb twist of phrase at the end).

            Fact is that leaving behind things like job, credit, money, etc… is kinda secondary when it becomes obvious to one and all that the world is going to shit.

            OTOH, I think he mis-articulated something in the article: The danger of jumping the gun, or of trying to be the smartest guy in the room by bugging out when it really wasn’t time yet to do so.

            If you bug out too early, or basically you mistake some event with being *the* harbinger of SHTF, then run for the hills? Well, you’re going to look pretty stupid coming back into town a couple of months later and trying to get your job back, etc. I think your spouse and kids are going to kind of resent you for it too.

            Honestly, if you can? Live where you intend to survive. Work on building a community of neighbors that are amenable to doing the same, and build good relationships with them. Keep long-term survivability in mind as you look for a place to live. Know your neighborhood (no, that doesn’t mean just knowing the streets, but knowing where the crime is in relation to your home, knowing the overall mood and makeup of your neighbors, and knowing where the resources are nearby. It also means knowing where your community can plant food a few years on, and knowing how to use the terrain and structures around you to defend what you have.)

            Doing that, even in suburbia or downtown, means you don’t have to constantly be on the lookout for that one unknowable but definitive SHTF event. You know, the one you’ll likely never actually see. The one that would be your perfect cue to throw everyone in the car and head for your doomsday palace.

            • I wholeheartedly agree with your post OQ! on all accounts!
              as to my “dumb twist of the phrase” well… me being a racist doesn’t mean that I am dumb does it ;D

            • Helos with FLIR will make it real hard to hide if they are really looking for you. That and 25MM cannons will really spoil your day. If the govt. turns the military loose all we will be is a training exercise. Once some of them get shot they will not even bother to take prisoners. Who says the troopers will even be our guys? They may all be foreign at that time. Think they give a crap about taking anyone alive?

            • I guess maybe I’m weird……but who here is going to bug out & leave their Wife & Kids behind ??? Please show you selves now… the rest of us know that you are a self centered useless f%ck….& care about nothing but saving your own miserable ass ! If there was any bugging out to be done, my family would be going together, or I would be sending them ahead to a preordained location…where I would be meeting up with them later. While I do not plan on bugging out as a Main strategy…..actual disasters rarely appear like what you have trained / planned for. That is why you plan, but always have to think about plan B , plan C , etc.
              We train for Search & Rescue …in various disaster scenarios….and it is good to get familiar with your tools. But when the disaster actually happens….the factors change as well & you always have things that were unexpected happen. We debrief after every exercise, try to tune the plan….but we are never 100% prepared. Stay Save Y’all & keep on Preppin !
              Montgomery County Texas

            • Random: Who would leave his wife and kids behind? Well, Robert Fisher for one. He was the Scottsdale guy who slit his wife’s throat, killed his two kids, and then blew up the house to cover his crime.

              He has been on the lam for 10 years.

              He clearly did his homework if you will forgive the pun; as he has been able to elude authorities for that long.

              The ultimate prepper / survivalist gone bad, I guess, as he was an avid hunter and fisherman, and survivalist before snapping.

              There has been reports of a “mountain man” breaking into remote cabins in a 1,000 square mile area of Utah, Colorado, etc.

              Wonder what Robert Fisher had in his 96 hour BOB? 🙂

            • I bugged out 3yrs ago,took a $19hr hit to my paycheck,I have a trade that is viable in most communities.Im where I should be if the SHTF.I wish we could all band together and make the USA as it was 30yrs ago, I can have the gold watch after working the same job for a good retirement BUT no.My job is not who I am. Screw the banksters and the lawyers,Get some place soon, because if your not there your trespassing.Learn a skill thats transferable to your next location.Make it work,your life depends on it.

            • Amen to that, OQ!

              Bugging out leaves you far more vulnerable, in most ways, than bugging in. The Lord be willing, and the creek don’t rise, my wife and I are closing on a home and 5 acres in our small town tomorrow. It’s in the city limits — and has its problems. However, we’ve assessed its strengths and weaknesses and believe we would do OK in an economic collapse — a la Argentina — which we believe the most likely scenario to occur.

              Staying tuned in to your town — keeping quiet about your preparations — making your home as safe and secure as reasonably possible — moving ever more towards self-sufficiency (realizing that no one is truly self-sufficient) — having a few truly good friends and neighbors for mutual support: I believe these are the things that will get you through hard times.

              I hope all of us are wrong about the magnitude of hard times ahead. Heck, I hope there really aren’t going to be hard times ahead — that I’ve simply misread the signs this whole time. If we preppers are NOT wrong, however, we must pray that our preparations, be they meager or extravagant, will be enough to see us through.

          • I understand what you’re saying and you’re also right in the fact of trying to learn survival from TV is a waste. Les Stroud I have no argument against and I fully agree. Everyone has heard of the controversey over bear and his filming (which he address in his book… not a survival book) but you have to give credit where credit is due. He is the lead scout for the UK, the youngest man to climb everest I believe and a genuine guy. Is he as hard core at survivng as Les on TV? No, hes not and I don’t argue that his show is mainly entertainment. I think he’ll be just fine if there was a collapse.

            • as I said – the simple fact that he is a SAS member gets 100 points in my 10 point scale. I was talking about his dumb, stupid, idiotic, moronic, simpletonistic, unprofessional, crappy, sloppy, showy, destructive, dangerous, misinformative and highly typical show. I was pointing out that there are literally millions who watch him and take for granted everything he shows. SAS or not, he is a frakking bastard to act and show what he shows.
              take one example:
              he is acting a stranded guy in the Rockies (if I remember right) one of the first things he does he jumps from the cliff into a mountain river… from 10 meters height!!!!!
              only a complete incurable IDIOT does that in a survival situation!!!!
              and now take any dumbed down citizen, you don’t even need a frakking TEOTWAWKI, he goes AWOL on his fellow campers in the mountains and finds himself lost… he finds a RIVER… oh great, Bear showed me what to do! Tally-Ho!
              I have no excuse for the said man who does that, because he should have used his common sense, but admit it – Grillz [sic again] does it all without even a whiff of responsibility. and what if not lack of responsibility in all spheres of life (especially in media) has brought us all into this sad pass we as a world are in now?

          • I’m with you Giurza, I didn’t know where to start either. My main argument/concern is when he classifies it as a cherished myth and put us into a refugee mind set. Which he states right off the bat and makes his entire argument, from the myth and refugee mind set, which is narrow at best.
            Most of us are preparing for social and economic tidal waves, psunamis, and peril. He assumes we’ll all lose our identy or who we are. Bugging out isn’t about panicing, it’s about survival. He can sit in his home while his neighbor’s is burning; I won’t.
            Has he ever been around refugees? They’ve lost everything including HOPE. They are at the mercy of others and many will take advantage of them, especially gov’ts.
            Basically, the author needs to get a clue and get off the high horse of desk top audit.

            • exactly my point. DRD5508, you actually put it better and clearer! thanx mate!

          • For most of us, “the wilderness” is pretty far away. I somewhat question the “survival skills” often being sold.

            • Depends on where you are.

              From downtown Portland, OR? You can be knee-deep in actual wilderness within 30 miles in any direction. Boise, Idaho means you can be there in 10-15 miles. Any town in Nevada that isn’t Vegas or Reno can have you in real wilderness within ~5 miles of the town center.

              OTOH, Los Angeles, Seattle, SanFran, Phoenix, and the like? Yeah – it’s gonna be a long time before you can hoof it out of civilization.

              Notice I stayed out West? Because the Eastern half of the US has basically 6(*) wilderness areas, surrounded by a near-continuous megalopolis of cities and farms.

              It’s my contention that becoming a refugee east of the Mississippi is basically a death sentence due to a lack of sufficient wilderness.

              * Ozarks, Michigan/Great Lakes, Appalachia, Bayou country, and maybe the swampier areas of Georgia/Florida.

        • Diesel is not prepared….

      4. I am bugging out to my secluded retreat an hour away. I have three ways to get there one of which does not include roads for most of the way. Yes I am going to the woods where I earned my living for years as a wilderness survival instructor, but it also has enough provisions to keep my family warm and fed for two years and they can even have hot showers. Yes it’s located in a natural hollow with a dozen other homes and can be controlled via a single bridge. Yes I’m leaving the city.

        • What are you going to do for money?

          • If he is “bugging out” I am guessing TSHF and no need for money or any form of currency for awhile. Maybe some bartering or metal trading. He also even said he has food and is a survival instructor, so.

            The article talks about “leaving your job” if you are bugging out is there a need for a “job”? But I also agree living on the go is not as romantic as people like to invision.

          • Without a mortgage payment or utility bills it requires very little money to operate our second home. We have cashed enough real money (non fiat) to feed ourselves for another five years in the event of hyperinflation. This does not include what we can raise, forage, or hunt. A mating pair of pet rabbits for example, can become a herd quickly if you have the infrastructure in place.

            What this article does not fully discuss are trigger events. People do not bug out for no reason. We will stay put as long as it is safe, but in the event of things like pandemic, cyber attacks on utilities, CME knocking out the grid, martial law, etc. we are getting out quick and monitoring the situation from a safe distance.

            • I think this approach is perfect. What the article seems to generalize is the term “bug out” meaning running off to the woods. I have always thought of a bug out as having a destination – i.e. another shelter (friends, family, etc) to go to in an event. Maybe I’m the one assuming, but I think most preppers refer to bugging out as going to a secondary location that is known to be a safe(er) haven. I don’t know of anyone who plans on just living in the wild under the stars.

            • Totally agree, if you dont have a destination set aside to where you can hole up half comfortably, then you’ve failed to prepare. An If you dont have your PM’s set, again, you’ve failed to prepare.

            • Arkaden, exactly!!!!

            • Yours is a realistic approach. I read many, many articles written by sensible people from economists to preppers who suggest, if possible, people should get out of large cities BEFORE the shtf. For some that is not a possibility and this site has addressed just about every scenario with helpful suggestions. The reality is if there is a very serious catastrophic event, many and in some case most, probably won’t have a job, a school, a church to go to….at least for awhile. Preparedness, as most people who frequent reading these articles, is just that….being prepared. A substantial amount of food, water, medical supplies, personal hygiene items, cash, silver coins, extra gas in cans, propane, wood anything necessary to continue your individual families basic needs is critical to your personal survival. If nothing else, being self sufficient whether temporarily or longer term is going to give everyone of us a chance to acclimate and think with a clear head and be able to plan the next step necessary. No one at this stage of the game knows EXACTLY what befalls us. It could require being able to turn on a dime, depending on where you are and where you plan or need to be. Those who pay attention know and can see, short of a miracle, where economic conditions are taking this country. Just Keeping ourselves and our loved ones out of harms way, maybe a full time job.

        • That’s our plan, we have our refuge outside the city, all prepared.

        • Better hope they let you in PP.

          • I’m thinking the exact same thing. A good BOL is nice, but it’s even better to know that 1) you’ll make it there, and 2) you won’t have to evict any squatters once you arrive.

          • I have great relationships with my neighbors. Unlike the city we help one another. Our shared private road is impassible in snow without chains so I parked the rental car I was driving for work and hiked in. That evening I got a text my neighbor had seen footprints on our road. Since I did not install a driveway and the buildings cannot be seen from the dead-end road, squatters are not likely, but if they do arrive we will address it as a group.

            Being that we are nine meals away from anarchy normalcy bias means there will likely be enough time for those who are watching and act fast. If our road is closed for any reason I have an unmarked trail through the woods. Two of my vehicles are EMP resistant and most of the trip can be made off road so I am satisfied I have done my best to address those risks.

        • Sounds good. Suppose one of your neighbors is DHS? What then? They have everything on GPS and all they have to do is punch in the grids.

      5. Very smart…

      6. In most of the blogs and TV shows, one high priority survival tactic is ignored. YOU NEVER leave a high resoruce enviornment for a low (or no) resource enviornment unless there is absolutely no other choice.

        Good article

        • @ Mr. Rooker – That’s a great rule to keep in mind. I’m writing it down for permanency. Thanks.

          • Seriously, if you have to write that down then this whole survival thing is going to be very difficult for you 😉

      7. I didn’r even read the article yet but common sense tells me if you live in the city or in a multi family appartment and there is more than one of you, you’re toast.if you don’t get out of dodge the day or two before the SHsTF, you’re toast.If you don’t have enough preps for over a yr, you’re toast. and on & on.

        • However, in almost all cases, one would do better to organize neighbors, friends and family for mutual support and protection. This is even true in a bug out situation (which will be extremely unlikely). Trusted peopel are your most vital resource.

      8. Why would I want to bug out if I still had my job, my pension, internet, electricity, etc???
        Even so, we are prepping for staying in place, based on our current environment of living in a small town with lots of resource.
        The part in the article about being abandoned by the system also seem innocuous to me.If the system was in place, why bug out.
        basically, to me, it is just a singular choice to stay or go.Simplistic, maybe. But, we are choosing to stand our ground. To the death if need be.
        Be well.

        • Doc LRRP: You are on the money. Every significant “Crash” in history has been a slow one rather than a one like a train wreck where ist’s all death and destruction at once. We have been in this slow crash for years but most people have only noticed the little things like fewer jobs, creeping inflation, etc. These ARE the signs of a crash, a very slow one. Things get bad and then they level off for a while and we get use to the new normal until the next slide downward. So, we hold our breathe and sigh in relief when we reach the next, but slightly lower “new normal”. This will go on and on until one day we realize we are not a country anymore. This is the most likely face of our “crash”, a slow progressive form of deterioration rather than some “Mad Max” total destruction of the world senario. Like you, we retired and moved to a small town a few hours away from any major cities where we have been “saving” things that will eventually be in short supply. We have already “bugged out” and are living our lives as normally as possible in a quiet burg. Good luck to us all.

          • We both still work, as it is an amazing and ungovernment like manner of amassing cash to buy stuff. 🙂
            We just drive 40 miles further and have thus beefed up our get home bags that are in the cars.My work takes me to peoples homes and I have stored a few things at each place JIC. We have a plan (s) with map grids as to where to meet if and when.
            Your analogy of the slow crash is very likely correct but, even in a slow rain there is a chance for a flash flood.

            • Doc; well put ‘even in a slow rain there is a chance for a flash flood’.

            • DocLRRP: Again, you’re correct. The best senario would be a quick and hard crash to get it over with and to start anew with a small and more locally controlled form of governemnt. A slow crash gives everyone false hope so that they keep hanging on to what little they still have rather than trying to rebuild. Being prepared: having goods and training is the best way to survive any type of crash, be it fast or slow. Keep your eyes on the horizon and never venture above the military crest.

          • I am not young and I have seen recessions come and go. For some odd reason, I have a knawing in my gut that says this time when “IT” crashes, “IT” is going to be different….seriously different, like nothing I or my children and grandchildren have ever known or witnessed. With the restrictions on nearly everything…free speech, traveling, rearing children, government controlling more and more facets of my life, this is beginning to feel like what I have read about Nazi Germany.

          • A slow motion crash is how I see it also. Mad Max? unfortunately some semi rural areas along highway corridors will become lawless wastelands fairly easily. Its not too far from that now when criminals rob, steal or home invade a short drive away with relative impunity.

        • DocLLR:

          What is your idea of collapse? Does your idea of collapse include having a job, pension, internet, electricity, water, flush toilet with sewage treatment, an unlimited supply chain of food at the supermarket, gas stations that never run out of fuel? Will it all be very temporary and not get bad outside?

          • I was just referencing the article. It stated the things you would lose by bugging out.
            To me, to answer your query, a collapse could range from the collapse of the dollar to the collapse of the economy, all the way to a complete SHTF where it is similar to the books Patriots (1&2) and One second After. I still feel we will stay in place.
            Someone has to cover the rear in case of an exodus from some level of forceful incursion. I have lived a wonderful life for 66 years, served a few tours in Viet Nam, have great kids and a wonderful wife.
            I feel it is my job to make certain that they come through whatever level of feces hits the rotating device.
            be well

          • I plan on dying. Not because I did not prep, but because the gov/military has unlimited resources and time. The technology the gov has is mind blowing. I am a retired analyst and military historian. Please study up if u r serious about survival. It is not just a matter of resources. It is about technology. Unless there is a scenario that disables the military/controll grid, then the NWO will succeed. You simply can not hide forever.
            Best wishes – peace – silverback

            • With that kind of attitude you will surely be one of those to depart, probably for the better.

        • It’s not a question of “why”, but a question of “when”.

          If society is still largely intact and relatively safe, there’s no need to abandon any of that.

          OTOH, if society degrades to the point where your food sources become questionable, where violence threatens your home directly, and the electricity (or your job) becomes an iffy proposition? Well… now what do you intend to do? Sit around the dark, cold house and slowly starve to death (if you’re not ransacked and killed first)?

      9. The post has allot of truth, leaving everything you know & own, wow!

        On the other hand if you have prepped to bug out, properly & for the right reasons then bug out.

        If you have know where to go with out a net work & ill prepared then yes, you will be a refuge.

        Plan accordingly while remembering that plans very seldom go as planned.

        I disagree that bugging out means you abandon your life, if you are properly prepared you are simply starting a new life. Bug in & be eaten by the wolves, if you bug out with an established plan & net work you can become the wolf.

      10. I’m also getting the fod asap. Prepared Pastor I’d appreciate your opinion on how to time my exit.

        Cities are 9 meals from anarchy and I tested my “theory” last year with the UK riots. Things started to get really out of control on day 3. The petrol panic was the same – day 3. Brixton riots when I was a child – day 3 and so on. Provided you are fortunate not to be at the very epicentre of events meal 4 is the time to go.

        Meal 4 (breakfast day 2) is the best time to move out I think? This is because the feral feckless thugs cannot be bothered to get out of bed at a reasonable hour and the police are still scratching their heads thinking wtf? (By lunchtime the authorities WILL have a plan, they’ll be meeting to decide it just as I am running away as fast as I can). By lunch time city dwellers may find the way out of the city blocked.

        Key to my theory is obtaining timely information as to the first spark of civil unrest.

        However & this is my caveat – you need to know where you are going, how you are going and what provisons/resources you will have when you arrive! Family members expect my arrival. In other words I’ll arrive as a contributing trusted member of a prepared group with a pre-assigned role. VERY different scenario to be being a random hobo to whom no alliegance at all is owed.

        Hopefully in a year’s time I’ll be in Situ at my own “retreat” near family (for security, love and skils) and will only “bug out” if I can get on an aeroplane to family overseas. Again this is agreed and is a reciprocal agreement iykwim.

        As a single woman with a kid – stepping out into the unknown countryside in an area alien to me indefinately with only what I can carry is almost certainly slow suicide & I’d be insane to pretend otherwise.

        If shtf even Bear Gyllis would find it hard to evade human predators.

        • Hiya Lone

          I think Bear Grylls is a complete twat, but that’s just my opinion. Ray Mears, Les Stroud, give me either of those any day of the week, they may not be as photogenic but they know way more Han any of the other so called survivour men.

          Take care

        • I’ll add to the assessment by saying that, in the most British terms I can think of? Grylls is a doss cunt. Period.

          Give me Stroud any day of the week as an example of a gent who can survive the longest out there.

          On-topic though, a single mother out in the woods? Urgh. It just screams “target”. On the other hand, if you could join up with a few like-minded people and have sufficient weapons and skills, you can possibly make out okay (in your gun-free case? Edged weapons, and archery equipment for distance – and don’t forget to have sufficient training in the use of them!)

          All said and done though, the UK seems real small area-wise to do too much as far as bugging-out. Perhaps seeking out a coastal island and a means of floating your way there?

        • I do not do bug out drills as shown on Doomsday Preppers, but drive my different routes in my different vehicles as I go to my second home on the weekend. I think timing depends on the threat and your neighborhood. For example, I am about three hours from a target city and if one of those were hit by nuclear attack I would head out immediately via secondary roads to beat the refugees. In another situation I might start packing the truck slowly after dark, depart just before first light while my neighbors slept, but late enough that the majority of the trip was during daylight.

          I believe it is better to be a week early than a day late, but being only an hour away in normal times we could actually commute into the city if we were premature. I also hate the city (even this small one) and only moved here when I got married so I’m more likely to leave prematurely.

      11. Remaining in the cities is just as dangerous and naive. If the local authorities discover that you may be hording a food supply, they will SWAT Team your ass and wind up in jail for who knows how long. Make no mistake about it, the dregs of society will be on the prowl going from neighborhood to neighborhood, house to house looking to kill and seal whatever you may have. The back country and wilderness areas of the United States is far and vast. You could fit the population of the entire world in the State of Texas and still have plenty of room to fart without anyone complaining.

      12. While I disagree with many of the author’s assumptions, I agree with his conclusion. Besides, I’ve got three young kids. They’d never survive on the road. I have to bug in.

        I do have a secondary location to fallback to, if necessary. My fallback location, if society collapses and my house is no longer safe, is actually the nature center building in my local regional park. Has everything my house has, wood burning fireplace, water supply and cultivatable land, is off the beaten path, and there’s only one road in and out, so it offers a better defensible position as well. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best fallback location I can think of right now.

        Have a great day,

        • Nature Center in a Regional Park? I fear you may have many problems with that idea. The park must be local or state run, right? If so, you won’t be allowed to “squat” on that land and use it as your own, not to mention cultivate a garden. Also, you won’t be alone even if the local powers that be leave you alone. What security measures can be set up in such a place? Who are the others that will surely “share” this bug out area with you?

          No, I do not see this as a safe, reasonable or doable alternative location. You may need to rethink your plans, simply for your safety, your family’s safety and your peace of mind. But, on the other hand, if you can clarify and answer the above questions then I’ll be more than happy to retract what I’ve said.

          • @SB:

            Oh, I’m assuming total collapse here if I have to abandon the homestead. And I know it’s FAR from ideal. But it’s secluded, relatively close, and I’ve got three young kids with me. I can’t move far or fast with them in tow.

            And it’s more easily defended than my suburban house. Quite possible I’ll have several other adults to help out. Finally found a fellow prepper in my neighborhood and we’ve become pretty good friends over the last year or so.

            Yeah, I’m not in the greatest of situations. But I’ll keep my head screwed on straight for the wifey and kids’ sake and make the best of it.

            Thanks for the feedback,

            • Good deal!

              One of the very best sites, that has been mentioned already but worth repeating, is
              The owner of that site is the same man who wrote the book I referenced below… “Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse”… James Wesley Rawles. He’s a former intelligence officer in the Army, and knows his stuff inside and out. This book will help you our A LOT, plus his follow up book, “How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times”. You can get both at Amazon or similar.
              He also sells a complete course of survival, and I purchased that about 5 or 6 years ago, and it’s a MUST HAVE.

              Keep safe, keep preppin’ and God bless!

            • What happens when you show up and there are already 6 other families fighting over it?

        • Not judging, but I’d be curious to know if you’ve thought about this Nature Center in depth. As good of a place as it sounds, you don’t think others would converge there too? I’ll admit my bug out plans have stopover points marked around these types of places – but only to spend the night and then move on.

          • If you spend a night you will never get where you are going. Even the remote roads will be jammed with people just like you running away or to something. There will also be many that either will attempt to or will stop them. Between the so called authorities and the gangs of thugs which may actually be one and the same the odds of getting more than fifty miles are slim and none. Slim just left the building. The extremely wealthy will probably be able to prep in a manner where they will survive. The rest of us had better be lucky.

          • @Arkaden:

            I know. It’s not perfect, but young kids limit what I can do and I’ve got no family around. Kinda on my own except for a fellow prepper I met last year.

            I never underestimate a potential enemy, but if there’s a total or near collapse, the sheeple in my suburban neighborhood are more likely to wait for government help or… check out.


        • You know, Mal?

          When I lived in Salt Lake City (Utah), I had a similar thought… if shit met fan, I’d just trot off to Antelope Island, and live on the farming exhibit they had there. It has all the comforts of 1899, was loaded with wildlife (esp. bison), had fresh water springs all over it, and I wouldn’t need to bring anything but me, my BOB, a few weapons, and a cute little Doom-Bunny to cuddle up with at night (I was single at the time – sue me).

          For the curious, here’s the farm:

          It’s actually pretty easy to isolate – well, if you can get there first and somehow block/destroy the causeway that gets you out there. Oh, and not have it be the exact same idea that dozens of thousands of other folks who visit there yearly will have when they need to find a BOL on short notice.

          Long story short, I thought it through and figured out pretty quickly that such a thing might have worked if SHTF 40 years ago, but nowadays that simply ain’t gonna happen.

          I guess what I’m trying to say is, maybe you should find something a lot more secluded, and while you’ll likely have to build your own shelter, there’s nothing saying you can’t pre-position and camouflage the crap out of the supplies to do it with at this hidden spot…

          • Saw an article yesterday about a man and a woman lost in the wilderness somewhere.

            Fortunately they found a “well stocked cabin” and they “lived in paradise” for a few days until they were found by the search team looking for them.

            Preppers, check your cabins! 🙂

          • OQ:

            Pre-positioning supplies is a possibility. But I need shelter where I’m at, especially with kids. I might be able to swing 10 acres early next year, if there’s still time.

            I’d be curious to hear from others that have small children.


            • I have 4 children ages 13, 12, 11, and 8, with 2 boys and 2 girls and have learned alot from them while teaching them things while camping, fishing and hunting over the last few years. My advice is to start them young on getting skills and outdoor knowledge while having fun with them. Make a game of it if you can, for example who can start the campfire the fastest with whatever means they can come up with. My 12 year old boy at 8 then, pulled the battery from his 9volt LED light and fashioned a wire until it was thin and curly to use to create a heat source. he won that round.
              My 11 year old daughter shot her first deer this year with pinpoint accuracy using a .243, boom right in the brainpan “squish” (had to quote firefly/serenity there capt.) she then helped me field dress her doe (her words “you can’t eat antlers dad.” and helped butcher and freeze all the meat from this years harvest.
              I found it helps if they feel that they are contributing to the family dinner table and have helped to keep the budget on food smaller. They learn some skills and gain confidence in their abilities while having some family fun. When they are younger as in under the age of 8, I used to take them fishing and have them catch bluegills and crappies till they caught their limit (30 each) and then showed them how to clean and prepare them for freezing. But when it came time for dinner I made an issue of how it was the kids fish that made dinner possible and how everyone should thank each other for the meal. My wife thinks I am a little crazy doing it but she started to come around once she saw how much it helps the kids with their confidence levels and learning ability. A little teaching in a fun way for them imparts skills that will last them a lifetime.
              We do the same with gardening but with less success, I have a black thumb and there is NO way to make pulling weeds fun that we have yet discovered.
              Good luck in the future,

      13. I needed this article. So many other folks have brought up bugging out as if I would recognize immediately the moment of “truth” and get out of Dodge. From all the desciptions of what that would be like, it seems a much better idea to stay put than risk everything and lose everything by flinging a few select items into the car and heading for the hills. It makes more sense to have my gun and ammo and keep an eye on the doors and windows with the gun at my side 24/7. My only possible bugout place is 3.5 hours away. When things go down the tubes, what are my chances of safely driving on a highway for that long straight through without incident?

        • I gave you a thumbs up on your comment, however if I may add my two-cents worth to maybe help you think about some things.

          First, very few of us are rich enough to develop or sustain a second livable and viable bug out location (retreat). I completely understand this. That is why my family and I sold our nice 3 bedroom 2 bath home with 3 acres and 2 ponds south of the third largest city in America, and relocated to a much more rural state with less population in the entire state than the city we lived south of. Instead of “bugging out” when TSHTF, we decided (both logistically and financially) that we would be MUCH better off downsizing, and prepping a new area that would not only be survivable, but defendable as well. We now have a place with 15 acres, a spring-fed pond, fully fenced and surrounded by (for the most part) like-minded neighbors, yet the neighbors are not on top of you because we all own large parcels of land that is heavily wooded and full of game.

          You say you might need to just watch the doors and windows with your gun at the ready. Even though this is true, what about your outside perimeter? How do you plan to stop them BEFORE they reach your door or window? What’s your plan of action to stop them from burning you out? Have you planned on blocking the windows in any way? You see, there are so many scenarios to cover to make a place survivable that it takes A LOT of planning and prepping BEFORE the inevitable happens.

          Lastly, if your plan for a bug out scenario includes “flinging” a few items into a vehicle and hauling butt 3.5 hrs away, you may want to rethink that plan and reevaluate how much effort has gone into that plan. If you are truly planning a bug out, and that area 3.5 hrs away is a good and safe area, then it’s very doable. Stage the vast majority of your needed gear, food, ammo, etc up there. There’s so many things to touch on here that I simply don’t have the time, and folks probably would get upset if I wrote any more. So… let me leave you with a final thought. If you don’t already have this book, get it. It’s a great “fictional” account of exactly what we’re talking about. In fact, it’s truly a manual of how to’s wrapped up in a fictional story. The book is, “Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse”, by James Wesley Rawles. You will be glad you purchased it… believe me!

          I hope something I’ve said helps you… God bless!

          • I’ll check out that book.

            When I was speaking of flinging a few items into a car before bugging out, I was being a mite sarcastic. I actually do not envision this as a viable approach. I envision staying in the house long-term.

            You mentioned something important I have partially considered, that of watching the outside. I had some small evergreen bushes removed from in front of the door recently in the front yard. They were looking unsightly, plus they were a perfect hiding place for a ne’er-do-well to try and take advantage over me. I have also considered getting large plywood sheets to put over the windows and back door for the time when they get broken by possible invaders. Upstairs windows would be the lookouts for others.

            Right now I have between 9-12 months of food stored up, and at least 50 gallons of water jugged. I know more is needed in the long-term, but that’s a start. I’m looking for every possible way to stay in the house and survive, though I considered digging a hole in the back yard and making an outhouse. Not sure how wise that would be, since invaders could be ready to strike with my pants down – literally.

            • That’s my post above. I had cleared the cookies on my machine and forgot to add my name info back.


              And to think I’m in the tech business.

            • Mal Reynolds,

              First, I can’t believe I actually got a “thumbs down” on my comment to you. LOL!!! Its amazing that that comment was found by someone to by “bad”. Some people! HAHAHA!

              OK… may I ask a question? If not, that’s fine. But here it is:
              Are you a male of female, and are you in a suburb, or out in a rural area? I have a reason for asking. So instead of taking a bunch of time now, I’ll wait till (if) you respond. Thanks!

              As for the outside perimeter, I am glad you’ve thought of it and took action to remove things that gave the ‘enemy’ an advantage. Yet, I’m talking more about the outer perimeter, that is why I need to know if you’re in a suburb or rural.

              Chat at ya soon…

          • ScoutMotto,

            LOL!!! OK, well… then the above comment is for you! LOL!

            Never mind Mal Reynolds, even though it may still apply.

            Look forward to hearing from you Scout… 🙂

        • Scout, I’m right there with you. My BOL(s) are about the same distance. I’ve mapped routes on paper using back roads as well as plugged each in to my Garmin GPS with aerial photos and topo maps should I need to huff it. With all the preps I have at home, bugging out is my very last option. It’s difficult looking over my supplies trying to decide “if I have to leave and possibly not return in this vehicle, how much could I cram in here?” I think of all the canned (heavy) goods, defense, medical, etc and then I think “wow, if I run in to a situation on the road where I have to leave this vehicle and proceed on foot, someone is inheriting a treasure.”

        • Southern Boy,

          I meant the flinging things in the car plan a mite sarcastic, but I know what you mean, and you gave me a couple things to consider.

          I’ve given the outside perimeter some thought. I had some evergreen bushes in front removed so potential ne’er-do-wells cannot hide behind them. I’ve also considered large sheets of plywood to cover the downstairs windows and back door if needed. I can only watch one side of the house however. A roommate would be handy in this case, someone who thinks likewise and will pull their weight too.

      14. The poor in this country live better than most of the world’s population. Our “poor” are typically overweight,sheltered with heat and a/c, own a cell phone, etc. My point is, we are so spoiled in this country, so devoid of any history of want or tradgedy, so dependant on the “system”, that a break in the system will cause us to degrade even faster than most societies. The hardest thing for me to do, with respects to preparing, is trying to imagine how things will degrade. I, and most of us (99.9%), just can’t conceive of what others in the world have had to endure. Wow, we have certainly been fortunate. The Civil War was the last time we’ve had actuall military destruction, and the Great Depression will look like a picnik. At least our great grandparents already lived a relatively austere life compared to today. How many of us could funtion without A/C for example? ( I mean really think about it). I for one am hoping we have little more than a currency collapse with maybe 6 months to a year of disruption. Anything more and life may become a nightmare where you wonder if it’s worth surviving. In any case, I agree with the article, and hope if the time comes, my community can stand together and weather the storm.

        • “In any case, I agree with the article, and hope if the time comes, my community can stand together and weather the storm.”
          I like that comment.
          It is what I need to do.
          An alternate place for me is four mountain passes and 350 miles away.
          (Never used an air conditioner in my life though…)
          I am north, you must be south.

      15. Hi. You make great, valid points! But at the same time.. Its almost like you are suggesting we all just stay home and take whatever comes… Then just accept the SS coming to put people in concentration camps? That is not going to be “living” either!

      16. For a rare on topic political statement. With many women and girls in my extended family, *kevin YELLS from the mountain top*- I would die a thousand deaths(if I could), and take a thousand lives before ANY of them are “forced into prostitution and slavery” during shtf. I am sure many men agree with that statement. Which brings me to the question to you all- WHY do we allow ourselves, our girls,boys,women and country be ENSLAVED and our constitution and morals be PROSTITUTED OUT for the federal reserve note and the LIE of american “democracy” and the endless wars for that federal reserve note and said democracy during so called NON-shtf times????? WHY?????

        • Hey Kevin, What is so hard about this is, our SHTF scenario has been “normal operating procedure” for most of mankind’s history. We live in and have enjoyed the “exception” for the last 100 to 150 years. People’s normal perception only seems to exist within their lifetime and experience. How much of the rest of the world has had to go through what we consider SHTF? It’s going on today. Again, we have been on a good ride. So many just feel “entitled” to the safety, security and largess that our Great Experiment has provided. How do I know this? We wouldn’t be going down this road if we understood and appreciated the impilcations. You work, you eat. Your responsible, your rewarded. This has been turned on it’s head in this country. The pendullam swings.

      17. There are a lot of points I agree with in this article. Most people cannot make it in the woods. But, if you are an urban dweller, you most likely will have no chance at all in a total society collapse, if you fortify in place. Prepositioning supplies in the woods is essential in any survival scenario. Like the article states, there are many examples of refugees starving to death and being at the mercy of thugs. But, there are also examples in Belorussia, Poland and in modern times, Lithuania, of people living for decades in the forests. (There are other examples, but these are the ones I have read up on.) I’ve read hundreds of books and articles on survival. People have starved to death while surrounded with food. They just didn’t recognize the resources. I agree that it would be a “bland” diet. But, you’d be amazed at what you can survive on when faced with the one alternative. Perhaps it is a stretch of credibility, but I DO intend to make my enemies a source of re-supply. I’ve been in combat and have no problem making the other guy dead. My mindset is: I didn’t start the shit, so my conscience is clear if you bring it to me.

        • @swift-Those examples are home runs, if I am thinking of the same stories I believe you are refering to. Weren’t most of those people’s “enemies” out of countrol governments(wars,coups,and/or racial and religious exterminations) and not each OTHER(coming together to survive/fight a common enemy)????

          Other tribes (which will be along racial lines here) have been a source of resources all through out history,and it will be the same here. Your credibility is intact and just moved up the line in my view. We WILL form tribes, and the “enemy” will most likely be the new politica that forms (and possibly remnants of old authority trying to seize/hold on to power) and other tribes that align with one or the other or both of those groups.

          I guess my point is(if there is one) is that not all of us will be “enemies”. Atleast that is what I expect/hope for. Those stories of people hiding in the forests of europe during the german,roman, and commie(and others) advances are amazing stories of men working TOGETHER to survive and fight a common foe. Great post brother, I hope I end up with tribesmen like yourself.

      18. My wife and I each have a bug out bag only to be used in case of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane where we have to leave home for a couple of days. I have no intention of leaving my life and everything I own to go wandering into the wilderness of uncertainty. My home is my castle and fort, and I intend to defend it to the death if need be. If I have to die at least I will die in the comfort of my home. Those people who think they are going to bug out and live off the land are delusional. I spent three years in the army and twenty years backpacking all over this country and I can tell you first hand, life in the wilderness is no joke. If the worst case scenario happens like the movie, “the Road” who the hell wants to live anyway?

        • I hear you Johnybee! and it’s ture what you say that most people don’t get it about how hard it is to live on frogs, grass and wild berries…
          however, when you mentioned the Road (btw very very good movie, though the book is 100time better!) I must interject – when you have a child, you think differently. I wouldn’t want to live in such a world, but I would never abandon my child by committing suicide. in the world of The Road, your child is your MO, your paradigm and the center of your universe… you’d keep on trudging until your feet are bleeding stumps, but you’d trudge on even after that, just because of your child…
          btw if there are any that think SHTF situation might be fun, read the book The Road and wipe those rosy spectacles 🙂 living off the land is a bitch, but it is doable (it’s just that you have to have the skills and knowledge)

      19. It is funny how people seemingly plan for the zombie apocalypse instead of something more likely such as the Katrina hurricane. You want to have a place to fall back to, not some mysterious lack-of-place that only sounds nice compared to where you’re at now and only for a few days when you could have been spending that time to get to somewhere you had ready. Think for example of a relative’s house in the case of Katrina where you’ll have enough time to deal with insurance companies or moving to another state for a while/permanently. Reestablishment is your priority, since it represents a state of less entropy. More entropy makes it MUCH harder to respond to seemingly minor issues that’ll snowball on you. I know from experience that this is one of the real issues that affect the poor or even homeless. Got a job with the ability to save? Then that sudden $200 alternator that you learned how to install by yourself ain’t so bad. Got no job or one that leaves you more in debt every month no matter how hard you seem to try to save money? You’re stuck with no car and less prospects for work.

      20. I say bugging out is OK if you have somewhere specific to go; relatives or friends in a safer area who will take you in. But to just become a road wanderer is likely fatal.

      21. Interesting, Survivalblog also has an article today – “Bugging Out, but to where”.

      22. This article and comments are great. The fact that more people are pondering what it actually takes to live is nothing but positive. But the reality of heading off to the woods to survive without a place set up is harsh. I lived simply in the boonies w/o electricity and running water and was very comfortable. It’s feasible if you know what you’re doing and have a support community (store, barter network — something). Taking off on an extended year long camping trip is another matter. Something else I haven’t heard people discuss is what happens after the shtf scenario? It’s the sequel discussion to the rape, pillage, anarchy picture painted above.

      23. Pro 27:12  A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.
        I’m working on it but it ain’t easy…

        • Hey! At least you got the TRUE survival book at hand and are referencing it! Good job! 😉

      24. only time you leave your home is if you are in harms way: like your house is on fire, the nuclear power plant down the road explodes, massive flood coming at you, ect.

        If your house is on fire or if there is a flood, ect…the Red Cross steps in and helps you out. If the nuke plant goes, again, services are availble.

        These SHTF all out collapse senarios, which put total strangers some how finding your basment full of food and you shooting them dead or running away are just completely idiotic. It’s called the “slipery slope” fallacy.

        Bugging out or “evacuatation” has been lumped into the slippery slope fallacy, along with zombie shooting and stuff.

        The fallacy works by if A happens, then B will happen next, the C will happen after that leading to D.

        Fallacy: If total economic collapse happens, then gangs will be roaming the street, riots will break out and they come for my food. And I will either defend myself or bug before hand.

        Truth: If total economic collapse happens, not one konws how people will react but there is a good chance people will stay home and listen for news and information. And since know one knows what will happen the whole fallacy is just a fallacy.

        • Rachel,
          I politely disagree with your “Truth”. I’ve lived abroad a time or two and on one of those occasions, the economy of Argentina went downhill – fast. People didn’t stay home waiting for information. Human nature dictates these folks will be scared, angry, concerned for the welfare of their family. That is to say, they don’t know where their next meal is going to come from. If you want to see the worst in people, look into the eyes of a parent that can’t feed their already starving kid. If they, the parent, knows you have ‘stuff’, they’ll come at you with extreme prejudice. The U.S. will be no different. I hope we in the United States are more “civilized” when the SHTF. However, being humans, thereby suffering from a severe case of ‘human nature’, it’s bound to get ugly – fast!

        • Rachel, I think you make a reasonable point here with this:

          “Truth: If total economic collapse happens, not one konws how people will react but there is a good chance people will stay home and listen for news and information. And since know one knows what will happen the whole fallacy is just a fallacy.”

          I’d add that this will probably be the other half of the 50-50 split. I think 50% of people (mostly preppers that have supplies) will sit home and watch for information, while the other 50% are waiting in gas station lines or rushing to clear store shelves at the last minute. Once the tanks are empty and the shelves are clear, I think that 50% will return home for a bit to wait for information. It is at this crucial point that things can turn around or get very bad depending on how rapidly a new monetary structure can be put into place. (what that is, is a whole different topic). If TPTB can’t work out some solution in less than a week or two, I think you’ll see crime and violence skyrocket because of desperation.

        • Rachel,
          What do you mean: no one knows how people will react?

          The SHTF is not going to be something that’s never happened before.
          It has, just not in the US recently.

          Katrina event: a very real, local-scale SHTF.
          There were gangs, and there was chaos.
          But with all the government’s inefficiency and stupidity (trucks with bottled water turned away, professional rescuers being taught sexual harassment BS for two weeks while people in the affected area were desperately in need of their help, and so on, and so forth), at least, they were genuinely trying to help.

          If the event – whatever it may be (realistically: nuclear World War 3, total economic collapse, CME, accidental or deliberate release of a deadly virus) – the whole country and the whole world will be in deep shit, and no one will be able to even begin attempts to help you/me/us.

          What then?

          I am sure you have neighbors with kids.
          If their home food supplies run out in a couple of weeks, and the stores are completely empty, I am sure you understand that they will be at your door and after your food (if you are prepared and have any of it left).
          How they will take your food is another mater entirely: they may come begging, they may come with armed authorities, or they may come as an armed gang (whatever they may call it: “local emergency council” or whatever).
          Either way, they will be starving, their kids will be starving, and they will not die peacefully with a prayer for you on their lips.
          That’s how people ALWAYS react. Any country, and year.

          And if you want to know more about how people react when the Real Shit hits the Very Big Fan, you can find info on ***REAL*** event during mass starvation in Ukraine in the 1930’s or 1941-44 Siege of Leningrad:
          one word: CANNIBALISM.

          So… yes. In the event of a total economic collapse (which at this stage is practically guaranteed to happen), eventually there WILL be murderous gangs, and you WILL have to defend yourself… if you are still alive by that time… unless you are already a slave by that time, and your master will probably defend his property (that is, you and other slaves).

          The matter of bug-out vs. bug-in…
          There are too many variables for everyone, and there is no definite answer. It all depends on the location, community, and the severity of the event, and even on the stage of the event (first 2 months vs. 2-years-after).

          Most importantly, it depends on how the government will react.
          Say, for example, we have a total collapse of dollar.
          Economy goes down the shitter.
          Riots in the streets all over the country.
          Looting in the first several days. Nothing left in stores within a few days. No trucks to resupply.
          Martial law. Police and army are overwhelmed (there’s not enough of them to keep order).
          Too late to bug out anyway, but it was good (days or weeks ago) only if you had a hidden cave surrounded by a mine field… or if you have a squad of Marines in your BOL… because otherwise your countryhouse has already been looted by one gang or another, and there’s no one alive to tell the tale.
          I think it is obvious that there are gangs right now (drug trafficking, etc.) which will love the opportunity to act without much opposition from the law enforcement when the chance presents itself.
          What’s worse is that there are far more people (I’d say, measured in at least hundreds of thousands, if not millions) who are borderline criminals and maintain an appearance of decency only in normal times.
          When SHTF, expect them to VERY quickly organize into large, well-armed, extremely violent gangs who will start on a “crime of opportunity” spree.

          But some time later the order would be restored… one way or another… among the few survivors… and that’s when it might be best to be in the best location… which is again different for different people: small towns vs. farms have their pro’s and con’s.

          It is never best to be in a big city, however. Except the normal times.
          Even suburbs are way better, for multiple reasons.


          Sorry for the rant.
          I hope you see my point: we can discuss whether or not bugging out into a well-stocked retreat house is a good idea comparing to surviving in place.
          But in my opinion it is absolutely obvious that we can predict how people will react to a national-scale SHTF event: they will loot, they will kill, and everyone will be in grave danger because more and more people will be turned into animals by their hunger.

          • Pretty good rant, and dead-on.

            When folks get hungry, then number of them who can do so while remaining civil is not a very large percentage. This means a lot of people who will want what you have, if they think you have what they want.

            In a smaller town, this is easier to control and defend against (especially if most of the other townsfolk are at least somewhat prepped).

            In a big city, it is impossible to defend against, since most will be unprepared and most will not think twice about at least (if you’re lucky) disabling you in order to get to your goods. On an isolated farm, it’s going to be damned tough because it’s just you and what few folks live with you, versus everyone who stumbles across your place. You have some advantage with distance and isolation, but not much, and way too many people with bad intent will have maps that lead to your front door.

        • Rachel: Interesting logic if WE can assume that WE do not know how people will react if the SHTF. You said:

          “Truth: If total economic collapse happens, not one konws how people will react but there is a good chance people will stay home and listen for news and information. And since know one knows what will happen the whole fallacy is just a fallacy.”

          Rachel, WE know.

          Basic psychological principles are at work in such an event. Survival is the most basic instinct inherent within each of US. Survival requires food, water, and shelter.

          People will do what they must do to survive and that instinct is compounded if they have children for which they must provide.

          In a total economic collapse, (understand I do not believe WE will experience a total economic collapse without an EMP, other celestial event, nuke war, or Pole Shift); WE do know how people will react.

          Particularly in the inner cities when the just in time supply chain runs out of time, and then food.

          Chaos will reign.

      25. I know who my Savior is and I place my total faith in His grace and goodness. He has yet to fail me and mine, so I can expect that He will provide.

        Why worry about what you will eat or wear, consider the birds of the air, if the Father takes care and feeds them, will He not do so for His childern?

        • Auntie Commie, doesn’t the Lord help those who help themselves? Does that not entail a certain degree of preparedness or personal responsibility?

          • Of course, Proverbs has many verses about putting stuff away for “hard times”. Also read the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis.

            What I was trying to say is, I know that I am under His protection, not “Let go and let God”.

            • God feeds every bird, but he does not throw it into the nest. Even in the desert, the Israelites had to out each day to gather manna….not sit in their tents and have meals catered.

            • You have led a very sheltered life. What makes you think God is that concerned about us little mortals? Maybe he enjoys a good joke as much as anyone. Man plans, God laughs.

            • @ John W.
              I know God. Yes, I have a real relationship with Him. Doubt me if you wish, it will only make me feel more sorry for you. Just because you don’t, do not expect evryone else to be like yourself.

              Try talking to Him and see what the results are.

        • The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want, (except for some thumbs ups maybe?)

          • Good for you. Where in my post did you get the idea I am a non believer? Look at history and it is very apparent to all except the most deluded that God is quite busy with better things than dumb mortals who constantly screw things up.He sure did not do squat to help the Jews when the Nazis were whacking them. Then again they were not your religion so who cares right?

        • I don’t know about “saviors” but ‘GOD helps those who help themselves’, has always motivated me (as one of his “children”) in regards to self initiative.

        • No matter what happens my faith in Him will not waver. However, I feel it is my duty to my family to prepare as much as I can for anything and trust in Him to protect me from things I cannot control or did not forsee.

        • In the gospel of matthew, jesus spoke of the parable of the ten virgins, five were wise, five were foolish, when the bridegroom returns, the wise are the only ones prepared. Are you wise? Or foolish?

      26. I’m not sure what this person’s idea of “bugging out” means. It sounds like the author of this article is a big city dweller and doesn’t have a clue how to make a life on his/her own, without the local market and making a phone call every time something needs repair. To me, bugging out is mostly an option in a worst case scenario, or as an apartment dweller in the bigger cities. Example: The grid goes down because of terrorism. Maybe not the whole country, but say for a city like Houston,TX. No jobs to go to. No food coming in. Do you bug in and hope you have enough supplies for possibly two years? Do you put your hope in FEMA? Is there enough people around you,that you trust and can protect what you do have? There are so many variables and situations, I don’t believe any one individual should be saying we are better of staying put, or that being on the move, even with children is a certain death warrant. If I lived in an area like Houston,TX (my favorite big city); which I don’t care much for city living; and SHTF, I would have a bug out plan, even if I had kids. You better believe in a worst case scenario, the “gangs will rule”. To get away from a gang infested city, would be a better option than having to stand guard and wait to see your family raped and pillaged. I believe any father/husband or mother/wife would be better off having a bug out option in place; unless, they are already living in a “very rural” environment with good neighbors and at least an hour away from a major city. But even with that, if you don’t have water and electrical, you are better off heading to where you know there is at least fresh water and trees. Just sayin’.

      27. It’s about time someone put this into words, I am 56 my wife is older, her idea of “roughing it” is a three star hotel, there is no way in hell I’m going anywhere. I agree, why would I abandon everything I own, being a refugee sucks, there is no other way to put it.

        • True, but sometimes you don’t have much choice, so at least have some supplies and plans put away… just in case.

      28. Carry that stuff in your CAR you will probably have to bug out from work to home [reverse bug out] I think its getting back to base that could be the hard part in a real SHTF senario

      29. Barring a natural disaster or an invasion bugging out without a destination is NEVER a good idea. Better to prep “in” now to tide you over the rough times to come.We are already in a “financial collapse”. It’s just most won’t recognize it until their FRNs won’t buy squat or will no longer cover the bills. Death by a thousand cuts.

      30. If you would ask any who died because of Germany and Hitler, or those under Stalin, or those who died under some other countries governments and leaders you would have to conclude that this article is down right wrong. It could be even so that articles like this are to convince you, your family, and your friends to be controlled and killed more easily. To be suicidal mentally through denial of truth.

        Yep! It sure would make it much easier for them to kill you and your family.

        Those people wanted to keep what they had also and it cost them each their life. They either didn’t care or they ignored the realities going on around them in their times. Maybe they had a nice home or job, or maybe lots of other stuff also. It is evident that the things they couldn’t take with them is the things that helped to kill them. The price of coveting I suppose.

        Peoples ways of life do change and they have to provide for themselves in truth and not in the comforts they are use to.

        Governments go crazy all the time and if you think that government is good or right because they write laws you better think and look again. The United States Government is way out of control and it shows everywhere you look if you admit truth.

        Not being prepared is to be suicidal because all evidence to any reasonable person points to coming mass imprisonment, mass murder, mass torture, and a whole lot of other evils. All directed toward the individual and family.

        You go ahead and not prepare and not plan. Let others have control of you and your family through their articles like this instead of using “your” better judgement of what is truly happening around you.

        I will keep praying for all of us every day.

        God bless you.

      31. Being Deployed to Kandahar Province this year has taught me a whole lot about surviving. The article is spot on. Taking the US and transforming it to the level of Afghanistan would constitute a SHTF scenario for even the most seasoned preppers. However, there is still commerce going on and people getting by (in mud huts without electricity mind you). The ONLY nomads we see are sheep/goat herders that have been doing this for thousands of years and nobody messes with them. Communities band, tribes band and defend their villages from either Americans or Taliban.

        There’s a police man on every corner, army rolling in the streets 24/7, suicide bombers and IED’s daily, attacks on government institutions, rapes, murders and anything and everything in between. But people are still surviving and even thriving. Living in the United States has warped most preppers into believing that the only standard of living is their current middle class standard and anything below that would be a SHTF situation. Relatively speaking, yes it would but, quantifiably speaking: NO.

      32. Good afternoon people

        I have read this article and the comments with interest, as I am a person who has dreamed of a hideaway out of the city but who has no hope whatever of getting one and will therefore be bugging in.

        The article struck me as a bit odd, why would you be bugging out if you still had a job and all the trappings of regular life? I would assume that those leaving their old life behind in these circumsances would have well laid plans and would be going to a venue that they have set up for their future, that it would be a lifestyle choice rather than an emergency choice.

        I think it should be considered that not everyone will be able to cope regardless of where they are. Preparation is obviously essential, but having all
        the preps in place does not mean a person has the survival mentality.

        In addition the article misses, in my opinion, a vital point those intent on bugging out should bear in mind…are you actually capable of doing what is required to live that lifestyle?

        I have never done it, and like most people that cannot have one, I dream of an idyllic cabin, with a little stream and a bountiful garden. Cozy nights in front of the wood burner would be spent reading and sewing. The reality is I would probably freeze to death because I would not be able to cut and split the wood, the garden would be a weed patch that may provide a few potatoes as I am to physically able to do the heavy labour that I once was capable of. Although I may dream, in reality i know could not sustain us and we would, probably sooner rather than later, perish.

        Now bugging in presents me with major problems also, as it does all city dwellers, but I have knowledge of the area I am in, I understand the dynamic of the city better than that of the country. I am far more confident of my abilities here, it is what I know. This of course does it mean I will survive but as much as is written about the cities becoming mass graves during a major crisis, people will survive, people always do, and I will do my damnedest to be one of them.

        Life will change for everyone of us regardless of where we live. Some, with reachable bug out locations, who have the knowledge and ability to make a sustainable way of life for themselves and their families, I think will do far better than average…and good luck to them I say., I really wish I were one of them.

        The Reston us will do the best we can in the situation we find ourselves in and at the end of the day, all you can ever do is give it your best shot. (preferably between the eyes but we are not allowed to do that here)

        Take care

        • Burt, start now learning to container garden. Fresh produce from dwarf/miniature seeds, some hardy dwarf citrus and other indoor fruit trees and a bag garden for potatoes are all doable in an urban environment. Most plants do well with the compact fluorescent grow lights and a small generator and some Stabil’d gasoline, along with a couple of 12v batteries, inverters and a smallish solar collector will make it even more possible. It takes practice to decide which varieties do best for you and which alternative power sources are a best fit. Many plants today are engineered for a low temp in the 40s overnight and some aluminum foil set up around the pots as a reflector magnifies the available light. Enclosing the grow area magnifies the heat, as well. Learn to use the 3-part liquid fertilizers which can be specifically formulated for each part of the growth cycle. There are small house-safe propane heaters that take 1# cylinders and are good for 4(high) to 7 (low) hours of continuous output per cylinder. The heaters are affordable on eBay and so are the cylinders, which can be safely stockpiled and found in camping stores. If they work in the Northern US, they will be fine for the UK. All research on these are available online. There are a lot of UK sites for container and hydro gardening, as well.

          We are in a rural area, but as we age, weeding the garden in July becomes too much. We are letting it lie fallow this year and concentrating on containers. Besides, after three good years, we have enough dried tomatoes and homemade sauce to last at least another 2 years. Two people really do eat a lot less than you think and the fresh items supplement the stored rice/pasta/flour, etc. Others appreciate fresh produce and will trade for it. A cold frame helps and there are shade cloths for Summer designed to reduce heat without cutting the light and which add a red tinge to the light which helps flowering and fruit production. They are a hot pink in color and available by the foot from garden supply companies online. I think we will only have limited fresh produce Dec & January, if we have to cut the house heat and electricity use even further, but greens do well in cool temps and lower light. Buying or trading or picking your own (is that available there?)in the Fall, then dehydrating the produce will go a long way over a winter/early Spring. You can dehydrate enough for two years in one season this way, while electric power is still even somewhat affordable. Any vet clinic accumulates silica desiccant inserts from their medications and will save them for you if you ask. These help carry dehydrated produce through the humid periods. You can recharge them at 170F (lowest setting) in an oven for a couple of hours w/o melting the plastic.

          Firewood is a problem, plus, it needs to dry for at least a full year. We have switched to buying ours, again, due partially to age and partially to the danger of a severe accident. We try to keep a year ahead and this past mild winter has helped that goal. We use the chainsaw to cut up the deadfalls and use them to supplement.

          From reading your posts on your preps, you have done pretty well for being alone and urban/suburban. None of us are prepared to really defend our property even with a couple. As one neighbor said, living at the end of a dead end road 1/2 mile off the highway just means he could be laying dead for weeks before someone missed him.
          We have friends who live even further North than us. They are very self-sufficient, but within a gas tank of a major urban area. We are becoming prepared to shelter them, if necessary. Not all rural areas are safe.

          We think that energy is going to become prohibitively expensive for those of us not supplied w/natural gas or electricity from NG. That underlies a lot of our personal preparations. Personally, I think heat, light, power and transport are going to be the most challenging, as we all try to continue surviving. Low wattage fans and radiant heaters are another choice for when power is limited, for whatever reason. Hopefully, for those closer to cities, expensive fuel will keep the looters away.

          Wherever we may live, it is going to be an on-going struggle, IMO.

          • Anyone caught without seasoned firewood should look for dead fall wood. It lies around all over the place here and is actually a forest fire hazard since it increases the fuel load. One can quietly cut it into manageable pieces in town with a two-man saw.

          • Blue

            Thanks for the advice. I have a few potatoes in pots, and bush beans and peas. Have you tried ‘golfo’ ‘atlas’ carrot varieties, they grow round instead of long and are good for containers.

            I have had good results but nowhere near enough to keep us going for longer than a few weeks. Thanks again,

            Take care

            • Burt, I haven’t tried the round carrots or the similar beets, yet. I do have them on my winter list, since they withstand cool temps and I will by then have my full-sized tomato containers free, after they are done.

              My dehydrated and sauce stash came from 3 years of outdoor gardening. My indoor produce is usually eaten as it ripens, although, I am going to attempt to pickle some Space Saver cukes this year. However, I have friends who simply buy bulk at harvest and then preserve that for the winter. Given how much a good gardener can produce and how abundant it all is at harvest, it is really inexpensive to do. Out here, people will routinely leave excess produce on your porch if you aren’t home, just to make sure it isn’t wasted.

              The Space Saver cukes are so full of buds and some are flowering after just 3 1/2 weeks in hydro, that I will _have_ to pickle them or hand them round, if they all mature.

              Many of the newer miniature varieties for containers promise large harvests. I have one pot w/6 Peas-In-A-Pot plants, so I will soon find out if they bear as well as promised. Campari tomatoes keep well on the vine and on the counter. You can grow them from the seeds of the ones from the supermarket. Several staggered plantings would keep two people in at least salad tomatoes all winter. Staggered, multiple plantings is the key to having extra.

              It is an ongoing learning experience, for me. It started out as just a hobby and the darned plants have taken over our home. There is something very emotionally satisfying about being able to watch plants grow and bear indoors, year-round. For preps, I am beginning to stockpile the liquid fertilizers for hydro. I get 2-3 crops off one set of compact fluorescent grow lights (65 watts) and even then, they have enough life left for low light crops, like greens. I am taking advantage of sales to stock up on those, too.

              We also need to consider blackout curtains, I suppose. Our lights are very noticeable, especially in winter. We will bug in unless a local disaster hits and then we will go stay with friends. If it comes down to a TEOTWAWKI, we’re getting old enough that we likely will be toast, but we will be in a better place, at least.

          • Just make sure you use deep cycle Golf cart batteries. regular car batteries will not tolerate being discharged very often. Hook up a emergency power ckt that runs a small freezer and either small flourescent or LED light fixtures throughout the house. Three solar panels should keep thing going. Whole thing should cost about twelve hundred bucks.

        • Come state side Burt! You’re welcome in my house any day! 🙂

          • Peter

            Thank you but the medical bills would kill me quicker than the zombies.LOL

            But, if any of you feel like moving to a nanny state with no bug out locations and no firearms don’t hesitate to let me know LOL

            Take care

      33. The article makes some good points, but the idea that “staying put” during a SHTF scenario so that you can maintain your “job”, your internet, and your security is specious at best. UNLESS you have a very strong, well-armed, well-trained neighborhood protective association. Go to the horn of Africa, traipse thru Somalia, northern Kenya, Uganda, get a view of life trying to fend off roving bands of hungry, armed, murderous thieves and tell me staying put is better. Yeah, I’ve been there (thank you Uncle Sam), and their “life” sucks -more like waiting to die. I would assume that “bugging out” means you have a well prepared and stocked secondary living site with off-the-grid electrical supply, sufficient water supply and at least 6 months of food. And when you exit, you will NOT be worried about your job, your paycheck, your pension, your credit, your upload/download speed, your oh so valuable to nobody but you possessions, and your reputation.

        In my humble opinion.

      34. I think I agree with this article. While it may make good sense to leave an urban environment, I think it is a bad idea to leave everything behind, such as wife, kids, and supplies. Suburban and rural areas, I think they should dig in and stand your ground, when they go to push us, we push back. One thing I have been trying to figure out is how I will defend my family, for a variety of situations. And I have come to realize that I am not effective by myself. It will take groups of people depending on each other to survive, with or without a disaster.

      35. Note to Homeland Security:
        Please be advised that when “The Crackdown” comes later this year, I will be in my home here in Frostbite Falls MN. You’ll find my guns and silver in our safe, and our extra food in the basement pantry room. We’ll be hiding under the stairs in our basement. I hope that this is a help.

        • Oh, one more thing….you might want to bring some burn ointment and field dressings……just say’n

          • Frostbite Falls? Whatsamatta U.?

            • We’ve been eating too much moose and squirel

        • Um…OK.

          • Hokie Smoke, this must be Rocky for you, hey Bullwinkle?

            • Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat…

      36. What people currently think of as “bugging out” is a little too specific. To bug out just means, to evacuate. Depending on your situation it isnt a bad idea, as long as you are going someplace where you will be safe and have the necessary skills, items, and plans to survive. Bugging out could mean leaving your home because of flood or fire or because it just got hit by a tornado. Ive had to bug out twice before in my life. Not because of riots or zombies, but because my house was on fire. Had I not bugged out I would be dead.
        I currently live in an apartment above a store. It is by no means a safe place to hole up even in a stereotypical SHTF situation. So I fully intend to bug out to a family members farm. I believe it is irresponsible to to tell all of you readers to never bug out, because it all depends on the individual and their situation as to what is the appropriate course of action.

      37. Lotz ofvariables for sure. mustsay I am prepped just for this on many levels and I must also stipulate that if things are bad enough to make me leave my home, al bets are off. IT takes a honed and specific skill set to live and ve in those circumstances so woe be it unto those wo endevor that way and take it lighty. If ur not sure, roll out about two am with all ur gear and try to nav to a safe place to establish and then set up and stay there for about a wk and see how it works out for you. Many people will get a wake up call if they try this.

      38. Although I agree with some of this article, I also disagree with some of it. To me, bugging out is a last resort. As Burt stated, the trappings of everyday life would be gone. Riots, violence, etc. would be to the point that it would be necessary to leave. Bugging in would no longer be safe. Businesses would be closed, life would be far from normal.

        I believe the only people bugging out early, prior to this point would fall into two categories: those that have the wonderful rural bug out location, and those that jump the gun and end up as the article stated.

        For people like me, who have no wonderful bug out location and will bug in until it is no longer safe. Bugging out would be a last resort. No matter how much I try to fortify my home, it has its limitations. Having some bug out plan is a safe guard. To me, prepping is about trying to prepare for any situation, even the final life saving resort of bugging out.

        That being said, my plan is to bug in until there is no choice.

      39. Good Old Boys Go Bug-Outing

        Three of my nutty neighbors, Bubba, Jr, and Earl, decided to practice their bug out plans last weekend. They loaded up the old International Scout with what looked like a few TONS of gear and headed for the woods up by Foggy Mountain Lake. Sunday night they came limping back home, bloody, bandaged and bruised. They looked like three canaries that wandered into a cat fight. Earl told me all about it, once his throat healed and he could speak. Bubba and Jr aren’t talkin’- about the trip, or to each other.
        Earl says they got to their ‘retreat’ spot just after sundown. The drive to the lake normally takes about an hour, and they’d left at noon Friday. Apparently they’d forgotten to take a jack or a spare tire and, Murphy’s Law being what it is, they’d spent a couple hours hitch hiking to the nearest town and back. Then, after almost 10 trouble free miles, they found out the gas gauge in the Scout don’t work. Factor in another 3 hours of hitch hiking.
        Since it was late when they arrived, they decided to practice their skill at pitching the tent in the dark. About midnight, they discovered they’d pitched it right on top of a fire ant hill. Then while re-pitching it a few yards away, Bubba, who’s totally night-blind, drove a stake through Jr’s air mattress. Mistaking the hissing sound for a snake, they all ran into the woods, getting some nasty scrapes on the wild blackberries.
        After a half-hour of hiding from the nonexistant snake, they ventured back to camp. Jr, seeing what Bubba had done to his air mattress, got mad and threw a claw hammer at him. He missed Bubba, but did manage to puncture a 10 gallon plastic jug, which was their one and only water supply.
        Earl says by noon the next day, they were so thirsty they resorted to boiling lake water. He forgot to let it cool, or maybe he was just so driven with thirst, he drank if while it was still hot. That accounts for his scalded throat. (Mrs Earl says it was actually kinda nice havin him quiet for a couple days when he couldn’t talk). Then, just as the water was cool enough to drink, the camp fire got loose and Jr used the whole pot to douse the fire. So they had to start all over boiling some more.
        Bubba, dying of thirst by now, couldn’t wait for the next batch and opened two gallon-size cans of pinto beans and drank all the juice off ’em. Within an hour, he was so gassy that Earl and Jr evicted him from camp. Earl thinks it was while he was sulking through the woods in exile that Bubba discovered the mama skunk and her babies.
        And it must have been during his hasty retreat from the skunks that he fell and twisted his ankle so bad. He literally came crawling back to camp. Of course by now he was so smelly, what with the bean juice topped off by a full blast from mama skunk, that Jr and Earl had to threaten him with bodily harm if he came within 30 yards of them. They did later find some old clothespins in the Scout and Earl says that helped a little.
        Then, about the time they were packing up to leave, a park ranger came by and asked for their camping permit. Not knowing they were in a fee area, they didn’t have one. The only cash they had was Jr’s sack of junk silver coins, about $15 face value. The ranger gave them the option of paying the $15 camping fee with the coins (all of them) or giving them each a $250 fine. Jr paid for the permit.
        After the ranger left, and they were just about to leave, Jr got so angry thinking about his silver dimes that he decided to cut down a couple small trees and take home for firewood (not realising they had no room to carry it), just to, as he put it, “Get my money’s worth.” It was while he wailed away at the trees with a dull hatchet that he slipped and put a gash in his shin.
        Bubba, who was only slightly less stinky by now, tried to disinfect the wound. The first aid kit, meager to start with, was by now, completely exhausted. They had no alcohol, drinking or otherwise, so he used what he could find. It turned out to be a can of ether that Jr uses to get the old Scout started. Jr, his eyes scrunched shut so he wouldn’t see the blood, didn’t realize til too late that Bubba had squirted the cut with the can of ether! He screamed and jumped about 4 feet in the air. Forgetting his wounded shin, he began chasing Bubba, threatening a quick painful death.
        Bubba, who is usually no coward, had never seen such outrage in Jr’s eyes before. He got scared and locked himself in the Scout, forgetting that both door locks are busted and it takes about an hour to unlock them, from inside or out. Finally, Jr calmed down and he and Earl climbed through the windows for the trip home. It was then that the three of them discovered that Bubba had sprayed out all the ether on Jr’s leg. The Scout won’t start without it. They pushed it 3 miles before Jr remembered he had a spare can in the wheel well, where the spare tire he doesn’t have would otherwise be stowed. Earl says there wasn’t much small talk on the way home.
        Surprisingly though, he’s still friends with both of them, but he says he would rather ride out the crash at home than go bugging out with those two again. In his words, “I thought we were supposed to practice running from a disaster, not creating one.”

        • Great story. They should make a movie of it.

        • That’s funny, I know those guys. Unfortunately that accounts for about 70% of the population.

        • Bugging out? Reminds me too much of some of the hunting trips that I’ve had the misfortune of witnessing.

        • I have made the mistake when I was much younger….of going to deer camp with a couple of guys similar to your story. At first was funny….then annoying….then downright dangerous. I never go hunting with anyoine…before making a trip to the range. How do they handle their weapon. Can they hit the broad side of a barn ? Are they more interested in showing off…
          or actually interested in accuracy ? Once you make a mistake like I made…& found myself in the boonies with a bunch of drunk fools…..I learned to never make that mistake again ! It’s real funny as a spectator….but it really sucks as a participant ! Stay safe on the Hwys Okie ! I was almost tangled up in a nice big multi car pile up on the 610 Loop east of Houston this afternoon @ 4:30 , & the half an hour later set for 45 minutes in stopped traffic on I-45 north because of another pile up. 3 hours to cover the 50 miles to get home. I hope I can survive negotiating the highways every day….& live long enough to see the SHTF ! LOL .
          Montgomery County Texas

        • This is too good! I can picture all the characters and events clearly and just a hoot! Thanks for the great tale and the laughter which resulted!

      40. The problem is that nobody knows for sure exactly what is going to happen. There are any number of scenarios that can take place in the coming days. These scenarios all have varying degrees of severity, and therefore, the response to them will vary as well.

        To say that one is definitely going to stay in place in a SHTF situation, or that one is definitely going to “bug-out” in such a situation, fails to take into account under exactly what kind of circumstance or set of circumstances one is facing.

        For instance, if one is in an urban environment, to say that there are no circumstances under which they would abandon their home and strike out on foot, fails to take into account that it may be impossible to stay in place. How long could someone effectively stave off a gang of thugs intent upon looting their home? So….you’re just going stay put and defend your “fort” to the death? Really? I fail to see how that is much different than bugging out. The end result is the same. You are dead.

        I do not regard bugging out as a first option. But it should not be totally disregarded either.

        Modern civilization has done much to prevent everyday misfortunes, accidents and mistakes from having fatal consequences. When TSHTF, much of that advantage will be gone. If the collapse is total and we are in a situation where the rule of law is gone and the power grid has gone down completely, then we will be thrust into the middle of the 19th century for all practical purposes, except we will have almost none of the survival tools and skills that were available then. (unless you have 40 acres, a well and a mule and plow…and know what to do with them)

        Face it. In addition to stockpiled food and supplies and skills, in a total collapse of civilization, we are all going to need one thing that cannot be bought and it is not a skill that can be learned. No….the one thing we will all need a lot of is………luck.

        • Walt, you have said a whole lot that I agree with. In fact. you have made more sense in a few paragraphs than the whole drawn out, misleading, article (author) has. Your first sentence; “The problem is that nobody knows for sure exactly what is going to happen.” should be the number one thing for people to keep in mind. It may be worse for one area than another, and it may hit one group of people harder than another, and some areas may be high risk and some low. Each person has to plan and prepare according to their surroundings and their situations. To finish up with; you stated, “the one thing we will all need a lot of is….luck.” I agree, but will add that the most important thing we all will need a lot of is …..FAITH.

      41. Bug in and defend.

      42. This article does not present a SHTF situation in the first place. The author sits there and laments the fact that you will be leaving your job, your fully functioning home, complete with electricity, heat, cable news and a computer to check your credit score, or, see if your boss deposited your check electronically last night.

        Who in the heck bugs out when life is like that? NOBODY

        Bugging out is for those who HAVE somewhere to go when supply chains screech to a halt, electricity is off, and your neighbors start eying your dog.

        Of course it is not smart to pack a bag and leave with your family, when you have no place TO go, just leaving it to fate.

        Poorly laid out, poorly written. Sorry.

      43. This all depends solely on the situation. IF nothing happens then staying where you are and functioning like most people have for decades is perhaps a good option. IF something does happen, as signs are pointing to, then staying in a highly urban setting is a likely death sentence. If some pandemic breaks out it has been proven throughout history that getting as isolated as possible is absolutely the best option. The black death killed almost everyone in crowded cities, but in rural hamlets the death was less than 25%.

        There is much to say about bugging out to where you will not be competing with many others for the scarce resources available. There have been many individuals that have done just fine going outback, if they are trained on how to do so. If someone has the money, having a bug out location is highly recommended by almost all survival oriented experts. It is called an option, a plan B.

        So often those that feel suffocated by the daily torment of the city give up all the superficial crap and feel FREE spiritually after bugging out to somewhere isolated. Many people that are business experts have bugged out to almost total isolation and still function just wonderfully by using modern technology to still conduct business. Many writers do this to clear their heads of the confusion. The difference is that each morning they wake up to clean air and are much safer if something should happen away from the masses of people that will be the problem.

        Lots of people move from urban areas into small towns in which the residents band together and support each other when something catastrophic occurs. There is still opportunity even in the smallest populations.

        Now going out in some tent and living like some homeless person in some national forest and becoming a homeless person is asinine. What this is lacks common sense. Many people may have to do just this if for example WW3 begins. Getting away from highly contaminated areas may have to involve leaving everything quickly no matter what. You may have supplies stocked up to the ceiling, but if your location is going to have 10000 rads of radiation and there is no way of shielding yourself properly, then it is ALWAYS better to get out with what you have fast and try to make it somewhere that has much less radiation.

        I think what everyone needs to think about is what is your best chance for survival. It is a little luck to. It is knowing beforehand what to do. It is paying close attention to the survival movement and taking concrete warnings seriously. If war begins in the Middle East for example, taking advantage of the lull before the storm of panic buying of food and supplies is intelligent survival awareness. I think what this article is trying to say is to use good judgement and common sense, not to overreact, but also don’t sit on your ass and do nothing until it is too late.

        Always nice to read ideas like this, gets you thinking, and thinking straight and clearly is part of the solution here.

      44. After reading this article I find it to be not well thought out. I understand that a lot of thought has been taken by the author about the disadvantages of bugout but he doesn’t seem to grasp why one would actually bug out. It doesn’t make sense to me that someone would head for the hills when they still have a job, electricity, functioning governance(if you can call what we have functioning), food, shelter, internet, a support system(friends and family), ect. It seems to me the article doesn’t really take into account why people actually bugout, or the fact that anyone who has really thought a situation like this through, that this is a last resort for most at which time would be to look for a step up because their current situation has gotten too dangerous or unlivable to stay put. Bugout is a last resort to be taken when staying put offers more danger to you and those you care about unless you have a well-stocked BOL that you can reach quickly and then defend effectively.

      45. Last week at a local large high school, the police did a random drug search of students lockers. The students were put on lockdown in their classrooms while this was going on. The local police didn’t have a drug dog. So they bought in ten, yes ten drug dogs from all over the county (Cook County, Il.). Number of drugs found? Zero. Supply your own comments, please.

        • @old fuzz, good thing that BHO was in D.C. or else he might have had a “Hot Dog” for lunch…..!

        • Fuzzy…sounds like a free training exercise where the LEOs don’t have to come in contact with any actual “perps”. They can terrorize the school kids to show their awesome power and try to justify their bloated salaries. Buncha goons.

        • Sounds like what is going on in Houston with bus riders. TSA and other goon organizations are hassling people who rid ethe bus. Another reason no one is going to bug out. They ain’t gonna let ya.

        • Sadly for our Country, this is rapidly becoming the norm rather than the exception. ALL freedoms which we, as Americans, have proudly hailed as our right due to our Founding Fathers and the vision they had, are slyly and insidiously being taken away. We have had many “red herrings” put before us to distract from other, major developments……ie: executive orders……etc.

      46. Illinois? Check. Public school? Check. Fascism? Check. Yep, sounds like a blue state to me.

        P.S. Don’t you mean “Crook County”?

      47. Make your stand right where you are, there’s no where else to go.

        • Psalm 91, if you please.

      48. Its always good to have all the information on how to survive the end of the world as we know it and this article has some good points.

        The only reason you consider a Bug Out Plan is because everything is already gone. There is no normalcy left and you will die if you stay. A Bug Out Plan is the last resort and if you don’t have one, make sure you keep that last bullet for yourself.

        Think of it in terms of a Hurricane. Its a Cat4 and your just outside the cone. One slight shift in the winds or a high pressure ridge slipping in from the opposite direction and you are in the cone. Any sane person will get out of the way and “Bug Out”.

        Bugging out does not necessarily mean you are going to be gone forever. It means you had to leave the protect yourself from serious injury, death or capture. Again its a last resort.

        I have no commercial interest in this site or any other to sell survival products as this author has suggested. In my opinion not having a Bug Out Plan is stupid. Just think about all the hazards we face everyday, earth quakes, wild fires, hurricanes, tornado’s, floods, mudslides, pandemic just to name a few. Now throw in civil unrest, riots, financial collapse, civil war, world war, nuke attacks or a plant meltdown. I think the wise person gets my point.

        What ever your school of thought is, I hope you have a plan, any plan is better then nothing. Even if your plan is one round, your still checking out or bugging out. It doesn’t matter much what you call it, Refugee, Evacuee or the planned bug out if you have to do it, the SHTF.

      49. While reading this article I got the idea that it was about bugging out while society is relativily unchanged, ie, available electricity, running water, your job. If thats the case, WHY BUG OUT? Why even discuss the possiblity of bugging out… No reason to, nothing has happened to effect the need to move. Point of fact: If the power grid fails so will everything else.
        If or when that happens, bugging in isnt a viable option. Where or how will you get water of food? I’ll tell you… YOU WON’T! If you are able to find water or food will not last long. Not only that, if you’ve found it others will find it as well. Then that source of water or food will become a killing zone. If you don’t believe that, you’re either naive or just plain stupid. It truly pains me to see so many jumping on this bandwagon, but by all means stay put, dont leave the cities. Stay where you are with no water or food and depend on the government to supply for all your needs… After all what do you have to lose?

      50. I agree with most of the article but there are areas where you’re dead if you stay: imagine living in Lincolnwood, Illinois. It borders directly on the northside of Chicago. Once it hits the fan there will be people going from house to house, looting, raping, and murdering along the way. Staying and bugging in is not a good option if you live in a place like that.

      51. If you live next to train tracks, have a bug out plan and bag always at the ready for you and yours.

      52. I’m not too keen on the idea of bugging out, either. I have two pretty teenage daughters and I can only imagine all sorts of horrific predators. This is not to say that we can’t be preyed upon remaining in our home, but I think the risk factor increases exponentially on the road.

        • The rules of 5.56 and 9mm will keep you and yours safe if you have them, learn how to use them, and are willing to use them.
          I hope that you have a good plan to protect yourself.
          Be well

      53. I do not agree with much of what is in the article. When things go bad, good will doesn’t last long, nor does morality. Unfortunately I live in a popular city and it will be hell in a disaster of any kind. At this point I am bugging in but it is only because I do not have a BOL. This is what will be experienced in a city.

      54. The Koreans who defended their retail store with guns during the Rodney Kink riots came out unscathed and still had their store in tact. I might add, one of the few in the entire community. They sent a lot of those animals to their final resting place that day. You can watch the video of it on you tube.I don’t care how hungry these animals are, you start dropping them at three to five hundred yards away with a 308 cal and they will go in another direction for sure. One thing that God put into all human beings is the will to live. It is stronger than any hunger pain. As Clint Eastwood use to say, “a man has to know his limitations.” Peace brother.

        • In the LA riots they were rioting out of stupidity.

          Wait until people riot because they are hungry, and think you have some food! Hunger pain can be equal to the desire to live. We have just forgot that.

      55. In most cases bugging in sound reasonable. But when I read the comments here I had to think about one thing. Quiet a few Jews in Nazi Germany escaped the mass murder by bugging out. Some where hidden by Germans, many crossed borders to neighboring countries, and a few stayed hidden just for themselves until the war was over. The ones who stayed home were collected and put to death in one or the other way.

        In the Balkan Wars many people escaped from being murdered because they left their homes, towns, or village and did not stay, which often seemed to be the better, safer and more comfortable option. Even well armed the defender might not have a chance against potential intruder.

        I would allways have bug out plan on hand, and as I am preparing for some worst case scenarios I have to be prepared for bugging out as well.

      56. Get me out of here and I can skydive in any DZ. Thanks for the e-mails Mac.

      57. Pointless article. I dont recall anyone saying bugout while things are still normal. Always as a last resort. Obviously one does not have the “normalcy” of everyday life if u have to bugout. I tell ya one thing, if stuff is hitting the fan and i can no longer protect or have use for my “possessions” that were part of my normal life…im bugging out WITH my family end of story

      58. i dont entirely agree with the article it may end up costing someone thier life.

      59. Quote: “You will be leaving behind your job (income), perhaps your family (wife, kids), your home (shelter), your friends (support network), your contacts (other people you know), your bank accounts (money), your credit (ruined), your retirement (pension), your property and everything you own (everything you cannot carry with you), your vehicles (except perhaps one, at least until the gas tank is empty), your future (prospects, employment, credibility, integrity). Don’t forget things also left behind, such as electricity, running water, Internet access, news and information, communications, telephone and even cell service, a warm, dry bed and other ‘essentials’, some more then others.”

        In my opinion bugging out should be a last resort and/or depend on the situation. If there is a total economic collapse I expect 85% of what the author mentioned above to be gone and a moot point anyways.

      60. My take on the “bug out” philosophy is that it is a rationalization for people to carry on as normal with their nice job in the suburbs and their house and RV, while thinking that if something happens they will move to the country and be welcomed with open arms by the people living there. The truth is that someone “bugging out” is nothing but a refugee.

        The truth is my wife and I bugged out 25 years ago and have been living where we want to live, making friends, becoming part of the community, building a homestead, etc. We gave up higher paying jobs and made a lot of sacrafices to do so and the idea that some yuppie that’s been living the high life is going to show up at the last minute to ask us to share what we’ve worked for all these years is crazy.

        Trust me, a lot of people have already made plans for just where a charge needs to be placed to close roads to keep the refugees away. A good rockslide will do wonders and without heavy equipment it’s not going to be cleared any time soon.

        I was amazed to actually see a post saying this on Rawles’ site today, hopefully it will kick some sense into people. If you’re not where you want to be, doing what you need to do, don’t think you’re “prepared”.

        • I am happy that you are able to do this, many of us are not, and because we have those big pay checks we are the people that are going to be bringing box loads of antibiotics, foodstuffs, thousands of rounds of ammo, and highly skilled professionals like medical workers with us out of the city.

          Hopefully you don’t blow up my road.

      61. Go when you’re not wanted but needed, and stay when you’re needed but not wanted…

      62. The author needs a reality check, who plans on abandoning their family in a time of crisis? If I bug out I will be bugging out with family.

      63. I think the article has some good points but I don’t think it’s applicable for everyone. Our BOL is within 2 day walking distance (not using main roads) and our bug out bags will sustain us for at least several days on the road or in the woods till we reach the BOL. Staying in the city with panicked zombies is not an option. While I would miss many of my “treasures” there is nothing that I cannot live without and if I had the chance to return and grab some things I know exactly what I would take. We have done our thinking and prepping based on the idea that when sh** does hit the fan, it’s going to be a forever event, not an “all better in 3 months” scenario. We don’t have the resources to have a fully stocked and fortified location miles from any trouble so we are doing the best we can with what we have. Whatever happens, I want to survive on my terms, according to my own lights of justice and honor. If that’s not possible, we’ll see you in another place! Keep thinking and prepping.

      64. Although I agree with the potential dangers of bugging out, however history had shown that sometimes mass exodus is necessary to ensure survival.

        How about WWII and lots of refugees having needed flee to avoid holocaust?

        What about Rhodesia/Zimbabwe? Thousands of white farmers have been driven off the lands and slaughtered by black savages. Either they stayed and got murdered or they left and lived – that was the difference.

        There is really too much bias and fear in this article.

      65. The only place I plan to bug out to is my farm, beyond that, I’m a goner.

        It’s set up with a small cabin, well stocked ponds, a huge garden, an old tractor, food, a well, berry bushes, fruit & nut trees, plenty of wildlife and like minded rural neighbors.

        It still needs some work – like a root cellar, solar panels, more fruit & nut trees, etc. (it never ends) so we are adding to it every weekend.

        I pray we never NEED it and can just ENJOY it.

        God Bless What’s Left of America.

        • A point that I have seldom seen made…….hope and pray that you get to your bug-out location FIRST.

          What a shock and dismay it would be to get to the location you had worked so hard to set up, only to find that someone else had beat you to it and either looted it or was now willing to defend against you just as you would against them.

          All the more reason that if you have a bug-out location, it would probably be best to get to it sooner rather than later.

        • Basicly the same as me….living the good life…bugging in on your homestead…I pray you and yours do well man!

      66. My bugging out is when it is my only hope, last ditch effort, no other choice, no options at all, last resort! I have a toddler I am planning on staying put. I live in a hurricane area in a county that most evac to BUT I never underestimate mother nature and may one day HAVE to leave for the safety of my family. I have most of what I need gathered to leave in the event of such an emergency but try to plan to stay. We are cutting large trees in yard to make staying safer etc. I can not tromp around in the woods with 2 kids.(besides I do not like bugs snakes, the dark, animals, so being in the wilderness does not remotly appeal to me in the least) I will stay, I have a BOB in my car to get back home if need be.That would be my goal.My location is 2 hours drive from major cities, 30 min to a city with population of 100,000 (A lil less actually) I am not in the mountains but think I am somewhat safe. I do not believe in a dream location for a shtf event. I am in the best place that we could afford, no second property in the hills. Just another thought. MANY people buy land to put secret huts buried in earth with stoves etc. Ny thinking it this. You purchase the property and it still is registered with the gov. Eventually SOMEBODY is going to find ya there. Wether goc, police, or another survivalist that may be better equiped to make a hostile takeover of your camp. To me it is all 6 and one half dozen….just mho

      67. I take issue with his narrow definition of bugging out. I bugged out years ago,,,,,simply moved my loved ones and the things that are dear and important to me to a more remote location.

      68. The thing is, no sane person plans to Bug Out when things can reasonably be assumed to have a chance of returning to normalcy. You bug out when it’s about the get nuts and the improbable scenario becomes imminent. Say that Yellowstone erupted or that the island of La Palma suddenly gave way and caused a mega-tsunami or that you lived in a city and massive civil unrest broke out or a storm has or will soon devastate your area. In those cases all is already lost and you WILL become a refugee. That is what a BO plan is for. Everything else is a muddle through situation that can be survived by using what you have stored at home.

        There are basically two extremes in regards to prepping: Those who do nothing at all and those who let it take over the entirety of their lives. The middle ground is what is best. Having prepping be all that your life is about ensures that your life, and all that can be good and fun in it, has already ended. If the S never H’s the F, then you have wasted your entire life preparing for that which never was. I advocate dong things to separate your life from the grid as much as is reasonably possible. This includes things like living without debt, learning to garden and learning to fix things yourself rather than pay someone else to do it for you. These things reduce your need for a paycheck so that if the far more likely negative event of income loss hits you, you are prepared to take care of things without it.

        Spending money is no substitute for hands on experience in taking care of your own needs. Yet it seems that many preppers think it is something you can just throw money at like an insurance policy. Consider how many preppers have what I call “The Barbie Dream Rifle”, an AR-15 with every tchotchke marked “tactical” that they can find bolted to it. Yet, how many of these same people have ever grown a garden? Fixed a vehicle? Built something necessary with their own hands? I would venture to guess that many of them have not and that instead they are living out some sort of Walter Mitty fantasy of being a real life John Rambo rather than gaining practical knowledge that will help them in more realistic scenarios. (BTW, this is not an indictment of gun ownership as that is something I encourage ever sane person to do.) So, own a BOB but prep for the every day. It will help you in all scenarios.

        • I never thought of my AR like Barbie, but she is pretty hot… 🙂

        • Well said Winston. Keep everything in balance.
          And JustMe- I don’t have a sexy rifle either. But I got a tractor that the wife is quite fond of!

          • Well…I DO own a rifle…just not a very sexy one! It’s a Romanian copy of the AKM that has been neutered to make it legal for US sale. However, what it lacks in sex appeal it more than makes up for in price and ease of maintenance. Accuracy however… well… maybe I should have gotten an SKS instead. Then again, guns have never been my strong point as I prefer to create and build rather than to destroy. ( I still want an SKS and a Mosin though as I think it would be cool to own copies of all of the main battle rifles of the Soviet Union. There’s just something sexy about simplicity though …dammit… maybe I DO own a sexy rifle!)

      69. “This is exactly what happens during civil wars and internal conflicts when a country turns against itself. The war in Bosnia saw tens of thousands of murders, rapes and thefts as the people turned on each other. It was a fight for survival, for food, for weapons, for money, for women.” sounds to me like YOU just made a GREAT case FOR buging out!

      70. I believe the main point of this story is have a prepared place to stay. In a true SHTF, TEOTWAWKI scenerio, there is nothing left to go back to. The odds of something like that happenning is slim. However, the need to go somewhere for a few days can and probaly will happen. I do believe in a 72 hour bag. Not so much to get away forever but if I had to evacuate quickly. For instance, their is a train track withen 200 yards of my house that hauls what the locals call the death train. It carries chemicals to and from a major chemical plant in the area. Now, should that thing derail near my house, I want to be able to leave immediately for a few days until they clean up the mess. Having to pack a bag could mean the difference between life and death.
        As far as bugging out, I have 2 kids under 4, I am bugging in. I have family and good friends here which are well armed. As the saying goes, rednecks with guns, you loot, we shoot.

      71. I have some elderly European Jewish friends who, if the didn’t “bug out” when they did …well they wouldn’t be elderly now lets just say.

      72. We live at the BOL. BUT, we also have a plan B should the need arise to bug out from here.

        When all is said and done, bugging out is the last ditch effort to survive. And it sure as hell won’t be living in the forest eating sticks and twigs.

      73. This is the ‘stupidest’ article I have ever read here.
        My husband would NEVER leave me; we’ve talked…a bunch!!
        Did I say NEVER???
        Oh, yeah. I did.

      74. “Bugging out also means you are leaving the norms of society behind.”

        I understand that bugging out might not be the best plan.., but in this article, I am having a hard time bridging the gap going from; “norms of society” right into a “The Road” situation. If things are normal.., why leave?

        Did anybody else read it this way also? If not., please clear it up for me. Thanks in advance. 🙂

      75. Exactly..oh, I get it—I’ll go play Davy Crockett for a few months and return to society later?? Like, why did you bug out in the first place if society was not destroyed??

      76. I can do a week easily enough but I sure wouldn’t want to. I can fit my actual kit in a fishing vest if you don’t count my bow, so my pack could hold supplies for moving faster or longer. I don’t think most people realize just how slow you travel when living off the land. Having supplies so you don’t have to forage would keep you from moving at a crawl.

        I’m a long way from safe harbor here, nearly two weeks in good conditions with enough supplies to last, and that’s in the half of the year when the high temperature isn’t in the teens, trying to move in the winter would be damn near impossible and far too dangerous to attempt (even with the requisite skills) in all but the most severe situations.

        Really hoping the s doesn’t htf bad enough to require bugging out for the next few years while I’m living out here. Though on the bright side, living so far out and off the interstate system will likely help to avoid the brunt of the exodus from dying cities.

      77. Most people seem to equate bugging out with grabbing a bugout bag and running screaming into the hills or woods.

        IMHO gathering a few essential items and moving to safer more defensible predetermined and equipped location is a strategic withdrawl, and the first example is a rout.

      78. This is just truth from the so called TRUTH!!!! HA-HA…. I have been skeptical for about as year now and look at this. There are slot of fallacies within the truth world

      79. Author is clueless. Sorry. When you have to bug out you are not loosing anything. It is already LOST. You dont have a job,Your family will be with you (by design) You dont care about what ios left at your home as it has been raided or burned down. These are the reasons for bugging out. Gee should I sit in the burned wreckage and weep or get off my azz and do something and go someplace better.

        What kind of a wack job would even consider bugging out when you have work? You leave when you MUST and being unprepared to do that is paramount to being a fool as I fear this author is.

      80. “Bugging Out” has it’s place within big cities if your life is in danger; otherwise, I couldn’t agree more with your commentary. Most of the rhetoric about this subject is written by people who have never lived through catastrophic event such as an economic collapse. And you are right that some of these survivalist type books are for making sales.

        James Wesley Rawles is a popular survivalist book writer. (I’ve read 2 of his books. Some of his writing is useful, but not always grounded in reality and can cause you to go broke financially. For instance, he recommends having “retreat” in a secluded location, living on it, fortifying it, and living “off the land” with several others of similar mindset. Now how many people can quit their job and go live, say, in the mountains of Idaho, home school their kids, have round the clock patrols in case of “zombies”, and grow their own food? Not too mention the fact that their needs to be a hierarchy and everyone must get along. How long do you think that scenario would realistically last? I used to eat this stuff up like a spoon until I read, “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” by Fernando Aquirre. This “street smart” man actually lived through the 2001 economic collapse in Argentina, and wrote it about first hand in this book. He also has an ongoing blog site in which he answers many “survivalists” questions based on personal experience– Now this man is grounded in reality. I value his opinion more than anyone who’s book is based on speculation and assumptions.

        • Point of fact: FerFal survived Argentina’s collapse, but so did millions of others. They just didn’t blog about (and make a living off of) their experience.

      81. The article does make a few good points, but seems to diminish the obvious: No one would even think of “bugging out”, if TS had not HTF. It would have to be a pretty unmistakable event for me to leave my location, risking losing what I have.

        But, I live in a large city. “Bugging in” is not going to be an option for too long, if TSHTF. I could see the locals going ape-$#!t quickly for any number of reasons.

        It is a delicate balancing act for those of us in this situation. Trying to ride out an uncontrolable situation will more likely result in being killed, than “bugging out”.

      82. Depends on the situation, a economic collapse and it would seem that staying put, for the prepared is the wisest option. An EMP followed by limited or all out Nuclear strikes and, or a ground invasion where the enemy begins liquidating the population,think Russia the weeks following Barbarossa, staying put most likely means certain death, better to run to the hills at that point if you can make it.

      83. Very well written. I have been telling city people for years “Do not show up out here in the woods, you will NOT be welcome”….

      84. I’ve never planned on bugging out as a primary plan. Most of you that know me know that. Bugging out, that’s plan B. Of course, if you’re in the *CITY* is there another choice? Of course you do. Certainly the idea of bugging out would be a good one if it “gets too hot”. The bug out “threshold” might be different depending on your situation. In some areas, that threshold would never be met unless a volcano decided to sprout in your back yard.

        Wise people in the city should definitely have a bug out plan. That plan would likely be executed at some point depending on the conditions. Rural people, too, should have a bug out plan or at the very least thought about it.

        But, I can see locations where the bug out plan would be the primary plan. This all has to do with so many things. This, again, is part of being a “prepper” (…a term which I am starting to feel is overused…)

        We really are Modern Survivalists any way you look at it.

        You have to figure out what your best plan is. Bug in, bug out, be safe. If you know it will get too hot right off, you better have a bug out plan.

        Of course, if you own a bug out location and live there part time, some of this article is a bit over reaching. After all, you’re not leaving EVERYTHING you own behind. Half of it, you might be able to take with you. But, if you’re planning on bugging out just to live on the road, I would highly question your involuntary camping trip and its long term survivability.

      85. can i ask everyone here a REAALLLLY stupid question. I see alot of people on this site that live in a city that have no BOL. Have any of the city dwellers tried to network with fellow preppers that are outta the city that you may go to in a shtf event? Me and hubby have a few months worth of food storage,and our nexxt mission was to find like minded people. We found neighbors 6 houses away that are preppers, a man about 1 miles away that is a prepper and reunited with a very dear friend that wants to start preppin and her house is about 2-3 miles away, she and hubby have alot of ranching skills etc. We all have different things to bring to the table and close enough to get to each others homes if need be. I have a friend up north that will come here as her bol if needed, with my parents in tow.
        We are all a community (preppers) that NEEDS to help one another or we are no different than those thugs in DC. I am now looking to find more like minded people a lil further out than myself in the event we need to get outta my area.I am not willing to hand out what I have but it will be imperative to work together as one unit if shtf …just a thought for people in the city sorry if this is a stupid question.
        And off topic but was listening to talk radio i am not sure what staion but regular old radio and they were talkin of hyperinflation and I could not believe it but ( almost drove off the road when I heard this one) MArtial law a REAL possibility, I was shocked to hear this on a local radio station. People are waking up, I hope in wnough time to have a massive awakening God Bless

        • Just a point to ponder on there lady tarheeler. I think it is great, and possibly one of the best ideas for “some” people to have like minded people to “group” with in a SHTF/BO or BI scenario. However; there are some things to consider, such as how long will it take to really get to know these people beforehand, will they be trustworthy and dependable when push comes to shove, and are they gonna stay equitable with the foodstuffs??? I have a little article I put together and have been sharing it with ppeople via my email, on how to better identify and size-up people you come into contact with. If you or anyone else are interested, just drop me a request and I’ll share, no strings. God Bless. [email protected]

      86. I suppose I have the wrong idea of Bugging out. Since I live in the mountains, I only look at a bugout plan as happening when there is no possibilty of staying. In that case all those nice things they talk of are already gone or soon will be, electricity, bank, job, maybe even the place you live in. Having a plan and some gear will give you a slight edge over the rest.


      87. Wow……amazing how my contradictory comment didn’t make it but the DOOMGAZERS comments did!!!!!!

      88. very well said very well described! i agree 100% i,d rather hold down the fort or maybe go down with the ship as any great captain will aspire to do. running to the woods and sustaining a healthy lifestyle for a lengthy period of time would be very very very hard.

      89. Let me be perfectly clear. Where I live in an urban environment of the 5 th biggest city in the States, property prices have collapsed, properties have been abandoned, fighting dogs roaming, hooded gangs roaming. It has already come to us. It being not tshtf but tsh(already)tf. We, our militia, has chased off robbers, drug dealers, repo men, hoodies, gangbangers, etc. Armed and unarmed. We raise vegetables, buy chickens, we survive.

        I don’t know what to yell you to do to prepare. I continue to raise and educate my sons. I love my wife. I pray to God. Everything, so far, has turned out okay.

        I have food. Out.

        • Nice post. You are facing the real reality of when the SHTF, not the Armageddon scenarios envisioned by so many Chicken Littles that post here.

          Good luck and God bless, you’re a REAL survivor.

      90. This guy’s been around too many carport commandos for too much of his waking hours. Total collapse the he’s positing is so far down the probability scale that it doesn’t bear much thinking about until after you are thoroughly prepared for the short-term disaster. In my locale, that’s tornadoes. In other places it’s forest fires, floods, earthquakes, or hurricanes. From all of which you can expect to return to normal life in a few days or weeks.

        But let’s play with the Armageddon scenario for a moment. Let’s face it, if you are forced into being a refugee, you are much, much better off WITH a bug-out kit than without. That’s what the extreme end of prepping is about – not being a totally resourceless refugee.

        Which is the ONLY scenario that goes directly to the business about being armed and dangerous. It worries me that this feature of prepping is first in the thinking of so many of the prepper wannabees, like those I see at my rifle range on weekends. These are, IMHO, the very people we need to be most afraid of – THEIR prep strategy is looting and pillaging, and frankly I’d rather not let them be called preppers.

        But as long as they each burn off a hundred rounds of .308 and leave all that perfectly good brass behind for me to pick up, I guess I’m OK with it.

      91. Good article. My bug out bag is my house.

      92. NinaO Quote: “The end result , justifies the means!”

        That suppression, repression, and/or murder become somehow acceptable if committed in the name of a “false global cause” or democratic religious belief which reduces individuals human beings to expendable pawns, is the vilest of human poisons, and that terrorism, regardless of the globalist zionist terrorist’s “cause,” is the ultimate act of primal dehumanization.

        United States and Israeli citizens demonstrate an even worse contempt for human life and the fundamental values of their own society and prove repeatedly to the worlds citizens their capable of an acts even more despicable than history’s worst villains.

        That some human beings are capable of such atrocities is an inescapable lesson of history. That we cannot allow those acts to go unpunished or extend to those who commit them any shred of respect, whatever the “cause” which motivated them, is a lesson the civilized human global community must teach itself.


        Wake up and smell the zionist fascism ameriKa! you’ve all been betrayed! take back your once free america! now is the time while you still can!


        • I would add to your arrest list:


          Hell…99.9% of Congress! Past and present…

      93. I still think my point is being missed….for all those who are “bugging out”…please don’t. I live in a rural area with alot of cabins owned by “shackers” AKA: owned by city people.The locals KNOW who is a shacker and who isn’t. They not only know about the contents of your “retreat”…they also have a plan for blocking the routes into the area. So, in short, IF you decide to bug out to your pre-planed retreat…odds are against you of finding anything there. So you are going to fight the hordes out on the road heading to your retreat, only to be turned away. Sorry, you are a drain on OUR local resources. BTW, I have read about people “heading to the woods” and “who could turn away a starving child” My answer: I will. That patch of woods you are camping out in is my hunting ground. That creek you are using for bathing is my water supply for my family and herd. If you want to bug out to a rural area, move there and become a member of our community. Your skillset, knowledge, experience ain’t worth crap out here unless you are a doctor….and please, for the love of God, STOP talking about how you will shoot your way to your retreat.Gonna be real hard firing a weapon while driving! If you want to pack your supplies and family into your BOV and run for it, thats up to you. Odds are, you will be killed on the road and your supplies will be taken….

        • SwampRat, your comment reminded me of a number of scenes in the film, Lawrence of Arabia.

          Also, the blocking of the roads leading in, in areas with enough water, don’t seem to apply small aircraft with floats.

          • But what happens when you land your plane??? This is what I’m getting at…..all this talk about magical “bug out bags” and “retreats”….I LIVE where alot of these people are planning to come to when things go bad…and I am telling you that your plans might be changed for you! I’m not being a jerk, just telling whats going on out in the woods as city people dream and plan to run my way when SHTF. I am NOT issuing a threat, I am telling you the truth.

        • Sure, steal and threaten violence to people who have bought land and a homestead in “your” community preparing for the worse. Sounds like a good way to get yourself or someone you love dead.

          It also sounds un-American.

          If I turn up at my retreat with 5 families and you have broken into my house and are sleeping in my bed, then we are going to have an issue. Can you really hold, my house, against 10 guns? Maybe, but I bet I will make you pay for it!!

          AND BTW how would you know if I have anything to offer your community if you decided to steal from me before talking to me? I have a doctor, two emergency nurses, and two EMTs, not to mention a master gardener, a carpenter and plumber, and a hell of a lot of supplies, that are either going to be with me or cached where you won’t find them.

          I hope you don’t die from an infection that could have been cured by one of the dozen antibiotics I have prepped. And when the real bad guys turn up, hopefully you have enough bullets, guns, and guys to take care of business.

          Make love, not war (unless you have to)! It might save your life.

          • I’m smellin’ a little too much paranoia and extremist from the ole swamprat. I agree with protecting what is yours and what is rightfully your backyard, but seriously; ability to turn away a starving child seems a little too heartless for my neck of the woods. Much less the idea of preventing people from getting to their own BO locations and trying to commandeer all the woods and waters. That type of mentality could become a real problem.

            • “trying to commandeer all the woods and waters” is EXACTLY what alot of people who bug out are planning to do.

              Heartless? Maybe. But if turning away a starving child mean my child eats then its a no-brainer…

              I think the type of mentality that could be a problem is the one held by folks who think that they can grab a magic bag of supplies and head for the woods to survive. Or who think that THEY have the ONE skill needed to rebuild society. Or the thought that those of us dumb-shit Hillbillys are going to welcome the Suburban Warriors as they pull up to their cabins in their BOV’s and we will welcome you with open arms and if we do not? Then somehow, we are out-gunned by these magic warriors.

              The whole point of this article was: expect people to act in ways that you don’t expect. You can call me paranoid etc…..I am just telling people about what I have heard and seen in my area…

          • Just throwing in my 2 cents and telling whats going on here. Trying to show the other side of the coin. I was surprised at the intel gathering levels that some locals go to in this area. Just commenting on what I have seen and heard. simply: you will most likely NOT make it here and IF you do, you will NOT be welcome. Cold hard truth…

            • Swamp Rat you are entirely correct. Most people who live in the city have utterly no idea how well people in smaller communities already know each other. They are often related to each other, they know the history of everything that has happened there for the past 100 years, and they know the lay of the land very very well. I live in a small rural community in a state that has a lot of tourist traffic, especially during ski season. We can spot someone from the city, even when they have local plates on their SUV. (It’s always a shiny SUV.) Their attitudes give them away as well, and they ARE kidding themselves if they think they will be welcome when they have never bothered to incorporate themselves into the community to begin with.

              Move now folks. Get to know your new country neighbors, and realize that it will take a lot of time to make friends/alliances, and build homesteading skills. You will NOT make it without the support of the community you live in.

            • Thank you Sarah. Glad to know SOMEONE out there “gets it”.

          • Your “dozen” of anti-biotics won’t mean shit to a community of 3500…Without this community that you are “bugging out” to…you are toast! When your supplies run out or you need fuel, parts, feed etc…you will NEED a community to help you.

            • Dear Swamp Friend,

              If you are in a community of 3500 you ain’t in the middle of the no where! There are 50 souls in my valley, where the pop density is 20 per square mile (in the county, less in the valley). We are an unincorporated territory and don’t have a police department, post office, or zip code.

              Anyway, I have about two dozen doses of antibiotics for the 50 which I would be willing to share with the people who live in a days walking distance of MY LAND. After a few years they will be no good anyway so I don’t see the point in having more.

              I agree I need the community more than they need me, that’s why I am getting to know my neighbors now, WHICH IS ALWAYS a good policy at a human level, let alone good prepping advice. I do have certain VERY RARE “skills,” they are nothing that will help a person physically survive the end of the world. My neighbors have, I believe kept my house safe while many others have been looted.

              What I am saying though, is that God has a plan for all people, and YOU never know when one of your City Slicker interloper neighbors might be essential to your survival in God’s plan. And so, while you have a moral right to turn away strangers, although I wouldn’t, you don’t have the right to turn people away from their own land, and by doing so, you risk the fate of all those who oppress the widow, orphan, or refugee.

            • Dear Padre,

              My community of 3500 is spread out over 36 sq miles. Not “out in the middle on nowhere” but a small community just the same. Most who choose to call this place home commute 45+mins to a major metro area (as do I) it’s the same metro area that comes here during weekends in the summer and holidays….it is these people WE (out here) worry about the most. Yes “they” are friendly enough on weekends (before they get too drunk!)…what are “they” going to do when panicked? We raise our own animals, grow our own veggies, and hunt and fish to our hearts content. We have invested in our lands and work damned hard to scratch out a living and fed our families from what we grow/raise. For “city folk” to come out here during hard times…. well, lets just say…the locals bristle at the prospect. Some of us leave during weekends and holidays just to get away from “them”…..the jetski’s, bad attitudes, drinking, etc…

              Just my 2 cents from the woods.

      94. I’m still in the thinking-about-it phase. We have a strong community with many seniors. My family lives around the same city. We have strong alliances. I think we might bug in together and try to ward off roving bands. I don’t think i will be able to absolutely isolate and stay separated. The key is being prepared for transients. Don’t be caught unprepared or alone.

      95. This feature is a bit of much needed reality. It has always seemed counter-intuitive to me that the best plan involved getting on the road to some location you don’t normally habituate and think it will be better there. Think house on the prairie surrounded by native American warriors and you get the picture of solo efforts to survive.

        To me, for most of us, the much better plan is to stock up where you are and think in terms of how you could offer intelligent and clear-headed leadership to organize your home, your block, your neighborhood, your area. In a truly bad scenario, those who can marshal numbers to organize foraging, medical care and protection will long outlast the solo types wandering the highways.

        I have freeze dried food, gravity fed water filters, guns, gold/silver, solar chargers, and first aid. I have no intention of “driving up the country” with some breakfast bars and a water bottle. I plan on being the person who provides some center around which decent people can organize to protect ourselves. No guarantees but I like my odds better than bugging out.

      96. Seems to me the author at times incorrectly mixes the meaning of the word, ‘refugee’ with the word, ‘nomad’ or ‘expatriot’, among others.

        I wonder if People who left their native lands to come to America were given the same speech by those who stayed?

        Many didn’t make it across the Atlantic in the Mayflower, or across the parries and mountains in the wagon trains, but all of those who brought B.O.B.’s were likely glad they had them. I don’t think they all had B.O.L. but many seemed to do ok.

        As I read this I imagined the People who left Vietnam and came to America in the 1970’s, and I bet a lot of them wished they had B.O.B.’s.

        It’s not like a B.O.B. has to be an expensive thing. Seems like cheap insurance and a cheap option to me. Better to have the option than not to have it, imho.

        The article did seem kind of frothy. It seemed like the author was the type who defined him or herself by the Things they owned, as if they were a slave to their things, i.e. “leaving everything you are”, wtf?

        One thing is for sure, without a B.O.B. a Person is more likely to wind up in some kind of camp like what they had with Katrina, and many of the People who were in one said to make every effort not to wind up in one.

        Also, I don’t know about you all, but it seems to me as it is “all rules of normalcy” are getting thrown out the window without anybody bugging out.

        And, if your friends disown you for bugging out, yeesh, wHAt kind of friends were they in the first place?

        Too many twisted knots in this article to unwind.

        A lot of interesting reading in the comments though. And a lot of generalized blanket assumptions too.


      97. This is a bizarre post: I am not sure we are talking about the same thing.

        Bug-out is an option, and perhaps a good one, IF and ONLY IF there is a paradigm shift.

        You said: “You will be leaving behind your job … Don’t forget things also left behind, such as electricity, running water, Internet access, news and information, communications, telephone and even cell service, a warm, dry bed and other ‘essentials’, some more then others.

        You will also leave behind all expectations of normalcy, decency, morality and expectations, i.e., a “normal life”,forever – more on that below”

        I think anyone who considers bug out is considering it because all these things had already been taken away!

        An no, we are not suggesting walking into the woods to play Swiss family Robinson. I would almost NEVER consider Bugging out except if I had a destination in mind.

        When I say bug out I mean leaving my primary home, in a high pop density area that can not sustain the population, and heading for the hills to my vacation/bug out home in a low pop area that is sustainable. Perhaps bugging out means loosing ones home, job, possessions, etc. but if you are correct about the seriousness of the crisis then these are acceptable loses in exchange for a real possibility for survival.

      98. Many of us who work must live in areas where the population load on the land would be entirely unsustainable without modern shipping and food distribution methods.

        For those of us in this situation, in a long term SHTF situation, that is genuinely TEOTWAWKI not leaving, that is to say, NOT BUGGING OUT, and having someplace to go, of course, is what is going to make you a refugee eventually.

      99. “Bugging-out” is only option for those who don’t want to emigrate or fight back against the regime. It work for the Old Believers and the Soviets pretty much left them alone.

      100. Take a serious look at the docu-drama After Armegeddon. Airs on the history channel and can be bought through the store.
        Then you’ll see this article for what is actually is.

      101. I can’t help but think of the story of Lot and when SHTF in Sodom & Gomorrah. I am going to paraphrase here….. God told Lot to get out of the cities, but Lot had got used to the city-life. He was originally from the rural/mountainous areas and knew life could be tough there. He didn’t want to leave his little “cushy” home and the markets and such; even though almost all the people were bad. Because of Lot’s uncle, Abraham, God was showing restraint and compassion on Lot and his family. He even sent a couple of heavenly movers to help Lot and his family pack up their shit and move out. Lot was still hesitant until the Angel movers said “it is now or never, the destruction is about to commence”! Lot’s son-in-laws scoffed and said “You are a crazy old man and we will continue here to eat, drink, and be Mary.” Their wives, Lot’s older daughters, were in on the orgies and the big-city lifestyle, and so they stayed on and scoffed at the old man also. All Lot’s children and grandchildren stayed. The “movers” said flee to the mountains now and don’t even look back, just forget this former life and everything with it. The “warning” was put forth, but Lot’s wife just couldn’t let it go. She turned and was then turned into a rock. Lot still resisted, and pleaded to let him go to the next city for a while. Well, he was allowed to go to the next smaller city for a short while to get his shit together and get better prepared for the mountain living and soon left. Then the other smaller cities soon became “destruction”. At least Lot was alive and had listened to God, reluctantly so, but did heed the warning.

      102. I don’t see how staying in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Viet-Nam, Cuba, Cambodia, or China would have been a good idea.

        Forget the job, the bank accounts, the normal life, that’s all going to be gone! Plan ahead, get out, and take your family with you.

      103. The show After Armageddon uses a pandemic as the catalyst for the collapse of society. Although any event that causes the failure of our power grid will result in collapse of society. Electricity is the premary factor, we lose it… we lose everything!
        Most of the people in the US live in moderate to high population areas. Once the electricity stops the “fallacy of bugging out” may be your only option.
        The legistics of buggin’ in actually scare me as much if not more then buggin’ out. I live in the suburbs, I’m also 48 yrs old and handicapped. I do not live around a viable water source.
        Using the LDS preparedness manual as a guide 84 gals of water is necessary for one person for 3 mos. and I have in my 4 person household. That’s 336 gals for us for 3 months, I dont have the area necessary to store enough food and water for what I truly believe will last far longer than the 3 mos I’ve been using as an example.

      104. I know it has been said before in the comments, but I love kicking dead horses and rehashing things that should be left alone.

        As MANY people know the decision to Bug In or Bug Out is extremely dependent on the situation you are in and the planning and preparation you have done. If you have properly planned to (let’s change the verbiage here) “engage in a planned evacuation to a known primary shelter site”, then you may very well remove yourself from an extremely volatile situation and place yourself in a much better one.

        The author’s implication that bugging out means “leaving your wife and kids” is just plain wrong. People that don’t plan to properly bug out, aren’t bugging out, they are “running for their lives” which is an altogether different method of evacuation.

        The fact that this author feels that enough people plan to “bug out” without knowing where they are going leads me to believe he may not be the authority to which people should be listening.

        My $0.02

        • I agree!

      105. All the bad things this person says will be out in the woods and so on will be in the cities as well. It will be bad and dangerous everywhere. If somebody has a bug out location set up, and they can get to it, do it.

      106. The truth is no one has all the bases covered and certainly no one know for certain exactly what the future holds. All you can do is your best and pray for mercy.

      107. When someone is addressing possible actions to take and they speak of a SHTF scenario, then detest the idea one would take during a SHTF scenario due to leaving behind “stuff” that represents everyday life, I have to stop reading.

        If you’re life is defined by the money you make, the things you own, then you’re not really living life. Such things are superficial and the value attached to such things are of egotistical nature and of no real importance, especially in a SHTF scenario, WHERE NONE OF THAT STUFF WILL EXIST ANYMORE.

        The only reason why those things have any value or importance is because you place value on those things, you find them to be important. What happens when the structure of society that validates your subjectivity ceases to be? Well all of those things then become superficial and of non importance.

      108. I think leaving the city for the country may be a good plan if you have prepared for it and things get bad enough. Depending on where you live you may be surprised that people may be able to pull it together and survive it just fine. I live in the country and so I’m bugged out already. Having said that if a forest fire is coming and I haven’t a chance of surviving it I guess I better have my bag packed. If you live in the city and have not made plans for a rural excursion to the point of making friends and preparations in your intended destination you will most likely lose out to the locals because they will control the access.

        • EXACTLY!!!

      109. “This cherished myth is a deceptive and dangerous notion that has little place in reality. I’ve long held a stance against this notion because in nearly all cases and all situations, this is a very bad idea with oftentimes fatal consequences.”

        To me, And I am a person that likes to read between the lines, stories like these…and others posted lately about “NOT BUGGING OUT” and that have been surfacing all over net seem to have a Prepper stance of please do not come to where they will be attitude ??? I question this.
        what did people do in the depression, they packed what they had or what they could take and left for a better situation, when people first immigrated to the USA they traveled with what they had or could take with them and traveled thousands of miles, to find a safe place or better place, Now mind you, I am not advocating that everyone should but out, but if you have the skills and mindset, go ahead and do so…by all means, do not just stand there and watch the Tsunami come in, run for the hills, home is where you hang your hat….not a building, home is a feeling of being safe.

        So if you see the storm coming in, go to your hidey-hole…that is our plan, a distant small lake, have to hike in 10 miles, no roads lead to it, so why not..
        if there is a will there is a way….the later is only laying down to die…and that is not for me.

      110. To bug in or bug out must be an individual decision. Myself, I intend on staying where I am. I have built my preps around a 12v system with solar chargers. You can do most things with 12 volts, even have a 48v (4-12v batteries) golf cart that will out run most people, with a 5-8 mile range for hauling water from a small creek about a mile down the road. It’s real quiet also.
        If we can remain hidden and safe, will reevaluate things as they change, and make decisions based on what’s happening. Have preps for about a year for my family and myself and will defend them to my death. Maybe by then most of the chaos will be over. Then maybe consider relocating.

      111. I’ve read about bug in, and bug out till I’m tired of it. In the end, there are just too many scenerios to cover. people will end up taking the path of least resistance. There are no cut and dry answers to anything in a SHTF situation. everyone will get the chance to use their critical thinking skills. the order of the day will be clear thinking, and absolute common sense. Many will come to understand that a decision they have to make, might not be one they even considered, when they thought about bugging in or out, while they were making plans for what they thought was coming.
        I intend to be as ready as I can for the unexpected, because just when you think you have the bases covered, something else will happen. be prepared to do what you don’t think will happen, what you don’t want to do, but perhaps must do. Then, you will have a better chance at getting through what is surely coming down the road.

      112. Popping smoke….

      113. It’s a good article, and I agree with some of what he says, although I have to agree with many of the commenters here, he misunderstands the whole thing about having to live in cities, and the bug-out-location-has-to-be-away-from-home concept. I am lucky in that I already live in my location out in the country, and contrary to what the author said, I know that with a combination of gardens, farm animals, hunting, and barter with a local beef farmer I CAN supply enough food for us to live on. (Mostly because that is exactly what I am already doing.) Salt and baking soda are the only true necessities that I cannot supply myself or locally, and I already practice living without store-bought items.

        The community your bug-out location is in matters a good deal, and no one can go it alone. It is however, extremely important to practice these skills before you need them: you cannot survive if you have never raised animals, never hunted, and never grown a garden. A packet of heirloom seeds in your BOB certainly won’t do. The author makes excellent points about hunting as well – you cannot count on it alone, especially if you have children, and even if you are a good hunter. My husband has been hunting for 40 years and consistently brings home at least one deer, often two, every season – but it is NOT easy. It is very common for hunters to bring home nothing, even after hunting for several days. I have to say that all in all, and I understand the financial constraints, it is far better to get out of the cities NOW and begin to teach yourself how to truly survive off your own efforts on the land and in the surrounding small community.

        I keep a bug out bag for one reason: in case my car breaks down somewhere remote, or becomes incapacitated in some way (Winter storm? EMP? Car stolen/jacked during economic meltdown?) and I must survive either until rescued or for a long walk back to my home. In my area it is less likely that I would need to bug out because of a natural disaster. I am most likely to experience severe snow and ice storms more than anything (flooding perhaps, like Irene last year, but I happen to live on top of a steep hill) so I absolutely plan on bugging in for almost every foreseeable event. Even after an earthquake or hurricane or tornado or a fire, I would prefer to stay close and rebuild rather than go live permanently outdoors.

        There is only one nasty problem hanging out in the background of my thoughts: the nearby nuclear power plant. That plant melting down is really the only thing that might force me from my home. Until I can get enough money to build a secondary cabin a 100 miles away to escape to in that event, I can only hope nothing bad happens.

      114. The author of this article seems to ignore the reasons why people would bug out. He mentions that people who bug out will be without jobs, income and other conveniences. What if things got so bad that there was complete and total societal upheaval? All those conveniences the author mentions would be out the window. Cities would be utter chaos. Peoples’ homes in many suburbs would be subject to roaming gangs of thugs killing and stealing. Personally, I’m envisioning a scenario where society completely breaks down, you can read about it in Revelation chapter 18.

      115. The flaw in this argument is that there will be a return to “normalcy” afterwards. To white picket fences, two cars, Walmart, endless Sea Can containers, an uncorrupt system with currency of value. We are evolving whether we like it or not. It will never be the same again. Thank goodness, for the goodness in man will prevail eventually. But there is watering of the “tree” required first. Some may indeed stumble in the “garden plot”. I’ve got my pre March 2011 non Monsanto seeds and they won’t be planted in the city. This article is good counter intelligence though. Bug in…perfect.

      116. I lived in the country for quite awhile and the people here are just as divided as any where else. To say you will have the access roads blocked might be a great undertaking since there is so much division in this nation.
        Maybe the people trying to get to their retreats will join together and take you out. You in the rural areas need all the help you can get. How about a little spiritual preparation? The moral high ground will get you alot further than ammo.

      117. Yeah, sorry. If you’re in a situation in which you are wiser to move, move. Urban environment after SHTF is NOT good. Have a place to go; prepare to move; move. Naturally, the best prepared will already be in the countryside but not everyone can do that. Watch the signs and get out while you can.

      118. Dear Unemployed,

        The locals out here are NOT divided at all! They KNOW what would happen if just a thousand from the metro area came our way. As far as blocking roads, I don’t support the idea but keep in mind, there is ALOT of heavy equipment out here (and operators) that COULD do it rather quickly. It would be as easy as dumping piles of rock in the roadways or digging out the roadbeds in key areas….maybe overturning a semi under an overpass…I don’t know…As far as city folk fleeing the metro area and banding together to “take us out”…I doubt it. If Country folk, who are inter-related and know each other for years, can’t band together…whats make you think city folk could???

      119. A free man answers no mandates, minds no unacceptable orders, nor does he stay or go according to the whims of another. He has no master to beat him and no slave to be beaten in turn. He is self-sufficient onto the day and glories in his freedom to do anything his value system and abilities allow…or to do nothing at all. His friends are mostly free agents such as himself and appear and disappear as mood and conditions impel. In short he lives in a world of his own design.
        Our present government was put into power by millions of voters many of whom seem to confuse ‘freedom’ with ‘free stuff’. I think they are in for a nasty surprise and we may find some pleasure in payback when their freebies run out and they find they’ve been duped, but not much pleasure and not for long. There will be too many of them and they will overload our prepared systems and resources. We can ignore them when they come heads hanging and hat-in-hand up to our cook fires and beg us to at least feed their kids but I don’t think many of us will be that callus, at least not at first. In the beginning days and weeks we’ll all just be an unwilling audience viewing a hellish sideshow of America’s cast-offs as they exchange freedom for bread and the lives of themselves and their families for a political philosophy that better had died with Marx, Lenin, Stalin and Mao.

      120. Let’s say your a truck driver from a rural area. The economy collaspes, you have to make your way home to your family. You lived in the small town all your life as did your parents. You attempt to take all the back roads home but all the locals have the roads blocked, you tell them you are just passing through. They tell turn around or you’ll be shot? You try to sneek around or whatever and you are shot dead. The local gvernments get control somehow all those locals who shot all the folks trying to get back home or even to their retreats are turned in and in prison for murder. Most people who have retreats in the country will probably get there before you start shooting them. What if they haven’t heard about the collaspe and are on their way to their vacation cabin? What if you ha to leave town for a month and the collaspe came-and it’s you who can’t get home? Not divided? You are already divided in your thoughts by saying you won’t let fellow americans who can be self-e ffecient into safety. You are not American you define the product of years of division set upon us by those who rule us. Repent! This a time of judgement to see what you are made of and where you heart is really made of. Of course you have to protect your own but there is such a thing as compassion too.

      121. I am not defended those who took no thought in preparing but if a family has a retreat in your local area,unless the persons are just intolerable you should let them in. If I am not in the country when it happens I will stay put.

      122. Interesting piece. Disaggree with some of the notions though. I don’t think that “bugging out” is to the woods but another destination that you’ve thought about beforehand. But I think there is some merit to some of what he says. Anyone that thinks their going to survive long-term in the woods is nuts. I do also agree with his thinking on the mindset of people in a shtf scenario. Its not going to be a happy existence for anyone regardless of how well you’ve prepped.

      123. I have bugged out to Maine. My advice -Live simple -no loans ,no credit scores, no big job (but work hard) live off the grid ,etc. Go survival camping 2 days a week then 3 .Eat natural foods and let your body get used to them . This way if you HAVE to leave (ask surviving Jews from ww2 about this) it will not be a shock. take classes on primitive skills .Find honest like minded people who will bug out with you. Share skills Perhaps you can come home after a month or so .The zombies should be dead by then.

      124. Good discussion…dumb article. I think everyone would have a massive bug out location if we had the $$$. The best idea, is moving to a location you consider to be a good rural safe spot, work there, and have it all set up.
        HOWEVER, that is fine if you are alone, or a couple, even with small children. I have the opposite problem…I have grown kids, who don’t believe S is gonna HTF. I considered doing the above, but what if they couldn’t get there? I wouldn’t be able to help them or my grandkids.
        So…I have no choice. I’m staying put, on a limited income,and I’m single. I am converting a backyard shed into sleeping quarters with a wood stove (house to big to heat, don’t want to burn it down, either). I’ve stockpiled food, clothing, buying a gun, chainsaw, setting up rain barrels, ordered seeds, etc, etc,etc. It’s the best idea I can think of.

      125. Having worked on a number of corporate safety teams, I would like to chime in what the experts have to say about this subject:


        Considering the sheer number of weapons that Americans now own anyone deciding to “leave or Bug Out” when the SHTF really need to keep a few things in mind:


        1. It’s not a good idea unless you are ready to go from friendly everyday person to Rambo in one giant leap.  Americans are SO paranoid about this subject of eventual chaos that given all the guns out there, you are more likely to become a target then get to any planned or heaven forbid any un-planned destination.
        2. What is going to be your mode of transportation?  Better start thinking of a well stocked Hummer, guns and all.  Why? Because of number 1 too many guns.
        3. Civil authorities have standing orders, supplementary and over-riding orders radioed to them as situations change. Remember, these folks are trained in “Command and Control” defy their authority and you are at their mercy.
        4. Travel in anything from a car, rv, boat, you name it will be highly restrictive unless it is in use for rescue situations, only.  If you are armed be ready to be challenged, questioned and or shot on the spot.
        5. If you are out foraging for food for your small cabal (family or extended group) by going around and looting grocery and hardware stores be ready to defend yourself from both civil authorities and store defenders. 


        Are you getting this Rambo mentality thing yet?


        The article is ambiguous and misleading. There are way too many conflicting positions the author makes.  Each emergency situation is a little different and requires different reasoning for “bugging-out” or staying put.  Bugging out for the reasons presented in the article is tantamount to just running away from home when there is no reason to do so.


        Bugging out requires a lot of forethought, planning and checking the plan for reality.  Roads may not be passable, geographic obstacles may limit your direction of safe travel; communications with loved ones may not be available.  To mitigate some of these issues requires a number of scenario planning and even then they may not come off as planned. For instance; just communications alone is a significant obstacle unless you have a Ham license and understand the difficulty in setting up a communications network with your loved ones in mind.  Investigate this one obstacle through and you will see how difficult all of these issues are combined to be truly ready to bug out. 


        Should you the make plans to bug out and have the necessary stuff ready to do so?  The answer is YES you should but with a measure of reality for the duration of the emergency not if your planning on a wholesale life-change because of an apocalyptic event. Then the planning is much more difficult, think climbing Mt. Everest to put it in perspective. Oh, and stock up on ammo, lots of ammo.  But, if you are just planning for a short-duration emergency by all means put some food, clothing, and emergency stuff in a bag.  Agree on a communications focal point and think hard about the issue of staying put or bugging out.  In most cases you will be directed to some degree by civil authorities if eminent emergency situations allow for such planning.




      126. As a former U.S. Army Sapper, paratrooper and combat veteran that has been trained in escape and evasion, jungle warfare and wilderness survival in many different environments and given that my family has been farming/ranching for 35 years and the fact that we were always avid campers and hunters along with my training in weapons and defense I think bugging out is a certain option for us. We would not become refugees as our bug out would be temporary. The plan is for us to bug out of Houston and head to my family’s cattle ranch where we have cattle, garden, chickens, 3 natural spring streams and a river running through the property as well as thousands of acres of hunting. We also have been and continue to prep for long term bug in at that location. Solar and generator power, unlimited supply of wood for fireplace and two stocked fish ponds. Hundreds of gallons of diesel and gasoline and enough food stocks to keep us all happy for many months. Many of our family have various skills such as welding, carpentry, hunting, etc. that will keep us going pretty well.

        That said, in the event of disaster or economic collapse a large urban environment like Houston is the last place you would want to bug in. Once stores run out of goods people will turn to looting, robbery and murder to get what they need to survive. I have no intention of trying to defend my home in a city of millions.

        With that in mind, my wife and kids and I are all healthy and able. We each have a ruck ready to go and I have several weapons including hunting rifle, shotgun, pistols and even a compound bow. I know how to live off the land. I have about 80 percent of suggested supplies for a bug out bag already packed and am working on the rest. My plan is to haul ass as soon as it becomes clear that an event is about to happen…..meaning an economic collapse and I stay attuned to what’s going on with that so I expect to have at least a day of warning time which is long enough to drive to our bug in location. The only natural disasters that occur here are hurricanes and we are used to dealing with that. Short of a cat 5 storm we don’t even leave. If something happens in another part of the country like yellowstone erupting then we would still have several hours to drive out of houston. At most we would be in the bush for a couple of hundred miles.

        If you are in a large city and intend to bug in, I wish you luck dealing with the mobs of armed gangs. We saw what happens with that after Katrina. Even the cops were robbing and looting. My family will either be on the road or deep in the wilderness while your dealing with that.

      127. This article does actually give the right questions that all survivalists should be asking themselves. Hovever, I disagree that bugging “out” is a bad idea. Many of the Amish, the first settlers, wild-west miners/prospectors, and MANY early native american tribes were able to survive and even THRIVE in this land for generations with alot less than we have today. We have become a domesticated society who is tied to the systen, ATM’s, jobs, cars, and all of our technology to the point that we wouldnt know how to live with nature any longer. The native americans lived and raised families all across North America for centuries before this area was even CALLED the “United States”. So, dont let anyone make you thing you can survive. Just think outside of the box of domesticated, trapped ideaology. You will do fine- IF you juse think of some basic things: food/nutrients, water, fire, and defense and climate. There are many survival books sold in bookstores like Barnes and Noble and so on. The Amish have been raising families for centuries WITHOUT money OR electricity. There is no excuse for failure for those who mindfully prepare ahead of catastrophe. Not being in denial about the possibility of collapse is the first hurdle for many. You know what they say- The 6 P’s Prior Preparation Prevents P!$$ Poor Performance. To stay alive, trust your instincts and read the writing on the wall. You KNOW what you need to do… so do it.

        Chad C.

      128. So, bugging OUT is bad, so let’s here more about bugging IN.

      129. Why would you bug out if you didnt have to? We wouldn’t. To say I could only last a couple of days in the wilderness is something the author can tell him/herself because maybe he tried and failed but I enjoy a few days in the poorest conditions rain on the snow (a little uncomfortable at worst.) In fair weather it is my idea of paradise! ( not in some strangers backyard as the author implies I would even insider doing) yes many couldn’t survive up there and that is exactly why I would consider it a great place to retreat. A good tent, sleeping bag, and insulating sleeping pad alone and I could wait out a short term problem. Add the rest of my gear, a small supply of my usual backpack trip food, without hunting/ fishing ( high mountain trout wich i average 3-7 a day at my favorite backpack spot, crawling with thousands of rock rabbits/food) I could easily ration out a few weeks. Add the fish and in the short term unlimited critters, I will be upset to see some pitting from rust on my rifle and to run out of liquor but I don’t think my apartment would be better in a really bad crisis.

      130. My friend has a full blown old school farm where i have worked on and off over half my life, where i would be more than welcome. It is under a half hour away. If the grocery stores were empty I would much rather drive past to the alpine lakes than try to fight the hordes there, sure to spill out from the city. I’d freeze and starve in the winter though.

      Commenting Policy:

      Some comments on this web site are automatically moderated through our Spam protection systems. Please be patient if your comment isn’t immediately available. We’re not trying to censor you, the system just wants to make sure you’re not a robot posting random spam.

      This website thrives because of its community. While we support lively debates and understand that people get excited, frustrated or angry at times, we ask that the conversation remain civil. Racism, to include any religious affiliation, will not be tolerated on this site, including the disparagement of people in the comments section.