As you likely know, a bug out bag is extremely handy in an emergency. However, if you think that a single backpack with a few tools and a couple of food cans is all you need to survive in a SHTF scenario, I’m sorry to say but you’re either REALLY lazy or simply lying to yourself!
A bug out bag is a great start but it is not the be all and end all of prepping for survival. Consider this: carrying a backpack is tiring, especially in extreme weather. Most folks will be okay for the first couple of miles but things get really tiring after that. Also, sleeping outside is easier said than done.
You’ll be troubled by things such as:
- harsh sunshine
- inhospitable surfaces
- wild animals
- and more…
The list is quite long frankly. Even sleeping on the floor of your bathroom can be more comfortable than sleeping/camping outside (though I know some will disagree with that statement)! So – if you’re really serious about protecting yourself and your family, you should definitely begin prepping beyond your bug out bag. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1) A bug out automobile:
An RV is a great choice – it has ample space to store lots of supplies and can carry your entire family (plus the dog) in decent comfort. Even though they’re not particularly fast, RVs have powerful engines and decent ground clearance, which means that they can go over rough surfaces and cross streams and other obstacles. Sleeping in an RV is much better than sleeping under a tree, in a cave or even in a tent.
Now I know what you’re thinking; This survival thing seems to be pretty damn expensive!
Well, it’s all about priorities really. Believe it or not, You can buy an old RV for a couple thousand dollars sometimes. No, it’s not going to be pretty – but just make sure that it is mechanically sound and you can fix and customize the interior yourself.
It’s a cool, useful investment of time and money. It gives the kids something productive to do. It sure as hell beats wasting your life looking aimlessly at some screen. Most RVs have a propane tank and stove – this does away with the need of lighting fires for cooking. They also have a washroom so you don’t have to be exposed to the elements. You can easily store half a year’s worth of food in the form of grains, beans, cans, dehydrated foods etc. With an RV, you have the luxury of storing extra clothes and bedding. Put these in lightweight plastic containers to protect them from rodents. The containers might also come in handy to collect rainwater.
Check craigslist and your local classifieds, you’ll be surprised what goodies you can find if you just take the time to look.
Don’t wait for an emergency to make a getaway in your RV. Use it regularly to take trips to various destinations and practice survival skills such as lighting a fire, tying various knots, fishing etc. If an RV seems too big, too cumbersome or too expensive, consider getting a van or simply customizing your pickup truck.
By the way, keep the fuel tank full and store a couple of cans of extra fuel in your bug out automobile.
2) A bug out destination:
You may buy a small plot of land in a remote area – do some smart research. Rural land is much cheaper than urban properties (depending on the location, you can buy 1 or 2 acres by spending just a couple hundred bucks extra every month).
We live in such a virtual economy that we have forgotten that land is the ultimate resource for practically everything!
If you own land, you can build a house, grow your own food, raise animals and harvest rainwater. You don’t need to build a luxurious mansion. A simple hunting shack style home will do. Check out the laws in your state to find out more about the cost of building, licenses, taxes etc.
If you install a solar power system at your home, you will truly be able to go ‘off the grid’. Here are a few quick things to practice:
- Practice growing a few veggies on your land – it is a truly rewarding experience.
- Visit your bug out destination a couple of times a month.
- Stock it with supplies; chalk out various routes from your home to this destination.
Preparing for an emergency is not something you accomplish in an evening by ordering stuff on amazon. It is a lifestyle – enjoy it and encourage your family to participate.
3) Learn to use a firearm:
The constitution gives you the right to carry firearms and use them for your protection – exercise this right responsibly. Learn to shoot – it is a highly essential skill in an SHTF situation. It will enable you to hunt for food and defend yourself, your family and your property against thieves, burglars, and terrorists. A handgun and a rifle are good starting points for beginners. You can later move on to shotguns and more serious weapons if you feel the need to. Owning a firearm is not enough; you also need to educate yourself on the gun laws pertaining to your location. This will help you to stay out of legal trouble.
If you have to evacuate, make sure that you are carrying all important documents such as ID, vehicle papers, property papers, passports and most importantly – CASH! Always keep your eyes and ears open. Stay alert and one step ahead of the common public! Be decisive and think forward.
About the Author: J.D. Phillips Runs SurvivalCrackas.com and lives with his family in Southern California. You can also follow him on FaceBook and download his Guide How to Build the Ultimate Disaster Kit free of charge by visiting his website.