Are you actually prepared to Bug Out?

Many preppers talk about bugging out, but how many of them have the skills or the strength to actually do it? It’s one thing to talk about bugging out; it’s another thing to actually carry a bag full of gear 10-15 miles a day in dangerous and unforgiving conditions.

Hobos walking down railroad tracks

A great way to prepare for this situation is to start backpacking.

While you can never simulate an actual bug out situation, backpacking helps you prepare in a number of different ways.

  • It prepares your body for the rigorous conditions that you are bound to face.
  • Backpacking can help you figure out exactly how your body will respond to carrying gear across different terrains.
  • It helps you get a good idea of how much ground you can realistically cover during a Bug Out Scenario.

Having an evacuation plan is great… But have you ever actually used it?

By backpacking the routes that you plan to take in a Bug Out situation, you greatly increase your chances of surviving a real life disaster.

Hit the trails, study the surroundings, and take plenty of notes.

  • Figure out how far you can comfortably hike every day.
  • Take note of what natural resources lie along your route.
  • Be on the lookout for any possible dangers, and figure out how you can avoid them.
  • Take your maps and mark the location of every watering hole or possible emergency shelters that are near your route.

Test your gear now when your life’s not on the line.

The last thing you need in your bug out bag is a bunch of crappy gear that doesn’t hold up out the trail. Now is the time to start testing that gear.

When you’re out on the trail, ask yourself these important gear questions:

  • How easy is it to use?
  • How many times did you actually use that piece of gear and was it really a necessity?
  • Was there a piece of gear that you wish you would’ve had?

16 Comments

  1. Urbivalist Dan
    November 4, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Couldn’t agree more! The only way to have some kind of idea of whether or not you got it is to try it.

    I like getting out and doing MBOs.

    Just did one a couple weeks ago…http://bit.ly/tQiM4I

    Great post!

    • T. Fergason
      January 27, 2013 at 11:34 am

      Take it easy on the abbreviations. What does MBOs stand for?

      Why do people handicap the English language?

      • J. Gordon
        February 25, 2014 at 8:03 pm

        I agree. Use abbreviations when it helps communicate with everyone you are trying to communicate with but if it hinders that attempt you are missing the mark with your words.

      • J. Gordon
        February 25, 2014 at 8:08 pm

        MBO? mini bug out?

        • JASON
          January 17, 2017 at 1:27 pm

          Mock Bug Out

  2. Vic
    November 12, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    12 miles once a month all your stuff. Tells the truth of things related.

    Vic

  3. church
    November 29, 2011 at 10:30 am

    I use my gear on a weekly bases…In wooded terrain i can cover 3-4 miles a day at best at the age of 46 I’m slower then when i was young but still a slow pace is better… my hunting gear and pack is heavy at 65 lbs. setting camp every night the kit has been culled of the unnecessary gear..it’s down to the basic water,shelter,fire and food the gear is sufficient for survival the rest comes from knowledge of your surroundings…and your right.. believe me it ant easy but I’m not the urban couch potato i been using my gear for 30 years in the heat and cold….

  4. ROBERT
    May 1, 2012 at 1:30 am

    I like to do flash packing drills…timing just how long it takes me pack and haul ass…I have a bug out spot that I love, but need to make an alternate just in case.

    • Jonathon
      May 20, 2012 at 6:28 pm

      Do you have a BOB R2G? Or do you just have the gear and see how quick you can get it all together?

  5. pluckpick
    May 20, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Ha! Us Old Schoolers knew about this 25 years ago…I even have my Alpenlite Backpack and all the gear….years of testing too!!

  6. Brian
    July 15, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Why do so many focus on “bugging out” to wilderness areas? If I were to bug out, as it were, despite being one to enjoy outdoor pursuits the “woods” aren’t where I’d go. Even Charles Ingalls took a wagon, oxen, and period construction equipment.

    Granted, some live in extremely large urban environments so large in scale that you cannot even drive through in an hour, but I’d bet most reading this blog are not in that subset.

    How about a hotel for a while or a family or friend’s house in another area? If I had to leave my home, for a short scale retreat, I’d merely drive 40 minutes (across a rural area) to the family home. If that weren’t far enough I suspect I’d just go hit up the first clean hotel I found. Alas, I guess many will lament that an EMP, urban mobs, injury, or some other misfortune will be the counter to this more reasonable approach.

    My bug out/EDC vehicle bag contents have a fundamental supply of wilderness-oriented goods, but I’ve got probably the only bag I’ve seen that includes the complete array of hygiene items and urban necessities (compact power strip/surge protector for instance).

    • John
      August 3, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      Hey Brian,
      I can not speak for everybody, but the reason I am prepared to go out into the wilderness is my attempt at being prepared for the worse case scenario. I have no idea what kind of emergency will force me to flee my home, but I know when people are desperate for food and water they will do anything. By getting away from people you can mitigate the risk of people stealing what you have.

  7. nadja
    August 4, 2012 at 10:09 am

    I honestly feel that most of the bug out to the hills crowd will perish within 30 days. Not all, but most. Living in the woods is hard at best, especially people with no real woodsmen skills. It makes for a nice dream, but not much else.
    You really need to be preparred for the woods, as you will not be alone once it really starts. At minimum, there will be hundreds of thousands if not millions of people trying to join you and even bambi will get out of dodge so to speak.

  8. mitch
    December 4, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    in my opinion if you truly want to survive you will not stay in any one place for any length of time doing so only makes you a target yes it would be nice to have everything you need in one place but realistically its not possible being nomadic and scavenging what you can and i dont mean stealing from others is realistic even thou we are the top of the food chain look at nature they move to survive no matter how well fortified your structure it can be breached or even better you could easily be trapped inside if they cant get in to get what they want do you think they will just leave i think not people are vengeful and greedy thats alot of why we are in this mess right now it will be a dog eat dog world and i for one do not plan on sitting in one place waiting to be picked apart just look to the past at all of our ancestors before so called civilization in one way or another they all moved with the food supply and changing of the seasons for one i think if they cant loot what you have they will burn you out or trap you inside and unless you can live in a hole indefiniely which in my opinnion is no way to live at all i would rather be moving and i mean on my own two legs i for one will be one of those crazies running to the woods i grew up hunting fishing and camping with only my knife and a pole in the mountains and have no fear of being able to survive in this way i see everyone here talking about what you need to survive growing up not having so much has made me realize its not what you have to survive its your will to survive and your knowledge god has given us everything we need to survive but we made the tools

  9. Shannon
    February 11, 2013 at 5:08 am

    I hike, backpack, and exercise as often as I can to prepare for my bugging out. Unfortunately, I’m still in high school so ‘as often as I can’ is a backpacking trip once or twice a month, survival experiments in the summer, and serious exercise on the weekends. I’m worried that the dollar may collapse and force me to bug out before I can accumulate top-quality survival gear. Anyway, the economy is gonna collapse soon in the US, which will have detrimental effects on other economies as well. Even if our time for training is limited, we should make sure we train as often as possible :0 We don’t want to get left behind in a few years when ‘SHTF’.

  10. Survivalist
    November 18, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    I would go to the woods but most people could not survive and that is fine by me I know what plants I can and can’t eat I know what mushrooms I can and can’t eat I have been a hunter for most my life and fishin most my life a huge portion of the food I eat comes from the woods whether it be from huntin fishin or foraging I will keep myself and family fed

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