“You’re Bugging Out, Man”

My friend JC Dodge has authored and commented on a few well-done pieces on a perrenial Prepper topic- The Bugout– and while each of those takes are well done in their own right, I thought I’d share my two cents for what it’s worth including my own real-life bugout.

Go take a look at the last few posts if you haven’t done so- there’s some well done linking to Ivar Bergmann’s Channel (with some gorgeous Alaska scenery) and to my very good friend Hawkeye of UW Gear.

I would consider myself “around” for a while; not in the blogging sense but to the notions of Survivalism. Like the post JC shared of himself, I was the kid packing the bag and running to the woods with my shotgun (and later, Remington 742, 30-06 Springfield, 1 ea., and then later still, .45-70) and being in my early 30s at this moment, I was pretty aware of the craziness of the 90s and the fears of UN takeover; in fact, I had a hardline Right Wing english teacher (talk about rare as hen’s teeth, huh?) who spared no expense to warn us about globalism. Public school just two decades ago ain’t what it is today even in my little town, but I digress.

Anyway, the first time I heard the term “bugout”, I was sitting in front of the TV watching the Simpsons of all things with my late grandfather, who was a decorated Infantryman in the Korean War. One of the characters said it, and my grandad kinda chuckled. He casually stated, “that’s when you know you gotta go.” What I didn’t know then, was that the term used to be pretty common slang for units getting overrun by the human-wave tactics of the Chinese and DPRK in northern Korea. Fast forward a few years, the term has become synonymous with the prepper movement and developing a cult-ish like following. The mythos of the bugout bag has always defied logic in my estimation, and yet, people love to talk about it like its the marquee of preparedness.

Where Ya Going?

Growing up, “bugging out” should the blue helments break out of New York never really crossed my mind (I was like 12, where, realistically, would I go?) but growing up on a large farm, woodcraft and what is known as bushcrafting was just an everyday thing. My $10 flea market knife that I wasn’t supposed to have was the thrill of the day and I, the King of the Forest like John Rambo, with it. The only place I had planned to go was the 130 year old cedar post buck barns on the farm.

Today I kinda still feel like that; why go on the run? Can you make the run? What can you carry over that distance? Have you made that run before? Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse. What happens when THAT plan fails? Do you regularly procure food in the woods on your own? No, but you think you can do it under stress? Yes? How do you know?

Bravo, Indeed

Fast forward a bit more; NC Scout finds himself on a LRS team in Afghanistan. The mission was relatively simple, what we call a “patterns of life mission” (where we watch a village to see who’s coming in or out, and in this case, how they react to certain stimuli) with a brief insertion of 5 miles of so, a nice comfy hilltop of not too many rocks, and Uncle Sugar’s finest MRE cuisine for the next several days. With water, ammo load, digging tools, communications load and STANO (surveillance, target acquisition and night observation) gear, everyone’s ruck was in the 80+ lb range, with the RTO being a bit more. There was to be three different hide sites in total; three teams for 360 degree observation and one in reserve with the Base Ratio Station in case we got in trouble along with a JTAC or two, because for some reason USAF birds prefer to talk to them.

The movement became longer than it should have been. What would have taken 3 hours or so with covered movement under darkness turned into a six hour trek. How did that happen? Thinking about a girl. It happens. We get to the hide site and take up our positions- we didn’t have enough darkness to dig in, so it’d have to be the lazy man’s favorite, the surface hide. We were gonna be lucky to make it to the end of this one without compromise (getting found).

Around noon a couple of herders were getting too close- I thought one had seen us, the other hadn’t, and I warned my buddy, SSG XXXX, that I think it was a soft compromise (when you’ve been found by those NOT hostile…ie, no shooting). About that time the guy looked up at us, and moved up the hill. We’ve been found, in the Taliban’s moneymaking heartland.

Any SOF trained guy, American or British (and probably most of the NATO nations, honestly) knows about Bravo Two Zero. It was an 8 man SAS mission in the Gulf War to locate Scuds in northern Iraq; long story short, their commo failed from the get-go (wonder why that’s a cornerstone of this blog?), they got to their hide site and got caught by a animal herding kid, and got chased across northern Iraq by the Revolutionary Guard ending with three dead, 4 captured, and one escaping. And when and where this is usually taught, you learn not to do what they did.

So here we were. 6 man team, young animal herder hostile village. It’s unethical to kill the guy just as it was for B2-0 to kill that kid; hell, it’s his backyard. By the look on his face when he made his way up the mountain he didn’t know who we were. But we can’t stay here, and he can’t go home. At least not yet. Time pack it up- somebody who loves Johnny Camel jockey here is going to come looking for him, despite how cooperative he may be. We packed up, we moved down the mountain. We bugged out to out pre-planned 2 hour RV ( a preplanned rendevouz site where a team remains for 2 hours, along with a 12 hour and 24 hour RV site to accompany the plan each moving towards friendly lines) withing our DAR (Designated Area of Recovery- area of operations that the team has pre-planned to move within in case of compromise) with Junior here, flexcuffed, in tow, along with his goats, because, it’d be pretty messed up that this guy was compliant and we shooed off his herd. Plus with him up front and a big dusty pack of animals, it’d look more normal to distant passer-bys. We got to the RV, our extraction team was en-route, and we gave the guy a Happy Meal (our nickname for the boxed Halal meals) and we all went home happy with our heads still attached.

The point is that ‘bugouts’ as most fantasize simply aren’t going to happen. Even the best of the best, as the SAS example demonstrates, shows that under duress even the best trained screw up, and those screw ups cost lives. The plan and alternate plan (the “P” and the “A” of PACE) are critical, along with astute land navigation skills. For civilians, this should be only taught either from military trained combat-types or those committed to Search and Rescue, such as CAP. You should plan where you’re going and have the ability to coordinate with those to come pick you up- because if you’re bugging out, the world is already sideways Francis and nothing is going to go according to a rigid plan. That bag full-a-stuff is not going to do you much good if you don’t have the skills to back them up.

But if you want an idea of some of the things you should carry in a last-ditch evasion signal kit, take a look at this old post (which contained most of the stuff I was carrying minus the blood chit) and this one for an idea of the basics of hard-use knives. That tattered old Ontario Airman pictured was on my hip as it usually was in Iraq and Afghanistan.  They were all on my body, because the plan for ‘bugging out’ while being shot at always includes piling up your heavy rucks full of sensitive stuff…and blowing them up.

78 thoughts on ““You’re Bugging Out, Man”

  1. And there you go. Good stuff! There are plenty of times and reasons to “bug out”. Most of my big issues are around people not having somewhere to go TO ( and “the woods” does NOT count), and then in conjunction with that, they severely underestimate what all they’ll need to get there and how long it will take them.
    Now, having been the exact same “survivalist” kid as you and JC (only in the 80s), and growing up spending as much time as physically possible in the woods with my .22 rifle and black & white US Cavalry mail order catalog survival knife, waiting for either Red Dawn to become a reality or a hurricane to hit (both were equally likely in my mind at the time seeing as though we tend to get those here in FL and also have no shortage of important military bases/facilities), I’m going to go and sit down and feel old somewhere. 😉

    1. Awww bro US Cavalry! That and BQ used to be gold around my house growing up…never could get anything from it, but always thought everything was so cool! Then I went in the Army and learned how NOT cool most of the stuff market *official issue* really was. 🙂

      1. Right?! LoL! Yeah, BQ was another staple. Again though, I had the early black & white US Cav catalog. You had to actually fill out the little order form, mail it in (which took a couple of weeks to get there), then wait for it to be processed, and then shipped to you 6-8 weeks later. When the color catalogs came out….whoooo boy, talk about crazy cool! Kids these days just have no idea with amazon/ebay and next day shipping, etc..
        And yeah, about half way through basic (1991), I realized I had a bunch of stuff that was getting sold as soon as I got back home…….

      2. My cousin used to get a catalog (more like a newspaper) back in that era, or maybe the later 90s, called FAC. Have no idea what that stood for, but they had SMOKING deals on FALs back then. I was cleaning out a building and saw an old copy of it- complete Imbel kits for $400. I used to drool over those too. Do you remember that one?

      3. Kindergarten. You young whipper snappers….grumble grumble….get off my lawn!! Oh, wait, sorry… I’ll be over here in my rocking chair drinking my whiskey & prune juice with JCD (he’s even older than me!! 😲).


      4. Hmmmm. FAC doesn’t ring a bell. Could just be my CRS disease though. Between USC, BQ, and Soldier of Fortune magazine, I was pretty well covered.

      5. True story…I did have a recurring subscription to SOF from August 96 until it went digital. The first issue I got had a Colombian Gunner crew on the cover and said “Pray and Spray”.

        That was back in the days that SOF rocked.

      6. Bro, when BQ folded up shop, the deals were absolutely insane. Insane. I’m still kicking myself for not picking up Wigwam socks for $1/pair. At one point they had OEM Glock mags on sale for like $8 bucks.

      7. Still have the first issue of SoF I bought in ’78. And all my issues of Survive (fist one was Fall ’81), Survival Guide/American Survival Guide, and SoF. As to age……. I still train with 120 lbs (40/80 and that’s just in training) when I ruck and give the “Bushbastard” test (they have to carry 60 lbs total for three miles in one hour), so I’m doing OK for an old guy……

      8. Absolutely Brother.

        It’s sad to see how SOF dropped off once Col Hack passed on. A lot of the good contributors went away about that time.

      9. flighterdoc

        Heh. Old school was a guy in So Cal (Costa Mesa?) named Ken Nolan (I think it was)….. He sold some odd stuff (I think I still have the bottle of insignia lacquer to blacken up scratched metallic insignia). Also a hat block to keep USMC fatigue covers nice and pointy….

  2. That’s an actual, real world bug out, the likes of which most won’t ever experience. We had those plans when I did my short stints with LRS in RC South.

    When I “became a prepper”, I focused a lot on my bug out bag (BOB) and ones for my family members, and I found that they weren’t true BOBs. In my opinion, most preppers don’t need a BOB. They need a “get home bag”, or GHB.

    I believe that number one on a prepping priority list is shelter. You need to obtain shelter in a location that you will only bug out from in the most dire of circumstances (house burning down, overrun by a horde of marauders, etc. The fantasy of running off and living in the woods forever is just that, a fantasy. Shelter is number one. In my case, that meant buying acreage and a house a few miles outside of a rural town of about 400 people, on land that will grow food with “neighbors” that share the same basic values I do. Now, my GHB comes into play…

    That GHB is made to get me from wherever I am at the moment, back to my house in three days or less without me showing up bleeding, starving, dehydrated, sunburnt to a crisp, shot full of holes, robbed blind, lost for the majority of my trip, feet falling off from wearing the same socks the whole time, devoured by mosquitos and sick from having drunk pond scum water. In other words, I should make it back home in relatively decent health and condition and not requiring a week of rest and healing.

    On the occasion that I do get someone asking what type of gear they should pack for their BOB, I usually observe that what they really need is a GHB.

    1. RC South….I know that place 😉

      As for the GHB vs BOB…you’re right. Although shelter is another topic (which I had started a post on some time ago and stopped for a reason…but need to revise and post) for most planning on extended stays its a must- with a good poncho to make a Ranger hooch paired with a space blanket covering multiple bases.

  3. Great topic for discussion NCScout. I am looking forward reading what others write.

    There are several different “bug Out” scenarios that need to be addressed. Some make sense, while others will be a long drawn out death sentence.

    Scenario One:
    My BOL (Bug Out Location) is located X miles from my home base. How will I get there via route, one, two, or three? Then how much stuff do I need plus a margin for safety to get there. Last but most important – Can the folks in my party make the trip if we are forced to “force march” to the BOL?

    My brother’s “tongue in cheek plan” when it is time to flee to the BOL, is to tell his mother in-law that he and the family are just going over to the 7-11 and then hit the road. His theory is that it will take days to realize that the family is gone. Although I know he is joking it is a reality you/we must come to.

    Scenario Two:
    I travel a lot so what do I carry in a BOB to get me home and/or to my BOL?

    Again, you need to calculate the distance to be covered and plan on that trip plus some margin of error. Plus, you should think about the States you will be traveling in and what you can legally carry. Firearms would be a big No-no in New Jersey, New York, or Maryland which comes immediately to mind. Other states you could keep a break down Ruger 10/22 in your vehicle at all times with the thought of using along with your CCW weapon to get home.

    One thought here, I wonder if along with a BOB carried in your vehicle you might also think about carrying a fold down bicycle. Pedaling will get one a lot farther in a day than hoofing it.

    Scenario Three:
    This is where you are lazy, selfish, and have little understanding of what it takes to just grab your BOB and hoof it off into the woods and think you will survive. Doing this for fun in my youth I totally understand that it would be a prolonged death sentence of sustenance living and/or being hunted for whatever perceived reason if you run into the wrong folks.

    In each scenario, you need to pack for the specific exercise and understand that an hour into your trek the original plan will change as we read in NCScout’s Sandbox example.

    Last let me touch on a subject that will turn off most of you – Physical Fitness! There is no way you will reach your goal in any of these scenario’s without being in half way decent shape. I am close to my perfect weight at 61 and I do a lot of physical work around the redoubt here. I run circles around many 25-year old’s that come to the redoubt HOWEVER I know I am not in good enough shape to carry any pack over 20 pounds or so for a long haul. Therefore, my Scenario Two bag weighs right around that weight.

    Again, good stuff and I am looking to read what others add.

    1. Each of those kinda rely more on the community- but this is something that requires a bit more than a comment to explain. Don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m not interested in “what XXXXX would do”. That opens the door to lots of never-has-beens bestowing their ill-begotten wisdom.

      What I will say is that the RV points and DAR that I mentioned are ABSOLUTELY critical to any sort of success.

      For that reason I, like everyone professionally trained, deal in concepts and skill sets rather than hypothetical “what ifs”. A post has been needed for a hot minute now on land navigation- as is planning the DAR and RVs beyond “I gotta get from A to B!” It takes more than just a bubba and a pack.

      1. To add to the navigation comment by NCSout: Who belongs to AAA (American Automobile Association)? It is a start and a good place to start in getting free maps. Many maps show RR tracks too 😉 which is a good way to go from point A to B and then to point C.

        The negative side of that is, how many folks know how to navigate via a compass and a map or chart? I would bet it is limited.

        Funny story…My XYL and I have lived in the sailing world for a decade plus. Our sailboat Mad Max, was ready to sail at any time/day to escape a SHTF event into the blue waters of the Pacific or Atlantic.

        Anyway at the time of this little story I was working as a Store Manager of a West Marine store in Marina del Rey, California when one Saturday a guy strolled in with a AAA map asking me,

        “I just bought a 45 foot XYZ and my family and I are getting ready to shove off and go to Catalina Island.”

        At this point he started to unwind a AAA map and show me with his fingers how he wanted to leave MDR and go ~35 miles to Avalon, CA. “how do I get there?”

        It took all of the control in me to not tell the guy he was a walking accident…A Darwin’s wet dream. He had no understanding of magnetic north from just pointing towards the north. The idea of currents or even depths as he left the harbor or approached Avalon. He and his family was a walking Six O’clock Eye Witness news note on that nights news.

        So…How are you in finding your way home, to your BOL around a big lake, town or city? There maybe no freaken GPS. Many folks do not know their east from west or south from north.

        Now that I have pointed out this little matter, how can you brush up on your navigation skills? There are plenty of books out there (Think Boy Scouts) plus many classes that you can take from local businesses, e.g. REI, EMS, etc.

        All good stuff…

      2. flighterdoc

        In addition to road maps from AAA, the DeLorme Gazetter series of topographic maps in books for each state are pretty much outstanding…each book is around $20 or so

        And it is possible to download (for free) .pdf files of individual topographic maps in different scales for the areas that interest you…you can print them out on your printer and tape them together (less ideal) or take or send them to a Staples or Office Depot and have them printed on a large-format printer (plotter). I’d recommend getting at least one on tyvek waterproof paper.

  4. PsyOp

    good post on a misunderstood concept…..Of course if one reads & believes, the dystopian fantasy books about the world going to hell, then hell yes, gotta have that all important ruck/duffel bag chocked full of all manner of things to survive….uh huh…

    As a young troop i along with most anyone who has experienced the joys of survival week out in the Uwharrie will tell you, it sucked in one way or another….

    basically It goes like this: you get some classroom/camp training on various things/kill classes/snares/traps/shelter usually taught by the NCO’s or qualified civies, ours was all NCO’s.

    1st line gear sorted out, isolation and inspection to make sure folks did not take anything extra than what were supposed to have.

    If my failing memory is correct it looked this:
    fatigues, the ones you were wearing, in my case OD slant pocket jungles
    jungle boots/socks, one pair
    hat, patrol
    LBE w 2 canteens & cup/s
    book of matches
    small pad for notes of AO, journal. etc
    50ft of 550
    knife (mine was k-bar)
    2 ponchos
    a live rabbit or chicken, (mine was chicken) remains to be used for the tasks were given.

    then loaded onto the cattle car, driven thru the Uwharrie and kicked out to begin the process of survival. HAD to have a fire, each night, period. I cheated and smuggled said magnesium bar in the only place available, yup, popped that bitch out my arse and had a fire going in my Dakota hole in no time, every day i was out there…

    Built a debris hooch, (funny story about my not smoking/checking my hooch for creepy crawlies) log firewall, setting up traps/snares, tied up stupid chicken and settled into a routine of being cold, wet,damp, (late fall/early winter for me) tired, hungry, and hallucinating,scrounging for food, eating out of trash cans, avoiding other students, at least not getting caught, and completing the many tasks required to pass…

    It sucked, but i passed…..

    to the folks that think it is easy, let’s get you kitted out and drop you off in the boonies for a week…i learned it’s all about attitude, skills and knowledge, not stuff….

    now, in my 50’s, married, w 4 grandkids, self employed, wifes son and his family here in Charlotte, and a wonderful home and life, if i am bugging out, it is because of a fire or forced evac of some kind. I am not voluntarily leaving my home, and all i have here to help my, and my families survival however short or long term it may be.

    We are the prepared ones in the group, not to mention, no one will survive very long alone, as we need support and a community, which we have been actively building/cementing relationships.

    Now, what each of us has, is a GHB, mine is more stocked than wifeys, as she does not travel like i do…Also, i go off into WNC/VA/TN to camp & stalk trout often and never know when something may happen and i need to shelter in place/provide aid/etc…In it i have all i need for multiple days, can add layers at will…..If i am hitting the road with my GHB, then if has hit the fan…

    btw…obviously glad you and the guys made it, classic example of no plan survives first contact….

  5. Name Omitted

    Good info and great perspective. Some of the principals you mentioned remind me of my woods education bestowed on me by my brother and the cadre at USAF Survival School.

    With regard to a GHB, I would need to figure out how to get a boat in mine since I have a river and a few creeks between work and home!

    1. The basics of personnel recovery are pretty much standard across the services. Being a cadre there I know he has tons of fun!

      There’s a lot of cool stuff people do with PVC on small boats and kayaks- cache tubes fit the bill really well from some of my friends who kayak a lot more than I.

      1. Dude, if you don’t have a Kayak you are missing the hell out!

        I have a great story about the “one that got away” because shit-for-brains here forgot to secure the lid to the bucket I was using for a live well.

        I heard a splash, and knew at that instant I soup-sammiched the whole setup.

  6. flighterdoc

    When I lived and worked in Los Angeles, the BoB was just to get home…which was more than 50 miles away, across urban Los Angeles, and across a mountain range. I figured 3-5 days to get home. My wife worked about the same distance, in another direction. Our plan was to try and meet up at a location with a cache.

    When I worked in LA but lived in N. Arizona, the BoB was to get me to caches I set up in you-store it lockers…with sufficient food, water, and even a bicycle to allow me to cross the desert (think I-40)…It might take me three weeks, but I had a plan. My wife stayed in Arizona

    Now, I plan on not having to bug out, because I’m home, and home is where the food and defenses are, along with few threats.

    1. Flighterdoc;

      Caches are a great idea however keep in mind that planned route “A” may change into planned route “B”. So obviously it might make sense to have a cache along alternate routes too.

      I would be curious where did you keep your caches along your route (s). Friends house? Rented Storage space? Buried?


      1. flighterdoc

        A couple (in the city) were rented storage spaces…expensive as hell (roughly $100/mo per). I also left some stuff at a relatives house (route Charlie), and a buried cache near an old Nike missile site (not too near it).

        We had one (each) near our jobs that were designed as 2-week fallout shelters, with shielding made from concrete bags and 4×4’s. Not comfortable but it would work.

        The ones out in the desert were mostly rented (again, $$$).

        Refreshing them all was also expensive (replacing food, water, meds, batteries, etc).

        I had what I thought was clever camouflage for them. I’d get some junk furniture from curbside, yard sales, etc and sort of build a wall in the very front of the storage space, making it look like it was just full of crap.

        And our BoB’s were in the cars, with sufficient clothes that we could change out of work (professional) clothes, put on boots, and go. We also would discard any equipment that we would not need based on the season, etc…to lighten the packs. My fully loaded BoB was around 70# which I would not plan on carrying without lightening.

        These days I have a daypack and a couple of bottles of water. All I need.

  7. Stating this as an ultralight-backpacker, and general hiking fool…

    …I would rather be kicked, repeatedly, in the Jimmy, than be forced to BO on foot during any type of disaster.

    If a Prepper has Bugging Out as his or her primary plan for emergency preparedness, said individual should really reconsider his or her personal situation, and correct the shortcomings accordingly.

    1. Yep. That was kinda the underscore of the whole post, that it’s a “I either leave now or I die” deal.

      The “BOB” phenomenon stems from a) suburbia aware of unsustainability however not rectifying it now and b) materialism in a vain attempt to overcome point a.

      1. Absolutely.

        Regarding a): Suburbanites need to read your last writeup, and leverage what they have: community. If their community sucks, then it’s time for some self-reflection and to make the necessary changes based on their personal situation. (Hint: a BOB is nowhere near the top of the list.)

        b) Everyone needs to start somewhere, I suppose. I reckon we can look at the BOB as the gateway drug to actual meaningful, self-reliance. 😎

      2. lineman

        Amen on that Brother and I think people on here know my thoughts on the matter and my offer still stands…

    2. flighterdoc

      Once you are bugging out, you are a refugee.

      It’s not good to be a refugee, anywhere, any time.

      Better to have better plans, starting with the best: DONT BE THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

      1. Absolutely.

        If you remember the wildfires in the Smokies/Gatlinburg last year, some of the dash cam videos released indicate my idea of a BO. That was some nasty business.

  8. PsyOp

    I think there needs to be a distinction between a tactical bug out or fall back to RV/rally point and a non tactical get back to home setting….

    The former presupposes that an individual/group like your dirtbox foray is on a mission of some kind, to find and fix the enemy perhaps/ambush/etc., and for whatever reason “it,” has gone south and you need to move to pre-planned rally/rv points for extraction/supplies/whatever…This piece is already part of the overall mission plan/parameters and all parties will know this BEFORE an issue arises, and EVERYONE in said group knows the details, etc. Not to mention, .mil/uncle sugar will be providing LOGISTICS….

    .civ in most cases (non-wrol) will not be part of a tactial tommy forary, working with other tactommies and most likely by ones self or perhaps w friends/family members.

    For myself, that means i am either on the road traveling to a client site, downtown Charlotte perhaps, at the client site, or generically traveling, say to Hilton Head w wifey, or to the mountains to go camp/fish, in my well equipped suv, w/trunk box full of shit, and various pieces of kit designed to sustain me/us for several days of shelter, food, clothes, first aid, h2o, etc….add in any camping/commo gear, and i can stay in place for awhile as the “event,” ice storm, major electrical outage, whatever, sorts itself out…then i can make my home via motorized transport.

    I keep old fashioned maps, of all kinds, know how to read em too…GPS verifies what i am seeing on the ground and on the map, that is all…

    Anyone who has been on a commo ftx or fishing trip with me, knows what i carry at all times in my suv and on my person and what the plan is in case of emergency.

    What if, it is a big event, say chinese, martian paratroopers automagically descend around charlotte, where the hell am i going to go bug out to? Yes, we have friends who live waaay outside the charlotte region, and have agreed upon plans to head their way if need be, but that won’t be happening on foot.

    The entire notion of bugging out as most US preppers perceive is misguided, as both FerFal and more seriously Selco have demonstrated. If it truly descends into a Balkan type event, or some national calamity, like NK nukes/emps, then all bets are off and unless you are at your bug out location, then you most likely are not going to get there, before someone else does.

    So, to sum it up, are plans necessary for making ones way home, yes….does this include cache sites, maybe, assuming you can get to them, and they are on your PACE routes, but what if they aren’t? then what? you have what you have in your auto, then on your back….

    My plans while traveling, the most likely event for me, include heading to my buddies places, getting sorted, gathering info, and making other plans or simply hunkering down in a discreet place as possible, and then making another plan as things unfold.

    Like i mentioned before, there are few reasons for us to leave the Brighton Bunker, other than fire/forced evac….in that case, i head to my storage facility, gather kit, and go from there…..

    otherwise, my ass is not hauling the kitchen sink to some magical BOL to endure whatever comes our way….

    poppycock imho….

  9. flighterdoc

    I always figured there are two **good** times to bug out: Either before everyone else does (beat the rush, have lots of chances to buy gas, etc) or after the first die-off occurs.

    The trouble with waiting is two-fold: Surviving through that period, and knowing when enough of the troublemakers have died to give you a decent chance. Not all the troublemakers will die off, of course, and hopefully it will take time for the surviving assholes to coalesce.

    Good luck with plan B, in any case.

  10. PsyOp

    “For 99% of folks, they’re not going to know.”

    the magic indicators..when, where and how….

    Just like before a fight, there are pre-fight indicators, if one knows what to look for, otherwise you hear: “I never saw it coming…” duh….hands kill baby….

    that said, what are the magic indicators?

    Me thinks besides the obvious like: 911 style attack/s, chemical spills, fires and other calamitous events, i look towards other things, some of which has already occurred at least regionally…

    EBT/SNAP card outages…if you live in a city w high ebt/snap card recipients, then it can be on in no time. bug out worthy? maybe…

    Wide scale power outages, let the looting/riots begin. Is it bug out worthy? maybe not…

    Major weather events, think Katrina, yeah that was a bug out worthy scenario for many folks..at least there was ample warning….

    We haven’t gotten to the dystopian prepper worthy stuff, like UN invasions, asteroids, emp/cme strikes, financial collapse ala Argentina/Venezuela or civil war like Bosnia, etc…

    let us not forget the rogue guvco takeover, tanks in the streets, etc…Was Boston a bug out worthy event? i don’t think so, but set a precedent for .gov to do whatever the hell they wanted to the citizens….same thing in NoLa…..

    People ask me at times, what my triggers/trip wires are: one is Trucks Stoppages of a major regional/national kind for when the trucks stop, everything does, for the most part…

    Doesn’t matter why they stop really, as the law of unintended consequences comes into play, and shazam, the following occurs in short order, courtesy of:


    Significant shortages will occur in as little as three days, especially for perishable items following a national emergency and a ban on truck traffic.
    Consumer fear and panic will exacerbate shortages
    Supplies of clean drinking water will run dry in two to four weeks.
    Without truck transportation, patient care within the truck stoppage zone will be immediately jeopardized
    If an incident of national significance produces mass injuries, truck transportation is the key to delivering urgently needed medical supplies necessary to save lives.
    Hospitals and nursing homes will exhaust food supplies in as little as 24 hours
    Pharmacy stocks of prescription drugs will be depleted quickly.
    Service station fuel supplies will start to run out in just one to two days
    Air, rail and maritime transportation will be disrupted.
    A fuel shortage will create secondary effects.
    Within days of a truck stoppage, Americans will be literally buried in garbage with serious health and environmental consequences.
    Uncollected and deteriorating waste products create rich breeding grounds for microorganisms, insects, and other vermin.
    Replenishment of goods will be disrupted.
    Consumer behavior during emergencies triples the rate of inventory turn-over
    Just-in-time manufacturers will shut down assembly lines within hours
    ATM and branch bank cash resources will be exhausted quickly
    Small and medium-size businesses will lose access to cash.
    Regular bank functions will cease.

    So for me, major truck stoppages are what i call a clue and of course the precursor events too….

    I suppose this is preaching to the choir, but once the eyes/mid are opened, it is damn tough to unlearn things once they become known things, and then one has to admit the problem exists and take action, or not, and to plan for and defend against, as much as possible, the event/s..

    Great topic, love reading the various perspectives and responses/plans….

  11. This post got the gears turning about the Survivalist/Prepper elephant in the room…

    …Grid-Down community logistics.

    I’m not a logistician, and my experience regarding supply-chain TTPs is pretty slender; beyond that, it’s just about the most unsexy topic under the aegis of Survivalism writ large.

    When we get to the discussion of things like BOBs/Individual loadouts/Caches, there is always the specter of sustainment looming in the darkness behind us.

    It’s a difficult nut to crack, and I sure as hell don’t have any good solutions to the supply line problem absent the current supporting infrastructure.

    Ain’t nobody gonna be dropping speedballs for us!

    Not trying to get too far in the weeds, but thought I’d chum the discussion waters.

    Between the topic of Bugging Out, and a particular radio supply vendor taking a painfully lengthy time moving some goodies from the west coast down here to Dixie, under optimum circumstances, my thoughts wandered to one of my two biggest Grid-Down fears: Supply movement.

    The other one is, “Backwoods Dentistry.”

    An abcessed tooth on an extended foot-borne adventure would fold this fella’ s tent up Ricky-Tick!

    1. Growing up there was a trailer at the top of the dead end road I lived on. One night the family living there was performing a tooth extraction in the front yard while I rode my bike by.

      That was the first time I saw something like that, and it hit me that I actually had it pretty good.

      “Where There Is No Dentist” is a good reference to have on hand, but not replacing someone that’s got dental experience.

      1. It wasn’t anything new to them. A pint of Evan Williams and a pair of needlenose pliers, put a paper towel in your mouth for the blood.

      2. I have a few dental reference books, chief among them is “Where there is no Dentist”. I also bought all three tooth extraction pliers (different area uses in the mouth), and a number of “Emergency Dental Kits to at least ease some suffering till a permanent fix can be applied.

    2. One of the courses I took while still in was the Supply course. The primary reason was because an old school SF guy I know told me that when they had down time they didnt study tactics, they studied logistics and organization.

      1. Exactly. And one thing that I tell prepper/survivalist/militia-types that I meet or talk to is that YOU DO NOT HAVE AN ARMY BEHIND YOU.

        One extended contact, provided you survive it, with a ‘spray n’ pray’ attitude, can easily wipe out an ammunition reserve for a guerrilla band. One casualty, even minor, can easily overwhelm and nullify a force’s capability both in the offense and defense.

        And this is usually not the answer any of the above want to hear.

      2. One of the reasons I teach my students to meter their fire (about one round every two to three seconds. This is in between “sustained” and “Semi automatic” fire in the “rates of fire” tables put out for Infantry). My reasoning for this is, 1. We don’t logistically have the ability to “spray and pray” without it affecting our long term logistics and weapons capability (and yes, I know no one thinks “long term” during a fire fight, and it’s why training that way is important). 2. If you train that way, you give yourself the ability to make your fire more accurate and effective, because you aren’t “spraying and praying” (take your time in a hurry!) and hoping you hit something 3. Accurate incoming fire has a more permanent effect on bad guys than a bunch of obvious near misses (as Survivalists, we can’t subscribe to the military axiom of ” a wounded combatant is more desireable than a dead one”). That’s the mantra of a group with a large logistics support base, and that’s not us.

      3. flighterdoc

        The same principal applies to caring for wounded.

        Too many folks think that if they get a CLS bag, they’re going to save people just like the Army does.

        The Army devotes a huge portion of it’s logistics capability to caring for wounded: Dedicated medivac aircraft, field surgical teams, hospitals in country, evac to major treatment centers OCONUS, etc…

        The typical freedom fighter has what? A poncho and a hole in the ground?

        I don’t have the answer to the problem (at least for everyone). I do have some like-minded professional colleagues that might make a difference here. I suggest that everyone find a solution that works for them.

      4. One answer to that question is each man carrying on his person at least two tourniquets, a compression dressing, an NPA, and a space blanket.

        Along with tape to secure it all, this comprises the IFAK, whcih is used on no one but you.

      5. flighterdoc

        That will keep people alive for a little while longer than they would otherwise. It’s not going to keep them alive until tomorrow, though: If they need a TQ, they need serious and long-term medical treatment – i.e. a hospital.

        I’m not saying don’t carry an IFAK. But an IFAK, or a CLS bag, or someone who has some very basic level of medical training (EMT, vet assistant, RN who’s worked in a physicians office for 30 years, etc) isn’t going to do anything but decide ‘officially’ when the wounded are dead.

        The US Military has an incredible record of saving combat wounded: 92% or more of combat wounded make it home alive (not that a few of those wounded don’t die in the US). The use of TQs, chest decompression, clotting agents, heat wraps, has done so much for saving lives that new technologies are really going after rare fruit indeed.

        But the reason 92% make it home alive is because of the medical treatment and evacuation chain, not because somebody got a TQ. The TQ just allows the casualty to get into the chain in the first place.

        Where are the evacuation (ground or air) resources? Where are the casualty staging points and aid stations? Where are the casualties going to go to get fixed? And once fixed, where will they go to get rehabbed?

        People who don’t work in hospitals generally have little appreciation for the sheer volume of materials it takes to keep a hospital (or even an aid station) operating for a day. I can fill up one of the big rubbermade trash cans (the 90 gallon ones) working on a single bad trauma in my ED, and thats after they get brought to me.

        Logistics is the key to survival, in many regards.

      6. You’re right, and I have a HUGE amount of experience with all of the above.

        Part of it I’ve addressed before, and some of it is outside the scope of what I’m discussing here.

      7. Talking about logistics, I have a interesting story to share.

        I had a District Manager who worked for me who had retired from the Marine Corps. While in the Corps he was a officer in his divisions logistics section. He like all folks in the military had some great stories.

        Anyway one day we were driving from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia looking at future store sites when we came up to the exit for Gettysburg. I took it and said, “lets take a break and visit for an hour or two.” He readily agreed. We stopped at the site of Pickets Charge and sat at a picnic table under the shade of a tree.

        Well this Marine started to ask me questions like:
        > How do you feed 100,000 men? “Do you think they take a food order and go out to McDonalds?” Logistics!
        > “How do you make sure that 100,000 men take a dump in latrine rather than where ever they drop their pants?” Logistics!
        > “How do you see to the wounded of countless senseless charges?” Logistics!
        > “How do you resupply the men on the line?” Logistics!

        Anyhow, this questioning went along these lines for fifteen or so minutes with each question ending in him stating “logistics!” Well I looked up and there was several family’s standing off to the side listening intently to what he was saying.

        He noticed the crowd too and asked if anybody had any questions. Some did.

        We got back in the car and started back to the Turnpike when he said, “More battles have been lost due to poor logistics, to support the battle plan, than any other excuse.”

      8. When it comes to large group logistics, look at some of the YouTube Civil War seminars (more convenient than reading a book about it) and listen to what they have to say about how many Brigades were tasked with just foraging supplies and food for the rest of the Confederate Army on their way to, and at Gettysburg

  12. flighterdoc
    1. $300?????????

      Sometimes being an honest man doesn’t pay the bills. I could sell that snake oil like the ‘tacticool’ folks and make a fortune.

      Maybe I should, just because.

      1. flighterdoc

        Curse those morals that keep us from doing stuff like that….

        For Want of a Nail
        For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
        For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
        For want of a horse the rider was lost.
        For want of a rider the message was lost.
        For want of a message the battle was lost.
        For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
        And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

        Amateurs study tactics.

        Generals study logistics.

  13. Homer

    I grew up on SOF and BQ in the 80’s. Lost money to parallax when they went out of business. Man I’m old. Wolverines!!!! Lol

  14. Homer

    About 10 yrs ago my mother had a mastectomy due to breast cancer. I had to do the dressing changes on the site every morning. I was amazed at how many bandages, tape and rubber gloves I went thru every day. It all adds up fast.

Comments are closed.