You’ve probably heard the term “bug out” before. You may have even heard of a bug out bag and how important they are to have. But what does that really mean? What does it mean to bug out? You’re about to find out.
Bug out quite literally means to leave quickly. Imagine you get an alert on your phone that a hurricane is headed your way in several hours. You will bug out. You will leave your home as fast as you can. If you’re fighting on the front lines and the enemy approaches – bug out. Leave your post and retreat quickly. This term is often used in survival situations because there are many scenarios where you may be forced to bug out.
Natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, blizzards etc. can force you, and your family, to leave the area quickly. Other scenarios that compromise your safety and health, such as violent protests, increased crime, lack of sanitation or electricity, may be another reason to leave the area quickly. You may only have days, or even hours, to bug out. This is way it is imperative to not only have a bug out bag but a bug out plan as well.
Bug Out Bag
A bug out bag is essentially a collection of items you would need in a bug out situation. If you are forced to leave your home there are certain materials, tools, and other items that you should be sure to have with you. Find the specifics, and more details, here. The fundamentals of a bug out bag are to have the basic survival items on hand: food, water, lighting/warmth, first aid supplies, tools, and important documents. Again, this bag is for the moments when you know you cannot stay where you are and you need so quickly and efficiently gather survival items so you can leave as soon as possible.
Bug Out Plan
Having a bug out plan is also something you should consider. What would you do if there is civil unrest in your area? Imagine people start to protest and the police get involved. It begins to turn violent and you know you and your family are no longer safe in your neighborhood. What is the plan? Where will you go and how will you get there? This is the kind of situation you may want to prepare for ahead of time. Having a bug out plan is for those unexpected moments where you will need to leave immediately. Having a predetermined plan will help this go smoothly as opposed to being scary, chaotic, and messy.
When planning a bug out route you will want to keep several things in mind. First, consider the traffic. If the majority of your surrounding neighbors are also leaving then you know you’ll encounter a lot of traffic. Have several different routes available. You may encounter road closures or checkpoints. If this occurs you will be glad you have the knowledge of alternate routes.
You should also consider your end destination. Where are you headed? If the emergency is only in your neighborhood or county do you have access to a secure location in your same state? If your entire state is in jeopardy where can you go, quickly, that will help you remain safe? You may need to be traveling by car as airports may or may not be shut down. Have a plan for numerous situations. You will also need to make a decision quickly. The longer you wait to decide where you are going to more people you are likely to encounter on the roads.
Survivalist often disagree about whether or not bugging out should be discussed openly. Some survivalists believe that it should be talked about due to the fact that the more it’s discussed the more knowledge people will have about it. They believe it will help spread the idea of preparedness. Other survivalists believe it should be kept private. In a bug out situation their safety is their number one priority. They often worry that if people know they have a bug out bag and a plan that they might have a line outside their front door for help or handouts. Whether you decide to openly discuss your plans or to keep it private is totally up to you. Just be sure you are ready to bug out whenever necessary.