Wednesday, June 11, 2014

When there’s no other choice: Bugging Out on Foot

 Boots, backpack, stroller and umbrella. Bugging Out on foot isnt something most people look forward to but sometimes you dont have a choice

A poster made the following comment in a survival forum recently and it caught my attention:

I don't mean that BO on foot wouldn't be challenging - it most certainly would be challenging, far more challenging than most here realize. Hell, I remember the 20 mile ruck marches from the military days... I hated that shit, and I was in pretty good shape back then. But that's not my point.

My point is that BO on foot is *extremely* unlikely. There aren't many remotely plausible scenarios that would force most people to BO on foot, yet most peoples' BOBs appear to be geared exactly towards that scenario. When I see people starting threads about how to BO with their infant child and three other kids on foot - and see their family BOBs geared towards camping in the woods - I just have to groan and roll my eyes. It's not happening. You're going by vehicle or not at all.

While whenever possible bugging out with a vehicle is clearly the best choice you still need the gear and physical ability to bug out on foot if ever needed. The way I see it, bugging out on foot would be a worst case scenario and preparedness is about being ready for the worst case scenario. I agree that it is unlikely, even within the already unlikely event of being forced to BO to being with. Ideally (in spite of the shtf event), I would have my vehicle to move us around and get us from point A to B, but a worst case scenario would be not having a vehicle so that’s also something I plan for. This brings up a boatload of issues, the main one of course being fitness and overcoming problems individuals may have (do you have a child that cant walk for long? anyone with disabilities in the family?, etc). Here I'm looking at it as a matter of getting from one point to another. It may be going from work/broken down vehicle back home, or leaving home and evacuating to another city, or leaving home and walking towards somewhere else either a) BOL b) location where further transportation is available. You just need a way of getting there on foot, and the massive backpackers bag mentality is not always the best way to go about it.

Going light is the main priority. In most cases you can get back home after walking a day or two. Further away distances sure are challenging but it can be done. Bikes help, A LOT. While bugging out on foot isnt the stuff we look forward to, it makes sense to at least have the plan in case of such a worst case scenario, but also because it brings up an often overlooked yet key aspect about survival and well-being in general: Fitness. You have to be fit to BO on foot, but more than that being fit both helps to prevent the main causes of early death such as CVD (hows that for survival) and it is a key factor in happiness and well-being when not struggling for survival and simply enjoying life. I'm not talking about being a gym rat, I'm talking about being fit, eating healthy and staying within your weight.

For most people, a good BOB bag should be little other than 2L of water, a change of clothes including broken-in hiking shoes, a handgun and a good amount of cash. Water and adequate shoes alone allow you to walk back home if you can get there in two or three days, and you can make that 4 or 5 with a few power and protein bars, a filter and a source of water. In most cases you dont need a stove and extra food other than a few energy bars. In general you dont need a tent and sleeping bag which will only add extra weight and slow you down. A USB with your important documents can make life MUCH easier if things go wrong. In this day and age, a spare smartphone, charging cable and solar charger make sense too. Money can get you shelter, transportation, food, and probably all that other stuff you shouldnt be carrying around in the first place.



Unknown said...

"Better safe than sorry" - However this woman had the option of being a refugee, or bugging in. So what where here options really, going to Iraq, Lebanon, or a refugee in Turkey. It is a tough choice, and non of us can crises her for her decision. Resman

Anonymous said...

Also surprised nobodies mentioned that you will be forced to bugout on foot across a national border.

In emergencies the border may be closed, require many bribes to get through (bandits as well as corrupt cops) or if your a dissident or wanted by police, they will be looking for you at border crossings.

Also during wartime or economic collapse, there will be criminals specifically targeting refugees and robbing them not to mention the real risk of rape. Reinforcing the importance of having a handgun.