I can think of a worse case scenario, but it involves a wedding.
I live where I'm going to die, so land navigation isn't a top concern, even though I've got maps, compasses, and everything but a 2nd LT.
ATV with an oversized fuel tank,a boat an ultralight or a hot air balloon, take them as suggestions.
First off forget the highways. Either get above the road, around the road or use the river.
I recently picked up a used snowmachine that in a pinch will work as a bug out device. Out of most disaster scene movies trail bikes win the day.
So unless you have a Sikorsky Skycrane at your disposal to bring you car along and to get past the massive fleeing orgy of crazed armed soccer moms I would forget about using the roads, plan on living where you can use a river, or better yet a swamp with an airboat, even zombies fear crocs.
I still think the whole “bug out” idea is suicide, unless you are willing/able to do it via the back country on horseback.
The first 3% might get out before some clown with a near-empty tank runs out on the road ahead of you and you are trapped - open and vulnerable, prime pickings for people on foot or atv’s who are searching for supplies.
You don’t have to speculate what would happen during a mass bug-out. Just go back and look at the Katrina evacuation. Remember all the people who ran out of gas on the highway and blocked the entire road for hours?
Gridlock happens in a mass bugout. You would be better off living on the shore of a lake or navigable river and bugging out by boat. That would mean keeping a prepped vehicle in storage and keeping it ready to roll at a moment’s notice, and keeping it in a place of low density where you won’t experience gridlock there either.
I guess another way would be to live on the edge of town with ready access to dirt roads that connect to highways at some point. If you lived right at the edge of a desert, prairie or mountain and could just 4-wheel overland to a highway an hour or so away, then you could also avoid the density.
About the only thing you can count on is that there will be many unexpected things screwing you up at the worst times.
If your bug out location is in the country and you are in the city make sure you have multiple routes to get to the location.
Preferable via the not very well known gravel roads.
Good of you to bring this to the fore. Bugging out is not the panacea most seem to think it is.
Or, .... the correct firearms, the needed number of compatriots, the perfect volumn of ammunition, ... and nuetralize everything that moves in an ever increasing circle around the currant location.
It is like paradise. Literally. And it is how we feel about it. Every day.
The monthly payments are less than the taxes were on our place in Seattle. The commute is longer, but I drive it at 65-70 mph almost all the way. I still enjoy it.
I've built a few buildings since, and a large garden about 40 feet in front of the house, but here it is a month after we moved and I had completed the rear deck.
I can shoot deer or Turkey out my bedroom window, though the latter is very skittish. We have 22 chickens now that free-range around the house. For fun I hand feed them cracked hickory nuts from our trees. They climb all over me trying to get at them. Evenings are quite often just as beautiful and inviting as the photo suggests. And when the SHTF, it won't be pretty, but we'll survive. Probably.
I highly recommend going Galt. It can be done.
Interesting thread. Thanks for posting — and for adding me to your ping list!
My homestead is fairly defensible - heavy brier/bramble scrub woods around most of it with a clear shot up the drive which is 300’ long and funnels over a culvert bridge as the main opening in the mix. Wooded areas behind and to both sides, with access being via neighbors’ lands mean folks would have to go through them to approach me. I’m also an old deer hunter from NY who used to have to nestle down in such areas with my rifle waiting for a shot...
Good topic. How to GET OUT if you want to, AND what is your plan to get ‘home’ so you CAN BUG OUT as planned.
What follows is *my* thoughts. Your mileage may vary. AND you may not plan to bug out. So be it.
1. The best tactic overall as posters have suggested, including you, is to bug out *before* general realization sets in. Being able to sense sooner and react/adapt faster/better is *KEY*. That awareness is a BIG part of prepping— more than just stockpiling. AND as MANY have pointed out, *IF* the first time you try your load out is when you bug out, you are screwed. Plan, practice, drill at least once. Have your list, prioritized; know WHO is responsible for WHAT, and in which vehicle. Know WHERE your stuff is in every room. Make sure you don’t have to waste time debating and discovering. Some ‘family’ members may get there an hour after you leave, and they should have their manifest waiting for them. Leave a pre-determined tell tale behind if you want to, but the fact that you have left should be obvious.
2. Have a pre-planned code to send to your ‘family’ to let them know ‘you’ are headed out and they should too. Much like “eject eject eject!” make it systematic that they do not NEED to respond or confirm, but should if they can. BUT they should execute the evac order ASAP. Your plans may mean everybody meets at the house and goes, or people just go from where they are — up to you. My plan is not your plan.
3. Have PAPER maps in each vehicle that show alternate routes — so you can adapt, overcome, improvise — if your primary route is obstructed or dangerous or both. *IF* you are truly paranoid, DO NOT mark your final destination on ANYTHING hard copy or otherwise easily be discovered. Have code words for rally points along the way.
4. split up possessions among travelers/vehicles so that if you lose one vehicle for any reason, or one person won’t/can’t make it, you don’t have a single point of failure.
4.1 If in a multi-vehicle ‘convoy’ approaching suspicious civilians, assume your first vehicle will get the most attention. Recommended formation is scout vehicle first, guns/shooters second, people and possessions third.
5. Have CHARGED and TESTED mobile radios in all vehicles with known frequencies and privacy pre-determined. Your cell phones WILL become unreliable. A set of four GOOD Midland “LMR” radios with earpieces (Bass Pro Shop e.g.) will run you $170+/-.
6. Have your barter items ready. Have your CHARITY items ready. But have it ALL under tarps.
7. If you are *still* mobile and en route at the 72 hour mark in a SHTF scenario, you should PRESUME some people are desperate and will act barbarically. at 72 hours, travel should be presumed to be treacherous. That is three days into BAD times.
8. For us, and not for everybody I know, two out of three of our available vehicles are 4X4. We have the option of going off paved roads to get out of blockages if we must, and towing any other vehicle that’s 2WD. AND since our last mile requires 4X4, one vehicle gets parked as close as possible, unloaded, drained and stripped in a full SHTF scenario
9. (IF) When the balloon goes up, you may not BE where you want to be. Have a GET HOME kit and a GET HOME plan at all times. Also have your family prepared to LEAVE without you. Sorry. My family NEEDS to get out of the Atlanta area FAR before 72 hours ... whether I am in town or not. I know where to go if I can.
10. *IF* you MUST stop along the way, what’s your plan to be safe RIGHT THERE?
11. On these threads, people seldom mention footwear. Do you have 100 mile footwear (shoes AND socks)? Imagine the worth of a decent pair of shoes in a barter situation — when someone else has bare, freezing, cut feet - they need socks and shoes
12. THINK THIS THROUGH, end to end.
so much more is waiting to be discussed. Hope and pray it never HAPPENS.
Good tread and some really good advice/points to ponder. I had thoughts of buying several acres with a large shop building and then parking a motorhome or fifth-wheel in the shop as “home”. May need to rethink that after reading this as it appears that the real problem with a bugout location is the very strong possibilty that it will NOT be unmolested awaiting your arrival. This ain’t the ‘50’s!!
I still think that everyone is overestimating the speed at which everyone else will try to bug out after a national crisis. If they’re not prepared, and the rest of the country is in the exact same state, where are they trying to go?
Plus, the “normalcy bias” would keep people sitting around until it got very bad.
What about side roads? Of course major highways would be impassible, but I see no reason why regular, smaller roads would become completely impassible. We had a hurricane that knocked out power for 2 weeks for most people, much longer for others, and there was not this mass panic despite many roads made impassible by fallen trees. Maybe it’s different since people knew it was coming and it’s a lower population than where Sandy hit, though it is a capital city. While bugging out, small roads would have increased hazards, but the volume of traffic would be lower, which likely means progress.
Finally, I still can’t reconcile preppers’ belief that one day everything will be normal, and the very next day it’s Walking Dead season 3. I think TV shows have been gasoline on the prepper fire, beginning with History’s “After Humans” or whatever it was, and more recently with “Doomsday Preppers.” This current doomsday business really began with global-warming alarmists. Remember “The Day After Tomorrow?”
I love self reliance. And I understand the legitimate need to be prepared for the unexpected because we’ve been completely coddled and were born into an environment of convenience, but I also don’t think the entirety of the United States will crumble to dust overnight. Look how long it’s taking other economies to do what we’re doing.
More importantly, I find the eagerness of people to begin their amateur rodger-dodger paramilitary maneuvers sort of alarming. It sounds like lots of fun to go creeping around and staring down your sights at suspicious “civilians” after an event, but killing people is not nearly as much fun as it looks in the movies.
(Most of these apply to temporary disasters, not to SHTFs)
Take your important papers (deeds, birth certificates, bank info, etc). Make a copy of each of them. Keep the copy in a different place than the original (such as having one folder under the seat, and another in your suitcase). Make sure neither is in a place where it will fall out of the car every time you open the door!!
If you have some warning time, such as with hurricanes, pay as much down on your credit card as you can ahead of time. You don't want to hit your limit just as you're running out of gas. Also, have enough cash to fill the gas tank 3 times and to eat, as some places won't be able to take your card.
(Half the calls I got the day before Ike hit were from evacuees who needed to buy gas and were already at their credit limit. Fortunately the company had emergency policies in place to let us temporarily raise their limit if they were from the evacuation zone.)
If it's a temporary disaster like a major storm or hurricane, see if you can arrange to have your bank make next month's bill payments for you. Some will, some may charge a fee for this service. Trust me, if you're rebuilding your house and your mailbox is lost somewhere in the Atlantic, you aren't going to want the hassle of having your card declined because you missed a payment.
Be armed. A traffic jam makes for an easy target.
Leave the luxuries, take the necessities. You don't need a 67-piece gourmet cookware set. You do need food, water, and medications. This shouldn't have to be said, but it does.
Take a copy of your diploma or certification. If you can't go back home right away, you may need to make a new life where you find yourself, even if only for a few months.
Assume the majority of places you see along the way have been used by thousands of other refugees that day. That gas station might not have gas, they might be sold out of soda and potato chips. And there's a good chance their bathroom is out of TP. Bring as much food, water, and sanitary supplies as you can.
Know the back roads. Not just where they are, but how usable they might be. Some roads flood every spring. Some might not connect with where you're going. Main highways are more likely to get the attention of police and repair crews, but they are also more crowded. Weigh your options carefully.
Count heads after every stop. You wouldn't think this would be necessary, but if you're stressed and frantic it's easy to miss the obvious. This goes double if you have small kids who might be hidden by a blanket, make sure there's a kid under that blanket!
If possible take a copy of everyone’s medical records. if the strain causes a condition to flare up, you might need treatment at an unfamiliar clinic. It will help if you have a paper copy they can look at.
(I say “if possible” because my own medical records would fill half the truck. Use your common sense.)
I'm sure I'll think of more later, and I'm sure some of these could be debated, but I have stuff to take care of for now.
I went and bought an older snowmachine and its trailer yesterday, actually I just wanted the trailer for my motorcycles but the sled came with it.
Not a bad deal for up here in Alaska where we have 6 months of winter, snow and frozen lakes. Its a 1990 Polaris Indy 500, runs good and overall in good shape. Has a hitch so I can pull a sled or toboggan full of gear.
For a full bugout first off would be a portable ice fishing hut, they sell for under $200 at Walmart, they allow you to stand up and withstand some pretty good winds, makes a great emergency shelter. Much easier than a simple tent.
And then is a catalytic heater and sleeping gear, air mattress will insulate better than a foam pad.
If a tits up situation were to occur I’ll just head out into the bush, follow a river route, and I’ll bring along my prospecting gear, oh and I just bought a solar charger and battery device to recharge my phone and Kindle. Love that Kindle.