Skip to comments.The Fallacy Of Bugging Out – Are You Prepared To Be A Refugee?
Posted on 04/19/2012 4:44:54 PM PDT by blam
The Fallacy Of Bugging Out Are You Prepared To Be A Refugee?
April 19th, 2012
This article has been generously contributed by Survival Acres Sustainable Living & Common Sense.
Many websites, blogs and forums have covered the topic of bugging out in excruciating detail, all under the assumption that this will be a necessary escape plan for many of us when the proverbial shit hits the fan. This notion is predicated upon the belief that escape and evasion, necessary for your immediate survival will be a (likely) event that you must plan and prepare for now.
However, nothing could be further from the real and actual truth. This cherished myth is a deceptive and dangerous notion that has little place in reality. Ive long held a stanceagainst this notion because in nearly all cases and all situations, this is a very bad idea with oftentimes fatal consequences. Bugging out is embracing the refugee lifestyle a very bad idea. Refugees throughout history have fared very badly, suffered extreme hardship and deprivation, with many not surviving the experience. There is a far better alternative to this.
The rejection of the bug out mythology flies in the face of the so-called expert advice and theory being proposed by many websites and authors, who are also very active in selling products and gear specifically oriented around this concept. You could say quite rightly, that there is indeed a agenda at work here, but it is not one in your best interests. Hold onto your pockets and read on.
Bugging out entails leaving everything you are, and everything you own, and everything you use, day in and day out, and everything you cannot carry or transport with you, behind. Not only behind, but inaccessible, unusable and abandoned.Potentially forever.
How much of our lives, and the things within our lives, do we truly want to abandon? You will also leaving behind all rules of normalcy, the concept of plenty and abundance (which also means replacements and repair), all laws, rules, behavior andexpectations that we have come to expect from each other and within our society, both good and bad.
Lets make a list of these things to put this reality into perspective:
You will be leaving behind your job (income), perhaps your family (wife, kids), your home (shelter), your friends (support network), your contacts (other people you know), your bank accounts (money), your credit (ruined), your retirement (pension), your property and everything you own (everything you cannot carry with you), your vehicles (except perhaps one, at least until the gas tank is empty), your future (prospects, employment, credibility, integrity). Dont forget things also left behind, such as electricity, running water, Internet access, news and information, communications, telephone and even cell service, a warm, dry bed and other essentials, some more then others.
You will also leave behind all expectations of normalcy, decency, morality and expectations, i.e., a normal life,forever more on that below.
If you were dependent upon a job, it will be gone. You will have either been fired or laid off with a ruined reference for any future employment. You would not be able to pay your rent or your mortgage, your utility bills or any of your monthly obligations. If theyve lapsed far enough, then you would be facing bankruptcy and / or forfeiture of your (remaining) assets, or at the very least, their liquidation (if you still have them) in order to survive a few more weeks.
Its possible your kids or your wife could be gone, having abandoned you for abandoning them or sucked up into the system by the welfare state or child protective services. Your marriage could be in ruins, your family and friends could disown you, but in any case, what would be left of your relationships could potentially be in complete tatters. Worthwhile? You decide.
Your connections to society and civilization would also be destroyed, or certainly damaged, perhaps beyond repair. In effect, youd be cashing out completely and perhaps forever, of the life youve lived and starting over. Worthwhile? You decide.
But youd be alive! (supposedly).
In effect, bugging out will mean you will be totally abandoning your present life in exchange for huddling under a tree in the woods, trying to avoid hypothermia and starvation, wondering where you next meal will come from, and how long you can hold out in your new reality. And whatever it was that you chose to run away from will still be there. This is perhaps the most overlooked point of all.
How long could you hold out? Not long. The reasons are many, but they are sound.
The need to bug out is an exceedingly tiny reality a future event that will probably never happen. But it is not a zeropossibility (nothing is, not even an alien invasion). Yet this topic still receives a ridiculous amount of attention despite its extremely low probability, which makes no sense at all. The reason is because escapism is thought to be a solution versus contributing to the problem. Its not, as the points above demonstrate.
Running from whatever the problem is, usually ensures that you are taking your problems with you. Only if your life is inimmediate danger does running offer a better opportunity then staying put and dealing with the problem. Running does not make problems go away, it will very often make them much worse.
Running is also thought of as being romantic, adventurous and even brave in some circles. Taking on the world all by yourself while youre on the run is a common theme in movies and books, but has nothing to do with real life. Running means youre in full-blown survival mode and all bets are off, including all notions of morality, right and wrong, doing the right thing and what you can even reasonably expect to happen. Anythingcan happen if you run, and often does, because you are replacing all of your security for a whole series of things unknown (and insecure).
Did you know that if you abandon the system, then the system will also abandon you? Nobody much talks about this point, but it is true. You will find yourself outside of society, unhelped and unhelpable, unknown, disconnected and even hated for being what you have now become. With no address, connections, no references, no family or friends, nothing with which to help connect you back into society, society will turn its back upon you in fear, and you will be outside of all normal channels of help and assistance, effectively cut off. This is a huge issue, but nobody ever mentions it.
To The Woods
Bugging out is usually assumed to mean to the woods where survivors, patriots, militia, end-timers and others will be making their last stand (apparently together, whether they like it or not) while roasting hotdogs and marshmallows. Instead, it will be the last man standing over a pile of rotted and half-eatencorpses, since the food and supplies and the notions of living off the land will have died out with the last slaughtered deer to be found. And every survivor will have been hoping all along that nobody has turned them in for poaching.
Campsites, caves and hidey-holes will have become armed, dirty and infested encampments of hungry and desperate men (the surviving women would have long since been forced into prostitution and slavery), all fighting over the remaining scraps to be found (and newcomers showing up) necessary for their survival. Informants, traitors, thieves, murderers, rapists and thugs will quickly become the defining characteristic, with the strongest ruling (or eating) the weak. Those who arrive first will potentially be better prepared to prey upon the late-comers or the weak, so if you are still planning on trying this, get your seat at the table early.
Think not? This is exactly what happens during civil wars and internal conflicts when a country turns against itself. The war in Bosnia saw tens of thousands of murders, rapes and thefts as the people turned on each other. It was a fight for survival, for food, for weapons, for money, for women.
It has happened all over the world, and it will happen again. Whenever there is not enough to go around, and whenever there is strife, secrecy and conflict, those involved will resort to whatever methods of survival that they have to in order that they might live another day by whatever means possible. It will be no picnic, no romantic retreat into the woods where faith, truth, righteousness or rebellion will flourish and grow. Instead, it will be a bloodbath where the young, old and the weak succumb the quickest. I suggest you bring lots of Tabasco sauce, as it does make the meat taste better.
Bugging out also means you are leaving the norms of society behind. These are the rules, laws, restrictions and expectations that you have come to expect (and largely appreciate) that govern human behavior. Would-be dictators and gang leaders will spring forth from unlikely sources. Since there is nothing to hinder them, then they will allow themselves to be unhindered. Unrestrained, you will find the true nature of what your friends can really be. Youll soon regret not locking up the mad caps among you and taking away their weapons. If food or medical supplies are in short supply, then expect gang on gang, tribe on tribe warfare to begin. Expect slavery, torture, imprisonment and rape. Also expect the nearby communities (cities, towns, villages) to become their prey, as theft, robbery and murder to go hand in hand with their (daily) need for food and other things like fuel and medical supplies.
Inversely, you could also expect smart and prepared communities to expel, exterminate and hunt down these refugees if things get way out of hand, exacerbating an already bad situation. Forget for a moment the military or law enforcement going after these woodland refugees (a topic unto itself), the locals themselves will not be the helping hand that you may have naively come to expect, especially if you or your gang have already trod upon their welcome mat. Theyre trying to survive too, and live normal, unfettered lives as best they can. They dont need nor appreciate you coming along and messing things up. Camping out in their back yard or nearby forests will often pit you against them in violent and lethal ways. And they will be far more adept then you are outlasting you because they will have the infrastructure and support network to do so.
Survivalism is only rarely about surviving in the woods. Rather, survivalism is about living, and staying alive, and how you might do that while experiencing as few hardships as you can. Bugging out to the woods to survive your end-time fantasies is going to be a quick path to death for the majority of people that try this route. There is a better alternative to this.
Bugging out is never quite what everyone seems to think it is, where living off the land and finding adequate nutrition and staying healthy is grossly overlooked. Many people claim that they can do it, yet return year after year from hunting season empty handed. When the beer runs out, they head home. Or when the food is bland or gone, theyre beating tracks as fast as they can to the nearest restaurant. These survivalists and outdoorsman will not survive their voluntary refugee status by bugging out, but they will (if they show up, far from home) be a serious problem for the locals.
You will burn up a tremendous amount of calories (as much as 3 4 times as normal) while trying to live off the land. Finding and building shelter, hunting and gathering for food and water, providing heat, establishing security and working and waking / walking for long hours at a time, will cause you to expend far more calories then you will be taking in. Even if you are very well supplied, you wont be for long (you cannot carry enough). Foraging for food will very rarely provide enough calories versus what you are expending while looking. You will quickly go into a calorie deficit, burning off fats and muscles as your body adapts to your new environment and demands.
Ive seen lot of ill-informed discussion of nomadic lifestyle whereas the individual or group is roaming about, living off the land. This notion is pure b.s., as it is calorie-deficient, ill-advised for security reasons and will increase the risk of injury and health issues. You will need to preserve calories not expend them (if you can).
Calorie deficiency cannot last very long (mere days in most cases) before your health diminishes and your strength drops. You risk hypothermia, vitamin deficiencies and a higher risk of contracting illness and injury due to your weakened condition. Unless your nutritional needs are met and you are able to also stay warm and dry, avoiding hypothermia (core temperature drop) and frostbite / exposure, then it is just a matter of time before you become incapacitated, unable to effectively help yourself.
There are countless examples of modern day survivalists who have found this out, believing that they too could live off the land and survive, but lacking the skills and experience to do so. Additionaly, our forests are not the cornucopia of food waiting to be plucked many seem to think, theyre vastly depleted monocultures of trees, lacking sufficient edible foods and wildlife. Some of these people wound up dead, others were found or rescued. All of them learned that foraging for sufficient nutrition and calories is why we have modern farms it is the most efficient way of meeting our nutritional needs. Even growing your own food at home in a controlled environment (garden) with a plentiful supply of soils, seeds, water, tools and time is extremely difficult, if not nearly impossible for most of us (really) to meet all your daily nutritional needs, all while leading a far less demanding lifestyle then living off in the woods in survival mode. Ive long been advocating sustainable living and raising your own food, but here in the woods where I live, I cannot even grow half of the food I need to stay alive and healthy, let alone expect to hunt it down. Nor can I grow enough to feed my family, compounding the nutritional needs required.
Bugging out is in nearly all cases, a very bad idea, fraught with danger and pitfalls, destined for failure and doom for those that believe that this will be their answer to whatever theyre running away from. It would only be necessary in the most extreme circumstances (extremely rare) and for very extremely short periods of time and for extremely few (skilled) people. This rules out almost everyone else. You would need to return to civilization far sooner then many seem to be planning for. If you did run off into the woods, youd soon be back (as many Y2K refugees found out). Wouldnt it then be a better solution to avoid this unnecessary step altogether if you could?
Ultimately, this then is the far better solution bugging in, back to safety, food, heat, clothing, medical attention and survival. If you truly think that you foresee a need to bug out then revise your plans to bug in to a new location within civilization where you can find (or work for) food, clothing, shelter, safety and security (including an income) where your survival is a far more sure thing. This is the only long-term answer there really is. You will also be in a much better situation to deal with whatever the problem was in the first place that caused you to leave.
I do not have a bug out bag anymore, since it no longer makes any sense to me to have one. I do have cash, toys, tools, vehicles and other things of interest at my disposal. Disappearing off into the woods is a dead end and it will not work for the vast majority of people that would try this. You would have to come out sooner then you think (if you survive) and return to life within civilization somewhere. Youre not going to live off the land indefinitely, and not even as long as you may think, so it makes far more sense in your escape plan to prepare for living someplace else instead.
The entire concept of bugging out truly needs to be redefinedto fit within the parameters of reality and how this would really work for the vast majority of people. Leaving for reasons of safety, security, natural disasters or some other valid reason is perfectly acceptable but where you go and how you will plan on surviving while you are there seems to be where this theory falls flat on its face against reality. Having the means to leave, but having some place to go, where you can find safety, food, shelter and sustainability is key to a true bug out plan. Planning on disappearing into the woods is in all probability one of the worst ideas you could attempt. You would have to come out sooner or later, weakened, possibly sick or injured, broke, destitute and impoverished a true self-made refugee. Basically, a dumb idea all around, one that should only be tried in the most extreme circumstances and only for the adept.
I am going to state generally the bug out plan that I have set up.
One safe spot is with in walking distance. It would be a hike but it can be reached on foot. The another is under a quarter of a tank to drive to get there. Another is slightly over your average tank of gas to reach and still another is over two tanks of gas away. These are not the only ones I have but they serve as examples.
Our place also serves as a safe spot for others. If something hits their area and doesn't hit ours then we will be taking people in. I have supplies and items ready to do that.
Don't just have one plan. You need to have a number of plans depending on what happens. You can't prepare for everything. But you can try. And the act of planing leaves you in better shape to deal with the strange quirks that live just loves to throw at you.
I’ll G’damned guarantee you one thing. We won’t behave like Bosnians!
(Or will we?)
Don’t worry, if it is any consolatation, the gubermint will legally classify you as an “internally displaced person” rather than a “refugee.”
I can think of a few situations why bugging out would be best, but then I chose my land with an eye toward avoiding those situations. Wildfires might still be an issue, but even that’s not as likely as it might be in some areas.
Still, I’d rather be over-prepared than under-prepared.
Or, you could say the part of my ancestry that isn’t Native American (Seminole) were simply coming home ;)
Two ways of looking at it.
Good advice. What you're planning for may not happen the way you've planned. More and/or flexible plans will be better.
“Bugging out” to me has always meant one of two things...
Either bringing just the necessities to get to a more secure location.
Or getting from where I’m at to my fighting gear and then joining the action.
It has never meant going on the lam and hiding. Ever.
A good way to start is to become the Precinct Chairman of your local voting precinct.
You have a duty to visit every registered voter in the precinct (block walking). You also get to know the terrain.
It’s a good way to get to know the neighbors. You can ask them to get involved as campaign volunteers, election officials, and Poll Watchers as well.
I recruited three new Election Judges last year. One was an honest Democrat so I encouraged her to serve her party.
Like some of the other posters on this thread, I have a business and home in the city. I will not let a mob take or destroy that. My employees and neighbors will stand with me.
BTW, we are diverse! My condo complex has Hispanics, African-Americans, Lebanese, Chinese, straights and gays. A couple of them are outstanding and all are good neighbors.
From what I have experienced going through a planned and slow bug-out to a safer location, the prep planning I did before hand, came in very handy. Even in a planned bug-out relocation, there are numerous unforeseen difficulties. And yes, mobility will be crucial. Kinda funny that many of the items I was glad to be packing into the truck, were the prep items.
However, if you don't have a well-defined bug-out destination that is better located and is very livable then you should simply not plan to bug-out.
Very few people could survive in a forest - a few could - but very few.
Regarding hunting/gathering for food - even if it were plentiful you're likely to spend more calories doing it than the calories you take in (guess where that leads?)
When I was a kid I remember how surprised and disturbed I was to visit my favorite fishing pond and find some other kids on motor cycles running a "sein net" through the pond to empty the pond of fish. In times of desperation this is exactly what would play out everywhere there are "meals on hooves".
The author is 100% right to caution anyone about bugging out.
There’s food in them thar hills and millions will be trying to get it.
Damn good advice really. If you think about it, if large numbers are all trying to bug out, the roads would quickly become parking lots. Most of us would be better off staying put.
I simply don’t have the money to plan for everything. I am 50, my wife 54 and has diabetes, and her sister is mentally handicapped. Fleeing unless NO OTHER CHOICE would be a death sentence. Better to fortify and stock up as best I can and ride it out. I have stockpiled and continue to do so to make it at my home.
Thats the plan for me anyway...
I live in the hood in a city but hold out or be overrun. I’ll die fighting like a man or I will survive. I do have some bug out plans but realize that most likely it won’t end well and I will only do so as an absolute last resort.
I agree. Though Patton said, "...Never dig in" I see no viable alternative when defending family and assets.
I don't live in a flood plain or a earthquake prone area nor have we seen a tornado in these parts. We do get a hurricane every 10-15 years or so. But we've weathered those just fine.
'Tis the zombies I'll be girding me loins for.
preppers I’ve talked to generally prepare their cars so that they can get home from work or wherever. As for me, at my age, if it all falls apart suddenly, well, someone, someday will be burying a very skinny man.
A Michigan winter won’t be a lot of fun but its got it its advantages. Right off the top it will send a lot of zombies heading for the south which would ease pressure. It also helps with food storage for a few months.
Although we prepare and often talk about the worst case situations, I don't think we'll get to the worst possibilities.
My daughter, former Army, has a bug out bag. This in case of tornados or other such acts of nature. She has enough diapers for her kid, formula and other necessities to live for a week or so.
She’s doing this as a 3 day solution. Bugging out of a city due to nuclear, bio or chem is a much different scenario than a natural disaster. This is months of planning.
Again, we’re rural, much different than a city. If you live in a fire area, it’s a MUST you need a bug out plan. Unfortunately, most don’t recognize that importance.
Living on a sailboat, my bugout plan is a. weigh anchor b. raise the mainsail c. Bye bye
“If you go South you will get deported to either Guatemala or California. If you go North youll run into people who almost chose a man to be Miss Canada.”
We’re ready. Our well can be hand pumped. We have fire power (guns and energy), and I’ve got food to last a year. We do need more medical. That’s where we are lacking. This is my next endeavor. We’ll be ready hunker down.
We’ll be ready to resist the government.
Geez! A refugee thread without a pic of Tom Petty?
A wise philosophy, for those contemplating this:
“Smart Indian build small fire, sit close.”
A stark contrast to sitting in a recliner, a row of remotes at hand, watching one of hundreds of channels on your big screen.
Or for that matter, living in a world requiring internet connectivity, versus olde fashioned human interaction, face to face, up close and personal and accountable, perhaps requiring more maturity, judgement and civility, etc.
Like this, Southern Cross
I've often thought about a house boat going into the inland fresh waterways, many places to isolate when necessary.
Much appreciated. Ahhh...memories.
I've kinda thought that there should be main topics everyone should consider when they become of political maturity. If there are about 150 countries on the earth then there would be the same number of political systems. And so when a person becomes politically aware they would choose their system. My system would be Protestant Christian, flat income tax, acreage tax but not on buildings or businesses nor endless fees, free trade, right to work, death penalty, gun rights, information state rather than nanny state. Then I would move to that system at the age of political maturity. Someone else may be close to what I want but may believe in tariffs for instance, that would be a different country. That would eliminate a lot of complaining because you picked your own system instead of trying to push others into your system. lol
Wanna' bet? Remember the aftermath of Katrina.
To bug-out or not to bug-out. It should be purely situational. If a tidal wave/hurricaine/earthquake/flood or other massive natural disaster is targeting your home, it’s time to get out of Dodge. Other situations can probably be ridden out at by staying at home where you have your supplies.
Yup. With a hurricane warning, I evacuate a few more miles inland to my cousins house.
When the economic collapse comes, I'll stay home with my suupplies and fight if necessary.
I REALLY don’t mean any offense to anyone, but I’ve always considered Nawlins a third world country that somehow got attached to the USofA.
46% of the people in New Orleans cannot read or write...same for Detroit.
Are you suggesting the American Indians just magically appeared on this continent?
If not, how did they get here?
So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city.
“Im looking for an excuse to trade around for a good sailboat that can be brought up to shape for circumnavigation.”
I’m a liveaboard on a small cruising sailboat in JAX, let me know your requirements and I’ll keep an eye out; I do see cheap fixer upper sailboats regularly...not necessarily exactly when you want them.
One thing many new people do is insist on a blue water, go anywhere boat, then they find out the price is in the sky, both to buy and maintain, and 99.99% of the time, that boat is not going to sail through blue water conditions. With proper preparation much humbler boats have circumnavigated on much more frugal budgets. My favorite example is the Martin family, who began their circumnavigation as newlyweds aboard a Cal24 and completed it as parents of a family of 5...and they had next to nothing, worked his way around the world.
As far as a SHTF platform, this is my home, I already live the lifestyle seperated from the electrical grid snd all services...my bug out means I raise anchor, head for Nassau and watch the news. If its long term, there are few pkaces in the Caribbean where s dollar goes farther than the Dominican, many cruisers like Panama, Guatemala has what amounts to a cruiser capital in the Rio Dulces, although theres a lot of unrest there lately...some people say they get palatial service in Colombia as long as they never leave the marina.
One huge sailboat...just under 50’, I believe...tight as a drum but needs handyman everywhere, no engine, no mast...the guy just uses it as a houseboat and he did say once he’d take 5k for it. He even found a mast for it for $800 but balked when he found the cost of the truck to bring it and the crane to set it were more than the mast...and $800 buys a lot of beer, if you know what I mean.
Anyway, let me know just what you’re interested in and if I see something I’ll shoot you a line.
Thanks for the info. I am just finishing up on a Thompson 260 fisherman, popular around the great lakes. We stripped it down to the hull, replaced the stringers, soaked them with epoxy, topped with silicone, and covered them with fiberglass. We redid the deck, soaking wafer with several coats of epoxy, and sealing them in silicone and then fiberglass. It should be good for twenty or thirty years. We built a new 350, starting with a 4 bolt main, bored .30 with Vortec heads, nice cam. everything from fuel tank hoses and lines to control cables, etc have been replace, along with new gauges. We put on all new gimbal and transom fittings, and rebuilt the outdrive, using one that is essentially new. Everything from rail bolts to cleats, to the anchor mother have been gone through, fixed or replaced, including wiring, 12 volt and 120. We just finished putting a non skid coat on on the deck, and will give it a nice paint job on the hull today and tomorrow. The trailer is heavy aluminum, and we are thinking about putting stainless axles and carriage on it. The boat is literally better than what it was new, with all the typical poor fitting pieces replaced with good fitting pieces. There is still work to be done, some electronics, fishfinder, gps and so on, maybe radar. ...And in today’s market, with the price of gas, it isn’t worth much. When the time comes, I hope to make a trade with it. Of course, I have other things that can go when it is time to bug out. Happy sailing.
Sounds like you have the skills...FWIW I correspond witj a couple families who basically went to the SouthSeas and never came back...and I’m told anyone who has repair skills, partocularly diesel repair and refrigeration a/c, as well ad computers can fond plenty of work to keep body and soul together just from helping out other (wealthy) cruisers...need a powerful radio to contact nearby boats and determine their needs...food for thought
OK, if you want to go back to when flesh man were first engineered by God and the Elohim, then yes, everyone is descended from someone who bugged out. I was speaking more of ancestors we can remember. Every non-American-Indian American is descended within the last 400 years of those that bugged out.
You basically asked "Who are the American Indians and where did they come from?". That's controversial to those who want to cover up what is written. How open-minded are you?
Are there any sailing groups/communities that barter or trade with gold and silver?
Open-minded enough to entertain a rational argument.
Haven’t heard much precious metal trade, but swapping of everything else under the sun. Boats, engines, cars, skilled labor. Offshore different people have different ideas what are good trade items. I’ve heard used electrical appliances and pcs, coke/soda, rum.
SailNet is a big board with lots of cruiser notes & advice.
Debates on this subject are never rational. Satanic forces have been very efficient at not allowing discussion of this subject.
Thanks for the info.
I think you have the right idea. The sailing community is a self-sufficient, resourceful community, since going out on the open sea in a small boat is a dangerous thing to do. A person has to be resourceful to get from point A to point B out there. If there will be any group that can weather the coming currency storm I think the sailing community will have the best prospects.
“Im looking for an excuse to trade around for a good sailboat that can be brought up to shape for circumnavigation.”
That was, or could be again, a dream of mine. I sailed for many years on Lake Erie. I have sailed in the Bahamas, and in Ireland. Circumnavigation would require going around the horns in a bugout situation...avoiding the Panama and Suez Canals. Properly equipped, one could find that desert island paradise...especially with some foreknowledge and planning. Then the world could go to hell in a handbasket and one could be comfortable and safe.
For now though, I am prepared to bugin for as long as necessary in our quasi-rural setting. We have a surrey and horses trained as a team to pull it. My ancestors were Marblehead seamen and pioneers, they fought in the Revolution and in the Civil War (and those that followed) and it is in my blood. We are survivors. We are overcomers. Our God is Good!
bttt for reading
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