When I first realized that I was a prepper, and I started to research and get my plans in order I came across tons of references to bugging out. At first I came to the conclusion that it was just running away.

The whole notion of leaving what I’ve worked so hard to build and letting other people take advantage of it and destroy it didn’t make much sense to me. I guess it’s the Texan in me- remember the Alamo!

The more I think about it, it really doesn’t make much sense to defend a position if I have to sacrifice being able to take care of my wife, and my family. I don’t have kids, but my parents and siblings may need me and if I perish protecting a small piece of land, or my house then I’ve essentially let them down.

On the other hand, what’s my chances of survival if I’m in the open, a position harder to defend and limited to the supplies that I can take with me or transport easily?

Most experts agree that bugging out should be a last ditch effort. This means that you’ve exhausted your ability to stay where you are and survive. In this undesirable situation there are some options which can help you prepare for bugging out.

First and foremost have a plan.

Having a plan in place is the first step to being ready to bug out. Don’t expect yourself to remember this plan perfectly when your in a do or die situation. Make sure you talk about your plan often with your family and friends that you want to bug out with. But don’t stop there, print it out and laminate it to be waterproof, then make sure everyone has enough copies that they’ll be able to have it when they need it. I’ll be going over exactly how to make this plan soon so keep checking back.

Have your gear ready.

Know what you need for your bug out situation. Keep your bug out bags packed and don’t use it for any other purpose. EVER!!! This bag is your life or death bag and don’t ever forget that. Some people have gone as far as to have vehicles packed and ready for their bug out, trailers, motorhomes, boats, and even completely stocked secondary locations. Some common supplies for bugout bags are:

1. Three days (72 hours) worth of food and water for each person
2. Water Filtration and Purification
3. First Aid Kits
4. Fire Starter
5. Shelter (usually emergency reflective foil blankets)
6. Tools (folding shovel, multi-tools and survival knives)
7. Personal Protection (high capacity firearm and backup firearm
8. Navigational tools (Compass and Map) don’t rely on GPS alone.

Geocache extra supplies on your route.

When you’re in a hurry, you can only carry so much gear. And what if you can save your life by giving up your gear?

A great plan is to bury or hide extra supplies along your bug out route where you can find them later. People keep GPS coordinates, record landmarks and make coded treasure maps so that they can find their extra supplies if needed. It’s a good idea to check on your supplies occasionally to ensure they haven’t been compromised.

Pick a good location.

When you make your bug out plan, you’ll need a good final location to bug out to. Low population density and a fortifiable and defendable position are best. Many people who can, build a hidden bunker as their bug out location, but it can be as simple as a secluded camping site. You want this location within a reasonable distance of your prime residence.

Try to pick a location with a fresh water supply and plenty of forage for food sources.

Pay attention to what is happening in your area.

A commonly overlooked aspect of bugging out is making sure you know trouble is coming your way before it gets there. You have to consider the risk of where you are bugging out from. Do you live in a large population center? Is your community already fairly volatile? I’m a strong believer in setting myself up in the easiest defendable situation firsthand. I’ve picked an area to live where I can be out from large populations, but close enough to find supplies if I have to.

It’s up to you to decide if you want to rely on bugging out to a secondary location, but I prefer to get out of trouble’s way before it finds me.

Let me know if you would prefer to fight to the last man, or responsibly retreat to a safer location. Jump over Here: Facebook.com/PrepCabin and let’s get this conversation started.