Even though the topic is frequently discussed in the prepping community, it seems like many people have the wrong idea about bugging out.
It’s one thing to work on being prepared for when SHTF, but it’s another story when people start daydreaming about living out their idealized bug out plans.
To me, prepping has always been about facing the harsh truths of reality, so this romanticized view of bugging out is disturbing, to say the least.
This is especially true for folks whose plans include traveling to a long-distance bug out location. That’s the kind of bug out you hope never happens, and the one that requires the most planning beforehand.
7 Important Things to Remember About Bugging Out Far Away
While most people can experience what it’s like to spend a few days out in the wilderness, there’s next to nothing that can fully prepare you for bugging out far away.
The number of variables involved is staggering. Everything from what kind of catastrophe triggers the collapse of society to the people (friend or foe) you’re liable to meet on your journey.
What you can control, however, is how you spend your time preparing right now. The following are a few tips and techniques to keep in mind that may help you reach your destination if SHTF.
Avoid Conflict Whenever Possible
Ideally, your aim should be to avoid all contact with people outside of your group while bugging out, but this may not be possible.
With that in mind, your goal must be to avoid any sort of conflict during your long-distance bug out. This could mean backing off from a fight or even (politely) refusing any offers of friendship along the way.
Any interactions you have with people should be short but not curt. You’ll want to be civil with everyone you meet up until the point where you are required to defend yourself.
You Need to Have a Plan B
Even the best-laid plans can go awry, and that’s under normal circumstances.
In a SHTF scenario, you’re almost guaranteed to need a Plan B all the way to a Plan Z.
If your bug out plans involves traveling many miles, you’ll need to plot out multiple routes that will get you to your destination. It may even be a good idea to include a few backup destinations in your plans as well.
All calculations for time, distance, etc. should all be rounded up significantly to account for the fact that you won’t be traveling under ideal conditions.
More to the point, your planning must evolve over time. Thinking about a nightmare situation that requires you to flee your home isn’t pleasant, but your plans must change to match reality.
Take These with You on the Road
Your bug out vehicle itself is another consideration to keep in mind while planning a long-distance bug out. Even if your vehicle is in good shape, you should still load up on spare parts in case anything fails while you’re on the road.
Taking a trip to the junkyard can help you find spare parts to keep stashed away for an emergency. Shopping for brand new parts might put a limit on how much you can buy, and you may be surprised by the hidden treasures you can find at a vehicle graveyard.
Another tool you must keep in your vehicle is a gas can or two. The merest whiff of a crisis can send gas prices soaring and lead to shortages, so it’s deadly important that you have the means to carry more than just your car’s tank with you.
Should the worst happen and you run out of fuel on the road, having a few gas cans will also let you travel to the nearest pump and bring some fuel back.
You Need to Be in Good Shape
No, you don’t have to pass the SEAL fitness test, but you do need to be in good shape before bugging out far away.
Even with all the spare parts in the world, you may still be required to travel on foot to reach your destination. If this happens, you’ll have to leave a lot of your supplies behind, but that doesn’t change the fact that you’ll be walking (and sometimes running) with a lot of gear strapped to your back.
You Will Run Out of Food Eventually
Canned meat and freeze-dried food are great supplies to bring with you, but eventually, they will run out.
Make sure you bring along tools that will enable you to hunt and process game in the event that you have to hold up in a single spot on your way to your ultimate destination.
Pack Appropriate Weapons
The weapons you bring with you should be accessible but not obvious. You’ll want to be able to defend yourself without drawing unwanted attention first.
Also, make sure you bring along weapons that can double as survival tools. Your number one goal while traveling is to avoid conflict, so it’s important to have weapons that work for a variety of tasks.
There Will Be a Limited Amount of Time to Act
Bugging out far away will require more than just a single bug out bag, and you’ll need to factor in the amount of time it will take you to get geared up and on the road.
I know packing isn’t exciting, but this is probably one of the most crucial elements of a successful long-distance bug out.
Again, the exact timing will depend on events leading up to your bug out, but you should expect general pandemonium when SHTF. You could have anywhere from a few hours to a couple of minutes to pack up and be ahead of everyone else, but leaving during this window is vital.
In practical terms, this means it may be a good idea to keep long-term bug out supplies separate from your survival pantry. Items should be pre-packed and ready to be thrown into your vehicle at a moment’s notice.
Another good idea is to perform practice drills that involve actually loading supplies into your car and seeing how long it takes.
Bonus Tip: Keep an Eye Out at Night
Being able to travel at night while remaining undetected will give you a marked advantage while bugging out far away.
The Aura Plus is one of the best night vision monoculars on the market today. This incredibly handy survival tool allows you to take pictures and take video in either broad daylight or in pitch black darkness.
Click here or on the photo below for more info on the Aura Plus.