Bug out tips, advice and techniques that will save your ass when the chips are down

This guest post by Robert B and entry in our non-fiction writing contest.

Remember in times of crises. The Government or Military can use FEAR! clean water, food, electricity and shelter to “control or move you” where ever they wish. Don’t fall for it. Take care of your self.

Drink a glass of water every morning before you leave home. If something does happen you will be one step up on dehydration.

When your cars gas gauge is at ½ of a tank gas, Make that your new empty. Fill up!

Go to your local community collage and take Health and Nutrition class. You will be amazed what your body needs and how it uses the fuel you put in it.

I read a lot of the bug out bag list on foods. The items I see the most are high energy fuel drinks full of caffeine and sugar, energy bars full of sugar and tuna in a can. The tuna is a great source of protein but it will not supply for body with lasting energy for travel or hard work. Once opened it is only one meal. Caffeinated energy drinks full of sugar will only speed up your metabolism burning any fuel you have in your stomach that much faster. Large amounts of sugar will give you a short time energy boost, only until your body starts delivering insulin to counter act all the sugar. Then you will have a down and become tired. Not what you need when you are Bugging out. Energy bars with low sugar content are better.

You can carry a one to two week supply of food that will not be heavy in your pack and will take up less space the 2 MRE’s and will provide your body with long sustaining fuel for your travel and hard work.

First two days and you can’t cook

  • 2 packages of instant oatmeal
  • 2 power bars, low in sugar
  • 2 bags meals ready to eat. They make beans and rice meals that are already cooked ready to eat in the super marked in plastic or metal bags like MRE’s. Mexican style and others.

When you can cook


  • Tea bags with natural flavors can make your water taste better and provide caffeine.
  • Steel cut oats will give your body long lasting energy, add some nuts and dried cranberries

Lunch and Dinner

  • Brown rice and beans are light weight and can provide a person a week or more supply of food. Combining the two will provide your body with protein and carbohydrates with a long energy burn time.


  • Almonds and dried cranberries are great energy source.


  • Every time you stop purify and top off your water supply. Get it when you can.

Noise and light discipline

Check your equipment BOB for metal sounds or clicks when you are moving. Learn where everything is on and in your BOB. Learn to never use a flash light at night. if you have to use a red or green lens. Clean up before you leave your area. Leaving trash lets everyone know you have been there and what you have been eating. Camouflage your camp site back to the way you found it. You were never there!

  • A cigarette can be seen ½ mile away at night and you can smell it over a mile.
  • Learn not to talk too much. Some one talking can be hard a long way off.
  • Learn to make a Dakota fire pit to conceal your location when using a fire. Make your fire under a big pine tree. It will defuse the smoke as it drifts upward so it is harder to see.
  • If you can, sleep in a different place other than where you build your fire and cook your meal.
  • Heat up rock if it is cold at night. When your fire goes out wrap the rocks in a shirt or towel to help you stay warm.
  • Start a small garden
  • Learn to be self sufficient.
  • Learn how to make a hobo stove. Youtube
  • Learn to read a map and a compass.
  • Learn Bush craft. Look up Ray Mears on Youtube
  • Carry at least two large construction strength trash bags. Good for shelter and many other uses.

Leather gloves– Always wear them. As soon as you take them off something will happen. Around the fire, cutting wood, gathering wood and making camp have them on. One small cut on your had or a slip of an axe will drive you crazy in the field.

Get Pine Tar soap for your bag. The soap has a pine scent. Regular soap is sweet smelling and attracts bugs. After being in the woods for a week you will be able to smell some one who has just washed with soap or put on deodorant a good distance away. Get a natural deodorant as well for your bag. Keep your self and your feet clean. In the military we could go 7 or more days with out a bath. You feel like a dead man walking.

Be creative where you sleep. Sleep in a tree if you can or any place your fist thought is “I would never sleep there”! Good spot! I don’t think any one wants to wake up at the other end of a gun.

Movement is a dead giveaway. In the military we have a saying! “If you can be seen you can be killed.

Don’t move to fast during the day. If you travel during the day move very slow and stop often and wait to see if you are being followed. Never walk a ridge line or silhouette your self on a hill side. Never cross a field in the day time. Skirt around it.

  • Travel where the vegetation is thick and stop often and listen.
  • Never travel in a straight line for too long.

Thick vegetation is the best place to sleep. When you find a spot crawl on you knees over 50 yard to your spot Not in a strait line and make a second exit the same way in a different direction out and close to a water source. If some one walks up on your position they will make a lot of noise walking through the thick wooded growth giving you time to hear them coming. If you decided to stay at this camp for a while go out 100 to 150 yards and circle around your camp. Get a fill of the land and your surroundings Find to fall back positions. Make a camouflage blind at both locations. If you have to run and can place distance between you and them you can hide and let them move on.

  • Best time to cover allot grown quickly is one hour before the sun comes up and as dawn is starting.
  • At night find a 6ft staff and attach a knife at the end of it for defense against 4 leg as well as 2 leg varmints.

If you are not sure your safe in the area you decided to stop at for the night, Do only one thing at a time. Wash your feet, dry and change sox one at a time. Try to keep everything in your BOB except what you are using at the present time.

One thing they teach you in the military is know where your weapon is at all times. Sounds easy? In basic training they are always waiting for you to set your weapon down and start doing something else. Soon you will be preoccupied and loose track. You will find your weapon out of arms reach and that is too far. Learn when you move it goes with you. It is a part of you! NO EXCEPTIONS AND NO EXCUSSES.

Learn the art of Camouflage. A lot of people plan to bug out in a vehicle. Think about when you stop for the night. Where will you park? If some one can see your car they will know you are close by.

Learn to camouflage your gear and yourself. Break up your body outline.

You can be camouflage and have some one walk right past you. That can be a lot easier than trying to out run some one.

Learn how to dig a sniper hole. In the military I have stood on top a snipers spider hole and never knew he was under my feet. He can sleep and eat in there for weeks with out coming out.

Bug in unless you have to bug out.

Your home can store more food and water than you can carry. Your home can provide you with shelter and security. It would be easier to defend your home than to defend yourself in open country. Removing interior doors can be used to board up windows. Pulling security in the open country or trying to sleep with one eye open will wear you down fast.

Build a safe room to store your emergency food and gear. Build hidden doors to storage rooms or floor storage areas.

This contest will end on April 22 2013  – prizes include:

Well what are you waiting for – email your entries today. But please read the rules that are listed below first…  The Benefits of Bartering and the Rules to Being Successful

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of TheSurvivalistBlog.net. He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. GoneWithTheWind says:

    Sugar does not “increase your metabolism” and cause you to burn up additional food for energy. And it does not cause a sugar high followed by a low energy period. These are old wives tales (apoligies to old wives). Sugar is what your body runs on, what you use to think with and what generates heat to keep you alive. it is the ONLY fuel your body uses. Your digestive system turns 100% of the carbs you eat into sugar. If your body is not getting enough carbs/sugar then it willo converth the fat and protein to sugar and it can even convert muscle mass to sugar energy. Your liver converts sugar to glycogen which is stored in your liver and muscles for quick and long last energy. It is what your body is intended to do.

    There is of course an illness such as diabetes that will require you to eat a diet that will help you control the rate which sugar is absorbed into your bloodstream. A good diet and excercise program can keep sugar levels close to normal when the body is unable to perform this function. If you have diabetes then you need to follow your doctors advice but if you do not sugar or carbs will not harm you and are in fact essential to life.

    • Sw't Tater says:

      there are many people who are glucose intolerant- now termed pre-diabetes. This is grossly under- diagnosed,
      just as is diabetes. If your A 1c is not above 6 , which means several days with glucose spikes above 300, or consistent sugars above 240 or so, that A1 c will not be high enough for a diabetic diagnosis, (been there and done that)
      I have been glucose intolerant since I was 20, because I found it early, I am still not true diabetic, 30 yrs later. I was warned “: control these sugar spikes or you will be insulin dependent in 5 yrs.” That got my attention.. A “normal amount for other persons” of 2 ADA servings, will crash my sugar. SO DO not say it is NOT true.
      NOrmal amounts of sugars WILL crash some persons sugars because of underlying medical problems.My trigger is one serving of bread, and a starchy vegetable. So if I eat starchy veggies, even 1/4 cup, I can’t eat any breads or deserts. Everyone is different. If anyone has a difficulty with their sugars, they need to know their thresh-hold.
      This is where our health and fitness, and Awareness of our medical status is paramont!…this may entail us getting a meter, extra strips, so that we can monitor our own health..
      This is a good post, If you can’t use this writers menu’s-/ orf you choose not to… then make some you can, but get it done…to your tolerances

      • Survivor says:

        I have just the opposite condition – hypoglycemic. If I don’t eat regularily I’ll pass out. I need fresh food in my belly about every 3-4 hours or I start shaking and shivering (not from cold), I go very pale, have sweats and can’t focus or think about anything but food. If I go very much longer after that, I’m down.
        I keep food very close to hand. I have several days worth of food in my BOB and several packages of crackers in my truck. I have to stock the crackers I don’t like very much so I won’t just snack on them while driving.
        The only good thing about my condition is that I can never be diabetic.

        • Sw't Tater says:

          HYPOGLYCEMIA is a pre-condition to diabetes. It results from the pancreas putting out too much insulin!

      • GoneWithTheWind says:

        You are correct and that is why I specifically advised those with a disease requiring a special die to follow that diet. But for the 90% of people who do not have one of these illnesses it is not good advice to cut out sugar and “white” carbs it is in fact bad advice and it becomes even worse when the excuse is a phony theory. I have a nephew who is allergic to peanut butter but I would never tell everyone not to eat peanut butter because 1/10th of 1% are allergic to it. In a SHTF situation carbs are good, really good. Advising people to not eat them when you are bugging out and buring energy is a mistake. Everyone has their food biases and preferences and it is human nature to try to rationalize your biases, but when giving advice this should be avoided. Stick to the facts.

    • waterboy says:

      Don’t mean to argue, but your body doesn’t run on sugar, it runs on glucose. Huge difference. Complex carbohydrates like peanut butter are full of them. A candy bar is full of simple carbs and does provide for a short term increase in available energy.

      • GoneWithTheWind says:

        This is the problem with disinformation. The term “complex carbs” simple means it takes time for your body to digest it. There is nothing special or “good” about complex carbs. “Simple carbs” generally means complex carbs with the indigestable portions removed. But when all is said and done 100% of carbs is converted to glucose (which is sugar!!!!) and then to glycogen which is what your body runs on. How much simpler could I make this. There is no magic in complex carbs and there is no evil in “simple carbs”. That portion of carbs that is digestable is turned into glucose and that portion that is not digestible is turned into crap.

        As for the whole “short term” theory it is pure BS. 100% of the carbs you eat is turned into glucose/sugar. You use it for the next 6-12-24 hours. What do you define as short term??? It does not matter if the sugar came from complex carbs or simple carbs your body stores them and uses them as needed.

        What might be useful in this discussion is the value of conditioning. If you excercise regularly your muscles and your liver develop greater capacity to store and use glycogen. This is what your body was intended to do. If you increase this capacity you will have more energy, it will last longer and you will process and use food better. Long distance runners choose a high carb meal just before running a marathon. They don’t choose peanut butter or “complex carbs”.

  2. Mary in mn says:

    Good article. I like it when I learn something new. Lots of good information. Thanks.

  3. JP in MT says:

    Great advise. I see nothing wrong with what you are saying. Each individual my find that they need to modify it somewhat, but without better personal experience, I’d recommend they go with what you are saying.

    For me it would be a GHB. But the principle are the same.

  4. riverrider says:

    pretty sure i’ve seen this word for word somewhere else. good article just the same. if i’m wrong i apologize, but it looks very familiar, even the syntax.

    • j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

      Yawp, me too – I thought it was deja vu. Maybe same author ? Good stuff though.

    • RR,
      I was just thinking the same thing. I was trying to remember where I had read it at. It is word for word I am sure of it. I figured that it is probably the same author.

  5. I absolutley agree on the gloves. Way back when, when I was a Boy Scout and a couple of us were trying to start a fire in the dark when it was cold and rainy our first attempt did not go well so we rebuilt it better and tried agian. I picked up a half soaked peice of wood to feed the fire and there was an ember on the end I did not see and it burned a good size spot on the palm of my right hand. I was miserable for the next two days with that burn on my dominant hand. Good thing we were just hiking and not in a survival situation or it could have gotten worse. I always like to were leather gloves when doing anything to protect my soft , wussy hands.

  6. Simple Prepper says:

    I have also seen this EXACT same article elsewhere, but still a good article.

    • Yes, I’ve seen before as well. I believe a few months ago here on TSB… April Fool’s Day… Still worth the reiteration.

  7. Sw't Tater says:

    Posted on Feb 11th, by RB. HERE

  8. Sw't Tater says:

    Caught you MD! There you go re-posting an article, already done as April Fool. It is a good article.

  9. Some of us are new to this site so I’m glad it was reposted. I thought the suggestion of gloves was a good one & you can find decent working ones that aren’t too constricting. When SHTF we aren’t going to bur out, our plan is to hunker down. I can store more and defend better right from home.

    • waterboy says:

      Try Costco if there is one near you. Wells Lamont leather gloves in a three pack for a very reasonable price.

  10. I completely agree on the “bug in unless you have to bug out.” Your home should be ready and your first option. It’s also important to have your bag ready to go, just in case.

  11. hi. loved the article. clear and to the point. these military guys have the dope. thanks. djh

  12. Tristan says:

    For the camouflage thing, I’ve been walked on whilst camo’d up and still remained undetected. Ghillies are great fun 😀

  13. waterboy says:

    Good article whether for the first or fifteenth time. Full of good information and ideas. Repetition builds memory.

  14. mike smith says:

    Hi, This is my first time to this site, picked up a copy of American Survival Guide,yesterday. I am 60 yrs. old a good shot, with a wife to protect. I live in a house that except for the basement area could be ventilated by 22lr ammo. My health is not great I take several scripts,have had a heart attack, heart surgery, and have inflammation problems that require prescription pain meds to keep it (the pain) tolerable nsaids can not be used due to possibility of stroke or heart attack. With that said, I never thought I would be living in a country that is about as close to a dictatorship as it is now. That is my main concern. When the %htf, I would like to be out of the city if possible. I can not afford a parcel of land and cabin. ( in my estimation) due to drones and gunships that would be foolish anyways. I was thinking in terms of a large camouflaged tent with camouflaged tarps to ride out the melt down and then rejoin the resistance if there is any left. My question is does this sound crazy coming from an older American or if not is there any one that may be able to give me some sound advise or point me to some reading material that would help me achieve my goals. Thanks, from a cranky old man.

    • Mike,


      Did you find this blog through my interview with American Survival Guide?

    • JeffintheWest says:

      Not crazy. All we can do is the best we can do. I’m sort of in the same boat — retired military with some shooting skills (shot “sniper” in the Army and was actually my platoon sniper with a little extra training (but not sniper school, alas), have had a heart attack and just lost a kidney to cancer last year — six scripts of my own. And I fully intend to do whatever is necessary to fight back if and when the time comes. I may not last long, but anything I do ties up some of their resources for a while, and any one of them I take down is one less for someone else to have to deal with.

      Use M.D.’s link to Amazon and check out some of the survival books on there — including one called something like “Tactics, Techniques and Procedures for Resistance.” It’s on my wishlist right now, and I hope to have enough money to order it within the next month.

    • JP in MT says:

      mike smith:

      If you are thinking of a tent, there is an off road trailer that has a fold up tent. The trailer is very heavy duty. When it folds up it is sturdy enough that you can not only pack a large quantity of stuff on the top, you could park 2 4-wheeler on top. Locally, Sportsman’s Warehouse carries them (I don’t know the name of it off hand). You could pack this up, park it in a standard garage in place of a car and be ready to go.

      Might be an option for you.

  15. Here is my two cents worth if you have to evacuate your home during a local disaster and travel with your family by private vehicle across country to stay with relatives. During your journey, you will probably be staying in simple motels, limiting restaurant meals, and buying some of your food from grocery stores in order to have money for re-fueling your vehicle. When I travel across country I bring a microwave (small enough that I can carry it up stairs to a second story room), an electric tea kettle for boiling water, a bag of fresh fruit, a box of bottled water and a cardboard box filled with paper plates, paper bowls, disposable cups, trash bags, instant coffee, instant oatmeal, dry breakfast cereal, the fixings for pbj sandwiches, pint-size packaged shelf-stable milk, canned soda and fruit juice, ramen cup o’ noodles, and various pop-top cans/packages of stew, chili and hearty soups. I can usually fill my grocery box from what I have in my pantry and only need to supplement it with fresh fruit or pre-made salads if I am on the road for more than a week. I also have a portable dog crate that I set up in the motel room along with a small litter box because I take my 2 cats with me (each has his or her own pet carrier for travel inside my truck). Motel 6 is my #1 choice because the chain is pet friendly, inexpensive, clean and my Garmin can find one almost everywhere in the US that I have traveled. I always have a homemade breakfast in my motel room and pack up a lunch sack (pbj sandwich and piece of fruit) for my roadside lunch. During summer travel I keep a small cooler on the back seat of my crew cab truck and fill it with bottled water, soda and canned fruit juice — only need to buy bagged ice on the road. Dinner is something from a can, heated in the microwave and eaten in that night’s motel room. I keep multiple changes of clothing in a plastic storage bin in the covered back of my truck and but I only have toiletries and one change of clothing in the overnight bag that I carry into the motel room (I refuse to lug multiple larges suitcases into my room each night). The only other thing I can add about traveling on the cheap across country is to be sure to bring plenty of changes of underwear because washing machines in motels either can’t be found or work poorly or take forever to do a load, will eat up a ton of quarters and you do not want to waste time with checking on a wash load when you could be sleeping.

  16. JeffintheWest says:

    A couple of other comments:

    Movement: There used to be a saying out west — “If you don’t move, you can’t leave any tracks.” Staying put can often be a life saver, as long as you have food, and water.

    Camouflage. When I went through USAF Survival School, they told us a story about when the school used to finish up out in the Philippines. The Air Force would hire Moro tribesmen to track the survival school candidates. Each candidate would be given a sort of “dogtag” that the Moro who found him could “cash in” for anything he wanted from the Base Exchange. And those tribesmen were GOOD. Only one man ever escaped them out of the hundreds they went after, according to the stories. He supposedly had taken some fine mesh fish net with him when he was dropped out there in the jungle and simply found a place deep in some undergrowth near a small spring where he holed up and used the fishnet to break up his outline. No movement — nothing to track. No outline — nothing to see. After a week they came out and got him.

    Food for thought.

  17. GoneWithTheWind says:

    I read that when the AF jungle survival school was in Central America they used the natives to track down the survivalist when they were in the escape and evasion part of the training. One of the pilots was a country boy and was confident he could cover some ground and get away and hide without leaving enough sign for the natives to track them down. He carefully made his escape and hunkered down in a hollowed out place in an old tree well away from any trails. Within two houirs of the trackers setting out after him one found him. He was really suprised since he had been so careful to leave no tracks or other signs so he asked the native how he did it. The reply was that he could smell his toothpaste and followed the smell right to his hiding place.

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