I think we can all agree that bugging out will probably be the most dangerous and important journey any of us will ever take. We become migrants, and if we look at others migrants’ journeys (Syrians, Central Americans), we can see just how dangerous it ca be.
I’m not saying bugging in isn’t the best option, it most definitely is, but bugging out should always be taken into account, for the simple reason that no place on this Earth is 100% immune to disasters, emergencies and SHTF.
It’s one thing to prepare to bug out, and a totally different one to survive when the time comes. This is why we have to think ahead and address the most common mistakes we could make when our life is on the line, particularly since we might live this life for days or even weeks, until we reach the final destination.
Mistake #1: Not Keeping a Low Profile
This could potentially kill entire prepper families when bugging out. Period.
When doing it, they and their loved ones need to be fast, quiet, to know exactly where they’re going and to do it in such a way that they’re seen by the least amount of people possible.
Note that I did not say “hidden”. Although that would be ideal, they’re probably going to run into a lot of people on their way out, some friendlier than others, and things such as dressing in camo or having a bumper sticker that says “I’m a prepper” won’t help.
Having a bug-out vehicle that’s quiet is also important. You don’t want those crazy bug out vehicles that never go unnoticed. You’re not going to the North Pole, you’re going to your bug-out location.
Also, if you don’t have or don’t want a car, and your BOL is relatively close, consider alternative bug-out vehicles that are quieter and consume less fuel or none at all: ATVs, bikes, inflatable kayaks and even dirt bikes.
Mistake #2: Thinking That Their Loved Ones Will Know What to Do
I wish I could tell you that your spouse and kids will be of much help but the reality is, if they’re not prepared, they’re going to be a burden, and one you need to take into consideration.
Your survival group is only as ready as the weakest link, so helping them ramp up their prepping skills should be at the top of the list.
Mistake #3: Not Considering that their Bug-Out Location Has Been Compromised
Totally possible. People who are not aware of this will not only be left without a roof over their heads when SHTF, but they’ll have their entire stockpile stolen. Plus, they might have to confront the new residents head-on (probably not the best idea).
Mistake #4: Being Out of Shape
I’m not looking to bash other preppers out there but some of them are a little overweight. That’s going to be a problem while bugging out because they need speed, strength, and flexibility for all the challenges that await them. Even if they bug in, they’ll still need to be fit for daily homesteading chores
Take bugging out on foot on the train tracks, for instance. One wrong step and their rigid ankle is going to twist so hard, they won’t be able to make another step.
They should at least do some jogging or join a gym, although specific workouts for preppers (that include hiking, running, walking, bodyweight exercises and so on) are well worth it.
Mistake #5: Having a BOB That’s Too Heavy
If they were to simulate a bug-out scenario, many would be surprised to find out that they couldn’t walk a mile with that thing on their back… on flat terrain.
Yes, fitness is an issue but so is overpacking. Every ounce counts when they’re walking, running, jumping and climbing with 40 pound backpacks on them – so try to lighten your load by taking some of these items out.
Mistake #6: Not Being Able to Think for Themselves
The fact that they have a bug out plan doesn’t mean they will end up following it to the letter. In fact, when the brown stuff hits the fan, they’re probably going to do a lot unplanned things than they ever thought they would. That’s where learning to think outside the box and expect anything comes in handy, but you have to train your mind for it.
Ask yourself: when was the last time you did something counter-intuitive? Did it work?
Mistake #7: Bugging Out
Yes, bugging out can be a mistake and a fatal one at that. It’s pretty obvious that you need to decide between staying put and feeling but I just had to put it in the list.
As stated in the intro, bugging in should always be plan A. I realize many live in cities, and doing an 180 degrees lifestyle change isn’t possible, but even so, bugging in could be an option.
Ok, those were it. If you know any other mistakes you’ve made in your drills or if you anticipate other mistakes that people will make when bugging out, share them in the comments below.
Dan has come into contact with homesteading when he was 4 years old, and would spend summers in the countryside with his grandparents. The skills and the mindset that he’s learned now allow him in his mid 30s to better prepare for whatever may come.