Some quick notes on bugging out into the woods.
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:30 AM   #1
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Default Some quick notes on bugging out into the woods.

I know most of this is regularly covered, but in case anyone missed these, I just wanted to point out a few concerns.

First: Food. There are roughly 30 million deer in America. Every hunting season, about 6 million deer are harvested over the course of a few months, with the firearms seasons only making up a few weeks of that period. And this is what, a couple million hunters per year? If a mere 5% of the U.S. population bugged out, that's 15 million mouths to feed. If a deer lasts a handful of people one week (which I think is optimistic, since I feel few would have the knowledge or skill to preserve it longer than a couple days), that's a few million deer taken per week just to feed hungry mouths. The deer would be almost gone in two months. Even with about a billion squirrels, how many do you think people would need to shoot to keep their families fed? I mean, I'd bet most heads of household would try to shoot at least one per day, per individual. So, if 15 million people bugged out, half the squirrels would be gone in about a month, which means they are just going to get harder and harder to find until it is an unreliable source of food. Yes, there are many more sources of meat, but again through the same logic it is pretty easy to see that nobody should count on more than a few months worth of consistent food sources. And people won't last more than a couple of weeks with anything they can fit in their packs (at least without feeling the hunger and starting to get desperate).

Not to mention, how much of this land do you think will be private? Now, not that everyone with an acreage is crazy or whatever, but how would those of you with lots of land feel about people camping out in it and killing all your local game? Just another thing to worry about.

Then think about the issue of bugging out too early to beat the rush, and finding the issue has worked itself out. After you drag your family out in into the woods in the middle of the week, will they follow and cooperate so readily the next time when it's really happening? Will you have a job when you return?

As far as bugging out during the rush goes, most likely your going to get stuck in traffic. If you have a bicycle, chances are you aren't going to get far enough away to avoid the above problems. If you have a suped-up Jeep, you might become a target, and the same applies to riding out on ATVs, dirtbikes, or horseback. If nothing else, you'll likely be constantly hassled for rides or supplies, to the point it could become dangerous. Obviously, the point would be to head away from people, but with a mass exodus of millions of people, you'd have to go pretty far before you really got away from everyone. In any case, as with "living" off someone else's land, cutting across the pasture behind some country home won't earn you a very warm welcome from its occupants during times of crisis . So, if bugging out from a populated area, I wouldn't try to count on being able to load your truck up with a year's worth of supplies, as I believe chances are you won't get where your going with them. Either you're going to have to abandon your vehicle, or you'll be such a big target that it will eventually be taken.

Now, yes, there are a lucky few who are going to be far enough from population centers that they won't face these challenges, or at least not as quickly. There is a small percentage of those who will head to the hills that know how to preserve meat and what plants and bugs can be eaten as well. But, of all the people I've personally heard proclaim they'll just pack up their camping gear and head into the mountains, only a VERY small percentage of them really knew enough about primitive living or true "survival" to really make it, and I'm not claiming to be one of them!

So, really, it is absolutely a good idea to be prepared to leave. But first, be prepared to stay. Stock up a decent amount of food and water and such. I've noticed a trend in people whoview Bugging Out as a primary emergency option, in that they tend to ignore the importance of being prepared to stay in. I can say this because I started out the same way and see it in many others; all sorts of sweet gear and such, but essentially none of the basics of food and water at home for the simpler "what if the supply lines are temporarily cut or overwhelmed, and people buy up all the food in the stores and I can't get more for a month?" We are far more likely to encounter such a situation with general food shortages than we are to encounter a situation so bad that it drives people by the millions out of their homes and into the wild. I mean, we'd have to be talking about maybe a nuke going off a few miles away, zombies, or maybe some kind of invasian (from space, or from another country--with about the same likelihood :P ). In fact, the only time I think I'd readily bug out, but would not be among a panicking mob, would be if some really bad sickness got out. It would have to be slow enough that it isn't an over-night-and-millions-are-dead kind of thing, because that would surely cause the panicked evacuation. But it must be serious enough that businesses and schools are cancelled (this is more of a measure of its seriousness, than saying "I won't leave until my boss gives me the ok!"). Only then could I forsee one being able to head into the hills without having to deal with millions of refugees.

Anyways, just some thoughts. IMO it is way better to plan to stay home than it is to plan to big out. Even in an apartment, bugging out should be a last resort, and only if some very serious problems become local to you (rioting and / or fires consuming your neighborhood, or the aforementioned horde of zombies / aliens / russians drawing near). Other than that, at least wait until your own supplies run out. If you make it three weeks and there is no sign of things getting better, AND it's bad enough that bugging out is a better option than just trying to make the best of it**, the majority of people will either be dead, in government shelters or camps, or otherwise indisposed enough to allow you to move more freely than when they all were headed in the same direction as you. Bugging out early probably won't get you anything, as the assumption is the problem exists over a large region (or else they'd just have shipped the food from the next town over, or whatever), and you'd be leaving most of the supplies already stored at home (including changes of clothes, toilet paper, tools, etc, and not just a few bags of beans and rice).

**This would be something like if open fighting in the streets has become a problem, riots or fires are spreading, etc. Basically, serious harm or death must be very likely if you don't leave. A lack of readily-available food, again, probably won't be any different within hundreds of miles if the problem has lasted that long.

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Old 08-22-2011, 03:54 AM   #2
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Thanks for the good ideas.

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Old 08-22-2011, 04:02 AM   #3
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Good thread. Thanks LW.

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Old 08-22-2011, 04:23 AM   #4
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Great thread, with a lot of thought behind it LW.

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Old 08-22-2011, 05:22 AM   #5
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The more likely scenerio is a breakdown in society caused by an economic crisis. It would be more about protecting you and yours than getting out. The question is how long can you survive at home if there was a total failure in public services? How are you set for potable water, sanitation and food supplies? Can you protect what you have from those who want/need it desperately?

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Old 08-22-2011, 01:25 PM   #6
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I think just lying low for a month would be a good deterrent. Keep the shades drawn, don't have fires during the day (the smoke from your chimney might attract the less fortunate), and keep trips away from home as few as possible.

I do see your point as far as things just slowly getting worse and worse until looters are everywhere, etc. Yes, at such a time it might be a good idea to see if you can't make it out to the grandparents. However, just trying to go camping will leave you in the exact same problems I mentioned about food sources. Everyone with a rifle and any bit of independence is going to run to the woods and shoot everything that moves for food. Even then, remember that if the problem is relatively localized, there might be National Guard or LE roadblocks that scoop people up as they try to evacuate, and there might be curfews, martial law, etc, designed to keep people from running around. In such a situation, as long as the violence is not SO bad that every home is being systematically attacked and destroyed over a wide area, being able to just stay in your home for a few months would be the easiest and safest option.

I'm not saying bugging out to the woods for a few months should never be considered. I just think that too many people see it as the "easy" way out of any trouble, when in fact it is probably the hardest and one of the most dangerous. It should only be used if there are clearly no alternatives. This might require the following pieces of knowledge:
-The roads are all blocked so I can't easily make it the 100 miles to Grandpa's house.**
-There is a big fire sweeping the neighborhood that will likely keep burning and reach my house in the next few hours.
-Going to any of the government shelters will leave me disarmed and vulnerable should the situation further deteriorate.

**And you could try to hoof it, and could potentially make it there in a week if you are in shape and probably if you don't have kids. But again you'd have to be very careful about staying close enough to the road to avoid trespassing, but far enough to not attract too much attention from looters, beggars, or any authorities. If you go walking down the road with an AR15 over your shoulder and a backpack full of supplies, people will see you as the guy with what they need (whether out of a lawless nature or simple desperation), and the authorities will see you as a threat who needs to be put down or detained. In the latter case, the last thing you want is to end up in jail in a time like that! And further, walking through someone's property in such a getup is also asking for trouble.


So yeah, lately I've been trying to focus less and less on extreme survival, and more and more on basic needs. Food, water, toilet paper, etc. One can easily build up a pretty good supply with just maybe an extra $20 per grocery run. Seriously, that is a full bag of rice, 20 cans of food (about 10 days of food per person, or less if you want to be full ), or a month of toilet paper! a few trips in, and you're easily stocked for a month.

Yeah, it is much less romantic than the Zombie Survival scenarios we imagine (not going to lie, the Zombie Survival Guide is what got me into all this several years ago :P ). But if you're really serious being preparation, and haven't already covered this, please start looking into it! And if you're not that worried about it and just like guns and cool trucks, that's fine too, but just don't expect those things to solve any social or economic crisis that comes .

Oh, and one semi-related note: Only stock up on food and supplies you'd actually use!!! Don't buy a bunch of survival foods that churn your stomach. Buy your favorite soups and other things you might actually eat during normal times. Keep buying your wife's favorite toilet paper, rather than the crumbly stuff found in prison cells. This way, the stuff will never be wasted. First, you can continually cycle it through your normal uses so that they don't age beyond, say, a year. Second, if you decide you don't want it around, you just use it and go about your business. Third, say you lose your job and it takes a couple months to find a suitable replacement; buying groceries is one less thing you'll have to worry about .

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Old 08-22-2011, 08:34 PM   #7
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Preps. A person should consider what they want to do before/during/after such an event should happen.

I have preps in 3 different locations. We can get by for 1 year minimum. Have seeds/garden equit/fertilizer in all three also.

I have been prepping for 30+ years. Still figuring out what we'll need....

The one thing people should remember....do you pay car insurance? Homeowners policy? Life insurance? health insurance?

The food I save up and equipment is nothing more than insurance. I hope to never have to use it, but I have it if I do need it. Just like any other insurance you have. And you know it doesn't have to be a SHTF situation. What if you run out of a job? You got a way to eat and raise a garden (which I do anyway).

Just some random thoughts...from someone whose has the firepower and hopes he never needs it either...

Jimmy

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Old 08-22-2011, 08:41 PM   #8
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Puts a different light on the spots I had picked out. Both are great elk and deek country and everyone around 175 miles knows it. River is full of salmon, steelhead and trout, clams, crab and oyster in the ocean as well as ground fish. I have a feeling it will get a little crowded!

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Old 08-22-2011, 09:28 PM   #9
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Let's not forget to factor in the nutritious bears out there just waiting for a bullet; i hear some of the ones at the parks aren't very wary of humans either.

MMMMmmmMMM Finger lickin' good!



I also hear their skins make good rugs if you can get the stink off.


edit* I wonder how long it would take the average person to get their mind around eating nutria?

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Old 08-22-2011, 11:35 PM   #10
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My real plan is to bug-in. I already live in a pretty rural area. Town of 50 people. We burn wood for heat in the winter already and have a several year supply. Everything that I would take with me would be heavy to carry and we could wait it out in our house for a long time. I've been hoarding can good for a while now. Working on the stocking of ammo. Approaching the 2000 round level for the centerfire weapons, 10,000+ .22rds and another couple 100 packs of 12/20 gauge will put me over 1000 for the shotguns.

Need to work on the fresh water supply situation. Another thing to think about is gasoline. Generator/chainsaws and ATV will be very handy tools to have and they all take gasoline.

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