Bug-In or Bug-Out? [Part 2]
Your survival needs will be the same between Bugging-In or Bugging-Out. The benefit of Bugging-In is that you can store more items, weight is not a factor, so we will focus more on Bugging-Out. Remember you can use these concepts for Bugging-In, and even if Bugging-In was the best option at first, you may be forced to Bug-Out at some point.
After clothing, you need to figure out what other items can meet your needs. How will you bring or obtain water? Can you make a fire to say warm or boil water? What means of shelter do you have or make? Do you communicate gear or signaling gear? How about first aid? Will Band-Aids suffice? What about trauma? How are you going to get there? What are you going to use to carry your gear?
Consider water containers, purification tablets, filters, and metal bottle or cup/pot [to boil in]. While you can pack water to bring, you need to determine a means or method to gather more water on your way or when you get where you are going. Many methods are professed to be the best, but there are some that work better than others, and some that do not work in certain climates [IE water stills are not efficient in the desert]. Water is one of the most important things to stay alive, so make sure you take the time to consider these options and make a good plan with multiple ways to keep access to water.
Making fire during an emergency may require methods you do not normally use, such as using matches rather than lighters or using Ferro rod. Make sure you know several methods on how to make fire and practice these methods. You may want to carry some tinder as well, especially in a wetter climate. You should have at least two methods of creating fire. Obtain training if needed.
The shelter is at the top of survival needs and is not just a structure, it starts with your clothing choices. You will need clothes that are weather dependent on where you are or where you are going. While cotton cloths are cheap and comfortable, they are a bad choice for a bug-out situation. Cotton can be easily saturated by water or perspiration and does not dry quickly. Better options would be wool, or cotton and synthetic blends. Wool can become wet but still retains its ability to keep you warm. The blends give you the comfort of cotton, but the synthetics help wick and dry faster. You will also want to keep in mind where you are going and choose clothing that will blend in as you travel and arrive. If you are going out to a remote area that wears camouflage regularly, you can choose camo, but if you are going to a suburban area that does not often wear camo, you should not show up in full camo fatigues or you will immediately be pegged as an outsider. You will also need to consider shelter, at home your dwelling is your shelter, as well as the clothes you already have. Once you leave you will need a way to stay warm/cool and out of the elements. This could be a tent, a tarp, or if you have the knowledge and skills you can build a bushcraft structure. If you are Bugging-Out to Bug-In elsewhere, you may have to make stops on the way, so shelter needs may come up before getting to your endpoint.
Consider different methods of communication, such as HAM radios. At home, you can have a full station, but on the move, you will need to look into quality handsets. For communication with anyone you are Bugging-Out with, you can look at regular handheld radios. Also, you should consider whistles and signal mirrors, as they require no power and can signal from long distances. With HAM radios, make sure you get your license.
For first aid, you will probably use band-aids the most, but you should consider having more advanced items for serious trauma. A trauma kit is good for gunshots and stab wounds, but also consider if in the backcountry you fall on a sharp rock or get impaled with a branch, you will need the same types of medical supplies. [Check out our IFAK article]
Is your Bug-Out destination within walking distance or will you have to drive? Make sure that if you have to walk, that you have quality footwear. You will also want to have a quality pack of some kind, such as a mountaineering pack or a rucksack. The pack needs to fit you, hold the items you need, but also be kept to a weight that you can carry. It does not matter if you have the best pack and all the best gear if you cannot carry it, then they are useless. To improve your chances do practice runs, physically train with your full pack [you may need to start lighter and build up], and do other activities that will keep you fit and capable of making the trip [Check out our Fit article]. If you are able to drive, then make sure you have a vehicle that is capable of getting where you want to go, for example, if your destination is in the middle of a rural community with dirt roads, a Prius may not make the best choice. Also, your vehicle can be the new container for your gear, but you may want to consider having a quality pack too, just in case you have to abandon your vehicle. Fuel also has to be a consideration, you may need to refuel on the way, so your route planning should be considered before you are in an emergency situation.
Again, remember if Bugging-Out, do not create the conditions you are escaping when you get to your new location. If sick, avoid spreading any illness. If you are escaping social/economic issues, do not push for the same policies/agendas that caused them in the first place [ie escape far-left state, do not vote for leftist/liberal/anti-gun policies in your new location].
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