The subject of “bugging out” often comes up when considering the implications of collapse, pandemic, tyranny or some other cataclysmic life-changing event, many of which are now on the horizon and getting closer everyday. Ecological collapse, agricultural disaster, economic collapse, tyranny, war, plague, pandemic, or even regional disasters like hurricanes or drought could create conditions where the need to bug out becomes a very pressing matter.
It’s uncomfortable to think about, but the odds of you being targeted because of your political views or non-support of the President, or his war or anything else have just dramatically increased, and could well mean you are no longer safe in your own home. The purpose of the bug out pack is to keep you alive while you get you away, intact and someplace relatively safe (preferably home). As far as that goes, a 72 hour kit or better (recommended) is a good idea and everyone should have something like this on hand for emergencies.
However, the general idea of bugging out is badly flawed. Bugging out presumes you have someplace safe you can go. It further presumes you will have the opportunity to leave, time to get there and a support structure or adequate resources (and resupply) when you arrive. I can think of a lot of situations where none of these criteria will apply. I will use some scenarios to explore this concept and show the basic faults.
Individual Bug Out
Bugging out to go off and hide in the woods is a fatally flawed idea. It does not work very long, even for the extremely experienced individual. If you have been targeted for any reason, then you are certainly not “safe” anywhere. Wherever you would go on planet Earth, you are still going to be subject to the very same risk you were while staying at home. The best you could do is buy yourself some time. And then what?
The fairly recent example of Eric Rudolph revealed just how difficult it would be to truly stay hidden and hide out for the rest of your life. Rudolph lasted a few years (by stealing mostly) – but was eventually worn down and ready to quit by the time he was caught dumpster diving. But the lesson here is even hardcore survivalist types can’t make it very long on their own. The entire system is turned against them (and so are the people in cases like this). They are basically stranded with few resources, little or no help and the constant struggle to simply stay alive.
Bugging out individually is most likely a failed prospect under these conditions. Where would you go? And for how long? Who would hide you? Who would help you? Who would protect you? The reality is – nobody. You’re going to be on your own. The lack of a support structure and resupply is going to be fatal.
I’ve recently come into contact with a tiny few individuals who have plans to live primitively, and could in a pinch, probably survive on their own if dropped naked into the wilderness. This isn’t theoretical either – they’ve done it already, some for a few years at a time. More power to them. This is how man was meant to live (imo) and if you’ve got the skills to live like that, what are you doing reading this blog? I don’t have either the inclination or all the skills required – nor do most people. Collapse (SHTF) will see many people try this as they flee the danger, a tiny few might make it, most won’t.
Underlying a lot of individual “bug out plans” is the idea that collapse will actually help you, eventually, because collapse is thought of as “chaos”, which is not a valid assumption. I think this too is a fatally flawed idea. Banking on collapse as a protective mechanism for your personal situation is an extreme gamble that you will probably lose.
Group Bug Out
In the Katrina disaster, refugees bugged out enmasse, and many had help. Moreover, there was a support structure (although a very bad one at times) in place to assist the affected. Many helping hands and agencies stepped in to help the refugees make the transition to a safe area. This made all the difference in the world, making survival for the refugees possible. Without this, almost none of the Katrina victims would have survived, at least, not very long. It was rather amazing, to me anyway, at the lack of basic survival skills I read about. Looting doesn’t qualify, but will be very common in the collapse.
This shows how critical a support structure is, and having someplace to go within civilization. Many of the Katrina victims had an opportunity to leave, but didn’t. Of those that survived the hurricane, most got stuck in New Orleans and couldn’t leave later on until they were permitted. A 72 hour kit would have made little difference at that point.
I will emphasize again, the problem the world is in are collective problems, shared by all of society. Unless we collectively solve them, then individually, we cannot run away from them for very long.
There are options to bugging out. None of which are pleasant. But since bugging out doesn’t necessarily provide any answer either, then we should at least consider these options.
Stick it out
If this is a fight against real tyranny (and not fantasy), then you can stay and fight. You’ll last a few minutes, if you’re alone, but at least they won’t take you down without a fight. And no, you probably won’t survive it. Anybody that has tried this tactic was killed (Cooper), many burned alive (Kahl, Koresh) and only one case (Weaver and Harris) lived to tell about it, but his wife and son didn’t. You will simply be overwhelmed, irregardless of how much you have prepared. But this is still an option, because of the simple fact that your life is utterly ruined anyway, no matter what you do. You may not be able to get away anyway. Or you can rot in prison while being Bubba’s new friend. Take your pick.
If this is a fight for survival due to a truly huge national crisis (economic crash, pandemic, whatever), then sticking it out makes the most sense of all. If the national infrastructure goes down, there is no place to go and no support structure to help you when you get there. So stay put and stick it out where there can be strength in numbers. You’re best prepared where you are best known, best settled and best familiarized. Outsiders will not be welcome (watch the Grapes of Wrath) and will find themselves shunned, abused or simply run off.
If You Have To Bug Out
Leaving, if you absolutely must, will only buy you a bit of time and not much else. There is no place to go, unless you truly leave for some other, better place, far, far away and become integrated in the culture and society there (civilization). If you stay here where the crisis is, collapse will find you, no matter where you are. Don’t get delusions of grandeur that bugging out into the sticks will change anything. It won’t.
If you’re running for other reasons (political dissident, criminal activity, etc.), almost everyone will be turned against you, and those that you trusted cannot be contacted, ever. They will be watched and even arrested if they do so. You WILL be on your own. Your bug out pack then, will simply get you from point A to point B (maybe). If you get the chance to use it.
It’s what point B entails and offers that really matters. This is what needs the most thought and consideration and this is the only reason I can truly envision for having a bugout pack.
Before I get to that, I need to emphasize one particular point. If you have been targeted, your life is over. A modern example of this is Mike Ruppert, he fled to Venezuela, but that didn’t work out and now he’s in Canada. He’s yet to get his feet back underneath him, and may never. Everything that you wanted, dreamed about, owned or desired is on the chopping block. Family, friends, acquaintances, job, career, bank accounts, assets, home, possessions, say your goodbyes. Pack your bags and don’t look back and don’t ever contact anyone you’ve known again. Ever. You’re about to embark on a one-way journey and there is no getting off that train. (Update: he came back, found out that he’d lost everything, fell into despair and killed himself).
Getting out of harms way, if possible, is a good idea if that’s what you need to do. However, the basic premises of bugging out has some pretty serious flaws that are often overlooked. Not everybody is running from tyranny of course, there might be a regional disaster (chlorine gas cloud or something) the would require you to leave – temporarily. Bug out packs should be considered very temporary survival plans – to get you back to civilization, not away from it. Your personal “escape and evasion” kit to get you from point A to point B, but they will not keep you going very long.
Your escape, from whatever it was, was a problem much bigger then yourself, which means it won’t just go away. You will have to deal with it, sooner or later. Getting out of harms way is a good idea – but reality returns rapidly and you will be forced to deal with the situation.
The first thing to keep in mind, is refugees, anywhere in the world, do not fare very well. Katrina disaster victims, hurricane disasters, or war refugees all find themselves homeless, penniless and destitute, dependent in the extreme for the basic necessities of life (water, food, clothing, shelter). Bugging out implies you’re a self-made refugee, taking only the barest essentials with you (or none at all, depending upon your circumstances).
Does it work? No, not really. Bugging out requires you to leave almost everything behind. A 72 hour kit will keep you alive, barely, for a few days, but then what?
The real issue behind bugging out is – go where? Leaving a disaster zone may be essential, but you definitely need to leave for something better. A national scale disaster (nuclear war for example or plague) wouldn’t provide much opportunity to find something better. But the need to bug out may still be there if you’re in a dangerous area.
Many people think they can bug out from tyranny, but this probably won’t work. Collapse will probably increase tyranny, not lessen it (see Future Prep III). Unless you can go someplace where you will be relatively safe from tyranny, simply changing locations won’t fix the problem. Tyranny develops over long periods of time, generations, and doesn’t just go away. It permeates everything if it’s been around long enough. Sooner or later the problem will have to be dealt with. Unless you can leave, permanently, to someplace safer, then the tyrannical “powers that be” will continue to flourish until they implode from within or without.
It’s ironic as hell that the United States has long promoted itself as a “free democracy” while increasing the tyranny against its own citizens and the rest of the world, year by year. It’s very easy to see where this is going. The crushing absolutist power that has now been given to Presidents isn’t something any of us should ignore. Take a hint – America will eventually fall to tyranny, this is the always the outcome of nations. If you are not making plans to deal with this – you should.
You will either be forced to “go along to get along” (comply) with tyranny and oppression, or you will be forced underground (refugee status) or you will be forced to leave, if you can. There will be, there is ultimately, no other choice.
Part of Future Prep series is understanding the level of violence that you will be subjected to. I’ll say it again, understand the level of violence that you will be subjected to. This is not mad ranting, everyone in America is already subjected to much of this violence at different times in their lives. You are already be coerced to comply (through the threat of economic or prison pain) on many fronts – licensing, taxation, regulation, restrictions, permits, etc. Your compliance is not an option, but a requirement, on threat of severe punishment.
Most people consider this “normal”, however, this was not always the case. Two years ago, torture wasn’t “normal”, but is already becoming normalized in American thinking. I find this unbelievable, but it’s true. Social Security taxation deductions were not considered normal either (they didn’t exist), but now everyone thinks they’re going to get social security benefits when they retire. That’s not a certainty. Income taxes were not considered normal either, nor was licensing, a drinking age, drug prohibitions or even voting for women. None of these existed for many years in this country.
As our society has progressed, we’ve fallen under a gargantuan level of laws, restrictions and required permission slips to simply live. We’re drowning in regulations. But this advancement of our civilization has become quite top-heavy, with a double-standard of requirements that are shouldered by the average American and simply ignored (or bought) by elitist elements in society.
To keep up this discrepancy, it will be necessary to continue to pressure the lower class segments of society into compliance and control. We are already seeing this in the so-called War on Drugs. The lower class segments of society are paying very heavily for their involvement in drugs, while the higher class segments of society are pretty much immune to prosecution and imprisonment. And evidence abounds that the US government is actively involved in perpetuating America’s drug addiction (this is not conspiracy theory). This is of course, the Hegelian Dialect, which create a problem, then pretends to offer the solution.
The US government is directly involved in the importation of drugs into this country, while clamoring for bigger budgets, bigger departments and new toys. I just picked up a copy of “The Big White Lie”, The Deep Cover Operation That Exposed The CIA Sabotage Of The Drug War, it’s a stunning read. This keeps them all well-paid, occupied and on top of the heap in society while they dictate to everyone else how to live. This is the pecking order found in all societies. It’s no accident the war on drugs is a total failure, just like the war on terror. Government is actively involved in funding and playing both sides of war, because it is extremely profitable for them. None of these wars can ever be won. They always demand more money and bigger staffs to perpetuate the duplicity. We ultimately have no choice in the matter anymore, they simply take what they want even when we object.
If that isn’t tyranny, I don’t know what is. Two MILLION Americans are already rotting in prison, more then any other country in the world. American prison condition are horrifying. More prisons and labor camps are being built around the country. An unbelievable level of legislation has been passed to create far more prisoners, who have now been stripped of all of their Constitutional rights through legislation passed by Congress and the House.
Therefore, the idea that bugging out seems like a valid concept, but the reality is – you can’t hide forever, nor stay “out there” very long.
Any society that degrades human rights like the US has done will fall into tyranny and will eventually turn upon its own. Germany had to fall (be destroyed from without) before its tyrannical powers over the country could be broken. It has already turned into a tyrannical police state by that time, terrorizing and imprisoning its own citizens. By that time, tens of millions had perished. Millions more would have perished if it had not been stopped. The United States has come dangerously closed to turning on its own citizens (time will tell).
Americans are allegedly one of the most liberty minded people on the planet. But I don’t this is entirely true. I think we have forgotten what real freedom was. I think we have become too soft and to apathetic to care. I think we’d rather trade freedom for our illusions of security and Sunday football games. I think American are willingly complicit to the tyranny that is going on all around the world in their name by their own government and big business. It’s obvious that we are complicit with tyranny. No other conclusion could be possible.
Not everyone in America of course, is going along with it, but the reality is, the mythical “line in the sand” claims keep getting pushed back, again and again and again. It’s almost laughable if it wasn’t so damned sad. The faketriot / patriot groups think that they’ll (finally) grow some balls and stand up “when they come for my guns” which is absolutely absurd thinking. By that time, it will be too late. Gun confiscation is already occurring at the slightest infraction and yet these blowhards do nothing. Have an argument with your wife and the neighbor reports the disturbance. Your guns will be taken away from you, even though you’re not guilty (or charged) with anything or even arrested.
I see no help coming from the patriot crowd (wow – reviewing this in 2018 and they’re still helpless). They are weakened by their strong insistence that Constitutional law must be followed and then “all will be well”. This is yet another myth that is full of holes. The US Constitution is a weak document – it has permitted the very excesses we have today. It is ambiguous in places where it needed to be resolute and strong so that no possible misinterpretation could take place. But the Supreme Court has done just that, over and over again, interpreting what they want, when they want, and how they want, according to the demands of the Administrations under which they serve.
Going further, look at what the Attorney General of the United States is advocating. Janet Reno was horrible, but Gonzalez makes Reno look like a kindergartner. So far, Gonzalez hasn’t burned any children to death, but he’s still in office, give him time. The US Justice Department is not defending the rights of the people, but actively finding ways in which to take more of these rights away from you. Isn’t it strange that ALL of our lawmakers are always so busy doing this, eroding away at individual freedom and liberty? Instead of enabling Americans, they are constantly finding ways to disable you, punish you and restrict you in a myriad of ways.
It’s not so strange when you realize that this is the normal progression of all societies. Societies devolve into tyranny when they become corrupt on their own power and greed. After a period of revolution, growth and development, the protection of human rights, opportunities and advancement, societies become greedy, top-heavy, bureaucratic and eventually fall into tyranny. It’s no surprise that this is now the case in the US. By most estimates, we are actually long overdue for this, most Republics last only about 200 years. Revolutions follow tyranny and the whole cycle endlessly repeats itself.
Now, I didn’t mean to digress this Future Prep into a political diatribe, but bugging out has just become a serious proposition for millions of people. What are you going to do when they come for you? Everyday I am reading about case after case of individuals who are being targeted for really stupid stuff. Disagree with the Vice President and you wind up in jail. Wow! Where do you think this is going? This kind of abuse just don’t go away – it tends to get worse.
This Administration has never admitted to any wrongdoing, no matter how horrible their crimes are. They fully believe that if you are not 100% with them, then you are the enemy and deserving of anything that they can dish out to you. They’ve even said those very words. People hate the comparison of Germany to the United States, but they need to realize just how fast Germany fell. It can happen here.
Your future preps need to consider this. This is an irrefutable fact. It’s bad enough we have climate change, failing ecosystems, pandemic and flying asteroids to be concerned about. We also have the face of fascism.
Bugging out is a temporary solution to a long-term problem. Don’t make it a fatal non-answer, or think you can run away from tyranny, crisis or collapse. You can’t. You’ll have to deal with all of it, whatever it is eventually. If things got bad enough to bug out – then what did you do about those things before this happened? Anything? Nothing?