Friday, March 19, 2010

Not a fan of the Bug Out

There's a lot of chatter on the net about bugging out. Lots of people go on and on about their bug out vehicles. They talk about their B.O.B. -bug out bag.

Fine. That's all well and good. It's good have an evacuation plan. You never know when natural disasters or societal breakdown may suggest a period of relocation. Having a good reliable vehicle is a good idea. Having a bag packed with essentials is just common sense.

Here's the thing that bothers me -the bug out as first line of defense against disaster. It's a plan B or C as far as I'm concerned. I'm more a proponent of bugging in -hunkering down in my well equipped home.

Why live in a place so crappy that your first line of defense is a bug out? Live in a better place.

Here's one thing that bothers me about bug out vehicles. They break. My vehicles are old, but well maintained. Still, I almost got stuck just outside of Boston due to a failing starter motor. There's plenty of upsides to my truck. (Ford 250 diesel) It's got a full sized bed, 4x4, and it's converted to run on waste vegetable oil.. One problem is that the big turbo diesel engine tends to eat batteries and starter motors. I use top quality Interstate batteries, but cold winters take their toll.

Right now the truck is in a local garage getting a new starter motor. I could change it myself, but really do not feel like crawling in the frozen mud to do the job. Instead I succumbed to the lure of AAA and my local trusted mechanic.

If I'd need it to bug out, I could not. There's still the car and a fair sized utility trailer. I could move the essentials if need be. A lot of important stuff would be left behind. Also would be limited to paved roads. Good thing a bug out isn't plan A.

A lot of people haven't thought much beyond bugging out. That could be fine for a temporary emergency. They leave for a bit and then go back home. Perhaps for something like a hurricane evacuation. If their home is intact, they can just go back. Fine.

Some don't think much beyond heading out into the hills. I've news for them, there are people in the hills already. They may think the hills are crowded enough. If you think you'll live off the land, well, the locals are better at it and won't look kindly on the competition. Best be on good behavior.

If you are bugging out to an established place, it's a better plan. Maybe you have a cabin in the woods, or maybe relatives will be willing to put you up. Fine. Here's the problem: when do you bug out? Too late and you are bogged down in bumper to bumper traffic. Roads may be closed. Gas stations could be shut down. Too early and it may not actually be an emergency at all. Can you afford to randomly scoot out of town? How many have lives that allow that?

Not everything can be foreseen. It's one thing if it looks like a hurricane is coming your way. You've got days to bug out. Maybe a major forest fire is coming? There's usually time. How about an earthquake? Can't really predict the day and time of those. Social unrest? There may be some indication, but an incident could cause a flare up out of the blue.

A bug out may be necessary, but if you plan carefully, a lot less likely to happen to you. Think of the perfect place to bug out to -then move and live there. If you can't live there now, what makes you think you'll be able to live there when times get bad?



  1. Bug-out is such a trendy term, eh? I suppose it means different things to different people - in my case it is the path of last resort. I should call it "going Moogbah", as in some troglodyte wild creature scuttling about in the woods except for being armed with a 30.06 to take out the bastards who caused me to flee from the homestead in the first place.

  2. Moogbah -I like that. Disappearing into the wild. Yeah, I could do it, but I'd also be really really angry. . . and armed.