Bugging Out: First Choice Or Last Resort?

Discussion in 'Safety' started by Blake E Boo, Jul 29, 2017.

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  1. Blake E Boo

    Blake E Boo Member
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    Most preppers say when SHTF, they're going to bug out. I recently came upon a few articles and websites debunking the bug out, saying that bugging out is dangerous. I don't know what to do in case of emergency. Is bugging out a plan A or plan B?
     
  2. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    My answer is based on experience, but it still depends on your situation & where you are. In my opinion if you are in a city & there is no longer any law & order, then you are safer getting out. Situations like long term blackouts, no more food left in the supermarket, you have no electricity, no sewage, no running water in your home & no where to cook food long term. If it is going to become unsafe to go outside, then you need to get out of the built up area.

    Most people who are against bugging out don't have the skills to live in the woods & they simply don't want to leave the comfort of their homes. Some will die in those homes. I live off grid, but I am still prepared to leave my home if I can not defend what I have, it is not worth dieing for. If you leave, & the situation changes, you can always go back.

    At home in the city all you have is the food supplies on hand & the water on hand. You can't stop looters driving a truck into your living room, & you can't stop them from chucking a Molotov cocktail through your window or up against your front door.

    In the woods there are still dangers, but you have room to move. If you take plenty of dried foods with you it should carry you through until you can trap & hunt & get some meat dried. In summer there will be edible plants to forage & water to find. You can make fire & cook your food & bake bread or damper providing you are in a safe place or your fire is hidden. Having some form of defence such as a firearm is a plus in any survival situation. But you do need to have the skills.

    Now is the time to start camping out & getting a feel for the lifestyle. Check out areas you could go to. Learn & practice sustainable skills, that means using a flint, steel & tinderbox not some modern fire lighting gadget that will not teach you anything & may eventually let you down.
    Keith.
     
  3. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    I don't really see bugging out as much better than bugging in for most people. If you are in a major city of 30,000 or more if you stay there you are probably going to die. When the power stops and the water stops most cities just don't have enough available food and water to feed that many people. That means that if you have food they are going to descend on you and take it.

    Even if they don't the fact is the cities are going to burn down. The buildings and homes are not built for wood fired cooking and once the fires start there will be no fire department and it will just burn until it burns out. Another problem will be the simple fact that no water also means no sewer system and when thousands of people start throwing waste out in the ditches disease is going to eat the people up. There will be NO WATER and any possible water is going to be quickly polluted past any hope of purifying it.

    Now on the other hand, running out into the woods to play Daniel Boone isn't realistic either. First off most people don't have a clue about what would be required and learning after the collapse is just not going to work well. You will need those skills well established before you need them or you will be no better off in the woods than you would have been in the city. There are no grocery stores in the woods and if you will watch a few survival shows you will see that even people with some skills struggle.

    The other thing that you will have to understand is that as you trot off into the forest you will be among the multitude of other urbanites with little ability that are descending on the woods. This means that you may be surrounded by a bunch of hungry people with no camping skills and sadly as you get hungrier your morals fade out fast. If you make a kill you better est it fast and don't think about a BBQ. That sort of smell in a woods full of starving people won't work out well for you.

    Also understand that with all these novice campers forest fires are inevitable!! Between the fires and the thousands of people there just isn't going to be any game available. The sad part is and most of the deer killed will go to waste because the people that killed them didn't know what to do with the meat and it rotted.

    To me if you are serious you need to start now making a place for yourself to go to that will not be on the lists of a hundred thousand other people. This will mean at the least going there regularly and making sure that the locals know you. VERY quickly strangers are not going to be welcomed in the small towns. Farmers are going to be violently protective of their land and live stock. The gangs are going to make it tough on everyone until they are mostly wiped out but they will especially be tough on small family groups that are not prepared and entrenched in place. Thugs always go for the easy pickings. A family of farmers armed to the teeth and prepared to defend their property will be a lot harder nut to crack than a family that is sort of living out of their car or in a tent isolated somewhat.

    If you live in a city and can't leave now then you need to start now organizing with others in your same position so that if things go bad you can react as a group. There will be safety in numbers somewhat. OR if you are single you can go lone wolf and run fast far and then dig in deep somewhere that isn't very attractive to most people. If you can make some connections in someplace better than where you are so that you MIGHT be accepted if you showed up after things got ugly.

    I have friends in the city that are gong to try to come to me. They will come armed and with as much food and supplies as possible. See if you can find someone, friends or family that might think that a few extra hands might be good. Just make sure that you have things to bring to the table. Skills, supplies and for sure a willingness to WORK HARD.
     
  4. LilSoldierGirl

    LilSoldierGirl Well-Known Member
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    You are asking a question that cannot be answered until the time comes to make that decision.

    Is it safer in your home in the city or on the road attempting to flee? Will your chances of survival be better in town or the wilderness? Nobody can answer this for you, and you can't answer it for yourself until the time comes. Perhaps not even then.

    All you can do is give yourself as many options as possible. Buy the gear, learn the skills, create the networks and friendships that will help you now.

    Or do nothing.

    You have no fate but that which you make for yourself.
     
  5. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    Good one LilSoldierGirl Networking opens up your options. I know that in my life, during hard times it was often friends of friends that helped me out.

    If nothing else you need to make yourself as valuable as possible by learning skills that will be of value in a more primitive world. You do this now by going to school so that you can find a good job. In the future most of the degrees won't have a lot of use but knowing how to sew or how to cure leather and make shoes would make you a very popular person to have around because tennis shoes aren't going to last for very long when people start walking everywhere. THINK now so you can REACT instantly later. LEARN now because you won't have time for that later when you need those skills.
     
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  6. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    If you are in a big city right now and can't afford to leave I really do understand. I ended up where I am because hard times made a move totally necessary so we killed two birds with one stone. We chose where we are and then as things allowed we moved even deeper into what we wanted when we bought a new home several years later. I can't take a lot of credit for bravely dumping my life and moving someplace better for the sake of survival. The fact is every place that I had ever worked closed and there was NO future left there for us. We were going to lose our home sooner or later so we ended up choosing sooner. 25%+ unemployment rates are deadly on an economy!

    I do have a few ideas though for those of you that are trapped in the big cities and with jobs and homes to nice to walk away from. There is a lot to say for living in or very near a small country town. There is a lot of land around it and a lot of people living in the rural areas all around it. Unfortunately there are not a lot of jobs there and well the shopping is limited as far as fancy department stores. On the other hand a lot of these little towns have the OLD style country stores that sell a little of everything and both butcher and smoke meat.

    What you might think about is picking a small town near someplace that you might like and start vacationing there. Once you decide that this might be the place you can start networking in that area. Join and go to a local church maybe. As you get to know people if you can start making some connections you need to rent a little warehouse in the near area and start moving some serious basic supplies into it. Spare clothes, food, water, tools, weapons and some ammo... That way if you have run you won't just be limited to what you can carry.

    I live in such and area. We have a lot of seasonal people here that come her to escape the winters up north. Some stay in travel trailers and some have small duplexes and rent one side year around. We also have several camp grounds where people come sometimes every year. They store their campers there year around. If they show up at least they will be known and not just one of many strangers trying to move in.

    If things start looking really bad maybe one of you can go with the kids and be there and that will only have one of you on the road in a major mess. You might get a good bicycle and a bike rack so if you are just caught totally trapped in traffic you can abandon the car and ride on to your hopeful bug out location.
     
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  7. GS AutoTech

    GS AutoTech Expert Member
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    It's up to you to asses your situation. Make a plan for whatever possibilities you may face. Multiple plans. If this happens, do this or that. Just like a flow chart. Test your options to make sure they are feasible according to the event. Perform dry runs so you can be efficient & avoid panic. This will also reveal problems with your plan so you can then revise as needed.
     
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  8. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    depends on where you live, in one of the UK's multi cultural hell holes called Cities your probably out of luck staying there, mobs aren't very fussy what property they set light to as we found out in the London "riots", having said that out of the city centre and in one of the suburbs your probably a bit safer.
    if someone dosent have a clue about wilderness living and lets face it not many of the UK population have ever seen a real wilderness, a couple of weeks camping at a regulated camp site on the coast with a shop and a bar is not the kind of experience that will do them much good in a SHTF event.
     
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  9. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Master Survivalist
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    If one is a helicopter pilot / mechanic, then bugging out becomes more of a reality.

    So I exaggerate. But, my point is this, look at your bug-out route. How many bridges will you have to cross? In an earthquake or flood situation, these puppies stand to be damaged or destroyed. My wife has kin out near the Mississippi to the south and we have on numerous occasions crossed the Mississippi to the north. Those bridges could easily be shut down, but in those flat regions of America, there are many bridges on almost all roads. One New Madrid quake and these structures go bye-byes.

    What are the odds that your escape rout will be cut-off by traffic jams? Think your plans are unique? Double, or triple, the number of people using these routes and I bet that these routes will NOT handle the traffic they'll be called upon to carry. In a SHTF situation, being stuck in traffic could get you robbed or far worse. One could plan on having to abandon a vehicle and switch to a trail-bike type of motorcycle, then swap to foot when one's fuel runs out, or one is facing a wall of motorcycle thieves. Some hidden monster could remove you from your bike with a baseball bat or a tension wire. Motorcyclists are very vulnerable to loads of buckshot.

    If you are bugging out, one part of your equipment will have to be a crystal ball. You are going to have to start your exit before a SHTF event, else your route is very likely to be put at risk.
     
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  10. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    The thing about bugging out is that it is going to put you in direct contact with and among the masses unless you bail well ahead of time. If you wait until you are SURE that you need to bug out the roads are going to be blocked by the multitudes.

    All of these other people are going to be scared and panicked and it is going to be a powder keg. Not only are the people that are trapped in endless blocked traffic jams going to be a problem and freaking out, the people near these places are going to be pretty upset when these masses invade them like a swarm of locust. The few stores that will be open will be stripped bare and water is going to be an extremely precious commodity immediately. Within three days people on these roads will be killing each other over bottles of water.

    Personally, i think, that if you can't bug out ahead of this mess then you will be better off to shelter in place for a couple of weeks or a month and then try to walk out. There will be thousands of empty houses and if you keep a low profile and are prepared to defend yourself you should be able to hide out. After a month there will be a lot fewer people around and a lot of the gangs will be dying out. They will find out real quick that no police means ordinary people will shoot them almost on sight. Cops primarily protect criminals and are only interested in regular citizens after they become victims.

    Unfortunately most of the people that will bug out will actually just be running with no plan and little in the way in preparation. If you are mixed in among them you are going to have a tough time.
     
  11. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    if someone is in the middle of a big city then they probably need to get out soon after the event happens, if not before.
    trouble is running with no idea of where to go isn't a good idea either.
     
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  12. GS AutoTech

    GS AutoTech Expert Member
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    Like many, we would prefer to bug in. Our homestead is growing & much better equipped than any bug out location we have available to us currently. The geography surrounding our homestead poses difficult challenges. There are three exit routes, 2 over water with bridges & 1 over land. All 3 routes bring us dangerously close to major metropolitan areas. So if we were to bug out it would HAVE to be prior to any mass panic, rioting or martial law imposition.
     
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  13. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    I've heard a lot of people on British forums talking about "bugging out into the woods" but very few of them have any idea of what that entails, sure any idiot can survive for a couple of months in the middle of a UK summer but come the winter they'll all be dropping like flies when there are no plants growing, all the animals have hibernated and its cold, wet and dark.
     
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  14. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    With guns as controlled as they are there and the fact that it is illegal to bow hunt how will the average person kill anything to eat? Trying to live on nothing but wild vegetation is only a viable option if you are experienced and very knowledgeable of what there is out there to eat.

    If you are in the inner city you HAVE to bug out because the inner cities will burn and without water or a fire department it will spread and burn everything. Depending on their set up, at least in Texas, most suburban neighborhoods have a little space between the homes and won't be quite so likely to burn down.

    You will need to at least get out of the apartments and row houses. With people trying to cook and heat with fire it is a certainty that there will be fires even if the trash people don't set fire to everything. If it is winter you need to run fast because even out in the woods you won't believe how fast the forests will be stripped of the easy wood to get and then there will be the forest fires created by inexperienced and just plain stupid people.

    Even people that bug in will need to be very careful about using up their wood supply too fast. There was a reason why the pioneers log cabins were TINY by our standards. I live in a place that is heavily wooded. I have seen pictures of this area from around the turn of the century...there were NO trees. People are lazy and will take the trees that are close first before they will go further for the wood. All around here are little com unities with names like Crabbs Prairie, Pine Prier and Lone Prairie. They are in dense woods now but a hundred years ago you had to go miles to find and cut firewood because there wasn't any near these little farming communities. The "Prairies" were not natural, rather they were the result of clear cutting for farms and what little was left in the creek bottoms was cut for fire wood.
     
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  15. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    in the ancient times Britain was wooded from coast to coast and the safest way to travel was by boat, as they cleared the land for farming the forests got smaller and smaller so the woods we have left are all that remain.
    the fields and hedges and dry stone walls are not natural they are all man made.
     
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  16. Kootenay prepper

    Kootenay prepper Expert Member
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    I think people shouldn't put all there eggs in one basket. Just because SHTF doesn't mean natural disasters are going to quit. What happens if you have a large wildfire heading straight towards your bug in location with no one coming to help. Good to have multiple backup locations in mind for backup locations. Another important part of that is to catalog the resources for each location. I keep multiple backups if it's a small cabin or its a secluded spot in the woods with known resources marked on maps for different seasons.
     
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  17. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    A very good point Kp, we do tend to concentrate on one scenario or another, assuming that it will be the only one. But as you say, no reason why we can't experience two or three shtf incidents all at the same time!!! This is well worth looking into & taking precautions.
    Keith.
     
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  18. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Master Survivalist
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    Disaster events cascade. They set off the domino row. One example: economic collapse => looting => street battles => famine => electrical grid gone => no pumping of water => unclean water => cholera outbreak => ... => ... on and on and on. During America's Revolutionary War and Civil War, the big killer was dysentery.

    Today, during good times, I see mansions being built back in forested areas (I'm talking east of the Mississippi). I look at the forest floor and see all manner of dead brush and trees. Drought = tinder box = forest fire = escape routes blocked = nasty fire casualty counts.

    And people who bug-out to wilderness areas often do not realize the degree to which they are going to need to defend themselves against interlopers and locals who will want them dead. Locals will not want them in their area and interlopers will kill to steal food and other supplies. In the wilderness they will need to build heavy structures or entrench themselves. What a horrible situation! If one is going to bug out, man oh man, had they better have planned and planned and planned.
     
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  19. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    I was thinking more of a shtf situation & then a natural disaster on top. We grow our own food, we put a reasonable amount of work into our gardens without becoming slaves to our food supply. Xmas day we were hit by a hail storm which has devastated our gardens, smashed 3 solar panels, damaged all three road vehicles, broken drain pipes, house window & fly screens. IF this were a survival situation we would be set back considerably, & I take this as a warning. We will have to take precautions to limit ant such damage in future.
    Keith.
     
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  20. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Master Survivalist
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    When I think of bugging-out, I think of with whom it is I'll be staying. On whom will the wifer and I impose ourselves until able to settle ourselves. Maybe the best case would be to find someone who will need help. Head for those in need, bringing with you items needed where you are headed. If you show up being in need yourself, you might as well brand "666" on your forehead.

    If you have close friends or relatives with whom you are on good terms, evaluate their preparedness. If the topic of post-SHTF is not taboo, then openly discuss what plans you folk can make in unison.

    An older family member has passed away. Now it is time to read the Last Will and Testament. As you read my last two sentences above and as you contemplate gathering with family under such circumstances, as you imagine the conflicts that could arise during the reading of such, now contemplate everyone in one location when any and all resources are in profoundly short supply. Contemplate everyone's emotions being stretched to the max. And what family, what group of friends, are one and all 100% mentally sane 24/7?! People are going to be on the verge of "losing it". Some will have utterly "lost it" when that which "cannot happen" has happened. Such are the psychological realities one has to calculate into their bug-out plans.
     
  21. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Good post.
    Keith.
     
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  22. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    I have multiple bug out locations, not just one but several, all located and scouted in advance, by me.
    I have also scouted and noted all the resources in each area and am constantly adding to that knowledge.
    don't leave your bugging out until the last moment and then run blind not knowing where your going, but running FROM something, it all has to be pre planned.
     
  23. Morgan101

    Morgan101 Master Survivalist
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    IMHO this is very good advice to follow. The acronym used is RED OUT
    RESOURCES (or lack of)
    ENVIRONMENTAL THREAT
    DESTINATION

    OVERWHELMING FORCE
    UNPREPARED FOR THE SITUATION
    THREAT GROWING

    The video goes into detail. Not to long, and worth watching.

     
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  24. TENNGRIZZ

    TENNGRIZZ Expert Member
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    There is real need for Strength in numbers whether one is bugging in or bugging out , having a large close family or tight knit group of REAL friends will be a plus , farms can not be defended by any one man for long and neither could a wagon train in the old west. JMHO and S/FI!
     
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  25. Oldguy

    Oldguy Expert Member
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    Everyone should be packed and ready to bug out at short notice at all times, it should always be an option!

    My layers are
    Stay put
    Bug out via motor vehicle
    Bug out via bike
    Bug out via foot with pack
    Bug out via foot no pack
    Bug out via foot no nothing

    Getting a bit old for the last two.:oops::rolleyes:

    If one is to bug out it needs to be done early before the herd.
    The safest thing is to bug out and be where you need to be before the herd gets moving

    The most dangerous thing is to bug out late as one is most vulnerable on the road if the herd is in motion.
     
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  26. poltiregist

    poltiregist Expert Member
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    Those trying to get ahead of the herd shouldn't be surprised if a big portion of the herd catches up and joins you, if your destination is public land . That could be a bad situation when your new neighbors realize your not getting as scrawny as them .
     
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  27. Hick Industries

    Hick Industries Well-Known Member
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    I used to live in a small town in the mojave desert, next to a military base. It was a great job, but just about everything possible is wrong with the location. So I bugged out four yrs ago. At least thats what I called it.

    What I did was sell my overpriced house in southern California, buy a small ranch in eastern oklahoma, move all my stuff, and start learning to grow a garden and raise livestock.

    Folks that wait till after the S hits the fan are forgetting something. Its going to take you years to raise enough food to avoid starvation. That years of learning and trying, while you can buy new tools, replacement animals, groceries, and diesel fuel.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
  28. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    The problem with last minute bugging out without a prepared plan is that any place that you can think of will be where many other people will be going. Real easily you can find yourself jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. If you don't know where you are going when you leave you probably won't get there.

    If you think that running to the forest and making like Daniel Boone is the thing to do you had better be talking about a place the size of a small nation or state. Texas is a big place but I guarantee that the national forests are going to be FULL of people most of them without a clue about true primitive living. Fires and fights over EXTREMELY limited resources will make those places as deadly as big cities.

    Rushing off to small towns where you are not known might not be a great idea either. I live in a small town and even after 25 years, I'm still one of the "new" people. My profession allowed me to get to know a lot of them and it has been a great place to live but I saw things beginning to get ugly during a hurricane evacuation. The roads were blocked and the stores were stripped bare. there was no gas left. The local police put up roadblocks on the bridge over the river and after that would only allow cars to pass a few at a time.

    People sat there with their engines running until they either overheated and froze up or they ran out of gas. It was insanity. People that lived on the highway had a lot of trouble between theft, and idiots more or less trying to DEMAND shelter, food, and water. The local church was feeding two meals a day but that didn't seem to be good enough for some of the idiots. Fortunately, the power to the people on the highway came on pretty fast and the idiots were gassed up and sent AWAY!! Also, it helped that the National Guard showed up handing out water, MREs and ice.

    Think hard and long and try to get as far off the beaten track as possible.
     
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  29. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    make sure its either family or people you can really trust(with your life because that is how it will be) otherwise your better off alone.
    unless you are right in the middle of a big city you are probably better off with 4 walls and a roof around you than out in the open.
     
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  30. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Master Survivalist
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    We will bug in and wait. If the opportunity presents itself, then we head for family further south.

    If the SHTF event is sudden and you attempt to scoot at that time, you'll be almost certain to run into trouble. Rural Appalachia, you just show up when things go bad, think you'll be welcome? No. Think maybe your life would be in peril? Yes. Heartland America where the food is grown will be the same way. No outsiders will be welcome.

    If traveling by truck, then know that all major federal and state highways will be parking lots. If switching to off-road motorcycle, then wow!, do you ever have some scouting to do.

    New Jersey Mafia attempted to dump hazardous waste in my region of S.Appalachia and the drivers got their engine blocks blown. Message; "Next time it will be your skull." Welcome to the real America. Know that many combat soldiers come from our neck of the woods. People back home enjoy fighting and taking god-awful risks.

    When communicating with family who are hundreds of miles away post SHTF, think HAM radio. Both sides of the comm will be firing up their generators at the same time. Must have a generator.
     
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  31. Morgan101

    Morgan101 Master Survivalist
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    Curious, because this factors into my thinking. How far off of the highway were the people who had trouble with evacuees? Hypothetically when people evacuate a city they will follow the major highways. For arguments sake consider that marching horde of people will be the width of the highway. For clarity let's say the highway runs East/West. How far off of the highway North/South will those people go? A hundred yards? 1/4 mile? 1/2 mile? How far from the main thoroughfare will they stray before they go back, and resume their trek?
     
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  32. Oldguy

    Oldguy Expert Member
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    The front of the horde will stay close to that highway but those who come after will divert to all those minor roads trying to get somewhere first for fresh pickings, they will disperse out like a flood.
    They will continue outward until they are sated or dead, some will homestead as they can some will just plunder and move on.
     
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  33. poltiregist

    poltiregist Expert Member
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    All of the posts on bugging out I read seem logical , but basing my assessment on how the people reacted evacuating the gulf coast area AFTER hurricane Katrina I have a different perspective on this . Those that don't choose to sit in place hoping someone will save them , will drive their vehicle "if it will crank " and drive until it runs out of fuel and then like the ones that didn't bug out will sit there and die waiting for someone to save them . Out of the hundreds of out of fuel vehicles strewn along the road I didn't see not one person grab a bug out bag and start walking . The people on this forum would be the exceptions . I wouldn't expect the walkers to have much company .
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019
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  34. Oldguy

    Oldguy Expert Member
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    Katrina was a localised event and everyone knew it, there was a reasonable expectation of .gov saving there sorry arse!

    A true SHTF event will be different and most everyone will know it, peoples actions will also be different.
     
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  35. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    most people in the UK will wait for the authorities to save them, 2 out of every 3 are obese and diabetis is increasing at a fast rate, in a country where most live on fast food and ready meals they wont know what real food looks like.
     
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  36. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist
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    Those with fuel will drive out as far as their fuel or circumstances allow before they are forced to abandon their vehicle. Abandoned vehicles will then force those who follow to divert onto minor roads causing problems at pinch points along the route that were never intended to handle large vehicles or any great volume of traffic. This has been demonstrated when Britain had fuel strikes, when the strike was over many fuel deliveries were further delayed by vehicles abandoned around fuel stations. It happens whenever it snows, people get stuck and abandon their cars preventing more capable vehicles or snow ploughs from getting through.
    As a result there will be reasonably large numbers of people on foot, wandering around the hinterlands where there aren't the facilities either to help them or control them.
     
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  37. CountryGuy

    CountryGuy Expert Member
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    I think once their cars stop they are going to only hoof it as far as the closest exit. With the mentality of looking for help they're going to think there is help at the next exit. I can see people pour in there and congregate at say gas stations, restaurants truck stops or any other structure. Now depending on what happens by the locals might determine if a mob grows there and soon grows stupid and demands "stuff" or if they're told to get on down the road to where inevitably some place the locals are going to "open their arms" and a mob will form and the locals will regret what they did as they're overrun and decimated.
     
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  38. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    this will only happen in the UK if there is some huge fast and catastrophic national or global event, in the terms of a slow burn event or events which will creep up on them slowly most of the fuel will be gone long before they realise there is a problem, probably no reaction until the lights go out and then it will be too late to do anything or go far.
     
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