When you hear the term “bugging out,” most people immediately picture getting out of their immediate area in their vehicle so that they can get to their prearranged meet up site.
If a SHTF moment happens, you might have no choice but to get out – but you’ll have to do it on foot. It might be possible the events might allow you to stay local and be able to get back home once the crisis is over.
Bugging out doesn’t automatically mean that you’re going to have to spend months out in the woods in a survival situation.
There can be disasters when it’s a short term time frame. But the key to success for short term survival that’s temporary and local in the outdoors is to plan ahead. Since you won’t know the difference until it actually happens, you plan for the worst so that you’re prepared in the short term. You’ll have the gear and supplies that you need to survive temporarily in any location because you will have already planned for a long term stay.
A temporary bug out could mean something like you have to go for a few days and stay in a tent at a location you’ve already scouted ahead of time. In this scenario, you need to plan to have enough supplies for at least 72 hours for everyone in your group. When it’s going to be a temporary situation, then you can travel lighter, but only do that if you know for sure that you’ll be able to come back home soon.
To survive in a short term situation, a temporary bug out means you have to be prepared by having your bag, good hiking boots, knowledge of the way out and the ability to get yourself to an area out of the chaos so that you can survive.
A long term plan can easily be adapted into a short term one. You’ll still need the same stuff to start with – and you’ll still follow the same protocol – but just for a bit longer.
By being prepared, you’re in control rather than conceding control to whoever is in charge of the situation – if there is anyone to take charge at all.
If a truly awful SHTF situation has happened and you have to bug out and you know it’s going to be long term, you follow your plan. Get your bag and get out of there. Take your vehicle if possible – but if that’s not an option, then rely on your immediate bug out plan and your maps to get you to the location that you’ve scouted in advance and head out on foot.
In a long term SHTF situation, you know that you may not be able to ever come back. So you head to the location that you’ve prepared for homesteading. For some people, this is a site to camp in. For others, it’s a bug out cabin or other structure such as a container home that’s well hidden and able to protect you during the event. Wherever it is, this is the place where you begin to set up your life again.