TSHTF and you have some choices to make, and make sooner rather than later. Are you going to "bug in" and hope the government comes to your rescue before things get too bad? Or do you plan on "bugging out" and getting away from the city as quickly as possible?

Bugging in or bugging out is truly a matter of personal choice and the situation on the ground at the time. I will offer a few tips on both scenarios and suggestions for making a bug out bag.

As we saw in Katrina, the federal government’s response to disaster is feeble to say the least. It only took 3 days after the storm for "civilization" to fall apart. Looting, murder, rape, and other violent crimes soared in the vacuum that followed the storm. It took another 7-10 days for FEMA to set up any kind of robust assistance programs.

If you are going to stay put then having 14-21 days of food, water, and medicines stocked is a good idea. FEMA recommends 72 hours of these supplies, but history has shown us this is not nearly enough.

I recommend that you don't broadcast to your neighbors that you are prepared to stay put for any amount of time. Your neighbor Joe who you BBQ with on the weekend, have a beer with in the garage is going to come knocking at your door as soon as it is evident TSHTF and he isn't going to be that nice guy he was before then if his family is hungry and he knows you have food.
It sounds harsh but if you plan on staying put you need to look out for you and your family and do what it take to keep them safe.

Use common sense, it won't take your neighbors too long to figure out you have a good supply of food and water if they see your kids playing in the yard like nothing is wrong, your lights are on when all theirs are out, they smell cooking food on the BBQ. Regardless of your ideas on firearms you may want to seriously consider getting one and learning how to use it.

The single best piece of advice for "Bugging In" is don't draw attention to yourself.

If "Bugging Out" is your choice then long before TSHTF you need to have a plan for “Bugging Out”. Simply saying, “I’m going to head to my favorite camping spot” or “I’m going to head to the country” is not a plan. Those of us who live in splendid isolation in the country do so because we have taken the time to gather the skills that will enable us to thrive under the worst conditions and most of us are willing to defend what we have. If you show up on my property if TSHTF uninvited, I can say it will not end well for you. I am not the only person up here who thinks along those lines. So you need to have a specific place to go long before TSHTF.

Even though we live 60 miles for the nearest city we know that eventually the frightened masses and roving gangs will make it to our house and there will come a time when we may have to bug out, so we have a place to go even further into the wilderness and a plan to get there.

We practice leaving our house with our vehicles and all our supplies 2-3 times a year, at various times of the day and night, staying off main roads and traveling by back country trails and old roads that aren’t well traveled and only known by the folks that live up here, with vehicles it takes about 2 hours. We also practice leaving on foot and heading cross country to our “Bug out site”. We make that trip 2-3 times a year as well under various conditions (rain, snow, fog, etc.) with our small children in tow. It takes 3 days, walking 8 hours a day to get there. If you are traveling with children make the walk as fun as possible without drawing attention to yourself or your family. We try to keep the kids occupied by playing name that bird, or name that tree types of games along the way. Our pace is set by the slowest member of our family, our 3 year old daughter, and she decides when we stop to rest. She can out walk most everyone else without getting tired for the first 2 -3 hours. After that my wife and I take turns carrying her, we carry her for 45 minutes, rest 15 minutes, and switch, until she insists on being put down. We always stop for the night about an hour before sunset and set up a camp and head out as soon as everyone has eaten breakfast and the camp is torn down and all traces of our passing have been eliminated, yet another game the kids can play.

My wife and I have made the trip ourselves to set up caches along the various routes we have found to get there so we don’t have to haul everything on our backs and have a place to resupply along the way. I suggest you do the same. I will post another Inscrutable on DIY burial tubes that won’t set you back more than $10 each or less that will hold everything you may need from food and water to firearms and ammo.

The main point is practice your bug out plan regularly; you need to know where you are going and how you are going to get there both by vehicle and on foot. If you are taking a vehicle find routes that keep you off of main roads; in all likelihood you aren’t going to be the only one on the road and you will probably hit major traffic jams on main roads. Practice packing your vehicle and leaving your house. Time how long it takes you to get to your bug out site. Leave at different times and get to know the traffic patterns in your area and what the best time to leave is. Avoid using a trailer if at all possible, if you must use a trailer use the smallest one possible to get the job done. If you plan on taking every prep supply you have, consider pre-positioning your preps at your bug out site to avoid using a trailer.

If you have to leave on foot or that is how you plan on bugging out practice at least 2-3 times a year, under various conditions, making the move from your house to your bug out site; If you can, avoid routes that take you through the “bad neighborhoods” that exist in virtually every city or town in America. If you can’t avoid those neighborhoods get through them as quickly as possible. Again don’t draw attention to yourself any more than is necessary to get out of Dodge.



Step 1: Bug Out Bag Lay-out

All that said what do you toss in your bug out bag? There are as many different ideas on what you should have as there are on ways things are going to go bad. I have put together bags for the adult members of my family that are identical in most respects, that are based on the area in which we live, experience, and availability of things like shelter, food, and water. There are some items in the bag shown that are not in each bag and I will point those items out as they come up.



<p>this is really good but one thing 2 knives and 2 guns??</p><p>really necessary???</p>
<p>Actually it is 3 firearms, I carry a side arm as well as the two in the instructable. The .22 AR 7 was packed away in the ruck. We have since decided only 2 members of our family need to carry a &quot;take down&quot; type of firearm for small game (and as a last line of defense if needed). I have since passed the 12 gauge onto my oldest son and I now carry an AR 15 with 12 mags as my primary weapon and a Glock 19 as my side arm with a Ruger 10/22 take-down replacing the AR 7.</p><p>The knives each have a different purpose. The para-cord wrapped knife is a general purpose &quot;survival&quot; knife that is attached to my ruck. The Tanto blade is specifically for silently eliminating a threat if needed and is attached to my vest. I have also added a fixed bladed knife to my belt for &quot;survival&quot; situation should I have to ditch my ruck and leave it behind. </p><p>The weapons and knives follow the adage, &quot;one is none and two is one&quot;. No matter how good your gear it WILL eventually wear out or break, usually at the worst time possible for you, so why not have a back up? or even a back up for the back up? We each carry a set of spare parts (consisting of springs, pins, firing pins, etc) for our individual weapons systems because stuff does break eventually. Not everyone is going to be able to carry (or afford) multiple weapons systems for their BOB the only reason we do is that we save for a what we need and then buy it. That has worked out well enough that we each have a choice of weapons systems we can carry and a vest for each because of our business, Vanguard Survival, LLC. </p><p>We have a large family (2 Adult kids, 3 younger kids, and my wife and I) our oldest daughter and youngest son now carry a 10/22 with spare mags and our youngest daughter now has her own &quot;Cricket&quot; .22. </p><p>Hope this long winded post answers your question.</p><p>Tom</p>
The life straw is $20 and it purifies 1000L. I would buy a life straw ;)
<p>We tested Lifestraws and found we actually get about 100 gal out of them before they are useless, which in a survival situation would probably be ok but in a total SHTF situation where you aren't going back to anything near civilization for months if not years you'd have to have far to many of them on hand than worth the cost... Since writing this Instructable I have added Sawyer Mini Water filters to our bug out bags... We have used them on every training &quot;hike&quot; for the last few months and they work great! You can attach them directly to a hydration bladder if you want, a pail for use as a &quot;gravity filter&quot;, to the 32 oz squeeze bag that comes with it, or as a &quot;straw&quot;... According to the literature that comes with them they are rated to have 100,000 gal life before they need to be replaced... So far we have used up about 200 gal of that life... And at $24.99 they aren't much more expensive than the Lifestraw.</p><p>Thanks for your comment!</p><p>Tom</p><p>Train to Survive!</p><p><a href="http://www.vanguardsurvival.com" rel="nofollow">www.vanguardsurvival.com</a></p><p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/vanguardsurvival" rel="nofollow">www.facebook.com/vanguardsurvival</a></p>
Awesome Instructable! Reliable on every point.
This might be a dumb question but why no trailer hooked up to a 4x4 like the M1101 as a bug out trailer? Is it because you don't want your "essentials" to be hijacked by a perp during transport?
I gave a lot of thought about using a trailer before deciding against it for a number of reasons. If we had to abandon our vehicle most everything in the trailer would be lost, once the wolves start cruising anything that draws attention will be a target and a vehicle pulling a trailer will be a good target. The main reason is that it is better to travel fast and light if TSHTF to a &quot;safe&quot; area (our bug out site). <br> <br>I hope this answers your question. <br>Thanks for the comment! <br> <br>Train to Survive! <br> <br>www.facebook.com/vanguardsurvival
It does, thank you. I guess it really depends on the situation and the severity. If someone were to bug out when circumstances were starting to get marginal/ iffy I wonder how much attention it would draw... Sure if you're the only person left alive in a zombie apocalypse a truck and trailer would draw attention for sure. I guess anything with wheels and an engine would draw attention in that case. Maybe this is what you have to weigh.? When to go.... If you wait till the last minute when shtf then it seems walking with backpacks and ducking for cover/ staying out of sight would be the best then hold up for exponential amount of time at your site with supplies you've already posted. Hell - horses are the bomb to because they don't need gas.... It's different for me I suppose because I live in a big city. I kind of have to rely on my 4wd to get out of town by using alternate routes I.E. train tracks.... You should see this city when it snows.... Mayhem and I'm one of the only few on the roads! Thanks for the input, it's fun to think about and hope it never happens.... Keep on posting, I like your stuff! <br>T
Awesome man! Great 'ible! What branch were you in?
US Army <br> <br>Thanks for the comment!
Ya I got a mossy 500, gobs of assorted ammo, the shelter, the water pury kit(s), vests, bags, flak jacket, ACU helmet. Still building...
I'm generally a fan of sheltering in place, but as you say, it's not always the wisest choice. Very situation-dependent. I have one idea and one question.<br> <br> 1. I rarely see anyone mention bicycles. They are possibly the greatest invention known to man when it comes to covering large distances on your own power. Google &quot;rail bikes&quot; for some interesting applications. Imagine a sudden SHTF, everyone has clogged the roads, and you decide to bug out with family. You all get on your bikes after dark, ride down to the nearest (now unused) set of railroad tracks, deploy your guidewheels, and ride for the rest of the night on a smooth empty path that never gets steeper than 5% grade. You have your own bridges and tunnels over and through large obstacles. These bikes have been around since railroads were invented, but not many people know about the idea. Also, because of business realities, there are lots of abandoned railroads in most countries that are safe and legal to travel on.<br> <br> B) My question is, without giving away your personal details, what is your destination for bugging out? I'm just looking for a template to think about. Are you going to Grandma's house in the next state over? Have you bought an acre in the woods somewhere? Vacation property? I'm currently in the Army, and we've basically loved every part of the country that we've been assigned to so far. We are seriously considering buying an acre here, there, and everywhere, so we have lots of options. Your thoughts, please?<br> <br> Third (ha!), I will second Lorddrake and Nosanon. I always enjoy your posts, and thank you for your service to our blessed country!
I have given thought to using bikes as a means of transport and had to shelf the idea the first time i tried riding to our bug out site. The raods and or feilds we would have to travel make it more difficult than walking. As for railroads if there were any within 60 miles of me I would for sure reconsider using a &quot;rail bike&quot;. For those in the city a bike may be a very viable option. My brotehr has literally ridden across the country from Key West to San Fransisco 3 times in the past 4 years. He uses a small trailer he made, and racks on just about every inch of free space on the bike to carry all his gear. He can make 50-60 miles a day with his rig. <br> <br>As for question B, we have a small plot of land (11 acres) deep in the Rocky Mountains that is surrounded on 3 sides by BLM land, so we actually have about 1.2 million acres give or take. We got a very good deal on the land ($ 8750) because it is very remote, is totally off grid, sits at 9700+ ft, and the road leading into the place is rough dirt that doesn't get a lot of winter maintenance so the chances of anyone coming down it are slim even in good weather. The only improvment on the land when we got it was a well that produces 5-6 gal/min via a natural spring. Since we got it last year we have selectively cleared about 2 1/2 acres and brought in a small shed (12x20) for storing preps and a surplus GP medium tent I got through Government Liquidators web site for $175 complete (I just had to drive to Ft Sill, OK to pick it up). We have plans to build a cabin with some more of the timber on the property in the near future. I am working on a re-building a 22' travel trailer, that was given to us a couple of weeks ago by one of my wifes co-workers, (a new Instrucable is being worked on for the renovation of the trailer) as a replacement for the GP Medium that I hope to get finished by the end of spring that we can leave at the site and have something a little more comfortable to sleep in while we build a more permenent shelter. Our goal is to be living on the land full time within 2-3 years. <br> <br>Thanks for the comment, I hope I was able to answer your question. <br> <br>Train to Survive.
What's your overall opinion of the SOG fusion tactical tomahawk quality-wise? Is there a model of tomahawk that you would prefer over it?
It is a bit blade heavy which makes using for a full time trowing tomahawk a bit troublesome, but why would you want ttomao throw your weapon anyway? It is solid in its construction and the design of the blade is such that if you do happen to break the handle the design lends itself to easy adaptation to another handle... the only other tomahawks that I would prefer over the SOG is an original issue vietnam tomahawk due to its better balance and overall cool factor. SOG makes a slightly larger tomahawk that is pretty good as well though I haven't had a lot of time playing with it.<br><br>Hope I was able to answer your question.<br><br>Train to survive!
I always look forward to seeing new posts from you. They are always well written and very informative. Great Job.
Fantastic guide! It reminds me I have to make a dry run bug out from my new place, It'll be a great excuse to get out of the city.

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