Introduction: Survival Series 1.01 - Pre Bug-Out Physical Evaluation

About: I grew up in downtown Phoenix, moved to California in my youth and was kicked out of the house (Permanently....seriously) for smoking an illegal substance that people smoked in the 60's. I started Backpacking …

Hello and welcome!

I wanted to do a few 'ibles on certain things that I have found missing or not easily found in the "survival" community starting with a PBEOPE to help dissolve this fantasy that some of my friends and others in the survival community have of running and gunning with approx 90lbs of survival gear stuffed into a massive backpack with pouches and gear strapped to every part of their body. TL;DR = to show people why they shouldn't try to pack the kitchen sink.

PBEOPE stands for Pre-Bug Out Physical Evaluation.

This is the first of a "survival series" that will hopefully clear up some misinformation and/or add to current and relevant information.


1. Unburdened Physical Evaluation - The Burpee

2. Unburdened Physical Evaluation - The Jumping Jack

3. Unburdened Physical Evaluation - The Squat

4. FULLY GEARED Physical Evaluation

5. Keeping Track

Stretches should be done before the exercises to reduce risk of injury!

Step 1: Unburdened Physical Evaluation - the Burpee

Burpees are a fantastic compound exercise aimed at both cardio and strength. In the unburdened Burpee you are testing your cardio and strength WITHOUT any of your gear or survival clothing. I find it's best to do these in the mornings before a shower wearing light or exercise clothing. (DO NOT rush these, it's not a race. While being an explosive exercise it is not meant to destroy your body, do what you can at your own pace)

Positions and motion:

1. Standing upright and straight with your hands by your sides feet roughly 8-10 inches apart.

1m2. Pivot at the hip and knees keeping your centre of gravity perpendicular to the ground.

2. Completely lower yourself into the squatting position and place your palms on the ground between and slightly infront of your knees.

2m3. Move your body weight from your feet to your arms and back while lifting and sliding your legs backward toward the push-up position.

3. In the push-up position straighten your arms (about shoulder width) and back to align your body. Try to keep your attention on a point about 3 feet infront of you to maintain a neutral neck position.

3m4. Lower your body to roughly 1 inch from the ground. Keep your elbows tucked close to the body and focus on maintaining proper alignment (form) and breathing. Inhale down/ Exhale up.

4. Push your body off of the ground with enough force to allow you to slide your feet back underneath your torso and into the squatting position with your palms resting on the ground.

5. From the squatting position explode upward and reach your fingertips toward the sky. (WARNING: If you are indoors with a low ceiling bend your arms so that your biceps touch your cheeks and your hands are behind your head. This should allow your forearms to take the brunt should you accidentally hit your head on the ceiling. If you fear you may jump high enough to hit your head, it is recommended to do this exercise outdoors)

6. Upon landing bend the knees slightly to reduce impact stress on the knee. If continuing burpees simply return to the squatting position and repeat positions 2-6 as necessary.

Do 5 sets of these. 10 reps per set. 10-30 seconds of rest between each set.

Step 2: Unburdened Physical Evaluation - the Jumping Jack

The goal of the jumping jack is to improve cardio and range of motion. Focus on your breathing and technique. These are 3 count jumping jacks. You can do these after the Burpees or before as a warmup.

Positions and motion:

1. Standing Position. Hands at your side, feet together, toes pointing forward.

1m2. Push off from the ground with your feet and spread your legs outward and your arms upward.

2. "Jack position". Arms over your head, feet spread apart just outside of shoulder width, knees slightly bent on landing.

2m3. Push off the ground using your legs and feet, draw your arms down to your side and feet back together.

3. Knees slightly bent to reduce impact, return to the standing position.

1-2-3 count:

Start in the standing position count-0.

Jack position count-1. Standing position count-2. Jack position count-3. Standing position rep-1 count-0.

Jack position count-1. Standing position count-2. Jack position count-3. Standing position rep-2 count-0.

Jack position count-1. Standing position count-2. Jack position count-3. Standing position rep-3 count-0.

Jack position count-1. Standing position count-2. Jack position count-3. Standing position rep-4 count-0.

Do 1 set of 50 reps.

Step 3: Unburdened Physical Evaluation - the Squat

Squats aim to focus on lower body strength and balance. They are a slow exercise and should be done at a full range of motion (deep squats)

Positions and motion:

1. Standing position. Feet should width apart. Arms out straight perpendicular to your body and parallel to the ground.

1m2. Eyes forward, back and neck straight, pivot at the knees and hip lowering your back seat towards the ground.

2. Knees fully bent, ass stickin out toward the ground, push your body upward with your thighs. Keep your arms out forward and your breathing slow and steady. Inhale down/ Exhale up.

3. Keep your body centered the entire time and finish the squat by returning to the standing position careful to NOT lock your knees upon standing. ( I recently injured myself doing this while not paying attention. I attempted to pivot outwards on my left foot to engage in responding to a question and tore my ACL because my left foot was more planted than I thought lol) So be careful!

Do 5 sets of 10 reps per set. 10-30 seconds rest between sets.

Step 4: FULLY GEARED Physical Evaluation

Ahh here comes the fun part! Time to load up with all of your gear.

This includes but is not limited to:

-Anything in your bugout bag/gear

-Any specific bugout clothing/eye/head gear

-Fully supplied and stocked gear/bags/survival altoids tins etc ( WARNING: If you carry weapons/ammo please make sure they are NOT loaded and are SAFELY SECURED! I am not responsible if you shoot yourself because you are exercising with a loaded weapon. I repeat, do NOT participate in this exercise with a loaded weapon. I've heard of people using snap-caps(fake ammo made from aluminium) as a replacement to replicate the weight but it is fairly easy to weigh and replace your firearms with NON-FUNCTIONAL weights to replicate the experience. I don't feel like getting sued so here it is again: Do NOT do these exercises with a live/loaded/real firearm!!!)

This step is fairly simple:

Repeat the 3 exercises (Burpees, Jumping Jacks, Squats) in their fullest capacity (Sets/Reps/Speed/Range of motion) WHILE WEARING all of your gear.

There are many reasons to do this, I'm not going to cover them all but I'd like to list a few:

1. Camping will not get you ready for running/jumping/diving/rolling/covering/crouching/dropping/squatting/falling/etc of a survival situation whilst wearing your gear.

2. It's a good way to test yourself and your gear to help ensure that neither of them will fail under sub-optimal conditions.

3. It's a good way to "break-in" or get comfortable with wearing your gear under adverse conditions.

4. Coupled with "specific drills" you can become very proficient at accessing your gear quickly and accurately. (If you need your FAK it helps to practice retrieving it AND to have it placed in an easy to access location)

Step 5: Keep Track

Recording your sets/reps/time is a personal preference thing. I find it helps me keep track of my routines and is by no means a required step.

I keep a pocketbook (can also be done on a smartphone or tablet) with the following layout:

Reps / Sets / Total / Time

Exercise: / / /

I hope this 'ible was informative!

I'll be adding a link here to other instructables in the series. Take care and stay safe!

Survival Series 1.02