How to Prepare for Bugging Out

Introduction: How to Prepare for Bugging Out

The PPKP Structure

I personally use the PPKP structure for preparedness. It's a developmental process, made up of four separate characteristics. Characteristics that can be developed individually, and in doing so, cause the possibility for the development of the other characteristics.

The four characteristics are:





In Brief.

The psychological deals with an emotional/cognitive approach.

The physical, a bodily approach.

Knowledge is informational based.

Plan seeks to combine the other three into a structured outcome.

A simple example might be, you're starting a new job.

Psychological might include, how you feel about your first day, what thoughts you have regarding your first day.

Physical might include, what state your body's in, how will you dress, what might you consume for breakfast that day.

Knowledge might include, where the job is, how will you get there? Who else works there?

Plan will centre around what you do between now, and walking through the door of your new work place on your first day.

Subjects A and B feel nerves and apprehensive about their first day at a new job. They both think that they will mess things up and look foolish.

Subject A decides to get a good nights sleep and deal with their apprehensions in the morning.

Subject B decides to escape their apprehensions by consuming a bottle of wine.

Both plans delay having to deal with the apprehensions, both are likely to have different outcomes. In their initial decision, their previous experiences (knowledge) has shaped their actions (plan) which in turn effects what they consume and do (physical) shaping how they are going to feel and think the next day (psychological) affecting what they do in the morning (plan) and so on.

The Four Characteristics Are Interlinked.

Knowledge effects what you do, how you feel and what you consume.

How you feel, effects what you do, what you consume and how you react to knowledge.

What you consume effects how you feel, what you do and how you interpret knowledge.

What you do effects how you feel, what you consume and what knowledge you receive.

As one grows, so do the others. If one is lacking the others are stunted. If one increases at a greater rate, the others may not be ready to deal with the outcome. The best option, is for them all to continually develop at a gradual pace.

This instructable deals with the PSYCHOLOGICAL characteristic.

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Whether or not you'll ever have to bug out is irrelevant. If you possess doubt in it happening, then you can convince yourself that it'll never happen. The simple term for this is denial. Simply accept it as fact, say to yourself "One day, I will have to bug out". Then remind yourself on a regular/daily basis. In doing so, you will begin to develop neural networks. Actual physical links in your brain, links that take time to grow, time to stretch out and link with other areas in your brain. By laying down the neural networks of such an acceptance, you will enable your subconscious to begin to process that information without you consciously doing anything. (Yes, for the more astute of you out there, this method is a form of brain washing. It's been used very successfully by advertisers, politicians, religious organisations and the media. I'm hopping to use it in a positive manner. You will, in effect, be brain washing yourselves. Ooooo.)

With acceptance comes a number of cognitive developments. You should begin to ask questions at a very simple level, questions like, 'what does having to bug out actually mean?' The process being: 'I'm going to carry out an act, what will I have to do?, what is involved?, what is that act?' It's something we all do everyday, without even noticing. For example: I'm going shopping, for that I'll have to find out what I need and make a list. I have to find out where I can purchase the items and transport myself from my location to the location of the shop. I have to ensure I am able to carry out the financial transactions required to purchase the items. We do it without thinking, because we have learned how to over time. The neural networks for shopping already exist. And have been developing since the first time we went into a shop. But we are still capable of learning new things. Before we choose to learn something new, we have to accept that it is something we will have to do. Accept that you are going to bug out and your subconscious will start to process what you might have to do, then when your subconscious has a question, your consciousness should ask you. If you have no knowledge of bugging out, the first question you subconscious will get your consciousness to ask is, 'what is bugging out?'

Acceptance in human psychology is a person's assent to the reality of a situation, recognising a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it. Therefore, if you plan to 'Bug in', you're not accepting having to bug out. If you move to a remote wilderness hut, you're not accepting having to bug out. Remember, to fully learn something, you must accept the reason to learn it. To be fully ready to bug out, you must accept that someday you will have to bug out. Regardless of whether or not you ever do. Trick your mind into believing it will have to and it'll do whatever it can to cope with it. With acceptance comes a certain inevitability. Which in turn leads to a coping strategy. By developing your coping strategy, you will prepare for the outcome. You will develop your psychological characteristic, which in turn will affect your physical, your knowledge and your plan.


The psychology of self doubt is debilitating, that of over confidence is dangerous.

If you doubt your ability to bug out, then you're psychological is holding you back, and will be because you are lacking in your physical, or your knowledge or your plan, or a combination of the three or perhaps all three. But you are able to bug out. (For the sake of the petty competitive smart arses out there, yes, I know there will be some who will, for whatever reason, not be able to bug out. Spare me the examples.) However, for the majority, bugging out is possible. If push came to shove, and you had to leave your home with only the clothes on your body, guess what, you'd be bugging out. Albeit, very badly.

So if you doubt your ability to bug out, then explore the reasons you think you can't. Question what is holding you back and improve your knowledge surrounding that aspect. If it's because you know nothing about bugging out, find out what it's all about. Spend time learning about it. If you're reading this, chances are you have the Internet, and with it the ability to ask the Internet, 'what is bugging out?' See where it take you. As your knowledge improves, you may realise that you could bug out. How well you do so will depend on other aspects. But your self doubt will have reduced, slightly perhaps, but reduced nonetheless. As your knowledge and psychological characteristics improve so to will your plan, and perhaps your physical.

If your physical is causing self doubt, then look at your plan. You may think you are not suitably fit, or suffer from injury. Find out what element of your plan is holding you back and work around it. In doing so, your knowledge improves and your psychological develops. (Resourcefulness is a key skill, developed through challenges lacking resources.)

If your self doubt is because you don't know what to do, develop a plan. For your plan to be effective it will have to be informed, and able to accommodate your physical and emotional needs. As all four characteristics develop, you as a person develop. All four characteristics will develop around your needs, and your needs will develop around all four characteristics. Your four characteristics will be as personal to you as your fingerprints. Someone else's as personal to them as yours are to you. The two will only coexist if you both have that aspect incorporated into your psychological, your physical, your knowledge and your plan.

Overconfidence, as I said, is dangerous. It is symptomatic of one thing. Lacking knowledge. Not necessarily about the subject matter, but stems from a lacking in the psychological characteristic. The neural networks required to accept the knowledge of others or recognise that others may have a valid input, are probably limited. Taking a moment to enable those neural networks to develop will afford, given time, the ability to listen to the ideas of others, and if required, utilise subject knowledge to dismiss that input. Preferably with tact. (A skill incorporates all four characteristics. The knowledge and psychological, by recognising the requirement for tact and knowing what needs to be said and how to say it. The physical, by being able to express in the the tones required, and the plan, by successfully utilising the three other characteristics.


We all get scared, it's one of our basic emotions. We scare each other, we scare ourselves, we go out of our way to feel fear. Fear is used to control, fear is used to save life, fear is as integral to us as people as warmth is to our comfort. So when it comes to bugging out, the idea, the concept, the notion of actually picking up a bag and fleeing to a safer place is scary. Better to ignore, to pretend, to alter our perception of reality than face up to that fear.

Knowing that is very important. Accepting that, as equally important. Yes I know I will be scared, I accept that I when it comes to me picking up my bag and leaving I will do so feeling fear. But I will feel scared because I will have unknowns. It is those unknowns that will cause me to feel scared. If I don't know where I will sleep that night, I will be scared. If I don't know who I'll meet out there, I will be scared. If I allow myself to imagine the worst, I will be scared. So I will limit my unknowns. I will reduce that which might cause me to feel scared. So instead of feeling mind numbing, physically crippling fear, I might just feel a bit scared. And I can deal with a bit scared, cos I like watching horror films.

By having a robust plan and knowing what that plan is, I will reduce myself from feeling scared. If only I know the plan, I will have to deal with others being scared. The plan has to be inclusive and understood by all. As does the existence, possibility and likelihood of feeling scared.

Should I be scared of other people? What if they try to rob me, attack me, try to hurt my family? Surly I should be able to defend myself, some weapons would do. Knives, hatchets, guns, ammo. But wait a moment. It's a disaster, an event that has effected everyone I'm my community. They are probably as scared as I am. Have the same concerns as I do, in fact, they're probably just like me, and I don't want to rob anyone, attack anyone, or try to hurt anyone's family. Do I need to be scared of other people? Probably not. I'll not be naive though. Sure, a small minority will have to be avoided. But they will probably be looting the electronics store, not wondering in the woods looking for a place to camp.

So I have to bug out, I have a plan and I know where I'm going to sleep, in fact I have a robust plan and I have several options. Everyone involved in the plan knows the plan. I don't have to be scared of other people because they are my neighbours, and are just as disoriented as I am. If we stick together, we will out number the minority who will be elsewhere anyways, because I've thought about that and incorporated it into my plan. That particular psychological aspect has been dealt with. I'll not suffer from mind numbing, physically crippling fear, I might just feel a bit scared. And I can deal with a bit scared, cos I like watching horror films.


So imagine you've bugged out, you come across someone else less prepared than you, do you give them some of your stuff (share) or keep your stuff for yourself (not share). This is a complex position to have to deal with, some may consider it a simple one. Allow me to create some hypothetical situations.

A) You've bugged out with your two children, you're all hungry.

You have a roll of bread, do you split the bread in half or thirds?

B) You've bugged out with your two children and you see in the distance a college from work that you like, you're all hungry.

You have a roll of bread, Do you split the bread into half, thirds, or quarters?

C) You've bugged out with your two children and you see in the distance a college from work that you do not like, you're all hungry.

You have a roll of bread, Do you split the bread into half, thirds, or quarters?

D) You've bugged out with your two children and you see in the distance a college from work that you like, they have their child with them, you're all hungry.

You have a roll of bread, Do you split the bread into half, thirds, quarters or fifths?

E) You've bugged out with your two children and you see in the distance a college from work that you do not like, they have their child with them, you're all hungry.

You have a roll of bread, Do you split the bread into half, thirds, quarters or fifths?

A simple situation can get complex quickly. When you bug out, your resources are all you'll have. It may only be for a few days, perhaps longer. Hopefully, you'll return to your home and things will get back to their usual norm. Your actions during your bug out period will have to be lived with once the norm has returned.

Consider your own situations and look at the people around you, and ask. Share or not share? Get the idea into your mind and consider the implications, not on others, but yourself, your family. How will your actions be viewed by your children, your spouse, brothers, sisters etc. Decisions can be rationalised in a stressful situation, but difficult to justify to a judgmental audience. Then there is the guilt and regret that you may have to live with.

Bugging out will be stressful enough, if you have children, even more so. You can be as prepared as you like, but if your children look at you more negativity after the event, how prepared were you really?

How you address this dilemma is your choice. I cannot advise on such a personal matter. I will however tell you how I plan to accommodate the situation should it occur. I will have my own supply of resources. I will also have extra for unforeseen situations. I will treat each situation I come across on an individual basis. Will spend my time between now and then developing an idea of who I want to share with, and who I do not want to share with. This idea will not determine my actions on the day. It will simply enable me to differentiate between people. I am, like most people, kind hearted by nature. So I am likely to share what I have with other kind hearted people. Not just food and resources, but knowledge, humour, encouragement, hope and the like. But I will not waste those things on those that will take, waste and expect more. That's my plan, it may change with time. But something as simple as sharing could have wider implications than whether or not to give some bread to a stranger.


If you've been sensible, if you've prepared for a situation that requires you to bug out. You'll be at an advantage. Others would not have done so. They will leave with nothing and possibly expect everything to be ok, just like in the movies. They may have no concept of what they might face, will require and more importantly, how they will react. The first rule of the rule of three is, ‘if you make a mistake, you could be dead In three seconds’.

Other people will act and react differently to the requirements of the situation. If they are unprepared, they are likely to make decisions that are, not the most appropriate. Which will exacerbate their emotional state. They may even believe that they can ‘solve’ the issues resulting from the situation. They are likely to become frustrated, angry, unresponsive, despondent, blinkered or simply sad. The extent and range of those emotions will depend on the individual.

If you encounter such a person/s, being able to reduce their emotional state, will reduce your chance of suffering one of their mistakes. The ability to recognise an individual that will listen, calm down, think rationally and act responsibly over those who will remain in a state of hysteria is an invaluable skill. Enabling you to not wast your resources, time, effort, patience. Without it, you could become entangled into a situation that consumes you/your family into something that is completely removed from any aspects of planning.

Worst case, you walk away from someone what will inevitably die. Best case, you avoid your self/group becoming unnecessarily injured.


The psychological characteristic is a very important, if not the most important characteristic. Your neural networks will determine what you think and how you act/react. Possessing a rational and realistic perception is a skill we can all learn and continue to develop. Learning about others is as important as learning about ourselves. There are a multitude of books, videos, social media sites, web pages etc, specifically about the human being. Being prepared is not just about packing a bag and knowing how to make a fire. The psychological characteristic serves to enable you to remain in control of your rationality and recognise when others are losing or are devoid or theirs.

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