Thursday, August 28, 2014

"Will You Die Getting To Your Bug Out Location?"

An article at Underground Medic suggesting tactics for bugging out under social upheaval or violence. The article leads off:
I am frequently surprised by the approach many Preppers take to their Bug-Out plans, especially those who expect to drive to their retreat location.  Many seem to feel that this will be no different than driving out of their home area for a vacation, which is beyond my comprehension.  I say that because if things are bad enough that Preppers are headed for their retreat locations one would think that travel could be difficult if not impossible.
This is in line with my recent comment that if you can't safely follow your bug-out route now, you cannot reasonably expect to do so when disaster strikes.

However, there is another point that needs to be addressed. The foregoing article and many other authors and commentators assume, by default, that traveling to a retreat will require using the same tactics as military forces moving through or advancing into enemy territory. My question is: Why?

What are the reasons you will be bugging out? A nearby chemical spill, hurricane, flood or wildfire threatening to overrun your home may require you to "bug out." But, in that case, your concern is not hostile forces, but simply evacuating the area as rapidly as possible. An earthquake may require you to relocate but, again, your concern will probably simply be getting to a new location. Unless there is significant looting or rioting, you will not be traversing "enemy territory."

The only time I could see having to bug out through hostile territory would be in the case of war, where enemy forces have surrounded your city, or some sudden, widespread civil unrest. Even in these cases, moving out at a high speed--similar to the procedure for executive protection--would probably be more effective than the slower overwatch or bounding overwatch methods of movement. Particularly if you are in a small group, such as a family unit, your safety is going to be proportional to your distance from a threat. You want to put as many miles as you can, as quickly as you can, between you and that army or mob.

The article mentions putting together convoys of multiple vehicles and having security elements. That presumes a fairly large number of adults evacuating together. Is that realistic for you? If you have the resources (vehicles, people, equipment) to conduct a counter-ambush drill or have separate security elements, great! If it is just dad, mom, two kids and a dog, it isn't going to work. If you are going to convoy with other families or groups, I have to question whether the time to meet and organize such a convoy would have been better spent "bugging out."

I guess my point is that "bugging out" is not a time to unnecessarily play at being a soldier. In most cases, you will not be facing any violent threats--your concern is timely evacuation. Even if you have to "bug out" through enemy territory, you may not have the resources to put together a military style convoy. You may be better off adopting the tactics of a small executive security detail over that of a military column. Some good articles on the topic can be found at the Straight Forward in a Crooked World blog, such as the this article on "Flight Plan," "Drive Like You Mean It," and "Break on Through to the Other Side."

1 comment:

  1. Most of what I read about bugging out assumes you will know it is time to leave before anybody else - a risky assumption at best. It also assumes roads will be passable - another risky assumption.

    In September of 2005, Hurricane Rita hit the Texas coast. Most of Houston decided to "bug out" - head inland. It was a traffic fiasco, with many people stuck on the highways, hungry, thirsty, and running out of fuel.

    I don't think bounding overwatches, convoys, or some other travel strategy is going to survive the reality of traffic. Motorcycles, which can weave through stalled traffic might be a viable mode of travel, but motorcycles can't carry much in the way of cargo and are very vulnerable - more so if everybody else is not moving.

    As to hostile territory, many large US cities have areas that could become hostile territory if you take the wrong street or have the wrong skin color. The James Wesley Rawles novel Founders started out with a bug out from Chicago. The main characters ended up in the wrong neighborhood as they tried to detour around traffic jams, were attacked and forced to abandon their bug out vehicles - the remainder of their bug out was on foot.