I’d like to address some misconceptions regarding a topic that, while very often talked about but rarely needed to be put to practice, it involves an extreme kind of worst case scenario where we basically lose our home, permanently or for a given period of time. This can be very challenging, and unfortunately it happens more often than we’d think so its important to get real bugging out right.
First, you need to understand what bugging out means, separate fantasy from reality. People that have bugged out for real they do it because there’s no other option left. The default reaction to disasters isn’t to run to the hills, or your house in the woods, or your house in Poland. The default reaction is to stay put. That’s what most official broadcasts recommend in times of crisis and it is in fact the most sound advice unless evacuation orders are specifically enforced. This means that you bug out when staying is no longer an option, not because you don’t like the current president or because Mc Donalds just ran out of chicken nuggets. Your house is burning down, got destroyed by a quake and you barely made it out alive, a wildfire will be destroying your house in a matter of minutes, or a flood. Forces have invaded or you just killed a bunch of would-be home invaders and now the family of those you killed is after you. All of these actually happen and they are the kind of situation that forces you out of your house.
Second, you just can’t already live in a bug out location. This is key, and a common fail of understanding the concept of what bug out location means. Ask all those survivalists living in their Bug Out Locations in Oregon what did they do when the wildfires destroyed their BOL. Did they have to bug out of their bug out locations then? Point is, if youre already living in it, it becomes you place of residence and you need to figure out another BOL.
Bugging out and having a bug out location is not about buying property (doesnt have to be) and its not about having fancy 4×4 vehicles. In fact for bugging out reliability and fuel efficiency are by far more important than off road capability, even if some off road capability can be an asset sometimes and even essential in certain extreme terrains. For 99.9999% of the population though, you just need a car that runs and hopefully balances well load capacity with how many miles it covers per gallon.
As for bug out locations. If you have several properties chances are you are renting them, therefore not immediately available. Its nice to have a holyday home or cabin in the woods to go during weekends to change the scenery, and it can be a valuable asset in specific scenarios, but this doesn’t mean buying a second house is the only way to go. In fact its not even the most practical one. Having friends or family that can take you in during a time of need, making plans with like-minded people and setting mutual support agreements isnt nearly as expensive.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.