Bugging Out


Its Time To BUG OUT But Where Will You Go?
May 4, 2014, by Ken Jorgustin

Think about this… you live either in the city or in the densely populated metroplex of suburbia immediately surrounding the city. One afternoon while you are at work, the power goes out.

You don’t think much of it at first, but after an hour or so, you discover that the power outage is not just localized to your vicinity, but instead it appears that the entire city is ‘dark’, and you’re hearing that it might be very widespread…

What do you do?

The boss tells everyone to go home, there’s nothing more that can be done that day — see you tomorrow — go home.

You head out and into a mass of snarled traffic, as the traffic lights are out and EVERYONE is heading home because of the blackout. You finally make it home in 2 hours – a drive that normally takes you just 30 minutes – and you discover that your spouse had just made it home moments earlier.

You start to talk about what has happened.

You remember that you have a portable battery powered AM/FM Shortwave Radio in your preps. You turn it on and notice that you cannot find any FM stations at all, but you do find several AM stations which are broadcasting emergency news and information, and they say they’re running on generator backup power.

They are reporting that the power outage is apparently VERY wide spread and is affecting regions well beyond your region. No one seems to know how bad, or why…

It seems that (based on emergency radio reports) a significant portion of the country is under a blackout. Reports are sketchy.

What do you do? Would you BUG OUT?

Here are a few thoughts:

If I discovered that the blackout was very widespread, this would indicate that the cause and chain reaction is very significant – potentially long lasting, leading to the possibility that the grid may be down for much more than a fairly short period of time. If the cause is suspected to be one which is potentially more catastrophic than otherwise, and if I lived in a densely populated region which could become dangerous — I would likely activate my bug-out plan.

Reason being: Any widespread blackout as hypothesized in this scenario will likely take a long time to get back online – and that is assuming that there has been relatively little damage to the infrastructure. Worse yet (possibly much worse), if it turns out that this widespread blackout is the result of an attack (EMP, major X-flare, or otherwise,) and/or a serious event which has damaged key EHV transformers on the grid, it means that our world is about to change in a very big way…

I would (under those suspected circumstances) definitely leave the area if I lived in or near the city. I would leave because IF the event turned out to be long lasting, I could become trapped in a rapidly deteriorating socially chaotic and very dangerous environment as desperate people begin to do desperate things when their food, water, gas, and supplies run out.

I have an advantage though because I know that most people will be initially paralyzed with indecision. Their normalcy bias will keep them waiting for the lights to come back on. This will be the golden opportunity time to get out. Before the SHTF. The ‘safe’ window of opportunity will be short lived however.

So here is the question, “It’s time to bug out, but where will you go?”

I ask the question with the hope that you will ask yourself that question (BEFORE the disaster). Asking yourself that question AFTER the disaster may prove to be too late to make a wise decision.

Communication systems will mostly be down and offline. If you haven’t planned for it ahead of time, you really may not have much of a clue what to do, where to go, or if you even should go.

Well, here are a few ideas…

First of all, be sure to always have a quantity of cash on hand, so that during an emergency and the time immediately following a disaster when others may be scrambling to procure items which they need (ATM’s offline and/or electronic transactions are not functioning), you will have the cash to pay for last minute items or services. Consider the scenario I just described… If you are en-route on a bug-out away from the city, and you need to stay at a motel — paying with cash will ensure that you get a room, assuming there’s room. Almost everyone uses electronic currency today – so if that system crashes (even temporarily), those with cash will have a better chance of procuring last minute items or services (for awhile).

The key to the bug-out will be to get to a location that is far enough away from the densely populated city region or metropolis such that you stand a better chance of avoiding the resulting chaos (if there is to be chaos) – better safe than sorry – you can always return back home if it’s a false alarm. Have you planned on where you would go? How you would feed yourself? If you’re considering relatives who live out in the country – will they be okay with you showing up at their door?

If you have relatives or friends that live in a potentially safer area away from densely populated regions, you may bring it up in conversation sometime and question whether they would be willing to have you show up at their door should such a circumstance or evacuation come to pass. The point is to think about an evacuation and where you would go.

Be sure that you have enough fuel for your vehicle to get wherever you plan to go. Always keep your gas tank nearly topped off. Never go below half a tank – get in the habit of keeping it full. Consider keeping extra fuel stored safely in proper gas cans at home, so that you could bring it with you should you ever need to hit the road. Keep at least a 72-hour kit in your vehicle – enough food and water for 3-days.

Have several hotel/motel choices picked out, away from the city, and have maps (and know how to get there without GPS). It will be very important to know routes that avoid major freeways as they may become clogged. Know the back-roads to your destination. Have cash to pay for your stay. If the disaster scenario is repairable and relatively short lived, you can simply return home later. If the disaster turns into a nightmare scenario SHTF, you will be safer than you otherwise would have been, as the social chaos back home will be unfolding in a very bad way as people become hungry and desperate.

The objective within this article is not about listing the things and preparations that you may need (this site is filled with suggestions in other articles), but to encourage YOU to think about it. Do you have what you need? If you had to, where would you go? Would you go? What are the criteria for bugging out?

Know the roads and routes to bug out.

There are lots and lots of ducks to get in a row while considering this subject of bugging out, and there are also many circumstances and scenarios whereby it will be better to stay put. This is VERY largely to do with YOU, where you live, your local environment, your preps, your neighbors, your population density, the expectation of disaster recovery, the level of SHTF, etc. – it will be a judgement call based on many things.

I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the notion of bugging out, your criteria for bugging out (how bad does it have to be?), and if you had to bug-out where would go – what would be your contingency plans, etc. What are the things that you would factor in order to make a decision whether to stay or go?

Bug Out Bag – Water, Food, and More
July 13, 2014, by Ken Jorgustin

Most in the prepper community know that a bug out bag is a kit designed to keep you alive for 72-hours while ‘bugging out’ from a disaster situation.

A bug out bag is intended for the relatively short duration of evacuation rather than long-term survival, and is focused on keeping you alive while getting from point-A (the disaster area) to point-B (safety-refuge), or simply keeping you alive for 72-hours while sheltering in place.

Here’s what should go inside a bug out bag:

The reason that the bag should contain enough supplies for 72-hours:

1. It is generalized that disaster relief may take that long to reach people in a disaster zone.

2. It is generally an adequate amount of time to bug out from the disaster location to a place of refuge and/or resupply.

Note that relying on reason #1 (waiting for help) may prove to be fatal, depending on circumstances. Being proactive in a smart and logical way is often a better option for saving one’s own bacon.

The contents of a bug out bag will depend on you, your local region, and the designed intent of the bag (the expected circumstances to overcome).

Ideally, the bug out bag should be one which you can comfortably carry on your shoulders – a backpack of sorts. Given the likelihood of having to walk, the bag should be suitably designed for comfortable carry. This generally equates to cheap bags versus more expensive bags. You get what you pay for…

The contents of the bug out bag should definitely include enough non-perishable food and enough water to last 72-hours.

The most difficult issue is that of water – because it weighs 8 pounds per gallon (the generally recommended daily requirement). If you have to walk, carrying 24 pounds of water is not an easy task (along with the rest of your supplies). You may choose to pack enough water for a day – and include a small drinking water filter for the rest – assuming you can find water sources along the way. Or if you’re simply keeping your bug out bag in your vehicle – it’s not a problem keeping 2 or 3 gallons of water. Your local region (and climate) will affect how you handle this…

Non-perishable food is not a problem. There are lots of choices for you. High calorie food bars are simple and easy. MRE’s, freeze-dried pouches of food, peanut butter, canned food, etc. – just be sure to count the calories such that they add up to at least 2,000 calories per day. It is not desirable to include foods which require cooking (remember – most canned foods do not require reheating or cooking – they just taste better that way).

Depending on the environment (weather, temperature) SHELTER may be your #1 priority (even more than water). Maintaining a safe body core temperature is paramount to survival. This may include the clothes you’re wearing versus the existing conditions. This may include the ability to shelter from the elements. To make fire. To stay warm (when it’s cold). To cool down (when it’s hot). Etc. Give shelter a high priority when considering the contents of your bug out bag.

In addition to food and water, additional contents of your bug out bag should include items which deal with cover, combustion, cutting, cordage, cutting, and container.

These are the core elements of survivability, and things that would be difficult to reproduce in an outdoor situation if you didn’t already have them.

Cover & Shelter to protect you from the elements. This could be a wool blanket, a tarp, mylar foil blanket, etc.

You need ‘something’ that will start a fire, whether the environment is wet or dry.

Cutting Tool
The most difficult thing to reproduce in an outdoor situation. A high quality knife, preferably in a sheath and strapped to your belt.

Paracord, rope, twine, etc. will facilitate building shelter and other uses.

A container for water, preferably capable of boiling. A 32oz. stainless steel container.

Your bug out bag will also benefit you by including the following:

Map (non-electronic) and compass to navigate the region you’re in.

Walking Shoes (or hiking boots)

First Aid Kit

LED flashlight (head-lamp style is practical)

Portable Radio

Cash (and change)

Duct Tape



The choices are many. Tailor your bug out bag to your environment, situation scenario, needs and requirements. Start with the essentials (shelter-water-food) and go from there…

You can build your own bug out bag and you can also buy your own bug out bag. There are lots who sell these – e.g. some of our advertisers on this page. Just be sure that if you’re buying a bug out bag, examine the contents before you decide. You can always add or subtract from what’s inside.

Bug-Out-Bag Papers and Documents
August 6, 2012, by Ken Jorgustin

A bug-out bag or kit should include more than just some food and supplies, it should also contain important papers and documents which would make your life easier should you need to refer to them later.

If your home has been wiped out by disaster or whatever circumstance… you could potentially lose whatever was in it, including important papers and documents that prove or verify personal information of your identity, credentials, holdings, and other critical or time-saving records.


Don’t assume that keeping these types of documents in a bank’s safety deposit box will be good enough. The bank itself could be part of the problem or in the region of disaster that you had to escape from. You may not be able to regain access for a longer period of time than you expected (if at all).

The documents themselves should be kept in a waterproof bag or map-case, and ideally fit inside your overall bug-out-bag.

The following list of documents may be useful while separated from your home during and after a disaster. In most cases, a photo copy of the original document may be all that you need. Other items you will already be carrying in your wallet.

Contact List (family, friends, doctors, banks, employers, insurances)

Birth Certificate

Drivers License


Try to have two forms of photo ID (drivers license + other?)

Social Security Card

Health Insurance Cards and/or Medicare, Medicaid

Recent Bank Statement for each account (Checking, Savings, Stocks and Bonds, etc.)

List of Credit Card Accounts (card numbers, expiration, and 3-digit code)

Prescriptions for Medications, Eyeglasses

Record of Insurance Policies

Property, Real Estate Deeds

Proof of Employment (paystub)

Living Will

Marriage License

Local and State Maps

Pocket Constitution

License To Carry Permit or relevant CCW

Concealed Carry Laws (for each state which you may travel)

Alternate Routes And Roads To Be Traveled If TSHTF
February 27, 2014, by Ken Jorgustin

Most people drive the same routes everywhere they normally go. Usually it’s the quickest route to their destination. The road well traveled. The one that everyone else takes to get to those same places. Ordinarily, this is perfectly fine.

The question is: If something happened to clog your route, would you know alternate routes to get where you’re going? Or even more important, if you had to bug-out, would you take the same route that’s most often traveled?

The answer is: Always find alternate routes to “home”, “bug out destination”, “safe spots”, etc…

How many driving routes do you know from your place of work to home?

If there’s an evacuation order, how many driving routes do you know to get out?

How many roads along these routes are major roads traveled by the majority of others?

Why is this important?

Because during a time of disaster or evacuation, you, along with most others will be sharing the same roads together, and they very well may become terribly clogged or even impassible.

We are all creatures of habit, including the routes and roads that we travel on a regular basis.

When people need to drive somewhere, they instinctively head out along the same roads that they normally travel. In a disaster situation when all these drivers may be clogging major arteries and the roads well traveled, you have the opportunity to outsmart them all, having previously planned several alternate routes — the roads that are less traveled and are off the beaten path, so to speak.

Consider the following while planning alternate routes:

Roads that are not traveled by the mainstream. This may require maps which show all streets (get those maps for your region). The route will not be a straight line, and in fact may become significantly longer in distance – however as long as you’re moving, you’re gaining ground.

Neighborhood streets and secondary roads will be largely ignored by the mainstream.

Avoid parts of routes which may bottleneck in places where other main roads or highways intersect, such as those with a major on-ramp or off-ramp to a freeway or cornering with a major route. In a disaster, people may be clogged trying to get on or off in these locations.

Roads with fewer or no traffic signal lights are those which are less traveled in general.

There are often lesser known ‘shortcuts’ through the countryside, older roads which once were main routes and have mostly become forgotten.

GPS can be very helpful, but be sure to keep street-level maps of your region and learn the routes of travel without reliance upon GPS. Memorization required.

Sheeple are predictable in many ways. If you understand that, you can plan to avoid the consequences thereof.

Get in the habit of keeping a mostly full gas tank all the time. Once you’ve established that habit, then your range should be decent enough to give you an advantage over others who may be less than half a tank (or worse). Most vehicles can make it 300 – 400 miles on a full tank, or more – depending.

Consider carrying a length of flexible tubing of sufficient diameter to siphon gas if necessary. Be aware that newer vehicles have impediments to this. You’ll need a gas can for retrieval.

While a bug-out may only be a smart move under certain circumstances, everyone (no matter where you live) should have a plan to evacuate their home area. This means having at least one (preferably more than one) alternate destinations in mind. Plan several routes to those destinations and have hard-copy maps to support your travel if you need them.