Consequences to Bugging Out

A lot of people like to talk about how cities will be death traps after the ball drops. The government will be out to get you. Neighbor will turn on neighbor. Roving gangs of armed thugs will be burning down every house who's occupants don't allow them free reign to rape, steal and pillage. I'm sure that something to that effect will be happening in the bigger cities. You won't want to be in downtown LA when the civilization ending crisis occurs. Most of us are stuck in a city, though, and some of them may not end up being as bad as all that. Trying to get out might just prove to be a lot more dangerous even if you do get a jump on the golden horde.

As important as where you're headed is how you're going to get there. The freeways leading out of NOLA were pretty ugly after Katrina. Now imagine if that's what every freeway leading out of every major city looked like. If bugging out is a plan that you seriously mean to implement then you had better know a lot of routes out of town. I'm not just talking about backroads. I'm talking about dirt roads, hiking trails, railroad tracks and anything else that assures you a clear path. Be ready to ditch your car in favor of a motorcycle, bicycle or your feet. Remember that the farther you get out of town the farther ahead you'll be in front of everyone else but the fewer routes you'll have to continue your journey. It would really suck to be bottlenecked into a dead end of the unprepared masses.

Obviously if you're even going to consider bugging out then you'll want to have a preplanned place to go. Unfortunately, some of us just don't have the money to invest in a fully stocked retreat. We'll probably be stuck in a national park camping area or an RV park. Don't assume that the good guys are the only ones that will have this idea. If you're living out of a tent it'll be really hard to hide your preps. If you have a big, expensive RV or a nice vehicle then you might as well paint a big target on your butt. It's hard to argue that you'd be better off in an RV park than your own home unless you have a very well thought out spot that you've prepared beforehand. The key here is isolation with the potential of having room for a permanent structure and possibly a garden.

Maybe you've got close friends or family out in the boonies. Do they know you're coming? If you do show up will you be welcome? Will they be able to support you? If you have to ditch your vehicle and all that you show up with is what you're carrying on your back will it stretch them too thin? It's easy to take things like that for granted.

Even if you have a BOL you've still got some things to think about. What do you have stored there? What are the chances that someone else will be able to find it before you get there (in good times or in bad)? Do you know people in the community? How often do you go there? How far away is it? It doesn't do you much good to be an hour ahead of everyone in your city when you'll have to drive through or close to another city that's just a few hours away. Do people in your BOL's community consider you "one of them" or are you just some city slicker that stays at your cabin every now and then? Have you done anything to work the land? Have you ever tried to grow anything there? Do you have enough to get you through a bad season if things don't grow right away? There are a lot of problems that you could easily encounter. Having a well stocked BOL away from the city isn't automatically a free pass to get you through TEOTWAWKI.

Even if you live at your BOL what is your status in the community? Maybe it's so remote that there is no community to speak of (which brings up even more problems of it's own). Then again maybe the rural community where your BOL is located is more in depth than you think. When I was reading Lucifer's Hammer there was a character that really struck me. This guy lived in the valley that everyone in the book had eventually ended up in. He was accused of hording food gotten from raids and he and his family were sentenced to exile. The guy that accused him was the JBT of the valley and everyone just took his word for it because of his status. These were the good guys that were condemning this guy. I have a weird feeling that, in a true TEOTWAWKI scenario, this kind of thing would be pretty widespread in places that the government doesn't reach. After Rome collapsed dictators ran rampant in Europe. They called themselves kings and centuries that we've labeled the dark ages followed. During this time they all worked out who would take power. In the more "civilized" parts of Rome they managed to maintain their power. Maybe staying in Rome isn't such a bad idea when your survival is at stake.


Ricardo's Law said…
We're on the same wavelength, I think. I've got a tangentially related post up today.

Yeah, small towns - pros and cons, depends on the town and where you stand.
Anonymous said…
irishdutchuncle here...
although i realize that resistance is futile i'm inclined to resist anyway. unless/untill my building is on fire or the water is up to my chin, i figure the best thing to do is sit tight.(well not tight exactly, someone needs to be sober to drive the BOV.) the rubicon folks say stay,(prepared) skousen says just build the retreat and get
there before the real trouble starts. if i stay too long will the BOV still be drivable?(if i can fight my way to it?)is there a saferoom that can survive if your whole house burns down around it? and what about katrina? why doesn't someone (why can't someone) make a storm-surge shelter that works? sorry, i have many more questions than smart-alec answers tonight.
Utah Shelter Systems builds some pretty kickass shelters. It's just a really huge pipe with all of the amenities built inside of it. Then they bury it 8 feet deep as long as your location will allow it. If you have the know how you could probably design one and build it yourself for a fraction of their cost. Have fun installing it without he neighbors finding out if they're close, though.
Anonymous said…
thanks for the info. i can't put one in here at the apartment, got to get me some of that "junk" land and store me lots of gasoline to get there, i guess.
Anonymous said…
Becoming a self-imposed "refugee" (via bugging out) is the last thing you want to do in a crisis situation. Better to prepare and sit tight.

Another point from Lucifer's Hammer- One of the main characters (sorry, it's been many years since I read it) has a well-stocked retreat up in the mountains, and heads there with his family. When they get there, other refugees have already taken it over, and send him packing.
Even Rawles points out in "Patriots" that even getting to your retreat can be an untenable ordeal (takes the main character months to get there). No thanks.
Better to live at the retreat, as it where, by making where you live into a retreat.
Do the best with what you have.

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