One of the popular “survival” plans is the “Bug Out Bag” (aka BOB). Members of the survival community that use the Bug out bag, and a “head to the hills” philosophy are sometimes called backpack survivalist.
The “backpack survivalist” is a person who plans on leaving their home either ahead of a disaster or during the disaster, depending on the situation. The Survivalist, with their Bug Out Bag and family in tow, will head to some parcel of wilderness. Usually the plans include using national forest land as the retreat, areas close to large lakes where camp grounds already exist or maybe even public hunting land. When discussing these plans in detail with other survivalist, usually, exact details have not been thought out.
Example of a bug out plan: A few years ago one survivalist was talking about his plans, which included driving about 14 – 18 hours (normal drive time), across two states in order to reach a large US national park. Exact details such as refueling stops, rest areas and actual camping grounds had not been planned out. The story sounded more like a mix between the Boy Scouts and a Rambo movie.
The survivalist plans for a bug out usually goes something like this:
1. If there is a traffic jam I can just drive around it by using the ditch or grassy median.
2. Survivalsit try to buy a 4-wheel drive so they can go off road where other types of cars and light trucks can not.
3. The motorcycle is a common consideration for the survivalist. As the motorcycle gets good gas mileage and can zip through traffic jams.
4. Sometimes the survivalist will have a cache of goods left with friends and family along the planned route.
5. Some survivalist even go as far as to bury items along the planned routes. The cache is usually next to a tree, or some other land mark. The caches are usually heavy duty PVC pipe or some type of air tight container.
6. Most survivalist that use the “Bug Out Bag” plan intend on traveling very light, with at least 3 days worth of supplies for each person.
7. If there is a need for more supplies during the Bug Out, the survivalist can dig up some of the buried caches along the route.
The fallacy of these plans are – the typical backpack survivalist does not have a place to go once they and their family have “Bugged Out.” There are usually hopes of finding lodging, a camping ground or some wilderness area where the survivalist and their family can stay until the disaster has passed.
The very concept of “living in the woods” is flawed. Even though early man was a hunter-gatherer, the landscape has changed. Wild plants do not grow in numbers great enough to support a newly founded village. Season is very important, early man would smoke and dry meat for most of the summer to have during the winter. If a family were to just show up in a wilderness area and hope to “survive” – its highly doubtful the plan would last. After starving for a few days, a few days with no wild game brought in for food, bad weather setting in, rain, sleet, snow, boredom, wondering about friends and family members, running out of toilet paper, sickness, missing a hot shower, bath and a normal toilet – there will be a demand from most members of the group to return to normal life.
Once a family leaves their home and does not have a place to go, they are called refugees. Most refugees will be sleeping in shelters set up by local churches, the red cross, the salvation army or some other organization. That is just the way it is, refugees depend on the charity of others. The refugees that do not sleep in shelters will be sleeping in their cars or trucks.
The best plan a survivalist can have, is to have a “real” plan. This means that the family has a real place to go – such as a friend or family members house. The routes have already been planned and driven. The rest areas, refueling stations and places to buy food (survivalist should bring their own food) should already be plotted, noted and known ahead of time.