Thursday, July 8, 2010

BOB vs Hole Up

Serious people in the survivalist circles are understandably down on the whole concept of Bug Out Bags. The pithy saying with a huge kernel of truth is, "bugging out means you choose to be a voluntary refugee." Holing up is preferred, if at ALL possible, as you can't carry a lot of stuff with you and you are familiar and stronger on your home turf. There is safety in being a moving target but you are also vulnerable from all sides.

But when the lava is heading toward your house... You do have to leave.

And serious survivalists also freely admit that there are times when, yes, you have to quit your base location and go elsewhere. Even the best selected site A may be in the way of something irresistable. And your back up locations B, C, and D that you arranged ahead of time to bug out TO might be compromised, as well. It doesn't take much imagination to come up with such a scenario.

You're in the worst possible situation, on foot, carrying everything you own, and on the move to be ahead of something bad. I'm not going to sugar coat it, this is a good way see a bad end.

The whole point of survivalist thinking is to SURVIVE, naturally. You try to make yourself as lucky as possible by preparation ahead of time. Hey, at least you got a pack full of possibly useful stuff on your back. It could be worse. You could be naked and severely injured. The ultimate goal is to endure through an emergency and get to the other side where lives can be rebuilt, and some semblance of normalcy returns. People that didn't prep have a greater chance of not being there on the other side. So at least some starry eyed foolishness has been culled. Hopefully a stoic rock-hard unhappy pessimism won't endure in the survivors.

But don't making Bugging Out your FIRST option on your disaster prep. Think twice on bug-outtable situations. You might be able to ride out a riot or a hurricane, especially if you have no place else to go. A forest fire? Maybe not. You definitely have places to go in most forest fire evacuations, and usually enough lead time to pack the BoB and then some. BoB plus valuables, plus papers, plus enough gear for a weeklong vacation. It's not TEOTWAWKI when there is a Holiday Inn with a functioning contintental breakfast, complete with fresh bran muffins, 400 miles away, but you may need that Bug Out Bag to get there.


Huey said...

Good post, you kind of mix two different scenarios here..the classic TEOTWAWKI/Zombie Apocalypse and the "Mother Nature Hates Me" type. This is good, because a lot of people spend countless hours and web pages dedicated to surviving in the wild when society breaks down versus hordes of aggressors when a much more likely scenario is that you will have to leave due to a natural disaster that affects you locally while leaving society as a whole unaffected. Guns and MRE's are not going to do you much good in these instances, but couple of plastic totes thrown in the back of your car with important documents (Birth certificated, SSN cards, insurance and financial docs, copy of mortgage statement..ect) will be essential in rebuilding you life after such an even.

I think on the whole a lot of survivalist literature is clouded by the "romantic" vision of the rugged individual surviving against the odds, and not the reality that most of us will have to drag our families along with us if we ever need to "bug"..

Boat Guy said...

I'm with Huey; there are lots of reasons to have a BOB and we specifically looked at fires being one of them. Copies of vital documents don't weigh much. A couple of prized photos in your BOB don't either (VanDerLeun over at American Digest had a nice post in such things a month or two back).
Been through fire/flood/earthquake at various times and guns and MRE's were always comforting (well the guns, MRE's are any number of things but "comforting" isn't the first word that comes to mind).

Old NFO said...

Concur with both posters...

MJM said...

Like Jonathan Winters said in the hilarious cold war spoof, "The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming!": Boys, we shooters have got to get organized.

I'm with you on preparing individually. But, I'm not with you, and you are not with me, and we are not with anybody else.

Fifteen minutes after the government comes by confiscating weapons, the starvation-crazed zombie horde will strike us in our little isolated pillboxes.

We've got to get organized! The government won't use Civil Defense to do it and we've got to do it. A well-armed neighborhood militia platoon stands a lot better chance. They could be overrunning your basement one block over and I wouldn't even know it.

JB Miller said...

Stockpile plus BOBs plus caches plus a fully stocked retreat!

Murphy's Law said...

I've got a 72-hour BOB duffle sitting packed and ready near my door. All it needs to complete it is my small document safe's contents transferred to a carry bag, and a rifle/pistol combo from the gun room. I already have loaded mags on belt rigs for my main choices, so I could still do a "grab n' go" in under ten minutes, dog included. The downside: leaving numerous serviceable weapons behind for whomever. That I don't like.

Ideally, I'll stay here and defend. I've got a good set-up with a well, a generator, and lots of food. My place if off the beaten track enough that refugees from the urban areas aren't going to run across it, and it's relatively defensible, especially with the machine guns that I own. My neighbors don't even realize that there are range markers out on the wooded land and roadways adjacent to my place, but I can see them all fine from here.

Worst case, if I have to leave, it will take me upwards of an hour to render the weapons that I cannot make room for in my truck unserviceable. I may have to leave plenty of them behind because food and essential supplies come before redundant weapons, but the bolts and other essential parts will be coming with me and disposed of or cached far enough away that they won't be found by anyone who takes subsequent possession of them.