One of the biggest concepts in prepping, survival, and with most militias is undoubtedly bugging out based on any number of scenarios. But should that always be the go to plan for your preparedness?
Sure, it sounds adventurous and maybe even a little fun (go ahead, you can admit it). However, there are several things to consider. Do you have a place to go? Do you have all of the gear you will need? Do you have 'bug out bags' for not only yourself, but your entire family? Oh.....you forgot about your family.....didn't you...... "Bye kids!! Daddy is going to go fourth in the name of survival! Be good for your mother." Probably not how you want that to play out.....
You have your spouse and your children to consider. Sure, you can spread the load with your spouse and your kids and have everyone ready to go with a bug out bag, but the reality of this being a viable option just isn't the reality it is in most movies.
You can only pack so much in a backpack, assault pack, or 72 hour bag before the weight makes carrying it very far for an extended period a fantasy. Sure, you can train and ruck every other day, and you might be in peak physical condition, but bags get heavy after a while no matter the type or contents. Not to mention the fact that if you have young children, we all know how much they absolutely DON'T love carrying their own stuff around. You've carried coats, toys, and everything else for them up until you think bugging out is an option, so strapping a pack on them with everything they need to survive is probably not going to happen either.
Boots, an extra pair of boots, socks and more socks, changes of clothes, food, water, ammunition, weapons, lights, batteries, medical supplies, rope, fire starters, emergency shelters, blades...... that's only a start and you've probably already got a fully stuffed ruck going as it is. Now add to that all of this for every member of your family and think about injuries and tired children that may not be able to carry their own for very long.
And then there's your extended family that might be close to you. We'll use your mother in law Myrtle as an example. Just going to leave her behind while you bug out? Ok, so that's a horrible example. In all seriousness, this is something a lot of people don't think about it seems. Your brother or sister on the other side of town, your parents, cousins, friends, etc. You see where we're going with this...... Maybe they'll go with you, maybe they think you've got one hell of a tin foil hat collection. Regardless, did you include the people you love in your escaping of the apocalypse plans?
If you need to get out in a hurry on foot, and you have a pre-planned destination that's only a one or two day hike, the reality probably isn't as grim as we've started this post out to sound. The point of having bags ready to go to escape whatever you need to get away from should get you to a pre-determined site where you will be a safe and have an already (hopefully) self-sustaining measure of living and survival, or a plan to get that self-sustaining location up and running easily.
If you don't have such a location, and your plan is just to go fourth into the wilderness and tough it out, it can certainly be done. Humans have braved the wild and lived off the land since the dawn of human history. The problem is that in modern day many of the humans roaming around planet Earth aren't used to that type of living anymore. We've become too used to convenience and comfort. Many don't have the skills or the knowledge to make this work.
Other things to consider is your route to get where you're going. Chances are that if things have become so bad you feel the need to pack up and leave your home on foot, you aren't the only one. Especially when fleeing an urban environment you aren't going to be alone in the woods and walking along side the highway probably isn't going to be the best idea either. When food becomes scarce, people get desperate. When people become desperate, your food, supplies, weapons and ammunition become a target for those who are trying to survive just like you, and in that case it's every man for himself.
Have you pre-checked your route? Do you cross through a neighborhood? A river? Private property? If you enter someone's property who has a security stance and are also in survival mode are the property owners going to be receptive to your presence? Or are you going to be viewed as a threat with supplies they can take from you? Have you checked for safe places with plenty of cover to stop to rest and even sleep? Sleep is another issue. If things have reached this point threats can be all around you. It's not a good idea for all of you in your group to sleep all at once and then continue your trek at first light. No, you will need security and watch rotations. If your group is a family of four and one of you as the adult is up all night keeping watch, or even half the night, will you be able to face the next day? Sure, you can go with little sleep for a while, we all do it, but inevitably it will catch up to you.
These are all things you have to take into account.
Something else to think about. Say you have pre-planned a bug out with your friends, or several family members. There are so many of you that instead of going on foot, a couple of you have enclosed trailers and you're going to consolidate all of your gear and supplies into these trailers and take pre-scouted routes to your secondary location. Great! But there are problems here too. Trailers are not an effective measure in any convoy operation where there could be threats down the road. Once again, if you've made it this far in your planning, there is likely a very pressing and dangerous reason your packing up to head out. Road blocks, traffic stops, and other threats are less than ideal with a trailer behind you. No matter how good you are behind the wheel or how much of your life you have pulled anything behind a vehicle things can become stressful and your adrenaline can rise in a hurry. Sudden stops and a sudden need for a K turn can make that trailer useless. If you jack knife it, or ditch it, you're pretty much done. At that point you've compromised your groups supplies, and you've likely made it, and yourselves a target while being on the X too long trying to get everything back on the road.
Are there situations where bugging out might be the best option? Absolutely. Hurricanes, volcanoes erupting; very good reasons. However, we're focusing mainly on the Midwest were we are located where these things aren't valid. Tornadoes can be on this list, but normally during our type of inclement weather threats, there isn't enough notice and you're likely to be ok. If your house should be badly damaged and you have to leave, God forbid, at least the situation isn't as dire as most popular bug out scenarios.
At the beginning of the pandemic a lot of people started the preparation for a bug out. Not a bad plan at all. Part of your preparedness should take into account every situation and every scenario possible. However, as we have seen for most, life hasn't changed much during the pandemic (and now the electiondemic...). Most of us still had to go to work, pay bills, and a lot of parents had to become teachers. The situation just didn't justify the point of leaving your home in the name of starting over in the great outdoors. Could we get there? Of course we could and don't ever think that day is an impossibility. Complacency is the worst possible mindset you can have especially in 2020, soon to be entering 2021.
It's been said there is strength in numbers. There is some wisdom in this. If bugging out isn't a viable solution, staying right where you are at home can be a good idea too. After all, you've worked extremely hard for your home and your property. Packing up and leaving it behind is a very hard decision to make. With this, many of the same above mentioned principles apply. Do you have all of the supplies you need for whatever possibly extended scenario? Do you have security? That's the big one. Security. If you have supplies and a few years worth of preps chances are someone knows. If they don't know what you have, maybe it will just be a guess. Either way as a four person average family you might think you can secure home and property, but you probably can't do it effectively 24/7.
Hopefully you've gained a group and a small community of your own that you can count on and that you trust for support when needed in situations like this. After all, that's what it is all about. Taking care of each other. If the worst happens and you feel like you're under threat. Maybe you've seen bad actors in your area, maybe you feel like you're being cased by unfamiliar vehicles, whatever the situation. You're going to need help.
Maybe you have a capable teenager that can pull security for you one night. Maybe he goes and helps your buddy keep watch the next night. If one area gets too hot, maybe those close to you in that area come to you for a couple of days. Maybe you have property and plenty of room and the majority of your group comes to you and helps you buy assisting in your security, food preparation, and general preparedness until things blow over.
Bug out bags do still play a role here. If the roads are compromised and not safe, you might still need supplies to get from place to place. You will still need food with you, water, protection, and shelter just for starters. Maybe you haven't heard from your battle buddy in a couple of days. Maybe you have scheduled check ins set up and they've been missed. At some point you're going to feel the need to go check and you're going to have to get there one way or the other. This seems like a far more likely scenario. This is the way of the militia. Taking care of each other and protecting each other within our communities. It's not all about training and tactics, although to do any of these things successfully, those are absolutely needed.
Ultimately, there are no right or wrong answers to any of this. Research, common sense and training go a long way when it comes to preparedness planning.
Everything is dependent on the situation, and the situations that could occur in our future are endless.
All of these topics should be discussed within your groups and with your families. What is the best course of action for you during what situation? Do you have a secondary place to go? Is it sustainable? As you can see, the questions are as endless and the reason why you may have to do any of this.
Remember, you can spend your entire life training and preparing. If you don't use any of it, you've lost nothing. What you can do is pass it all on to our future generations. If we don't use it, they might have to. Looking to history as a teacher, the need will inevitably come. Will you be ready?
Loyalty - Duty - Honor
Kansas City Area Militia