The viability of bugging out in an RV depends on a variety of factors including your location, budget, personal preferences, and more.
In this guide we’ll talk about the steps you can take to prepare your motorhome for post-apocalyptic life!
The term bugging out is not new anymore in our day. But, what mental image do people build when they hear of bugging out? Someone loaded with a huge 80-liter backpack and a few other smaller bags hanging on their shoulders and hands as they leave their home for a supposedly safer location? And is that the original idea of the reality of bugging out?
The origins of the reality of bugging out are linked to the early 1950s Korean War. Bugging out described the US army’s practice of assigning alternative defense positions to be taken in the event being overrun was imminent and the units had to retreat (“bug out”).
As a term, however, “bugging out” may already have been used in different circumstances during World War II. But, its usage among civilians, as we know it today, only became real in the mid-1950s.
Today, most people conceive bugging out as simply grabbing a survival bag that you’ve already put together for when disaster strikes and getting the hell out of the SHTF area to a location where safety and survival are more probable.
But, is that all there is to bugging out? We’ll be answering that and all your other bugging-out questions in this article. Let’s get right to it!
Bugging out means abandoning your home in the event of an emergency and hastily heading to a location that is deemed safer than your current one, and in which your survival chances are higher.
To be safer and have greater chances of survival, however, bugging out must be prepared for in advance through certain well thought out decisions and actions:
We’ll tell you more about bug out situations in the next section. But it’s important to know that being aware of the type of disasters that can affect the area where you live is extremely important when preparing for bugging out, even though some types of disasters can be ubiquitous.
For example, not every part of the globe is prone to Tsunamis. Since being in a Tsunami-prone zone will require you to move to higher ground, your bug out preparations must put that into account.
As much as it may not be easy to head to a fixed destination when SHTF, identifying safe areas where you could bug out from a disaster-hit area is crucial.
One wise way to do this is to have several options then decide on the best one when disaster hits. We’ll tell you more about where to bug out a little later.
Once you have your bug out location identified, you need to plan and practice a bug out route. Some countries have guidelines for evacuation routes and safe locations for disasters like the Tsunami, which could serve as your primary bug out route and location for such disasters.
Depending on whether you plan to bug out by foot or in a vehicle (which will also be defined by the type of disaster), you need to have a bug out vehicle and/or bug out bag ready with everything you need on your bug out survival list.
A bug out situation is a natural or man-made disaster that prompts you to leave your home or current location in search of a safer bug out location where the chances of surviving the disaster are greater.
These are emergency situations that are created by natural occurrences and which threaten your health or life should you decide to stay in your home or current location. As such, they push you to bug out to safety.
Read about how to survive natural disasters in our related guides.
Man-made bug out situations are emergencies that occur as a result of human activity, placing you in danger and requiring you to move away from your home or current location as a safer option.
The emergency bug out situations include:
Bugging out can be either safe or a bad idea depending on the extent of the danger posed by the emergency situation and how prepared you are for the emergency. Depending on these two factors:
Bugging out is safe if:
Bugging out is a bad idea if:
There is no clear-cut answer to whether you should bug in or bug out. The choice to bug in or bug out depends on a number of factors:
When you bug out, you should go to a location that is safer than your current location, which should also be predetermined in advance for greater safety. It could be a rural home or a bug out bunker.
Nonetheless, not everyone can have a predetermined place to bug out, so you have to consider ad hoc options. Here are 5 places you can go to when you bug out:
If you live in the city, you can purchase or build a rural bug-out home in a distant location that would be safer if SHTF.
Work with a real estate agent that is specialized in bug-out properties or explore options from online real estate marketplaces for off-grid and rural properties like survivalrealty.com.
Check with family members or friends living away from the city if they would have you if SHTF. You could even make a mutual deal to let whoever among you needs it bug out in the other’s home when disaster strikes.
If you don’t have your own bug out location, you can opt to search through topographical maps for secluded public land that could serve as a favorable location to make a temporary shelter when you bug out.
The options for public land bug out locations could be:
Especially when it comes to natural disasters, the government knows best and you might be safer opting to seek refuge at a government-run shelter.
Whether it is among your primary options or your last option for a bug out location, there are few things you need to bear in mind when you bug out at a government-run shelter during an emergency.
We did say that you should have a predetermined destination when you prep for bugging out should SHTF.
Sometimes though, going to the wild can be an option. For example, a widespread total collapse of public order due to civil unrest or civil war in a country could make you consider being in the wild for survival.
Also, even though they are more of fiction than possible realities, disasters take the nature of the mythical zombie apocalypse and TEOTWAWKI would call for bugging out in the woods/wild.
For more information on places you can go in case of emergency or if SHTF, check out our detailed guide on bug out locations for preppers.
Yes, a bug out bag is extremely necessary if you are serious about increasing your chances of survival when SHTF.
Imagine running away from rioting crowds in a city for hours on end and not having a little water to hydrate or an energy bar to replenish your strength and keep going?
That without mentioning what you would do if you got sick and had no medical supplies or any of the other survival supplies.
Take it from this redditor who, together with her children braved better the flooding caused by the 2017 Hurricane Harvey because they each had a bug out bag. They even had to put up with being targets of those who had no bug out bags.
An army at war in the 1950s had it clear that the assailant could overpower and their troops would need to retreat. And thus was born the great bug-out idea.
Similarly, a wise 21st-century prepper knows that disaster could strike any time, and bugging out could be an option.
Being aware of possible bug out situations, having a bug out destination, identifying a bug out route, and having a bug out bag/vehicle are all pro-survival decisions that any prepper should make today.
After all, ours is an era of real and threatening disasters!