The Harsh Reality of a Long-Term Bug Out

The Harsh Reality of a Long-Term Bug OutA long-term bug out is not out of the question. But let’s be real, the second you step out of your home, you’ve lost control. The comfort, security, and familiarity of your home are no longer available to you.

As preppers, we do our best to make as many plans as possible so we can be as prepared as possible. However, as we should all know by now, even our best-laid plans can go awry.

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Recently, our family of four (myself, husband and two daughters, ages 3 years and 2 months at the time) went on a 30-day road trip. We stayed with family some of that time and were forced to stay in a hotel a couple of times, but we mainly boondocked in a tent.

We thought we had all the gear and all the plans…but we were struck with reality and our lack of preparation several times over. I pride myself on being prepared for any scenario, but you never really know what to expect until it’s put into practice.

We traveled from Texas up to Washington and then back down within 30 days. The reality is, most people won’t be galavanting across the country when it comes to bugging out. But this 30-day road trip was a test of our overall preparedness for bug out camping, skills, plans, locations, and so much more.

Here are some things that we learned during our 30-day road trip.

1. Availability of Gas

Gas is precious when it comes to bugging out by vehicle. How available is gas going to be in a total crisis? It wouldn’t be. If there’s a nationwide crisis, gas either wouldn’t be flowing or it would be secured because of various reasons.

Regardless, you’d be without gas. If you do plan to bug out for a long period of time, regardless if your bug out location is right down the street, you may want to use your vehicle or generator or anything else that may take gas. So be aware that gas won’t last.

2. Cash or Barter

What happens when you can’t use your card but you need some food? Don’t have cash? Well, that’s too bad. At the beginning of a crisis, cash will be king. In fact, I’d even beg to say that cash will always be king, outside of barter items.

We were coming across businesses that don’t accept cards, only cash. So think about in a crisis when EVERYONE will only accept cash or something REALLY good to barter with.

3. Caching

One of the main reasons we plan is so we can be as prepared as possible. We can only carry so much stuff in our vehicle, this includes food and water.

Without caching along our route, we wouldn’t easily be able to re-supply the very basic supplies. Though also be prepared for not being able to reach your cache.

4. Hygiene

30 days without doing any type of hygienic behavior would have been a nightmare. It’s not just about being stinky, it’s about getting sick.

If you don’t cleanse yourself regularly, this will let bad bacteria win, and that bad bacteria can find its way through your nose, mouth, etc., which will make you sick.

5. Boondocking

Ok, you’ve found the perfect place to boondock. And so have about a dozen other people. How secure is your location, really? How many people know about your “secure” bug out location? Always have backups.

6. Mindset

I can’t tell you how many times I had to check myself and change my mindset. Especially with kids who love to challenge you and your resolve. But also just having to change our plans more often than I would like to admit.

Everything unexpected will be thrown at you. Stress will take hold and you won’t be able to properly process and move on from difficult situations. Your mindset and the ability to change your mindset is key to survival.

If you have a family, you need to consider their needs, especially if you plan to camp. You’ll need plenty of comfort items, a smile on your face, a calm mind, and more plans than you know what to do with.

Even if you don’t have a family, a long-term bug out is going to be tough on the mind and body. Do whatever you have to do make it as comfortable as possible.

Comfort is not a luxury, especially when we have the time now to get properly prepared.

Will you be re-evaluating your bug out plans? I know we will be. Thanks for reading!

Morgan is a wife, mother, and preparedness advocate. She’s the founder of
Rogue Preparedness where she teaches people how to be prepared through her website, YouTube, social media and local classes. She loves to spend time outdoors and learning to be more self-reliant.

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