Bugging Out? Get Real!

A lot of preppers talk about bugging out (which is not the same as buggering off for my British friends reading this). There’s tons of advice for how to put together a bug out bag and how to plan your bug out escape route, where you’ll bug off to, etc.

We’ve discussed the topic more than once here since we got into the homesteading and preparedness mindset and eventually we came to the conclusion that the only way we would bug out is if we absolutely had no choice and there was absolutely no chance of surviving by hunkering down here at our place. We plan to “die with our boots on” right here at home, so to speak.


Well, we live next to Yellowstone park with millions of acres of pristine wilderness which *sounds* like a bugger-outer’s dream, (in fact, you often see people talk of heading to Yellowstone in the prepper forums) but the reality is far from dreamy. It can turn into a nightmare rather quickly, in fact.

Have you ever tried to spend a few hours in these woods with little more than a backpack filled with survival gear? How about a few days? Weeks? Months?? We have, and believe me, it’s not something you want to do for more than a couple of days, especially at our age. Even if you went in well prepared to hunker down long term, there are so many things working against you in a bug out scenario.

IF you can even get to the woods to begin with, that is.

In a real SHTF situation, chances are they will be blocking access on the main roads to keep droves of bugger-outers in their RVs and SUVs and ATVs from heading into the woods. When I say “they” I don’t mean the friendly forest rangers, either.

Those forest rangers would convert to military police pretty much overnight. Which means you’d probably have to take an alternative route to get in.

Which means you may have to make your own road or attempt using a private road.

Which means you *might* have to deal with this guy who probably isn’t going to be too keen on sharing his road (or his woods) with you.

Of course you could forego a vehicle altogether and just walk in, or in our case dog sled in, but you still might have to deal with that guy and his bullets might be hard to outrun.

Worse, you might have to deal with her.

She’s even harder to outrun. The only caveat is that she hibernates in the winter months so you’ll be fine as long as she’s hunkered down until spring. You’ll be safe as long as the snow has arrived and it’s a winter wonderland out there.

Oh, wait, winter.

In Yellowstone.

There’s a reason why the world’s most ferocious apex predator hibernates during winter here. It’s literally like hell frozen over if you are trying to survive out there. You won’t last long when temperatures dip down below freezing. And it dips way, way down below freezing here.

Of course you *could* try to find an uninhabited cabin to ride out the weather…

…or an abandoned vacation home here, which actually wouldn’t be too bad. There are some pretty nice second (or third) homes in our area and there’s a pretty good chance you can find an empty one that is stocked with all sorts of necessities like food, wood and fine wine.

Of course then you have to defend your new castle from other starving, desperate bugger-outers who might be a few hours or days or weeks behind you and who also have their sights set on that billionaire’s wine cellar.

It all seems like a lot of stress and the truth is, you probably wouldn’t make it to that log mansion in the woods here. For most of us we’d be better off staying put and defending our own castles rather than buggering off to almost certain death.

Not that we shouldn’t have a bug out backup plan, of course. It’s just best to be realistic about it and realize that if things go badly and anarchy reigns, the last place you want to be is out there trying to live like a nomad or a lone wolf.

Lone wolves don’t do too well here, either.

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