Letter Re: Plan B -- Your Bug-Out Route

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Mr. Rawles,
In the event of a natural or manmade disaster you may need to retreat despite extensive preparations at your base of operations, whether in suburbia or in the mountains. You may find yourself in a desperate situation; facing forest fire, fallout from a malfunctioning nuclear power plant, terrorism, organized bands of looters or an invading army. Where will you go? How will you get there? What is your route?
Whether you have been preparing for years or weeks you need a Plan “B”. Identifying the threat will help you determine the safest route and mode of transportation to a pre-selected alternative location(s); a location with several months of water, food, fuel and shelter. If you need to leave your base of operation quickly in an event like a forest fire or malfunctioning nuclear power plant then a pre-planned route on back roads with a well stocked bug-out vehicle may be the answer. But, what happens if the roads are unsafe or impassible? With good backpacking equipment or properly outfitted bike and bike trailer you can carry about two weeks of food, tent, sleeping bag and other necessities. What are you going to do after two weeks?

I pre-planned my backpacking and biking bug-out routes with the intent of avoiding populated areas and main roads. These routes are predominately on logging roads, hiking trails and/or through the bush as circumstances dictate with a pre-positioned supply cache approximately every 25 miles. Close to each cache location are pre-selected camping spots located in the thickest and most remote cover available with a nearby water source. Each cache would provide a minimum (1) week re-supply of food and white gas fuel (no fire, no smoke) allowing me to continue on to my destination or re-group and/or recuperate. Every 50 miles or so I would have shelter building materials, tools, ammunition, water filter, fishing and trapping equipment in addition to food and fuel to allow for a longer stay. One cache would include an old canoe for a major river crossing or travel. Flexibility in a plan “B” could provide you with a plan “C” and “D”.

I plan to use 5 gallon plastic buckets with Mylar or plastic liners inside heavy plastic 55 gallon trash drum liners buried at least two feet below the surface of the ground at cache locations. I plan to use a mix of foods; store bought goods, meals ready to eat (MREs) and individually packaged freeze dried backpacking meals. These locations would be accessible if traveling by vehicle or bicycle or foot route(s). I consider these caches to be “throw away” and would continue to add new buckets/new caches yearly as time and money allow. When considering a plan “B” destination I chose a location several hundred miles away should circumstances require relocation from my home region with the built-in option of returning home along the same route.

Here in the northern tier of the country winter travel must be considered a possibility, being an unprepared refugee in the middle of a sub-zero cold snap would not be pleasant. Being prepared means layered winter clothing, winter footwear, winter camping equipment and plenty of white gas or unleaded gasoline stove fuel to melt snow or boil water. Expect to carry a 60 to 80 pound pack. My plan includes spending a winter (December thru March) away from my base of operations. A bug-out route /cache plan may allow you to take control of your situation and reduce your chances of becoming a refugee, internee or casualty in a desperate situation. Seeking the Lord God Almighty’s protection, salvation and will for your life through prayer in Jesus’ name will allow Him to take control of your situation whatever the circumstances are!!! - Jeff S. in New Hampshire

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This page contains a single entry by Jim Rawles published on October 21, 2007 10:38 PM.

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