Bugging Out With Young Children- Part 1, by MPB

The concept of bugging out is an integral part of preparing for an uncertain future. I won’t list them here, but there are dozens of reasons why it may be necessary to leave your home/homestead on very short notice. Page after digital page has been published online addressing this subject… some of it quite good and some of it good for nothing more than a laugh. But there is one aspect of bugging out that I think has been largely overlooked in the survival community. It is the special considerations needed when bugging out with young children. My focus in this article is on families with one or more children in the age range of 1-10. I’m not writing as an expert on child development but as a father of two boys who has spent a lot of time thinking about this subject out of concern for my own family. If you don’t have your own children in this age range, please keep reading anyway. If you are young enough you may have children someday, and if you are old enough you may have grandchildren someday. In any case, you may find yourself in a situation where this knowledge would … Continue reading

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Trekking for Survival, by G.U.

I have to admit that I have watched one or more movies or movie shorts with an apocalyptic theme. Often the survivors (or survivor) are either walking or driving along a barren road, through a barren town, or through the country side. Sometimes, they will have some gear, maybe a backpack, a bottle of water or canteen, and maybe a gun or some kind of club. In some cases, they are well organized and have a compound of sorts, but eventually they have to take to the road for supplies or to find others. In most of the movies, there was some kind of major catastrophic event that placed the person in the most dire of straits. If you think about it, there are numbers of scenarios and possibilities for a situation where a person might become that roaming survivor. I live in the suburbs of Houston, where we have experienced more than one hurricane that has caused some kind of event where life quickly moved from normal to some level of survival mode– widespread power loss, business closures, food and water shortages, gas shortages, blocked roadways, et cetera. These, of course, are not apocalyptic by any means, but it … Continue reading

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Bugout Apple Pie, by Sarah Latimer

Back in October, during part of the time we were away from SurvivalBlog, we were practicing our bug out scenario with a group of folks we might join in a TEOTWAWKI situation. We took our vehicle with camp stove, tent, and significant equipment, but we also took the minimal equipment that might be needed if we were to need to vacate the vehicles, too. We believe in practicing what we preach, so to speak and encourage you to do so too. There is no substitute for experience! Every time we do this, we come up with new ideas for improvement, whether it is for improved comfort, convenience, ease of transport/loading/unloading, better OPSEC, or something else. I personally believe that I have infinite opportunity for improvement and am always seeking how to do this. I just can only handle a little at a time, but I’m open to it. It truly is my desire to become better at everything that is important, and my family’s survival in an emergency (whether a small, personal emergency or a massive global one) is pretty near the top of my “life’s priority” list. (What tops the list is my own and my family’s eternal spiritual … Continue reading

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Bugging-in vs. Bugging-out, by John M.

In most preparedness magazines and on most prepper websites, bug-out bags are an ever-popular topic for discussion. The idea of “bugging-out” in a SHTF scenario makes us dream of an idyllic cabin in the mountains where we grow or hunt our own food and live happily ever after, or it’s where we take on an enemy in a Red Dawn (United Artists, 1984) scenario, hopefully minus the attrition rate of the Wolverines. However, practical preparedness should be about looking at possible real-life scenarios, rather than things that rarely happen. In a real-life emergency, would it be better to “bug-out” or “bug-in”? It depends largely upon the type of emergency situation. What are the dangers of each? “Bugging-In” In most situations, “bugging-in”, “holing-up”, or sheltering-in-place would probably be the best course of action. During a winter storm, you have protection from the elements and a secure place in your own home. Likewise, in a tornado situation, a home is much more secure than being out in the open. Special precautions should be taken in tornado country to prepare for such an eventuality. Droughts, heatwaves, power outages, earthquakes, and local unrest (riots) are all best waited out inside the shelter of one’s … Continue reading

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Letter Re: T.P. for the Bugout or Get Home Bag

I’m constantly looking online at what people put in their bug out and get home bags. So far as I’ve seen their always missing one important item– toilet paper! I keep at least two rolls in every bag. Yes, they take up room but weigh nothing. All of my vehicles also have a couple rolls. An immediate dietary change, going from norm to survival mode, is going to have an immediate effect on one’s system (aka: bowel movement). Yet, as I review preppers/survivalist bag setups, good old TP seems to be never mentioned. So, load a couple rolls in a zip lock bag! It also makes great tinder, too. – DMS

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Letter Re: Spam Can Storage

Hugh, Attached are two pictures of Spam cans, Russian Wolf manufacturer, I buried in 2009. You can see the difference of the one I repainted and covered in grease at the time of burial and the one left as bought. All ammo was fine inside of both, even though one rust spot did make a pin size hole. I re-canned them all. The ground was moist most of the time. Ammo was steel case. Thanks for the website. – W.W.

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Five Things Women Need, by J.W.

My wife has a love-hate relationship with all this personal defense stuff.  She hates the idea of needing to be prepared and can’t stand that her day-to-day life is affected by potential or perceived and often unseen threats of violence, bUT she loves me.  So that means she agrees to all my training, prepping, security protocols, and most of my gear purchases.  Most? Okay, many of them. Many? Okay, fine. I just buy what I want. She gets mad for awhile and then eventually forgives me! The point of this article is to give you five things that we think a woman needs for personal and family security when kids are involved and she finds herself in a dangerous or disastrous situation. These are a 24-hour get home bag, an exfiltration plan, communication resources, personal defense tools, and a proper mindset. Twenty-four Hour Get Home Pack My wife’s 24-hour pack is very similar to mine in terms of the gear she carries, but there are a few additions that I will highlight below. This retro-looking pack is similar to what my wife carries everyday in her Suburban. It’s large enough to carry the gear she needs but not too big … Continue reading

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The Fallacy of the Bugout Bag, by J.C.

I began my quest to become self-sufficient in a bug out situation sometime around the end of 2004 or the beginning of 2005.  My first purchase, if I recall was a gravity fed water filter and a small solar battery charger.  The old saying that one can live three weeks without food but only three days without water, in hindsight is what drove me to that purchase.  I don’t regret buying it to this day, but the chances that it will be with me in a true bug out situation, are slim to none. Before I go any further I would like to state that there are numerous different scenarios in a survival situation and that each requires its own skill set and supplies in order to get through them.  In two of those three scenarios, that big gravity filter will be worth its weight in gold. There is the shelter in place scenario, during which weight, bulk and duplication of gear and supplies mean very little.  In fact, during a shelter in place scenario, in nearly every instance, the more the merrier.  There is also a shelter in or near vehicle scenario.  Here bulk does become a problem.  If … Continue reading

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Everyday Survival Living Overseas Among Muslims, by A.E.

I read articles and letters on this site, and other blogs and web sites, where people are prepping for survival. Oftentimes these articles and letters concentrate on hypothetical or theoretical post-TEOTWAWKI situations. My family’s and my survival experience is not theoretical. We live in an everyday survival context. I hope this article can help to enlighten some of you on prepping for everyday living and to expose some of the challenges faced across America and the world by people wishing to prep in less than ideal circumstances. I am an American, an Army veteran of foreign wars, believer in the Lord Jesus, and a missionary overseas. I woke up this morning to the sound of the imam calling out over loudspeakers, only three blocks away. He was calling his faithful out of their slumbers and to their morning prayers. Walking down the street to get started on my work day I passed numerous police checkpoints, body scanners, bag checkers and armed guards. In the country where my family and I live, the central government is extremely strong and often heavy-handed. The reason for all these security measures is that this area is 100% Muslim and they are not happy. The … Continue reading

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Training for Truly Defensive Driving, by K.W.

After a long day of work, where you had plenty of motivation to get your rear in gear and start working on your projects, you hop in the car for the drive home. As you grab 5th gear, good choice on driving a manual, and look over your left shoulder to merge on the highway as a truck 200 yards in front of you just dropped a huge pile of tree branches in your lane. You look ahead as you are merging and see that pile of branches! What do you do? Time is quickly going by, and so is the distance. Hitting this pile of tree debris just might disable your fancy Prius that gets so many miles per gallon, let alone the fact you may be injured severely. Hit the brakes and the driver that was only feet behind you as you merged might end up in the middle of your car. Instinct takes over in a situation like this. Your instinct was to physically lock up and slam on the brakes, you hit the pile of debris and the driver who was texting rear ends you causing major injuries sending you to the hospital in a Helicopter … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Hurricane Matthew–Some Lessons Learned

JWR & HJL: That was another great article [on Hurricane Matthew]! A suggested alternative that I have adopted is buying a turbo diesel automobile and truck.  The benefits are simple and yet many people still have not discovered the option. Here are a few:My VW tdi as an example gets about 43 miles per gallon, so with a 15 gallon fuel tank it achieves about 600 miles plus on a  tank, and by adding three NATO style 5 gal metal cans (15 gallons total) in the trunk I have a 1,200 hundred mile cruising range. That is hard to beat. Another advantage diesel in several scenarios I have been through was that diesel will still be available when regular gas is sold out.  In my own testing, diesel is not nearly as volatile as gasoline. Diesel stores for 3 to 4 years without stabilizers with no noticeable degrading (in my own experience and only use 55g al metal drums or 5 gal current NATO style gas cans). [JWR Adds: It stores even longer with an anti-microbial stabilizer such as PRI-D added.] You can buy diesel at the service stations and transport it in any type of container without violating any … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Hurricane Matthew–Some Lessons Learned

Good Morning, SurvivalBloggers, SurvivalBlog recently had a very good list of hurricane preparation tips in Hurricane Matthew–Some Lessons Learned, written by a Florida resident. As a former 20+ year Florida resident I’d like to add to his excellent piece. In Florida, hurricanes are a way of life, and the period from June 1 to November 30 is known as “hurricane season.” The period from December 1 to May 31 is known as “not hurricane season.”  “Not hurricane season” is when one should be doing their preparation for the other six months. During “not hurricane season” one can find plywood on sale occasionally, generators are plentiful, frequently at reduced prices, and contractors and handymen are available. “Not hurricane season” is when one purchases plywood (tip: thicker is better), cuts it to fit windows and vulnerable doorways, drills mounting holes in it and labels each sheet as to which window or door it fits so installation can be done faster when a hurricane arrives during “hurricane season.” In short, anything non-perishable that one might need during “hurricane season” is procured and gotten ready during “not hurricane season.”  This includes laying out multiple travel plans to escape direct contact with a hurricane. As … Continue reading

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