Bugging Out On Foot

If you had planned on bugging in and things go bad and you have to bug out and leave your home or retreat and your doing it on foot, there are a few important rules that you need to remember:

The first rule to follow is to make sure that you have a plan in place for bugging out.  This means making sure that all of the people involved in the bug out understand what the plan is and where the new spot is located. 

Have maps for everyone in the group and have them clearly marked with the new location and they planned route. It is good to practice bugging out a few times before SHTF so that everyone is comfortable with the procedure and what role they play in the plan.

If you do have to bug out make sure and avoid main roads and freeways as these locations will be where the majority of the other people will be trying to get out of the city.

Use back roads, dry river beds or dry canals if at all possible.  Make sure these are clearly marked on the map and always have a secondary route marked in a different color if your primary route is blocked.  You can always use that secondary route to achieve your goal.

The second rule is to make sure you bug out at night.  It is much easier to slip out undetected under the cover of darkness. The less attention you call to your self and your group the better.

The bad guys are going to be watching for people packing up and leaving and you become easy prey. While traveling at night if you need to use any type of light, always make sure to have a red filter on the light.

The red filter serves two purposes, first it will allow you to use the light and not mess up your ability to see in the dark.

Secondly, red light does not travel as far, and is harder to see at a distance at night. You always want to make sure your whole party is using light discipline.

The third rule is to never use fire.  This means not building fires at night or even during sunlight hours even for cooking.  Fire can be seen at night for great distances and fire can also be smelled from quite a distance away. 

This is one thing the bad guys will be counting on and really looking for.  It is probably the fastest way to give your position away.  If you need to cook make sure it is with a fuel burning stove and make sure it is done quickly.  The smell of cooking food travel well also.

The fourth and last rule we will cover is make sure to sleep during the day and travel at night. When you bed down make sure it is well into the tree line and well camouflaged.

The person on guard duty should have a 360 degree view of the surrounding area. The guard should also try and stay as low as possible so as not to put off a good silhouette.

People that are out scouting around will find it much easier to find your camp if the guard is up walking around. Make sure to use natural camouflage from the surrounding area to hide the camp as well as possible.

written by BadVooDooDaddy

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  1. Very good article with some good advice, I would add a test run to see if you can handle the load you will try to bug out to.

  2. Can I first of all say thank you for your informative articles and posts!!
    As an ex serving member of the Australian army I would like to add to the great post above by saying that it standard operating procedure for the Australian Infantry (highly regarded around the world) to use a purple filter on all our torches.

    The main reason being that if you use a red light then you will not be able to see the red contour lines on your map. The other reason is that purple light is even harder to see from a distance than red light.

    I hope this info is helpful to your readers.



  3. Some very good points although I take exception to having maps. If everyone knows what the plan is and the primary and secondary routes maps are an unneccesary risk. As with routes primary and secondary locations should be scouted and established prior to the time of need.
    Consider how far away you are from your bug out location. Most people can walk about 1 1/2 miles an hour comfrotably even with a decent pack load. A 20 mile day is going to be tough on the young ones. If your bug out location is a considarable distance, preselected and cache’d, points will be a neccesity. You will be carrying food and water, water will have to be resupplied enroute. Reliable water sources along the route should be known to all with the means to collect and store it.
    Thanks for your thoughts. A lot of good ideas.

    • In regards to water, all members of the bugging out group can each carry a water filter straw. This will greatly reduce the need to carry heavy pounds of water.

  4. I think this particular scenario is, unfortunately, one of the most real SHTF possibilities, in that staying put may no longer be a viable option, and travel could well necessitate traveling down the ol’ “shoe leather express” due to extreme circumstances where gas/petrol is in either short supply or simply unavailable. One may have the finest means of transportation available, but if the go-go juice is gone, well….you get my drift.

    Well thought out post by a guy who knows his stuff.

  5. Great article Sooch turned me onto your site, and I’m glad he did. I’ve been a prepper for a long time. I’m lucky enough to live in the perfect location. My bug out location is just 300 yards from my house with several escape routes, and plenty of food and water. I’ts nice to be able to bug out, and yet still keep an eye on your house. I have several ways to cook outdoors, and when I need to start a fire I use a Dakota Pit. Look it up on Youtube I think you will like it.

  6. I believe maps are necessary for two reasons. It gives a morale boost to know how close you are to your location, it also gives you the opportunity to take an alternate route if your primary or secondary route is blocked. Just going by memory isn’t the greatest to use especially if family members aren’t into camping/hiking or even preparedness. I am also not saying to mark your route or the location of your BOL location on the map. But having one available is important.
    Another point (echoed above) is that one MUST have one or two caches set up along those routes to resupply or to even equip yourself in the event you are unable to take your custom loaded BOB that’s tucked away in your closet at home.

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