When one browses the internet for survival training and preparation, or indeed browses the innumerable books on the subject, a majority of them talk about the impending doomsday. The day, not too far in the future, when a meteor or asteroid will hit the Earth and apocalypse will be here. Or an impending nuclear holocaust. Maybe even a massive underwater earthquake that inundates large swathes of land, turning them into a part of the cast ocean, never to be seen again.
A lot of survival training, preparation and knowledge centers around extreme apocalyptic scenarios.
Sure, these events can happen and maybe will some day in the future. But it is so far away in our logical perception that we tend to disregard it altogether and do not do anything about preparing for such incidents. With events of such magnitude it is unlikely that we will be a part of the population that is still living. And if we do find ourselves in the middle of such destruction and devastation, chances are that whatever we learned in prepper school will not be of much help. The bug-out bag would probably have been lost and even if it was hanging from our drooping shoulders, it probably will not do us much good for more than a day or two.
So let us not dwell too much on Armageddon.Let us look at stuff that happens on a more consistent and regular basis.
Urban emergencies, for instance. Floods, cyclones, earthquakes, etc. These events are more in the realms of possibility and we better be prepared for them. Which brings us to the topic of this discussion – is bugging-out and the bug-out bag over-rated?
In a majority of cases, when you find yourself in an urban emergency situation, it is probably going to be a bug-in situation. Hell breaks loose and life as you knew it turns upside down. It is probably a much better idea to stay where you are, to bug-in. Of course, you need to be prepared for such bugging-in. You need provisions, you need water, you need food, you need hygiene products, you need some kind of illumination. You have to stock up for ties when the stuff might hit the fan. Even a bug-out bag may not be a bad idea. I would tend to call this bag the Get Home Bag – something that has the equipment to help you get home in case you find yourself out of home when the stuff hits the fan.
The bug-out bag or the get-home-bag is not very different from the survival kit.
It helps you with the material to survive for the next few hours or maybe even days. Shops would have shut down, there probably will not be any fuel in the gas stations, electricity may be out and there may not be any water flowing from the taps. What you have stocked up and the stuff in your Kit will help you survive till you are rescued or till the city crawls and claws back to normalcy ... which might indeed be days! In a flood hit situation, you and your family are probably stuck in the roof of your building. A couple of days later you are evacuated. But if you were prepared and stocked up, you would not stare longingly down the water filled roads for the administration to come to you carrying food and water and blankets. If it is a major earthquake and the city is flattened, you probably need to find a new bug-in location. Bugging-out is probably the only option with your house crumbing all around you.
Having said that, IF YOU HAVE BEEN A PREPPER, it might be a good idea bugging-out to a place where you are relatively alone. If you get into a refugee situation, the stuff you have stocked for yourself and your family will soon find a thousand other takers and the situation might get quite nasty, particularly if you refuse to share your meager provisions.
For many of us, bugging-out is not really an option.
How many of us have a fully stocked bug-out location, locked and ready for us for the time when we need to make use of it? Probably less than a hundred in a country of a billion and a quarter people. And even if you do have an external bug-out location, you may not be able to get there. The roads are gone, there is no public transport and not enough gas in your car to get you there. Bugging-out is not really a viable option. Unless of course you and your family are prepared to trudge it out there, on foot, with packs on your backs. We are not prepared for something like this and probably never will. It is better to look for the closest bug-out location (in case bugging-in is not an option) – maybe friends, relations, acquaintances, colleagues, etc. But remember, they too are probably going through the same trauma and might look upon you and your family as an impediment to their own security.
It is a much better idea to be self-reliant and self-sufficient.
Personally, I would advise people to prepare and stock up for an SHTF situation where Plan A is to bug-in for a few days or weeks. And call it what you will, you do need a bag containing essentials to overcome the initial problem. I am not too concerned whether you call it the Survival Kit or the Bug Out Bag or the Get Home Bag or the Get Out of Dodge Bag or whatever. The contents will pretty much be the same ... just ensure that you know the contents are up to date and you know what to do with them when called upon to do so.
So yeah, bugging-out is over-rated in my mind.
The time will come when a catastrophe will hit where we live and doomsday will finally be here. But before obsessing about that, I would advise you to prepare for situations that can and will happen, maybe multiple times, in our own lifetime.