An article posted by Selco on the SHTF School on April 11, 2015. Selco always writes good stuff on website.
[Source: Link to article: http://shtfschool.com/basic-survival/common-mistakes-while-bugging-out/trade post collapse]
Bugging out is something that I once failed to do, because I did not even realize that it needed to be done, actually I saw what was happening but I did not „process“ the information in correct way, so I stay and had to go trough whole period of watching, doing, and getting hit by violence, together with being cold, hungry, sick and everything else.
Because bugging out is so important and survival done right is often not getting into survival situations in the first place I stress importance of bugging out (if you are not already live in great bug out location anyway).
Consider the following couple of mistakes that I witnessed (more than one time):
Right moment Guy figured out that SHTF, something happening in the city, hears screams outside, shots, confusing news on TV, he rounds up his family, puts all bags in his car, they are armed and they go out in order to reach their bug out location in hills some 50 miles away. After one mile of traveling angry mob who just plundering local mall stops the car, pull them out, and beat them, and then kill the guy, he managed to kill few of them before that, but they were hundreds. He is dead. End of story.
If you woke up in the middle of the night, because something strange happens in your town, some event, maybe terrorist attack, or martial law put into effect or whatever, sit down and think for a moment. Your mission is to leave the area and reach your bug out location, do not confuse that mission with any urge to panically run. If you go into the panic you will make mistakes, and it is definetly not time for mistakes. You would be surprised to know how many people are prone to panic, and how many of them end up dead because of that.
Try to gather some information, and act accordingly to that information, who, what, when, how long, where.
Try to figure out what is happening before you start to bug out to your bug out location. What are problematic areas? Who is in control? You will never have perfect information but it is better than having no information at all.
Speak to neighbors, listen to the radio and TV and look on Twitter and other social media. Yes that often means you will need to postpone your trip, maybe for hours, or sometimes for even days. You need to choose the best moment to leave the area (if you already missed to leave the area before SHTF).
"Right way“ SHTF and family get in their pick up, with trailer full of good equipment for SHTF time. They managed to go some 20 miles down the road, where few cars simply „get them“, block them and take everything from them. They manage to save their lives or maybe not. Who knows.
Real problem here is not having right and good equipment, and lots of it. Real problem is that we are being constantly bombarded with information that we (preppers and survivalists) need to have right equipment (a lot) in order to survive. Because without it we are gonna end up dead. We are being instructed that without "things“ we are lost, we are not even right survivalists.
So when SHTF we are becoming something like prisoners of our things. Guess what? I am preparing myself to bug out in my sneakers, with pistol and plastic bag. If I have to I will collect everything else what I need on my way to my bug out location. Do not get me wrong, of course I have my bug out bag, my plans, and my useful stuff for trip to my bug out location, but the point is that I am really expecting that I will find myself in situation where I need to reach bug out location without all those things. Do not accept philosophy that things will save your life. Things will help you to stay alive, but your (correct) mindset will mainly save your life.
Anyway, plan to have what you need at your bug out location (already prepared), do not rely too much on things while you are bugging out, you need to be able to get things done with minimal equipment that’s why skills are more important than equipment and in best case you have both. Right mindset One word-ADAPT.
If you are bug out plan plays out excatly like it should you are a very lucky man. Consider the fact, that most of you are making plans to cover hypothetical SHTF scenarios, that you seen on TV shows, read about it somewhere, member of family went through somewhere, or simply you had couple of bad experiences. It is normal. We need to guess and it is best we can do.
You are building your plans based on that, nothing wrong with that. Except that everything may go wrong in one moment. You have plan to go through the city from point A to point B then to point C etc, and then to reach safe point somewhere. All good, but SHTF and your youngest son is still in school, your car is broken, and at point B in your plan something weird is happening, some kind of riot, let say with all chaos and confusion some trucks with money are rolled over right at your point B and now you need to find out a new way quickly, and your whole plan is gone, you do not know what to do. Welcome to reality! Reality usually likes to blow all your good plans to pieces. But point of planning is to COVER as many problems as you can, so make sure you play through as many scenarios as possible.
For example if you have just one way out of the city it is bad plan, it needs backup and backup of the backup.
UrbanMan's comment: Remember PACE Planning?
Prepare for the fact that your plan will be wrong right at the beginning, and that you need to make new plan very soon, (and couple of more new plans until you reach your bug out location.) Do not end up dead because you wanted to stick to your plan because it looks good, while circumstances changed hourly around you. Survival is about quickly adapting to new situations. That is why it always helps to take a map and whatever else you need to have good sources of information to make new plans on the go. These were just few of the most important things to consider when bugging out. How do you plan to bug out.