5 Rules To Survive When Bugging Out

Last Updated: September 11, 2022

A Bug Out Bag is one of the most important parts of disaster preparedness and prepping.

It contains everything you will need to survive should you have to evacuate your home in the face of a disaster.

What makes a Bug Out Bag unique from other types of disaster kits is that the BOB is designed for ALL types of disasters.

After all you’re packing for:

  • An unknown disaster  
  • Unknown circumstances  
  • Highly variable physical abilities and  
  • Highly variable knowledge levels

You can find countless checklists and advice on how to pack a Bug Out Bag, but unfortunately it isn’t as simple as checking off items on a standard list.

The problem is, everything you thought you knew about SHTF bugging out is probably WRONG!

 ‘Everybody has a plan…until they get punched in the face’ – Mike Tyson

The good news is we can all learn from history.

We can learn from other (and sometimes our) country’s darkest hours.

So here’s how NOT to die during the bug out itself…

“The student is to read history actively not passively.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance and Other Essays

Bugging Out Rules To Make It Alive

First Rule Of Bugging Out

Don’t Get Seen

In order to reduce our exposure to dangers from the human predator, I strongly urge you to apply a holistic approach to your ‘target signature’.

When I talk about disguising your signature, I mean to be smart about camouflaging yourselves from the sensor systems of the human animal.

Here I will simply say that you want durable clothing in subdued colors, and perhaps a couple cans of spray paint, But don’t stop with the obvious aspect of clothing/camouflage/visual detection, because we need to handle the other senses as well.

Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate. – Sun Tzu

Don’t Get Heard

Once you’ve figured out a way not to get seen when bugging out you must also  handle another key sense.


Sound is one of those ‘obvious’ senses that a lot of preppers struggled to really grasp.  

We simply want to control when, and how much, noise we generate and attention we draw to ourselves.

Hidden Content

Second Rule Of Bugging Out

Maintain Situational Awereness

 “Keep Your Head on a Swivel, or else the bad guys will put it on a stick.”  

Which is another way of saying: maintain situational awareness all the time.  

Remember that we need to prepare for the worst-case, which means we have no support, no backup, no resupply, no advanced medical care, etc.  

Thus avoidance of life threats is one of our most valuable and effective survival tools.  

And maintaining your situational awareness, keeping your head on a swivel, is a key way to help protect yourself.  

Third Rule Of Bugging Out

Find Good Ground

Want a way to dramatically improve your survivability without spending a dime?

Learn from Sun Tzu 

Assess your bug out terrain ahead of time.  

You would be stunned how many otherwise squared-away people don’t do this.  Don’t make their mistake, fire up Google Earth and get it done today. Fast, easy, and very helpful. 

Related post: Here’s How To Hide Your House From Google

Look for the obvious natural dangers (rivers, cliffs, mountain ranges, etc.) and then look for man-made sources of danger.

That could be an industrial chemical plant, or simply an interstate freeway leading out of an urban area that creates a natural escape corridor for criminals and looters.

If you want to take it a step further, look for natural ‘lines of drift’ and other natural funnels that the ill-prepared, and those who prey on them, are likely to gravitate towards.  

Then plan on avoiding those sources of danger as you plan your bug out route.

“Are You Ready If A Disaster Hits Your Home?” …Don’t get caught unprepared! Take My 5-Day Bug Out Bag Challenge Here

Forth Rule Of Bugging Out

Don’t Rely On The Government

If you’re a seasoned prepper or a Libertarian, or an independant thinker, I think this one is fairly obvious.

The number of governement blunders during natural disasters is far to big to cover every one of them here.

But here is  just ONE  to make my point.

When Rita thundered down to Texas in 2005 at a brutal category five level, the governor’s office issued mandatory immediate evacuation orders when it was all but too late for the greater Houston metropolis.

Over 113 people died and numerous injured when all was said and done, but the problem was that almost 100 of them were killed in the evacuation itself!

Imagine trying desperately to survive but winding up driving in your own funeral procession?

Rita was such a gruesome bug out debacle that this time, during Harvey’s recent retro two step storm stomp on Houston, the authorities decided to ultimately leave it up to the individual citizen’s discretion to bug out, or not.

Houston officials made excuses, but the real reason they copped out was so that they could not repeat Rita’s flawed decision making mistake and be blamed for screwing up, if anything went wrong,

Which, of course, could detrimentally affect future political stature.

The fact I’m going to try to get everyone reading this to accept is that you simply cannot depend on government information or timely help, especially in a serious evacuation scenario.

They can’t even get in urgent supplies and relief effort moving fast enough because of all the ‘red tape’.

Private volunteer first responders are doing most of the heavy helping at this point in time.

So first and foremost, your bug out success depends only upon your own plans and self-reliance skills.

“is only as a man puts off all foreign support, and stands alone, that I see him to be strong and to prevail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance and Other Essays

Fifth Rule Of Bugging Out

Bug Out Location

Have a Bug Out Location Before SHTF

No serious self-reliant prepper should be without one, especially if you live in a major city or other very disaster-prone area.

Related post: How To Choose Your Bug Out Location

The best option, of course, would be to be already living in a safe rural area with well-prepared survival set up at your home.

The second would be a cabin somewhere more secluded that’s stocked and ready. 

Once your Primary Bug Out Bag is ready then add in further bags over time as your budget and circumstances allow.

A small bug out bag packed in your vehicle would help you bug out in a moment notice where ever you are.

The idea is to know where you’re going, and be ready as best you can to move out immediately after you make your own decision to ‘go’.

Next Steps

Having a well thought out Bug Out Plan  is so important. 

The big cities and most of the smaller ones will be uninhabitable if the so-called long overdue massive power outage, total economic collapse, nuclear war, or out of control plague or pandemic hit us.

Bugging out, smartly, and sooner rather than later, is the ‘only way to go’!

Don’t postpone your preparations (anymore) and Build Your Bug Out Bag.

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