This could be your first difficult decision. How do I know when to initiate my bug-out plan?
It’s a huge decision to make, think about it. You may be pulling your kids out of school, leaving your job, leaving your home. These could be life changing choices, so you’re going to want to be certain that the need to bug-out is real.
How do I know if it’s real? Well that’s the million dollar question isn’t it. I have some criteria that I use to hopefully help me make that critical decision.
Use the following criteria to determine when this plan is initiated. Any member of your party, has the ability to initiate. If possible, try to make contact or notify the rest of the team that you have initiated. Use these criteria as guidelines for the initiation process;
- The point where a public address is made that an event has or is going to occur.
- Group members decide, based on verifiable intelligence, that an event is imminent.
- A point where all power and communications systems fail and communication between group members is not possible. This is a “grid down” event.
- Any point where Martial Law is declared.
It is my opinion, that if there is a significant event, as mentioned above, you need to get away from populated areas as soon as possible. Having a plan and taking the action to implement that plan will give you an advantage over 90% of the population.
Hey folks. Let’s discuss choosing a bug out location.
One important thing to note up front. It is critical, in my opinion, to not share your location or plans with anyone except those that you have carefully chosen to be in your party. It’s a matter of security and resources, if your plan gets out both those matters will be compromised.
Location, location, location....A popular saying in the real-estate business, this is a matter of life or death in the survival business. Bottom line, your location needs to be as far away from any major city as you can get. Now as I have stated before there are two types of bug out locations in my opinion, let me restate those..
Temporary and long-term.
Temporary could be situational such as a flood or fire or earthquake. This could be closer to your home and stocked only for more short-term needs. This could also be a staging point where you can stay for several days and wait for other members of your party to join you, before pushing on to your long-term location. Depending on your situation I would have enough supplies cached here to sustain you for 1-2 weeks. Caching should include medical, food/water, extra clothing or clothing for the climate you will be travelling through and too, fuel and security.
Long-term, is just as it says. This is the place you’re going to call home for a very long time, quite possibly, permanently. I have shared previously all the supplies I recommend for this type of location.
Here are some guidelines for things to look for when choosing a location.
There should be as many resources as your area can provide.
- Water – Lakes, springs, wells and rivers (know what’s upstream from you).
- Food – Wild game, fish, edible plants, ability to grow crops.
- Security – Easily defendable, materials available for creating a perimeter, elevation/overlook.
- Accessibility – You want your location to be as difficult to get to as your limitations will allow. Remember, if it is easy to get to….everyone will.
- Existing structures – old farmhouses, homesteads (abandoned), cabins, forest service facilities, mountain chalets, government facilities (abandoned). Having a location with any of these structures on it can be very advantageous in many ways.
If you have questions, need more details or would like personal help, please use the contact us link. We will get back to you within 24 hrs.
There are soooo many excellent choices of pre-made kits out there guys. I will include some of my favorites at the end of this post. Just remember, no matter how awesome they are, you still need to customize/personalize your kit to fit you. Also, don’t confuse this survival kit with a bug out bag. Your survival kit should be one of the components of your bug out bag.
You may have heard of the “10 essentials”, these are the 10 things that every kit must have at a minimum (and they differ depending on who you talk to). They are as follows;
- Fire – Water-proof Matches, lighter, magnesium striker, etc..
- Signaling – Whistle, mirror and or tin foil, bright flagging or material, flares (not very common).
- Shelter – Emergency blanket/bivy, large trash bags.
- Water – Not actually water, but the means to purify it. There are a number of ways to clean your water, UV, Chemically, boil, filter, even silver can be effective. You choose you method and means.
- Cordage – At least 25 feet of 550 paracord. This should be good quality, with multiple inner strands. There are so many uses for paracord I will do a separate blog just on that.
- Light – “two is one, one is none” Always have multiple sources of light.
- Knife or multi-tool.
- Food – This is a super, high energy, high calorie snack. Not a meal.
- Navigation – Compass.
- First aid
- Most importantly, attitude
Things you may want to add to personalize;
Eye glasses, notepad and pencil, prescription medications, extra clothing, mosquito netting, fishing kit, map, solar charging panel, extra batteries, etc..
Keep it as small and light as possible and in a waterproof bag or container.
Here are some great starter kits;
- SOL – Hybrid 3 Kit (my favorite!) $60, found at Amazon, REI, Dick’s and on their website.
- SOL – Pocket survival pak plus. $80
- Ultimate Survival Technologies also makes some great starter kits.
If you have any questions or would like personal help please feel free to contact us.
Hey folks, stay tuned for blogs on;
- Choosing a bug-out location
- When to make the call to bug-out
- Building your plan
- Survival kits
- Organizing your gear
If there are any other specific things you would like me to post on please let me know.
Caching 101 (Part 1)
Fore word: Caching is such an important part of survival and preparedness. Try to keep one thing in mind, “long-term”. Cache with the mindset that you may have to live the rest of your life off grid. That doesn’t mean store enough MRE’s to last your group the rest of their lives, of course that would be impossible. It means have the tools, resources, supplies and knowledge to hunt, prepare, grow and store your own food. “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, feed him for life.”
What is caching? Caching is the act of storing supplies, tools, valuables, etc. It could be some extra food in your pantry or an elaborate series of burial vaults. For this article im going to give you some of the basics and suggestions.
Types of Caches
Lets run through a few different categories or types of caches.
Medical/Dental – Things like surgical kits, dental kits, reusable items such as ace bandages, wire splints, braces, lots of band aids (only use when you really have to), bulk peroxide, iodine and alcohol. Storable medications for preexisting conditions, antibiotics and much, much more.
Tools – Pulleys, ropes, carabiners, assortment of screws, nails, bolts, hammers, screw drivers, saws, wrenches, bolt cutters, ratchet sets, duct tape, axes, rope, webbing, etc, etc, etc..
Food – As many MREs as you can feasibly purchase and store, special diabetic or other dietary foods you may need, flour or corn to make into flour, beans, candy, pets foods, etc.
Water – stored in BPA free containers, water purification (filters, chemicals, UV), water containers, etc.
Fuel – If you have anything that runs, that needs gas, you need to store some fuel. Ensure its stored in fuel approved containers and remember you will have to add stabilizer to your fuel. Oil and other fluids.
Security – Weapons, ammo, perimeter security devices, knives, explosives, you get the idea.
Garden – Seeds (lots of them!), gardening tools, sprouting materials…
Library – Here is one a lot of folks overlook. The library cache is critical, this should have medical manuals such as the physicians desk reference, special forces emergency medical books, survival manuals, how to manuals such as homesteading, building, gardening, edible and medicinal plants, etc, etc, etc. You wont have google anymore.
Clothing – Lets say you have children, if you do, you know how fast they grow out of shoes and clothes. That said, now imagine you have to live off grid in a survival setting for years or god forbid the rest of our lives. Your kids, if not everyone are going to need new clothes. There are lots of strategies here, just think it through. We can definitely talk more about all these issues.
Survival – These are what I call tactical survival needs. Things you will need for the first 6 months to a year until you sharpen your skills and rebuild your life. Instead of matches, have magnesium fire starters. Things that will last.
Hygiene – Another cache some folks forget about. Let me say this from experience, when you have gone through hell , seen things and done things that are unimaginable, you begin to not feel human. If things come to the point that we have to bug out, you can count on going through these things. One of the best ways to regain a sense of normalcy and being human again is to get clean. Shave, shower, brush your teeth, these things have a profound effect on morale.
Consider your caching locations and contents classified and protect them at all costs. You cant possibly carry everything your going to need for a long-term situation on your back, you have to cache. So where to put your caches? I make recommendations to my clients based on their individual situations, so no two are the same. You may find it beneficial to have some at your home. If there are things or supplies you want protected or hidden that you will need prior to or in order to bug out, home is a good locale. You may want to have caches spread out along your bug out route. These could be food, water, fuel, medical. You absolutely want caches at your safe spot or final destination. This is where you will be planning on staying for the long term.
Methods of Caching
Stored or buried are pretty much your best options. No matter how remote your caches are they need to be protected and hidden. Stored means placing them in a cave or a Waco, buried means just that, buried in the ground.
In many cases, especially in the mountains and desert the ground is very rocky making it next to impossible to bury. In some cases there may not be any rock or caves and burying is your only option.
Here are some key points regarding your caches;
- Don’t rely simply on GPS coordinates to mark and locate them. There are some types of event that may render your GPS useless. Things like geomagnetic storms or EMPs could turn your GPS into a paper weight.
- Use landmarks, pace counts, measurements and pictures to mark and locate your caches.
- Consider thermal protection for your caches, both heat and cold.
- Think through your contents well. For example when things freeze, they expand and that in many cases may lead to leaks or explosions which could damage the cache and its contents.
Remember to document the contents of your caches. There should be an inventory placed with/in the cache and a list of contents in your printed bug out plan.
Its important that you check on your caches at least once per year. Dig it up, open it up and ensure all the contents are in good condition. Replace desiccant pouches, remove and replace any items that have gone bad, etc.