Saturday, August 3, 2013

Bugging out? No thanks, I prefer to "Die in Place."

There's an interesting conversation going on over at The Other Ryan's blog.

Total Survivalist Libertarian Rantfest.

It started out as a discussion on sorting through your gear and supplies to see what you really needed to keep and what you could get rid of.  Part of it deals with the time honored concept of "Bugging Out" or "Getting out of Dodge."  Some people will have to do that if something horrific comes down the pike. If you live in an apartment (like my kids) you aren't going to live there long once the power goes out. No power means no air, no heat, no water, no nothing.  So we have equipped them with the basics for fleeing the city, and thanks to good friends they have people who will give them shelter to the West, the North, and of course down South if they can make it there.

But I'm not bugging out.  There are a number of reasons.  One, the honest truth is that neither my wife nor I are in any shape to travel any distance carrying our gear on our backs. We are old.  It happens to everybody if you live long enough. I'm not ready to sit under a tree and sing my death song like Soaring Eagle, but I recognize my limitations.   Second, I've been doing this for thirty years. I live in an ideal retreat, it's set up for long term living without using outside infrastructure. I couldn't possibly move my equipment or supplies out of here with the vehicles  I have. Even if I could, I doubt a truck heavily laden with food and other desirable items would get too far with an old couple driving it no matter how well armed they were. Then there's the intriguing question of where I'd go?  If this mountain top on the backside of nowhere is untenable, where's the destination?

There used to be an expression in the Marine Corps that fits this situation.  If things were desperate,  if a unit was trapped or had to hold a specific piece of ground no matter what, then the order was "die in place."  In Viet Nam,  which was before my time,  relief forces would often find that written on cardboard from c-rat cases where a unit had been overrun.  Men would stick the little signs in the ground facing the bad guys. I had a company Gunny who told me about doing it himself, though in his case they held out.  In my case, it applies to my bug out plans. If the wife and I can't make it here, we sure aren't going to make it along the road with the Golden Horde. Our best shot is here.

The History Channel program below is the most interesting I've seen about what happens when people stay in their urban or suburban homes instead of getting out ASAP when things start to go wrong.  It's a good show, and well worth the price of the DVD if you can find one. Amazon may have it.


  1. The Miami Prepper has the whole thing on his YouTube channel.

  2. That's good to know. It's been awhile since this show was on television and I'm not sure you can still buy it. There's another one called "Prophets of Doom" that I have on VHS but I can't find a copy of the DVD even on Amazon.

  3. They just aired that one a couple of weeks ago. Most of those guys are proving to be spot on with their observations

  4. Yeah, especially the fellow who was concerned about finances and the one worried about water. I was reading an Australian blog today, and the blogger said she and her husband were considering not using their swimming pool anymore because water cost too much. Thank God I have my own well and my own spring, that's one problem I don't have to worry about.

  5. "We" are not as far out or up as some but will still stay put here if "IT" happens within the next 5 years.
    BUT, I had to go to a decent sized city yesterday, 60k+ people.
    While I was waiting on the wife and daughter I started thinking about what we would do if there were a "sudden" event like an EMP.
    Point being, I wouldn't want to head straight to the car and yank my GHB's out in front of several hundred people and start walking through 100's more trying to get out of the city.
    Even with the bags being urban camo'd, a moving mob is bad news.

  6. That fact may have something to do with why I feel so uncomfortable going into a big town or city. I'm away from my comfort zone in crowds.

    Your point is well taken about getting caught away from home by something like that. I keep equipment and supplies in my truck, because I'm out in the national forest a good bit, on old forest service roads. From time to time I get stuck. Especially in winter, that could be very unpleasant without the proper gear.

  7. Harry, Thanks for the linkeage. Also you bring up some interesting points. I will probably do a post on "bugging in" and "bugging out" in the near future.

  8. I enjoy the discussions that take place over on your site. I've learned some things by participating in them. "Bugging Out" and "Bugging In" are fairly controversial sometimes and ideally a person could plan for both. In my case it just doesn't seem to be worthwhile to work out a bug out plan. Like Richard Pryor used to say " I don't go nowhere without my luggage."