The Six-Five on BUGGIN’ OUT! (pt. 1)

by ahanagata


When the Pacific is at your back, picking a direction is simplified.

What’s Cracka Lackin’ Savages? TooooDay, I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on Buggin’ Out and Hunkerin’ Down. Pick a reason, it doesn’t matter too much as long as it’s disastrous. Got a reason? No, no, that’s too far. Let’s not say Apocalypse or Ragnarok. If you’re going to pick something like that, all you need to do is put your head as far between your legs as you can and kiss the donkey. Let’s pick something a little less fanciful; like say really bad weather. Not just bad weather , really bad weather– weather bad enough to get a name that sounds like a Russian ballerina. Or perhaps, the grid going down due to a super explosion at a power plant…something like that.

Alright, alright, ALRIIIIGHT! Fine! Zombies, its zombies, you can friggin’ pick zombies. What…Ever. It doesn’t really matter all that much. First I want to examine the stages of a disaster and how to react to those in a reasonable fashion. You don’t want to just grab a bunch of shit, zip off to the mountains and build some kind of hut only to find out three months later that it was simply a bit of rain and a downed power line and you’ve become a no good poacher who may or may not have killed a pedestrian while haulin’ ass out of town. On that same note, having a little crazy on your jacket ain’t so crazy when your house is brick and the other little piggy that picked straw is now getting eaten by a wolf. You don’t go and help do you? cause fuck that pig! Bacon tastes good, pork chops taste good. You are heartless…I’d help though, I’d help that little pig. But, then again I am a Gentleman…

Let’s get a few terms straight, there’s a difference between BOB (Bug Out Bag), GHB (Get Home Bag, not to be confused with the drug or GBH the punk band) and BOL (Bug Out Location). The differences are simple, a “Get Home Bag” is designed to get you from where ever you’re at to home, a “Bug Out Bag” gets you from home (or where ever) to your “Bug Out Location” and your “Bug Out Location” is where you hunker down. Let’s say you have a ton of emergency preparedness gear and supplies stockpiled at your homestead, but the world ends while you’re at work. All your prep and stacks of spam are useless until you can get to it. That’s where the Get Home Bag comes in.

Why have a GHB? In the event of a major earthquake, where telephones are not working and the roads are screwed, most of use will want to get home to survey the damage and meet up with loved ones. The problem is, what if you can’t drive there? The roads are a wreck, the highways are nothing more than a parking lot or perhaps you rushed out of the house with only enough petrol to get you to work, figuring you’d top off before heading home. In any case you might be a 20-30 mile commute to home base with nothing but your shoes to get you there. Let’s put that in perspective; that’s a 30 minute-ish drive…but a marathon is just over 26 miles…that’s over 42 Klicks. An Olympian can run that in just over two hours…a middle of the pack runner will hit around four hours…walking at a brisk pace? over 8 hours. Throw obstacles, hysteria, and chaos in the mix? You’re talkin’ all day or more. I do not recommend that anyone– even an Olympian– try to run that kind of distance home under those conditions. First guy to run a marathon on the fly like that died…(first guy to run a marathon period). If you rush your trek home you will increase your chances of getting injured this leaves you in a very vulnerable position where help might not be coming for quite some time (FEMA anyone?) Even if you can use your vehicle, it might be the longest drive home you’ll ever make.

This is where the Get Home Bag comes in. You might meet a lot of challenges on the way home, and you might not be able to get there by the end of the day. Some of those challenges might be stopping to help others who are hurt. You’ll need calories for such a journey. You might need clothes more robust than the slacks and pressed shirt you went to work in. There might be a mob of angry looters. You get the idea, in short: One does not simply walk into Mordor. The Get Home Bag should be something that will meet these needs, get you home and keep you alive for 3 days at least. I’ll get into the specifics of what to have for such a kit later, keep your hats on.

Congrats you made it to Home Base, your current daily residence which should be well stocked. Since you can have many things here that are un-packable, might as well prepare to be as comfortable as you can without the modern conveniences. Sit on your couch look around and imagine not having electricity, gas, water, or the ability to pop off to the market to get supplies. Unless you’re a single college student living off noodles, you should have some perishables in the fridge/freezer; keep those doors closed as much as you can and exhaust this food supply first before opening any cans, dry goods, or emergency rations. This might mean eating hotdogs with broccoli and more broccoli, it might not win you Top Chef but it will stretch your supplies a few days longer. Even if you have a generator, I suggest not turning that bad boy on unless it’s absolutely necessary. Fuel might be in short supply and you don’t want to exhaust yours because you ran it all day to power your refrigerator or xbox all day. Leaving the comfort of your homestead is an absolute last resort, because travel is risky in bad situations and you’ll obviously be leaving behind a lot of stuff. Sometimes staying put just isn’t an option. Gas leaks, compromised structure, riots, flooding etc– all these might leave headquarters in unlivable conditions. If that’s the case salvage what you can and grab your friend BOB.

The Bug Out Bag. Sometimes there’s a grey area between BOB and GHB. For some, it’s the same bag. And that’s fine. For me personally, it’s not really practical to keep all that gear in my vehicle at all times. But, a small bag with the essentials designed to get me to my BOB makes perfect sense. It’s a bit of a trade off, you don’t have everything you might want but you’ll have most of what you need. I like to keep the two separate, because I don’t want to have to traipse 30 miles weighed down with the 50 plus pounds of gear I feel like I need to restart the human race. A Bug Out Bag to me isn’t just a short vacation pack, it’s a “kiss good bye to your home that you will never see again”. Your BOB should be far more significant than your GHB to the point of self sustainability under duress for a prolonged period of time. It should be able to get you to your BOL and beyond, should your BOL be compromised. So anything you want, you have to factor in. That includes photos of your family, who in all likelihood are now permanent extras on ‘The Walking Dead.’ To me, it’s just not all that practical to carry all that gear around all the time. Plus, I work in a rough neighborhood, and the last thing I need is a bunch of missing stuff and a broken window. What’s in mine? You guessed it…we’ll get to that later.

Lastly, your BOL…This You might be thinking is your house. It is not. It could be your cabin that’s a road trip away, or your crazy uncle Mike’s weird ass trailer far outside the city, or it could just be a camping spot you like somewhere. The point is it’s somewhere not your house– away from the massive flood, earthquake, zombies etc. Basically, You want to pick a spot that’s out of your weather system. This serves a dual purpose, it will also provide you with a rallying point for your friends or family to find you in the event of a catastrophe. We take cellphones for granted, but they can be rendered useless in the blink of an eye and everyone you have ever known is in the ether, so it’s a smart thing to have a location you can all fall back to. It is also good to have a secondary place picked out incase your BOL is compromised. This generally is a camp spot, cabin or more primitive place further away from the city and your BOL. Just in case, knowing where to go if your BOL happens to be inside the scope of disaster can save you a lot of time and stress.

Okay, so just for a minute let’s forget about gear and what sorts of shenanigans I have stowed in my bags. Let’s talk about when to make a run for it. First off, there are disasters that creep and disasters that come on strong and you know it’s gonna be rough ride right away. Like if you see little army men parachute out of the sky with machine guns and kill your teacher, it’s time to bug out to the mountains and form a guerrilla army and call yourselves the Wolverines after your beloved high school mascot. For creepers though, it helps to know when to bug out and when to hunker down.

Anytime there’s a major disaster, you’ll be glad you have your GHB. Sometimes the choice to grab and go will have a profound impact on your life. If you choose to spook out to headquarters without due cause you might get fired or find yourself in poor standing with your employer. Choose not to and you might stretch out your travel time by a day or more. In the worst case, the choice to stay gets you stranded or dead. I don’t want to put you into a panic, but you’ll have to weigh these decisions under stress. Thankfully, most employers will understand that it’s an emergency. I think it’s best to err on the side of caution, you can always tell them you have someone at home that needs assistance and you have to take a personal/sick day. You definitely don’t want to wait so long that hysteria is in full swing. If you can, you want to trek home before the entire weight of such a situation hits the populous. This will help you avoid getting stuck in a riot, looting spree or heinous traffic. Imagine, all the people who didn’t prepare trying to get food and water…imagine them eye balling your well packed kit…If you have to get out, get out quick. Nothing is worse than opening the door and realizing there’s too many Zombies to make your get away.

There’s a time to not try and get home right away too. You might have to wait out extreme weather conditions, or your building might be an island now. In such situations it’s best to wait things out rather than try to hike that marathon in a Cat 5 Hurricane. This is going to be where your GHB is going to sustain you until it subsides or help arrives. Simply put, you have to be able to assess the risk of getting home vs the risk of staying put; this includes being able to foreshadow things like weather during estimated travel time.

You basically have 4 options and in between each you’ll have to do the above assessment. Here’s your formula: Stay Where You are -> Assessment finds situation unstable -> GHB to Home -> Assessment finds situation unstable -> BOB to BOL -> Assessment finds situation unstable -> Secondary BOL.

Alright Savages! Stay tuned, Next time I’ll be breaking down how I like to pack these up.

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