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5 Tips for Surviving a Long-Term Bug Out

Posted in Bug Out Bag, Survival Tips and Hacks2 years ago • Written by All4buggin.com2 Comments
surviving long term bug out

PORT SULPHUR, LA – SEPTEMBER 11: An American flag hangs in a pile of debris after Hurricane Katrina passed through September 11, 2005 in Port Sulphur, Louisiana. Most of the homes throughout the Plaquemines parish are destroyed or heavily damaged. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

There are many reasons why you may need to bug out. A major earthquake, a hurricane similar to or worse than Katrina, financial collapse, a significant blackout where the power grid is taken down, nuclear fallout, or even a super-virus that causes a pandemic are some of the reasons. Some three million people state they are ready to bug out and have their necessities and the number continues to grow. However, the question remains as to how one might prepare for a long-term bug out as opposed to a short-term one (see, “What to Put in a Bug Out Bag“). Let’s take a look at some essentials that will guide you and your loved ones towards making decisions that ensure your survival in a long-term bug out scenario.

Surviving a Long Term Bug Out: Getting out of town

In the event calamity strikes, you need to get out of your immediate area quickly. Trusting the neighborhood is for the most part not wise. Planning ahead is key to how to accomplish this, especially when considering a long-term bug out. This is because during a national emergency roadblocks will likely be manned by police or military elements within mere hours and your bug out plans may be foiled before you even make a move. Stay ready. Be prepared to act fast. In addition, it is best to have three escape routes. Furthermore, you need to calculate the total distance from your home to your bug out location (BOL). The shorter the distance from a dense population the better. The likelihood of encountering problems increases the further you travel. Do your homework. Finally, once you are out of town, under no circumstances should you return.


If your BOL was easy to find, you may want to change it. If you found it, others are likely to find it as well. Stay off paths, trails, and mountain passes. Your BOL should be difficult to reach. Once you have your BOL staked out, whatever shelter you decide to use for protection against weather elements and bodily harm should blend in well with the surrounding landscape. Ensure that your BOL cannot be seen by others. The last thing you need is an unfriendly stumbling upon your location. Also, be mindful of giving your BOL away with loud noises or smoke from a fire. It is best to cook at night when smoke cannot be seen and eat cold food or food warmed over whatever remaining coals you have. Finally, consider what you are cooking. Odors can travel a considerable distance and lead to your BOL being compromised.


An old sports axiom states that the best defense is a good offense. That may work in the sporting world, but not when bugging out. It is best not to have any conflict whatsoever. Defense relates to concealment. If you cannot be seen and are in a difficult to reach BOL, your odds of an unfriendly or a gang of thugs raiding your location are diminished. That said, you should have your weapons and plenty of ammunition at the ready. Remember, a long-term bug out necessitates thinking far ahead concerning ammo. Another good defensive tactic is to set up a perimeter with trip wires within hearing distance. If an unfriendly trips the wire, it could connect to a circuit and ring a bell, a light bulb, or some other type of visual or audio warning. In addition, you should have some semblance of a field of fire in the event threats arise. Finally, consider burying posts around you perimeter so as to keep unfriendly vehicles from driving right up to your BOL. Always plan for the worst case scenario.

Food/Water Procurement

tips for surviving a long term bug outWe all need water and food to survive. Your long-term BOL should be close to a water source, but not so close that other people searching for water can observe your location. Ensure that your location has a consistent source of water. If seasonal changes occur and streams, ponds or lakes dry up, your BOL is worthless. You cannot and will not live without water. Again, do your homework. Check your BOL 3 to 4 times a year, or at least during the warmer months of summer. Start checking now. As for food, no matter how good your bug out bag is, it is not suited for a long-term bug out. Growing a garden is a great first option to supplement whatever supplies you carry to your location. Hunting game with a bow is preferable if you’re skilled enough. Gunshots attract attention and may be heard for a great distance. Consequently, use your weapon for hunting only when necessary. Again, once you leave your town or city, you cannot return until the all clear is obvious, and that could be never. Therefore, start building up your food stocks now and rotate them. It is preferable to stock your BOL with food in advance. If you have a cabin or an RV, this should be taken into consideration. Things could become so dire that leaving your BOL is not feasible. Finally, no more than 30 minutes should be spent packing your bug out vehicle with food, water and your other necessities.

Survival Coalitions

If you are bugging out long-term by yourself thing are going to be considerably tougher. It is near impossible to defend yourself against unfriendly intruders. Additionally, if you have a small family, this can work against you as well. Little Johnny or Maria might not be dependable in an emergency situation. Therefore, forming a coalition should be considered. Pick people who you know to be trustworthy. Don’t wait until the last minute; do it now. Build friendships with neighbors but do not give away your BOL lest they consider you a whacko. It won’t take long before you know who you will be able to trust when disaster strikes. Hopefully, you already have people you can trust, but it never hurts to add to your trustworthy coalition. All that said, you also need to consider your food and water supply when building a coalition. Your buddies will likely not be prepared.

By following these tips your chances of surviving a long-term bug out are greatly enhanced. Be wise. Plan ahead. Act quickly. That day is coming and the better prepared you are the greater the chance you and your loved ones will have should civilization ever reemerge.


2 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Uzal Roberts September 7, 2016 at 1:44 am - Reply

    Great article. I want to know what my family and I could do on a limited budget. The so called SHTF event is coming but I am hardly prepared.

    • September 8, 2016 at 3:09 am - Reply

      Prioritize from most important on down. Use the article on the first page of the site, “What to Put in a Bug Out Bag” as a guide. You of course need water (have three ways to get clean water) and food, but consider things like medication, baby formula, first aid, hygiene, copies of personal identification, self defense, your bug out location, a hard copy of a local map, etc.

      I built my bag and created my plan over time and I review my bag every few months. To build my bag I used a manual and did extensive research… Then I created an Amazon shopping cart with the majority of items I needed. Then over time I only ordered some of the items from the cart as I could afford to. Other items I could pick up for very cheap in other places. For example, certain first aid items at local drug stores, travel toothbrushes and soap on eBay, etc. Thanks for stopping by!

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