Imagine a situation where the world is going into chaos for whatever reason – natural disaster, financial collapse, whatever. Bugging in is just not an option because your dwelling is in immediate peril. It’s time to bug out! But you have to act fast. What do you do? Bugging out is going to be the beginning
Riots, EMP threats, NASA’s megadrought, clashes between religious fanatics, the U.S. debt increasing and the coming elections – all of these situations point to the same thing: the world may go down south at any time. I’m not saying they will – I hope they won’t – but are we really crazy for prepping for them?
Our minds are running in overdrive about prepping while the Government’s telling us everything is fine and we don’t need to worry. Sometimes they call us crazy… even though preppers are some of the nicest and friendliest people you’ll ever meet.
I wrote this piece to give you tips on how to prepare without appearing crazy or freaked out about what’s to come. You’ll find my prepping suggestions reasonable. Acting on them will make you feel safer and I can almost guarantee you’ll sleep sounder knowing you’re ready for what might come.
Seven Reasonable Prepping Tips
#1. Get Into Shape
Bad situations bring out the worst in people. When push comes to shove, people will start thinking they have more of a right to something than you and you may need to fight one or more thugs one on one. You may need to jump, crawl, climb and run to save your life. You may need to pull or carry an injured loved one to safety. All of these require strength, flexibility, speed and stamina.
Fortunately, it’s easy to improve all of them. The easiest thing you can do is just walk more! I, for one, love walking and I always find excuses to leave my car in the garage and run errands on foot. Jogging, hiking and going to the gym will all improve your fitness levels and work your muscles. I suggest you focus on tactical fitness exercises such as sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, jumping jacks and so on. Remember, prepping is just as much about gaining skills as it is gathering gear.
#2. Get Out Of Debt
I don’t know if an economic collapse will come before the next major natural disaster or if it’s going to be the other way around. What I do know is that, in case of either one, you don’t want to be owing money to banks or to anyone else.
We’ve always said that you should start of prepping by paying off your debts right now even if that means more effort or not eating out every day. You know what they say, the more you sweat, the less you bleed…
#3. Move Out Of The City
What usually happens during riots is that the downtown area of a city turns into a battlefield. That’s the last place you want to live because you can’t get in, you can’t get out meaning you might get stuck inside for days, even weeks. Even worse, you might get yourself injured trying to get home.
Try to find cheaper housing in the suburbs. You’ll have to be careful about the location, though, to avoid high-crime neighborhoods. You want to be safe before and after a riot, not just during, when those low-income rioters who also live in the suburbs decide to take justice into their own hands. You’ll also want a quick way out of the city if need be.
Fortunately, you needn’t go further than this website to learn about life in the suburbs.
#4. Start Stockpiling
No, you don’t have to fill an entire room with toilet paper. You should, however, have a pantry full of foods with a long shelf life such as canned veggies, jams, peanut butter and honey. All you need to do is buy a little more food than usual with each time you go to the supermarket. Make sure you’re paying attention to nutritional content of your stored food as well. A healthy you is a stronger you.
Buy the things you like to eat so you can easily incorporate them in your diet. Food rotation is important because you don’t want to end up with a spoiled pantry. Of course, you can get other things in bulk such as the aforementioned toilet paper, floss, soap and other hygiene products. You should never run out of any of them – catastrophe or not.
#5. Find New Hobbies and Passions
Hiking, camping, fishing, woodworking, gardening, crafts – these can all make you better prepared without anyone suspecting the real reason why you’re doing them. If you thought about finding a new hobby, maybe now’s the time.
Who says you have to start a hobby on your own? You can do many of these things with your kids (and bond with them) or with your spouse (and possibly bring back the romance into your marriage). Hobbies are great bonding opportunities. Who knows, maybe one of them will turn into a passion.
#6. Prepping Your Car
Engine oil, transmission fluid, a toolbox, a spare tire, a shovel, these are things every driver should have in an emergency. To go the extra mile, why not add water and even a few snacks in your trunk? Not just for SHTF events but also in case you get stuck in traffic for longer periods of time. Add an AM/FM radio and a few blankets, too. If you’re stuck in heavy snow for hours, you don’t want to use fuel and your car’s battery to stay warm and hear the latest news.
Last but not least, make sure you have a good first aid kit. Not the basic one that came with the car, of course. You can make your own from scratch to make sure you have everything you need. Keep an eye open for sales on first aid equipment and you should be able to do this step on the cheap. For example, I bought some Ibuprofen last night and they had a “buy one get one free” promotion. Now, I can keep the extra pack with the other in my bug out bag or I can add it to my car’s survival kit.
#7. Start a Medicine Cabinet
Keeping in mind that I’m not a doctor and that you should only use my advice for information purposes only, I want you to build on the previous idea of assembling a custom first aid kit. You can take it even further by buying things such as:
- Bandages (triangular, 2×2, 4×4, H bandages etc.)
- Nitrile Gloves
- Burn and Trauma Dressings
- Sam Splint
- Instant Cold Packs
- Dental Kits (dental care is going to be tough in a post-collapse world)
- …and more.
Note: You shouldn’t store your medicine in your bathroom. Keep them in a dark, cool place because the heat and moisture from your shower will decrease their shelf life.
Truth be told, I could write another five articles with all the basic prepping actions you could take and not look crazy. This one should give you a great head start in tackling all sorts of scenarios, including a natural disaster, riots or an economic collapse.
Bugging out may be the best option for most of us when disaster strikes, but we should also consider bugging in as a worthy alternative. It may be the only option in some circumstances such as a home invasion. If you decide to stay put, you need to make sure your home (house, apartment, etc) is prepared for a potential home invasion. Even if you plan to leave home when the riots start, you’re still gonna wanna fortify your home to decrease its chances of getting ransacked while you’re gone.
I think we have enough reasons to talk about all the various things you can do to prepare your apartment for a home invasion, what do you think? Here are my top tips…
Tip #1 – Strengthen Your Door
If you live on the fifth floor, there’s little doubt that, should someone attempt a home invasion, he’s gonna do it through the front door. Luckily, there are several things you can do to make sure they don’t get through:
- Use longer screws to secure the door
- Use a door barricade (most doors can be knocked down by a few kicks)
- Get a bigger door (not always possible in an apartment setting)
On top of these improvements, the most important thing you can do is never leave your door open. Around 20% of all home invasions in the United States happen because the bad guys are very tempted by open doors and windows (Source: Bureau of Justice).
Tip #2 – Install A Pick-Resitant Door Lock
Most locks are helpless against lock bumping. I won’t go into the details of this technique here but there are a number of types of locks that are “bump resistant,” such as the Abloy Protec2 Double Cylinder Deadbolt.
Of course, if you can have at least a couple of different locks on your door, that’s even better. It will surely discourage most burglars from attempting a home invasion.
Tip #3 – Your Other Doors Or Windows
Your other doors and windows are vulnerable too. Let me ask you a question – how easy it is right now for someone to click one of your windows open? Or, how easy would it be for them to break the glass from your balcony door?
To strengthen your windows, you can use plexiglass. Also, make sure all of them are safely locked when they’re not fully open. It’s also good practice to always lock them even when you’re at home. Don’t forget that a good portion of home invasions happen while the owner is inside!
Tip#4 -Designate A Safe Room
This could be your second bathroom, for example. It doesn’t need to be big, it just has to keep you and your team/family/group safe. You’ll have to strengthen its door just like you did with your front door.
Keep in mind that you might have to spend entire days there (worst case scenario, of course), so you’re going to need food, water, weapons, light sources, and a phone to be able to call the police (if police will be available).
One key aspect to keep in mind is the number of people it can hold. There has to be enough space for all of your group members. If there are four or five people in your household, you might have to designate another safe room.
Whatever you do, do not attempt to open the door to face your opponent during a home invasion. If you have an escape route you can use, that’s fine, but don’t ever use the main door.
Tip 5 – Know Your Escape Routes
You may have only one shot at getting out of your apartment during a home invasion. The one thing you won’t have is time to think. Since locking yourself up in your safe room should be a last resort, it would be fantastic if you could have at least one way of getting out of there (through a small window, for example).
Now, I can’t possibly know what that route is, that’s something for you to figure out on your own. Maybe you have a fire escape, maybe you live on the first floor and you can use an escape ladder to climb down the window. Escape ladders, like this one, are relatively cheap on Amazon and provide good insurance for this scenario.
In fact, if you could have an escape ladder in each room, that would be even better. You can keep them under the bed, for example, and you can even have one in your bug-out bag, you might need to climb down at some point when bugging out.
Tip #6 – Install Early Warning Systems From Home Invasion
Having an alarm system or even a common bell that jingles every time the door opens could give you those much needed seconds to escape. You can also think about having and activating motion sensors at night. A dog is also a great option for altering you of a home invasion.
Speaking of which, dogs can be a very helpful during home invasions but they can also be easily taken down with pepper spray or other weapons if the attacker is prepared.
Tip #7 – Know Your Neighbors
It’s always good to know who you’re dealing with. They may be really nice people or, on the contrary, they may be thieves themselves and just wait for an opportunity to start planning a home invasion when police may not be readily present.
What I covered here on preparing your apartment for a home invasion is just the tip of the iceberg. If you want to know more about how to protect your home, whether you live in the city, the suburbs or in the countryside, check out my other article here.
Before we begin this somewhat unusual article, let me assure you of one thing: I haven’t lost my mind. A good ol’ diesel Ford F250 is probably the best bug-out vehicle for most of us and you probably don’t need any of these crazy bug-out vehicles. What I’m trying to do here is stimulate your imagination a little bit and give you a few unconventional ideas on what you can use to bug-out other than your feet. (You can find a full list of the best vehicles for bugging out at this link.)
Some of them may shock you, others will get you to say: Oh, I never thought if that, that’s clever!
OK, let’s get started with my list of crazy bug-out vehicles…
If fuel consumption is something you’re worried about when it comes to 4x4s, an ATV may be the right bug-out vehicle for you. Obviously, you can’t load it up with supplies (except your bug-out bag) but it should be enough for get you where you want to go… quietly and fast. It’s perfect if you have a bug-out location between 50 and 100 miles away; it could be farther away but then you have to always have extra fuel tied to the back rack.
Inflatable Boat, Kayak or Canoe
If a car or an ATV doesn’t quite fit your budget and you’re near a river, an inflatable boat could work as a bug-out vehicle. You can bug-out way faster on water than you can on foot and, if you choose a kayak over a boat, you can even carry it in your BOB (a lot of them are under 10 pounds).
You can find plenty of them on Amazon and the best part is, they can give you quite a workout as part of your survival fitness training if you decide to use them while camping.
Monster Tactical Vehicle
This crazy bug-out vehicle is definitely not for everyone. They’re big, they’re armored, they draw attention to themselves and they eat up huge amounts of fuel. Of course, the biggest drawback is the price. It can easily go beyond half a million dollars. The Knight XV from Conquest is the perfect example: it weighs 13,000 pounds (a little below 6 tons), it has a 6.7L V8 turbo diesel engine, 300 HP and costs over $600,000.
Do you need it? Probably not, unless you’re a hardcore prepper with lots of cash on your hand and figured you could use a “mobile bunker”. See, just like a bunker, if people know you’re in it, they can keep you inside until you’re ready to come out… one way or another.
Just when you thought there’s nothing crazier than a tactical vehicle, there it is: the UXL 17-HD from Unicat with its 261 gallon (or 990 liters) tanks, bulletproof cab and windows and even land mine protection. It weighs 17 tons or 34,500 lbs and…I won’t go into the price of this thing. Definitely a bug-out vehicle for the prepper who has everything (else).
There’s nothing funny about going from an expedition vehicle to a go-kart with our list…but this one may be something you will actually use as a bug-out vehicle. There’re a wide variety of go-carts out there but the ones that have 4-wheel drive are the ones you’ll want to start looking at.
I saved the best for last. The handcar is a rail track vehicle you’ve probably seen in two places: in movies depicting life between 1850 and 1900…and in Looney Tunes cartoons. Believe it or not, there are people out there who still make them and even sell them (like this guy, for instance).
Is a handcar something you really want to use as a bug-out vehicle? Probably not, since they’re pretty heavy and you’d need a trailer to take them to the tracks. Even if you manage to do that, there’s no telling how far it can take you. Although trains will probably not work, all it take is one abandoned locomotive in your way and you’re forced to abandon your handcar and continue bugging out on foot. (Bugging out on foot on the rail tracks, by the way, is a great idea as not many people will think of doing it.)
Final Word On Crazy Bug-Out Vehicles
When you look at this list again, you probably realize not all of these bug-out vehicles are crazy. Inflatable canoes, ATVs, dirt bikes and off-road go-karts are actually viable options and don’t cost a fortune. Whether you should get one or stick to your car or bike, that’s really depends on the number of people in your household, your budget, your bug out plans, your climate, the landmarks around where you live and, of course, your fitness levels.