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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Bugging Out

10 Things You Didn't Know About Bugging Out

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Bugging Out

Well, the “challenge” portion of our Budget Bug Out Gear Challenge is over.  Here are some things that you might never experience if you haven’t strapped your gear on your back (more properly, your hips) and traced your planned route:


  1. You are not going to walk as far as you might think.  Maybe you could walk indefinitely on a nice day.  This won’t be the case, laden with gear, in the weather, and under stress.  Without practice you will not be able to even will yourself to walk for the entire waking portion of a day.  Even avid hikers would have a hard time with the added weight and uncertainty.
  2. You have to carry everything with you, everything.    If you don’t have it with you, you don’t have it.  You might as well be packing for a journey into space.  You might not be able to buy or obtain anything you don’t start out with.  Even if you are an avid backpacker you will be carrying more gear than usual.  My budget pack, loaded for three days with all of the necessary supplies, weighed 48 pounds.
  3. Sunscreen is your friend.  Often an afterthought in many bug out bag lists, it really should be higher up.  If you are moving during the day you will spend hours and hours you might not otherwise spend in the sun.  While you could cover up, sunscreen can help you avoid painful, blistering burns on day two.  Ears, nose, cheeks, the back of your neck and forearms will be most affected by when loaded up with gear on a bug out.
  4. Unless you pick up your bag and walk with it for 12 hours on a regular basis, figure on needing Ibuprofen or some other anti-inflammatory at maximum doses for the duration of your journey.  Pain from all of that walking while carrying a tremendous amount of weight can cause nearly unbearable pain.  If things get too rough you can alternate Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen at maximum doses while not overdosing, see here.  Pack enough in your bag to supply every member with the maximum dosage for the duration.
  5. Know the location and quality of water along your route.  Water is heavy, eight pounds per gallon.  The average person needs half a gallon of water per day, more if you are exerting yourself (and you will be).  Three days of water is way too much to carry.  While having multiple methods of purifying water at your disposal is necessary, so is knowing where you will get the water.
  6. While the average person can maintain 3-4 miles per hour when walking briskly you will not average this speed over a day long hike.  You will be lucky to average 2 mph.  Terrain, pain, rest periods, and uncertainty will erode your average speed.
  7. Terrain makes a difference in a number of ways.  Concrete or asphalt is fast, but hard on your gear laden body.  You can make good time on paved surfaces but the jarring your body will receive will take a toll on feet, ankles, and hips.  Grass and mud absorb a portion of the energy in each step.  While much easier on the body than a hard surface you will expend far more energy when walking.  Each surface you might face has pluses and minuses, it is better to know beforehand and plan accordingly.
  8. You probably won’t be hungry, until you stop.  Nevertheless, plan a schedule for eating.  While you won’t feel hunger, your mental capacity will diminish as the day wears on without food.  Not only will the awareness of your surroundings be hampered, but as the pain sets in you will not be able to focus on putting one foot in front of the other.  You would be surprised as to how much focus is needed just to walk as the day wears on.  Eat small snacks as you go, keep meals small and regular until you set camp for the night (or day).  While the human body requires roughly 2,000 calories per day, you may not need to consume this many calories for the short (72 hour) duration of a bug out.  While I would still plan to carry 6,000 calories per person for a 72 hour bug out, you may not consume the total, leaving you with extra should the emergency linger.
  9. Don’t Stop!  Unless you are ready or able to rest completely, keep going, or keep your rest periods just brief enough to catch your breath, and do so on your feet.  Once you stop your body will begin to try and repair the damage you’ve been causing.  Your muscles and tendons will tighten.  When you attempt to start again you will be very stiff and in pain if your respite is longer than a few minutes.  It is much better to power through then get to the point where moving again is too painful.
  10. You never know what situation will cause you to have to bug out on foot.  Sleep may be impossible, but you will greatly benefit if you are able to find somewhere to get some.  In my personal experience, I’ve biked well over 100 miles in a day as well as hiked over 20.  I normally sleep no more than 6 or 7 hours a night, I never sleep more than 8.  On any occasion where I’ve exerted myself in such a manner I might zonk out for 10 to 12 hours.  Your body needs this period to repair the physical and mental damage you have caused.  Knowing secure locations where you can hide away along your route will benefit you greatly.

For those of you who are new to the Ranch or haven’t been here in a while, we are right smack dab in the middle of the Budget Bug Out Gear Challenge.  What is the challenge?  Well, we gathered a bunch of budget gear and took it on a simulated bug out over 3 days and 60 miles.  Don’t miss a post from the Tin Hat Ranch on Facebook and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel for updates and click on the link to catch up on the Budget Bug Out Gear Challenge!



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