While we would all like to think a disaster can only strike when it is early in the day and a perfect 72 degrees, that is highly unlikely. Sadly, most bug out situations are going to happen when things are less than perfect for a picnic outdoors. You may have to bug out because of a horrible storm or in the middle of the night to avoid detection.
You may also have to bug out when it is cold or even freezing out. It is important you are ready to head for the hills all year round. Adding a few extra preps to your bug out supplies during the winter months can give you better odds of survival.
1. Don’t leave the house without proper footwear. You need boots. Tennis shoes are not going to work. Preferably a pair of lined boots that offer some waterproof action. You can add an additional layer of water protection to make it just a little better.
2. Wool socks are a must. Even if your boots are lined and dry, your feet will still get cold. Wool socks will keep your feet warm and they do not hold moisture like a pair of cotton socks would do.
3. Gloves are another must. Gloves allow you to use your fingers to hold a flashlight, chop wood or dig around in your bag. Make sure the gloves are cold weather gloves and not some flimsy knit gloves that will do nothing to protect your fingers from frostbite.
4. A warm, wool beanie is a must. Your body heat escapes through your head. You want to trap the heat by covering your head. A face mask is also a good option. Put a hat on over the mask. If temperatures are frigid, you have to protect your nose from the cold.
5. Chapstick may seem inconsequential, but it is an absolute must. The cold can crack your lips very fast. Cracked, dry lips will bleed and life will be miserable in general. Make sure you put on a good layer of chapstick before you head out the door and keep applying as needed.
Cold weather survival is a not for the faint of heart. Be prepared by adding these items to your stockpile. Don’t forget coats, thermal underwear, snow shoes and anything else that will give you an advantage.
Survivalists and preppers like to talk a lot about bugging out. It is exciting to think about running away and leaving everything behind, including whatever trouble forced you to flee in the first place. Exciting and scary at the same time can be invigorating. It gets your blood pumping and you get a little bit of an adrenaline high just thinking about it. Unfortunately, bugging out isn’t quite as glamorous as you would hope it to be.
If you had the choice to stay home, with your own bed, blankets and all of your stockpiles of food, water and other basic supplies or flee with whatever you can carry on your back, which would you choose? Sleeping under the stars is great in peaceful times and warm weather. Sleeping under the stars when it is raining or snowing—not so fun.
While it makes sense to have a bug out plan in place, it also makes sense to plan to bug in if at all possible. In fact, it is often better to shelter in place while you wait for the immediate danger to pass and then move. There are things you can do that will allow you to hide without anybody suspecting you are there.
Bugging in will give you time to plan your escape a little better and avoid the mass exodus that is sure to happen when everyone else runs for the hills. If you have small children or are physically incapable of walking more than 10 miles, bugging in may be your only option. Don’t simply roll over and accept defeat. Prepare and plan and then move when you can secure transportation whether that is a bike, a vehicle or even a wagon.
Don’t automatically assume you have to grab your bug out bags and go when SHTF. It doesn’t make sense to have a year’s worth of food in the basement if you are going to leave it all behind. You certainly can’t carry it all.
Run drills with the family about what they will do to bug in when it is time. Practice what each family member is responsible for when it is time to shelter in place. Cover the windows, lock the doors and put heavy furniture in front and prepare to go dark while you hideout in your home. Be prepared and you can help lessen the fear.