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10/30/2018 / By Zoey Sky
Most preppers have an emergency preparedness plan that includes a bug-out scenario. But have you ever tried going on a mock bug-out trip to see if your plan will be enough when SHTF?
By going on a mock bug-out trip, you can see for yourself if your plan has any areas that need to be improved. It can also help you gauge if each family member knows where to go and what to do during a real-life disaster scenario. (h/t to PreppersWill.com)
Don’t overthink for this trip. Remember, when SHTF everyone will be in a hurry to reach your bug-out destination.
Take a trip over the weekend. Wake the whole family up, then instruct them to grab their bug-out bags (BOBs) and head to the car. Take note of how they act and if they’re alert enough even if this is a mock trip. Write down anything that needs improvement and discuss this with the whole family once the trip is over.
Go to a nearby state park and leave your car in the parking lot. Assume that most roads will be blocked and that the group has to continue on foot to reach your camping zone or bug-out location. Before you go on the trip, decide on a location so you don’t waste time wandering in the woods. Once you reach the campsite, the actual practice begins.
Test the following drills:
The whole group must know how to set up a simple shelter, which must suit the current weather or season. Once that’s done, set up a cooking area. Take note of how fast the group can help you build a sturdy shelter.
Before you build a shelter, consider several factors like the size of the group and available materials. Don’t feel bad if the group forgets something obvious, like a latrine. This is why you’re on this trip, to see if you forget anything so you can remember it during an actual bug-out trip.
Most of your family members will be willing to pitch in, but it’s natural to have some people who won’t be in the mood to do anything. Talk to these members to let them know that this mock trip is crucial to your survival when SHTF.
If the campsite is near a body of water, your work is almost done. However, you won’t always be this lucky. Search for clean and proper water sources near your area, then designate a family member who can purify the water using available means. The rest of the drills will depend on how long it takes you to locate water and bring it back to camp.
Ideally, everyone in the group should have a lighter so this won’t take too much time. But the whole family needs to know how to start a fire using primitive methods so the group can practice. Practice different fire starting methods such as using glass, sticks, stones, and water.
Cook dinner using the supplies in your BOBs. Use this chance to learn how to cook properly over an open fire. This is a piece of cake if your meals just need heating, but if you need to cook your food for a long time, you need to know how to provide a constant flame and how to distribute heat evenly.
Take this time to get used to sleeping outdoors. If anyone has trouble sleeping, talk to them so they can get used to this kind of set up.
This is a dangerous task for someone new to camping, but you need to get used to it so you won’t have trouble when SHTF. While you’re on familiar grounds, practice with a map and compass or GPS at night. Do your best to adjust your vision to the absence of light, and try to remain calm under these circumstances.
If the family runs out of food supplies, how will you keep everyone fed? Can you hunt or fish with your gear? Teach the group how to create makeshift hunting tools or fishing rods so you have something to eat during this trip. This drill will also help strengthen the group’s bond.
Learning how to forage takes time, but you can start by teaching your family how to avoid dangerous plants like poison ivy. The group also needs to know how to identify edible and medicinal plants using a practical field guide.
Everyone must have a basic first aid kit in their BOBs, and they need to know how to use its contents. Practice common scenarios like minor wounds or sprains. Observe how your kids react when they have to face medical emergencies. (Related: What’s in YOUR bug out bag? 10 must-have multipurpose survival tools.)
Practice your bug-out plans at least once to see if you need to revise anything in your emergency preparedness plan. Taken seriously, a mock bug-out trip or two can save your life when SHTF since it can help you identify areas of improvement.
You can read more articles with tips for bugging out at Preparedness.news.