Think before you act: 6 questions to answer before bugging out
By Zoey Sky // Apr 26, 2019

If you're a prepper, you may already have a secure bug-out location prepared before SHTF. But do you have answers for these six questions that you need to ask yourself before you bug out? (h/t to


What items do you need in your EDC kit?

An everyday carry (EDC) kit includes survival tools that you have with you every day. These items will also prove useful when you're bugging out, so consider having them before SHTF.

Depending on various factors like your job, location, or skill level, the items in your EDC kit may vary. Even if you're not a prepper, you should always have your keys, phone, a watch, and your wallet with you at all times.

Other items to include in your EDC kit are:

  • Firestarters (e.g., ferro rods, lighters, or matches) – Without several ways to start a fire, you can't cook or stay warm.
  • Flashlight – A flashlight is essential, especially if you need to bug out during the night.
  • Folding knife – A knife can be used for various tasks and for self-defense.
  • Multi-tool – With the right multi-tool, you can find food or build a shelter even if you happen to lose your bug-out bag (BOB).
  • Notepad and a pen – Something as mundane as a notepad can help you keep important notes or leave messages for loved ones.
  • Paracord – Light and strong, a paracord has different survival uses.
  • Tactical pen – A tactical pen, which has various features like a hidden blade or a glass breaker, may save your life when SHTF.

Where should you bug out?

If you have the means to do so, prepare a safe bug-out location (BOL) that can house your whole family when SHTF. Make sure your BOL is stocked with enough supplies for your whole group.

If you don't own a cabin, where will you bug out to? Can you stay in a heavily wooded area near your home?

Talk to your family after you decide on a BOL and figure out safe routes to this location.

When is the right time to bug out?

Your answer to this question depends on another set of questions, such as:

What items should you include in your BOB?

Your BOB should contain more than a standard list of things that you'll need when SHTF. If you know what to pack, you can keep your family safe and provided for even after a disaster.

Basic items that you will need include food, clothing, materials for a building a shelter, several ways to start a fire, and self-defense weapons.

What should you include in your child’s BOB?

Children will need different items in their own BOBs. Depending on their age, they may need lighter bags, toys, or other comfort items so they can stay calm when SHTF.

What items should you include in your pet’s BOB?

If you have pets, they will need their own BOBs. Is your pet large enough to carry their own pack, or will you need to carry the bag for them? A pet BOB should include food bowls, pet food, pet medication, and comfort items like toys so they can stay occupied once you reach a safe BOL.

Ask yourself these six important questions so you can keep your family safe if you ever need to bug out.

Sources include: 1 2

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