OVERVIEW OF A PREPPER
I am a member of several survival and prepper groups/pages.
One discussion I always see is the are you bugging in or bugging out, followed by do you have a BOL conversions.
There is much ado about every day carry, get home bags, bug out bags, INCH bags and a plethora of others.
Scenarios range from all out Nuclear War, EMPs/grid-down, economic collapse, multiple natural disasters, loss of central government/foreign invasion, pandemics and yes even zombies.
Most have the basic idea of either being at work or at home when there is a sudden occurrence that that requires them to bug out. While others hope to have enough warning to escape to their bug out location from home. Some have an actual property/location but It seems that a lot of people feel that bugging out to the woods/mountains/rural areas or public hunting lands is the way to go.
For the most part that includes an individual or family group with minimal or primitive equipment planning to somehow survive an unknown or unlimited time.
Then there is the bug in crowd some have only a minimal amount of equipment while others have large amounts of supplies, gardens, chickens or rabbits. They can be in a city, the suburbs, small towns, farms or remote areas.
THE GET HOME BAG
This is fairly self-explanatory you are at work or another location such as out shopping when SHTF and need to get either get home, to your family meeting place or your Bug Out Location.
Most have basic items such as tarp, water filter, fire starter, knife, cordage and what food and water they can carry and many have a firearm of one kind or another, along with a basic first aid kit. A lot carry primitive skills items, traps and snares and maybe even an ax.
My argument is that for a short term get home situation you need to pack for ease of use and weight. This bag should be small, discreet and kept where you have quick access to it at all times.
I am of the mindset that a get home bag should be simple and light. Unless some of the crazier sudden onset zombie apocalypse scenarios occur the majority of people live within fifty miles of their work place and should be able to walk home within 72 hours. If not, you will need to adjust the plan and bag to fit your situation.
For short term I would suggest a small back pack style bag in a neutral color with two tarps or ponchos and a blanket or poncho liner. Spare socks and tee shirts (optional underwear). A good flashlight (preferably with a red lens option) and spare batteries. A Camel Back or similar water system and one to two one quart canteens and either water purification tabs or a Life Straw or similar device. A Zippo or two Bic style lighters and a pack of fire starters or heat tabs. A good fixed blade knife and six field stripped MREs. A good Topo map of your area, handheld two-way radio set on your family frequency, and depending on where you live a handgun and spare mags/ammo. Cell phone if service is available. A decent first aid kit and cash.
All the above is assuming that a vehicle is not available due to EMP, blocked roads or no fuel source. That you are dressed for the weather including proper footwear and that you are physically fit enough for the adventure, and have at least basic survival skills.
If SHTF occurs have a preset plan including how long to wait for others in your family or group to arrive before bugging out. Have a predetermined rally point if you have to leave prior to their arrival or if you are separated.
Each family or group member should have a working knowledge of your plan and rally point (s), and their own self sufficient bug out bag.
The bug out bag will be more substantial than a get home bag and the inventory will vary depending on both the distance to your destination and the type of destination e.g. Campsite or family farm or cabin, we will discuss the bug out bag more in depth in a future article.
Your bug out plan should include both vehicle and back up plans such as traveling on foot, bike, horseback or ATVs.
If you have a large amount of preps to move you should have a plan to move them, leave them or destroy them and practice it ahead of time.
Unless you have an established bug out location or live in an immediate danger type area, I am a proponent of bugging in vs out due to many factors including moving supplies, children, the elderly, or handicap family members. This is another area that will be addressed in another article due to the many challenges presented.
I have seen a number of posts basically stating that their plan is to stock only minimal food and survive by acquiring supplies by force. Most groups/pages discourage this kind of thinking but the threat is there.
I believe that while there will be a lot of lone wolf type people most people will end up in groups and the groups combining together to form communities. These tight knit communities would have pooled resources as far as security and more than likely will not be the easy target that some believe.
A number of the groups set up and scenarios play upon the total loss of central government. I personally believe that our government is designed with a lot of safeguards in place to prevent that and that SHTF is more likely to be a localized or regional event however I will address it since it is a popular topic.
I picture most groups post SHTF/loss of government set up as an extended family and friends initially with others added along the way as needs are established such as medical, mechanical, farming, blacksmith and military experience. Then latter battering between groups and at some point joining into larger groups with a council of head of households progressing into larger communities with elected representatives and the restart of central government.
Over the next few weeks I will do follow up articles in some of the areas listed above and welcome comments about this or any of my past articles.
OVERVIEW OF A PREPPER