Whether you're in the path of a disaster or things are heating up in your area when it comes to civil unrest, you may be thinking about bugging out.
The problem is, you may make a critical mistake that ruins the rest of your survival plan before it can even begin.
If you screw up early on, you'll be fighting from behind the curve the whole time you're trying to survive.
I asked survival expert Jeff Kirkham to identify three mistakes even experienced preppers make, and here is a summary of what he told me.
3 Bugout Mistakes Even Trained Preppers Make!
Most people, when it comes to bugging out, think to themselves, “Okay: I'm going to grab my bug-out bag, throw it in the car, and head off to the wilderness.”
Maybe you're not going to the wilderness; maybe you're going to grandma's house down the road.
You should have a specific place in mind and a plan for bugging out, of course.
Your plan, vague as it might be, still hinges on getting away from the danger and to somewhere safe.
But there are some critical decisions you have to make along the way… and if you screw them up, you won't survive.
Mistake #1: Bugging Out When You Don't Have To
Your home is your castle.
You should stay there if you can.
When you bug out, all you have to sustain you is what you can carry with you.
Just think of all the tools and supplies you could conceivably need when you are bugging out.
If they won't all fit in a bag that you can carry on foot, then you won't necessarily have them with you when you need them.
If you bug out and you didn't really have to, you've just left yourself WITHOUT all that needed gear.
Now, you might be thinking, “But I'll carry those things in my vehicle.”
That brings us to…
Mistake #2: Failing To Prepare Your Transportation
So what do you have packed in your bug-out vehicle?
You would carry in your vehicle anything that you might need that is too bulky or heavy to carry on your person.
When you have a vehicle in which you can move with your loved ones, the extra size and weight doesn't matter…
…until it does.
Remember, where dependents are involved, you may have to be able to move them, so if you've got kids who can't keep up with the adults, you've got to have a wagon or stroller or something in which they can ride.
Two-wheeled vehicles are also an option, including motorcycles and even bicycles.
Distance equals safety, so you've got to get away.
A vehicle helps you do that… even if it's just a bicycle.
But if you can't get to that vehicle, or it breaks down, that brings us to…
Mistake #3: Forgetting That You May End Up On Foot
Bugging out on foot is one thing many preppers will end up doing.
If your vehicle breaks down, or you can't get fuel, or the highways are clogged, that means YOU.
You need to make sure you have the right foot gear and that you have practiced hiking in it.
If you have great boots, but you've never used them, you could end up with blisters.
You're not going to get very far away from a threat with bleeding feet, and you're not going to move very fast.
Going on weekend camping trips with your family is one way to practice bugging out.
It's not just physical activity and it doesn't just build community; it's also a learning experience, teaching you which of your equipment you don't need and what does or doesn't work.
The time to learn that your equipment is unnecessary or, worse, doesn't do what you need it to do is NOT when you are bugging out.
Think of camping as a bugging out dry run of sorts.
It also helps get your team or family used to the exertion and the experience of bugging out.
Remember, in a real emergency, exhaustion equals death.
Get out there, outside your comfort zone, and start training with your gear and practicing your bugging out.
Taking the time to do so now could save your life when it really matters.