Bugging Out: Are You Making These 4 LIFE-OR-DEATH Mistakes?

Jeff Anderson
Jeff Anderson, Editor

Most people think bugging out is going to be a romantic “jaunt” down the road with a backpack on.

They’ll travel and camp for three days, after which they’ll get where they’re going, and everything will be fine.

But the fact is that people constantly underestimate what is involved in bugging out.

Real bugging out is going to be a lot more like that book and movie, The Road, by Cormac McCarthy.

(If you haven’t read it or seen the movie, do so ASAP).

Most people, in fact, make four BIG mistakes that could get you killed in a real-life crisis.

I talked to survival expert Kevin Reeve, and here is a run-down of what he told me about those mistakes.

Are You Making These 4 Bug-out Mistakes?

Kevin Reeve
Kevin Reeve

Now, hopefully, you’ll be bugging out early, and things won’t be anywhere near that grim.

If they are (or are even close), here are the four biggest mistakes people make in their bug-out preparation…

Bug-out Mistake #1: Overestimating Your Physical Fitness

No two ways about it… you have to be physically fit to travel to a secondary safe zone.

The average person can travel about 15-25 miles per day carrying a 35-lb backpack or less – children much less than this in both distance and weight.

If you’re not fit for the “hike”, that distance is going to be even less than that… perhaps as little as 5-10 miles per day.

(That doesn’t get you very far over a 3-day period now, does it?)

Think twice about that second cheeseburger and consider putting that $2.47 toward a gym membership instead, eh?

Bug-out Mistake #2: Overestimating Your Skill Level

So you’ve watched Man Vs. Wild until your eyes bled and now you think you can build a fire with nothing more than a pine cone and a chocolate bar, huh?

Things always look easy on television… but can be much harder when you go to put the skills you’ve learned to the test in a remote environment.

The best way to test that knowledge is to… well… TEST that knowledge.

Choose one skill a week to put it to the test (more if you can handle it) and see how it really plays out without the instruction guide.

Bug-out Mistake #3: Overestimating What Your Equipment Can Do For You

Cheap gear will leave you stranded and cussing at the irony of how the item that was supposed to save your heiney in a disaster has now become a big paperweight.

Thing is, the only way you’ll ever find out is to put it to the test – yes, actually use it.

Take all of your gear out and see how it performs in a realistic scenario… and then even in unrealistic scenarios!

Do it right after buying it so you can send it back to China if it doesn’t pass muster.

Bug-out Mistake #4: Not Having A Destination Set

One of the most critical elements of a bug out plan is having a destination to go to, actually knowing where you’re trying to get.

(It’s not just wandering along like in a Dean Martin road movie.)

There’s no point in leaving home, where you have food and water and some level of security, unless you know you’re going somewhere better.

But there’s no point in leaving at all unless you have someplace defined!

There is no way, unless you have a specific plan about where you going and what you’ll expect to find when you get there, that you should ever leave home in the first place.

What Bug-out Mistakes Can YOU Name That We Haven't?

Share Your Thoughts And Experiences With Us Now…

Civil Unrest And Riot Defense: How To Survive A Panicked Mob In A “W.R.O.L.” Scenario!

Civil Unrest: Survive A Panicked Mob In A Riot

Jeff Anderson

Remember the Boston Marathon Bombing?

Immediately after that event, and several times after that, I've been asked about how to manage risk in a large crowd environment WROL (without rule of law).

Well, one answer is simple:

Unless you are absolutely required to be in attendance, AVOID large crowded environments.

Of course when there are times when you have limited choice and must venture into that environment, then use good habits of “situational awareness” and adopt a “bias towards action.”

Large groups of people will always attract a certain amount of risk.

Never underestimate the volatility of people in large groups.

Any significant event, even a “perceived” event, can result in a stampede.

People are injured and die every year during Black Friday Sales events when they become victims of a frenzied mob.

I talked to my friend Kevin Reeve, about this alarming subject, and here is what he told me about surviving panicked mobs.

Civil Unrest: How To Survive A Panicked Mob In A W.R.O.L. Scenario!

Civil Unrest: Survive A Panicked Mob In A Riot
Civil Unrest: Survive A Panicked Mob In A Riot
Kevin Reeve
Kevin Reeve

A fire, an explosion, an active shooter can all create a mob mentality that takes on a life of its own.

The KEY to surviving any event in a crowded venue will depend almost entirely on your ability to control personal panic, to assess the situation, and to take immediate action. If you panic, you drastically increase your odds of injury or death.

Here are a few strategies that will decrease your risk…

1. Maintain Your Awareness

Keep your eyes up, off the smart phone, and scan your environment.

This is can be challenging due to the large volume of people. But try actively scanning.

Look for “out of baseline” behaviors.

People moving upstream, against the flow, for example, are out of baseline.

People moving faster or slower than the baseline, or whose gestures or furtiveness do not match the event, may also be a risk.

2. Identify Specific Threats Or Behaviors

Look for menacing behavior or people who by their looks cause you to feel uncomfortable — and trust your gut.

There may be a valid reason why they make you feel uncomfortable.

If you are in proximity, move away.

As always, look for “orphans:” bags or packages without owners.

Alert security if you see them, but do not stand next to them waiting for security to arrive.

3. Identify Exits

Whenever I enter a room, or area, one of the first things I do is scan for exits.

  • Are there emergency exits?
  • Are they alarmed?
  • Are they locked?
  • What about windows?
  • Can they be opened?
  • Is there a heavy object like a chair I can throw through the window?

Most people will bypass emergency exits in close proximity to them to go back to the entrance they came in through.

This behavior has led to many deaths in ballroom and concert fires.

People who are panicking seek the familiar.

Don't fall into this trap!

4. Identify Cover

Cover refers to safety from fire.

A brick wall may stop bullets, but sheetrock walls will not.

Solid furniture may seem solid, but even a two inch thick oak table will not stop a 9mm round.

You must find something substantial if shooting starts.

The engine block and front axle of a car for example may provide enough cover for one person, but the car door, not so much.

Inside a building, there is generally not much cover, so it's better to head for an exit.

5. Carry Essential Gear

Essential gear for an outside event includes a water bottle, a first aid kit that includes a tourniquet, a knife, a multitool, and sunglasses (that also provide eye protection).

For an indoor event, add a small pocket flashlight (a smartphone light will not penetrate smoke and haze.

NEVER go out without essential gear.

It's all you will have on you in an emergency.

6. If It Goes Down, Get OUT

When everything starts happening, you need to leave, no matter what.

  • Pick up and carry children.
  • Have your family members, (spouse, others with you) grab a hold of your belt.
  • Move assertively towards the PRE-SELECTED exit.

Move with the crowd “downstream” but also in a diagonal direction, until can reach a wall inside, or if outside, the edge of the crowd, where you can better control your movement.

Do not be afraid to damage or destroy the fixtures or the building itself to get out, such as breaking open windows or kicking open doors, or breaking locks.

Timidity will not be helpful; your primary concern must be your family.

Once they are safe, you can decide whether to render aid to others.

It is impossible to anticipate every event.

However, most events will precipitate the need to MOVE. MOVEMENT to SAFETY will generally always be your highest priority.

If the event is localized to your immediate vicinity, then safety generally lies elsewhere.

The most important trait here is a BIAS TOWARDS ACTION. Take action to improve your crowd situation.

What Would YOUR Strategy Be If You Encountered A Panicked Mob?

Share Your Thoughts And Experiences With Us Now…

MCS 261 – Urban Escape & Evasion

Urban Escape and Evasion - Urban or Suburban E&E For Kidnapping, Stalker, Sex Predator Defense
Urban Escape and Evasion - Urban or Suburban E&E For Kidnapping, Stalker, Sex Predator Defense
Urban Escape and Evasion – Urban or Suburban E&E For Kidnapping, Stalker, Sex Predator Defense

Pssst. Hey, buddy… Are you an international spy?

Of course you're not (well, everybody except the one guy reading this who IS).

But there are CIA-style “spy skills” that can protect you and your family from a VERY REAL threat.

That threat is made up of the stalkers, kidnappers, and sexual predators who are all around us.

Don't think it can't happen to you and your family…

That's because nearly 800,000 kids are reported missing every year, while thousands of adults are ALSO targeted.

In fact, kidnapping is one of the most common crimes in the industrialized world.

If you and your family were targeted by a kidnapper or a stalker, would you know how to tell?

What can you do to safeguard yourself and your family from stalkers, or evade a kidnapper who has targeted you?

If you WERE kidnapped, would you know what to do to survive… and to escape?

That's what this podcast will teach you.

In this week's podcast episode, Modern Combat & Survival's Jeff Anderson interviews survival expert Kevin Reeve about urban escape and evasion in our modern — and very dangerous — world.

Press The “Play” Button Below To Listen In Now…


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Here's What You'll Discover In This Week's Episode:

  • The weirdly obvious — but easy to miss — sign that a stalker or kidnapper has targeted you!
  • The one thing you should NEVER do when there's a knock on the door!
  • The number one WORST place to go for help if you're being pursued by a predator.
  • Two different ways to survive a kidnapping (but you've GOT to choose the RIGHT strategy)!
  • What you've got to tell yourself the moment you realize you've been kidnapped.

Don't wait until it's too late to protect yourself and your family.

Get this information now and make yourself and your family kidnap-proof!

Resources Mentioned In This Podcast:

What Are Your Top 3 Takeaways From This Podcast?

Please Share Your Input In The Comments Below Now…

Improvised Survival Weapons: How To Protect Yourself When The Guns Are All Gone!

Jeff Anderson
Jeff Anderson, Editor

You never know what sort of enemies you could face in a survival situation.

Looters, gangs, and even desperate citizens caught up in the chaos are all a  VERY REAL possibility.

You probably think your trusty sidearm or your AR15 will save you.

But your guns can't protect you if they break, jam, are confiscated, or run out of ammo.

I talked to survival expert Kevin Reeve recently to get his tips for improvising survival weapons, and here is a run-down of what he had to tell me.

Improvised Survival Weapons:
How To Prep For When The Guns Are Gone!

Improvised Survival Weapons: How To Protect Yourself When The Guns Are All Gone
Improvised Survival Weapons: How To Prep For When The Guns Are All Gone

Kevin Reeve

A truly skilled, prepared citizen is a modern-day MacGyver.

He can scavenge weapons from the urban terrain.

He can also MAKE his own weapons if he needs to.

You don't have to do it the hard way, however.

Certain things around you, and stuff you can carry in your bug out bag, can be used as “starter material” to make your own weaponry.

Here are three tips for improvising survival weapons in an emergency.

1. Your Multitool Is Essential

You should be carrying a modern multitool in your bug out bag.

There’s no way to emphasize enough how useful a tool can be when it has a knife, pliers, a saw, and any number of other items you may need.

There are other useful items you can put in your bug out bag, though, that can really help you craft and jerry-rig weapons in a pinch.

2. Carry Improvised Weapon Starter Materials

Among the other improvised weapons starter kit items you should include in your bugout bag are…

  1. Drill bits
  2. Baling wire
  3. Surgical tubing
  4. Paracord

All of these can be used as weapons and to make weapons, not to mention connectomg things together.

For example, if you can find some PVC tubing, you can use heat and paracord to fashion a very workable survival bow.


A survival bow can be purchased, of course, and added to your arsenal, but you don't need to do that.

You may not realize, but stretched tight enough, paracord can work as a powerful bowstring.

PVC tubing isn't the only thing you can use as the bow, either.

Anything with the right flexibility can be used.

Arrows are easy enough to make from branches, pieces of metal, or plastic rods, depending on what you find.

3. Your Local Hardware Store Can Help… Even AFTER The Looters Leave

The average hardware store has plenty of items you can use to improvise weapons.

This is true even AFTER the average hardware store has been looted for the obvious crisis materials (like sheets of plywood, obvious weapons like machetes and axes, and batteries).

Prisoners regularly craft all kinds of inventive weapons from what's available.

Your improvised weapons are limited only by your imagination.

Make sure you have the right starter materials on hand so you don’t have to begin an emergency behind the survival curve.

What Are Your Go-To Improvised Weapons?

Please Share Your Best Tips Below…

MCS 135: Urban Evasion Insider Secrets

Urban Escape And Evasion Training Tactics

Urban Escape And Evasion Training Tactics

What if you were on an international vacation… kidnapped for ransom… and managed to find a critical moment to escape

What if your neighborhood was engulfed in civil unrest and the streets were patrolled by gangs of anarchists and looters looking for easy prey?

How would you stay alive?

How would you avoid detection and get to safety without making yourself a target?

Today you get an “insider's look” as Urban Escape & Evasion trainer, Kevin Reeve, reveals at the biggest mistakes people make when they're hunted by a hostile enemy…

… AND how to master the critical skills needed to keep you alive “on the run”!

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Here's what you'll discover in this week's episode…

  • “Going grey”: How to blend in with your surroundings no matter where you are and no matter who is around!
  • The worst “disguise” you can attempt to use to fool your trackers!  (Hint: It's often the FIRST one people attempt… that gets them caught!)
  • The #1 giveaway that you're easy prey!
  • Tell-tale “red flags” that will reveal your identity (even when surrounded by a crowd of citizens who look exactly like you)!
This week’s training is a real “cheat sheet” to staying unnoticed in even the most populated environments!

What “Baseline” Factors Do You See In Your Own Area?

Please Share Your “Gray Man” Insights Now For Evading Detection In Urban Areas…

MCS Podcast 45: Survival Scouting Tactics With Kevin Reeve


Whether it's a search-and-rescue mission to locate a lost child… or evading the desperate masses of zombie citizens after a collapse, your ability to “read” the land for clues is a skill that few survivalists ever prepare for.
Big mistake.

In this special broadcast, we speak with expert trainer, Kevin Reeve | OnPoint Tactical of OnPoint Tactical, about methods used by the legendary Apache Scouts that YOU can use to master the skills of “survival tracking”.

Press The “Play” Button Below To Listen In Now…


Yo! Want To Download The Episodes Each Week?
Click The Button Below…

Subscribe To Our iTunes Survival Podcast

Here's what awaits you in this week's episode…

  • How to train yourself to see more… sense more… and develop an invisible communication with the land around you!
  • Big mistakes made by most people that will never allow you to track another person's movements when you need to be on their trail!
  • Secret signs to look for when tracking a lost team member or recovering supplies stolen by rogue “war parties” after a collapse!
  • How to employ “counter-tracking” skills to hide your movement when bugging out to safety!
  • Strategic tactics to find… approach… and “read” an area (especially urban zones) to avoid danger when on the run!

These are the survival skills very few will ever know about and Kevin really over-delivered with this over 1-hour brain-dump.

The only thing better is his personal scouting course he's known for!


Have You Ever Tried Tracking Skills Before?

Please Share Your Experience Below Now…

MCS Podcast 001: Improvised Weapons With Kevin Reeve

Podcast - Improvised Survival Gear

Survival Podcast - Improvised Weapons

One of the keys to surviving is to always be armed and able to protect yourself and family in the absence of law and order.

In our premier podcast episode, survival expert, Kevin Reeve, reveals how to create your own improvised survival weapons from scavenged materials most people wouldn't even think of.

Press The “Play” Button Below To Listen In Now…


Here's what you'll discover…

  1. Why you need to design your own improvised weapon “tool kit” for your bug-out bag… and what to put in it!
  2. What you can learn from prison inmates on how to craft a makeshift knife using everyday materials!
  3. The importance of “slashing” weapons in a collapse and simple ways to design a weapon that will cut like a razor!
  4. The hidden “enemy” after a disaster that no one ever thinks of… and why Kevin's examples of “penetration” weapons will keep this terror at bay!
  5. How a trip to any delapidated building or construction site can be like finding buried pirate treasure on an island (and amazing examples of what you should pick up)!
  6. The magic of “projectile” weapons… and sneaky ways to craft bows, arrows and other long-distance devices!

For more survival weapons tips, be sure to grab your free survival gear guide here…