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What To Do AFTER Bugging Out: A Survival Guide

Post Bug Out Assessments: What To Do Now Continued

bug out forest

Camp Here?

A step-by-step survival guide that deals with:

  • Initial security,
  • Health assessments,
  • Initial communications,
  • Your camp set up,
  • A water supply,
  • Rationing,
  • Finding food, and
  • Defense of your camp.

Thankfully, Lisa S. and the crew of The Bug Out Bag Guide have just such a guide. Enjoy.

1: Security

Once your party has all arrived to your designated bug-out location, the first thing you want to focus on is ensuring the area is still a safe place to spend the night. Check out your perimeter … Find a decent vantage point that allows you to get your bearings and view the surrounding area …

Another important sign to look for is evidence of other travelers; you chose your bug-out location because of its desirable features, perhaps other bug-out parties have as well …

At this point, simply having knowledge of any persons nearby and being able to keep tabs on them without divulging your location will suffice … However, if you have the means, consider setting up a trip wire around your camp before settling in for the night …

2: Assessing Health

Assessing the health of your bug-out crew is of utmost importance; skipping a full evaluation can lead to severe problems down the road so make sure your assessment is thorough …

When assessing the health of your crew, you’ll want to look at both physical and emotional health:

Physical health

Making sure everyone in your party has arrived unscathed is an important step. Of equal importance is immediately tending to any cuts or wounds crew members may have suffered to increase the chances of quick healing … scan everyone for minor injuries and ticks …

If there are any injuries, prioritize treatment based on severity, starting with the least severe. While it may be tempting to treat the most severe injury first, tending to those with minor injuries first will then allow them to assist with others …

Emotional Health

The emotional toll of bugging-out can be just as debilitating as physical injuries, and many mental effects won’t manifest themselves until you’ve reached safety. As the adrenaline cools and the reality of what you’ve just endured and the fact that you may never go back to your old life start to sink in, fear and anxiety can take over …

The way you carry yourself and your demeanor makes a huge difference … by maintaining a level head and staying calm, you will benefit everyone in your crew.

 3: Attempting Communication

Once you have secured the area and all injuries have been stabilized, your next priority should be to find out what’s going on by pulling out your emergency radio. Emergency broadcasts will provide you with current information and potentially the extent of the damage in a disaster scenario …

4: Camp Set Up

To properly set up camp for survival after bugging out, you will need to choose spots for your fire and shelter, assemble your fire and shelter, make arrangements for hygiene, and safeguard your food rations against wildlife.

Fire and Shelter

Carefully assess the weather and conditions in your particular locale to choose which type [of shelter] is best … Whichever means you choose, try and utilize natural structures for shelter and concealment, and locate the fire pit centrally in order to keep everyone warm … try to keep the fire small and obscured by brush … or possibly wait until after dusk when rising smoke will be less visible.


Designate an area to serve as a bathroom that is downhill and 200 feet away from your main camp area and any water source. Digging individual cat-holes will work for smaller groups over a short period of time, but for a larger group a latrine may be your best option.

Food Preservation

Another big attraction for wildlife: Food. Make sure to secure your food rations out of reach of animals. [Use] a simple bear bag method

5: Finding a Water Supply

water source

Water Source?

[W]e assumed that you bugged-out with a 72-hour water supply as well as a means of purifying found water … When choosing your bug-out location, you undoubtedly chose somewhere near a body of water; however, no matter where your water comes from, always be sure to purify any water obtained in nature to prevent contracting a parasite …

6: Rationing Supplies

When bugging-out, the supply of food you have on hand no doubt consists of MREs, high-density protein bars, dehydrated foods, and other items that are light and easy to carry. While these can be great sources of nutrition, try not to deplete your supplies too quickly – survival is not a three-meals-a-day holiday.

7: Finding Food

… You never know how long it will take you to find a food supply and should it take some time for success, your food supply may run out. There have been entire books written on how to scavenge for food in the wild …

Foraging for Plants

One of the easiest ways to forage for food is to look to the plants and foliage all around you … Make sure to study your local edible plants and learn how to identify them in the wild before bugging-out.

Hunting Game

Small game can be caught quite successfully in forested areas by setting traps. In particular, squirrels and rabbits tend to be abundant and can be easily caught using simple snares …

Traps, such as funnels or corrals, can also be set to catch fish by placing the traps along the bank of a stream …

8: Camp Defense

Once you’ve put in the hard work of getting your family to safety and ensuring you have the supplies needed to survive, it’s time to focus your attention on keeping your family, gear and supplies safe from predators and thieves.

The first step in defending your camp is to set up a watch … Additionally, you can use thorny brush to build a fence around your camp to keep both human intruders and predatory animals out …

If the intruder is an animal and you are equipped to take it down, that could be an easy dinner for your crew …

Your group will also need a strategy to handle human intruders. Each situation should be evaluated reasonably; arming yourself with weapons and defensive tactics to protect against attackers is a smart move, but not every person you encounter will be out to get you.

Source: For more details on this guide, check out Lisa S. She’s known for her detailed research and very smart insights.

Images: Unsplash

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