Author Topic: SURVIVAL PRIMER; It’s time to bug out, have you reviewed your tactics?  (Read 2948 times)

Offline swanson

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SURVIVAL PRIMER; It’s time to bug out, have you reviewed your tactics?

(Part 1)


This is a work in progress

NOTE: This brief essay is in no way comprehensive or complete in the review of bugging out. It covers what i feel are some useful tactics that might provide you with an edge of discipline come the day you have to get out of dodge whatever the reason.

Much of the following is adapted from basic patrolling techniques that are utilized by our military and repackaged in context and use for the bug-out party.

O.K., you’ve got your bug-out kit and it’s time to make a move. It’ll be on foot or via vehicle, but what tactics might prove useful to get you to your intended destination?

Let’s review some useful tactics when bugging –


Briefing is critical.

It’s not enough to just realize it’s time to go. YOU MUST HAVE A PLAN to go along with it.

Attend to the following –

*Insure all in your party have a solid grasp and understanding of what the plan is:

   - Where you are going and why. (Your objective)
   - The main route and alternate routes mapped with instructions.
   - Plans for when hazards and trouble are encountered.
   - A solid set of references for emergency rally points, contacts, and needed sustainment if things deteriorate.

Don’t set off without a plan. Often, things change in route, but you should never head out the door without a clearly defined objective.

Make sure everyone in your party can back-brief the bug out plan for accuracy and understanding.


Before you depart your present location, take the time to inspect the gear and essentials that are moving with you. This goes for all conducting the bug-out movement.
Inspect yourself and each other –

1. For all essential gear on your bug out list.
2. To insure all packed items are secured properly and in order prior to moving.
3. To insure that any group equipment is dispersed properly and accounted for by all.
4. Check to make sure everyone has the proper footwear and an extra pair of socks handy.
5. Forget nothing.

The last thing anyone needs is to depart a location “half-ready”. You should conduct inspections along the route as well. Anytime you stop, inspect your gear and have someone else double check it. The loss of critical items could spell doom or serious discomfort.


Bring your buddies

USE COMMON SENSE – When the option is available, never travel alone if you can help it. Travel in pairs at the least. In an emergency, the extra set of eyes, ears, and hands are indispensable.

If your party is big enough, assign each member a buddy so they can look after each other.

Consider your camouflage scheme and environmental impact

Do you look like you are civilians on vacation, a set of hikers, a military unit, a set of refugees, or victims for those in need of your spoils?

Your appearance and dress has to be thought out well in advance of your move. Consider the hazards and threats that are present in your environment and move as innocuously and quietly as possible. Be the “Grey man”.

Don’t attract the eyes of the unwanted and do your best to avoid the discovery of your intent and activities. Plan accordingly, and have a pretext and/or well thought out cover story if you are approached by friendlies, hostiles, and/or unknowns.

Use confusion, misdirection and the appearance of innocence to your advantage when bugging out.

Keep a low profile until the situation dictates otherwise.

Dispersion and movement

Depending on the threat level you face, dispersion can keep you from looking like an aimless pack of rovers, or even worse, a threat to any observing your movement.
Chose a movement and traveling technique that makes sense and change it up when it’s useful to do so.

You can:

a. Travel as a single group in- a line, wedge, diamond, or other appropriate formation when contact with danger is unlikely.

Consider your environment as well, and not only how these formations might look to other, but also what utility they might have if trouble finds you in your travels.
b. Use a traveling overwatch if contact with danger is more of a possibility. A traveling overwatch is formed by breaking your party into two or more working elements spaced 15-25 meters apart from each other for security and flexibility.

c. Use the bounding overwatch when hostile contact is deemed imminent. When this technique is to be employed, it will most likely be a very clear tactical circumstance. This is where preplanning, drills, and rehearsal will pay off or kill you.

Make sure anytime you move not to bunch up too closely; 5+ meters between party members is suggested if faced with an elevated human threat.

Hides, halts, and general rest points

You will eventually have to stop for rest, replenishment, repair, or observation along your chosen bug-out/egress route.

The tendency will be for your party to drop its guard and turn attention inward to themselves or each other instead of the environment they are pausing in. This is an obvious danger, but a hard one to break.

Whoever is leading the bug-out has to keep this in mind and enforce a better practice for security and survival in its place.

If the pause for rest is short in duration, consider it a temporary halt and have the party- form in a circle, face out, take a knee, drink water, adjust and inspect equipment, and maintain their alert posture and readiness. You can still rest and maintain security from this resting formation.

Always establish 360 degrees of security and take into consideration the terrain features that surround you as well.


If the rest point will be taken for an extended period for sleep and/or recovery (less than 12 hours), consider it time to set up a bug-out hide.
Again, always establish 360 degrees of security and take into consideration the terrain features that surround you as well.

Hides should never be re-used or disturbed to look built up for defense.

Once the hide is established, two party members at a time will keep watch while the others rest. Keep verbal communication to a minimum and use hand signals and body contact to relay messages as a preferred method.

Some tips on selecting a hide –

1. Establish a hide well away from key (noticeable) terrain features.
2. Place your hide(s) in inhospitable terrain areas to avoid detection when possible.
3. Select a few alternate rally points known by all in your party if discovered and hostile contact is encountered and someone gets separated from the bug-out group.
4. Resist the temptation to “explore” the surrounding area of the hide; stay put and hidden.
Stay disciplined when operating in a bug-out hide.

Remember, your objective is to reach your bug-out location safely and soundly. Do not lose track of your objective.

To be continued...

John Q Public

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Re: SURVIVAL PRIMER; It’s time to bug out, have you reviewed your tactics?
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2009, 07:29:59 PM »


This is great information and an excellent refresher.

Offline ColdHaven

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Re: SURVIVAL PRIMER; It’s time to bug out, have you reviewed your tactics?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2009, 07:37:14 PM »
I think I am going to bookmark this. I can't wait to read more. Excellent information presented here and in a easy to understand fashion. A definite +1 swanson!