People that would bug out need to ask themselves this question:
Is a successful long term bug out without a specific, prepared-in-advance, secure location even possible?
Let's think about the practicality of bugging out. While watching YouTube videos I have heard a great many people say they are simply going to bug out upon the occurrence of a catastrophic event. People should really re-think their options before embarking on that solution well before the situation arises. The available acreage people think they would be able to bug out to is not infinite. Actually, it would be almost impossible to reach the large, open national forests in the Midwest from most major cities in a bugging out situation. It would take months to get to the forests on foot. The highways and roads would be impassable from disabled vehicles, probably most of which will have simply run out of gas. The open land is in the middle of the country, but even so, most of it is private property owned by fellow citizens. You can't just go and take it over. You wouldn't allow that if it were yours. I suspect that many people trying to reach that area would most likely be dead from ambush for their supplies, or near death from thirst or drinking bad water within the first thirty days of the trek.
Bugging out will not be a viable solution for survival during a real SHTF event. The areas surrounding the cities is where the highest deaths will occur, from trespassers and aggressors fleeing from the city and being shot and killed by rightful landowners defending their families and property from the mob mentality. It will not be a free-for-the-taking situation. There will be serious consequences for all your actions.
I have made some calculations to get a feel for the number of people that would leave the cities in a bug out situation. I share these calculations with you not for correction or rebuttal, but for consideration. It's all variable at best anyway. Even in a national event, let's say that only 15% of the population chooses to bug out from the largest 289 cities that have populations over 100 thousand people. That would be 12,853,825 people bugging out in a national event. That's almost 13 million people going to where exactly? I also believe that people would be so fearful during such an event, that some would just go running out the door and down the street with no preparations whatsoever other than the clothes on their back. Perhaps they will figure on just finding something to eat on the way to wherever they're going. Which is nowhere. They're just going.
Where do people think there exists such a vast expanse of open and cleared, un-owned land anywhere within 200 miles of these cities that wouldn't be vigorously defended by the legal landowners against millions of fleeing people across the country? Even in a regionalized event, there would be thousands and thousands of fleeing people. Where would they go? In my opinion, to their doom.
The 15% of people I'm talking about potentially bugging out is almost thirteen million people from only 289 cities. That equates to only 4% of the total continental US population bugging out. Just 4%! Suppose people from smaller cities decide to bug out as well. There is nowhere for all those people to bug out to! There simply isn't enough free land to accommodate them all. If you went to the woods, you would be able to stand in one place and see tents and shelters as far as the eye could see. Where do you think all the deer and wildlife would be? They would be long gone except for a few stragglers that would be killed off in a few hours. What then? How are those 72 hours of MRE's working out for you in your bug out bag at three weeks into this bug out decision?
This calculation is intended to be fuel for promoting in-depth examinations of the proposed actions to be taken during any major negative event, be it man-made or natural. You are free to disagree with me, but just think it all out. That's all I want people to do for themselves. THINK. These extreme conditions even apply to the smaller regionalized events that don't affect the entire country. These considerations and possibilities are not intended for evacuation for personal protection from hurricanes, winter storms, wildfires and the like. That is not the same as bugging out in my opinion. You would just be leaving for a few days and then coming back after the bad weather passed.
Now the sum of 306,675,006 people represents the reported 2010 Census of 100% of the population of the contiguous United States.
The population of the top 289 major U.S. cities is 85,692,164. This population total is located within the 25,967 square miles that comprise U.S. cities with populations that exceed 100K.
I used 15% of the population from these 289 cities for my calculations. I think that is a reasonable number, but I also think that in a serious event it could realistically be much higher than that. You can use whatever variable percentage you think it might be to represent the number of people in the 289 largest cities in the U.S. that would be bugging out.
The figure of 220,982,842 represents the remaining continental U.S. population number that may or may not bug out.
There would be 104 people per square mile theoretically distributed in the continental United States according to the results of the 2010 census. That includes high mountains, deserts and wide open plains subject to incredibly cold winter temperatures. It does not include the surface area square miles of lakes and rivers.
Now for some calculations:
43,560 S.F. equals 1 Acre
27,878,400 S.F. equals one square mile.
27,878,400 S.F. divided by 104 = 268,062 S.F. per person
268,062 S.F. per person divided by 43,560 S.F. per acre equals 6.2 acres per person.
Therefore, there is 6.2 Acres allotted per person based on 2010 census results with 104 people theoretically being distributed per square mile in the continental U.S. Modernsurvivalblog recommends 30 acres for self sufficiency. So a family of 5 might make it IF you already had the land. However, if you didn't already live on it, when you got to it, you should expect squatters to be occupying your bug out location, and your food storage would have already been completely ransacked. What do you do then? Are you going to try to take it back like in the movies? If successful, are you then going to defend it like all the landowners will have defended theirs when you were trying to cross their land to get to yours? What if the squatters win? Time for a reality check! Bugging out exposes you to innumerable bad encounters that may take your life and the lives of your family members before you even get to your supposed safe bug out location. I believe that if you don't currently live in your bug out location but have one, then you have prepared it and its contents for someone else's use.
With this density of bugged-out population in the countryside, when the "Rambo" mentalities within your line of sight start shooting at the wildlife, you better be lying down on the ground. I believe that there is going to be a great number of accidental shootings due to close proximity with the rest of the relocated population. Maybe it would not be accidental so they can take your land or food storage. If one of your family members was shot in a situation like that, would you think, "Oh gosh! An accident!", or more likely, "We're being attacked!" and start firing back, but firing back at whom? Your actions are likely to cause another accident, and before long the entire area would be a war zone. Tensions will be extremely high and nerves will be frayed. Any way you look at it, it will be a terrible situation to be in.
It would be much uglier in the country than in the cities because after the initial die-off in the big cities, the predator population would leave the cities and would be currycombing the countryside after calculating that there is far more return out in the country than in a city because in the country the people were really prepared. The predators will be meaner and more violent when they are starving. Weapons, food and water... they'll take it all, or willingly die trying to get yours.
I believe the best plan is to store all you can in an organized manner, and then quietly stay put for a month or two. Re-evaluate thoroughly after that time and then make new decisions based on sound information.
There is good survival information at: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/retreat-living/30-acres-for-self-sufficiency/
Whenever the event does happen, the multitudes will run amuck but the calm and prepared people will stand and survive, successfully removing the threat of those who would harm them and their families in order to plunder their resources.
Think about it.
Thanks for letting me share this with you.Bob Hotaling
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