Bugging Out – Will You Make It To Your Destination?

bug out traffic

When disaster happens (or is about to happen), some may choose to bug out. There are lots of things to consider before making that decision, including your planned final destination… However here’s something to think about: Will you actually make it to your destination?

Ask yourself, what are the obstacles or circumstances that might slow you down or stand in your way? What can you do to prepare for that?

Lets think about it in terms of bugging out in your vehicle. You’re evacuating the area. What are some of the problems you might encounter?


Is your vehicle in good shape?

An unreliable vehicle could leave you stranded somewhere. So keep your bug out vehicle in good shape. Unfortunately lots of people put off or ignore regular maintenance. Don’t let that be you…

-oil change
-any other obvious problems


Gasoline (or Diesel)

Always keep your gas tank on the full side! One of the first things to happen during an evacuation is long lines at the gas pumps. Worse yet some gas stations may run out!

You will only get as far as the gas in your tank. Be very aware of that. If and when you have the opportunity during your bug out, fill ‘er up.

Extra gas cans. Consider keeping extra gas stored at home. Simply use a fuel stabilizer to extend the shelf life of the gas (generally no issues up to 1-year with this stuff).

Fuel Stabilizer for long term storage



Don’t rely on GPS. They can be very useful however everyone should have a good road atlas as well as regional maps. This is especially helpful when looking for alternative routes to a destination. Seeing the big picture in detail is often difficult on a GPS which requires that you zoom in before you see finer map detail. There’s nothing like looking at the big page on a road atlas…

I also keep topographical maps of the regions I normally travel.

Road Atlas Map For Each State


Off-road capability? (4WD)

I can’t begin to tell you how important it might be to have 4-wheel-drive capability on your vehicle. Living where I do (in snow country) it is quite common, however there are many circumstances where this could be an important asset during travel.

I realize that you either have it or your don’t (it’s not an add-on…) however if you’re looking for your next vehicle, you might consider it.


Emergency equipment in your vehicle

One prep to consider for your vehicle, especially during or after certain types of disaster events, is the ability to temporarily fix a flat tire. Debris, nails, and other such things don’t go well with tires. You have a spare tire, but that’s good for one flat.

Fix-A-Flat Tire Repair Kit

-duct tape (hose repair)
-spare belt
-tire jack


72-hour kit in your vehicle

This kit is designed to keep your relatively supplied for a several day period. It would include food, drinking water, and other supplies. Enough to get you where you’re going.

We have lots of articles here on that topic. Here’s one:

72 Hour Emergency Kit


How will you get around obstacles?

Especially if the disaster is weather related, trees or debris may be blocking some of the roads. Do you have the tools that you might need to deal with this?



Traffic jams

During a major disaster event and major evacuation, most or all main roads will be very much traffic jammed.

During a bug out, this will likely be your primary obstacle to getting where you want to go and will require some forethought so that you stand a chance to avoid getting stuck in it.

Most people will travel the same routes that they’re used to. Highways may clog.

Know the back roads or alternate routes to get out.

Tip: Avoid traveling the segment of a road that comes upon and intersects with an on-ramp or off-ramp of a major highway. These may also become clog zones. Even though you simply intended to cross over or under the highway on your way down that road, you may become ‘stuck’. Look for a way across a highway where there is no highway ‘exit’ there.


Have a plan

Above all, have plan. Know where you’re going. Have a secondary destination too. Do you have enough cash to purchase things that you may need during your bug out?

There are lots of obstacles to consider and preparedness starts with thinking about it BEFORE you might need to implement your plan.

What are some additional obstacles you might need to overcome during a bug out in your vehicle?