A couple weekends ago I tested a bug out route (via vehicle) to a point that intersects with a spot where I can branch off into two or three other routes to get to my BOL. We’ll call this intersection point “Point B.” I wanted to test the following:

  • Viability of the route
  • Normal traffic patterns to asses traffic buildup in a SHTF
  • Timings without traffic to asses timings in a SHTF Bug Out situation
  • Take note of other resources along the way. i.e. Storage Facilities, mini marts, food stores, etc…

What I found:

  1. The route is viable, however in a SHTF, it is a rural route and may have a lot of traffic.  To boot the major highway that goes to the rural route may be impassable if the SHTF is large enough due to the number of people trying to get home or to their second homes in eastern PA.
  2. Point B has resources along the way, including, a Tractor Supply Store, Gas Stations, Mini Marts, and becomes very rural, but did not see any ‘commercial’ areas such as storage facilities where I could rent a small storage unit to cache supplies, which would mean finding a spot, marking it, and caching supplies somewhere along the way.
    1. So a cache location should be scouted and selected for choice supplies in the near future.
  3. Point B is roughly 50 miles from Point A (the origin of the Bug Out), has a Wal-Mart, many gas stations, camping facilities along the Delaware River, and two points where I can take two separate Routes to Point C the Bug Out Location, is pretty rural, and I happen to know a couple people in the general vicinity, where I may be able to cache supplies if I require them.  However, I may just want to use an inexpensive storage facility if I have to hold up in Point B for any length of time.
  4. In a martial law situation, the state borders on major roads may be closed, so I may need to become more familiar with the back road areas near Point B, and take closer stock of them if I have to get over the state border undetected via vehicle.
  5. The general thought I had upon arriving at Point B was that it could take much longer (several hours) longer to reach that first point if a SHTF hit fast and people ran like hell. Point B is a pretty good size area for tourists and secondary home owners. However, it has food and fuel sources that may not be immediately effected by a SHTF in the NYC and surrounding rural areas.

After this simple exercise, I urge everyone to test their own Bug Out strategies. It was only after the dry test of this route I realized I need more planning.  That is mind, there will be no perfect route when bugging out, and I do not expect to get to where I am going easily…

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We’re a group of suburban preppers in the Northeast and live in the NYC suburbs that write The Suburban Survival Blog to talk about preparedness and self-reliance out there to help others prepare for what could be an uncertain future due to economic, weather, and other reasons.