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Should a bug-out bag more correctly be called a refugee bag?

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by Barefoot African, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. Barefoot African

    Barefoot African Saint Helens Oregon Active Member

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    I have a med kit, and a shovel and snow chains in my vehicle. I have an 8 pound "get home bag" and boots in the trunk.

    I have food stored, for a month or stretch two, solar, heat and water enough.

    Yet, I have never considered a need for bugging out, or a "bug-out-bag".

    In fact the only time I would consider bugging out is if I was forced to be a refugee.

    Current Southern Sudan news illustrates what being a refugee is about.

    No bug-out-bag can change that.
    mjbskwim, Hook686, GOG and 3 others like this.
  2. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    If I fled to Saint Helens, I'd be bugged out! I tried to formulate a serious answer but it's just too big and complicated and I'm not smart enough, at least today! I do know that people will strive for life for as long as they are able and often that means fleeing from ones home. Most people will take supplys and valuables if they can, it makes sense to flee with with the best supplys possible. In this country most people have enough wealth above the needs of the day to be able to use some of their surplus to prepare for disaster. It's no great leap to make some of those supplys portable. It might also be good that a signifigant portion the civilian population of the U.S. are armed to the teeth, unlike the Sudanese, tyranny could be checked. Earthquakes, not so much! Not satisfied with this post, I'd like to hear from some of the really smart folks on the site!
  3. simon99

    simon99 Central Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I don't see it as the same. A refugee can be defines as - a person who is outside his or her country of origin or habitual residence because they have suffered (or fear) persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because they are a member of a persecuted 'social group' or because they are fleeing a war. Such a person may be called an 'asylum seeker' until recognized by the state where they make a claim.

    Basically, I see a refugee as a victim. If you feel you are a victim in a SHTF you are a walking dead person. You " choose" to bug out ( if that's what you call it) based on your tactical knowledge, expertise, preps, and fortitude. A refugee just doesn't have those types of options.
  4. Lange22250

    Lange22250 Milwaukie Active Member

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    Depends on the definitions of use you want to use.

    To me, just my opinion, these are mine.

    Bug out bag - stuff I need to move from one place with my resources to another place with my resources available to me. Obviously influenced by things like distance, environment, hostility, people with me and on and on.

    Get home bag - Stuff that travels around with me to get me home in a hurry if I have to walk it. Since the most likely large scale natural disaster in the NW would be an earthquake, having to walk home is a good probability. It is light on camping stuff, food and weapons. For me it also is light on the high dollar items since it sits in a car all the time and is more likely to be stolen than used. A prime factor in putting it together is being able to travel fast and lite a relatively short distance.

    Refugee Bag - For me that means I need to leave my resources and venture out into the unknown with uncertain access to the stuff to keep me and the people with me alive. The worst possible situation. The only resources you know will be available are the ones you bring. The possibility to be totally screwed and then dead are really high. In a refugee scenario control over your destiny is largely and illusion and you will be forced to react and exploit whatever comes by. History is full of examples of large scale refugee movements and none of them turn out well, even for the ones who were more prepared than most of the folks who think they would be in good shape.
  5. stratbastard

    stratbastard eugene oregon Active Member

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    It's an integral part of an overall strategy... there will be LOTS of people FORCED to bug out. And no matter how prepared one thinks they are to repel an assault, a backup plan (several even better) is really basic chemistry. My bug-out bag & gear will allow me to get to plan 2 and plan 3 alive. Those plans have to include preps which will not leave you in the position of a "refugee". Plan 2 has, for me and mine, a year's supply of what we will need. All the comforts simply await our arrival, and are hidden and safe until we do. Plan 3 (God forbid) has us deep in the weeds... way out in the thick wilderness which we reside closely to. Again, buried supplies await there... as well as cold weather camp gear. Between the two backup plans/supplies, I can live pretty comfy for two years even after having to leave all my other stuff behind in a hasty retreat. The bag is simply to get us there, not to rely on for sustenance forever.
    Sgt Nambu and (deleted member) like this.
  6. Martini_Up

    Martini_Up NW USA Well-Known Member

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    BOB - Gear to get you to your BOL
    GHB - Gear to get you home
    RB (Refugee Bag) - Gear to get you to a FEMA camp
  7. U201491

    U201491 Well-Known Member

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    A fatalistic attitude. Not in this country !
    Anyone that does a refugee bag. go for it. It will get you out of the way.
    Anyplace in the PNW is my home. There won't be need for any RB !
    Martini_Up and (deleted member) like this.
  8. Trailboss

    Trailboss Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Growing up in the upper peninsula of Michigan, we experienced winter temperatures of -40 degrees or colder for months at a time along with 300 plus inches of snow each year. Very short spring and fall season but long cold and snowy winters and hot buggy humid summers. Lots more bears than people plus red ants, hornets, wasps, wood ticks, black flies, horse flies, noseeums, poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, wolves, wild dog packs, rabid skunks and fox. We spent from late winter through the summer and into the early winter cutting firewood, hauling firewood and stacking firewood so that you can find it after you shovel though the snow banks. Vehicles that don't start because it's too cold, engine blocks that freeze and crack, tires that split open when you try to move your vehicle because their frozen to the ground, cars in the ditches, trucks in the ditches. In spite of it all, I always felt like we lived in the best place on earth. Now, living in the Northwest, I don't worry about having to live in the woods for a time as it's like heaven compared to what I grew up in. However, I have many friends now who come from the city and who grew up in the city and I don't know if they could make it too long in the woods. I used to do search and rescue which often turned into search and recovery after a few days because city folk just didn't last very long under unfavorable conditions. Local fells might get turned around and be missing for a few days but they always turned up sooner or later and usually no worse for wear. City folk sure had nice stuff when they came up to the country to go camping, hunting or hiking. Way better than we could ever afford. All that nice stuff didn't really matter though for many as they still got lost or hurt or killed or died of exposure or animal attack.

    If you are able, pack up your family and travel to a safe place before it gets too bad. Once folks begin to panic and jam the highways, it might be best to stay put and wait for things to settle down. Make time to test your bug out location and supplies before you actually need them. Make sure you have plenty of clean water and food in your home for a month at least and preferably longer. Fancy equipment doesn't beat experience, knowledge and preparation.
    Taku, ATCclears, GOG and 7 others like this.
  9. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Stuff happens.

    Never say never.

    Just because you bug out doesn't mean you do not have a place to bug out to that you can't live at. I live at my bug out location, and my kids could bug out to here if something happens in the city they live in.

    That said, I am more concerned about having a GHB to get home with. I have never had to bug out, but I have had to hoof it a number of times to get home.
  10. uscsoldier

    uscsoldier Salem, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    In my opinion the bugging out vs. hunkering down debate is moot because it all comes down to the type of threat, your personal situation and preparedness level – in the end you’ll have to make that decision based on that knowledge and common sense.
  11. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Things change.

    If the plan is that everything is going to go according to plan, then that is a bad plan.

    It is good to have backups to backups to backups.

    If the plan is to stay in place and the situation mandates bugging out and you have no plans or preps to do so, then you are in a world of hurt.

    It just depends.

    I personally doubt things would ever get so bad that I would need to bug out - despite the prophets of doom saying for decades that the world as we know it will end any day now and it is a sure thing.
    Hook686 and (deleted member) like this.
  12. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    Your a refugee if you let someone put a number on you and herd you like cattle
    The bag on your back will then be confiscated because a bag is a tool, and a man with a tool is a dangerous thing
    Taku and (deleted member) like this.
  13. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    I think there's some pretty huge misconceptions about how people in africa deal with civil unrest... usually everyone who can, packs up whatever they can fit on their head and beats feet out of there. Why? Because everytime some unrest happens the UN marches in and bails them out. So there's two things: first, they are disarmed, there is no way they can go from victim to active participant. Second, there's a ready safety net waiting, yea I'm sure being in a refugee camp is pretty miserable, but when USAID, UN-WFP, and Doctors without borders jump as soon as you bang your food hubcap loud enough it probably beats the alternative of being blown up, hacked to death by machetes, being raped to death, and then being eaten.

    This is why the untested BOB may as well be made of cinderblocks, it's dead weight no matter what's in it because a tool you don't know how to use is a useless tool. The fundamental tenet of "gear" is your proficiency in using it, if you're not proficient, don't use it. The same thing applies to all of them city folk who show up in the woods with new backpacking gear, the latest in shoes, yet none of these things prepare you for being hit by an avalanche. This is why acquiring outdoor skills should be done in an environment that's less-punishing. Few people take the time to understand this.

    Absolutely correct, however one of the big problems is that most people's BO operations begin with armed gunmen at the front door, there is a huge gulf between that and what most will face that few people's plans are adequate.
  14. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    If you don't have a secure, stocked retreat location it is indeed a refugee bag
  15. HansC

    HansC Portland Member

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    I spoke at length on a train ride with some formerly affluent people that came through Katrina. When they left home, they had no idea it would take two years for them to return. They lived out of their luggage for quite a while.

    We live in a developed country. Some wilderness survival supplies simply will not be as practical, as often, as the kind of stuff you might pack for a sleepover or a vacation. I am a huge believer in a narrow, two wheeled cart to haul stuff in, and carrying enough tools that I can be useful and earn a living wherever I end up.

    I spent a couple of years living without modern conveniences, no car, no sink, no electricity. It left me with a huge amount of free time during that portion of my life. These days, I live a comparatively cushy life, but if I were to lose that, one of my first concerns would be engaging in meaningful work.

    People that show up somewhere, and aren't able to make themselves useful, are refugees. Bugout bags, generally, are refugee pacification kits. At the end of the day, parachute cord and a wire saw are toys that help people feel prepared. I'm sure I'll catch a lot of flak for such an opinion, but it is pretty hard to leverage those things into valuable work. Of course, if somebody uses his wire saw every day on a construction site to rip sheets of plywood, I will modify my opinion.