The Bergmann Scenario

My friend Bergmann made these two videos this past year, and if your primary plan is a “Bugout”, you might want to watch these and understand what you might be getting yourself into. As I’ve said in other posts, you will very rarely if ever make your primary plan a Bugout”. Bergmann has his reasons, and we’ve talked about them at length in many of the conversations we’ve had, and I think for his situation, he is using sound logic.

Note: Bergmann plans on a continuation of this video series, and when they are put up, they will be posted here.


American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

A Realistic Bug Out

Since there are a few out there just now giving their impressions of whether you should or should not “Bugout”, I figured I’d post some oldies but goodies.


2 January, 2017

Bergmann Rock

Most who know me, know that I am staunchly against most people planning to just “Bug Out” to the mountains when the SHTF. I advise people to plan on “Bugging In” where they are, or “Bugging To” a pre-planned location. The are a number of reasons why I’m against a “Bug Out”, but chief among them is that most who plan to do this are doing it out of laziness and/or an overwhelming lack of reality.

Laziness, because it is a lot easier to plan to just throw the pack on and grab the rifle, than it is to prepare to stay put, stock up on supplies, and plan a realistic defense. It would be great if it was that easy (and cheap), but it is not. After approximately two weeks, you will go from being a “Survivalist”, to being a “refugee”.

I say “lack of reality”, because most who plan to “bug out” haven’t even carried a pack any distance, let alone carried the weight of gear and food necessary to sustain ones self for any length of time. As I said above, not planning correctly will abruptly shove the “would be Survivalist” into the “refugee” category relatively quickly.

If you’re gonna “Bug Out” to the mountains, the plan my friend Bergmann has is the way to do it. It’s not a perfect plan, but then again what is? For his situation and location, he has come up with the most realistic plan he can, and is putting effort into preparing for it for years. Watch and learn.

If you have the opportunity, go check out his blog, you’ll more than likely learn something.



American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

Preconceived Notions: “The Bugout”

Since there are a few out there just now giving their impressions of whether you should or should not “Bugout”, I figured I’d post some oldies but goodies.


3 October, 2015

When I was new to Survivalism, I believed that “The Bugout” was the only way to go. I have had a backpack ready to go since I was twelve, and the only things that have really changed were techniques of how I’d “Bugout”, and where “Bugout”it stands in the order of precedence. I use P.A.C.E. planning in all activities related to survival. It was something I was taught when I first went into the military, and continue to this day. “P” is primary, “A” is alternate, “C” is contingency, “E” is emergent or emergency.

Bergmann Rock

Through the years, my thought on “Bugout” have evolved, simply because it makes sense to not put yourself into that type of situational risk unless all other options are denied to you. Keep in mind, a “Bugout” is not the same as a “Bug to”. A “Bugout” is when you’re headed out of your primary home with no clear home/retreat to go to. Most say “We’ll set up in the national/state forest.” These types generally have never “Set up” for an extended period (most not longer than a week, some maybe two weeks of camping at most, but it’s all good training). A “Bug To” is when you are headed to a clearly defined home or retreat that has been planned out (if someone lives there, they know you’re coming) and prepared by you ahead of time, and has supplies already laid in for your stay because it was part of the “plan”. Although “Bugout” and “Bug To” are primary residence evacuations, one (Bugout) is way too open ended to not be the last option available to you.

Let’s talk about “Bugout”, and why it should be the “E” in PACE planning. First off, how is the “Bugout” going to take place? In other words, what event will trigger your “Bugout”? Are you leaving on foot? Are you leaving by vehicle, and what is the load capacity of the vehicle (impending “Survival Vehicle” post coming up) . Are you taking a trailer? Do you have more than one vehicle (Convoy op)? Do you have a fixed location, even if it’s an area in the state forest you’ve reconned prior? How many routes have you created to get there, since one is most assuredly closed? Have you acquired detailed maps of the area? Do you already have a cache of supplies hidden there? We’ll cover some of these in order.

Bergmann Shelter

What will trigger your “Bugout”? House to house searches by fedgoons in your town? If you wait that long, you’ll definitely need to go by foot, because vehicle traffic will be stopped through the “Cordon and Search” process. A plant accident or natural disaster (Katrina) with poisonous chemicals or severe weather headed your way? Well that’s a “no brainer” vehicle “Bugout” if there ever was one, but I’m fairly certain you won’t be headed to a state forest, right? Is it from a man made incident like what happened in Baltimoredore this year? Once again, even though leaving on foot might have to happen if it went off the charts insane (B-More was nothing compared to what’s coming when the EBT’s go down), but more than likely it’s a vehicle escape, and you’ll be headed to another home for temporary housing (an acquaintance had to do that with his mother during that incident, that was her CVS that burned down).


I doubt you will perform a “Bugout” for an economic disaster situation. What good would that do to go to the forest because the economy collapsed. One scenario that sticks in my mind, especially due to my NBC (nuclear Biological Chemical) military background is a pandemic. Of course timing in this (like many other evacs) is crucial. Better a day early than a minute too late.  They will drop the hammer of blockade hard when they decide to do it (a good example is the movie “The Crazies”).


If you’re planning a “Bugout” after a nuke strike, you might want to do more research. If you’re still alive, but in a dangerous area (high radiation on site or in the path of impending fallout which usually goes downwind of the target, but winds aloft are tricky), you probably should shelter in place (hopefully you have a basement), because exposure outside will kill you quickly if caught in the fallout. This is one time when a “Bugout” would be a good option, considering living in the forest for a couple weeks away from the radiation zone would definitely be the optimal choice.  OK, so we’ve talked about what will set the “Bugout” plan in motion, now to the “means” of “Bugout”.


Are you planning to “Bugout” on foot? Did you read the account of the couple that was ambushed in “Patriots, Survive the Coming Collapse”? Although they were “Bugging To” a retreat, it was across the country (Chicago to Idaho), and took them forever because they lost their vehicles in the city. How much food can you effectively carry with your other supplies in your rucksack? I’ve found two weeks is about it, and that makes for a heavy ruck. Have you tried carrying your ruck with the actual load you’ve placed in it? You know, the one sitting in the corner of your spare room? What happens after the food runs out? Although you can extend what you’ve got with you by using game carts, you still will run out of the expendable items rather quickly. Wait, don’t tell me….you’re gonna live off the land, right? I know very few that could do this in reality (military SERE prepares you to exist and/or do without till they can recover you), and two things to note about them. One, they would never plan it as anything but a “last ditch” option. Two, they would tell you it would be existing, not living.

Jeremiah Johnson with a kill


Jeremiah Johnson's Friend

Wanna live like Jeremiah Johnson (watchin’ it right now to get me in the proper mindset)? If you’ll take note, first, he was assisted by Chris Laughty (I believe that is the spelling), and probably would have died like so many others that went to be “Mountain Men” if it hadn’t been for his help. Are you gonna go to “Rendezvous” each spring and pick up the hundred pounds or so of supplies with your pack animals? Tell you what, ask my friend Bergmann what he thinks of that kind of never ending existence. On another note concerning the food and supplies thing. Do you have small (unable to carry their own supplies) children? Guess what? you just effectively halved your total “Per Individual” food carrying capacity.


Are you “Bugging out” by vehicle? It’s definitely the better option, but still, if you you are headed to a remote undeveloped location with no other supplies on site. You’ll get by longer, but you had better figure how to extend what you have for a long period. The good thing about a vehicle, especially if it’s of decent size, is it’s ability to carry you, at least three of your loved ones, all your personal “Bugout” gear, and some extras (a 12×12 tent with woodstove comes to mind. Oh wait, that’s right, I forgot you’re “Bugging Out” during the summer, right?). What’s the range of a tank of gas in your “Survival Vehicle”? Do you have extra fuel ( I keep enough spare TREATED gas cans for one extra tankful)?

Are you using a trailer? If so, this needs to contain the “nice to have” survival supplies, but not the absolute, survival “Have to’s”, because you need to be able to ditch it in an emergency. What’s the trailer do to your vehicle’s fuel economy when you have the survival gear loaded up? Don’t know? How can you say “I have a plan” without knowing basic info about your “Survival Conveyance”, whether it’s your feet (how far, how fast, how much weight) or your vehicle (distance, capacity of personnel and equipment, etc)? A big downside to a vehicle is being required to at least stay of passable trails, and more than likely semi improved roads. Oh, I forgot, you have a Monster that will eat up cross country and make it’s own trail, right? The upside is that it makes a “Bug out” more palatable as an option when you do the math, as compared to “bugging out” on foot.

Might a “Bugout” be necessary? Yes. Should you plan on it being anything but the last ditch option? No. The figures just don’t add up to success and long term survival. When it comes to PACE for me, I organize this way. PRIMARY: “Bug In” at my home with all the supplies I’ve prepared over the years. ALTERNATE: “Bug To”, and am headed to a property that has prepositioned supplies and family, and I’m taking my vehicle and trailer. CONTINGENCY: Longer route “Bug To” same as above, but to property of friends, and using two vehicles (convoy op) for security. EXIGENT/EMERGENCY 1: “Bug Out” to a secure, private, semi improved property site with vehicle. EXIGENT/EMERGENCY 2: “Bugout” on foot to a State forest within 10 miles of home (some prepositioned supplies, with an alternate another 5 miles away.


I read a lot of Ragnar Benson’s (among others) stuff when I was a kid. Some of it was BS, and some had some real pearls of wisdom in it. One of the most important things I ever gleaned from his writing is something to keep in mind when planning any of your options. NEVER BECOME A REFUGEE! In most instances ( a few are not) primarily planning to “Bugout” without weighing and prioritizing other options first is planning to be a refugee, whether you like it or not. Read some of what Selco has to say, or better yet, look at the refugees walking across Europe and tell me that is something you consider as a viable option if others are available.

What’s the bottom line? If you have no options to “Bug To” after your “Bug In” option is expended, by all means plan a “Bugout”. Hopefully it will be with a vehicle, but if not, go to my buddy Bergmann’s site (you have to sign up, but it’s free) and get some advice on planning and prepositioning for the eventual “Bugout” operation  implementation. Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance (7P’s), right? Being a Survivalist has been a rewarding, but at times daunting, task throughout my life from a youngster till now. In the end though, it’s more about those we care about than what it does for us that’s important. That’s why realistic assessments of the facts, not fantasy, is crucial to your survival.



American by BIRTH Infidel by CHOICE

Beyond Bug-Out -or- What Next?

Since there are a few out there just now giving their impressions of whether you should or should not “Bugout”, I figured I’d post some oldies but goodies.


10 March, 2015

The Author of this post is an old acquaintance of mine whose experienced and learned opinion was always highly valued. His advice to me in the past, whether it was for a military or personal situation, was always spot on. It would behoove you to take what he says, put your fantasies and romantic notions aside, and think about his advice long and hard, before you repeat the typical  ‘Well, in my experience.” Target Interdictee mantra. I’ve come to expect this out of many on the blogosphere, when an opinion (even an experienced one) doesn’t fit in the typical “School of Thought Lunchbox” they are carrying. Whether it fits into the “Lunchbox” or not, Barry’s advice is a “thermos full of hot reality”, and leaving it on the counter before a long, cold day of work would be foolish.

vally forge

by SFC Steven M Barry USA RET


 Responding to a recent post, “Purpose Driven SHTF Planning,” by your administrator, “Mason Dixon Tactical,” this writer commented:

 “What I have noticed is that most of these SHTF conversations are purely sub-tactical and reaction focused. Good for a couple of weeks. Then… what?”

 Following a brief correspondence with this writer your administrator suggested that “what then?” be somewhat expanded for this forum.


 SHTF is an ambiguous and equivocal term. To render the term SHTF unequivocal for the purpose of this essay, this writer makes strict distinctions between what is SHTF and what is not SHTF.

 Financial and economic collapse is not SHTF. Government overreaching and onerous laws are not SHTF.  Rebellious (government sponsored) minority uprisings are not SHTF. Martial law is not SHTF. Those things (and much more) are merely logical consequences of the Constitution. They are just a slow, steady, methodical, and systematic decline into chaos, barbarism and squalor. Given all or some of those scenarios there will still be some semblance of order and there will still be some (may God have mercy on us) constitutional government such that it is.

 SHTF is here restricted to two things; (1) catastrophic natural disaster on a continental scale to the extreme extent of societal collapse (it is going to happen), and (2) WWIII, which necessarily results in societal collapse – albeit more or less locally and on a somewhat lesser scale (this will happen first).


 Obviously, in a truly SHTF situation “bugging-out” is simply a waste of time, effort, and logistics. There will be enough to do trying to rebuild something resembling community. Bugging out will be a help to nobody and nothing. One exception: Getting out of a city. If you don’t see it coming and if you’re in a city when SHTF you’ll have to shoot your way out. That you cannot do on your own. Basically, you are screwed.

 It follows then, that “bug-out” is a reaction to not-SHTF scenarios. It is important to be realistic about these things.


 Typical planning for one or the other ambiguous not-SHTF scenarios invariably revolves around the “bug-out.”

 Let us say there is the most dreaded worse case scenario — declaration of martial law. You just know you are “on the list” for the Gulag. You kit up, grab the “bug-out” ruck, your best militarily useful weapon(s), a triple basic load of ammo (for each weapon), rations for a week – maybe two. From the city or suburb you flee to the nearest National Forest by vehicle – through multiple checkpoints and flying roadblocks. Or from the rural areas you hike out or ATV (now you need to add several jerry-cans of fuel to your load-out) out to the mountains, swamps, or wherever you are going to “resist.” Wheresoever you aim for, make sure there is adequate parking.

 Oh… Wait. Family. Well, of course you bring them with you. So you now have three or five additional mouths to feed (rations for six people for two weeks – never mind water – do the math) and necessary kit for all which they themselves will hump into the base camp that is well off hiking and ATV trails because it is a hidden location and a most closely held secret. Maybe you can do better and be set up for four weeks. Regardless; in the end you will have weapons, a triple basic load of ammo, very cool kit – and a starving family dressed in camouflage. In the “woods.” “Resisting.”

 That is only for one person with family. Multiply the problem by the number of “like minded rugged individuals” and their families who will also bug-out to link-up at the formerly secret base camp. Formerly secret, because one or other of the females, or women-of-the-other-sex, or unisex brats will have bragged about it to somebody or other beforehand. Or worse, they’ll call somebody on a cell phone.

 Now, with fifteen or thirty people in a base camp you have two real problems (before you run out of food) – and those problems begin immediately. Problem number 1 is authority. Problem number 2 is field sanitation. The subject of authority is a separate subject and will not be dwelt upon here. It is sufficient to know that some one man (man!) must command; everybody else follows orders. Field sanitation is all important. The disciplines of latrines, field kitchens, garbage disposal, personal hygiene, camp police, medical care, water storage (and purification and usage) etc., must be rigidly enforced. Base camp field sanitation is a full time work. In the Old SF the Team medics were in charge of that work. In your case detail the women. The longer you are in base camp the more work there is.

 Security is also a full time work. Base camp security falls into the categories of far, near, and perimeter. Bluntly, you will not have enough people. The best you’ll manage is perimeter security, and probably not even that, which means that the first alarm of dire threat you’ll have is grazing fire sweeping the base camp.


 Given a not-SHTF event compelling a bug-out, by yourself and your family or in a very best case with four or five other “like minded rugged individuals” and their families; and given a base camp is somehow successfully established at the head of some draw in the mountains or an island in the swamps; and given you are not yet starving and the other “like minded rugged individuals” with their visceral hatred of any authority whatsoever has not resulted in the base camp degenerating into anarchy (normally, well within a week), the very important question is, “What now?

 That is an important question. If the response to that question is, “We will resist oppressive tyranny!” this writer responds “resist oppressive tyranny” is not a plan, it is a bumper sticker slogan. Objection: “We shall link up with other bug out groups.” Answer: How? Whose link-up plan is it? Who is in charge? Have you worked out the logistics of doubling your numbers? What is the strategy? There are many more very important questions. In this writer’s experience these and other questions are met with silence – and not because the answers are “secret.”

 Here this essay might easy close. But there is something you can do to help yourselves.


 Well, quasi-professional. Get ten or twelve of you together and join the National Guard. Split your enlistments between infantry, military intelligence, supply, and administration. The best (and acknowledged leader) among you go to OCS. Go to every military school available to you within your MOS. Get cross trained in every skill you can within your MOS. At the end of four or six years you have a cadre.

 Get it?


Barry is blunt, but Barry is right. Learn from the experienced, and adjust your planning accordingly. I always tell students that planning to “Bug Out” should be the”C” or the “E” in your “PACE” planning. It is a last resort, and honestly, unless you are in a non permissive environment already (read that as big city/high crime area), why would you plan on leaving your logistical support area (home) any sooner than a life or freedom threatening situation dictates? It’s easy to fantasize about some rich guy setting up a “base camp” somewhere in the mountains for you to go to, but reality is a bitch, and 99.995% of us will not have that option. The best you can do is a planned (preferably before the road blocks start) exit to the residence of a friend or family in the country (where you’ve already pre-positioned logistics for you and yours), or placing one or more supply caches in a remote area you plan on “bugging out” to.


American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE