To bug in or not to bug in, that is the question. If it gets bad enough where you are trying to bug in then you may be forced to bug out, whether you want to or not. If you are forced to bug out then you might discover that you aren’t really ready to bug out. If this is the case there are things that can go wrong.

Surprise bug out

So, you are bugging in, you are in your isolated cabin, trailer, house, or underground shelter in the country. You are safely hidden deep in the woods (or so you thought).  Then one day while monitoring the radio, you hear about air and ground searches to occur in your area with orders to kill anyone that refuses to cooperate.

This is not good. The military is mobilizing and you know it is only a short matter of time before they discover your little piece of heaven since they can probably see it from the air in a helicopter. When the government declared martial law because of terrorist activity they told everyone to submit and turn in firearms. You decided instead to bug in at your hunting cabin and let the mess blow over, hopefully things would get back to normal once the terrorist activity could be halted.

Current events in the Philippines however show that maybe it won’t be so easy to stop them once they get a foothold. Considering that our government basically lets them come here and do whatever they want because they are protected by our laws. This only works toward preventing the citizens from solving the problem themselves, so the terrorists grew in number until they finally had enough to make real trouble.

Here is a video of a news story about current events in the Philippines. Keep in mind we had a strong military presence there just a year or so ago.

Hundreds of them banded together across the country and stormed several army reserve depots seizing weapons, ammunition and vehicles. They then started attacking police stations randomly in the cities causing turmoil and leaving the citizens unprotected except for their own weapons. But the law still prevented us from counterattacking the terrorists or else we could be marked as terrorists too.

The only thing left to do was go to the cabin in the woods and bug in. But now the military is turning on the citizens rather than protecting us, they are taking our weapons, food, and water from us under martial law to distribute among the unprepared masses.

Here is a video showing militia forces fighting back against the terrorists in the Philippines.

Bugging out

So now there is no other choice, it’s time to bug out. But you have already bugged out once; you left your home in the suburbs behind for the cabin in the woods. You bugged in at the cabin for about 6 months now, but now you have to bug out again. Where are you going to go now? You gather up your family, you all double check your gear.

You get your fully packed bug out bag with one week’s worth of food supplies. You gather up your guns and as much ammo as you can carry, you spend a few hours making a drag sled and loading it with more guns and ammunition, MRE’s and other supplies to bury in the woods.

But it’s winter now, footprints and digs will be easily tracked and found. The ground will be hard to dig so you won’t get it very deep. Hopefully it will snow to bury your tracks. You can’t take your chickens or milk cow so you shoot the cow and cut as much meat as you can carry, it’s winter so it will keep. At least the bastards can’t have that.

You have to trek up deeper into the forests and rely on tents and sleeping bags, a far cry from the warm, dry cabin you are leaving behind. But stories about people like you (preppers) not being treated so well by the military make you not want to stay and see if they are true.

So now you have the extra gear cached. You have all of the bug out bags packed as full as you can get them, the wife and kids are dressed in the best winter gear money can buy. You get everyone out of the cabin and set the claymore surprises for any uninvited visitors, I’ll be damned if anyone is going to get my cabin. With a silent prayer you start your journey.

This video shows you a little of what it is like to hike the mountains in the snow.

Day 1

The hike is uneventful, the sun is shining but it’s really cold outside, about 20 degrees. The family acts like they are in good spirits, but you can tell they are miserable. The kids, your 16 year old son and 14 year old daughter, are quiet as they trek, left, right, left, right, good thing you got these snow shoes last year right before you came to the cabin, otherwise it would be nearly impossible to walk through the heavy snow. I should have gotten skis you think to yourself, but skis don’t work very well going up the mountain.

Just before nightfall you make it to the ridge that overlooks the valley. If anyone were in the cabin you would just be able to make out the lights from here. For sure if a helicopter comes into the valley you will see it from here. You start a fire and then make camp as your wife starts making dinner. Beef stew, nice and hot, and hot coffee, tea for the kids and wife.

Everyone turns in about an hour after dark. The kids still have cell phones and actually get reception here, but you make them turn them off and remove the batteries. This is because you heard that you can be tracked by the GPS feature on your cell phone, even if it is turned off, unless the battery is out. You finally get to sleep but worry is heavy on your mind.

Day 2

You wake with the sunrise, everyone is still asleep, wore out from the hike. 5 miles through heavy snow, uphill all the way. It’s a few more miles to the ridge; you will feel better once you get on the other side, even though technically that is federal land. A few embers still glow deep in the ash from last night’s fire so you add a little kindling and blow gently, fire.

Last night’s leftover coffee is frozen solid in the blue enameled steel coffee pot, but about 10 minutes on the fire and it’s nearly boiling. The smell wakes your wife and she says from inside the tent: “I want coffee too”. That’s surprising because she usually has to have the flavored creamer and a ton of sugar but today it’s just because it’s hot and has caffeine in it.

She comes out of the tent to join you by the fire. The kids are still asleep so you talk about your situation, worried about the fact that there is still at least 8 weeks of winter left. You hope that the helicopters pass your cabin by and you can go back, time will tell.

After the old coffee is gone you make some fresh and get a little breakfast together, meat from the cow. Poor girl, she was a good cow. Produced great milk, and you were thinking of calving her next season if you could find a donor, but that won’t happen now.  The kids wake to the smell of fresh beef and everyone has a silent breakfast. You feel a sense of dread about the coming week.

Everyone gets their gear together and you start heading toward the ridge, you have walked this trail many times before while hunting, but this is so much different. The snow seems to make the trek more difficult, or maybe it’s the 80 pounds of gear on your back. You have walked this trail in snow before, but only had on about a 15 or 20 pound pack.

Left right, left right, trekking up the trail towards the ridge, it seems like it’s taking forever. It starts to snow about 11 am, at least your trail might get covered now, and the cache of supplies you buried about a mile from the cabin won’t be so visible.

You cross the ridge at about 3 o clock and wish you could take a break. You pass out some jerky to everyone to keep them going. The snow is still falling, and it’s cold and miserable out. It’s a wet snow and so now all the wood that is exposed is covered in wet snow, so building a fire might be impossible. You keep going hoping to make it to an outcrop that might have a snow free area under it to make camp.

You finally make it to the outcropping and are more than relieved to see a dead tree there nice and dry. You get the fire going and then set up the tents, the family gathers by the fire to warm up. Then you hear the helicopter. Crap, the fire is smoking a little and if you put it out it will smoke more.

The sound is everywhere, echoing through the valley, but you can’t see the helicopter, only hear it. You take logs off the fire and toss them farther under the outcrop to keep it dry but let it go out; you can always use it later. The sound of the helicopter gets faint, then louder, then faint again. A few moments later you can’t hear it at all.

You wait awhile and then light the fire again. Dinner is more beef stew and a chunk of beef from the cow. You hardly get any sleep that night, not the cold so much as worrying that the helicopter saw the cabin. Early the next morning your fears are confirmed. You wake to the sound of a helicopter again.

It seems like it goes right to where it wants to go today. The sound is steady and even for a few minutes and then you hear it coming closer, and then getting softer again. It must have just flown right past you, but you didn’t see it. Hopefully it didn’t see you either. It’s the outcrop; you are under it so the helicopter can’t see you unless it flies low through the valley.

You can only hunker down and wait. Then you hear it echoing through the forest. The explosion from the claymores you rigged at the cabin, they found it. You wonder how many it took out. Then the thought occurs to you. If it killed, now you are not just a stray prepper citizen off the grid, you are a murderer, and there are people with guns looking for you. Now your family is in real danger.

You decide to stay under the outcropping for awhile longer. Dinner is warmed on a fire can. You talk to the family and tell them everything will be okay, but even you don’t believe the lie. You tell everyone to turn in and you stay up to keep watch, you can’t sleep anyway. What kind of mess have you gotten everyone into?

Maybe you should have just stayed in the cabin and hid all of the weapons, and taken your chances with the soldiers. Surely those stories couldn’t have been true. You heard that soldiers did horrible things during Katrina so you thought what you were hearing going on now must be true as well.

Day 3

You wake early and break camp, you plan to put some more distance between you and any soldiers that might be by the cabin. As you get farther down into the valley you can see the smoke over the ridge, the cabin is burning. If it had been from the claymore it would have burned yesterday, they torched it. They must be pissed off; the claymores must have gotten someone. You realize it’s a different game now and carry your rifle at the ready, no safety.

You think about events like Ruby Ridge and Waco Texas and realize that not only you, but even your wife and children are in danger now, you start to worry. You could leave the family in the forest to fend for themselves and go turn yourself in to try to save them. But can they make it without you?

You wonder how far behind you, or how close to you, any soldiers might be. If they started tracking yesterday how long will it take to catch up? Then you hear the helicopter again. You hear the sound seem stationary for a few minutes, but you can’t see it. Unbeknownst to you, a half dozen Marines just fast roped from the helicopter onto the ridge, they aren’t far behind you at all.

Six highly trained, highly skilled U.S. Marines are now hot on your trail because you now are responsible for the deaths of five of their buddies, and the injury of three more from the claymore that went off when they were all standing on the front porch.

As you reach the bottom of the valley, you head north up along the valley floor, trying to make it to a spot that you think you can hide out, a hunting shack that you know about. It isn’t much, but there’s a fireplace and a roof. It’s a palace after the last couple nights under the sky.

As your mind wonders to thoughts of a warm cabin, or shack, you see the blood hit the snow in front of you just as you hear the sound of the shot. You don’t feel anything and you look down at the front of your coat, when you realize that it wasn’t you that was hit. You see your son lying in the snow, motionless.

You yell out to your wife and daughter, get down, take cover, just as you turn and start sending rounds wildly into the forest behind you. You can’t see anyone, but you know they are there. Your son, he was only 16 years old. Diving behind a fallen log, you scan the forest looking for movement, trying to see someone, something to shoot at.

Your wife and daughter are lying in the snow behind the log, screaming and crying for the boy. He is still. Motionless. Suddenly, you feel the searing burn of the .308 projectile just as you hear the sound. The speed of sound is just over 1100 FPS, the speed of the .308 bullet is just over 2,600 FPS, and so they must be close.

Here is a video of a .308 round in ballistics gel. Not a pretty sight.

Then you feel something touch your head for a split second and then you know nothing anymore. Your wife and daughter look down at your brains and skull fragments on their clothes and scream. They have just lost their father, husband, son, and brother. Now they are alone in the forest, hiding behind a tree with soldiers just ahead in the trees, looking at them through a telescopic sight.

This is just a story, make believe. But it is a realistic scenario of what could happen to you if you bug out into the forests with your family in a time of martial law. Bugging in is great until a force greater than yourself arrives, just like bugging out is great until you get caught out in the woods.

Think long and hard, make a good plan, because if something bad ever happens and the SHI# really does ever hit the proverbial fan. What. Will. You. Do?

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