Page 1 of 2

Bunker Down or Bug Out?

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:13 pm
by TheGreek
If an apocalyptic event does happen, what do you do?

Stay or Run?

If you stay, what are your plans?
Are you prepared or preparing?
What would you do?

If you run, where are you running to?
Do you have a plan or strategy?
Please share some details like:
Where you're coming from.
Where you'd like to get to.
How you plan to get there.
What obstacles you foresee along the journey.
What route do you plan to take?

Re: Bunker Down or Bug Out?

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:48 pm
by TheGreek
Personally, a lot depends on the disaster that happens.
I have no plan to Bunker Down. I live in Southern Ontario, Canada. In a suburban neighborhood. In a midsize city. I have no rural land or a cottage in a remote area of the province. I know a few people with remote homes but none of them are really equipped to Bunker down in.
Best bet is a friends parents cottage that has a wood burning stove and new septic system. I believe it has on a community well with the other cottages along the road. It is on lake Huron and somewhat remote so hunting and fishing could be viable. However they are not firearms owners.
But it's a 2 hr drive away. And I'm not confident about surviving Canadian winters without modern conveniences.

The plan I've formulated tends to revolve around heading south or to the pacific north west.
South - Caribbean - friendly cultures, non-proliferation of firearms - food shortages, could be devastated by natural disasters
Pacific Northwest - mild climate, low population density, eco-conscious culture - winters still pose a problem, not sure how friendly they'd be to outsiders

Heading south though, presents problems.

Major catastrophes would clog all major road ways. Bridges and tunnels to the US would be clogged and would probably become impassible.

That leaves land routes or water.
At first I looked at the possibility of taking waterways, with the fantasy of sailing south. All waterways out of Ontario are dominated by Locks and canal systems that i would assume, would be inoperable without electricity.
If your interested as a generally awesome sounding life experience read up on the Great Loop -
-Meaning I would have to drive to Quebec, get a boat and sail along the coast till i hit the tropics.
North West seaboard -
- The other alternative would be to drive around the great lakes and head west
- Canada isn't viable due to Vancouver being the most southerly area on the coast to head to but it would be a nightmare WTSHTF.
That leaves Washington Sate, Oregon or Northern California.
Major factor here is fuel required to get there...

Vehicle of choice would be an older diesel SUV - preferably one with as many mechanical systems as possible. Thinking an 80's era Toyota Landcruiser.

Is this half baked or reasonable?

Re: Bunker Down or Bug Out?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:20 pm
by Billy
I'll address your first post first...

I saw the coming collapse from afar, maybe 15 years ago? I didn't know how it would go down, but I knew it would go down. I also knew I had time.

We saved what we could - lived like paupers, sometimes. After 7 years, the housing market cratered - that would be 2008 - and we waited a few months for things to settle a bit. Then we found a real estate agent and had him headhunt us someplace. It took a couple more months to find, but we lucked out. Bought on a foreclosure, we have a farm with enough arable land to grow what we need, enough space to run livestock (sheep, for meat and wool) and a drought-poof water supply (fish pond fed by an underground stream). We're an hour from anything resembling a city (of which there's only two in this state), and "town" is about 10 miles south of us.

So, we're staying. But, like everything else, you need a Plan B. Our Plan B - if things get really bad - is to put my wife and son on the first plane heading back to Europe. Our son is a dual national and my wife has the right to be with him. They are to make their way to what I refer to as "safe harbor" - which will remain unnamed at the moment. Suffice to say that it's a historically stable place that I approve of. Since it's part of the EU, they have the right to live and work there - barring any future complications...

Me? I'm staying. I was born and raised here. I have extended discreet 'invitations' to those blood relatives of mine who can contribute, as well as certain life-long friends and their families. If they need a safe place, our farm is here for them. Even if that means I have to live in a wall tent out behind the house so they can have the house proper...

You need to tribe up. Find likeminded folks - preferably blood relatives. Nobody knows everything, but everyone knows something.

Re: Bunker Down or Bug Out?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 8:44 pm
by germanforestgump
Hi Billy!

The question above is a running debate on survival-forums in the german language-room too.
Those who had a international bug-out-plan mostly consider scandinavia, canada, the US or south-america ( it depends on relations they have to these countries).

While i have the feeling, that europe is much more at risk than the US-landscape, i´m quite surprised that You consider it as a refugium for Your wife and child.
For the case this scenario will become real, let Your family know:
They will find an open door by me anyway and any support i can afford (it will not be much in my chaos-existence, but better than nothing...).

We both have quite different political standpoints, but that does not play any role.

Re: Bunker Down or Bug Out?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 11:27 pm
by Billy
Hi G,

For you to extend an invitation in the event of Plan B going live, that is very gracious. It is most appreciated and I am touched that you would do so.

I see things the exact opposite - the US will be extremely dangerous. The value of the US dollar is trending towards wall paper. Or toilet paper. The last time we faced something of this magnitude, our industrial base was well established, farming and food production was local - as well as most folks having their own gardens - and we used genuine money. By that I mean we used silver and gold coins, as well as printed money - dollars backed by silver and gold. Today, we don't have anything like that - our currency is just paper backed up by hot air and empty promises. Our industrial base is gutted. Farming is mostly done by Big Agriculture - most food comes over 1000 miles before it reaches the grocery store.

Me thinking the EU would be safer than the US, and you all thinking the opposite? It could be simply a matter of everyone thinking "somewhere else" is automatically going to be better than wherever they are. I think everywhere will be saddled with their own unique problems, and everywhere will be dangerous - the only real question being "to what degree?".

Still, short of moving to the Alaskan wilderness and breaking ties with the rest of civilization, I think I've done about as best as I can with what we've had to work with...

Again, I thank you for your most kind offer. If you are ever in the US, our door will always be open to you and yours...

Re: Bunker Down or Bug Out?

PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 4:37 pm
by Maurice Goldsmith
Still grappling with the dilemma of pre- and post- apocalypse.

I live in an location where there are 3 major cities within a 50 mile radius - easily 10 million people in that area, probably many more. My income is from a business which people travel to from the local area, it's developed organically over 15 years, enough to sustain but not to provide the capital to buy up much land. It doesn't lend itself to being transplanted or run online - either are possible but not what I want to be doing.

I've thought about the "run for the hills" option: in order to get a reasonable distance away from cities this would have to the the north of Scotland, which is relatively uninhabited but there are good reasons - climate and midges (voracious biting insects). Growing stuff there would be hard, as the growing season is short.

I've thought about the "fortress" option: there are still some some derelict old cotton mills that haven't been turned into offices or apartments yet, they are pretty rugged and could be fortified, and tend to be well placed for own hydro power, but I take the point about fortresses being a target.

I've thought about heading off abroad, but I agree with G about Europe not looking too safe, historically Europe has seen a lot of turbulence, wars, population shifts, boundary changes. I've thought about Sweden - it has thousands of islands - but surviving the winters there could be tough.

Staying put? Not much family around locally, but the business has a certain amount of good will accumulated over many years, although that's not something I'd like to stake a lot of faith on when the balloon goes up.

Getting the timing right is also a problem - the disaster could be many years away. I read Bob Beckman's "The Downwave" when it came out in 1983 and his predicted financial crash did come, but the big one not till 2008. That's 25 years spent waiting.

A lot of thinking here and not many answers - I'm interested to hear how others are preparing?

And I agree that G's offer is most generous!


Re: Bunker Down or Bug Out?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:28 am
by Billy

While being away from large population centers is a good idea, it is not unsurvivable if you are caught near one when Bad Things begin... or rather, get worse.

One of the best preparedness books I have ever read is "A Failure of Civility", written by two of my brothers in arms. Hands down, the absolute best of its kind. I bought a first edition when it became available. That first run sold out very fast. It's being slightly updated, but until the updated version comes out, they made another, smaller run. If they're still available, obtaining one would probably benefit you greatly.

Just looked. They are out of the second run. But the website says they will have more this month... if they still will not ship international, then I will do what I can to get a copy to whomever wants one.


Re: Bunker Down or Bug Out?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 2:32 pm
by germanforestgump
Hi Billy!
many thanks for Your book tip!
Does it "only" handle about surviving civilisation crash, or has it the impetus of conserve and reanimate law and civilisation again?

At all:
Surviving alone is not enough:
Every groups who are fixed only on survival will get into endless fights against another.
To study perfect in failed states like Syria, Somalia etc.

Imagine the usual ways thinking about "prepping".
Transfer this recepts to those families who are refugees now...
...could this recepts had protected them before the situation there are now?

That is because i believe prepping is only a very little basic step.
Most important will be creating a mindset, which people enable to create constructive societies in every situation.

One main basic ressource for that is a general personal mindset we call "Gastfreundschaft".
It is a mindset to wellcome every stranger with empathy, finding out the common interests and changing potential conflict situations to win-win-situations.
With this mindset, prepping means always preparing for guests and people who need shelter and protect too.

Imagine a world in which THIS is the common mindset!
This is the main reason why some religions have been so succesfull:
the true islam was at least as successfull as the cristianity, creating a world where anybody could travel and trade, trusting on the integrity and "Gastfreundschaft" of any stranger without beeing disappointed!

The next step is creating a world society where everybody can trust on this mindset, regardless the religion or political opinion the others have.

One little, but growing element is a network of "Secure Places", offered by those who are in prepper communities spread over the countries.
So, my offer is for anyone...

in undestroyalble hope for a better world,
Your Hans

Re: Bunker Down or Bug Out?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:28 pm
by Maurice Goldsmith
Billy: Thanks for the book reference. They do seem to be out of stock, but I found a pdf with extracts here:

Hans: I like your idea of "changing potential conflict situations to win-win-situations", certainly as the opening gambit.

If I understand game theory right, treating everyone unconditionally as a friend leads you vulnerable to abuse, but treating everyone as a foe leads to interminable conflict (lose-lose). From what I remember, the optimal strategy was called "tit-for-tat" - start by assuming the other is friendly until they demonstrate otherwise, then switch to treating them as a foe, and vice versa.

"creating a world where anybody could travel and trade, trusting on the integrity and "Gastfreundschaft" of any stranger without being disappointed!" - unfortunately I can't share your optimism here Hans. I fear genetics will always ensure that there is a significant minority who can't be trusted. One of the reasons I want to understand the human mind better is to learn how this could be changed, but in the meantime learning to recognise those who can't be trusted is a good survival skill. I've found it's often those who sound too good to be true.


Re: Bunker Down or Bug Out?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:21 pm
by Billy

Does it "only" handle about surviving civilisation crash, or has it the impetus of conserve and reanimate law and civilisation again?

They do not advocate for the lone survivor, and neither do I.

Theirs is more a "tribe up with like minded people for mutual support and protection". A successful group of people who make it through Ragnarök will have survived because they preserved "civilization" the best, but only in miniature.

All the technology we have, the concept of the Rule of Law, governance via the consent of the governed - these are what I wish to preserve and then advance. Even if only in miniature - a working example of something will allow others to copy it and make it for themselves.

I have set aside books on ancient engineering because those methods can be adapted to modern technology. I remember reading about how the Romans re-routed a section of a river so that it ran down a hill. On the hillside, before the water was allowed through, they built a series of grain mills. When the mills were complete, they let the water through and that one site made enough flour to feed an entire region... I think this might have been in France..

Now take that concept and apply it to power generation. Instead of one big turbine hooked to a water wheel and a crude transmission to step up the rpm's, you have 8 or maybe 12 medium turbines stepped down a hillside, all cranking out electricity.

Preserving civilization in miniature - in thousands of little enclaves spread across the land - would be a huge boon. It's one thing to read a book about how to build a generator. It's another to have a working example others can come and see, learn, and copy for their own use. Along with the book, of course...

This is my goal re: surviving Ragnarök - it's not enough just to be around after it's over. We must save who and what we can, while we can. Trying to get a small community working towards a common goal of preserving what they can is a huge task for one person, but it is not impossible.

On a personal note, I think that once Ragnarök hits - and it won't be long in coming - we will do well to revert back to late 19th or early 20th century technology. With some individual advanced technologies surviving as long as the spare parts hold out. Which means there will be a window - however brief - where we must move Heaven and Earth to be able to ensure the continuity of our technology - it's not enough to have spare parts and know how to fix things. We must be able to make not only new spare parts, but also whole products. I can guarantee you I can fix my truck with scraps, duct tape and bailing wire. But replicate a new coolant hose in my back yard? This I cannot do. Nor can I make new rolls of duct tape.

I can, however, convert my truck to run on ethanol or a wood gassifier - this is old technology and old technology is easier to reproduce, especially small scale. ... e.html#ch1

Since old technology is simpler, I prefer to work with it. While others are interested in electric cars and "green" low-carbon-footprint efforts, I'm going the other way. Take an early 1970's truck - the most useful vehicle I could find - and set about laying in the parts to convert it to run on ethanol. Building an ethanol still is easy - folks have been building their own around here (much to the displeasure of our Government) for 200 years. :) There are some concerns, but nothing that cannot be overcome with a bit of ingenuity and lateral thinking.

Save who and what you can, while you can.

While I think your Utopian ideal of a world where everyone lives in harmony and understands/tolerates each other is a noble one, I think you are putting your cart before your horse - surviving Ragnarök? Most people won't. Those who do, will be the toughest, most ruthless, the meanest. In school, their report cards said "Does not play well with others"... folks are going to be more concerned with where their next meal is going to come from than worrying about hurting someone else's feelings or whether someone is showing "micro-aggressions"....

Perhaps in a few hundred more years, we can get to that point. But for right now, I'm concentrating on just being around once the smoke clears and how to get ice in the summer for my bourbon... :)