Bugging Out – It’s More Than Having a Bug Out Bag Ready

Bugging out. It’s a popular topic among preppers. How can you sort through the myths and misinformation? First, understand that there’s much more to bugging out than having a bug out bag ready. It’s vital to look at a bigger picture.

And that’s what Scott Becker of Pragmatic Survival and I attempted to do on this week’s DestinySurvival Radio.

If you’re looking for specifics as to what kind of bag you need, what to put in it, how many bags you should have, etc., then you’ll be disappointed. We mainly dealt with philosophical considerations. But please don’t tune out because what we discussed is very important for survival.

Let me tell you a little about Scott because what he says will make more sense if you understand where he’s coming from.

Oh, and the headings in this post will make more sense if you read them together as one sentence. That’s because your best survival tool is between your ears.


Scott Becker


The Bugging Out Wisdom Packed in This Guy’s Head…

Scott contacted me to see if I would be interested in offering his instructional videos on bugging out to DestinySurvival readers. Of course, I grabbed up the opportunity right away. Unfortunately, his Web site appears to be down. However, you may be able to find his videos on YouTube.

Scott has a background in search and rescue, SWAT, EMS, and extreme homesteading, and more. Here’s his bio blurb.


Scott almost died because his survivalist parents were ill-equipped to bug out when they had to escape their off-grid retreat. After a second near-death bug out experience, he decided it was time to figure how how to survive. He has since spent the better part of the last 20 years gaining personal experience in Survival situations and helping others in dangerous scenarios. What started as a personal quest to survive has rapidly grown as he started sharing his survival strategies and solutions with friends online.


It’s evident to me from our conversation that Scott is intelligent and well read. He thinks things through. His historical knowledge of bugging out adds to the depth of his perspective. He’s passionate about his subject material. Therefore, I think you’ll enjoy and appreciate our interaction on DestinySurvival Radio.

If you find the whole subject of bugging out to be intimidating, I think you’ll really like Scott’s gentle approach. He’s thorough, and he’s passionate. And he makes what he’s teaching inviting.

It’s interesting that, with all of his accumulated experience, Scott has had to retool his thinking concerning bugging out and survival as a whole. It’s like putting together a puzzle with pieces that come from different places.

For example, neither a military mindset nor a law enforcement mindset should make up the whole picture. Thus, his business includes the word “pragmatic” in its name.

…Should Be Packed Into Your Head…

As usual, I can only hit on some highlights of our conversation in this post. It’s not possible for me to go into everything Scott said here. I hope you’re sufficiently enticed by what follows to hear what we discussed.

What does bugging out mean?–Scott defines bugging out as part of a holistic survival strategy. It’s a tool that enables us to step out of the way of danger.

Where do you start?–Doing a threat assessment is crucial. It helps you determine what you’re prepping for in your unique situation. That will help you determine whether you should bug out for the short term or long term.

When should you bug out?–Again, it depends on the situation you’re facing. For example, you can’t bug out before an earthquake because you don’t know when it’s coming. But you should be aware of the probablility of earthquakes where you live. And you may want to bug out in the aftermath of one to get to a safer place.

Often people wait too late to evacuate. Secondary dangers can pose great problems. Keep in mind that the goal is survival. If you bug out early, only to return later to discover your home has been looted or destroyed, at least you’re still alive to rebuild.

Looking beyond the immediate situation–While our short term goal is survival, our long term goal should be survival so we can make a meaningful contribution to our community and those nearest to us. What I gather from this is that you and I must realize that life is precious, and that your life and my life is precious and of value.

Why not just head for the hills?–As Scott tells it, the idea of bugging out to survive in the wilderness is a flawed concept. I encourage you to hear why he says so in our conversation.

But I can give you a hint. Mountain men in our country’s early history didn’t live a glamorous life. They saw the value of, and need for, community.

Where to go?–Where you bug out, and with whom, depends once again on your situation. Don’t overlook the threat assessment and planning.

Building your bug out bag –Several companies on my site offer ready-made packs and kits. Should you buy one? I’m glad if you do, but Scott says it’s better to get guidance from lists and build your own, specifically for your given situation.

While Scott says ready-made bug out bags are better than nothing, Allow me to suggest looking at what’s available so you can at least get ideas. Whatever you decide to do, be sure to get quality gear and multipurpose gear. Ultimately, you have to decide what your bug out bag needs to do for you.

Knowing where you are–During our conversation Scott shared some considerations you might not have thought of as to why you’ll want to have a magnetic compass and paper maps.

…And Here’s How to Get It.

Hear my entire conversation with Scott Becker on bugging out by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for October 23, 2014. (Right click to download.) It’s worth hearing what Scott passed along during our visit. It could save your life.

I’ve lost track of Scott. As noted above, his Pragmatic Survival site appears to be down. I can’t help but wonder, considering his background, if he’s in a position where he can’t be found.

That said, if you want to try contacting Scott, try Google Plus, Facebook, or by simply googling “scott becker survival.” His blog was at pragmaticsurvival.com, but don’t be surprised if it’s unavailable.

The bottom line…Think twice before you bug out. But if you have to, be sure you’re good and ready.


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.

1 thought on “Bugging Out – It’s More Than Having a Bug Out Bag Ready”

Comments are closed.