“Got My Bug Out Bag Ready”
It's funny 'cause it's true...
If you will allow me the time to tell a true story...
So November 2015 i was thrown out into the street by police/state/wife. That's sad, but this is not about evoking pity; fact is this experience was possibly quite similar to what anyone might soon come to experience WTSHTF. It went like this.
I'm at home, it's late afternoon, just minding my own business, actually wondering what's keeping my son and his mom from getting home 'cause they're usually back by that time. I get a phone call.
Some assistant DA is on the line telling me that i have to come to the police station 'to talk', that my 'wife' and son are there and she's claiming i'm unwelcome.
Okay, some clarification here;
- i'd been living there since 2010
- this woman had never said "Get out" and we'd not really even had an argument
- we hadn't discussed divorce or anything
So as far as i'm concerned, all of this is 'out of the blue'.
Now i get told by some stranger that i may never see my son again and that i have a few MINUTES [!!!] to pack my things and leave the house. No warning, no prep; just... BOOM!
I made a few mistakes in gathering my things. You know why? Because this experience itself traumatized me. I'm being told i may never see my son again, i'm being told i have to leave everything i've built up since 2007, i'm being told i'm suddenly
homeless. Oh, and on top of all that, i'm being told i've just been stabbed in the back by the one person i just sacrificed the last years of my life for (while hanging in there for my son's sake).
So, WTSHTF, do you think you'll be thinking clearly? 'Cause i wasn't. I could barely stop from breaking down altogether. I started gathering together things while crying about losing my son, distracted by thoughts on 'getting back at' this woman who'd just put a knife in my back after everything i'd put up with to stay by her side.
My biggest mistake: i didn't take a tent. Boy, did that hurt me in the next weeks. It almost got me killed when i was on the road.
At some point i gave up my bike and bike cart and was carrying around 20kg worth of my last possessions on my back. Man, did that limit my mobility. All that weight. And don't forget, i was by that time sleep-deprived, malnourished and mentally crippled by the experience of the preceding weeks. So that hilarious image above made me think about that, about having way
too much to haul around, especially in a situation that's on the far side of ideal.
I had 2 things going for me when all this happened:
- i had been training, walking around with a weighted backpack, the months leading up to the event
- i had a bug-out-bag, more or less; meaning it was kinda spread out on the floor, you know, as you sometimes use some of the things in there and are figuring out how to optimalize... Anyway, i did have most of the most important things more or less in one location in the house.
To end this long story, the moral is: be ready
/ be ready already
... Your preps need to be ready already. That's why they're called "preps".
Also, reality is nothing like watching a movie; when you see The Walking Dead
or Fear The Walking Dead
or any apocalyptic cinematic rendering, you're watching other people's
stress/grief/suffering. It's entertaining, not crippling. But reality is crippling already and that's why you need to have a carefully selected and outfitted bug-out-bag ready already for when TSHTF. But, please take it from me, make that bugger as light as you can. And also be ready to cut the contents back down even more, i.e. already have marked which are primary and which secondary or tertiary, 'cause you might be able to haul 20 pounds around for a while but there could be reasons you'll be needing to cut that down to 10 or even less. You don't know. Being ready for the unknowable also means being ready with different options. Make choices today you most likely won't be able to make in any moment of intense trauma, confusion, terror, grief and other feelings that push rational thinking far to the background of your mind.