Bug Out BoatI'm not talking about jumping in a boat and heading out to sea when the SHTF; or am I? I'm talking about avoiding trouble. Bridges are natural choke points. They are the perfect place for government troops to run checkpoints and roadblocks, but even more serious, a great spot for bad guys, to ambush families that are heading out of dodge! Even in the best scenario, that bridge, that you need to cross, might be choked with broken down and abandoned vehicles. You have to be ready. Most of us have some major rivers or water in our path of escape. Heck, I live on a peninsula, with a mile wide river on one side. There are only 2 or 3 bridges for me to get to the freedom of Virginia, without going through a major city. I've collaborated with experts in various fields, on this situation since I started my research into prepping. How can I avoid those choke points? They all have the same answer. Use a bug out boat!
Boat SelectionYou may choose whatever is convenient, and accessible for you, a canoe, kayak, boat or inflatable raft. If you watch trade and barter sites (Craigslist) or eBay, you will eventually find a canoe or a kayak. The canoe and the kayak have been used for travel far back into history. If it's good enough for our Native Americans to travel the North American waterways, then it's good enough for me. The single downfall of a canoe or kayak would be deciding what do you do with it, when you need to move on. Do you desert it, or drag it with you? While, not as durable, an inflatable boat would be a solid choice. You could toss it in the car pretty easily, for automotive bug out. You could even have a spare inflatable boat, and still take up almost no room. I started saving my pennies and finally was able to afford the Intex Excursion 5, inflatable boat. It's large enough for my family and our back packs.
PrepareBefore you even attempt to use a boat, in a crisis, you really need to familiarize your family with the boat itself. The last thing you want in an emergency is to toss panicked or stressed-out people into a boat, that they've never seen in their life! Make boating a relaxing experience. Take your family out in the boat for some recreation time. Row around the lake, enjoy the ambiance and maybe do some fishing. This should happen often enough, that they become used to the boat and understand boat safety. They'll enjoy this experience, and you'll get bonus points, for being a great family member! They don't have to know, that you are stealthily preparing them for bugging out by boat. The Plan If the SHTF here's my plan. I will grab the items on this list:
- bug out bags
- life jackets
- boat (in my case my Intex Excursion 5 or canoe)
- oars (and optional trolling motor, if applicable)
- map of the region
- my wife and kids (note to self: do not forget your family!)