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Bugged Out, Now What?

During a time of plagues and hardship, Moses called for the people to flee in the middle of the night after the Passover. Hundreds of thousands gathered all they could carry, their livestock and unrisen bread dough on boards. They traveled a full day’s journey, roughly twenty-four to twenty-six miles after midnight. The place they stopped was called Succoth, which means temporary camp. By the third day of wandering and camping in the desert, Pharaoh had decided to come after them. Upon realizing the army of Egypt was so near, the people panicked and cried out for deliverance. The Lord told Moses to raise his staff, and the sea parted so they could escape. As the sea returned to normal, the walls of water came crashing about the army of Egypt, destroying them, chariots, warriors, and all (Ex. 13:17- 14:31).   


Upon crossing the Red Sea, the Israelites watched as God ended their emergency survival needs by destroying their pursuing enemy. The ancient and budding nation had successfully bugged out of Egypt with the help of God Almighty. The preceding events of the Exodus are the best Biblical example of a Bug-Out Scenario.

They immediately started to sing to the Lord upon their deliverance as they moved away from the sea's shore. The emergency was over, and they had survived. They had supplies and anxiously looked forward to this new life with the Lord. So now what?


As we read in the scriptures, we see that they found no water for the next three days of their journey and began to complain and lament ever leaving their bondage, and by the time they found water, it was unsafe to drink. Like any big life decision, it began with significant trial and difficulty. We need to understand the act of the bug-out and the period that passes as we travel from one point to another to maintain the context of what they endured and what we will go through should we decide to bug out. In the Gospel of Survival, I taught you how to prepare to bug in location or shelter in place for an extended time and train yourself in emergency survival skills to help offset issues you may encounter while ultimately preparing to leave your safe space. A Bug Out is a retreat in military terms, going to a location in a hurry and fleeing in panic. So, when we are forced to leave our homes for whatever crisis we think of, we are bugging out.

People with large backpacks and firearms come to mind in the planning process of bugging out, especially within the survival community. Naturally, we want to take as much as we can. We have much better technology today, so we’ll likely have enough water within the first three days, unlike the ancient Israelis. However, we will experience the same sort of radical transition and very probably the mental state that they did, complaining and wishing we'd never left and suffering the consequences of whatever forced us to flee in the first place. The fact is that resources diminish over time. Water filters break, fire starters run out, and knives go dull.

So, what constitutes a Bug-Out Bag, why should we have one, when will we use one, and what goes into one? Then, where do we go and how will we get there becomes the next piece of the puzzle. Let's address these questions.

What is a Bug-Out Bag?

A Bug-Out Bag is a backpack or other equipment carrier that contains gear to affect your immediate survival and well-being for up to about a week. This is a Tier 3 Kit in the Gospel of Survival (pg. 266). The Bug-Out Bag is not necessarily designed to keep you comfortable but mobile. Food is a necessity for continuous travel, as is hydration. The contents of a bug-out bag will enable you to travel largely uninhibited from the need for hunting, trapping, or scavenging. Your primary objective with this kit is to travel from an unsafe area to a safe location, hopefully, your alternate bug-out location. There are several other names for Bug-Out Bags, such as Get Out Of Dodge Bags (GOOD Bags), Go Bags, and Quick-Run Bags (QRB). Regardless, they're all designed to be well-equipped to cover distances and obstacles for 72+ hours. I classify another bag style as a bug-out bag called the I'm Never Coming Home bag or INCH Bag, meaning you're permanently leaving and not returning. This last-bag mentality is what was demonstrated during the Exodus.


Why should we have a Bug-Out Bag?

Inevitably, we will be forced to leave our homes at some point in an emergency. This emergency can be a typical emergency such as a Fire, Tornado, Hurricane, earthquake, or atypical due to a terror attack, civil unrest, or martial law. In any of these situations, a bug-out bag for each family member would help mitigate the crisis. A prepared bag also enables us to thoughtfully plan out our escape instead of relying on remembering where essential items are while under duress. Everyone should have a bug-out bag that will permit them to travel on foot for at least three days but as many as seven before resupplying. The Bible promises that testing will come to the world, but Christ will keep obedient ones from this hour of testing.

Revelation 3:10: "Since you have kept My command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that will come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth."

To "endure patiently" makes us think of a passive activity. This idea, however, is not what the underlying Greek word, hupomoné, actually means. Greek scholar Spiros Zodhiates describes it as "constancy under suffering in faith and duty," Commentator William Barclay defines hupomoné as "having the quality to stand, facing the storm, struggling against difficulty and opposition." In essence, Christ is saying that because we have kept his command to survive amid continual opposition to our faith, we'll be saved from the testing of the world. Where will the church be maintained during this hour of testing?

Revelation 12:6 "…and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days."

The woman is the church or bride of Christ. We'll be protected in the wilderness where Jesus Himself will govern us. This flight into the wilderness is the snatching away (harpazo) event many erroneously call the rapture [See Gospel of Survival Ch.2].

Ezekiel 20:35 "And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face."


We will one day be called upon to leave our homes to survive with other believers in the wilderness, just as God called the ancient church to do (Israel), and so will the modern church (Christians). This expectation of flight from danger is primarily why we must prepare a bug-out bag. When we go, we can leave with a minimal trace as done in the Exodus to cross over (the Red Sea was water, Rev. 12:16 is earth) to be nourished in the wilderness by the Lord, cut off from the enemy's army, and protected from Satan.


When will we use a Bug-Out Bag?

The Bug-Out Bag (B.O.B.) is designed to be used anytime you need to go somewhere, especially when you plan to evacuate a region. Again, if you are correctly tiering your tools and taking preparedness very seriously, you’ll have your E.D.C. (Tier 1), your main kit (Tier 2), and Bug-Out Bag (Tier 3) with you all the time and perhaps your Tier 4 gear in your trunk. If you travel more than five miles away to work, you should have your B.O.B. with you in your car at least. If you work in an office or school setting, carrying your B.O.B. into those areas may not make sense, so have what gear you require on your person to get back to your B.O.B. to make better decisions once it’s in hand.


When leaving the house, everyone in the family should have access to a Bag of their own. Alternatively, if traveling a short distance, you could take the main contents of one bag and distribute them among your family members as you travel, so collectively, you can create a single gear bag to get you all back to a safe space. It takes practice and dedication to make this a reality, so if it’s something you feel strongly about, keep at it, and don’t get discouraged. As inflation continues, supply chain issues worsen, and civil unrest boil over, our need for a B.O.B. will only become more prevalent. As the time of testing begins to fall upon the earth and governmental control over food distribution, work opportunities, and travel are implemented, we’ll need to listen to the voice of the Lord to know when to leave and where we’re to go.

What goes into a Bug-Out Bag?

The contents of a B.O.B. are personal and dependent upon the needs of the individual. School, work, location, disability, physical fitness level, knowledge, skills, ability, and medical issues will all affect what we deem necessary for our personal B.O.B.'s. Without a preplanned and readily available B.O.B., it's improbable you'll be able to make it out in time (Matthew 24). You do not want to rush back home to collect what you think you will need- that time will have already come and gone by the time you need it. The essentials for a B.O.B. should at least include what we call the Emergent C's or 12-piece survival kit:

1.       Cutting Tools (Knife and Saw)

2.       Combustion Devices (Fire starters and Lighters)

3.       Cover Elements (Tarp and Rain Gear)

4.       Containers (Steel Bottle for boiling & cooking)

5.       Cordage (Paracord and Rope)

6.       Cargo Tape (Duct Tape)

7.       Compass (Compass with mirror and notebook)

8.       Candle Devices (Headlamp and Lights)

9.       Combination Tools (Multi Tools)

10.   Cotton Material & Repair Needle (Sewing & Gear Repair)

11.   Cerate (First Aid & Medical)

12.   Circumvention (Water Filters, Food, and Hygiene)

Again, the selected gear should enable you to endure for at least three days (72 hours), preferably longer. Having the equipment and an essential understanding of what to pack is one thing; where to go once you bug out is entirely another.

My friend Creek Stewart wrote a solid Bug Out Bag book series, you may want to check it out here

In my next post, I'll discuss where we should go and more, all from a Biblical perspective.

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