In a SHTF scenario, be it a natural disaster or civil unrest, it is best to be prepared. I’m referring to “prepping.” This means keeping your house stocked with enough food and supplies to sustain you and yours for some time. So it is our opinion that in most cases it’s better to stay home than to “bug out”.
Some of our advice comes from our own experiences. In 1992 during the Rodney King riots, I was trapped in a house in a rough neighborhood while the riots were raging around us for 3 days. We had no food and for defense we had a 1911 and an old AR-15 A1 with very little ammo. Fortunately the outcome for us was ok. We stayed in the house away from the angry mobs. The fires that were set only burned looted stores and did not jump into residential areas. The water stayed on so at least we could drink. We lost some weight but the Marines came and secured the area before we could starve. The feelings of hunger, fear and helplessness were real. Can you imagine that if things got that out of hand over some civil injustice, what they might be like in a major disaster where there is no food, water, medical care, police or electricity?
Our advice, especially if you live in an urban area, is to avoid contact with others; particularly in times of civil unrest. Because in the event of a large scale disaster, assistance from authorities may be few and far between. By venturing out into the world, you risk potential violence or exposure to pathogens in a pandemic. The trick is to lay low and avoid contact. Remaining home allows you to have full access to your resources.
But sometimes “bugging out” is inevitable. Your home could be destroyed in an earthquake or fire. Your environment could be rendered uninhabitable from contamination due to radiation via a dirty bomb or biological or chemical agents. Perhaps food and/or water has run out. You may not be able to defend your home from raiders and need to evade rather than try to fight it out. You may have no choice but to evacuate.
So when you do have to “bug out,” what is the best way to do it? Well if you are prepared, you have the gear to do it one of two ways. The first is called the “Grey Man.” The Grey Man does their best to blend into the environment. They dress discreetly and move stealthily through the crowd. The last thing they want to do is draw attention to themselves especially from authority or hostiles. While the persona of the Grey Man is to be unassuming and misleading, don’t be fooled, they can be well trained in combat and armed to the teeth. The Grey Man is always ready to put up a fight but would prefer to be invisible.
The other is a full “Tactical Loadout.” This means you are completely “kitted out.” You have all of your available firepower and your best tactical gear. Covered from head to toe, you look and act the part, like someone not to be messed with. But if a criminal wasn’t intimidated by your “Operator” like appearance, you rely on your gear and your training to get you through the fight. The bad guys will probably choose to mess with an easier target.
Which is the better of the two you ask? There are too many variables to answer that. It depends on the person, the environment, and the situation. It is essentially all up to you. Here are two examples of potential bug out gear from the Grey Man and Tactical schools of thought.