prepper fight or flight response

Tactical bugout bag
Fight or Flight?
Preppers plan for both scenarios

"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has
practiced one kick 10,000 times." ~ Bruce Lee

Will you bug out or bunker in and fight? Preppers need to know when to bug in and
when to bug out. Read this article to understand the fight or flight response and
how it applies to preppers to help you make this important decision.

Fight or Flight Response for Preppers
It's a basic instinct for both man and animal: the instant a being realizes that danger
is imminent, there is a "flight or fight" decision to make. It's an acute stress
response. In the world of prepping, fighting is "bugging in" and fleeing is "bugging

Imagine a lion who has stalked a zebra. The lion is the predator forcing the zebra to
a flight or fight response:

  • The zebra is "bugging in" if it darts about the herd in camouflage to confuse
    the lion  in hiding with the stripes of other zebras.

  • The zebra is "bugging out" if it flees. And we've all seen footage of what
    happens to the unlucky zebra that flees or gets caught off the edge of the

Taking a cue from nature, the hunter usually has the edge in striking by the element
of surprise; however, the hunted may have a "home field advantage." Knowing the
lay of the land certainly provides an advantage and a reason for bugging in;
however, sometimes the best strategy is a combined response. Think of a rat who
flees when it feels threatened. If cornered however, it will fight. Assessing the
situation like a rat is the ultimate survival response.

Will you be the Hunter or the Hunted?
In uncertain times, one becomes either the hunter or the hunted. The being that
flees often becomes the hunted; however, fleeing doesn't always mean changing
locale. The being that flees might choose camouflage to go undetected (hiding) or
playing dead as a response to escaping capture. Both are survival mechanisms.

Fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural occurrences also can trigger a
flight or fight response. One may choose to fight or flee nature. Perhaps you will
choose to escape natures fury or perhaps be forced to stay because there is no
vehicle for escape. That's why Happy Preppers are prepared for both scenarios.
Most have a plan to "bug in" for an extended amount of time, and then when the
timing is right they will 'bug out."

Bugging in (fighting)
Bugging in is having the "homefield advantage." To defend the homestead and fight
or hide, rather than to flee is
bugging in. If the world outside your home is without
water, electricity and food, there will be dangerous and irrational people roaming
the streets, including gangs. A prepper must be prepared to survive by bugging in.
The decision to bug in is often easier knowing that you have an arsenal of supplies
at hand. One thing's for sure, having the
proper supply of food in an emergency will
enable Happy Preppers to function at optimal levels to better defend their estate of
supplies, while the masses in desperation pilfer, loot and lunge risking their lives for
food. The looters will exert too much energy finding their next meal, making them
weaker upon confrontation.

Naturally there will come a time when a Happy Prepper realizes that having a plan to
fight is necessary. For those who resist firearms, there are some alternatives. In
fact, people who have firearms should also have other defense mechanisms and
skills in place. For example: Pepper Spray is always an option, and Martial Arts is a
self defense for Prepper women. Why not take up archery or learn how to
shoot rocks with a sling shot. These are prepper skills and can be quite entertaining
as well. When you're bugging in you will also have weapons available in your
kitchen, garage or shed. "Don't make a plan of fighting: that is a very good way to
loose your teeth," as Bruce Lee once said in a movie. Use your mind to be formless:
be water, my friend.

Other tactics for bugging in might include:

  • Hiding: Looking like a homeless person is a camouflage (or "bugging in")
    tactic that some may use to blend in with society while they retrieve a secret
    supply of food.

  • Distracting: Throwing useless items on the lawn to show gangs that the
    property has already been looted, could provide essential and sufficient
    distraction while a family is thriving safely inside in a safe room or bunker.

  • Safeguarding: Having the forethought to invest in body armor, such as the
    affordable bullet-proof vest above, can enhance preparedness on the
    defensive strategy.

Bugging out (fleeing)
To flee the homestead instead of fight is bugging out. When you bug out, you bring
all the essential gear possible. Plan your bug out vehicle as though you will never
return home; however, always have hope that you will return. Lessons learned from
Hurricane Katrina are that FEMA camps won't save you. Plenty of people died while
doing what was instructed of them: heading to camp. For this reason, heading to
camp should be a last resort. Your bug out plan needs to be a solo effort: you'll
need to plan a bug out bag, bug out vehicle and alternatives and more to take
responsibility for your own life in a survival situation.

For your bug out plan, consider reading "Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a
Catastrophic Disaster Before It's Too Late," by Scott B. Williams. In it the author
explains why by the time official evacuation starts, it's already too late, which is why
it's important to create an escape plan for where to go and also to know how to get
there, while finding food, water and other necessities outside of civilization.

Bug out bag
You can buy bug out bags or make them yourself. Consider reading "Build the
Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit," by Creek Stewart, left. In
it, the author shows you how to create a self-contained disaster preparedness kit to
help you survive your journey from ground zero to a safer location. A survival expert,
Creek Stewart details everything you need to gather for 72 hours of water, food,
protection, shelter, survival tools, and more. Check his video when you click the book
link, above left.  The tactical bugout bag, left, is an ideal start for making your own
bug out bag. If you live in earthquake territory, you can buy a ready made bug out
bag above left.

Bug out car or truck
Steer clear from flashy cars, such as the bright yellow truck pictured right which will
attract too much attention. However, do equip your truck with a bed top to help
contain your Prepper gear and or a truck tent. Camouflage netting is an easy way to
help disguise your vehicle.

Bug out Bike
Mobility is the key to prepper survival. While many Advanced Preppers have
elaborate schemes to bug out with vehicles ranging from ATVs to school buses,
these Preppers often fail to prepare their bug out plan for an electromagnetic pulse
scenario (EMP). Happy Preppers know that an EMP is a very real threat, because it
would render all vehicles useless. The simple escape considering a bicycle as a bug
out vehicle. Two bug out bikes to consider are the adult tricycle can easily pack gear,
and a folding bike is a great addition to pack in the car. Bottom right, you'll find the
sturdy adult three speed tricycle ships for free. Adult trikes are hard to find in local
stores because there is simply not enough profit margin or need for this specialty
vehicle. They are popular with Preppers, though! For the advanced Prepper, there's
the fun surrey bike, pictured in the lower right hand corner with a red and white
striped canopy. This deluxe touring bike with seats for up to 3 adults and 2 children.

  • Prepper's Tip: Equip your bug out bike with a trailer even if you don't have
    young kids. It will be an excellent place to stash equipment and will help you
    go under the radar. Remember, you'll also need a coupler attachment to affix
    the trailer to your bug out bike.

Holding your Ground
Advanced Preppers will enjoy reading "Holding your Ground." This instructional
guide, pictured immediate left, teaches military tactics using historical examples to
create a defensible barrier to your home without affecting your property's value or
appearance. Even if you already have a personal defense system in place to guard
your food and water, "Holding your Ground," will teach you how to configure your
home, train your team and properly equip any location for defense by hiding items in
plain sight and positioning supplies.

Other tactics for bugging in might include:

  • Camouflaging a "bug out" vehicle. No one may expect an ordinary sedan to
    be packed to the hilt with supplies, but they might want to pirate a van, for
    example. In such a case, an ordinary car is a camouflaged bug out vehicle. It
    may be wise to stash a camouflage tarp or netting with the vehicle.

  • Moving quietly to minimize detection is another "bugging out" type move.
    Some Preppers choose to bug out after two weeks or two months after a
    major incident, which is long after the masses have tried to bug out. They may
    walk or ride a bike to their bug out vehicle, which might be a boat miles away.
    Of course there's always the chance that the vehicle will be looted in that
    time, a Prepper always has a "Plan B."

  • Defending peaceably. Consider the peaceable self defense tactics of
    diffusing, avoiding, hiding, disguising, surprising or retreating before you draw
    your guns. It just may save your life. Happy Preppers think beyond punching,
    kicking and using a gun. They learn how to think. And that's the most
    important lesson in staying safe. Learn how to avoid dangerous situations,
    and how to handle things if you can't avoid the confrontation before you draw
    a weapon.

Whether you're bugging in or bugging out, it's important to prepare a proper
defense. While Preppers can certainly enroll in professional survival training courses,
there are a variety of skills you can attain in prepping, including taking a martial arts
class, reading a tactical defense book or a book on self-defense psychology, or
getting streetwise with a self defense class. The training is up to you. Go with your
interests and always expand on your skills. You might be able to avoid using a
weapon altogether.

Self defense tips:

1. Someone have you in a hold?
Learn to use the elbow. It's the strongest part of your body!

2. Have to give up your bag?
You have a bugout bag (or purse) that someone wants? If you have no defense
handy and your life is at stake, throw the bag in the opposite direction of your path
to run away!

3. Running from a gun?
Flight from a gun should be in a zig-zag pattern. If you run a straight line the
shooter has more opportunity to get you.

4. Not ready to own a gun yet?
Get a BB gun! Right is a Smith & Wesson replica of one of the newest Smith &
Wesson designs. An element of realism is added with a 19-shot drop out BB
magazine.  This air pistol is a BB repeater powered by one 12g CO2 cylinder that
hides in the grip of the BB pistol. A home invader won't have time to think about
whether or not it's real, and you'll still have some power to defend yourself.

Happy Endings...
Know in advance what you'll do. When you have an emergency plan, you're ahead
of the curb.

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------------------------------------------------- Revised 2/28/16
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