Nothing is better than real-world tests of a bug out plan. What seems to be a great idea on paper or at the gear store could be tragic or even deadly out in the bush. Never let inexperience or uninformed decisions be your downfall. Back Country Bug Out Lessons is a series of blog post from a 12 day, 2500 mile remote trail trek via Dual Sport Motorcycle following the Continental Divide Trail. The grueling journey stressed the limits of rider, machine, gear, skill, and morale. Some of the conclusions will surprise you!
This preview is to help you wrap your mind around the daunting task of a true bug out effort. I did not start out planning my epic adventure as a bug out test but it quickly became clear that it was an excellent opportunity to do just that. History shows us that bugging out rarely consists of one move from one place to a final destination. It is more likely that when SHTF, the survivalist will be tasked with multiple moves to avoid encroaching danger. Your ability to stay aware, stay mobile, and stay unnoticed may mean your long term survival. The smart survivalist always has his next move planned.
The route: 12 day, 2500 mile tour of the remote, rugged, and beautiful Continental Divide Trail (CDT). The route began at the Mexico/New Mexico border and headed north through New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana to the Canadian border. The CDT is a loose patchwork of backroads, fire roads, farm paths, and mountain trails through countless national forests, government managed land, and private ranch land. It traverses multiple 10,000 peaks, several massive desert areas, deep mountain streams, deeply steep, rutted, and rocky paths, rain, sleet, snow, deep sand, heat, rain, and more.
The Bug Out Vehicle: 2009 Kawasaki KLR650 Dual Sport Motorcycle. Why a motorcycle? Nothing else was capable of going as far, as fast, as deep into the wilderness, with less fuel, than the motorcycle. A 4×4 truck would certainly be more comfortable but no 4×4 would make it where I went. It is also much easier to hide a motorcycle. Why the Dual Sport? This type of bike allows for legal and relatively comfortable road travel while maintaining enough off-road capability to get you away from other people. More on the KLR, a full review, in a future blog post and on Dale’s Podcast.
The Gear: Single person tent, backpacking liquid fuel stove, freeze dried meals, synthetic down sleeping bag, inflatable sleeping pad, flashlight, handgun. Proper gear can make or break your adventure. Great gear keeps you warm, dry, cool, safe, away from bugs, supplies hot meals, and illuminates the darkness. The difference between good and bad gear is sometimes ridiculous details never noticed in the camping store. Those silly details suddenly become massive obstacles after multiple long days of heat, cold, dirt, mud, hunger, thirst, and fatigue. More on the gear, a full review of each item, will be provided in future posts and podcasts.
The Priceless Lessons: The lessons were endless. A summary includes: running out of fuel, an exploding camp stove, bad tent design, cold sleeping bag, excellent sleeping pad, a good flashlight, a bulky handgun, some foolish fellow motorcyclists, survival partners, and one outstanding motorcycle. All of these will be explored on Dale’s Podcast and in future blog posts.
There is no substitute for doing. No amount of bench testing, blog reading, backyard tinkering compensates for real-world tests. The adventure was epic. The lessons were priceless. Sharing my experience, my mistakes, my struggles, and my triumph may be the best reward of all. Stay tuned for soon to be launched posts and podcasts!
About the Rider: Hi, I am Bennett. I am a normal guy with no unique set of survival skills. I’ve never been in the military, never lived off the grid. I have a busy career as a College Professor and Small Business Strategist. I maintain a blog and a podcast for entrepreneurs and folks who want to build their own brand of success. Sometimes I get the urge to test life. The test often consists of something epic like this awesome long distance, back country motorcycle tour. Thanks to Dale for allowing my guest posts on this fun subject.
What questions do you have about the gear, the route, the adventure? Please let us know what you want to know. Dale and I will do our best to share it all.