Don’t think that when the lights go out, the shit hits the fan and WROL takes place you will suddenly go from mild mannered desk jockey to superman carrying a 70lb bug out bag with ease and comfort. Guess what it won’t be like that. You need to start pushing yourself now to exercise and be able to hike long distances with it on. Try sprinting, how fast can you run with it. Trying being silent and see how quite it is. You will need to be aware of how you move with the bug out bag and some of the disadvantages it causes you. Knowing for instance that keeping a low profile is difficult or impossible with it means you will try and avoid situations where that is needed. These are things you can only learn through practice.
Your goal is to get your endurance to the point that with your full pack you can move 8 miles a day no problem in it. If you have a treadmill throw your gear on and get on the treadmill see if the weight is ok. You will probably feel the weight pretty bad at first and think “What have I done?” You will be clumsy and it will probably hurt, after a while though it won’t be as bad. Sometime adjusting the straps on your bag can do wonders. After you get this eye opener as to how the bag really feel, lighten the load and start training up to the point of a full load.
If you are overweight now is the time to work on that. Imagine this. You currently wear a size 44 waist and bug out. After living off the land chances are you will lose a lot of weight, now all the cloths you bugged out with are super loose. What do you do? Either a great belt, or you head to town to try and find some your size and risk contact. chances are the cloths you find won’t be as good as the ones in your bug out bag as well. As well it’s important to be at a healthy weight now so you can move faster, last longer, and eat less.
How to train
- Cardio is the most important. You need the endurance to keep walking all day with occasional sprint. Use running, cycling and swimming to help train your body. When possible try to incorporate your gear into the training to make it more real for you. Logistically and tactically you will have an advantage if you have great endurance. The samurai used a tactic where they would run away from a large group of people and then stop to fight the first person who caught up to them as that was the strongest of the group and do this multiple times to widdle the numbers of skilled adversaries down to something manageable for direct combat with the group..
- Weigh & strength training: It’s good to start weight lifting if you haven’t before. You will need a good balance of upper and lower body strength. Remember more Reps and less weight adds tone to the muscles, and less reps higher weigh adds muscle. You need to push yourself to the point you don’t think you can lift any more and then do a few more, reduce the weight and do even more. You only gain ability by doing more then you can handle. p90x and plyometrics are a great way to work on strength if you can’t make it to the gym.
- Rock Climbing: Depending on the region you are bugging out to this could be a valuable skill. To be able to look at a cliff or mountain and not let it stop your path is important.
- Swimming: Being able to swim underwater and have good breath control can be essential skills depending on the areas you are bugging out through. If you don’t know how to swim you need to learn, hands down that’s an important life saving skill.
- Martial Arts: There is a definite need for martial arts in the world to come, you want to not feel like a victim. Sometime there isn’t much time to react to an aggressor and draw a firearm. Can you defend yourself hand to hand? Could you do that wearing your bug out bag? Does you bag have a quick drop buckle that would allow you drop it and fight? Besides the direct application Martial arts will help with endurance, coordination, quick thinking and flexibility.
- Target and tactical Shooting / archery: Self defense needs to be taken seriously and brought to real world scenarios. Sure you can hit a stationary target at the range, what happens when it’s cold and wet and a moving target presents itself and you must first draw your weapon before they do. Have you even practiced drawing your weapon? think realistically about scenarios that might unfold and practice them. Learn to move and shoot, getting off the X gives you a much higher chance of survival. Buy some snap caps and practice drawing, moving and firing in your own home if you can’t make it to the range. If you don’t have the option to seek personalized instruction you should check out Magpul’s Art of the Dynamic Handgun. It’s packed with great practical advice and training drills. Accuracy takes coordination and plenty of practice to develop so start now.
- Over come Fear: You need to learn to train your mind to overcome fear. Not that you will even be fearless, but rather you won’t let it stop you from the things you must do. Consider sky diving or other activities you might be terrorfied of, the more you challenge fear the less it will rule your life.
- Do it for real: Take your bug out bag to the woodlands (ideally your bug out location) and see how well it works for a week. You will see quickly what you are missing and what you don’t need. Try living off the land, obey local laws and get your hunting and fishing license but see if you can really survive. This will also better show you how to further train.
Remember when you start taking punches you will act exactly how you trained, except worse. So train hard and make it a matter of muscle memory when you need to actually do it. That way your life won’t be on the line the times that you screw up.