Tactical walking tips for bugging out

Tactical walking tips for bugging in or out


Try on your Back Pack and Jacket, Jump up and down on the spot, if your kit rattles or bangs re-pack your rucksack until its silent. Ensure shiny items like watches, ear rings, earphones, belt buckles are covered up or taped over. Make sure your specs and shades are the dull, matt or satin coloured frames, not the gloss type.

Do NOT take hand luggage, you must keep both hands free for climbing, roping, using tools etc

Keep your EDC essentials on your person not in your rucksack (Knife, Compass, Lighter, Flash-light, Multi Tool, Bandanna, Hats, Gloves, Watch, Shades etc) should you be forced to abandon your GHB / BOB pack .

If its a daytime departure take a look out the windows from well within the room moving to the right of the room to look left down the street, and vice versa. Do not stand close the window and highlight yourself. Ensure as best possible that your departure goes unnoticed by others.

Look at the windows of neighbouring properties to see if there is any sign of people watching.

For night time departure, extinguish all lights and fires 30 minutes before looking out of the windows to see if its clear to go, Move slowly at night as human eyes detect movement more than detail in the dark. Avoid the use of Flashlights. IF you need to use a flashlight to read a map then use a shrouded RED filter lens to protect your night vision.

Turn off your cell phones, pagers etc before leaving.

Use simple hand signals not your voice to relay information to other family members, raised arm means stop, raised arm and a crouching stance means stop and take cover, arm extended to left means move towards the left, arm extended to right means move to right. Keep the signals few in number and very simple.


Turn out lights if it is dark, open door or window PARTIALLY and LISTEN for threats. Send out one person to scan the immediate area for concealed threats. If area good to go rest of group to follow, silently and at least 3 to 4 ft apart (6 to 8 feet if tactical situation demands more defensive stance).


Walk where possible in the shadows, look up for hazards in surrounding buildings, Look down to avoid items that may make noise like twigs, gravel or broken glass. Pause frequently to listen, you generally will identify more threats by sound than sight, breaking glass, raised voices, gun shots, vehicle engines, running feet, barking dogs, disturbed roosting birds etc

Watch what nature does, if you see a flock of birds, or a rabbit, or deer for example suddenly take flight that tells you something has frightened it, and it may NOT have been your group.

Look left and right SLOWLY in a steady scanning motion, Human eyes detect motion more than shapes when its dark and you have more detector rods and cones in the sides of your eyes than you do at the back. Scanning side to side as you walk you will detect MOVEMENT before shape.

The last man in the group needs to keep stopping and quietly observing the rear to see if you are being followed.

Avoid using flashlights to navigate with, rely on your own night visions, Human eyes take 35 minutes to adapt to the dark but only seconds to lose night vision if a fool turns on a flashlight. Not to mention the risk of advertising your position to the whole area if you do use a flashlight.

Where possible avoid public places and spaces where cops, troops or attackers may gather, try and stay in the shadows.

Avoid districts where scavengers may good looking for food, loot etc When passing through hilly neighbourhoods never walk along hilltops or ridge lines, stay under the ridge line and don’t silhouette your self.

If faced with an obstacle such as a hedgerow or wall try always to go round or under it, not over the top or through a gate because again you are just exposing yourself to detection.

In the short term most highway and rail bridges are really places to avoid, both state officials and predators WILL target them. Look for alternative routes.


No cooking fires during the day unless you can guarantee you wont create any smoke. When cooking at night site the cooker in a hollow or hole so it does not give off light giving away your position, Beware of the odour of cooking food also giving away your position.

If in a group ONE PERSON COOKS, the others spread out and keep watch for approaching trouble, Silence is golden as you will hear them approaching long before you see them.

You need to remember the cook will probably lose his night vision so if you have to bug out someone will need to help him until his eyes adjust. Ideally eat in shifts, half eating half keeping watch. Pack away camp cooker etc BEFORE eating in case you have to bug out in a hurry.

Take every scrap of rubbish with you or bury it, fill in your cooking hole / fire pit, leave no clue to your passing through.


We all need rest and the young and elderly need more rest than healthy adults, you all must sleep when possible. Human biorhythms run in two hour cycles, so to get the full benefit of sleep people need to be fully asleep in two hour sections. This in reality means in a stressed situation after a days bugging out each member will need three hours in his sleeping bag, an hour to wind down / de-stress and two hours sleep. So whilst at least one person stands watch, the others should rest in three hour sections.

All gear must remain packed in rucksacks and boots etc kept close to hand in case you have to make a swift and stealthy exit from your campsite.


If you find yourself having to return to your original location due to unforeseen circumstance then if you can use a different route back. And check frequently by stopping and listening to see if you are being followed.


  • Comments (4)

    • 7

      Some groups require removing eg radio batteries or reversing btry position in radio.  The rotary on-off switches are not dependable.  I carry the smallest Grundig AM-FM-SW that’s too easy to turn on.  Accidents happen and the actuaries at Lloyds of London explain this in the follow-on reports.

      Now, post the formative events, eg WTC 9-11, Mir Animl Kasy, Beltway snipers, highway, rail, overpass bridges have large perimeter areas that are monitored. 

      Boots on the pods 24/7 less fresh socks, anti-fungal powder going on ’em.

      Not familiar with 2 hours of sleep in a sleeping bag.

      • 5

        The human body sleeps in cycles, its normally around 2 hours and in multiples of 3 to 4 for adults. So a two hour rest cycle reduces that horrible sickly feeling you get if woken at other times. The IDEAL is 2 hours on watch and 4 hours sleep if you have the manpower.

      • 9

        Was joking Bill.  No Sleeping Beauty quilts or sleeping bag use.

        I’m the early riser so work the night ’till dawn time frame.

        My group – still in reformation due some aspects of life, like a couple leaving planet, etc – is themed to never having enough people. Our hope is one third resting/sleeping, two thirds always awake and ready.

      • 6

        Gotcha, I’m a bit slow today.