However, one of the most important is rarely discussed, avoiding injury. A quick sampling of Youtube videos or forum “bug out lists” quickly gives the impression that in the survivalist community, we carry too much weight. Many people plan to carry 60-70 pound packs for days at a time, while covering 15 miles per day. For some readers, this is feasible, but for most people, myself included, it is not. When talking about the dangers of bugging out, I often read about mudslides, wild animal attacks, bullet wounds, and a plethora of other comparatively unlikely events. Rarely does anyone talk about overexertion, and when they do, it is always in the context of physical fitness. Fitness is important; if you are not fit, it does not matter how many pounds of rice you have on your back. However, lowering your pack weight is one of the best ways to increase mobility, possible distance covered, and overall energy levels, all skills that should be high on our list. Every ounce does count; ask anyone who has gone on a long distance backwoods trip with 30lbs and then again with 35 pounds. The difference almost seems unbearable by day six. Every ounce you save is an asset towards your survival. Injury on a bug out makes you a liability for a group or a target for aggressors; it should be our number one priority to avoid it.
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