Prepper Load Plans – Lessons Learned Now – Don’t Wait!

TrailerNOTE: This article was previously posted on Your Preparedness Story. 

There are different philosophies out there regarding whether or not to “bug in” or “bug out” and necessarily one’s entire prepping strategy will be based around this.  Like most others I prep on a budget and as such I have to pick a strategy based upon my research, my analysis, my background training, and my own personal situation (geographic, relationships, etc.).  As such I have to make compromises–just like most everyone else.

One of my compromises was my food supply.  Many preppers out there will fundamentally proclaim that you absolutely must base your food stores and stock your larders with the items that you eat routinely.  That does not necessarily work for everyone’s personal situation–those who must move often cannot afford that luxury.  Our food preps must be light, and they must be transportable.  Meaning that they are not necessarily what we would eat in our normal everyday lives.

So, having said all that I fall into a unique category where I prefer the “bug in” approach, while at the same time I have to move to a new home every few years.  That has certainly shaped my own personal prepping strategy and necessarily it has forced me to stay flexible.  Very, very flexible.

And having somewhat of a planning background I’ve always built in contingencies to every course of action.  That being said I’ve always kept a mobile “bug out” option on the table.  And in doing so I invested in a nice enclosed trailer which can haul 2000 pounds of cargo.  In my “bug out” contingency I carefully measured the volume and weight of my foodstuffs, fuel and other vital equipment that I planned to take on the road should the situation call for it.  I thought I had things wired pretty tight…  all up until about forty-eight hours ago.

You see, I’m moving again from the Bunker here in Eastern Krasnovia to the next undisclosed location.  What I discovered was that while I had measured size and weight capacities of most of my kit, what I did not take into account was the weight directly associated with my weapons and ammunition.  Holy shit that stuff is heavy!  Without loading a scrap of chow or a drop of fuel I have managed to fill my trailer with 75% of its maximum load capacity.  That means that I have very little room left in the rest of my rolling stock for the other things I need, like clothing, cooking implements, tools, batteries, electronics, food, fuel, and other miscellanea.  I accurately approximated the weight and volume of most of my stuff except for the weapons and ammo.  Which turned out to be a rather significant oversight.

So in the end this move has been enlightening and extremely helpful in regards to testing the load plans for all of prime movers and trailers.  It’s also brought into sharp focus how as my preps have improved and expanded over the last few years, my plans to move have not adjusted accordingly.  What has become clear is that I must revisit the whole “compromise” principle and figure out under a “bug out” scenario what must come and what must get left behind, now recognizing what my real constraints are in regards to space and weight.

Rehearsals” are the cardinal rule in all military operations and they should be in prepping as well.  I have violated this and taken short cuts…  and it has had the predictable result, in that my plans have been invalidated.  But the upcoming move is a blessing in disguise in that regard.  The move has served as a forcing function and I now see many of the weaknesses in my contingency plans.  This has been both disappointing and educational.  In the end though, it may have served as a critically important lesson that will pay huge dividends in the end.

So, the critical take-away from this is to rehearse or practice your load plans.  Figure out what you’d like to take with you in a “bug out” scenario and then actually load up this equipment and see if it works.  If this sounds like a no-brainer, it is.  But how many of us actually do it?

My advice.  Do it.

It might very well force you to reassess your plans.


This article first appeared on Ed That Matters.

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6 thoughts on “Prepper Load Plans – Lessons Learned Now – Don’t Wait!

  1. Papa "J"

    We live in the SF Bay Area and do have a place to go to (If we can). We’ve made plans for both. We have our list to gather the important things to put in my already stocked trailer of other items. In discussing what to bring, I realized we need boxes, so I save and break down my wine boxes along with the dividers. They can be taped together when needed. I have not done our rehearsal drive away with the trailer. Although I keep extra gas and a full tank, I’m not sure of how much gas it will take, and of course it may even be slower driving than normal. So much to think about and to make the right decision when the time comes. For those that have yet to make a list, do so. It’s amazing what you will think of in a day or two to add to it.

    1. SouthernAZ

      I understand your frustration. I have worked food storage, toiletries, lighting, minor fuel and water efforts on my own. My spouse has stopped ridiculing me because when he runs out of his favorites (coffee, chocolate, raisins), he doesn’t have to do without. For a while he argued that we were losing interest on money that could have been saved, but when I pointed out the food inflation rates versus interest, he no longer pitched that. I have my bug out plan and location. I have made plans for him to come as well, but he doesn’t know it. If my trigger event happens and he chooses not to come, I’ve done all I can. Guess that’s the ‘death do us part’ point. I never vowed to die of stupidity. I also used money I earned and inherited to purchase stuff, so did not reduce the family budget.

    2. Rhonda

      Pat, my husband didn’t want anything to do with prepping either. He kept saying it was too depressing to think about, I think dying of starvation would be even more depressing so I prepped by myself. He has finally started coming around to my way of thinking. Continue prepping, I’m sure he will change his mind.

  2. Jack

    Like yourself, my career has forced us to move/relo every couple of years (often coast-to-coast.) Sure the Nomad lifestyle teaches you a TON about the things you value/keep in life, and the differences between “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves.” Sure, relos are also great PRACTICE for bug-outs. They force you to take inventory of your stockpile, rotate, etc.

    But, moves are NOT REALLY bug-outs. When you move, you CAN take it all with you (even if you need to hire a bigger truck/service, or make multiple trips, etc.) We also have somewhat of a flexible schedule when moving, and we can opt to travel wonderful highways, and travel in times of peace.

    Whereas, during a bug-out, we probably WON’T be able to take EVERYTHING with us. We WILL have to prioritize. This prioritization will include weighing our route, safety, time, and road/weather conditions.

    We used to live in hurricane-prone Florida coastline. We had multiple tiers of “bug-out” (usually depending on how much advanced notice we had — factored by how long we figured we’d need to be gone.) Our whole house, garage, and life was based on flood levels (the MAIN issue during hurricanes = rising tidal flooding.) If items were indeed very water-resistant, then we could keep them low in our home/garage. (e.g. coins and cash are essentially waterproof.) We kept important papers pre-packed in a travel safe (in a desk adjacent to the front door.) This way, they were easy to grab on the way out. We kept LOTS of rolls of heavy-duty trash bags (impromptu suitcases.) But, we also used them to waterproof things we couldn’t take with us. (e.g. stuffed all the clothes we were leaving behind into them; also stuffed bedding into them; stuffed sofa pillows into them; even stuffed stereo components into them.

    Most often, the flooding only effects the lower-half of the home. So, we’d cram the trash bags on top of the closet shelves, atop the kitchen cabinets, etc.

    Our freshwater storage was in containers, that we indeed kept on the floor. But, we had to tie them to one another, and to an eyebolt that we affixed into a wall stud. (In the event of a flood, they would become neutrally-buoyant, and float away if they weren’t secured.) But, if we were bugging-out due to domestic issues, we’d toss these same containers onto the safari rack of our truck, and tie/lock them to the rack, instead.

    It DOES kinda SUCK that we have loss/casualties when we relo… Inevitably, something will get lost, broken, or damaged. One time, I cam home, and my wife was rolling our #10 cans of food storage down the carpeted staircase! I SCREAMED at her about denting/damaging the cans — and voiding their protective seal. And, not ALL of those cans fit into our relo rig, either. So, we had to gift some to neighbors, and even leave some behind…

    Frequent relos CAN BE a “good thing” — if you indeed LEARN from the experiences. I envy the people who can put down roots (both figuratively, and literally.) I WISH we could have a garden, farm critters, etc. Maybe someday?… For now, we’re still Nomads. We have lived in 5th Wheel RVs, and lived aboard boats. We have downsized from a three-bedroom, two-story home with a garage, dock, attic, basement, backyard — to a one-bedroom apartment with NO storage.

    We FEEL your pain! (And, have shared in it ourselves.) Life is a series of lessons. We try to see the brighter side of every situation (even the bad ones.) We are THANKFUL that thus far, life has still been safe, normal, sane. We are fortunate. But, we feel these are borrowed times, and not too far in the future, we will indeed have to “bug-out” for “a big one!” At least we have some experience at fast-packing, prioritizing — and a BUNCH or maps of every corner of this country! (wink)


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