Bugging Out with Children

You’ve trained for years. You can walk with an 80-pound pack for miles without breaking a sweat and you can shoot the wings off a fly at 50 yards. You have planned your bug out perfectly. There’s nothing that can stand in your way. Then you feel a gentle tug at your hand and look down at a peanut butter and jelly-covered face that whispers up to you, “I gotta go.”

Just because you might be ready and prepared to bug out doesn’t mean your kids are ready. As much as you love them, kids can make anything a challenge, and they can turn something that’s already a challenge into an Everest-sized obstacle. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible though, and if you have children, or you have them in the future, it’s time to plan your bug out with kids now.

When you are planning, you need to think about your child’s age, as well as their capabilities physically, mentally, and emotionally. Every child is different, so you will need to have plans on what to do for your child to make the bug out doable. Kids are going to need more snacks than adults, and they will likely need to stop and rest more frequently, so add some extra time into your trip. Make sure you have all the equipment and items you need for your children packed in a bag that’s easy to access.

The child should have his or her own bug out bag, even if you are the one carrying it. The items in the bag will depend on the child’s age and needs. It should certainly be lighter than your bag. If they will be carrying it themselves, make sure it is less than 10% of their overall weight.

You might find it advantageous to have some fun practice bug outs with the entire family. This will help the kids get used to the process.


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