A couple of weeks ago, our friends at S2 Underground posed this question: Are you prepared RIGHT NOW, to walk out the door with the gear you have and live a mobile lifestyle for the next 3-5 years? That’s a solid question, but a lot of you may not realize what we’re talking about here, so in this post we’re going to talk about what that means.
But first, if you are one of the “But me and Ethel-Ann are gonna bug in, so this doesn’t apply to me…” folks, let me say not so fast. You can only bug in as long as it is feasible and sensible to do so. Imagine that you’ve held off the horde for 2 days from your double-wide castle-by-the-lake, and the opposition decides to just set it on fire, out of rage. What will you do then? You will take Jeremiah’s advice:
Pack your bags and prepare to leave; the siege is about to begin.
Jeremiah 10:17 (NLT)
That’s right; you may have a mobile lifestyle forced on you.
A mobile lifestyle means having a plan to stay on the move, and most likely with opposition actively seeking you. For most into preparedness, this isn’t what we normally envision. However, should resistance to a hostile invasion or (God forbid) a tyrannical government (it could NEVER happen here, right?) become necessary, we’d need to live a mobile lifestyle. We also might need to TEMPORARILY live one at the outset of a WROL/Life Altering Event (LAE) or if bandits burned down our original plan/bug out location.
That means conducting mostly foot movement in rough terrain to avoid detection. Living out of a ruck or off the land, with limited opportunity for resupply from friendly assets. It means staying off the air with your fancy radios until your comms window comes around. It definitely means staying off the phone and social media.
David had the right idea:
So David and his men, about six hundred in number, left Keilah and kept moving from place to place.
1 Sam 23:13a
The first step is a realistic evaluation. I know, you’re ready to go today, right? Be honest, most of us aren’t ready to walk 10 miles in one stretch, let alone walk 20 miles a day in the rough. I know, a lot of the “rucking” guys talk about their 4 mile per hour ruck pace, but you can’t maintain that all day for any meaningful period of time. You have to be able to function at the end of your daily travel, so 2-3 miles per hour is FAR more realistic. Most of us haven’t walked farther than the length of our driveway, if we’re being honest.
Getting used to the weather is vital. How many times have you canceled a hike because it was raining, snowing, or cold/hot? If we are living a mobile lifestyle, we don’t get that option and hunkering down for a day gets you found. Train in all weather conditions and take that fancy all-weather gear out of the package. It’s OK for your $300 rain gear to wet and dirty. Get used to living without AC or heat.
When was the last time you camped for a week or more? I recently camped in the field with NC Scout for 8 days. He was in better shape at the end of it than me because he does it regularly. Start with a weekend and make them progressively longer.
Oh, and by the way, remember what I mean by camping, as illustrated in TW-02, Fieldcraft. Minimalist. At most, a 2–3-man tent with a low profile. Try using just a tarp or poncho for a couple of nights. Next week, I’m going to try a couple of nights in a hammock with a tarp and a few nights in a bivy-tent, which is a tent just big enough to cover my sleeping bag. Just because you did it in your late teens and early 20s in the Army doesn’t mean you can TODAY.
When was the last time you went winter camping? First, let me tell you that winter is some of the BEST camping experiences you’ll have. Second, if you’ve already done it, you’re going to be better prepared when you have no choice. Trust me, humans did it for tens of thousands of years; you’ll live. Develop the skills and buy the gear first.
Having a prearranged support network is key too. While me and my associates may keep on the move, some of our friends & relatives, due to age or condition, cannot. They become the support network/safe house chain. Have friends that you have pre-arranged support with. For example, I have several friends where we have the mutual agreement that we can stay at each other’s homes anytime. I’ve also set agreements with some of them where I store or stock a little extra gear for them at my house, and they do the same. That way, I can re-supply on the move and so can they.
Knowing where state or federal forests are will allow you also to pre-position buried or well-hidden caches of gear or food to enable mobile resupply. Consider having some set up as “evasion stations”, where you store a full backpack, belt kit, and additional gear in case you had to leave before you could retrieve any gear. Do this only if you have extra.
A side corollary to this is having pre-arranged dead-drops as well. Other groups or friends might be made aware of locations where they could drop off a re-supply of food or other gear for you to retrieve later.
This type of lifestyle will also require you to have significant medical skills and gear, because there are no urgent care facilities in the backwoods. You’ll need to carry with you the gear and you’ll need the skills to use that gear.
A mobile lifestyle means avoiding what we call “patterns of life”. Patterns of life is how governments conduct their intelligence targeting and your phone is constantly gathering this data. Learn how and when to use a faraday bag or cage to store your phone to avoid giving off pattern of life indicators. Your caches should be in places you’ve never gone with your cell phone or that you’ve never “Googled”. I have many friends that I only interact with in real life and never online for this very purpose.
Even in the days of King Saul, patterns of life were used to target people:
Go and get more information. Find out where David usually goes and who has seen him there. They tell me he is very crafty. Find out about all the hiding places he uses and come back to me with definite information.
1 Samuel 23:22-23a
In future posts, we will dig deeper into the mobile lifestyle. We’ll go over specific skill sets and actions you can take, as well as training exercises to get you ready.
Stay tuned and start training. Buy a set of our books for like-minded people.
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