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    Profile photo of camouflage762

    With permission of the moderators, I am posting a aar of our annual bug out weekend, originally posted at:

    If the link etc is inappropriate please delete as neccessary

    Default Re: Sports adventure shooting Bug Out + L1: 7/8/9 March 2014
    The BUG OUT or Refugee RUN

    The purpose of this is to try and replicate a situation where one has been forced to leave ones home.

    Once the lads were on the range they contacted the radio room/control room and were instructed where to go. En route to the designated spot they were met or intercepted by a “Masked Troll”
    They were generally verbally abused and made to feel as unwelcome as possible. They were questioned as to why they were on private land with firearms etc. In the end the “Troll” would demand some kit as payment. Usually tins of food.

    The whole point of this abuse was to role play a situation where one has fled one’s home and it is reasonable to expect that arriving at a strange/unfamiliar locale’ does not mean you will be welcomed as saviour. On the contrary you may be viewed as a threat.
    Now, I firmly believe that South Africans are generally a very hospitable and generous people, however if some dude and his family rock up at your gate and ask to be taken in, how would you view them? They may have skills and equipment that you may need, however they also will provide a drain on your resources and you are most likely to view them as a threat until convinced otherwise.

    Once the food had been taken from the “refugee” he was told to move towards the club house, on foot! This meant leaving a vehicle behind along with all it gear! Tracer had a nice dry walk into the club house, however Honey Badger and Soutie were not that fortunate.

    The rain started to pour down, so much so that I had to put on gumboots. The stoep of the club house was ankle deep in water.
    Honey Badger was soaked by the time he had arrived!

    Soutie had it even tougher: He had not met most of us beyond a brief hand shake and chat a couple of weeks earlier. “Troll Tracer” really gave him a hard time, took most of his food and then dropped him off in the pouring rain and told him to walk in a vaguely westerly direction. On arrival he was harassed even more by a grumpy sentry.

    Kudos to all the guys, they all took time to observe the club house before actually approaching it. Blundering into/onto a strangers land is not always ideal and is likely to be met with suspicion and hostility.

    Once all were at the clubhouse we gathered for a group hug and some counselling to overcome the confrontation with the nasty troll ;-)

    A quick audit of food and water available was made. For budgeting purposes water would be rationed at 3litre’s per person per day

    (This is also entirely dependent on the activity one is doing. A level 2 hike can see one consume 2-3 litre’s in 100minutes!)
    Food was rationed at one tin per person per meal. Tracer cleverly audited the food stocks insisting that expired cans of food must be removed from the larder. (Somehow these can made their way into our supper and to date no illness have been reported)
    Washing was restricted to a damp towel bath.

    For cooking we had used a donated gas stove. The previous year it had been observed that smoke from a fire is a real giveaway as well as messy, smelly and labour intensive to keep going. It is obvious to think that the smoke gives one away, but until you have actually been at a distance and seen how effective it is at signalling a location, it really is all theoretical.
    One of the members is a licenced HAM radio operator. That night we listened to a conversation from a ship near Cananda and in the morning tuned into radio Uganda. It was surreal!

    As scheduled we did some shooting at night with our rifles. From 100m Tracer and Honey Badger were getting hits with a hand held torch a RDS and Iron sights!

    Conclusions/observations of the Bug out weekend:
    Everybody has their own list of lessons learnt, I will try to summarize the main points.

      1. Bugging out sucks. You are forced to leave your home against your will. Rather call it “refugee run” or such like.
      2. If you bug out on foot your gear is very limited.
      3. If you bug out by vehicle your load space is not much better. Think of going on holiday and the length of time it takes to pack the families stuff and then cram it into the vehicle. Now try do this in a much shorter time span.
      4. Most romantic notions of bugging out do not take onto account ones family and extended family. My Vehicle was packed to the roof and only had seating place for two once I had folded the seats flat.
      5. We used about 6 litres of water from Friday 08h00 until Sunday 08h00 per person.
      6. Tinned food is nice, a braai is better.
      7. Your mindset/physical condition may be top notch, but do not expect your family to come even close in terms of this. You may be expected to deal with stressed/hysterical family or friends which can be a serious downer.
      8. At about 02h40 we heard full auto shooting about 500m from us. We were all awake very quickly, I suspect it was the police shooting at something/someone. The joy of living in RSA.
      9. Mosquito/bug spray: Pack some ;-)
      10. It is far better to have a pre stocked location that you are confident you will have access to in the event of a crisis. Be it a campsite, caravan park or weekend getaway or friend/family home.
      11. Those who need to make use of highways to get out of dodge run a higher risk of being jammed in. Think of the rush hour traffic on the JHB Highways. One broken down vehicle can back the whole highway up.
      12. About 10kg of waste/trash was generated and I had 15kg of damp dirty laundry. Dealing with rubbish and laundry is important.
    Profile photo of skidmark

    Wash water becomes laundry water becomes waste (flushing) water. Just remember the last step needs to be carefully located so as not to pollute your site or a source of fresh water.

    A place like your clubhouse might be a good location for learning how to build a septic field, as well as how to convert sludge into compost into growing soil.

    You “heard” full auto firing at 0240? Why did your night watch/LP not report it to you? Sorry if I sound harsh, but it seems you were not practicing bugging out so much as you were playing “hiding in the woods”. That just might be because to me bugging out is so much more than just getting out of the house to the alternate location.

    Profile photo of camouflage762

    Thanks for the advice skidmark.
    You sure seem to know your stuff.

    I do think you have made a lot of assumptions though.
    Specifically on the night watchman:
    If you have limited manpower and there is a lot of work to be done the next day, do you use 2 individuals for security OR do you rather rely on being concealed and allow everyone to get a good nights rest and be productive the next day?
    What if the topography/vegetation around our “Clubhouse” (or in your case “Retreat” ) worked in our favour?

    Two individuals observing the pitch darkness beyond about 30m. Thus one would have to decide where to site a LP.
    Assuming that the LP is sited on likely avenue(s) of approach it means that security spread very thin.

    Possibly they might be able to hear something as it approaches, but even then our experience it will be at about 50m. At this stage decent NV worth anything is unobtanium in this country in terms of cost.

    Given the area that would have to be observed to include the area where the shooting came from , I reckon it would at least 10-12 individuals.

    Lastly: Do you think we had not made other preparations for night security?

    Any how, playing in the wood is still lots of fun ;-)

    Profile photo of skidmark

    cam762 –
    Specifically addressing your questions/comments about night watch:
    I counted a minimum of 4 people. That divides into 2-hour shifts for everybody and from 2200 – 0600 allows for 6 uninterrupted hours of sleep. If you cannot get more than 50m with a ground location why not put your watcher on the roof? I’m unaware of what was at the end of your 50m radius but if it was not solid then your watcher could at least improve their ability to hear by being elevated. If it was anything but dense forest being up high would allow notice of movement through brush/crops even with only starlight.
    Finally: Since you did not mention any other security preps it is logical to think you did not have them. (What sort of 2- and 4-legged fauna do you have in the area? Based on that info I could determine if rattlers or some sort of tripwire device would be better to use. Of course, I’m guessing you know how to make ankle-biters out of shotgun shells but will decide if/when it would be appropriate to use them.
    Understand, I’m not trying to tear apart your AAR or pull apart your exercise. It’s just that certain things must be presumed unless the information presented shows differently. Your report suggested all of you were awakened at 0240, not that one of you awakened the other 3+ with a report of what had been heard and where it came from.
    Yes, playing in the woods is great fun. Sometimes I do it to practice/test/improve on only one issue and just lay back and savor the outdoors for the rest of the time. But you opened the can of worms by saying this was to practice bugging out. Be glad I did not go into Honey Badger and Soutie’s performance with Troll Trace. :D

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