This post was gladly contributed by Ben Ayad from Outdorrs Time.
There was a time when the world thought the nuclear bomb was as bad as it could get in war. Times have changed, and we know that the one of the most effective ways to attack a modern nation is an electromagnetic pulse. While this attack is silent, unlike the nuclear bomb, the effects of an EMP are vast and terrifying.
EMP experts have said that 90% of the American population would die in the first year following an EMP. That is because the EMP will destroy the nation’s ability to generate and use electricity. This would affect all basic services, infrastructure and of course conveniences. People would quickly get desperate and begin killing each other for resources.
Escaping the effects of an EMP
Your best bet for dealing with an EMP attack is to get away from the masses of people and learn to live without power. When you leave your home behind and head to another location this is often referred to as a bugout. Bugging out requires planning and practice, as well as a bag filled with items that will help you survive your trip and restart your life when you arrive.
Remember to not only focus on the items in your bag, but also the items you wear. Gear for your bugout is crucial. One of the most important pieces of gear for a bugout are good quality waterproof boots.
The path you take and the things you pack in your bugout bag will be critical to your survival.
In this list, we are going to discuss the most important items that you can store in your bugout bag that would be unaffected by the EMP. These items will not require electricity to work, but will be necessary to have for bugging out.
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#1. Hand Pump Water Filter
While having a Sawyer filter is very convenient, or even a LifeStraw, I like having a powerful hand pump water filter that can get me water fast for drinking and cooking. These filters work on a simple pump mechanism and your muscle power. They require no electricity and thus are not affected by the EMP.
Katadyn makes a great model that carries well and filters all the water you will need on a bugout. A top notch, hand pump water filter is critical to your bugout success.
The goal of your bugout will be to remain hidden from as many people as possible. Following an EMP, you will face no threat as dangerous as the existential one that comes from other humans. There will be panic and violence all around you. If you are unable to avoid human contact, you better be prepared to act against those who would look to do harm to you or your loved ones.
While a firearm will not be affected by the EMP, it still requires proficiency. You must be an active firearm owner. Shooting, cleaning and practicing with your weapon is crucial to your self-defense.
A bugout attempt isn’t going to get very far without maps. If you think you can navigate for miles without the help of maps, you are making a serious mistake. The average person has very little navigation and orientation training. This means you could get lost, easily, in thick woods near your own home! It only takes getting turned around a couple times.
With a map, you will be able to get a bearing on where you are and use landmarks to find your way.
Fire changes everything in survival. It makes a wintry night warm, a dark night bright, food safe to eat and water drinkable. While having fire-starting tools is good, and things like Ferro rods can be very helpful, I recommend keeping at least one butane lighter in your pack. When things are going bad, having access to quick and easy fire can change your whole outlook on life.
Know how to start fire with many tools, but pack a good lighter and some matches to assure you have an easy route to the warmth of fire.
#5. Backpacking Stove
These inexpensive and highly effective pieces of kit offer you some great options when it comes to cooking food and boiling water. My backpacking stove is always in my bag, because even as my fire is starting to burn I can cook on this stove. If I am having trouble getting a nice fire going, I don’t need to wait to eat. These little stoves take up hardly any space and are as light as air. Get a small canister of fuel and a small stove for the best results.
#6. Survival Knife
Easily the most crucial tool for any long-term survival situation, you must have a full tang, well made survival knife that will take a beating. This knife will literally build shelter, butcher meat and improve your odds at self-defense. No survivalist likes to lean on any one tool too much, but the survival knife carries much of the weight in a survival situation.
When choosing a quality knife, look for a blade that is full tang from a quality producer. You’re betting your life on this blade.
One of the most advanced pieces of technology that you can have access to without electricity is optics. Optics allow you to see what your normal eyes cannot – whether because of distance or low light. This is a huge advantage in a bugout. Its not only crucial for seeing other people before they see you. Optics also allow you to save energy by observing obstructions on your journey long before you reach them.
Mastering the Bugout
There is much more than items and routes involved in a bugout. I will caution you that a bugout is a massive undertaking on its own. If you overestimate your ability to cover ground or to find your way in the woods, you could kill yourself quicker than the EMP attack itself would.
A strong written plan and a route that you have walked before are two crucial pieces of the bugout puzzle.