Spring 2012 Mock Bug Out CampoutSubmitted by Medic73Location – Oklahoma at our BOL in a National Forest AreaDuration – 9 DaysWhen – Saturday, April 21st through Sunday, April 29th 2012Who – Medic73, My Wife, 16 Year Old Son, 11 Year Old Daughter And 9 Year Old Daughter (And Dog)Day One - Saturday
We had already planned a vacation camping trip for this time period several months ago. The family would go on a camping trip to one of our Bug Out Locations located in a National Forest.
This is a photo of the area we we Bugging Out In
Because it was during the Spring Turkey Season, the plan was that I would go down early, set up a comfortable campsite and scout and hunt for Turkeys for 3 days before the rest of the family would come down and join me.
Everything was going according to plan as I pulled away from home, heading to our BOL. But after I was almost 150 miles from home, I started hearing some disturbing news on the AM Radio. They were reporting that an H5N1 Flu Outbreak was rapidly spreading on both the west and east coasts of the United States. Also, unconfirmed reports of the recently dead rising up were starting to come in from these same areas that had the highest death rate from the Flu. Early reports told that the dead may have been attacking the living, further spreading the disease that was causing the dead to rise up again.
Early speculation about the cause of this new mysterious disease causing the dead to rise was attributed to a combination of recent strange events. The H5N1 Flu had started up again in Southeast Asia, specifically Viet Nam like many of the Flus. There was also a very large Solar Flare that caused some EMP-like damage to electronics and equipment. The Leonid Meteor Shower had just taken place with some large, unexplained explosions reported in areas like Arizona, presumed to be meteor fragments entering the earth’s atmosphere. The Pacific Rim has been very active with earthquakes and may have released some strange gases from some of these quakes. The thoughts were that all of these unusual occurrences together had caused some mutation with this H5N1 Flu Strain
I called my wife and told her about the reports and told her to go ahead and hurry up and come down now instead of waiting the three days. She told me it would take her a few hours to get everything loaded up with the family and the dog, but she thought they could make it to the BOL by late that evening.
I pulled into our BOL around 2:00 pm and started setting up our campsite. I was pulling our Pop-up Camper and I set it up in a nice level spot where it would be off of the main road leading into the area, but would still be where we could hear and see if anyone else tried to enter our area.
Photo of Our Pop-up Camper
I also set up a nice shelter to hold our Camp Kitchen. The Kitchen has a 3 Burner propane Stove with a large heavy steel griddle that we cook a lot of our meals on when camping. The Camp Kitchen also has some large Ice Chests to hold the cold food and drinks and a couple of tables set up to set other supplies on and give some working counter space.
Camp Kitchen Set Up
I also set up another shelter that is used as our Camp Restroom and Shower. It has a Shower Tent inside that uses an On-Demand, Instant Hot Water Propane Powered Water Heater. A 12 volt pump pushes the water through the water heater and to the shower head located inside the Shower tent. A Portable Chemical Toilet is also set up inside the Restroom Shelter so you have privacy and plenty of room inside to change clothes.
It was late when the family finally pulled into our campsite, but I knew what to expect because we had spoken by both cell phone and by Ham Radio while they were driving. When they arrived, I was very glad to see them. I had been listening to the AM Radio and Ham Radio Bands for any information about what was going on. I asked my wife if she had seen or heard any more news while she was driving. She told me that she also heard news of the events going on, but that no information was given about what to do. She did tell me that as she was driving out of town, the grocery store parking lot was packed and lots of people were there shopping and it was not a usually busy time. She told me she thought they got out at a good time, because if it’s this crazy now, what will tomorrow look like?
I told her that I wanted to better secure the BOL, so I grabbed my 16 year old son and 2 weapons and the chainsaw and some fuel and bar oil and we hiked back up the entry road for over a mile. At one of the small bridges on the road over a run off creek, I dropped the first tree with the branches facing out away from our area. I dropped several more trees, all facing out so the branches would be pointing right at anyone wanting to travel up our road. Doing so would make it more difficult to hook a winch cable to the trees to try and pull them off of the road and because we dropped several, it would take them several hours to clear the road so a vehicle could travel up it.
We walked back another ¼ mile towards camp and dropped 4 more trees just like before. Altogether, 10 trees were dropped across the only road into our area. If anyone tried to use a chain saw to cut up the trees, we would be able to hear that sound traveling down the valley from our camp. That should hold them, or at least really slow anyone down, I told my son. We walked back to camp, getting back about 2:00 am.
We finished unloading the rest of the supplies that my wife had brought and put them away in the Camp kitchen. Everyone was pretty tired by then, so I told them to go ahead and go to bed. I would take the first night’s watch. It was a warm night, so I didn’t need a campfire and sitting alone in the dark would help me not be seen if anyone did happen to come around.
I put an ear bud into my Ham Radio and listened for anymore chatter on the Ham Bands. Sometime around 4 in the morning, I got in one of the vehicles and listened to the AM radio, to see if there was anymore news. The radio told of some roving bands of undead as well as stories of panicked, rioting and looting. We had made it out in time, but I couldn’t help but wonder about our friends and family back in the towns. The night was quiet. The only noises I heard were a few small tree frogs, a Barred Owl and a Whip-o-will. Well, I did also hear some gentle snoring coming from the Pop-up Camper.Day Two - Sunday
Early the next morning, my wife woke up and came out to take over on watch for me. The morning sun was just starting to lighten the sky in the east. I was tired and glad to see her. She asked me if I wanted a cup of coffee from the pot I had going in the Camp Kitchen, but I told her no, I want to be able to sleep now. I kissed her good night/good morning and climbed into the Pop-up and crashed for a few hours.
While I was sleeping, she organized the supplies in the Camp Kitchen and took stock of just what and how much we had. Between what I had brought down and what she had brought, we actually had quite a bit of food and other supplies, much more than what could last us a couple of months, even more if we were really careful.
When I woke up, she told me that we had at least 60 days’ worth of food that we had brought. She asked what I thought our chances of expanding that with some hunting, fishing, trapping and snaring would be. I told her that everything but the hunting with firearms could be done because first, I did not want to alert anyone that we were in our valley BOL and second, I didn’t want to waste any ammo in case we needed it at some time. We could trap, snare and fish to try and add to our food supply.
Right now, we only had about 75 gallons of drinking water, but the creek wasn’t far and had water running as well as some deeper holes where we could bring back 5 gallon buckets of water and use the Water Purification System to filter and treat the water. Unless things really dried up, water should not be a problem and there is nothing but wilderness area upstream from us, so no one could contaminate the water in the creek.
We had 2 shotguns, a 12 gauge pump and a 20 gauge pump. Each shotgun had about 200 rounds with the loads divided up between small game loads, larger game loads, slugs and 000 Buck. We had one SKS with about 300 rounds for it and 2 pistols, a .45 ACP and a .380 with around 50 rounds for the .45, but the .380 only had 18 rounds for it. I wish we had brought more ammo, but then again, our plan was to not need to use the weapons unless absolutely needed. I really wish that we had brought the .22 LR Rifle with a few bricks of ammo and some Sub-Sonic Rounds for it, because we could have used that to hunt small game with.
I started gathering up my traps and snares and went out to set them in good looking areas to try and catch some small game. The three 110 and two 220 Conibears, I set near the creek along some game trails. I stuck some sticks in to the ground, to make some funnels so the animals would have to pass through the conibears and trip the traps. I also had 4 Fishing Yoyos that I used with some floral wire to make some snares. I set 2 of them up at the entrance of some game animal dens and I also set one up on a branch leaning against a tree to try and catch a squirrel using that branch to run up into the trees. I wanted to save one to actually use for fishing in one of the deep holes down in the creek, to see if I could catch a nice fat perch. I would come back every morning to check my traps and snares to see if I had been successful and tomorrow I would bring some fish guts or food to bait them with if nothing had been caught.
The day passed quickly as we set about improving our campsite by collecting firewood and water. We ate some sandwiches and chips for lunch and drank some Sun Tea. It was nice to stop and sit for a while.
Later that evening, while eating a dinner of Beef Stroganoff made from some of our Prep Food, we discussed how things were not the same anymore, but hopefully, would be back to “normal” in a few days or weeks. We told our children that no one was to leave camp alone, but only in pairs and only after telling where they would be. Better yet, the girls should not leave camp without their 16 year old Brother or one of Mom or Dad. We talked about everyone needing to keep listening for any sign of a vehicle or a person making noise and to keep a good look out at all times. We also spoke about the night watch schedule that our Son, my Wife and I would divide each night.
As the sun went down, we sat around a small campfire and enjoyed the smell of the Hickory smoke coming up. Around 10:00 pm, everyone but my wife went to bed. Our Son would relieve her at 1:00 am and I would relieve him around 3:00 am. By 6:00 am, the sky would again start to get light.
As I lay down in the Pop-up to sleep, I heard Coyotes singing off in the distance and the Barred Owl hooting at us again.Day Three - Monday
Soon after daybreak, we heard 3 distant gunshots off to the west. They sounded like someone hunting and trying to bring down a running deer. I thought to myself, I would have only taken a sure shot and only shoot once to not give away my position like that. It reminded us that while we are in our own BOL, we might not ever be really alone and must remain alert.
I woke up our Son and told him to get up and get ready to go check the traps and snares with me. I also wanted to patrol the area back up the road where we had dropped the trees, to see if there were any tire tracks or foot prints. He got up and we ate a quick breakfast of a Cliff Bar, grabbed our gear and heading out along the creek to check the traps and snares. I carried the 12 gauge and the .45 while he carried the 20 gauge.
None of the Conibears had been sprung, but one of the snares made with the Fishing Yoyos had been, but the animal had gotten out of the snare. I checked the wire and it was a little bent, but easily fixed, so I reset the snare. The Fishing Yoyo at the creek had nothing on it, so we scored a big fat Goose Egg.
We then started walking up one ridge back around camp and up to where the trees were dropped. Everything looked fine as we sat back in the woods watching with binoculars for quite a while. After several minutes, we crept down to the edge of the road to look for tire tracks and footprints. We had not heard any vehicles from camp, but sure enough, there were some tire tracks that stopped at the first tree and foot prints where 2 people had gotten out and walked over to look at the trees blocking the road. I guess it worked, but that means that now someone knows that somebody, us, is in here. Hopefully it was just some people looking for a good place to hide, but we’ll have to be even more careful from this point out.
We crossed over the road, stepping on some larger rocks so we didn’t leave any foot prints of our own. After crossing the road, we started back towards camp along the other ridgeline looking over our valley. Once a little way away from where we had crossed the road, I called my wife on the Ham Radio and told her what we had found. I also told her when we should be back at camp.
When we got back to camp, we all sat down for some lunch and talked more about what we had found. We agreed that we needed to make some back up plans, in case they did come back and somehow made it past the trees and into our camp area. I said that while the Pop-up is very comfortable, it was not very defendable and our best bet, if confronted would be to Bug Out back further into the woods. I said that we needed to go way back, at least a mile or more and build a Primitive Camp using Debris Shelters to sleep in and to store some of our food and other supplies in.
Later that afternoon, we put on our back packs and hiked deep into the woods along a well-used game trail. My Son and I wore large back packs full of supplies while my wife carried a hunting back pack. The Girls wore Hydration Back Packs. I carried the 12 gauge, my Son the 20 gauge and my wife carried the SKS. Both my wife and I also wore the pistols. Our oldest Daughter had our Dog on a leash.
After hiking back deep into the woods, we stopped at a clearing that I had made a camp at a few years back. This camp had a pretty good sized rock fire ring and some 4x4s across some rocks to sit on. We stopped here to take a break from the hike and I snapped another photo using the timer.
Taking a short break while hiking
We knew that this was not the type of area where we wanted to build the Debris Huts, because it was too open. We wanted to build them in a better area, much better hidden from view, so we got up and hiked on deeper into the woods. We found a good area that would allow us to set up the Debris Huts where they should not be found unless someone knew where to look. The wood were pretty thick and there were plenty of branches down and leaves everywhere, so we would not have to go too far to collect the needed supplies. We dropped our back packs and went to work on the Debris Huts.
Step one was to select a strong branch about 8 feet long to use as a Ridge Pole. This was tied to a tree trunk about 4 feet off the ground.
Next, we started placing branches against the Ridge Pole for the “Ribs” of the Debris Hut Shelter.
More Branches were added to the frame on both sides. These would hold the leaves after we had placed enough “Ribs” on the Ridge Pole.
After enough Ribs were in place, I placed a few cuttings with some green leaves still on them. This would help fill in a few spots that might have had more Ribs.
Now, we have started placing piles of leaves on the framework of the Debris Hut. The silver tarp in the background was used to hold piles of leaves gathered away from the Debris Hut and brought to it.
More leaves are added as the frame starts to get covered.
Still more leaves going on the Debris Hut frame.
Finally satisfied with the leaf cover, the right side opening was also covered, leaving only the left side for a door way. The piece of aluminum foil seen on the ground inside the Debris Hut is to start a small, smoky fire inside, to drive out any insects or critters from the Debris Hut.
The smoky fire is going inside and the tarp is used to help force that smoke up through the Debris.
After the fire was done smoking out the Debris Hut, we placed the tarp inside on the ground. This would help keep everything dryer inside the Debris Hut.
There is plenty of room in this Debris Hut for our Son and 2 Daughters to stretch out inside.
We placed the supplies that we had brought inside the Debris Huts and sealed the doors ways with more leaves. We left the 20 gauge shotgun and the .380 pistol there with ammo for all weapons. We also left about 3 weeks of food and about 3 gallons of water inside the Debris Huts. While this was not everything that we might need in case we did have to Bug Out from our campsite, it was a good head start and it would be useful if we had to run, leaving everything at the main camp.
It would be almost dark by the time we got back to our Base Camp, so we grabbed our now lighter back packs and hiked back.
When we got back to camp, my wife fixed us a nice large meal. Tonight, it was Mexican Fajitas to use up some of the food in the Ice Chest because in a couple more days, there would not be any more ice. My wife and I drank a cold beer with dinner and it sure went down nice after a day of work like we just did.
Again, my wife took the first watch. The sky was clear and full of stars as I headed for the Pop-up to sleep. The Coyotes and the Whip-o-wills were very vocal tonight and it was nice drifting off to sleep listening to them sing their songs.Day Four – Tuesday
After getting up the next morning for my watch, I started getting more supplies together to take to our Debris Huts. I wanted to try and move at least ½ of our supplies there in case we had to abandon our Base Camp. I quietly piled the supplies up so my Son and I could take them there when he got up later and after we checked the traps and snares again.
Once he got up, we again ate a Cliff bar. I drank another cup of coffee and as soon as it was finished, we went out to check the traps and snares. This time, nothing had been tripped at all. I was disappointed, but then remembered that I was going to try baiting some of the traps, but I didn’t have any fish guts yet. I told my Son, we need to do some fishing today after we get back from the Debris Huts. Hopefully, we’ll catch something that way. We can dig for worms for bait under some piles of leaves.
When we got back to camp, we grabbed our back packs loaded with the extra supplies and headed back to the Debris Huts. Everything was just as we had left it, so we loaded these new supplies into the Debris Huts, closed the doors with leaves and headed back to camp so we could dig up some worms and try and catch some fish in the bigger, deeper holes.
Here are the Girls trying their hand at fishing.
We did catch a few small perch. Not really enough to justify for a meal, but I did keep a couple of the larger ones to cut up as bait for the traps and snares and we let the rest go. Even though we didn’t catch enough for a meal, everyone did enjoy the time we spent fishing. My wife and I took turns providing over watch while the kids fished.
Later that afternoon, we went back to our Base Camp. While my wife fixed BBQ for dinner, I took the Fish Guts and went back out to bait the traps and snares. Hopefully, that would help us catch something in them.
When I got back, we ate dinner and sat around the camp fire talking. My Daughters asked if I would show them some more Survival Skills because they had fun building the Debris Huts. I told them that I would teach them how to start a camp fire without using a lighter or matches tomorrow. They were happy about that. After dinner, we made some S’mores and then called it an early evening. We kept the same night watch schedule so my wife took first watch.Day Five - Wednesday
I went back out the next morning with my Son to check the traps and snares. I could not believe it, still nothing! I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. It might be how I’m setting them or it might not be in the right spot, but I’m getting frustrated with them now. I’ll try one more night and if nothing tomorrow morning, I’ll pull them all in and give up for now, but if we end up that this is a prolonged thing, we will have to start finding more food sources because while we still have plenty of our prep food that we brought, it won’t last forever.
When we got back to Base Camp, the Girls were excited and asked when I would start teaching them more Survival Skills. I told them that just because we’re out in the woods, their education does not stop. I told them that before I teach them how to build fires using some alternative ways, I wanted to teach them a little about the woods and the trees in them.
We walked around the camp area and I pointed out a few different trees. I showed them Pine Trees and Pine Cones, Hickory Trees with Hickory Nuts, Oak Trees with Acorns, and Sweet Gum Trees with their Gum Balls. I showed them Dog Wood trees and we spoke about their white flowers that bloom in the spring with 4 petals per flower, but it’s just past their flowering time. I also told them that they get red berries in the fall that some birds like to eat. I showed them Cedar Trees and we talked about how they, like the Pine Trees are ever green conifers and the other trees are deciduous trees that will lose their leaves in the fall. I also showed them some other plants in the woods like Ferns, Moss, Green Briars, May Apples and some Cat Tails down by the creek.
I then showed them some dead trees that had fallen long ago. I showed them the difference between Pine Branches and Hardwoods and why the hardwoods were better for fire wood. We also found an old fallen Pine Tree that had all but rotted away except for the heartwood. See that, I asked pointing to some of the flat “wings” where branches had grown out of the tree? That is called Pitch Pine and it makes great fire starter. It can light, even when wet. Some folks call it Fat Wood, but I’ve always known it as Pitch Pine. I showed them how to use the heel of my boot to “stomp off” some of the Pitch Pine. Here, smell it… see how it smells kind of like paint? That’s why it burns so well. We collected a few pieces of the Pitch Pine and headed back to camp.
While walking back to camp, I quizzed the Girls about the different trees. They had paid attention and could identify almost every tree I asked them to. I also had them start picking up a few small twigs to use when we started our fire starting class.
After lunch, I placed several different things that we would use for the fire starting class out on paper plates. I gathered the Girls and told them about each item and what it would do. Before we actually got started, I asked if they knew the three things that you have to have for there to be fire. They made a few guesses, mostly wrong, but they did say wood. I told them that fire MUST have Fuel, Oxygen and Heat. Without just one of those three items, you can’t have a fire.
These are some of the items we used for our Fire Building Class. The above items are from top to bottom, Fat Wood Sticks above the plate, Vaseline Soaked Cotton Ball, pieces of Pitch Pine, Pitch Pine Shavings (left) and Fat Wood Shavings (right).
I showed them some Strike Anywhere Matches and a Butane Lighter and said that they were too easy and that they needed to know how to start a fire without using the matches or lighter. I pulled out a magnesium flint bar and showed them how to use the little piece of hack saw blade included with it to shave off some magnesium shavings into a little pile. I told them that this is a metal, but it will burn when a spark hits those shavings. I then showed them how to get a good shower of sparks from the flint and I had them each give that a try before trying to light any fires.
Our Oldest Daughter trying to make sparks with the flint.
I did show them how to light the pile of magnesium shavings with the flint and they were surprised as it lit. Next, we fluffed out some of the Vaseline soaked cotton ball and I had them shower them with sparks until they lit. As they lit, I showed them how to gently place a few small pieces of the Pitch Pine over the flaming cotton balls. The flames grew and threw out some black smoke. See, I told them, that’s the pitch burning and it will light even when wet.
I then had them gather their own supplies to start their own fires. They had the Vaseline soaked cotton balls, Pitch Pine Slivers, Fat Wood Sticks and their small pile of twigs and sticks. They fluffed out their own piece of the cotton balls and used the magnesium/flint bar to spark the cotton balls into flame. As they got them lit, they started gently placing some of the Pitch Pine slivers over the cotton balls and the flames grew larger. They then laid a small piece of a fat Wood Stick over that and then started building up the little fires with the twigs and sticks.
Here is our youngest Daughter blowing onto her little fire.
After they each had their fires going, I scraped their fires onto a paper plate and combined them and dropped them into the camp fire ring. See Girls, this is your very own, first camp fire. They were very excited and spent the next several minutes feed the camp fire more and more sticks. Soon they were now adding some of the large split fire wood from the stack. I told them that they could keep their fire going and we would use it to cook our dinner on later this afternoon, but not to burn up all the fire wood because we really didn’t need a large fire burning all day.
Later that evening, we placed a camp fire grill over the fire and cooked hot dogs over their camp fire. After dinner, we made more S’mores and sat around watching the campfire. That evening, the Barred Owl came back around hooting to us again in our camp.
Finally, we went to bed except my wife who took first watch again. It was another clear night, this time a little cooler which made for great sleeping.Day Six - Thursday
I woke my son up again and we went back out to check the traps and snares. Again disappointment as nothing had even tripped any of the traps or snares. The bait on the fishing Yoyo was even still there. We had totally failed at trapping and snaring, but hopefully even failure teaches us something. I guess my lesson here was not to count on it until I am better at it. I went ahead and gathered up all the traps and snares and took them back to camp.
As we were walking back to camp, I saw and heard a high flying Jet pass over. We had not bothered to listen to any AM Radio or Ham Radio the past few days. I decided to go ahead and listen and see if there was any new news about the events that caused us to go ahead and Bug Out to our woods.
As I tuned in to the AM Station that had given us the best news, I heard them report that the authorities had almost completely gotten the undead under control and that most of the rioting and looting was now stopped with just a few isolated pockets now being reported. Things seemed much better than the last time we listened.
I called my wife over to also listen to the reports. Are things really better, she asked me? It sounds so, but let’s not jump to conclusions just yet. I would like to hear that they have everything under control before deciding if it’s safe to go back home. Maybe we can start preparing to pack up and if the reports are even better tomorrow, we’ll go back and get our things from the Debris Huts.
We decided to go fishing again and dug up some more worms from under the wet leaf piles. When we went back down to the creek, we caught more fish than last time. These were even bigger than before, so we took them back to camp, cleaned them and had fresh fish for a late lunch.
We started cleaning up our camp and as my wife started packing up a few things, in case we did decide it was safe to go back home, I pulled the vehicle over next to the Pop-up and turned up the radio. The reports continued to show great improvement. They said that there had not been anymore reports of the dead rising since yesterday afternoon. The only rioting going on was in places like LA and New Orleans where it doesn’t seem to take much to get one going. Nowhere in the middle of the country now had any problems.
That night, my wife and I broke out some harder, “Adult” Beverages to celebrate. We told the kids that it looked like things were pretty much over back home and that if it was still so tomorrow, we would then decide if we could go back home. Everyone had mixed feelings about this. While it would be great to get back home, to modern things like electricity, air conditioning, running water and mostly for the kids, computers and TV, everyone really had a great time during our week long Bug Out Vacation. We all grew much closer with each other and that was really great. Both my wife and I know that we won’t have too much longer with our kids as they are all growing up to darn fast.
We decided that for the first time since we got there, we could go without a night watch so everyone could get a good, full night’s sleep. We stayed up just a little longer staring at the camp fire and my wife and I sipping our drinks. We let the kids make S’mores again until they didn’t want any more.
Looking up, the clear night sky was again filled with stars. Every once in a while, we could see the reflection of a satellite going over our campsite. Our friends the Whip-o-will and the Barred Owl came back to sing to us and we even heard the Coyotes singing somewhere off up the valley. The kids grew tired and actually went to bed without being told. My wife and I sat up just a little longer and stared at the fire as we let it get smaller and finally just had lit coals without any flames. Are you ready for bed, I asked her? Yes, what time is it? I looked at my watch and laughed. It was only 11:30 pm. We usually don’t go to bed until well after midnight at home. Its funny how camping out like this makes you want to go to bed early.Day Seven - Friday
When we got up in the morning, we had a good breakfast of pancakes, sausage and hash browns with some good hot coffee. I’m always amazed at how good food tastes when cooked outdoors. I ate a nice big plate of the food and after breakfast, turned the AM Radio back on.
It was funny hearing music and only regular broadcasts. We had to wait to the top of the hour to hear any news reports. When it did come on, there was only a brief message about the events of the past week. The short report said that everything now seemed back to normal and everyone would be expected to go back to their regular jobs on Monday Morning.
Because of the reports, we did decide that we could go back. Our regularly scheduled vacation was almost over too, and I would also need to be back at work on Monday if the world wasn’t still haywire. I didn’t get to do any Turkey Hunting, but I did have a great time in the woods with my family and that was well worth any trouble.
My Wife took the Girls back to the Debris Huts to start bringing back the food and supplies we stored there. My Son and I would take the chain saw and go back up the road and start clearing the trees that we had dropped across the road. This would take all day today and some of tomorrow. As we cut up the trees, we cut the wood into good fire wood lengths and stacked them off the road for another time when we came to our BOL.
We finished cutting the first batch of trees and went back late that afternoon to camp. We knew it would not be easy clearing the road, but it did stop anyone else from coming in to our BOL while we were there. My Wife told me that they still had one more trip out to the Debris Huts to get the last of the stuff there, but they would have it all back and packed up by tomorrow morning.
Our dinner was a good one. We needed to use up the last of the ground beef because it was thawing out anyway, so my Wife made a meatloaf and scalloped potatoes for dinner. Everyone ate their fill and we all went to bed early because we had all worked hard that day.Day Eight – Saturday
While the Girls brought back the last of the supplies from the Debris Huts, my Son and I went back out and cut the last of the trees blocking the road and stacked the cut fire wood in the woods. It was late afternoon when we finally finished clearing the road.
When we got back to camp, my Wife already had dinner made for us. It was a meal from our prep food and was Beans and Rice with some fresh baked Corn Bread she cooked in a Dutch Oven using coals from the fire. It tasted really good and was very filling. My Wife and I drank the last of the beer, which wasn’t as cold as I usually like it, but still tasted good.
Cheers, she said as we touched bottles together. This has been a wonderful week. The kids actually got along with each other and learned a few things. Best of all, the world didn’t end and we’re going home tomorrow.
As we sat around our last campfire, I asked the Girls what three things fire needed. Fuel, Heat and Air they answered. I asked them what trees and plants they had learned about this week. They told me Pine, Oak, Dog Wood, Cedar, that “Gum Ball thingy tree” and Hickory. My oldest Daughter also said, We learned about Pitch Pine too Dad.
What can I say? I was proud to hear them answer with confidence, knowing most of the answers spot on. I asked them what part of the week they liked the best and they answered, fishing, building the fires and building the Debris Huts.
We all went to bed early tonight. It was only 9:30 pm when we went into the Pop-up to go to sleep. I don’t remember hearing anything from the animals that night and I was out the minute my head hit the pillow.Day Nine – Sunday
When we got up, we started packing right after breakfast. There was a lot to take down and pack away as well as load everything into the 2 vehicles. When everything was finally packed and loaded, we took down the Pop-Up and hooked it to the trailer hitch.
We took one last walk around our campsite, to make sure we hadn’t missed anything. I looked over and my youngest Daughter was hugging a Dog Wood tree and telling it good bye and that she loved it! She told me that this was her tree
and that she would check on it every time we come back.
Here she is standing on a crook on its trunk right before we left camp.
It was kind of sad when it was time to start the vehicles and drive out of the woods from our BOL, but the things we did this week and what we all learned will stay with us forever. Some people fear Bugging Out, but others, like us, actually enjoy getting away. I’m glad that the events were not more serious and I think we will hear about things that will really make us glad we left before the worst got going. I would not hesitate to do this all over again if/when needed.
When I get back, I’m going to study trapping and snaring so hopefully, next time, I’ll do better at it. Other than that, pretty much everything we did worked great for us. We had all the comforts we needed with our Bug Out Camp and we even built a good back up camp with the Debris Huts. I’ll go back later when we come back for our next campout here and check on them.Respectfully Submitted by Medic73 and FamilySaturday, May 5th 2012