There are three main evasion scenarios that you need to be familiar with as it’s a 100% guarantee that you will find yourself in at least one of these situations as you prepare to escape and leave the area. It will be crucial that you scan and study your surroundings before you embark on your journey as each scenario will drastically affect your escape plan, concealment options and strategy.
Scenario 1: You don’t have any pursuers and no one knows you’re out there
If no one knows that you are out there then you will have a huge advantage as nobody will be actively searching for you. You still need to exercise your concealment and evasion strategies, however, you will be able to do so in a much more relaxed and paced setting. You will have two options available from which you can choose. You may decide to stay where you are and lay low or you may decide that now is the right time to continue on to your next destination.
If you decide to stay put for the time being don’t allow yourself to get complacent. Remember this isn’t just a waiting game where you’re sitting around, trying your luck and hoping you won’t get caught. Setting up early warning systems around your site is something that should be done as soon as possible. This can be done with fishing line, cans and pebbles as well as other items that you may have in your bug out bag. You may also have to improvise with other materials that nature has provided. If there are enough people in your group you can set up a watch or sentry. Assign different people to these posts and have them rotate shifts with the other members of your group. Keep quiet, watch and listen for any sounds out of the ordinary which could signify that someone else may be approaching your location. This could be the snapping of a twig, crunching or ruffling of leaves and bushes or even birds and animals making unusual sounds.
Avoid using flashlights and keep communication between you and the other members of your group quiet and to a minimum. If you need to make a fire then do so during the day. Keep the fire small and use the driest wood you can find to reduce the amount of smoke given off. If you absolutely need a fire at night try and build it in front of a natural wall of some sort such as a rock wall or cliff. You could then make a barrier wall in front of the fire with piles of dirt, rocks, debris from the forest floor or even logs piled on top of each other. This will help to obstruct the view of your fire, reflect some of the heat back to you and will aid in concealing your location. There are also multiple ways in which you can dig a hole in the ground and build your fire inside it. If a temporary shelter needs to be built or erected be sure to conceal it as well and take it down before you leave. When it’s time to evacuate your location be very quiet and don’t leave any traces behind which could indicate to someone else that you were there. The tips and strategies that I just listed here can and should also be used in the next two scenarios.
Remember that in this first scenario nobody knows that you’re out there but if you decide to leave your location then I would highly suggest that you exercise your concealment and evasion strategies as if someone was actually following you. You never know when or where you’ll accidentally step across the path of another survival group or even the enemy – you can never be too careful.
Scenario 2: You have pursuers who have an idea where you are trying to find you.
If someone is looking for you but doesn’t know exactly where you are then your best bet is to keep on the move. Practice your concealment skills and avoid open fires, or anything else that will give you away. Because you know someone is looking for you, you must be vigilant. Post sentries (if you can). Use the warning system of fishing line, can and pebbles (or any other system that you come up with). Keep the chatter down at night (sound carries better at night). Be careful lighting even something as small as a match. A sudden flare of light is really noticeable. Hide your camps well and clean it up before you move. Don’t leave clues as to where you have been or where you are going – you want to slow down your pursuer and make them work as hard as possible for every piece of intel.
Scenario 3: You have pursuers, they know where you are and are following or chasing you.
If you know that some one is following or chasing you there several things that you need to remember. You should move as quickly and silently as you can. Try not to disturb the ground or hold on to trees or branches that could easily snap or leave marks. Do not travel in a straight line, travel in broad zigzag patterns. If you have time you could try and set up traps or diversions to slow down your pursuers. Use the stop, watch and listen rule and if lucky you may get some idea of where your pursuers are relative to your own position. If you are in a group you can confuse the trail by splitting up for a bit but always keep each other in sight. Converge on each other again and carry on repeating the process from time to time. Only the most determined pursuers will carry on like this. Most will realize that their own provisions are running low and their resupply camp is getting further away as the longer they keep chasing you. In most bug out cases, unless your small group is of some importance to well trained and supplied groups (military for example) the pursuit should not last long. If your pursuer(s) do happen to catch up to you then you will probably have to fight for your life which means doing anything necessary in order to ensure your own survival.
Finding yourself caught in any of these situations won’t be an easy task. I highly recommend that you form a group, even if it’s just a bunch of your friends and practice these skills together. You never know when you will need to exercise these skills in a “real deal” situation and having practiced them before hand will allow you to be at least one step ahead of the game.
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