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Is Bugging Out Abroad A Good Idea?

Is Bugging Out Abroad A Good Idea?

There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach to a disaster, and each varies in almost every way. From the time spent in the SHTF scenario, to the things you’ll need and who you’ll be with, there’s a whole world of things to consider – because the whole world has changed. One of the most important

There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach to a disaster, and each varies in almost every way. From the time spent in the SHTF scenario, to the things you’ll need and who you’ll be with, there’s a whole world of things to consider – because the whole world has changed.

One of the most important ones to consider is where you’re going to bug out, if you do choose to.

Most preppers recommend staying in the UK and bugging out to the woods or another similarly isolated location, but others think the idea of going abroad and spending your time living amongst the foreign world is a better shout.

In this post, we’re going to look at the pros and cons, and other things to consider regarding bugging out abroad.

The British Climate

If you decide to bug out abroad, the destination is the main thing to consider. You need to work out if you can really handle spending the foreseeable future, and sometimes longer, in an environment that’s unfamiliar to you.

The British climate really is the perfect place for you to be. Most of our readers are British and grew up here – meaning they understand that although it may rain more often than you’d like, it isn’t a difficult one to handle and all you really need is a decent waterproof jacket

Compare that with the relentless summer heat of Spain or sub-Saharan countries, or the freezing cold below-zero winter temperatures in places like Russia and northern Canada, and you’re really in one of the best locations you can be when you think about it. 

A little adaptation, like putting on a large jacket or wrapping a warm blanket around you when you’re indoors is enough for you to get by. And if you choose to stay inside by bugging in within a building, which we feel is the best option, you have very little to do to reach the ideal temperature.

Difficulty Of Travelling Abroad

police traffic stop on cars travelling

If you do decide to bug out elsewhere, you will need to actually get there first. This can be an issue as transport will be incredibly limited during a situation where you need to bug out, unless you’re planning to move there ahead of any disruption.

Most flights will be grounded, every ferry will be packed, and it’s very unlikely you know someone with a private plane. Checkpoints are likely to be set up at the borders if there is martial law being put into place as well as at random places in the country you’re travelling to, and you will have to give account for yourself. 

That’s purely the physical aspect of it – because you should also consider the political impact on your travels. Different passports have different strengths due to international relations, and following Brexit, a British one is unfortunately quite weak having dropped a lot of places.

This probably means that you’ll be very limited when going to Europe and other places. As of 2020, you can only spend 3 months in a European country without a proper visa.

However, following the total collapse of society as we know it, there’s also a chance that none of this will matter, and the only thing you’ll have to worry about is the transport side of it. If governments stop operating how they’ve always done, then there’s no reason for their rules to continue.

Language Barrier

Although English is the most spoken language in the world, a lot of these speakers are located further away, like in the US – and you’ll be extremely limited on where you can travel when SHTF. It’s doubtful you’ll make it across the pond to America. 

Chances are you’ll end up in Europe, so make sure you can get to grips with French, Spanish and German or the language of wherever you plan to travel to.

Another thing to consider is the issues that arise from a language barrier. Sure, you can prepare now to speak another language, but it takes years to develop the intricacies associated with grammar to make yourself properly understood. 

As there’s been a breakdown in communication, you might not be able to barter with your goods, and it may be hard even to make your general tone clear, which would be an issue if you’re ever in trouble with others, or are apprehended by their army or police force.

As you’re in a different country, if you do get into a disagreement with another party, they’re going to be supported by their fellow natives. If this doesn’t faze you, then at least make sure to travel with others in case things get a bit hairy.

Type Of Disaster

The type of disaster can make a world of difference, too. If it’s localised to the UK, then moving abroad may be a good idea, especially if it’s something like a civil war or a nuclear meltdown with no clear end in sight.

But if it’s a global issue like a nuclear war, then you may as well remain unless you’re headed to a remote area of the planet that won’t be touched by such a war.

You’ll have clearer communication, your possessions are nearby, and there’s no logistical nightmares of actually arranging your move. If you have relatives abroad, try and get them back to the UK if it’s safer here than there. 

Transporting Your Possessions

Making your survival kit with a bug out bag is one of the first things every prepper should do, because deciding what to put in it can be an adventure in itself. Bundled clothes, litres of water, cans of food – these all take up valuable space and are heavy.

If you’re bugging out abroad overseas, you won’t be able to take everything you need with you – and if you can, you’ll have to be limited anyway, as flights have weight limits, and you can’t afford to miss your plane.

Do a few practice runs to see if you can even handle carrying your bag around the house. If you can, maybe you can handle trekking for hundreds of miles across Europe to reach your destination, but you will need a lot of supplies. 



It’s clear that bugging out abroad will lead to a huge number of issues before you’ve even left British soil, including political and physical trouble.

Once you get to your destination, unless you’re incredibly prepared by having mastered their language, you’re going to face even more issues regarding communication.

Finally, it’s worth remembering that people always protect their own when there’s a dangerous situation – and if you’re in a foreign land going through a SHTF scenario, you’re going to stick out amongst the locals.

If you are intent on bugging out abroad, then it’d be wise to set down roots now or make the move well ahead of time in case anything should happen, as when SHTF you aren’t going to have the same luxuries and liberties you enjoy just now. 


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