Bugging Out On Waterways


Pros & Cons Of Bugging Out On Waterways!

Much of the United States is criss crossed with multiple streams, rivers and large lakes.  Depending on your proximity to those waterways it may be a viable option for you to travel on them instead of using roadways if there was a major disaster in your region that for some reason forced you from your home.  But don’t jump in too quickly! There are a lot of different Pros and COns that you should be aware of because using a waterway may not be the best solution.  Or if the circumstances were just right it may work out fine. Take a look at the video below to see my thoughts on both the Pros and Cons as I see them.  I will say that I am not an expert boatsman, however as a young child and teenager my family used to spend considerable time on the canoeing on the streams of southern Missouri.  So hopefully this list will get you to thinking about your own individual situation and you will evaluate it carefully before making a decision on whether or not you will use a waterway in an emergency situation.

As noted in the video this list is primarily geared towards canoeing or kayaking down a small stream or river and does not cover the Pros and Cons of using a larger motorized boat of considerable size. In this post we are looking at craft that are small enough for two people to be able to portage them if needed.

Video Of Pros and Cons of Bugging Out on A Waterway

Click here to watch on Youtube: https://youtu.be/VcWHCFN-2tA

List Of Pros And Cons Of Using A Waterway As A Means Of Evacuation

For those that prefer to read instead of watching on youtube here are the list of both the Pros and Cons. Lets start it off with the Cons:

  1. Really only viable, in late spring to early fall due to cold water temperatures and the high risk of hypothermia if you get wet. Or if the river is frozen over.
  2. Most small to mid size streams and rivers twist and turn a lot in one mile which will make the journey longer than it would be on land.
  3. You are considerably more limited on the amount of gear you can carry as compared to what can be carried in a pickup truck and trailer.
  4. Typically currents are pretty slow and speeds are limited if you are paddling.
  5. Risk possibly loosing gear if you accidentally tip the boat over.
  6. You can be easily ambushed if someone sees you and wants your stuff.  A river affords you very limited mobility.
  7. Reversing direction is possible especially with a motor, but paddling up stream sucks.
  8. If you have a small outboard motor they can be quite loud and heard from great distances.
  9. Headwinds can slow you down significantly.
  10. Getting lost or taking wrong forks can waste time and be confusing.
  11. Generally speaking your destination options will be limited.
  12. Sound travels down rivers a long ways.
  13. You may have to deal with a lot of insects.
  14. Typically not safe to travel at night.
  15. Portaging sucks if it is long distance.
  16. During combat situations it is generally advised to stay away from rivers because of a high likelihood of seeing people. People tend to settle along waterways.
  17. High water situations, rapids and waterfalls can be dangerous.
Now lets take a look at the Pros:
  1. If you have a motor and the current is strong. And the wind is right you can make pretty good time.
  2. Paddling can be pretty quiet if you are skilled and disciplined.
  3. You can carry more gear than just a bug out bag.
  4. You will likely encouter less people than on the road ways.
  5. You can conserve calories and just let the current carry you down stream.
  6. Electric trolling motors can be a big help and if you have a solar panel you can use it for long distances without having to carry gasoline.
  7. You are a moving target not sitting still.
  8. If there are not a lot of branches splitting off the navigation is pretty easy. You just need to know what your destination looks like from the river.
  9. You can fish as you go to catch dinner along the way.
  10. It is very difficult to track or follow when you are on a boat. Easy to spot surveillance if they are untrained.
  11. You dont leave much sign of travel. Hard to track.
  12. You can hunt from the boat as you go.
  13. You can sleep under a canoe or John boat at night.
  14. Easy to find secluded spots to camp for the night.

What Do You Think Are Some Pros and Cons That I Missed? Let us know in the comments below!


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