Bugging Out by Boat, Kayak, Canoe, Houseboat, Inflatable, or Other Watercraft


The idea of bugging out by boat may not be for everyone, but if you live near the coast, a river or lake, especially ones with canyons, it is worth considering. It is actually a practical way to evacuate some areas quickly. During an evacuation process, roadways and bridges can become clogged. The ability to use the waterways will ensure that your family will be able to get away from dangerous situations.

Bugging out by boat has a number of advantages for people who try to be prepared for any situation. It may take a bit more planning than standard preparation techniques, since you will add another element to the process. Proper maintenance of your watercraft is another issue that you will have to keep in mind. Wherever you keep it, you must ensure that the area is safe, and you will need to check on it occasionally.

Fortunately, a number of people who live near the water have boats for recreational purposes. Additionally, the cost of boats is not prohibitive, as even a small sailboat will work for this purpose. Even one that is 20 feet long will accommodate a small family and your survival gear. 

Types of Boats


When you are  bugging out by boat, you can do so in various types of watercraft, some of which are better than others depending on the climate, the sailing ability of the users, and the type of waterway. Basic navigational training may be necessary for operating larger watercraft out on the sea. Depending on your plan, the size of your family and the waterway, suitable boats are:

  • Canoes
  • Kayaks
  • Yachts
  • Inflatable rafts
  • Houseboats

What You Need When Bugging Out by Boat

If you plan on bugging-out by boat, you will need more than the regular gear. Some additional items that being on a boat will require to help ensure the safety of yourself and your family is:

  • Supplies of tools and parts to keep a boat in good order
  • Fuel
  • Life jackets
  • Flotation devices especially if you have kids
  • Oars
  • Compass and maps

Why Bug-out by Boat

An evacuation procedure can cause the traffic to bottleneck at certain points. Apart from road congestion other good reasons to do this are:

  • Fewer people to deal with as you face the challenges of the aftermath of a disaster, as such there is less likelihood of quarreling over scarce resources.
  • Larger crafts will allow you to take more items when using a boat than is possible by walking and carrying your kit.
  • Most boats are made to enable boaters to sail around for a couple of weeks safely if they have everything necessary for survival, food, water, energy and other amenities.
  • With the right tools you can have an almost constant supply of fresh fish, oysters, shrimp and other seafood.
  • Some boats, depending on cost, have a water maker which means that you will not have to worry about a supply of drinking water.
  • If you are close to land and you have to stay away from home for a long time, you can still farm, hunt small animals on land, and use the boat as a home. Having a garden on deck is also a real possibility as you can plant vegetables and herbs in containers.

Bugging out by boat also has its own dangers, but with proper planning and practice it can be a good way to ride out a disaster. If it is a hurricane, being out in the open sea with little cover is unsafe; however, in other situations such as a major forest fire, the open water may be the safest place to be. For those persons who love the sea or sailing, this is a good way to keep safe and enjoy what you like doing.

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