Five Combat Military Bug-out Survival Tips I Learned the Hard Way (So You Don’t Have To)

There was NO mercy…

When I was in the Army’s elite 10th Mountain Division light infantry for almost four years, we had a lot to prove — and we did it all on our feet.

Traveling up to about 25 miles per day with no vehicle support… carrying a rucksack filled with all of my field gear, ammo, commo equipment… popping Motrin like Tic Tacs to kill the pain in my feet.

Yup… you learn a LOT about what works and what doesn’t work when you’re forced to get from point A to point B with nothing but your feet to get you and your supplies there.

And it’s exactly the same if you’re ever forced to bug out by foot during a crisis. So let me share five combat military bug-out survival tips I learned the hard way.

1. The Right Boots

I can’t stress enough how important choosing the right hiking boots is for traveling long distances.

In the military, we had our issued combat boots and after a good break-in period, they were super comfortable.

Make sure you choose a comfortable pair of hiking boots (don’t go cheap!). Break them in by wearing them daily for a few months and then set them aside for “go time.”

Also consider sliding in a padded insert sole for more cushion and comfort.

2. Foot Powder

Your feet’s two worst enemies are friction and moisture.

Moist feet make your skin more vulnerable to abrasions and blisters.

Stop every three miles or so to dust your bare feet with foot powder to keep your feet dry and safe as you’re walking.

3. Panty Hose

Blisters happen because of repetitive friction between your socks and your skin inside of your boots.

Over time, the intense pain from blisters will have you limping… then hobbling… then completely stopped by the side of the road in excruciating pain.

Wear a pair of knee-high pantyhose under your regular hiking socks and your regular socks will rub against the hose instead of your skin, greatly reducing your potential for blisters.

4. Moleskin

When you do start to get a blister, the earlier you react to reduce the friction in that specific area, the better off you’ll be.

When you get a “hot spot,” take out some moleskin (this is a sticky, thick, felt-like bandage material that comes in sheets so you cut out the shape you need).

Cut two pieces of moleskin slightly larger than your blister.

Cut a hole in the middle of one piece slightly larger than your blister (it will look like a little doughnut) and place this on your skin with the blister in the middle.

Place the other (full) piece of moleskin directly on top of the doughnut piece to completely cover the blister and protect it from further friction.

5. Lighten Your Load

This is probably the most critical element of you actually making it to your destination during a bug-out evacuation by foot.

Something that weighs five pounds at the start of your journey will feel like 15 pounds within about three–five miles — especially if you’re not as fit as a soldier who’s used to packing that kind of weight.

When I was in the 10th Mountain Division, we were used as an experimental unit for testing new gear for the military.

I can tell you that our most common reason for sending stuff back to the Pentagon as failed was its weight value.

If it didn’t actually LIGHTEN our load, we’d never carry it. Plain and simple.

Go through your own gear and get rid of anything that isn’t truly necessary.

My guess is you’ll find a bunch of little things that — when pulled out — will add up to a lot of weight you can drop.

The Biggest Bug-out Survival Tip I Can Give You

No. 5 above is the biggest problem I still see today among even so-called “expert” survivalists…

So many preppers have these giant bug-out bag lists that I know they’ve never actually tried to carry for any distance.

If they did, they would have soon realized how idiotic their lists are.

This was one of the reasons we custom-designed our X-BOB evacuation system with a modular platform to allow you to load as much or as little as you like — and position your gear where it will cause the least amount of wear on your body.

This is HUGE. Trust me.

I also highly recommend you use a 12-level survival plan like we lay out in our survival gear guide you can get for free right here.

This plan shows you how to adapt to any crisis to keep moving you and your family toward safety no matter what obstacle is thrown in your way.

You never know when a disaster or other crisis will force you and your family from your home — struggling to make it to safety while the world crumbles around you.

Take action now to protect those you love.

Jeff Anderson

Written By Jeff Anderson

As a lifelong student of what he calls "survival arts", it was Jeff Anderson’s military training that led him to seek out strategies that would protect not only himself on the battlefield... but also provide for his family's own self-reliance in any sort of disaster, crisis or collapse. After 10 years of military training in elite infantry units around the world, Jeff began working as a security consultant and executive protection specialist for private clients and the entertainment industry. Specializing in military style hand-to-hand and weapons combat, Jeff offered classes and seminars based on practicality and battlefield effectiveness. In Jeff’s survival training, it was his service overseas and in combat missions, that he was able to get a first-hand glimpse of what a city gripped in collapse and without rule of law is like for its citizens. He uses his unique experience to inject a more realistic view of what to expect in survival scenarios and provide practical solutions — even in extreme environments — for true survivalists. Ultimately his training and experience led him to create the digital media channel for Modern Combat and Survival magazine which is fueled by more than 100 of the world’s top instructors in law enforcement, military and civilian survival schools.