How to Escape and Evade When Social Chaos Erupts

Did you ever dream America would be a place where daily lies from our government would be considered normal? Where there existed no moral compass, that anything goes as long as it resulted in a win for those in power. No? Neither did I, but unless I’m dreaming, nightmare actually, we are on the verge of everything that was impossible just a year earlier, becoming reality.

It may begin with an economic collapse. Possibly created by a massive robbing of wealth taking from the many and given to the few, such as a massive tax cut. People will be unable to obtain health coverage, their children will be hungry as food aid is discontinued, millions will lose their jobs, savings will be wiped out by fraudulent banking practices.

Martial law with be invoked. The masses will become desperate as they see everything taken away from them. Leaderless, they will turn into the streets in massive and chaotic demonstrations, spurred on by hate groups specifically introduced to create violence.

National security will be the motto as government forces turn on the citizenship, declaring it the only way to restore peace and safety. The president will require congress to pledge loyalty to him and they’ll pass bills granting him absolute power.

The Final Blow will be when the government takes over all communication, the planes fly over dropping propaganda pamphlets, a few small cities will be destroyed as a warning …

America will no longer be “America.”

Can’t Happen? Look how much America has changed in less than a year.

Wrong Preparation

They are called everything from paranoid cults to insightful genius, but certain people believe the U.S. collapse is inevitable, whether it be this month or five years from now. They have taken steps to prepare (aka preppers) for the food, water, fuel shortages, etc that will certainly follow any major shift in American society. I applaud their resourcefulness and tenacity in face of ridicule and government road blocks.

But … what if everything they have prepared for is not enough. Not for lack of trying or ingenuity, but for failure to grasp the entire picture of what it could mean. Thankfully, or perhaps pitifully, few of us can grasp the grotesque things one person can do to another. Obviously the Holocaust is a prime example, but ethnic cleansing, the total annihilation of a particular race of people, is alive and well today, specifically in African countries.

There are other survival tactics we need to include in our arsenal of skills which could be more important than food and water, at least short term … How to Escape and Evade.

Could You end up in forced captivity? Don’t think it could happen?

In a way it already has and I’m not referring to the interment of Japanese Americans in the 1940’s. In recent history we have experienced horrific natural disasters, especially hurricane destruction, where 1000’s of Americans were forced into FEMA internment camps because they lost their homes. True, they were not restricted to the camp, but could they have been? What would happen if the government took the position the only way they could maintain public safety was to restrict all of these people to camp? What if there was no food or water made available except for these camps?


It’s for your own good

What if it’s not an economic collapse we’re dealing with? What if America’s collapse is total and brings down the government as well? History is full of unbeatable empires such as the Roman Empire, Genghis Khan, Xerxes, and they fell. Why not America? Perhaps that’s a Russian flag now flying over the White House, or a Chinese flag, or even an Iranian flag or North Korean. Suddenly you’re trying to escape from a situation more on the lines of a Nazi concentration camp, where the longer you’re there, the more likely it is you’re to die a miserable death. Starvation. Disease. Execution.


This may appear backwards, emphasizing evasion before escape, but escape is an entire subject of its own and will be discussed in another lesson. The one thing I want to stress is, in the event you are captured and held prisoner, immediately begin looking for a way to escape. Time is not on your side. The longer you’re held captive the weaker you will become, the will to escape will fade as you set into a daily routine, mental surrender will finally set in. “It just ain’t worth it.”

When You become the Hunted:

You look out your window and see an armed unit heading toward your house in a four wheel vehicle. There are too many to fight and your brother-in-law has your truck so you’re on foot. What do you do … surrender or try to escape? Escape!

The first goal is to run, put as much distance between you and them as quickly as humanly possible. As long as you’re not spotted it will take the aggressors a few minutes to get organized. They have done this many times and aren’t about to blindly walk into a hail of bullets from the target hiding in the house. They’ll formulate an assault plan, but it won’t take long, use every second of delay.

Run smart. Don’t head to obvious landmarks like a lake, river or large building. The trackers have no idea your skill level or survival equipment you may have, therefore they will split up and investigate the obvious run to places a novice will go. They’ll check out any water source and possible shelter areas. Eliminating the obvious they will determine what they believe your final destination may be and place it under surveillance. They know water will be a priority, so be sure to have an ample supply in your bug out bag so you don’t have to immediately seek out water and walk into a trap.

Resting: You have run, climbed, slid down slopes and your Adrenalin high has worn off, you need to rest. The very first thing you must assume is the aggressors will be tracking you and their tracker is an expert. Therefore, your goal must be to remain invisible. All terrain, even rocks, can leave telltale signs of your presence. Try not to move anything while resting. Moisture is retained under rocks and trees and disturbing these items will leave very apparent signs for up to a day. Do not lean against a tree, as broken branches, those little toothpick size branches, or scrapes on the bark by the buckle of your backpack is like turning on a strobe light announcing your presence.

Travel with a plan:

You have a destination in mind, old abandoned cabin, cave you used as a fort as a kid, wherever, you know where you want to go, use that to your benefit. Similar to a wide receiver knowing his route, the corner back must guess, giving the receiver the edge … if everything goes perfect.

Use roads, railroad tracks and streams to your advantage. As you approach a road begin angling your tracks indicating your direction of travel. Attempt to enter the roadway on a blind curve if possible, preventing a surprise face to face with your pursuers. Coming out onto the road, run as fast and as far as you can down the road in the opposite direction from which you came. Look for hard to track places to reenter the woods, carefully reentering taking care to not disturb anything. Broken grasses or brush where you leave the road are a neon sign and you have defeated your purpose.

Think ahead. If you can change the tread mark your shoes leave you could buy yourself additional time of confusion you will create. So as you’re walking along see if you spot anything you can use to disguise your footprint once you reenter on the opposite side. A 12 pack beer package, a Walmart plastic bag, a discarded rubber boot. You’d be surprised what trash is left on roadways. Once you’ve crossed the road, tracks or waterway, do not continue walking parallel to them, nor approach any building you may come upon. You may be in thick woods protected from sight, but it may suddenly clear and you’d be immediately and clearly visible from the road.

Evading the ultimate tracker – Dogs

Fooling and evading a trained tracking dog is nearly all but impossible once they have your scent, but there are things you can do to make life rough on them. A dog will run forever in cool moist environments, but will tire in arid hot conditions. Take the most difficult terrain there is, climbing over obstacles, finding outcrops etc which test a dog. The only problem is … will you tire out before the dog? Move with the wind as it changes. If you can keep downwind you will greatly enhance your chances of escape.


The Ultimate Tracker

Your best bet may be to try and confuse the handler. Abruptly change directions when possible, such as, come upon a large boulder or tree, circle the object a couple of times then head off in a different direction. Repeat this four or five times every 40 yards or so, perhaps the constant apparent confusion of the dog will convince the handler the dog has lost the trail.

Forget the movies, they will get you killed or captured every time. Walking up or down stream in order to fool the dog is fruitless. You are exposing yourself and the dog will pick your trail back up in a reasonably short time. Do not climb a tree to hide. If you’re not spotted by the tracker, the dog will go straight to your tree trapping you. The old breathe through a reed while underwater trick won’t work either, as the dog will stop in the area he loses the scent and an experienced tracker will wait you out knowing you with experience hypothermia, even in water 72 degrees F, and will surface.

Do not smoke, chew gum or apply insect repellent that has an odor. Bury waste even urine under rocks and make sure you place the rock back so as not to leave any indication you where there. Periodically stop and hold your position to look and listen. You want to spot them before they spot you, so use your senses and brain to help you.


Your pursuers don’t have dog assistance, but there are too many of them, they are moving fast, and you cannot stay ahead of them. Give up? No. If you can’t stay ahead of them, let them pass by you, but you must avoid detection by camouflaging.

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Unseen without the circle

The first thing to realize when camouflaging is you cannot make yourself look like a tree or a bush so don’t even try, it’ll only draw attention to you. Your goal is to break up the body and face’s outline and you do this by using shadows, leaves, mud and ash/charcoal in order to blend into the colors around you. Use your head, do not use green leaves to camouflage and then crouch near a tan limestone outcropping. Use dust on your skin to reduce shine, along with mud and charcoal. Go to ground and do not move until they pass. Movement will catch the attention of a searching eye, even through peripheral vision and although the pursuer may not walk a direct line to you, they will get close enough to discover you.

Food for thought: Ideally you have anticipated the possibility of escape and evasion and have more than one destination in mind. You must be mindful of your actions, careful to not develop a pattern, which would allow the tracker to guess where you are headed. If they realize you are steadily heading in one direction, they may determine your destination or they may have the ability to get in front of you and wait. Reversing course only slows the tracker and if you reverse course, and yet eventually head off in the same general direction you can be tracked right to that destination.

Having planned to have more than one destination, as things unfold on the ground you can decide which destination is the better suited one to reach. Be patient and flexible. Flexibility is one of the most important keys to successful evasion. Your primary focus is on avoiding detection.

Traveling Invisible

You have avoided your pursuers, but rest assured they will not give up. Therefore it’s important you leave no trace of your presence as you move towards your destination. Here are some basic rules to follow:

1. Be conscious and disciplined of your actions as sloppiness can be deadly. Do not leave food wrappers, cigarette butts or any other trash lying around. Find an area easy to conceal and bury all trash.

2. Do not casually use a flashlight at night as it becomes a beacon, like a lighthouse to ships at sea, and could easily be seen. If you must use a flashlight, do it quickly and shield the light with your hand or clothing.

3. Avoid heavy and thick brush at all cost as it’s very difficult to not leave a path of some sort as you push through the vegetation. Even if you don’t leave an exposed trail you may still give away your position. Green leaves do not normally fall off the plant unless a cluster may disengage. A trail of fallen green leaves indicates someone or something pushed their way through the brush breaking off the leaves. Its like leaving a bread crumb trail to be followed.

4. If you find an established game trail, use it, as the trails are normally packed down, preventing you from leaving footprints. The risk of breaking off green leaves is gone as the animals will have eaten any delicious vegetation along the way. However, humans are taller than animals so be careful not to break any branches above waist high, a tracker will resort to looking high if he can’t locate footprints.

5. Stay away from bodies of water. People gather near water and being randomly spotted by anybody gives the tracker a source of information. Additionally, ground around water will be soft, if not muddy, which makes not leaving footprints nearly impossible and trying to cover up footprints … impossible.


Impossible to Erase

6. While in the woods do not run, unless there is a very good reason, like being shot at. Running is noisy and noise is an enemy of evasion. As a rule there are only two things that run in the woods, those about to kill and those about to be killed.

7. Human noises … come from humans. Don’t whistle or hum, use hand signals if you are not alone, mute cell phones, wrap items like keys or canisters that could jingle or bang together. Be mindful of items that could reflect sunlight and/or moonlight, including your skin.

Reality Sets In – Invisible Fire

Let’s face facts, just like being on a self induced starvation diet, you gotta cheat a bit. You may have a week long hike to your bug out spot, and you’re not going to be able to go without a fire for a week, especially if it’s cold. Let’s look at how to build a campfire that won’t draw attention or be seen from 10 miles away. We’ll use a Dakota Fire Hole. 


Dakota Fire Pit

Step One: Dig a hole about a foot wide in diameter and a foot deep. Make the bottom of the hole larger than the top in order to burn larger pieces of wood. This will be the chamber of the fire pit.

Step Two: Dig an airflow tunnel. You do this by starting a tunnel about a foot away from the fire chamber and angle it downward until it opens to the bottom of the fire pit chamber. If there is a prevailing wind, dig the airflow tunnel upwind from the main chamber.

Step Three: Partially fill the fire pit with kindling and start a fire, adding larger sticks as the fire’s heat intensifies.


The Dakota fire hole offers numerous advantages to an open campfire.

The fire burns very hot which will cook food or water fast

It uses less firewood, important if wood is at a premium

The efficiency in which the fire burns creates less smoke, less visibility

This method is extremely useful for starting a fire if it is very windy

The fire burns below ground surface which shields the flame from being seen especially at night.

The fire is below ground which allows you to place green wood over the top to form a grill to support cookware

When finished and ready to leave, the evidence of the fire is easily concealed by filling in the holes and covering the surface with natural surrounding material

Additional Tips: Build the Dakota fire hole near the base of a tree to help further disperse smoke and avoid detection. Try and avoid moist soil as it may ooze water into the chamber and put out the fire.

Invisible Sleeping Shelter – Dig a Pit

If you are in relatively open ground you’ll need to hide while sleeping, because a body gives off a heat signature that can be picked up on infra red. The easiest method is to simply dig a trench wide,deep and long enough to lay in. It can be as simple as that, for a night’s stay, or you can make it more complicated and secure. Be sure to line the floor with something soft, tree boughs, moss, dry leaves, anything to offer a bit of comfort and insulate you from the ground.


One Example

To make an invisible foxhole that will fool the most experienced tracker, dig the trench the required width, length and depth, but leave a recessed lip around the entire perimeter. Place strong limbs across the trench, strong enough to stand on without bowing, cover with leaves, mud, snow whatever material available to camouflage it, crawl in and insert a plug in the opening. A searcher could literally be standing on top of you without knowing it.

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