If you had to cross over a large field with family and perhaps some friends during the dead of night, could you do it without being detected? The time may come when you are forced to do exactly that. Bugging out at night following a disaster that has taken down the power grid is a very real possibility.
Why would it be necessary to do this without being seen or heard? Well, there are several reasons. If martial law were enacted, which it undoubtedly would be following a disaster that keeps the grid from functioning for any length of time, authorities will declare a curfew and want you to stay in place so they can better control you. If you’ve set up a place to bug out to during this type of emergency, the only way to get there might be during the night.
OK, so how can you successfully navigate your way across a large field that will include some uneven terrain without being seen or heard? Forget about flashlights or lanterns. They can be seen at night from a great distance. They might keep you from tripping on a rock, but they will also expose your group to authorities, not to mention those who might want to steal your supplies. A flashlight or lantern will tell them exactly where you are and where you’re headed.
If you want to provide just enough light for yourself without people being able to see you from a distance, get some “cat eye” bands that will fit over caps or your head. They have strips or bands of luminous materials that glow in the dark after being exposed to light. Usually they are worn so someone in your party behind you can see them and follow you.
Anything you own that can reflect light at night, such as the lens of your watch, your eyeglasses or anything else that is made of shiny metal, should be covered with black tape. So, always keep that tape handy.
If you can afford night vision goggles, they would be a great help. They’re expensive, but even if your party had only one set, the lead person could use them and make your group’s trek safer than it would be otherwise.
Of course, you also don’t want to be heard. Place all jewelry in your bug-out bag or pockets so that it doesn’t make noise by jangling around. And keep your communications to mere whispers.
If you have to stop somewhere overnight, make it a quiet area so that you could hear someone sneaking up on you. A running stream would be convenient for your water needs, but the noise it makes could end up hurting you.
Like everything else, preparation is the key. Map out your route while it’s daylight so you’ll know exactly where you’re going when it’s dark. What will look like a casual stroll during the day that you and your party are taking before a crisis will actually be a very important dry run for an escape at night.