To bug-out or not bug-out?

One of the major themes of prepping involves creating a bug-out bag, full of supplies aimed at lasting a person 3 to 7 days. Some also have bug-out vehicles, pre-loaded with extra supplies, for longer survival. Still others, while living in urban areas, buy and maintain a location somewhere more isolated. A few have decided to go one step further and move to a more isolated location now, so that a homestead can be set up. But for most people, that’s not a realistic or preferred opportunity. Families want the best schools for their children, doctors and hospitals nearby, and the conveniences of modern life. Not everyone likes the idea of becoming a homesteader. So why are we making so many plans to bug-out if the SHTF?

For one thing, the idea of surviving off the land can be very exciting, and it let’s people stay where they are now, with the hope that they can still get away later. But there is also fear of staying in their towns, full of angry and frightened people trying to take their supplies or lives. For myself, I worry about the physical safety issues that might be involved. Fires, water pollution, radiation.

But then there is the option to “bug-in”, or stay in one’s home with supplies and make the most of the situation there.  So when is it better to bug-in vs out? What are the pros and cons of each option?

The pros for bugging out are the most familiar to people, and I touched on them above. 

Cons of bugging out (or Pros to staying home, basically):

  • You don’t have to travel unsafe areas to get to shelter
  • You have all your preps and supplies with you already
  • If you’re in the burbs or city, you will probably be able to get replacement resources easier, and the government, if it still exists, will be working on getting those cities running again first.
  • You know the area well, and you might even have helpful neighbors
  • An EMP is more likely than a nuclear bomb, so radiation isn’t quite the worry it used to be
  • FEMA will probably respond faster to cities than rural areas in a natural disaster
  • You might already have an urban garden and not want to abandon it
  • It’s a lot cheaper than maintaining two homes – and some people really don’t want to move to the country.

Hope this article provides some food for thought. Until later, keep prepping and stay safe!