Bug In or Bug Out
The debate between bugging in versus bugging out is one that’s been had a thousand times, and is still debated to this day. Everyone has their own beliefs on what makes sense, and the real answer is – there is no one answer.
Whether you should bug in or bug out depends on your personal factors, and it’s a question only you can answer, and that answer could change depending on what “event” prompting the action is at-hand.
- You live in a large city with kids and a dirty nuke goes off. Obviously, you bug out.
- You live deep in the woods and an EMP hits, wiping out the grid. Obviously, you bug in.
- You live deep in the woods and a wildfire is raging toward your homestead. Obviously, you bug out.
- You’re visiting friends in a neighboring state, you’re single, no family, and an EMP hits. Here, the answer might not be so clear.
If you’re at least a semi-experienced prepper, you’ve debated these scenarios yourself, probably countless times, as you sit on the toilet staring at the tile floor, or on your commute to work wondering when traffic will finally come to a permanent standstill and you’ll have to use your preps to defend against zombie hordes.
By far, the majority of people should plan to bug in. Set yourself up to prep in place. It’s easier this way than going on the run. When you leave your home, unless you have a destination you can reach, you become a refugee. Avoid becoming a refugee at all costs!
Why I Will Bug Out – A Different Reason
Under small-scale, more likely disasters, I have no reason why I would bug out. A winter storm hits, for example. I have food, fuel, and a generator. A highly contagious disease hits that makes interacting with outsiders sketchy. My family can stay indoors for an extended period of time before needing to venture out.
But what the more devastating scenarios, true SHTF events: an EMP that devastates the Eastern seaboard, nuclear war where no clear path back to civilized society exists, etc. In those case, I need to bug out.
All reasons should point to my bugging in, not out. I live in a peaceful suburban area. I have a stocked pantry. I have water stored. My family is here. Why risk traveling, and to what end? I have no remote cabin in the woods to disappear to.
The reason is simple – people know I’m a prepper. Yeah, you know me as “A-Poc” here, but for a variety of reasons (and it’s too late now), many of my friends know me as a prepper, and like many other preppers, I’ve heard the phrase, “If shit hits the fan, I’ll just come to your house,” more often than I’d like.
Keeping my prepping interests and activities, particularly as a blogger who has been involved in the industry for over a decade now, quiet and hidden is virtually impossible. Operational security is too late for me. Yes, I can do my best to limit outside knowledge to the extent possible, but like most preppers that will be targets WTSHTF, I will definitely be a target.
Blogging and becoming actively involved with the prepping community has come with that cost, but it’s a cost I’ve accepted in order to promote prepping. Someone’s gotta do it, right?
So while I admit the odds of a wide-scale socially disruptive event is rare, should it come, and people are scared and starving with no hope in sight, you can bet I’ll be bugging out to… that part I’ll keep to myself.