This week we tackle the ages old debate in the Prepper community. Bugging in vs bugging out. Which one is better? Like many things that depends. We try to tackle some of the instances but you will have to think for yourself.
Many are tied to one or the other. They are staying no matter what. Hurricanes, tornados and toxic waste spills wont deter them. The same could be said for those beneath Mt Vesuvius. If they had warning that is.
Others only focus on the bug out. They have built the ultimate Bug out bag and are ready to go in a second. Sure that bag now weighs a ton and you have no walked a mile in over a decade.
Today we try to break these convictions. Do not be tied to either. Be prepared for both. decide what to do based on the situation.
Bugging In and Bugging Out – Are You Prepping for Both?
Here’s what when people think about how the world is going to end: we all have an idea (or a fantasy, if you prefer) on the way things will go down when SHTF. We get fixated on one, maybe two disasters, we see with our mind’s eye and we decide on whether we’ll bug in or out.
Only problem is, there’s absolutely no way of knowing how things will go down, even if we nail the type of disaster that will hit. Some preppers are convinced they’ll bug in but how they came to that conclusion, I have no clue.
I’m not going to advocate one side or another. I would much rather see you open to the idea of both, based on the circumstances and the actual events that will unfold right before your eyes.
Here’s what you should do:
Step 1: take a long hard look at your current situation. Think about your location and the climate you are in, think about your financial situation, about all the survival skills you may or may not have and the people you have with you on board. Think about your stockpile, about your bug out location, your bug out vehicle and all the different routes to can take to bug out.
When you analyze your current situations from every angle, blind spots start showing up… which is a good thing because now you can start fixing them! Maybe you realize you’re a little overweight and you won’t be able to run for more than a mile with the BOB on your back. That’s a definite problem for your bug out plan, in fact, it’s a critical one. Maybe you don’t know all backroads to get you from your current location to your bug-out location (Hint: have you thought about bugging out on the train tracks?)
Step 2: organize your problems in two lists. Get a sheet of paper and a pen and make two columns, one titled “Bug out challenges” and another for bugging in.
Start writing as many problems and challenges as you can (and, again, be honest with yourself). For example, your list could look something like this:
BUG IN CHALLENGES
I don’t have a safe-room
My home isn’t strong enough against an invasion
I have food to last me 3 months but water for only a week
BUG OUT CHALLENGES
I don’t have the physical condition.
I don’t know how to hunt or fish.
My spouse is convinced we should all bug in no matter what.
And on and on. You get the idea.
Next, what I want to you do is circle the things that you think are top priority and put a number next to each circle. (1) next to the most important thing you need to do, (2) to the second most important thing and so on.
Last but not least, you need to start working on number one ASAP. Do it right now if you can. Stop reading more stuff, more articles, cancel today’s gym session and fix that one thing.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a fast speed of implementation when working on your prepping plans. This makes the difference between the prepper that makes slow, sluggish progress and the one that’s prepared to the teeth: taking action.
Taking action is nothing more than a habit which needs to be cultivated… It’s a skill which requires practice. Speaking of which, I have a feeling you’re much less prepared to bug out than to bug in simply because the former requires a wider set of skills in order to survive in the wilderness. Now, I don’t want you to get scared or discouraged because you may think the effort is going to be too big.
See, you don’t have to learn all the bushcraft skills and become proficient at them. That would mean you have to make serious lifestyle adjustments that may not fit your (for now, at least). This is why the list you just make is so important: it tells you which one skill is most important, then the next one and then the next. The more skills you learn, the more your chances of surviving in the wild increase.
Being fit enough to bug out? Check.
Making shelter? Check.
Getting to your bug-out location in record time? Check, check, check.
Forget about using a boomerang to catch ducks or building a fire using an ice cube of God knows what other crazy prepping. Focus on the urgent stuff FIRST, then the important and leave the unimportant for later.
Today I have a guest post from Lukas Nicholson. Lukas contacted me about writing a guest post on a subject I hadn’t really thought about. Buggin in with the elderly. I know many of you have parents and grandparents at home with you. Enjoy -James
When SHTF, most of us won’t have a secondary bug out location we can run to and wait out the chaos. In fact, the vast majority of preppers plan to essentially bug in place. That is probably a wise decision. Unless you have a fully stocked location nestled away somewhere out of town that can provide adequate shelter, food, water and security for an extended period of time, you best not plan on “heading for the hills” at the first sign of trouble.
Bugging out becomes even less of an option if you have elderly family or friends to account for. But I would guess that when most people are making plans they are not realistically considering the needs of their elder members. Before continuing, it should be made clear that not all older individuals will need special attention. Many are physically and mentally fit and perfectly capable of taking care of themselves.
But the truth is that many more elderly individuals are quite dependent on modern society for their needs. They may have extreme limitations brought on by maladies like diabetes or debilitating arthritis. They may depend on daily prescription medications to keep them relatively healthy. In our modern society they may get about and function with relative ease, but that shouldn’t bear on our assessment of how they will do when the lights go out permanently and we’re living like we did 150 years ago.
Realistically, there is only so much you can do to ensure the health and safety of the elderly during an extended period of catastrophe. But here are some things to think about and prepare for as best you can.
Bug In at the Older Member’s Home
It may make sense to make your bug out location at the elderly person’s home. If they are supportive of the idea, consider stocking your supplies at their location so when SHTF occurs, they don’t have to travel to meet you. Instead, it would be easier (but still dangerous) for you to bug out to their location.
This is advantageous for several reasons. They will have the comfort of staying in familiar surroundings and have all of their medical needs, such as walkers and other appliances, already in place. Staying in familiar surroundings will help them cope with the fear and may subsequently lessen the resulting depression as they experience the outside world crumble apart. In addition, many elderly are either particular about the food they eat or have health restrictions on the types of food they must have. For these reasons it might be far easier and sensible to plan on weathering the storm at the elderly person’s home.
Secure Your Home
Regardless of where you plan to stay, you must ensure the security of everyone in your party. So instead of focusing energy and resources on a vague plan for bugging out, it would be better to focus your efforts on securing your home for SHTF. Human psychology being what it is, people will still be creatures of opportunity, even under harsh circumstances. If your home is hardened against break-ins, looters and those searching for resources will tend to opt for your less secure neighbor’s home. This is not to say that in time they won’t get around to your home, but by then you will have had adequate time to assess your situation and devise concrete plans for your extended survival.
Lukas Nicholson hails from a family of preppers hardened by numerous Florida hurricanes. He found an outlet for his skills in the security industry, where he has spent the past seven years. He is now interested in sharing his knowledge online, where he writes in association with Topconsumerreviews.com.