We hear a lot about bugging out in the prepping and survival community. People talk about building bug out bags and learning bushcraft skills, their favorite bug out vehicle and having a cabin in the woods. I’m not against any of that. I strongly believe that everyone should have a bug out plan; and if you can manage to have that cabin in the woods to bug out to, more power to you.
But that doesn’t mean that I’m in agreement with the idea that everyone should bug out. If we all bug out, the great outdoors is going to become rather crowded. After all, nobody is going to bug out to a cornfield in the middle of Kansas. I’d venture to guess, that a lot of people would end up heading for the same areas to bug out.
If that happened, there wouldn’t be enough game in the woods to feed everyone. Once upon a time, this country was teeming with game. But it also had a lot more wilderness in it than we have today. While wilderness areas still have abundant game in them, there is much less wilderness.
But that’s really not the main reason why I’m against everyone bugging out. The main reason I don’t think that bugging out should be most people’s first option is that I don’t think most people would survive.
The thing is, even with studying bushcraft skills, most of us don’t have the experience necessary to live in the wild. Besides, taking enough equipment with you so that you can build a long-term shelter in the wild and then actually building that shelter is probably beyond most people’s capability. Most of us aren’t as tough as our pioneering ancestors, no matter what we think.
Granted, there are people who already have a well-stocked and prepared cabin in the woods. That’s great. If you are one of the people who is fortunate enough to be in that situation, I don’t blame you if you bug out early. That’s probably the best option for you. But, there are few of us who can afford that option. That means that bugging out will require building a shelter in the woods and trying to live off the land.
Sheltering in place, or bugging in, ensures that you have all of your recourses at hand, as well as a comfortable shelter to protect you from the weather. That alone will increase your chances of survival. Add to that the stockpile of food and other supplies that you hopefully have built up over time, and your chances of survival go up exponentially.
Many of us have spent a considerable amount of time, energy and money, ensuring that our homes are ready for any disaster situation that we might face. Yet, at the same time, we plan on abandoning those homes at the first sign of trouble. That seems a bit backwards to me. Wouldn’t it be better to take advantage of all that work for as long as possible? Wouldn’t it be better to use that stuff to survive?
That’s not to say that there aren’t risks with sheltering in place. The biggest risk is from two-legged predators, who you can be sure will be out in higher numbers than you’ve ever seen before. They will be looking for prey that they can devour, especially prey who have stockpiles of supplies, like yours.
So, sheltering in place means that you have to be ready to deal with these predators. You have to prepare your home, making it harder for them to get in and your family to defend against them. When the time comes, you will have to keep watch for them. Otherwise, you might end up being the victims that they are looking for.
You should also be ready to bug out, should it prove necessary. There are situations in which sheltering in place just isn’t going to work. Hurricane Katrina comes immediately to mind. In those cases, you have to bug out and should be ready. There are also situations where the bad guys are about to overrun your home, so you have to leave to avoid being killed. By all means, don’t let them kill you for what you have. Life is more precious than that.
So, a good bug out plan, vehicle, bag and the whole works is an important part of your plan to bug in. it gives you the option of escape, when and if that becomes necessary. But that’s not, by any means, the same a bugging out at the first sign of trouble.
Remember, prepping for disasters means prepping for all kinds of disasters. So you should actually have both options ready. You’ll probably only use one of them, but that’s all right; better to have both, so that you can choose between them when the time comes, rather than being stuck with only one way of dealing with the problem.
So, do you have both options ready? If not, seems like you’ve got just a bit more prepping to do. Keep at it, you’ll get there. In the mean time, keep your powder dry and your survival equipment close at hand.
PS: This is a great resource for anyone looking to ‘get prepped in one trip’!