5 Reasons Why Bugging IN is Smart

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5_Reasons_Why_Bugging_IN_is_SmartI have seen many articles and posts about bugging out should some major disaster happen. These writers go on and on about having Bug Out Bags (BOBs) and heading to their Bug Out Location (BOL) to hide away until it is safe. I can imagine several reasons why having a bug out plan is a good idea but honestly, it should be a last resort.

If your immediate home is not threatened, staying put and “bugging in” should be the first option for several reasons. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether or not to hunker down or Bug Out, but consider the following reasons for staying in, at least at first.

Why Bug IN?

  1. Higher security. You know the layout of your home. Most people feel safer in familiar surroundings. Knowing the quickest way through the house gives you an advantage of being able to get to a weapon before some intruder gets to you. If you are bugging out, you are out in the open and more vulnerable. You also know escape routes out of the home and hiding places in case it is imminent that you will be overcome. Just as importantly, your kids will be familiar with all this, too. Why not start securing your home now, before the S hits the fan?
  2. Knowledge of  the Neighborhood. Unless you just moved in last week, you know the immediate area around your home. Chances are you know what your neighbors look like, if not their names. You may even be close friends and that is very powerful. You can identify people who are new to the area. An armed stranger is more of a threat, generally speaking, than your next door neighbor. Having a group of ‘known’ people come together in a crisis raises everyone’s chance of survival. There are more eyes for security and more hands to do the work. Yes, there are more mouths to feed but also more people to acquire the food needed. To minimize the need for scavenging (very dangerous!), my food storage pantry is filled with canned goods (both home canned and store-bought), bulk foods, and some just-add-hot water meals like these.
  3. Knowledge of Terrain Layout in Surrounding Area. Since most people commute, they’re familiar with a rather large area out from their home. If you really stop and think about it, you can estimate the terrain – the cities, towns, and neighborhoods close to your home. All that knowledge will help you locate resources and avoid dangerous areas. Chances are pretty good that if an area had a high crime level before the disaster, it will be even higher and more desperate afterward. In fact, you can count on it. This is where a reliable form of communication will come in handy, including hand-held ham radios.
  4. Home Base has more supplies and resources. There is no way you could pack all the items you need to survive and be as comfortable as possible in your car or on your back. Even if you focused solely on food and water, there is still no way you can carry what you need. If you bug in at home, you have more resources to get by. An example would be stuff in the junk drawer; you open it and find 2 adapters for charging some electronic you aren’t even sure you have anymore. What can that wire be used for, even if the power was out indefinitely? How about that end roll of duct tape? The bottom line is you are more adaptable in your own home with all your ‘stuff’ in one place.
  5. People who love you will look there first. Unless you are some hardcore survivalist and have a plan of action for your friends and family, the ones who love you will come to your house first to try and find you. It is truly the most logical place to start looking and head out from there, retracing steps if needed. If you do not know your neighbors or have a group to rely on, holding out for your loved ones to find you may be the very best option. Many people claim they will be the lone wolf, but that is unrealistic in my opinion. Eventually, even the lone wolf needs the pack. The same is true with humans. We need each other and people we can trust to make it.

31 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why Bugging IN is Smart”

  1. I agree wholeheartedly. I think if people are preparing for bad times, it’s best to bug-out now and start living full-time in a safe, sustainable location, and then plan to bug-in there when it hits the fan. It doesn’t make sense to bug-in at a very unsafe location nor is it smart to bug-out when there’s chaos in the streets. Find a good location and move there now.

      1. Michael Eugene Thornton

        Yes, a bit difficult now but IMPOSSIBLE after the SHTF. I have security and most hand tools carefully chosen and carefully stored safely. Now comes food. (I have a well so water is not a problem). Must clear some junk have room for more food but have a 3 month now. You CAN do it now.

  2. Dennis Nappi II

    Great ideas and suggestions, but it’s definitely going to depend on the situation: surrounding that level, available resources, length of crisis, etc.

  3. infinite apocalypse

    I agree with you. Bugging in is the best. I want to find some place that I feel safe bugging in though. And a place around a whole bunch of people is not my optimal bug out place.

    So for those who live in the city. I think bugging out makes more sense than bugging in. But for the rest of us bugging out isn’t the best option.

    1. For those who live in the city, you might want to reconsider that now. Choosing to commute to work and live in a safer locale would be a better choice. Most possibilities include some kind of warnings beforehand. We’re it me, if I saw something coming, I’d be looking at my vacation time rather than trying to get back out of a major city.

  4. LeAnn in Alaska

    The idea is to get people to really think about the best options and their own situation. Once they start, they will be able to see holes in their plans and work to take care of them so they have the best chance for success whether they bug in or out!

  5. This is actually what my husband and I have always planned to do. But we live in a very small country town out in the middle of nowhere. We know all of our neighbors and we plan on using that to our advantage as well as everyone else’s. No matter how prepared you are, it is very difficult to sustain yourself indefinitely if it ever became necessary to do so. This is where community is of utmost importance. People have a much better chance of survival when they have a community who stands behind them. Loved this article!

  6. I had been thinking along these lines. We live on my husband’s family farm about 50 miles from the nearest city, 20 miles from several mid-size towns. I would, of course, prefer to remain in my home, but if chaos came through I could show you four or five places in the back hills with fresh water springs and good hiding places. I want to dig a few root cellars in these spots and perhaps pick one to site a ‘home’ at but my husband is not convinced. And my kids prefer to not look at things square on. “Don’t we have enough stress without worrying about stuff like that?” Please. Like panic after the fact would be better? I think a shelter for us and the livestock in the back hollar is a great idea! How can I convince them to help? I certainly can’t dig one in on my own!

  7. I live in MI. Bugging out in the middle of winter when the SHTF is a scary thought. Limited fuel, icy snowy roads,dangerous scared people all make bugging in sound better and better. My thought is stay put, stay warm, protect my location, scavage near me the if needed head out in spring.

    1. You’re so right, Chris. When I lived in Phoenix, I knew that bugging out wasn’t even an option at least 7 months out of the year due to the high temperatures and miles of desert.

      1. You need to also consider that if it really gets bad, you will have no heat in winter, no cooler in summer and no way to keep things cool so your food does not spoil. At least the desert may keep others from messing around where you are. Good luck

      2. I live with my 96 year old mother- -so bugging out is not an option, except maybe driving to the nearest Red Cross shelter. I would have chosen a different house, though, if I had been thinking about this at the time.

  8. Bugging ‘in’ is of course best…. as long as you live at your bug out location…. 🙂

    Consider bugging out for us, to be a suicide mission… Imagine most planning on bugging out never think about their survivability. Anyone that’s ever been involved in a region wide evacuation knows the odds of success, even in the best of circumstances (people still respecting the rule of law, and of good manners) are slim… Many Houston evacuees turned around and went home, after spending a day getting only a mile or two away, during Hurricane Rita….

    1. Texican is right. Rita was the reason we roughed out Ike. Rita was WORSE than the actual hurricane (Ike), in my opinion. It took like 12 hours to get an hour and a half away and we were out of gas for a few days. EVERYONE evacuated, even those who didn’t need to get out. Clogged all the arteries. It felt like Mad Max out there. We sheltered in for Ike. We were prepared and shared resources. Ike was like a family vacation, camping at the house. We learned from Rita, and now we are more prepared.

  9. I have a private location in the mountains picked out and a diagram of how I’m placing sturdy sea containers in “L” shape against the mountain-side, creating a small interior patio for my family. I will also cover outside with dirt and plants to hide home. I have plans to provide three different independent sources of power and water. I will have aqua-ponics to provide fish and fresh grown vegetables. It will take me another two years to complete my bug in home, but when I’m done I’ll be able to live there for no cost (or very little cost, hundred a year rather than thousands.) I’m sure somethings will not work out as I plan. Many ideas will need adjusting, but living there continuously will reveal what needs more thought and what will work. So when things get bad…and I believe they will, I will have already met the learning curve.

    1. Michelle…yes…the learning curve! I think THAT is one of the most important thing that I don’t see often enough on prepper’s sites! There IS a learning curve! My husband and I are in our mid 60’s. Yeah…I know…kind of old to have to be thinking about this! But, it has been good for us since we are retired now and could finally…get out of town. We are always trying to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst! Learn to garden, get chickens, learn hydroponics, learn how HARD it is to be self sufficient! While you have internet, learn how to fix things yourself! Learn how to sew, learn how to tend to wounds, learn how to weld, fix fences, build things,learn EVERYTHING you can possibly learn! It IS really fun, to be honest! It CAN be, if you accept it as …an important learning experience! If you don’t learn it now…and have to learn it when you HAVE to know it….not so good! Learn it NOW!!!

  10. I’m with Chris. Northern illinois has had some pretty harsh winters the past few years. With all of our children under 11, I couldn’t imagine bugging out for practical reasons, as well as survival. In a perfect prep world, we’d have a second location, but financially it’s not going to be a reality. We did move out of the city, far eno ugh to be out of imminent threats, yet close enough for strategic routes. We have a creek in our back yard to access for water, as well as other resources near and within our home should shtf.

  11. What gets me is the number of people planning to bug out, many with families, and just travel till they find a place they like, then stop there. They don’t own or rent any land anywhere, they just think they can stop someplace & call it theirs. They don’t seem to realize the owner will find them and tell them to leave immediately. Nor will the owner be interested in being told “I’ll work for food and a place to stay.” Or “I’ll just live off the land here.” They don’t seem to comprehend that people will not want or trust travelers or squatters, even if they think their work would be worth the food they’d eat, and will not tolerate outsiders trying to hunt, fish, or camp on their land.

  12. I can add one more reason to Bug In – Elderly family members who live with you. You have to take their needs and physical condition into consideration. They may be unable to bug out and even completely homebound.

  13. I agree 100% I kind of chuckle when I read about some peoples plans to bug out, live of the land and be a mean lean warrior machine. Clearly they are.not warriors. If they were.they would onow that your combat effectiveness spirals downwards with prolonged exposure to the elements, altered nutrition and broken rest. In war these predations on the warrior are mitigated by the best supply lines possible. That is why better supply lines and superior logistics win wars.
    How ludicrous! Throw away your every advantage to pursue a Bear Gryls meet Rambo fantasy!

  14. Michael Eugene Thornton

    Prepare your home for comfort without running water, central heating/cooling, and electricity. If the SHTF, you can bug IN, in style and safety. Prepare for a working life and no creature comforts. Water, security, food, and shelter; the rest you can develop in the little time you have later. Prepare for working hard for 18 hours a day just to survive. You will be closer as a family but very tired. I have chickens and geese for eggs and meat. Had goats but they’re smart and destructive plus need room to live. Get heirloom seeds and plant a substantial garden; compost all vegetative matter, NO MEATS. Live in frugality and happiness .

  15. barring flood or volcano, other threats can be handled. the home can be set to defend and provide the safest environment. while nothing is perfect it has the most that provide your best chances.

  16. I’m from Australia.I live about 30 km out of Adelaide city in a urban area. I live next to a dr surgery n vetinary surgery then across the Road a hotel. Not many neihbours on my side. I live in unit of 2 which means it’s safe first part of the house with garage n roller door. My front window is tin roll up shutters so nice n safe. Other windows im working at.
    I’M planning to bug in for the reasons above because I believe I would be safer. If I had to move out my car is half full with petrol n I guess I just keep on driving. But bugging in I have plenty BOB which still be handy for inside. Food is placed different areas n tools will ‘ve set around n water is in water boxes n I have a big enough tank. On the fences I have very VERY SHARP coated spiked tin. Very small but affected

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