Bugging in or bugging out

On our recent trip to Pacific Northwest as I sat in a nice warm house watching the wind and rain I thought about what it would be like to have to bug out under those conditions.  Even with a good 4-season tent and sleeping bag, it would be hard to stay dry even if you weren’t traveling.  If you had to move there is no way you could stay dry, it would be hard to avoid hypothermia, especially in the very young and old.

As I get older and I am starting to realize that, what I did when I was young and in the military is not as practical now.  My body won’t carry as much and go as fast.  I guess for my age I am still in pretty good shape, but every year things get a bit harder.

I guess that what I am saying is that bugging in looks better every year and bugging out looks like a worse option.  Regardless of your age bugging in is always the best option.  It has many advantages.

  • You live there and know the neighborhood including all the ways in and out.
  • You have the opportunity to get to know your neighbors now and learn whom you can count on.
  • Your supplies are close by, it is easy to rotate them and know exactly what you have.
  • No worries about will I find my bug out location looted or occupied by someone else.
  • You can put in a garden and plan for self-sufficiency.
  • No travel under disaster conditions.
  • Your family knows where to find you.

Now this is not to say you don’t need a plan B and C.  But bugging out should not be plan A for most of us.  Start working on a bugging in plan now this can involve several steps.

  • Choose wisely, when you pick a place to live.
  • Get to know your neighbors.
  • Maintain operational secrecy and need to know.
  • Plant a garden, become self-reliant.
  • Know where you can get access to fresh water.
  • Plan what you will do with your waste products.
  • Plan how you will blend in and become a gray man.
  • Build a good secure food storage area.
  • Have a plan B and C, but try not to have to use them

I have talked to many people who have the idea that they can go into the mountains and survive off the land.  Most of them are dreaming and wouldn’t last a week in bad weather.  The number of people who can really survive off the land is very small and I’ll bet most of them would prefer other options.


1 thought on “Bugging in or bugging out”

  1. Matt in Oklahoma

    Bugging in is best for sheer comfort, knowledge and logistics. Having a second retreat is great but not possible for many. Back in the day my plan was to hit the woods and live off the land but a few years and a few attempts, some forced some volunteered, to live off the land showed me that was Bravo Sierra. As we age it has become apparent as to just how many of us will die, for instance in my family 75% have had to have major medical care this year. That in itself would have finished this tribe for all practical purposes.
    There is a reason the military puts most out to pasture at 40 but if we are practicing what we preach with our bags then we will KNOW how much and how far we can go with our bags. Kidding yourself is a direct line to death from exhaustion, dehydration and mental defeat. A week of hunting and I’m usually trying to dump things out of my bag but a week later I’m GTG. Wayyy to many are not using what they have as seen not to long ago by a simple review of GMHB of some friends of ours. Deoderant is not needed and start up water not just a filter is needed. It showed quickly that they are kidding themselves with a feeble attempt to buy their way out. That is being fixed.
    Always have bugout plans both with vehicles and on foot. For those that have them use animals when possible. I hear way to many “preppers” saying they are never leaving. That makes you no better than any other suburbanite sheep. (harsh words huh?) The best garden in the world wont help you in a chemical spill, riot, wildfire, flood etc etc.
    A “Survivalist” is defined as someone who wants to live. That means having plans and being flexible.

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