Bug In Vs Bug Out? Smart Or Guaranteed Death Trap

By SS Contributor | Updated: 02/24/2023

Bug In vs. Bug Out, Which Scenario is Best for You?

Bug In vs Bug Out

No matter how you look at it, regardless of which disaster hits, you’ll only have two choices.

  1. You can either bug in or stay inside your house, hoping the insanity will end quickly.
  2. Or you can bug out to no man’s land or your survival retreat.

Both are plausible, both have sparked controversies, and there’s still some level of confusion related to them.

When I hear people say,

I know what I’ll do, I’ll just bug in no matter what!” or “I don’t need a stockpile, I’ll bug out and never look back!

I shake my head…

NEVER assume things will only go one way during a disaster!

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The only certainty about all SHTF situations is that they’re totally unpredictable.

Emergency circumstances will change every hour or even every minute.

It’s just impossible to assume you can bug in or out ahead of time.

↓ 7 Reasons Why EVERYONE Needs a Bug Out Bag ↓

So, which SHTF scenario is best for you?

Let’s figure it out in this article…

Serious preppers often prefer bug-in scenarios, even though some also have a bug out location.

The one key thing you must understand about many of them is that they’re a safe distance from a city.

A city where thousands of people will be bugging out all at the same time.

If you live in an apartment in the middle of a large city, bugging in may not be for you.

You should bug in vs. bug out only in the following circumstances:

1. If you have a disability that prevents you from bugging out.

Believe it or not, preppers simulated bugging out with a disabled loved one, and it took many extra hours.

2. If you have ample means to defend your home.

You’ve stocked lots of guns and ammo.

You’ve fortified your doors and windows.

You are ready to defend against rioters, armed gangs patrolling the streets, and home invasions.

Of course, if your house is in the middle of a large city and airstrikes begin, you’ll quickly reconsider and bug out.

3. You already live in a relatively remote area.

Remote, rural areas will have fewer starving people knocking on your door and fewer people trying to take what you have.

Plus, you’ll be off-grid and self-sufficient, meaning you won’t have to rely on much outside help to survive.

4. If you’re a lady who’s pregnant or has very small children.

Bugging out would just be putting all your lives in danger.

You may not have this problem now, but if you intend to have children in the future, it’s something to keep in mind.

5. You have a network of like-minded people around you that you can count on.

When chaos breaks loose, you can help each other with meds, guns, ammo, skill, and valuable info.

Of course, they’ll need to be fairly close to your location so it’s easy to get from one location to another in case of an emergency.

Plus, you can use walkie-talkies to communicate.

Especially if phone communication lines jam and you don’t own a HAM radio.

Because using one requires a license, and licenses mean you need to register with the Government.

When To Bug Out vs. Bug In

Bugging out is a tough call, that’s for sure.

  • You’re abandoning your home
  • You’re putting yourself into the unknown
  • You may or may not have a destination to go to
  • There will be all sorts of dangers along the way

When you’re bugging out, you only eat what you can carry.

After that, you must find ways to hunt, fish, forage, or get food from someone else.

You’ll also need the knowledge to cook it.

Plus, a bug out location means you must invest in getting the land and establishing a survival retreat to keep you safe.

You’ll also want to split your stockpile between your home and BOL.

Because, as I said at the beginning of this article, you never absolutely know for certain if you’ll be bugging in or out until SHTF.

3 Bug Out Myths

Myth 1. “Bug out like a hero.”

Look, I get it, we’ve all seen those action-packed movies where the protagonist effortlessly navigates through chaos and disaster.

But let me tell you, real life ain’t no Hollywood script.

Bugging out should be your last resort, not your go-to adventure.

It’s about calculated decisions, not recklessness.

So, instead of charging into the wild unknown like Rambo, focus on having a well-stocked bug-in location and a solid plan for staying put if conditions allow.

Myth 2. “I’ll live off the land.”

Sure, you might have watched a couple of survival shows where folks whip up a gourmet meal out of sticks and berries, but reality check, folks.

Living off the land is no walk in the park.

It takes years of knowledge and experience to truly sustain yourself with what nature provides.

Plus, the wild buffet can be pretty unpredictable, and you might find yourself battling hunger, illness, or worse.

Pack your bug-out bag with enough food to keep you going, and if you’re planning on foraging, better start practicing now.

Myth 3. “Bugging out means total isolation.”

This one’s a bit trickier. While it’s true that avoiding people in a crisis can be a smart move, completely isolating yourself might not always be the best strategy.

Human beings are social creatures, and joining forces with the right folks can increase your chances of survival.

Just remember, trust is earned, not given.

Form alliances carefully, and make sure your fellow survivors share your values and goals.

Now, Let’s Compare This With Bug-In Situations

You technically have to stay inside your home and protect it.

You’ve should have your food and water stockpiled.

A good stock should last you for months, even years, without having to go outside the house even once.

You might even have some board games to keep you entertained.

Bugging out is much harder to plan for, and I think it’s the main reason people don’t like it.

Most preppers stockpile and prefer bugging in because it’s easy and takes less skill, and skills are harder to master.

Many preppers are unfit and even overweight because diet + exercise is the only way to get into shape, which is hard even though it’s clear that SHTF situations will require strength, stamina, and flexibility.

People tend to prefer planning for the things that seem easy because they think bugging in or out is a choice.

It’s not a choice (at least not one that you can make now) because no one knows how SHTF will unfold.

If you want to prepare for one more than for the other, be my guest, but please don’t ignore bugging out simply because it seems too hard.

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