In the prepping world, there is a lot of talk about bugging out. Preppers put a great deal of effort into putting together a bug out bag that will keep them alive as they trek across the countryside in search of safety. What if you didn’t have to leave your home and all of the food and water you stored? What if you didn’t have to give up your warm bed and the roof over your head? Wouldn’t it be more ideal to stay in your home, where all of your preps are as well as the creature comforts you have come to love and appreciate?
Prepping is about thinking about as many possible scenarios as possible and making plans on how you will handle each one. A backup plan to each original plan is also a very good idea. Never assume you HAVE to bug out. That could be disastrous for you and your family.
In reality, the only time you would ever want to bug out is when your home is no longer safe to remain in.
Let’s explore some potential scenarios that would be best for you to bug in rather than try to escape.
Riots Outside Your Door
This is something that is becoming all too common in neighborhoods across the country. If you find your home in the middle of a rioting mob of angry people, you are safest inside your home, not attracting any attention. Walking into the mob can get you hurt by the rioters or by the police trying to control the mob.
If there is a blizzard, hurricane or some other natural disaster headed your way, hunkering down and waiting until the storm passes is usually your safest option. Heading out into a storm can be unsafe and worse than waiting out a storm in a home that has been compromised. You must be prepared to make a decision that is the lesser of two evils.
If you or someone in your party is too sick or has suffered an injury that makes it extremely difficult for them to walk or move, you will want to stay put for a day or two. This gives the injured party time to heal. Trying to bug out when somebody is incapacitated puts the entire party at risk.
If you look out the window and see all of your neighbors loading up their cars and check the news to discover the freeways are gridlocked, you may want to wait a bit. You don’t want to get caught up in the panic and chaos that is more dangerous than whatever is headed your way.
Ages and Ability of Your Party
If you have 3 kids under the age of 5 or your elderly parents live with you, can you really bug out? You need to think about how the older members of your family will tolerate trying to walk several miles. You also need to think about how you will carry little kids that cannot possibly walk on their own. You could be putting yourself in harm’s way by trying to carry your 2-year-old plus a heavy bug out bag.
Foreign Army Outside Your Door
If a foreign army invades and is patrolling the streets, it is best to hunker down and stay out of sight. While you may want to get out eventually, you will need to watch and wait until it is safe to do so. Bugging in and keeping a low profile is probably going to be safer than trying to walk or drive away.
If you have put a lot of time and energy into preparing a bug out bag, but completely ignored the fact you need a destination to get to, you could be putting yourself in more danger. While there is a bit of a romantic, exciting feel to heading off into the wilderness with nothing more than the pack on your back, in reality, sleeping on the cold, hard ground with all of the creepy crawlies is less than pleasant. If you have a cabin or plan on sleeping in your travel trailer, fine, but if you truly have no idea where you are going or what you are headed into, stay home.
Bugging out may be necessary, but it should never be your first response when you face danger. When you spend time prepping, you are giving yourself plenty of time to consider all of the facts and potential repercussions of a disaster. You won’t be acting out of fear, which can lead to rash decisions that jeopardize your life. Human nature is to run from danger, but sometimes, running is not always the best option.
Always have a plan A, B and C and do what you must to stay safe. Plan to bug in whenever possible and save the bugging out for dire emergencies that leave you no other option. Your family will be much more comfortable and feel more secure in their own home with their things surrounding them.