Home Skills & Knowledge Bug In or Bug Out

Bug In or Bug Out

To Go or Not to Go, that is the question. I always get asked “Will you bug in or bug out?”. The only good answer is “It depends”.

Bug In or Bug Out?

Planning to Bug in has some really solid merits. You have a roof over your head. You have your food, your stuff, and your supplies. You probably know your neighbors and your neighborhood. You have the lay of the land, so to speak.

My first instinct in a SHTF situation will be to Bug In. I have everything I need here. I know where my supplies are, I have ways to heat my home, and I know where to find fresh water. My home holds more supplies than I can carry on my back.

When should you bug out?

  • Radiation in your area (once it is safe to move)
  • Biological attack in your area (once it is safe to move)
  • chemical attack in your area (once it is safe to move)
  • Looting or Rioting in your area
  • You notice strange activity or your gut is telling you that it’s not safe!

If you live in a rough area that has trouble maintaining law and order during normal life, you should prepare to grab that bug out bag and hit the road, if the SHTF, as it will only become more lawless after an event.

I would like to mention that Bugging Out, does not mean you have to live in the wild and forage for food, you can head to a safe place, like a relative or close friends. Make sure that this fallback position is in an area free of the same issues, that you just fled from. Also make sure to coordinate this with them, before a SHTF situation, as your friend or relative may not have a plan for company in those dire times.


  1. I would say the only time to bug out would be the last two, and then only after you have exhausted your options and ammo. Radiation, biologic and chemicals are bad s**t: hard to detect, lethal, sneaky and can be long lasting. For the sake of argument, you decided to leave. Vehicle? Big enticing target. Got lots of gas? Somewhere along the way, you’re gonna be on foot, and able to take only a small amount of what you have in the veh. And driving through contaminated areas, you are going to be stirring things up and these “things” will get into the veh and you will breathe them…
    Few people have enough suits and canisters for their masks to go very far. Same if you’re afoot! Only what you can carry, and lots of filters take up lots of space, and wife and kids are going to be an additional burden…If you’re in a contaminated area, especially chem/biologic, you will have to go to the bathroom. This increases exposure big time! All in all I don;t see bugging out, particularly AFTER the shtf, as a realistic option for most people……In place, at least you have all your stuff, and while a gun fight is not an attractive option, it may be the most attractive in most cases. And being friends with your neighbors will probably double or triple your fire power. Roving bands will be subject to the same things that are keeping you home, and in such a case their days are numbered…..Tough questions, no good or easy answers! And strange activity means you’ve probably been seen, maybe reconnoitered, and maybe/probably targeted. Might be too late! Situational awareness is the key!

  2. Depends. I live at sea level in a flood plain.
    I’ll bug-out & head South for WWIII, a flood or hurricane.
    All else I’m bugging in.
    I live in a bedroom community & with so many houses I feel hidden in plain view.
    I’m also near the state border, on the edge of a large wilderness area, near the coast & can viably bug out via the water if need be.
    Everyone’s plan will be different but more importantly everyone needs a plan


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