To Bug Out Or To Bug In: That Is The Question

by | Jun 25, 2019 | Emergency Preparedness, Headline News | 57 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    Whether one should “bug out” or “bug in” has been a debatable topic among preppers since most began to prep. So which is it? Bug out? Or Bug in?

    There’s no real right or wrong answer here. It really depends on the situation.  Of course, that’s not exactly what most want to hear when they are looking for a simple answer.  But you will need to take the emergency situation at hand into consideration before you decide.

    What I mean by that, is ponder what is happening and where you’ll be the safest. For example, I live in the middle of nowhere. In the vast majority of situations I can come up with in my head of things that are likely to become SHTF scenarios, bugging in is my best bet. However, what if I’m out and about in public when something bad happens? Well, that’s why I keep a bug out bag in my vehicle, in addition to one at my house. That way I can hopefully make it back home with the supplies I have in that bag. You can even pick up simple car survival kits if you are a home body and don’t travel far often. The real question, is how do YOU make the right choice for yourself?

    Because this will be a personal judgment call, my suggestion would be to consider likely emergencies that will occur in your area BEFORE they actually happen. What if there’s an earthquake? What if the power grid goes down? What if there’s civil unrest? What if the stock market collapses? What if there’s a combination of all of these?

    Consider your location too. If you live in a high-rise apartment complex smack dab in the middle of an enormous city, bugging out will be dangerous, but it’ll get worse as the emergency is ongoing especially if there’s any civil unrest. In that case, making it to a remote location could be the decision you come to.

    Consider your family as well.  Can you protect an older family member who isn’t capable of bugging out? What about a child or a baby? All of this should also be taken into consideration. If you bug in in a large city, you should be willing to come to terms with the violence that will likely be necessary to protect yourself, your family, and your provisions. People revert to instinct and will act like animals when they get hungry and you need to know how to defend yourself from them.

    You should also be able to get reliable information so you can make the best decisions. This is one reason why a working radio is a critical element of your survival gear. Depending upon the nature of the disaster, going online with a phone, tablet, or laptop might not be an option. A crank powered radio, ideally one that can tune in shortwave transmissions, might be the only way you can gather information about what the heck is going on. But even then, the media is wrong as often as they are right.

    The bottom line is that there are many things to consider and you will still have to assess your situation, the information you have at the time, and the general emergency at hand to know what the right choice will be.  Again, for myself personally, there are very few situations in which I can see myself grabbing the bug out bag and heading for the hills. But for some in the city, they may see very few emergency situations in which they can see themselves attempting to bug in in an apartment surrounded by hungry mobs.

    Neither decision is wrong. But considering all your options in advance is the best way to make the decision. Trust your instincts, after all, you were given them for a reason!

    Please share any other advice you all have with each other in the comments so we can discuss and help make these difficult decisions easier.


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      1. I will stay at my place if at all possible. only as a last resort will I leave. and if forced to leave I will burn everything when I go. That way I will not be tempted to return. And I certainly don’t want to leave anything my adversarys can benefit from. only thing I will leave behind is some not too well hidden canned goods. That are laced with poison.

        • OG,
          How do we lace canned goods with poison?
          I’m curious.

          • Just buy Green Giant. It already comes that way.

            • Bug in or bug out. Which one? Hmmm. Seems to me that’ll depend on what kind of shtf scenario is presenting. I’m convinced that just like the lotto, the real collapse will be unleashed at the right time, with optimal effect.

            • The Question: To Bug Out Or To Bug In?

              Answer, those in the cities will have to bug out, and those in the rural country will bug in. If you think you will be forced to bug out in a collapse, you better pack your stuff now and leave that area ASAP. In a collapse you will have to abandon 99% of your personal items and pack what ever you can carry on your back. They will shut down the exits out of the cities and let you all fight it out.

              And out here in the Country, we shoot Trespassers and Squatters on our land.

              • TSB,
                Well said.

                • Thank you Sir!! Learn fast and adapt, or die. Hey how is your solar array coming along? How much panel wattage you have now? I’m moving my solar stand array to a higher Ground Mount 6 ft higher into the air and doing a load of upgrades. Gives me more sun exposure. Its 100 deg here in Central FL today. Hot and Humid. Thankfully for the fans to keep the air flowing. Did you know that PV Solar panels are more efficient in cold weather than blazing hot weather? Its true.

                  • This story below is why bugging IN, in the City will be your death sentence. You like Freedoms? Move to the County, No Rules and get off my Land.

                    Outrageous: NY Man Arrested, Facing Felony Charges For Defending His Own Home
                    06-25-2019 • ht tps://
                    A 64-year-old New York man was arrested last month and is now facing felony charges after killing two intruders who broke into his home last month.

                    As the Daily Signal points out, Ronald Stolarczyk of Oneida County was “minding his own business in his kitchen” one day when he heard two intruders in his garage.

                    He yelled at the criminals to leave, but they did not. In fact, one advanced “aggressively” towards him.

                    “He said he was scared to death and thought he was going to die,” Stolarczyk’s attorney Mark Wolber said. “Yesterday he was minding his own business in his kitchen, and today he’s in jail.”

                    In fear for his life, Stolarczyk “quickly retrieved his deceased father’s .38-caliber Rossi revolver and fired several rounds at the burglars, both of whom were killed. After making sure he was safe from all threats, Stolarczyk immediately called the police and walked to the far end of his driveway to wait for their arrival.

                    Once they arrived, the responding officers investigated the incident and the Oneida County district attorney concluded that the shooting was likely justified, and that Stolarczyk would not face homicide charges.

                    The district attorney, however, charged Stolarczyk with felony criminal possession of a firearm.”

                    So, while the gun Stolarczyk used against the intruders was legally owned by his father who had lived in the house with him prior to his death, Stolarczyk himself had failed to obtain a permit and register the firearm.

                    • TSB,
                      You are describing exactly what would happen in Hawaii, if the idiot were stupid enough to call the cops.
                      Shoot, Shovel, and Shutup.
                      We don’t have a big crime problem.

                    • Yea ok rellik. You’re gonna shoot a couple guys breaking into your house and not call the cops? Really? I love how some of you people seem to have the perfect answer for every situation known to man, deliver them to this site, several posts for each article. Some of you know everything about everything. Do you live on this site? Do you work?

                    • Hey Panther. I been on this site now for about 10 years. That’s why there is a comment section, where we can share and exchange ideas, thoughts and create a debate. You did not question our comments validity, so you must agree with us eh? lol

                      Yes shooting trespassers can be a sport. If they refuse to leave when told, then grant them their wish, shoot them, dig a hole somewhere on the back 40 and push them in and cover up, then go have a beer. I can guarantee you they will never be back again stealing anything.

                      I know a guy who was getting stuff stolen off his property. He put up a few cameras, and recorded the person. It was a guy 2 counties over, would come to his property to steal stuff. One day he spotted the man trying to avoid the cameras, and his son from a window in the house shot the bass-turd and killed him. Co Sheriff’s said good job, and that was it. If you have a good Sheriff’s office they will respect property rights and haul off the carcus free of charge. I’d send the bass-turds family a bill for the cost of the bullet and the rest of the stuff stolen.

                      If you have a crappy Sheriff’s office like we have here, you just take care of the problem and it goes away, S-S-S-up. Guaranteed he will never come back trespassing again on your property.

                  • Still collecting parts.
                    Hawaii poses challenges for everything.
                    We can’t get ground mount posts here anymore.
                    My local rack supplier went out of business,
                    so I have to re-design. The only Solar
                    guys still in business think Sodomizing
                    me is included with the price.
                    I expect to start the ground mounts
                    on or about 1JUL19.

                    • oh yeah, getting a solar array together I like one big scavenger hunt. I built a ground stand with 1 ft wide cement footer with rebar, then bolted the 4×6 posts then the cross connectors with 2x 8’s like a boat dock. Set all my components in a aluminum box complete with vents for the batteries, a proactive acid tray for the batteries, all connectors, DC disconnects, plenty of breakers which help protect your components and make sure you have the complete wiring gauge sizes for the distance you are moving electricity. Mountain Ridge make the rail mounts and brackets. Most solar is all custom build and individual and unique. My County Building permit reviewers are clueless about solar. I did all of my own electrical load calculation from the entire collection of the sun to the output to my Tiny House. I also drew up all my electrical component line schematics and they approved it. But when it came to the stupid simple stuff, the Building Department wanted me to have engineered drawings of the solar stand itself. So I had to hire a guy for $375 to draw up a 8 ft stand that looks like a fishing dock. WTF? Once this is all permitted and passed inspections, I am going to add on to my solar array, and screw the permit. Only way they will know, is if they use google maps to see overhead that this array got bigger.

                      The building Departments across the Statte here now use Google Maps sky view to look at your property and see what changes happened since the last over head photos, then will try to increase your property taxes. They just decided to enforce permitting for above ground pools. So they look as sky view to see who has a pool and see if it was permitted. Cat and mouse game. I spray painted the silver panel frames OD Green to hide the footprint.

                      Do what you got to do.

              • “If you think you will be forced to bug out in a collapse,you better pack your stuff now and leave that area ASAP”

                Why so many people think they will receive a notice ahead of time before SHTF approaches and will have just enough time to escape from the city and suburbs is mind boggling?
                Chances are you will be caught off guard when SHTF and unable to escape the city/suburbs..
                Why take such an unnecessary risk?

            • JS,
              You lose credibility with that comment.
              You have readers that grew up on that crap.
              We are well into out 60’s and healthy.
              But food is food. I’d rather have GMO
              wheat, rice, corn et al, than none. Get it?
              Full disclosure, as an adult I don’t think I’ve
              ever bought “Green Giant” canned goods.

          • You catch and boil some Newts. that’s your poison water. You peel the label and drill a small hole at the seam. drain some water and using a syringe fill it with the poison. a dab of solder and reglue the label. easy peasy.

          • you peel the label. drill a hole at the seam. inject poison with a syringe. a dab of soder to reseal the hole. reglue the label.

            • Old Guy,
              you are old enough to know better.
              Why would you say say such things.
              I’m truly dissappointed in your comments.
              Please re evaluate and do better.

              kindness, love, helpfulness, none of these cost. Yet are priceless.

          • Dirty probe, teensy pinprick under the label, and keep them in a hot car. (sarc)

            Communists, under whichever banner, believe that excess food can be used to raise an insurrection. So, it was traditionally burned in the middle of the street, and the owner was shot. This was called original or primitive accumulation and was a capitol offense in Africa, where (like them or hate them) they were more or less capable of gathering dryland crops.

            If you have the memory for banal trivia, you can watch foreign enemy being dispossessed on the cheapest, unwanted war dvd’s. Not the ‘hooray’, not the ‘boo’ questions, but the ‘whatsit’ questions are the most troublesome. I do not claim to have an inside line to anything, per se.

            But, imho, you are counting on them having bigger fish to fry, if not going house-to-house.

            Basic strategy has changed, only incrementally, over the decades, although they use a completely different euphemism for what they are doing, practically every week.

            Are you a visual learner. Watch it with the mute button.

            Under evacuation orders or lockdown, anyone is probably, presumably unfriendly, not in uniform, so not subject to the protections which are afforded to formal enemy in a formal theater.

            If you are cooperative and have skills, which they consider to be useful, on their terms, you may be commandeered, as irregulars are supposed to be subordinate. aimho

            • Don’t tell me whether you are watching something good. Don’t tell me it is something bad. I don’t want to hear Ebonics or abbreviations lingo.

              What are you watching.

              Learn the steps like driving stick or baking bread, visually. Plug your ears. Don’t need the propaganda pep rally. There is a procedure. Noone is hiding how this works from you. Go on basic cable, if you must. Take to someone with old people muck about his glory days, in open ended questions. There are clearly-discernible patterns in everything they are telling you, plainly, for hours and hours and hours on end.

              • Damned autocorrect. You get the idea, though.

      2. Leave. Go. Drive. Ride, Fly, river, run, hike, bike, walk, crawl, do WHATEVER it takes to escape a local, regional, national, emergency. Just Leave.
        Most emergencies are Local, Regional, National, in scope.
        This means that you can usually LEAVE the affected area.

        Your Job is to stay Alive.
        Your Job is to keep your loved ones Safe, Out of Danger.
        * * * * ESCAPE the danger zone. Movement is Life.
        Stuff can be replaced. A Life can not.

        People loose it and get dangerous stupid, when things get bad. So get the hell away from them ASAP.

        Government, Military, and Police, are to be Avoided at all cost. They are Trouble. They will try to disarm and coral you, herd you to a controlled location. They will take your stuff. Stay away from them at all cost. No they are not there to help you. They are there to control you. They are DANGEROUS and heavily armed. If it suits their masters purpose They will kill you.

        Police MURDER unarmed people often in USA Now, with no consequences, No emergency. Police are a Dangerous armed gang, they steal, rob, beat, murder. No they do not work for you.

        People in the general public are also dangerous if cornered and desperate. Avoid them.

        Above is why I am Alive. Above is why my family Lived.
        Those who stayed DIED.

        The best way to win a fight is to Avoid a fight. Don’t be there.
        Don’t die for stuff or property. Get your family to safety AWAY from the Affected Area of Emergency. Do NOT HESITATE. Run Early. Get a head start on the herds, masses, Just Leave before the masses realize how bad it is in your local area.

        My family and I have gone through hell and lost everything. But are Alive and doing Fine. Life is Beautiful. Glory and Gratitude to Jesus.

        I would suggest a church family. I would suggest making friends at every opportunity in every area of the globe. All countries, continents, regions. You never know When emergency or Where emergency. Be Generous to these people Now. Help them now. Gift them now.

        My neighbor saved me. Not my friends. Not my family. Not co-workers. When all was lost my neighbor that I had helped years prior was there. No one else was. So I tell you plant seeds of helpfulness to others when you can. Maybe they will help you?

        comments often censored on net now days. truth and speech is first casualty of Tyranny. Tech-Media-Government-Banker, Corporate, Tyranny is upon you.
        Brain Washing. Deception. Lies. Propaganda for War.
        This is how they ALWAYS work.

        • So you decide to bug out from the city, you got BOB bag all packed with your most valuable stuff, and get walking. Wont be long after, when a gang of thugs spot your big backpack, and will stalk you, then wait for the right moment when you let your guard down, and will relieve you of all of your belongings and leave you lay in the ditch for dead, amongst your own stupidity. And rightly so.

          There will be loads of scammers out there in a bug out scenario, as they try to befriend you and say, hey put your BOB in the back of the truck and climb in. And you get all giddy thinking you got a ride out of town, and once in the country you are pushed out of the truck and shot for being naïve and an idiot. Thieves do not like witnesses, so they will dispose of you and your identifying eye balls in most cases.

      3. I fail to see how or why
        “What if the stock market collapses? ”
        is a problem for most of us.
        If the market, price of gold, home values,
        or dollar value were to collapse today,
        how would that effect you?
        It would not hurt me.
        That is where you want to be.

        • The stock market is just something to look at and measure.

          Although, most people’s pensions are tied up in mutual funds, so if the stock market collapses, they may see less monthly income.

          • JS,
            You have to pay attention to your 401K, 403B, or whatever.
            My annuities are heavy in real estate, and farming.
            Not a way to get rich, but pretty reliable.
            People have to have a place to live and they all
            have to eat. If I could invest in air and water I would.

          • Gold is at a 6 year high at 1425, and silver is at $15.32 is getting beat up. Its 93 to 1 -Silver to Gold Price Ratio right now. If that was a normal high of 70 to 1, Silver would be sitting at $20 right now. So get all the Silver you can right now and look for a $5 fast pop in silver spot price a coming. It is massively undervalued to Gold. I hear it may jump to the $24 range.

        • In prepper lore, the banking holiday is a traditional signal that you should be gone, already.

          So, the cagey types will get upset, whenever a breach is reported, or digital infrastructure is stress tested.

          The question is not whether your sweet potatoes and melons will still grow, but whether you are deemed a terrorist looter on your own land.

      4. At least have a weapon in your bug out bag if you have to leave. Have several if you are bugging in.

        • Have several if you are bugging out, have a shit load if you are bugging in.

      5. Finally an article that has to do with prepping!

        I will bug in, the life expectancy of a Refugee is very short.

        Russia has docked two ships at Havana Cuba. They may/may not have nukes onboard . That’s 20+ miles from Miami. News today said that Mexico is looking for some ISIS terrorists heading towards our southern border. HOW MANY MORE HAVE ALREADY MADE IT HERE?

        God Bless The United States and President Donald Trump!

        • Those Russian ships are just bringing campaign material to the Bernie Sanders camp.

          • Israehelli ships bring commie Bernie BS to America. Russians are pretty democratic. Russia kicked all of that Commie BS Out of Russia years ago. They learned their lesson America is still learning we have been hijacked by the parasites. Just look at our foreign policy.

            • Putin reportedly allowed all the same corrupt plutocrats to keep their turf.

              And, when it appeared that the collapse of the West was imminent, Israeli diplomacy pivoted the East, instead.

              These moral relativist, opportunists aren’t *your guys. ffs

        • Seminole Wind, spot on. It bears repeating, “the life expectancy of a Refugee is very short”. If people plan on bugging out, they better have concrete knowledge of what to expect.

          • Most think bugging out is going to resemble a mixture of Daniel Boone/Rambo

      6. “There’s no real right or wrong answer here”
        Yes there is.

        I am from the ANTI-bug out camp. Why would you leave your home, your supplies, your tools, equipment, your safe space just to head out to the unknown?

        Well, then answer is simple. You would leave if your home became untenable. Like a chemical spill, massive fire, or nuclear accident.

        But if things get shitty like Venezuela, then your best best it to stay at home where you already have made everything safe and prepared.

        I saw a SHIT LOAD of people get stranded on the highway for 3 days during Hurricane Rita in 2005. No gas, no direction, no food, water or supplies. All because local authorities told them to evacuate Houston and head north, then the damn hurricane missed Houston. If these people did not live along the sea shore, then DON’T leave. You only flee hurricanes if there is a flood risk from storm surge.

        Way too many people think they should bug out, but truly that is just popular talk. Besides, if you bug out, there will probably be someone in your house when you get back.

        • john stiner, Totally 100% agree! However, a person should ALWAYS have a Plan B, if at all possible. A fall-back position as it were. As I upgrade supplies I move the old/extra stuff to the BOL.

      7. One thing is for certain, if you are bugging out, you better have a destination picked out or several alternative destinations ad back ups and several caches out there on your supply route so you can carry lighter. Just wandering around like the rest of the lost refugees searching for a meal is not a plan but a failed plan. Consider a Bicycle and a Bike trailer to carry your bug out back and stealth camping gear. Take camo blind materials to mask your footprint when you set up camp. And also take several sheets of bug and mosquito screen netting. You camp out in the open skies lately where mosquitos will eat you alive. Bug spray in your kits.
        Even at my BOL my back up plan here is to stealth kayak out the canals to the river and find a remote hidey hole to set up for alone security. Hundreds of miles of woods and waterways in my area. Hunt n fish, Cross bow stealth hunting and hunt with a Pump pellet rifle 1200 FPS. I also have my camp stealth all season hammock and rain fly.. Sleep off the wet damp ground and away from the bugs and critters will be key for a rested nights sleep.

      8. About the ONLY thing that will get me to bug-out is having the Front Line in a War heading my way. Other than that, I’m bugging-in because that’s where all my coll stuff is.

        I realize that my preps may actually result in my death. Now that’s ironic!

      9. Between Iran and the Economy it looks like my dream of heading to Idaho before SHTF is not going to happen.

        Even though I know thing are in God’s hands, I’m still rounding out last minute supplies. I finally did the math on my Oatmeal and Pancake Mix and finally got enough Brown Sugar and Aunt Jo’ Momma Syrup to get the job done.

        I no longer face the prospect of dry pancakes!

      10. When you live in the bottom quarter of Florida where it takes six hours by road at highway speed to get out of state into the vast USA you’re trapped. It’s analogous to being on the Battan Peninsula with Key West being Corregidor Island.

        • K2,
          Is that called Tamiami road?
          connects at highway 90 somewhere
          in the panhandle?
          It’s been a while.

          • rellik

            Thats one of them but Interstate 75 follows the west side of Florida and is the real main artery as Tamiami Rt 41(Tampa-Miami) has red lights. I’m effectively trapped. In the mid 1970s the DEA blocked off the Florida Keys and pretty much held every young male for as long as they could to get the pot smugglers. Basically everyone was presumed to be guilty because it was that prevalent. It has since become a historic event and spawned “The Conch Republic” where Key West symbolically secedes from the USA. They hold a parade every year. I’m told that the place was something out of a movie in the early 70s with bales of pot on docks right out in the open.

            • Mayor Dennis Wardlow and the Council declared Key West’s independence on April 23, 1982. In the eyes of the Council, since the U.S. federal government had set up the equivalent of a border station as if they were a foreign nation, they might as well become one. As many of the local citizens were referred to as Conchs, the nation took the name of the Conch Republic.
              As part of the protest, Mayor Wardlow was proclaimed Prime Minister of the Republic, which immediately declared war against the United States (symbolically breaking a loaf of stale Cuban bread over the head of a man dressed in a naval uniform), quickly surrendered after one minute (to the man in the uniform), and applied for one billion dollars in foreign aid.

              • When we moved to Ft. Myers in 1985 it was like a scene from Miami Vice. There were a lot of remote areas still and small planes could be seen landing dropping off huge amounts of pot to the couple of people waiting there to pick them up.

            • Everglade City FL, Home of the Square Grouper. lol

        • Kev2;

          If you are a relatively healthy person you would probably be better off fleeing to the Everglades and hunkering down in the swamp..If you are in poor health and take prescribed medications daily,you really don’t have any other choice but to stay put and hope for the best.

      11. bo is bad idea. good idea to have another location with enuff food tools and land to start over. your gear should be portable so you dont have to leave it behind. should have water tight containers like ammo cans and a folding shovel in your vehicle so you can bury stuff if you need to travel light. a gps to lock in the location of the stash spot so you can come back for it later. last thing you wanna do is abandon shit cus you had to leave in a hurry. should be able to get you car loaded within an hour. most events you have at least an hour notice.

      12. Is moving considered bugging out? If so, I am bugging out.

        Pick up some boxes at home depot.
        Get large, and medium.

        Buy tape dispenser and clear tape to assemble boxes.

        Buy black markers to write which room or person they go to, and/or identify what is inside the box.

        A moving truck can be used as a spare room when not in use.

        Stay organized. It makes moving easier. Throw away, give away, or sell what you’re not taking in advance.

        Bon voyage


        • Honeypot, I hope you continue to post on SHTFplan when you get settled in. Let us know how things go. Moving is a big job, good luck and best wishes.

      13. My point being, what ever happened to the American patriot who threw himself on a grenade to save his buddies? How can you evil selfish bastards live with yourselves?

      14. “My point being, what ever happened to the American patriot who threw himself on a grenade to save his buddies?”

        He died and likely received a MOH remembered at least by family and praised for this heroism. The question that is never asked is, “What happened to the traitors who intentionally conspired to send US troops to war under false pretenses for globalist endeavors”?

        • Some ‘patriot’ will usually have covered for the traitor.

          If any of you have been fooled or mistreated and willing to admit it, then, I would respect your candor and humanity.

          • “How can you evil selfish bastards live with yourselves?”

            Everyone believes that the food is valuable treasure and would be redistributed as wealth is redistributed.

            I think, it will be wasted, on purpose.

      15. I’m willing to bet that 95% of the population has no bug-out plans, no bug-out location, and has never even given more than a passing thought to what they would do if they had to leave their primary residence in a hurry. They haven’t practiced emergency evacuation procedures and they haven’t worked out a way to communicate with their family members (especially children who may be in school). They haven’t staged any supplies or essentials and they haven’t assigned duties among family members. They don’t have vehicles that are capable of moving them very far or with adequate food and other supplies. Mr. and Mrs. America are screwed if anything should require them to move quickly. My planning isn’t the greatest but at least I have done these things and I continue to refine my planning and execution as time goes by.

      16. I did my first “bug out” while in the Army in Korea. When we got alerted, our unit drew weapons and special equipment and hauled out to a tactical assembly area. We didn’t stay on the installation waiting for the artillery barrage.

        I will do something similar if things get bad. Go to a hide site and monitor the radio, while observing my house from a safe distance. That way, if the government comes looking for me at my address – I won’t be around. After a period of time, I can go back inside or stay at my observation post or just move on depending on the situation.

        Good luck in whatever course of action you choose.

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