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Should you bug in or bug out?

It’s a big question. How do you know which is the best option for you and if you have one, your family?

Bugging in simply means sheltering, likely at home, while bugging out means leaving your home.

Only you can make that decision, here are some tips and information to help you decide the best course of action.


Bug In

Your home should always be your default place to stay, unless it is not safe to do so.

If you are prepared, you would have enough supplies to see you though the threat that you are facing.

Your home is your shelter/safe haven, and you know it well.

We all know this is what most of us have been doing during this pandemic, also you may not have anywhere else to go.

Of course there has been many disasters in the world, so only certain circumstances would merit you staying in at home.

It's your home, you have the right to be there.

That’s where all of your supplies are; both preps and everyday items.

It’s nearly impossible to take all you have stored with you. It's your local area and you know it, nearby resources, your escape routes, etc.

In most emergencies your community makes a difference, so you may as well stay where you are and you already know and trust people,  they should know and trust you.


You usually have a right to use reasonable force for self defence in your home. Only using lethal force as the last resort.

This means protecting yourself ‘in the heat of the moment’ - this includes using an object as a weapon.

When you’re away from home, most laws  are much different, always best to check and be familiar with it.

Here is a link on UK law.

Of course there are different laws depending which country you live in.

You know the ins and outs of your home, you know where the safe places are, just in case you need to hide yourself or other items. 

Also it is the best way for family or friends to find you, especially if the power and/or services are out.

There are fewer unknowns about surviving at home than surviving at another location, which you may not know.

Your home is your fortress and you know how to defend it. 

smoke-from-fire outside man standing

Bug Out

Bugging out means leaving the area and your home when a disaster has happened, and your current location is not safe anymore. 


You must be prepared to leave your home and belongings behind, hopefully everything will be just how you left them for when you return, and that's if you able to return. But don't have this expectation, as anything can happen. 

Bugging out might be temporary due to a short-term disaster. In turn you maybe able to come back home. Then again, you may not be able to come back home, for a long time or ever. 


I would make sure I’ve got everything I need to survive in even the worst-case scenario. You just don't know what the future holds, so be prepared for it.

So in turn, make sure that you have a bug out bag ready. You would need a predetermined bug out location, this would need to be thought of well in advance, and maybe a secondary backup plan.

You may not need it at all, but as they say...

Fail to Prepare is Prepare to Fail'

Here are some good reasons to leave or stay away from your home.

Something known or predicated is coming, like a event changing storm or a hurricane. Staying in your house is would be physically unsafe, you could be in a flood area, or worse still near an area known for problems that could escalate quickly.

You could be in a situation that staying at home would not be safe for you/your family and you need to escape. This could be anything from a domestic uncertainty or life threatening circumstances.

The supplies that you had at home have diminished, you can’t find any more, and your local area is scarce of supplies or it is just not safe to look anymore.

Certain people already looting or being violent near your home, as not everyone would be as prepared as you. (That's why you never advertise that you are prepared)

Or something really bad happens while you’re at work, and getting home would be too dangerous or impossible. 

Then there is a cataclysmic event


SHTF really happens.

This is not a comprehensive list to bug in or bug out, many factors can go into this mix. So much information is out there, some of it good, some of it not so much. I will be adding more to this as I grow my knowledge. This is a starting point to get your mind thinking. 

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