Why Bugging In During SHTF Is the Key to Long-Term Survival?

When it comes to preparing for a potential SHTF (Shit Hits The Fan) scenario, there are various strategies to consider.

When it comes to preparing for a potential SHTF (Shit Hits The Fan) scenario, there are various strategies to consider. One particularly debated approach is whether to bug in or bug out.

While both have their merits, this article will make a case for why bugging in during SHTF is the best option.


What is Bugging-in?

Planning to remain in a secure and familiar place during an emergency is a strategy known as bugging in.

In certain scenarios, such as when the external environment is too hazardous, uncertain, or congested, bugging in can be a more suitable option than bugging out.

Furthermore, bugging in can offer more comfort, safety, and resources than bugging out, as one can use their home and its contents for sustenance.


Bugging-in or Bugging-out?

When disaster strikes, it is essential to make the right decision between bugging in or bugging out. Bugging in involves staying put and reinforcing your current location for safety.


The downsides of bugging out

First, let us explore the downside of bugging out when it hits the fan.

1. Limited Mobility

One significant drawback of bugging in is the limited mobility it offers. If the situation deteriorates rapidly or you face imminent danger, you may find it challenging to escape or find a safer location.

Limited Mobility when bugging out during SHTF
Photos from Pixabay by chulmin1700

If you are intending to evacuate with someone who doesn’t have the most mobility, the safest option would be to remain sheltered in place. In areas with difficult terrain or regular inclement weather, it is strongly advised to stay sheltered and observe the necessary precautions.


2. Exhaustion of Resources

While you may have stockpiled supplies, there is always a limit to how long they will last. If the crisis extends beyond your initial calculations, you may face a scarcity of resources, putting your survival at risk.

Free Journey Bag photo and picture
Photo from Pixabay by Tymco

When evacuating, you must prioritize essential items, leaving behind any items of sentimental or emotional value.
The best practice is stocking up on enough supplies so that they can last for an extended period of time.

However, carrying only a few food packs and liters of water may not be enough to sustain you, not even for a month, especially in an unpredictable and uncomfortable environment.


3. Vulnerability to Threats

Bugging out makes you a target for potential threats. When others in the area run out of resources or become desperate, they may attempt to forcefully take what you have. For this scenario, nothing beats the advantage of bugging in.

Security vulnerability when bugging out during SHTF.
Photo from Pixabay by USA-Reiseblogger.

Being on the road presents potential dangers, as you can easily be spotted, particularly if you are armed or carrying a lot of equipment.

Fleeing in a dangerous situation can be incredibly hazardous. In some scenarios, you may be at risk of falling, or worse, being trampled by a panicked crowd.

The deterioration of our social well-being during this time can bring out the least desirable traits of each desperate individual, and all the undesirable elements in our community.

It is imperative that you take all necessary precautions to ensure your safety and well-being. Without established defensive measures in place as you transition, you are at a disadvantage and more vulnerable to potential threats.


Why bugging-in is the best option?

Let’s explore the advantages of hunkering down in your own safe space.


1. Safety and Security

During a crisis, your primary concern should be the safety and security of yourself and your loved ones. Bugging in allows you to fortify your home and create a defensive perimeter that is familiar to you.

Home Security When Bugging In During SHTF
Photo from Pixabay by Neshom

By staying put, you avoid the potential dangers of traveling through unfamiliar and possibly hazardous territory.

Staying in your own home can provide a sense of familiarity and comfort, allowing you to stay surrounded by your own belongings and resources. This can be incredibly beneficial in times of stress, providing emotional stability and peace of mind.


2. Familiarity and Resources

Your home is where you have your essential resources stockpiled. Food, water, medical supplies, and other necessities can be easily accessed when you bug in.

Familiarity and Resources when bugging in during SHTF
Photo from Pixabay by manfredrichter

By staying at home, you also have the advantage of knowing the layout, which can be a crucial factor in defending your territory against potential threats.

Defending your territory against potential threats during SHTF
Photo from Pixabay by Fifaliana-joy

Staying put is the best option for your survival; you have access to all the supplies that you have been stockpiling, such as food, water, medicine, and other essential items.

Don’t let go of these precious resources; bug in to ensure that you don’t have to abandon them.


3. Community Support

Bugging in allows you to rely on your local community for support. When crisis strikes, having a network of neighbors who are familiar with one another can be invaluable.

Community Support during SHTF
Photo from Pexels by Yusuf Çelik

By staying in your neighborhood, you can pool resources, share skills, and offer mutual assistance during challenging times.

Gather your support system and hunker down together! In times of distress, the power of numbers can be a great asset in providing protection and assistance.

Imagine the chaos that could ensue during the SHTF times. Criminals, or maybe, desperate individuals may form gangs that will target individual homes for plundering and potentially try to evict the inhabitants and seize their supplies. These gangs will focus on homes with a limited number of occupants to make their raids simpler.

The more people you have in a group, the more workers you have at your strength. Gather your support system and hunker down together! In times of distress, the power of numbers can be a great asset in providing protection and assistance to each other.

This means that with extra sets of hands, you can more efficiently garden, cook, pack supplies, gather water, hunt for food, and most of all, secure your territory from looters. It is clear that the benefits of having a larger group are considerable!


4. Minimizing Exposure

One of the risks of bugging out is the potential exposure to external threats. When you leave your home, you are exposed to various dangers such as hostile individuals, natural disasters, or even government checkpoints.

Minimizing Exposure, and staying low while bugging out during SHTF
Photos from Pixabay by PublicDomainPictures

Bugging in minimizes these risks by allowing you to remain under the radar and avoid unnecessary confrontations especially when you are carrying supplies and even long firearms.


5. Cost-Effective Approach

Bugging in is a cost-effective strategy compared to bugging out. When you bug out, you may need to invest in additional gear, supplies, and possibly even a remote bug-out location.

Cost-Effective Approach of Bugging in during SHTF scenario
Photo from Pexels by Stanislav Kondratiev

Putting yourselves in a costly bugging-out scenario without a plan on where to go, you can improve the security and fortify your shelter instead.

On the other hand, bugging in requires fewer financial resources as you are utilizing your existing home and stockpile.


Are you bugging in?

In conclusion, bugging in during SHTF provides several advantages that make it the best option for many individuals and families. You may enjoy homesteading with comfort, peace of mind, and the luxury of the fruits of your hard work on prepping for many years.

By prioritizing safety and security, utilizing familiar resources, leveraging community support, minimizing exposure, and adopting a cost-effective approach, you can increase your chances of surviving and thriving in a crisis.

Remember, preparation is key, so start fortifying your home and premises today. Prepare and survive!


This article was published on

32 thoughts on “Why Bugging In During SHTF Is the Key to Long-Term Survival?

  1. Kami din ni hubby are in your same situation. He said we are making a nice place for someone else. I want to hide my food preps. But there is no hiding a whole house generator.

  2. Simple question how far are you going into woods and is this close enough to walk to. isa pa, there is no woods here in the ncr

  3. Your home is your best option. Join a community. Learn skills. Stay healthy. Live through the turmoil.

  4. This is good thinking! When i hear people complaining about people wanting to come to their house during an shtf, i always wonder why They can understand the safety in numbers thing. People think they are going to board up and defend their “preps” with 2, or even 4 folks 😳. To survive long term in an shtf will take luck and banding together, otherwise if your area is lawless, you might be overrun or even forced out.
    On the other hand, if the shtf, it may not be in the sense we are describing. In a depression situation, for example, you will be very glad to have at home preps and the ability to grow food on your land, etc. so “bugging in” would be where its at.

  5. I also need to bug in. I’ve considered burying caches if supplies around my property. So if I do lose the battle and have to disappear for awhile, I can either sneak back in or come back after the danger passes to dig up my caches.

  6. put things around your house to deter the people who try to break in, some type of perimeter, thorn bush/tree, barbwire inside the bush, dont make it too obvious that u r protecting your house because they will want to know what valuable inside that u r so desperate to protect

  7. Maintaining security is a concern of mine as well for bugging in. Are there others whom can bug in with you? I would think the more people you can trust that stand with you the more you can protect what you have.

  8. Chances are there won’t be these roving gangs Mad Max style. They’ll be fighting with each other over dwindling supplies. People will also start to give into their vices (ie drugs & alcohol). If you’re in the suburbs & such make the place look abandon or already looted & hide in plain sight.

  9. We can all plan to bug in, but there are things that can happen that may give us no choice except to leave. We have to be prepared for that as well. BOB’s, water, food bags, fuel, and more. The more prepared we are for that as well, the better.

  10. I would suggest multiple cache locations. You may not want to leave but if it’s between leaving and dying, I suggest you live to fight another day. If you have multiple caches waiting for you, you will still have some supplies to keep you going until you find another place or wait them out. There are some really great suggestions here too!

  11. It really depends on the events and options available. If you have no plan B then if plan A fails you are out of options.

  12. All your major preps are probably at your home unless you have another place somewhere else already prepared.

    1. Having a second location is great but also comes with complications.
      For us:
      We pay for our extra homes
      Critters love to live in our non primary homes
      It’s difficult to store about anything there as mice and such get in
      The up front cost of second and third homes is more than most can afford
      They need maintenance
      They require time
      They are expensive however you look at it.
      But…. It sure is nice having a solid plan B and C.

  13. Bug In. I have everything I need for a while. Compared to grabbing a couple of backpacks and leaving without another location. Of course, there is always at least half a tank in the car’s tank and 10 gallons of gasoline in the outside storage. But I don’t see that as an option.

  14. It’s nice to that you have already invested on alternative means to settle in, just in case SHTF.
    I’ll just add up 2 concerns:
    1. In case of chaos, I’m sure there would be check points or if no personnel around, road blocks. So might as well consider having 4WD and time of travel probably dawn or dusk?
    2. Means of communication, and contact potential friends (not ruling out decoys/enemies) there should be at least 2 handheld radios and 1 base radio.

  15. During martial law days my father built a bugout “rest house” in a mountainous area in Cebu. Its a one bedroom house. Complete with kitchen and indoor bathroom.
    It even has a secret door that leads to a room under the house and has a tunnel exit to a nearby bamboo trees near the river.
    The house has a large open veranda with concrete fortification as walls. I had fun memories there.
    No electricity nor running water though. Planning to do the same. Its long gone. Just sharing.

  16. It seems a lot of people saying they are bugging out are actually bugging in at a secondary location. It makes it a bit confusing. If someone doesn’t have a pre-prepared location to go to then they are really just volunteering to be a refugee. That’s never a good idea. Bugging in means you have all your stuff, you’re in a familiar environment, and you know the people. That puts you ahead of the game.

  17. Unless you have a place to go, that is better than where you’re at you are simply becoming a refugee. In my opinion not something anyone wants to be because you’re completely dependent on others.

  18. We are hunkering down right where we are, but I would say it depends on where you live. You know your own area, people in your area should at least recognize you. If you stayed and saw strangers come roaming through, what would you think of them? That’s what people are going to think of you if you go off, unless you have another place that you have a set up at and you go regularly. We have what we need here, leaving would mean having to figure it out on the fly.

    1. Unless you live in a big city and have a rock solid bug out site and a guaranteed way to get there safely, bugging in is your best alternative.

  19. Bugging in is best because you have all of your gear and food. Bugging out, you have to pick and choose what to take with you.

  20. If you have a stocked secondary location to go where exactly are you going to bug out to? Bugging in is almost always the answer.

  21. I say wherever you’ve stored your preps is where you should be. Some people store at home (bug in) & others store in a secure location (bug out)

  22. Bug in….I’m too old to hide in the woods and eat bugs. Living in Rizal is a great deal. Near in the City and having a resources in my backyard as well

  23. Depends on traffic to get out, the disaster, and what you have in place. I’d plan to stay home and let shit die down, then decide. How far is ur bug out spot? Will ur cars work, are you walking?
    Staying put is plan A, worked too hard to give up what I’ve got. If necessary, have a place to go even deeper into the mountains as an absolute laT

  24. I’ll be bugging in. Make sure you have basic first aid kit, a stash of maintenance meds if applicable, and supplies for pets if you have them

  25. For me this is what i have for bugging in aside from those items in the list.
    1. Basic medicines, wound dressing
    2. pot gardening to produce any veggies to supplement my existing stocks
    3. alternative energy source for cooking like superkalan, charcoal and butane
    4. guard dogs – i have 3 guard dogs (Jack Russell and Belgian Malinoi). They only knew few commands like stop, go, sit, eat and most especially ATTACK. The command to attack is the most important. In SHTF scenarios, our fur friends should not be a liability to us but an asset.
    5. Security – ensure that all parts of the house is durable and secured.

  26. Staying until you have to leave entails you are going down with the ship imo. Once it’s too late to leave, there is no getting out of Dodge.

  27. My biggest question for those that choose to bug out is where are you going and how do you plan to get there. Also, why are you not already where you feel most comfortable/confident already?

  28. What we did during the pandemic?
    Bug in take 2 months let everybody panic and go crazy.
    3rd month bug out.
    Why 3rd month?
    Whether you accept it or not the Philippines is a 3rd world country governed by clowns and crocs. (Yes it doesnt matter, All Philippine politicians are in the same boat. It does NOT matter which party they are representing). With this you know for a fact anything they do (and approve) is reactive NEVER proactive.
    We had news about the pandemic internationally December 2019. We had the first REPORTED case January 30, 2020 please note again. REPORTED case. Im pretty sure there were people spreading it a month before the Local bodies REPORTED it. Also once again we had no way to detect it.
    Lockdown did not start till March 15/16, 2020. December-March bugged in then bugged out before the lockdown.
    Never had covid never have plans on getting it.
    Bug in assess the situation and gauge if you need to leave.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *