Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Home And Business Security

Bug In or Bug Out -- Chicken and Eqq Question


I have been really evaluating my current homestead and trying to decide what type of bug out location I need and how to balance my preps between both locations.
Some of the factors I have been looking at weighing the choice of buggin in or buggin out are:
1)  In various SHTF situations, what are the advantages and risks of the current homestead.
2)  In various SHTF situations, what are the advantages and risks of the bug out location.
3)  If I choose to bug out, what risks are created by the travel to the other site and what preps will I have to leave behind.

Can you give me some other major elements I need to look at and some significant factors under my three criteria.

First of all, you have to decide whether or not you actually need a "bug-out location". In most instances, you are far better off bugging in - sheltering in place -  than leaving. After all, your whole life is wrapped up in the homestead - pictures, your library, that set of cast iron pots and pans you got from your grandmother, a garage full of tools, etc.; stuff that wouldn't be coming with you if you leave. Then there is the issue, as you point out, of what goes where and how will you get to it.

Now, if you live on the Gulf Coast, or in Tornado Alley, or in an area affected by wild fires, then having someplace else to go makes sense. "Someplace else" does not necessarily mean a "secret", fortified redoubt in the wilderness - it could mean a relative's house in another county [with a reciprocal agreement, of course]. If they are "into" prepping, so much the better, but realistically, you are looking for someplace to take shelter in for a limited amount of time, until you can go back home. In that case, you will just have to worry about securing your main cache at home, and whatever your relative wishes to store at your place. The trick is to keep it real and not get carried away worrying about events which will probably never occur.

If you try the Search Function at the top of the page, you will find all sorts of good information - some dating back years - on this topic.

Enjoy your quest,


I have/had 4 BOL.. Don't put all your eggs in one basket scenario. But I would only go to them under extreme duress.

I would Bug IN if there was a choice. Unless there was something extreme like the house is burning down from wildfires, or has water up to the second story, or landslides. Is your homestead next to a train derailment and toxic chemicals are blowing your way or 18 cars decided to explode? Or something to make the place unsafe. If not, I would stay.

If my state turned into Cairo. I think I would leave. But I would be heading alot further away than any of my 4 BOL's in that case. And lightly.

Here I know the land. I have food, shelter, water. I have other buildings I could live in. I have animals I can get food from in one form or another. Theoretically I could live here for a long time if there were no outside sources bothering us. I have all my food preservation supplies for pressure canning, waterbath canning and dehydrating even without any power. I know what a PITA is it to pack any of that stuff around. I just did it in my move. So did Z and we pretty much said we would never move that much stuff again and we would just start over LOL.

Are you having to get to your BOL on foot? I always do the worst case sceanrio on foot. Anything above that is gravy.

Soup gave good advice too.


I agree, our plan "A" is to bug in, where we have the most equipment, protection, supplies, and knowledge of the area and friends and family.  The primary danger to bugging in is if there is an overwhelming threat to that specific location: storm, flood, fire, chemical spill, earthquake damage, determined assault (roving mob or gang targeting houses like yours). But if at all possible we would coordinate with trusted neighbors to protect or rebuild in place before considering bugging out.

The danger of bugging out is transiting over dangerous ground, exposed, and with much less equipment and supplies until you reach BOL.  You could get caught in massive traffic jams, have vehicle or bodily breakdown/injury in the middle of nowhere (now a refugee), and be at the mercy of govt or gang roadblocks, searches and confiscation.

If I felt it was too dangerous to stay in our house, I am bugging out to one of my relatives in various directions, distances and even states depending on the nature.  Not planning to make it a secret get away, just relocating until we can return to our house.  We would take lots of cash and camping/bug-out supplies with us for low impact on BOL hosts.

Starting out I would focus 90% on bugging in and 10% on bugging out.  Our bugging out gear and supplies are just a subset of our overall bugging in supplies but packed and ready to go.  So you could put that together first and use it as starting point for your bugging in plan, and also it is ready to go for evacuation.

Unless you have a crystal ball, the perfect bug-in location would offer me protection from as many likely and unlikely scenarios as possible, without me needing to ever leave.  For me, looting is my biggest likely fear in protecting my family, food, and other things.  Location, location, location. . .   Find a place that is nestled far enough off a main highway that groups of people would likely pass you by.  Try to find one that is not near a large city.  It is best if the property offers local community, even if it's just a few neighbors spread out over a mile or two.  It is best if the property is layed out in a way that allows it to be defensible.  Make sure it has good well water and year around springs & streams are a huge plus.  Make sure the property will support the needed livestock year around (doesn't flood in the winter and offers plenty of pasture for forage).  After you find a location like that, you can design and build in a way that will support you in times of natural disasters.


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