Should I Bug Out or Survive in Place?
Should I Bug Out or Survive in Place? by Jonathan Hollerman – Survival Blog
Where are you getting your prepping advice? Why?
Should I try to survive in place or should I bug out? This is a hotly debated question in the prepping community with many people firmly entrenched on both sides of the aisle. There are numerous articles discussing the topic, but most are only a handful of paragraphs that never really explain how or why they arrived at their recommendation. To answer the “Bug Out” or “Bug In” question effectively, we must discuss essential background information and context. I will break down the discussion into three sections: your source for prepping advice, what SHTF scenario you are preparing for, and how to bug out if you don’t have a survival retreat. So, grab a cup of coffee, find a comfortable chair, and put on your seat belt as I get ready to challenge a good bit of commonly embraced ideas and “prepper theology” that are dangerous to you and your family surviving a long-term SHTF scenario. On a side note, if your idea of “prepping” revolves around getting ready for the next hurricane and storing up enough food and water in your basement to last a couple days until FEMA shows up, well… this article probably won’t apply to you.
Your plan to either bug in or bug out depends on what SHTF scenario you are preparing for. Some of them seem silly and unlikely, but most of the scenarios that could lead to a collapse of our society have at least some legitimacy. What should you be preparing for? Should you plan to bug in or bug out? These are the two most fundamental questions to wrap your head around before making any plans for surviving a SHTF scenario. When getting started, I always recommend my clients apply the age-old philosophy, “Prepare for the worst and hope for the best!” At the same time, you need to find a balance between the worst-case SHTF scenario with what is most likely to occur in your lifetime.
So what are you preparing for? Pandemic? Financial collapse? Nuclear war? Long-term loss of the electric grid? I have noticed that most preppers typically “latch on” to the first SHTF scenario they were introduced to and become overwhelmed by the thought of that event coming to pass. Consequently, they focus all their energy on preparing for that particular scenario. They think about how it would affect their family’s chances of survival and dive head first into the confusing Internet world of preparedness. A lot of them start by Googling the word “prepping” or by spending countless hours watching some popular YouTube prepper channel. Unfortunately, what follows is a long, confusing string of bad information, deadly advice, and Top 10 Prepping Tips from “experts” who, quite frankly, have no earthly idea what they are talking about and have no background in surviving a world full of starving and desperate people.
This is why I am starting the discussion by asking “Where are you getting your prepping advice?”. The source of your knowledge will literally make the difference between whether you live or die, should a total societal collapse occur. I see a lot of preppers spending boat loads of cash on the wrong survival supplies and, more importantly, on the wrong plan of action. Part of the confusion on “how to prep” comes from the plethora of prepping advice available at the click of a mouse. I’ve read many “how to” prepping articles on major websites and magazines that literally made me spit out my morning coffee and laugh out loud. I’ve also read over a hundred prepper-fiction novels, some of them extremely popular. Most of them I can’t even finish, due to instance after instance of unbelievably stupid actions the main character takes that he miraculously survives. My most common frustration with most survival fiction authors is how they very rarely explain with any believability how the main characters stay fed in the post-apocalyptic world they are living in.