Bug-out or Shelter in Place: It’s Not Always One or the Other

There are countless articles on the web about bugging out, this site included. Of those articles, I have written a few and, though I don’t respond to every comment on every article, I do read them. One of the last articles that covered bugging out had a comment that brought up some good points in regards to this subject. The comment, to be paraphrased, stated that bugging out is a waste of time that will only get you killed and that you should set up your home so you can stay there during an emergency. This certainly has its merits, but doesn’t always fit every situation.

Writing about bugging out is more fun than writing about sheltering in place which, I believe, causes the former topic to be thrown around more than the latter, oftentimes by writers who assumed the reader realized that there is an option that comes first: Staying in place.

Just as we plan for things to go wrong, we must plan for them to go wrong again and again, thus, your plan should be multi-layered. If a bad situation can be survived by staying in your home that has a stock of food, water, medical supplies, and the ability to be defended, that is where you should make your stand. This is Plan A. To do this, you must have at least a few months’ worth of supplies on hand, if not a year’s worth. You must also be able to fortify your home from the inside as to not draw attention to passers-by. But that cannot be where your plan ends.

Swall MeadowsIf the disaster is centered on top of your neighborhood or systematic and skilled looters/attackers are making their way to your home, you may have to bug out. Ideally, you would, by this point in time, already have an off-road-capable vehicle stocked and ready to go. All you need to do is jump in and drive off. That is Plan B. Mechanized bug out. Again, your plan cannot stop here. Vehicles break down, gas runs out, and roads can be unpassable.

This is where Plan C comes into place. You pull the mountain bikes off of the back of the vehicle and pedal to your bug-out-location. You can move faster than walking, for longer distances, with more gear. It isn’t as good as driving, but then again, driving wasn’t as good as staying sheltered at your own home. Sometimes, life sucks. And it can get worse from here too, as bikes get flats, chains break, or otherwise get damaged.

That is where Plan D pops into place. You’re gonna have to hoof it. You can’t carry as much as you would on the bike and it will take you longer to get to your location, but at least you are moving and still alive.

[quote_left]”Sometimes, the best option happens to be the one that sucks the most.”[/quote_left]Sometimes, the best option happens to be the one that sucks the most. That is survival. Not all of us, if any of us, can live in a place that is free from threats and requires only a “shelter in place” Plan A.

So, despite how much fun it is to write about bugging out, perhaps a few articles that cover sheltering in place are in order. The better your shelter in place plan is, the less likely you are to have to bug out, which is a good thing.

As a side note, I would like to thank those who share comments and opinions, good or “bad.” Without them, questions go unanswered and topics don’t shift as well as they could, so, thank you.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Seth Belt

Seth Belt

Seth grew up in Southern Arizona before joining the U.S. Navy. While serving in the Navy, Seth was an anti-narcotics operator and an anti-submarine operator for 5 years. He was lucky enough to travel to many of the Central and South American countries, as well as visiting many South East Asian nations and islands. One of Seth’s greatest joys from his time in the Navy was teaching new Sailors firearms education and safety. After leaving the Navy in 2010, Seth returned to Arizona and had a rough time learning how to be a civilian again, often working jobs that could barely pay the bills. After going to school, Seth became an Emergency Medical Technician in the Phoenix Valley, where he now lives with his wife and son.His areas of knowledge cover military, firearms, and emergency medicine.
Seth Belt
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2 thoughts on “Bug-out or Shelter in Place: It’s Not Always One or the Other

  1. All good points to consider.. Suburban dwellers can probably stay in place longer than urban apartment folks if the SHTF but that time surely will be limited by the depth of their preparation and their ability to defend what they have. Most modern homes, even in gated communities, are not very defensible against a determined mob. There is strength in numbers as folks on the Texas frontier found out fighting the Comanche and Apache raiders. Perhaps an assembly point in a neighborhood that can be defended for a long period of time by a select group of well armed, competent, survivors with complementary skills may offer the best hope for longer term survival.

  2. Time waits on no man (or woman) and as we age, some things become non-viable.

    I might arguably be able to make a long hike to some safe location. My wife cannot. So that option is off the table for us. I don’t have to like it, but I do have to recognize it and plan accordingly.

    I have slanted my plans on either staying put or – in extremis – a motorized transition to a secondary location. I have invested in heavier body armor) Class IV) and heavier and more capable weapons to try to keep exchanges at a longer range.

    This is not intended as criticism, but as something to bear in mind. We all get older and as we do, we eventually lose some of our former capabilities.

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