Bug In Or Bug Out?


Improvise, Adapt & Overcome, So You Can Bug In Or Bug Out!

I was never a Marine, but I am certainly familiar with that phrase.  I heard it over and over again as I went through training to become a USAF Survival Instructor.  That single phrase in my opinion should be the central focus of any rational and well thought out prepper’s Bug In or Bug Out plan.

Soldiers & Preppers

In many ways preppers and soldiers have a lot in common.  Not because they both usually own and carry firearms, but because they are both working to preserve a way of life that they cherish. Their way of life.

Soldiers in combat don’t know what the enemy will do next. Preppers also don’t know what mother nature will throw their way or what will happen with the economy or if anything catastrophic at all will ever happen to them in their lifetime.  Soldiers don’t know when or where an enemy will attack.  Neither does a prepper know if anything bad will ever happen to them.  But as it is a soldier’s job to do their best to expect the unexpected.  It is also a prepper’s mission to do the same.

The best tacticians and commanding officers in the military are the ones who consider all possibilities and do their best to develop strategies that address as many of those possibilities as possible.  Yet they also build in and expect the soldiers executing the mission to be flexible and adapt to changes in order to accomplish the central objective.  The best and most well prepared preppers will plan much the same way.  For a prepper the objective is preparing for and surviving and thriving in whatever comes their way.

The Full Threat Spectrum – Bug In or Bug Out

Considering the full range of threats is an important first step for anyone planning to accomplish a mission whether it be combat or prepping.  It’s important not to get tunnel vision and to find yourself fixated on any one, two or even three threats.  Look at the full spectrum and prepare for those that are most likely to happen in your area.  But remember to be adaptable and flexible enough to be able to change plans if something happens that you didn’t expect.  There are no sure things.  Change is the one constant. And you should be able to adapt to those changes. prepare for both – Bugging In and Bugging Out!

Bug In – I Have A Bunker!

The new television show “Doomsday Bunkers” designed around the company Deep Earth Bunker has made many people think that a bunker is a sure thing.  That if all hell breaks loose all I have to do is go to the bunker.  Sure, a bunker is a fantastic option and if you can incorporate one into your plan that’s great, though the reality is that many people cannot afford to do so.  But if you have one, you should understand that a bunker isn’t the end all be all.  You will have to leave your bunker at some point and it will likely be sooner than you imagine.  Living in a small underground bunker for months on end is very difficult, if not impossible for most people.  When you crack that door, you are now as vulnerable as everyone else in the world.  Even if you don’t choose to leave your bunker, you should also understand that you can be forced to leave your bunker or you could be killed while in it.  In general most all bunker’s have vulnerabilities (think oxygen or the lack of).  My point is, be flexible and adaptable.  If you have a bunker use it if needed, it is a great option!  But don’t count on the fact that you will never be forced to leave it.  Murphy has a strange way if proving us all wrong.

Bug In or Bug Out?

There are many well thought out and credible authors on the subject of bug out plans. But if the plan they are espousing doesn’t include all of the following “possibilities” and more, it may need some work.  Consider incorporating a few of the following possibilities into your plans.

– Staying at home or Bug In.
– Leaving your home to go live with a friend or relative outside the disaster area – Bug Out
– Leaving your home and just moving to another part of the country – Bug Out
– Leaving the country – Bug Out
– Leaving your home to go to a predetermined wilderness area or retreat location – Bug Out
– Leaving your home to go to an unplanned urban location – Bug Out
– Leaving your home to go to an unplanned wilderness location – Bug Out
– Staying in charitable shelters and using charitable assistance until your home is livable again – Bug Out
– Leaving (Bugging Out) temporarily and then returning home after things have normalized – Bug Out
– Staying in your yard (camping out) while you are repairing damage to your home – Bug Out/Bug In
– Where will you go or what would you do if you were not able to grab your Bug Out Bag from your Car or your home?  Have you prepositioned supplies? Within walking distance in multiple directions? And further away in multiple directions?

The point of this short list is that the possibilities and contingencies are nearly endless and pigeonholing yourself to one particular mindset over another is putting you at a severe disadvantage in the prepping game.  Much like a soldier being certain that his enemy will attack on the left flank.  So certain that he leaves his right flank unprotected and exposed.  A prepper who doesn’t consider a full range of possibilities on how they may Bug Out or may Bug In or anything in between is leaving themselves and their loved ones exposed.

All throughout written recorded history there have been people who thought the world would cease to exist in their lifetime.  They were certain of it, they thought they had undeniable evidence!  Yet here we are.  Between then and now a lot of terrible and destructive things have been thrown at the human race.  Yet here we are.  More terrible and destructive things are likely to be thrown our way in the future as well.  And much like the past we who plan and prepare will endure!

Plan to Improvise, Adapt and Overcome, be ready to Bug In or Bug Out!  For more information on improvising, read the post I wrote called The 5 Rules of Improvising.  Remember Adaptability Equals Survivability!

What things can you suggest for helping people to remain adaptable in their Bug In or Bug Out Plans?

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8 thoughts on “Bug In Or Bug Out?

  1. Looks like your pack is also one of my packs: SOF Ruck Kit by BlackHawk- Love Mine, Great Pack!!!

  2. “What things can you suggest for helping people to remain adaptable in their Bug Out Plans?”

    Mobility and Communication are important in ground ops for the soldier, and also for the Prepper. The Prepper needs flexibility in hid bug-out transportation options, including a way to stay put if mobility somehow is denied him. ON FOOT might be his only recourse.

    Having a way to communicate is good, too. This assume he has someone to communicate WITH. If solo, or a lone wolf, he should have to means of receiving information whether en route, or at his end point. Knowledge of the situation and new events can be critical. The news can also help him determine when it is okay to return home.

    GPS is nice, but maps are forever. Good maps, map reading skills and a decent compass should be in any bug out pack. Topographic supplements to standard maps can be helpful, too, especially if moving cross-country.

    Maybe you could do a big favor and share some mobility thoughts with us?
    LP recently posted..Developing a Plan – RevisitedMy Profile

  3. LP, Good stuff! I have been planning on doing a post on communication here pretty soon. I agree with you on the GPS thing as well.

    I will work on something on Survival Mobility as well as soon as I can!

    Thanks for the comment!


    JJ recently posted..Adaptability Equals SurvivabilityMy Profile

  4. I graduated in class 97-02. Was in Charlie flight my whole time in field training. How about you? I assume you were also at Fairchild since you are asking…
    JJ Johnson

  5. Pingback: What can you do to increase adapatabilities in your bug-out plans? « A Survival Plan
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