To Bugout or Not To Bugout, That Is The Question
To Bugout or Not To Bugout, That Is The Question avatar

As a survivalist and one that follows many of the other survivalist blogs and forums, I often get a chuckle when I see people post about “bugging out“.  Now don’t get me wrong, often times bugging out might be absolutely necessary.  However if you have family members and especially kids, the decision to simply “bug out” is not one to be taken lightly.

In many cases if you live in a home with your family, the most sensible decision is to stay put where you know your surroundings and have safe shelter.  With that said however, be prepared and have enough supplies stockpiled in your home that you could realistically lock your doors and survive comfortably for at least 6-12 months.  The only instances I can envision where I would leave my house and head for the hills with my family are apocalyptic ones.  But let’s look at some various scenarios where people talk about “bugging out”.

1.  Nuclear Explosion – If a nuke goes off around your vicinity and you survive it, first off be thankful.  Next however, if possible you need to figure out where the explosion took place and make every effort to be upwind of the explosion.  In the U.S., more than likely any nuclear incident will be a dirty bomb and not an atomic bomb strapped to an ICBM (although never say never).  If you survive the initial explosion, remember, the fallout is what will kill you at this point.  If you can bugout and head upwind of the explosion, grab what you can and go.  In this instance, yes, I’m bugging out with my family.  I also suggest keeping a supply of potassium iodate pills.

2. Complete Economic Collapse –
So let’s say you wake up one morning and China, Russia, and Japan all decided to crash the dollar.  This is not far fetched, and yes, the dollar will be worthless and we will see rapid hyperinflation.  If you have prepared properly, this is no reason to bug out at this point.  In this scenario you will be happy if you have stocked up on food, water, and especially precious metals such as gold and silver.  If the dollar becomes worthless, the value of gold and silver will increase rapidly.  You can use your metals to barter for other supplies.  I purchase all my gold and silver and  I would suggest purchasing 1 oz. Silver Eagles from APMEX, as these will be trusted and the easiest to barter.

3. Civil Unrest –
Either of the above scenarios, and many others will create civil unrest.  Personally however when the rest of the country is going bat shit crazy, I’d rather not be sitting in the woods in a makeshift shelter with my gun, bugout bag, and food rations.  This is where you should be using all your knowledge and stockpiled supplies to turn your home into a virtual fortress.  The best defense and deterrents against civil unrest is having an variety of weapons; preferably with scopes :).

4.  EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) or Solar Flare – This is one of those scenarios when it comes to bugging out where I say “It depends”.  Without a power grid, there is no doubt that civil unrest will get progressively worse by the day.  Much of the decision to stay or go should be dependent on your surroundings, supplies, and shelter.  Once again, this a situation where it might make sense to build your fortress.

These are just a few of the more common scenarios where you hear of people saying they are going to grab their bugout bags and head for the hills.  If you have a secure bunker somewhere or a cabin in the woods, then yes 99% of the time this is the right decision.  The reality however is that most of us don’t have that luxury.  Our odds of survival will often times be much greater staying put and utilizing our supplies and survival skills for ourselves and families.

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