If you’re reading this, chances are you have a bug out bag ready and waiting for the STHTF. It’s probably packed with just about everything you need to pick up and run with, and while it’s a definite necessity to have a bug out bag of your own, bugging out under most circumstances is, for the most part, a bad idea.
Sure, the thought of bugging out at the first sign of disaster seems great, but you can quickly get yourself into more trouble than you’re leaving behind. Short of a nuclear meltdown a few blocks away, bugging out is usually not the best option and can in the end get you in a worse situation than what you’re bugging out from.
1. Home Territory
To start this list off with, leaving your home for greener pastures means you lose home field advantage from the start. At home you know where your vulnerabilities are as well as your strengths. If you’ve done a thorough home security setup then your home is one of the safest places you can be.
You’re more aware of how long it takes to walk from the woods to your house, and you know what security your house has in it. All of these things are lost when you head out into the wild. You no longer know how secure your position is, and if someone has a better position than you. Riding things out at home in general is far safer because you know everything about where you are.
2. Your Stuff is at Home
Along with knowledge, all of your stuff is at home, too. From survival equipment you’ve collected over the years to your household tools and food, the stuff of life is in your house, so why would you so easily leave it behind?
The sheer fact that you can keep a week, month, or even a year of food and water at your home versus 48 hours worth on your back should be reason enough to try your best to secure the homefront first and bug out when all else fails. Along with food and tools, don’t forget all the medical supplies you have. Sure, your first aid kit is great, but what if you get the flu? You probably have cough syrup and decongestants in your cabinet that you wouldn’t bring with you, so why leave them behind?
We mentioned this in number one, but the fact that you can secure your house as much as you see fit makes it one of the best places to ride out a disaster. You can fortify your house or apartment pretty easily and once you do, the average looter will have a damn hard time getting to you.
You can brush up on home protection and defense to make sure you’re as secure as possible, something you can’t do in the wild. In short, your home can be as secure as you make it, while you’re at the mercy of your location when you’re bugged out.
Speaking of security, it’s far easier to sleep when you know you’re as secure as possible, and most importantly, your bed is a lot more comfortable than the ground outside. Think about it, would you rather sleep in a bed or even on the floor in your house, or in an abandoned building or under a tent, both of which have no guaranteed security.
Sleep is important. If you’re deprived of sleep you can expect to start making bad decisions, get sick, or even cause physical pain and damage to yourself. Don’t underestimate the importance of sleep, and don’t forget how much better you’ll sleep at home.
Whether you have weekly block parties or simply wave hello to your neighbors, you live in a community. That community is full of different skills and abilities as well as plain and simple manpower.
While you probably shouldn’t tell your neighbors about your prep for security reasons, you can work with them to secure a larger area and get more done. Being a prepper, you should know how to help them and their numbers and varied skills can help you. Lead them and become safer overall.
6. You’re the Stranger
Let’s say you decide to stay home and work with your community to survive. How would you treat someone who came walking into your neighborhood looking to stay and was asking for supplies or help?
You’d probably be very wary of him or her, and possibly even violent depending on how they act. If you leave your home and bug out, you’ll be that stranger in someone else’s neighborhood. While they might accept you into their community, chances are you’ll be shunned either verbally or possibly physically. There’s a lot to be said about not being a stranger, and when you leave your house that’s exactly what you become.
7. It Could Always Be Worse
Finally, the age-old saying applies here, as it can always be worse. Sure, you might be worried about looters and disaster coming to your neighborhood, but without a destination in mind and a lot of things and people most likely in your path, it could definitely be a lot worse than your perceived danger at home.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking disaster only struck your area. Unless there’s a wildfire coming right for your house, the same disaster you’re afraid of could be worse where you’re planning on going.
Remember, the urge to up and book it for higher ground can be a strong one, but you need to weigh your options before acting. This isn’t to say that bugging out isn’t a good idea from time to time, but for the most part, staying put is more likely than not your best option.