Home Bug Out Bag Bug In vs Bug Out – A Common Sense Comparison

Bug In vs Bug Out – A Common Sense Comparison

Girl with backpack bug out

One of the most important decisions you will take when dealing with an emergency is if you should bug in or bug out.

Bugging in refers to sheltering in your own home until the danger passes. Bug out means that you have to leave your home, usually to put some distance between yourself and the threat. It is always a good idea to consult the authorities before making a decision if you have time to do so.

Today’s bug in vs bug out comparison will show you:

  • similarities
  • differences
  • how to decide if you should go or you should stay

People that survive during an emergency do three things very well:

First, they have a very strong survival attitude.

Second, they survey the situation and make the correct decision.

Third, they are lucky.

Although your control over Lady Luck is mostly wishful thinking, you can always give her a helping hand.

Table Of Contents

Bug In And Bug Out Similarities

  • both types of action are supposed to protect you from an imminent danger.
  • no matter if you stay or if you go, you’re still going to need some basic survival needs such as water, food, and shelter.
  • preparing ahead and having a plan how to deal with an emergency increase your chances of staying safe.

Bug In and Bug Out Differences

The main differences between the two actions are:

  • the quantity of supplies you have access to
  • the safety offered by your shelter
  • the distance between yourself and the threat

Bug In VS Bug Out InfographicMake A Decision – Bug In Or Bug Out

A very good decision, when faced with an emergency, is going to a designated shelter, if there is one nearby and you have enough time to get to it. That starts as a bug out (you are leaving your home, don’t forget your bug out bag) and ends as a bug in (you stay in the designated shelter until the danger passes).

You have better chances of surviving most disasters if you are part of a survival group. There is safety in numbers and history proves that a collective mitigation and recovery effort is more productive.


If you have a safer place (such as a disaster shelter) where to go and meet others, bugging out is generally the safer alternative. However, that will vary based on the situation that you’re facing and it is always a great idea to keep emergency plans and supplies handy if you need to bug in. An example of a successful bug in would be during a harsh winter if you have plenty of supplies and a backup generator (to deal with potential grid failures).




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