Bugging In

Bugging out is not necessarily the first option to every SHTF or survival situation, especially if it’s a shorter-term emergency like a power outage or certain types of severe weather. A lot of the time it is wiser to just stay indoors and wait for the crisis to end and for the rescue to come. In this post, we will discuss the reasons why you should consider bugging in first and what supplies
you will be needing in order to survive indoors

bugging in house

What is Bugging In?

Bugging in, basically, is choosing to stay indoors during a disaster which is completely in contrast with bugging out. Bugging out, on the other hand, is choosing to evacuate and leave home for days, weeks or months—whether on foot or vehicle. Despite the obvious contrast, bugging in and bugging out both share many of the same values and emphasize similar supplies.

Advantages of Bugging In

Shelter and Security

The major advantage of bugging in is that you don’t have to worry about a roof over your head. That is a huge survival factor! Not to mention, staying at home is better than staying in tents or sleeping bags somewhere in the wilderness that simply won’t have the same protection against strong winds, heavy rains and freezing temperatures.

Importantly, you know every hiding spot or escape route in your house in the event of an intruder breaks in. But as an initial measure to prevent that from happening, make sure that the doors and windows are always locked.


Hygiene is also one aspect during a survival situation. You can develop skin diseases, fungus, and other nasty stuff if you don’t perform a proper cleaning of your body every once in a while. Aside from personal hygiene, being on a well and having relatively easy access to water can be is another VERY important asset in keeping yourself healthy in general. Fresh clean water also comes in handy if you need to disinfect any wounds

Neighborhood or Local Community

Another great advantage of bugging in is that you have a rough idea of the type of people that are around you. This goes especially for a suburban or small town- most folks have a general idea of who their neighbors are. If you live in a more rural area, people might not even be a factor when a SHTF situation hits. On the other hand, being in a city might seem like a bad idea in a survival situation, but during disasters supplies are usually going to hit cities first. No matter where your home is, bugging in will have its advantages and its drawbacks.


But in most cases, you and your neighbors will help one another which will increase the chances of survival—there is strength in numbers. It could be sharing of supplies or resources and looking out for one another. This isn’t The Walking Dead here, in a real SHTF situation, working together with other people can be a win-win situation.

Medical Treatment

Other than your grandmother’s homemade remedies, another thing that can save lives is a knowledge of proper first aid. Even a simple cut can worsen, infect, and eventually lead to death from blood poisoning. Even a simple fever, not properly controlled, can do major damage. Bugging in at home means that you have your whole medicine cabinet at your disposal, and you can build up a nice stockpile.


Make sure you stock up on the basic drugs first before powerful drugs like antibiotics and prescription drugs. Lastly, always check the expiration date first before taking any pill!

Food Supplies and Meal Preparation

Obviously, when you choose bugging out, you will only have a limited amount of food or and food supplies on you. When bugging in, you can prepare and stockpile as much as you can before a disaster occurs.

Another thing to look at, it is easier to preserve and cook meals at home than anywhere else. Sure, you’re going to need to make some adjustments when it’s a survival situation and you are staying at home. But having your own kitchen to cook in is a serious luxury in such a situation. It’s tough to beat a fridge, stove and everything else that comes along with your own kitchen.


By the time your supplies start to run out, familiarity with the area gives you a serious edge. Knowing where to go to find food, water, gasoline or other supplies will save you time and will be much easier than wandering around dangerously.

bugging in house winter

How to Prepare For Bugging In

Have a Backup Plan

When things don’t go exactly as planned, it’s always better if you have another plan to back it up that will ensure the safety of you and your family. Always make sure to plan ahead and expect the unexpected. That’s the prepper mentality at work!

Mentally Prepare

Again, this is largely about the Prepper mentality. Crisis can take a toll on us. It is perfectly understandable to break down every once in a while. But you need to wrap your head around the situation and get to a point where you can mentally handle the tasks ahead of you. It won’t be easy, but mental preparation for anything that comes ahead will help you operate the mental side of survival.


 You won’t be able to help yourself- or others- if you can’t keep calm in a challenging, unexpected situation.

Keeping Warm

Like the picture above shows, everyone would rather be in a house than a tent in the wintertime. But even bugging in, when a power outage occurs, you need to maintain warmth in order to survive. Especially during cold nights. A good idea is to have multiple layers of clothing and a blankets. If you have electric heating you might be out of luck, and not all folks want to draw attention with a smoking chimney. A propane heater is a viable option to look into, though.

Home Security / Shelter Security

Remember that in a prolonged crisis, there will be desperate people looking for supplies. It’s your choice how you want to protect your home, but home security is something to take seriously. And if you have the opportunity, you and your neighborhood should coordinate a plan to help one another out in the event of a SHTF situation.

Bugging In Supplies to Stock at Home

Here is a list of the basic supplies that would help you in a survival situation at home:

  • Water – Water is very important for our body. You can go for much longer without food than water.

  • Long Term Foods – Since you’ll have no idea when a crisis will end, it’s be wise to stock up as much as you can and plan your meal ahead to save up food supplies effectively.

  • Flashlight – In the event of a power outage, a flashlight always a good idea.

  • RadioThis will be useful to stay updated on the latest news or recent developments regarding whatever situation you are stuck in.


  • Whistle – Whistles will come in handy to send help or send covert signals to friendly people.

  • Extra Batteries – If you’re here at Prepper Base, you probably know that you should have a hand-crank, solar, or otherwise rechargeable flashlight. But not everyone is so fortunate to have this site to help the prepare, so always keep some extra batteries on you. You also might end up depending on some devices that you simply can’t recharge- watch batteries come to mind.

  • First Aid KitThis is one of the most important things you should have with you. This can save your and other peoples’ lives.


  • Multitool – Multitool will be helpful to do some minor repairs on broken devices or appliances. It’s also helpful to have for fishing and hunting smaller game.

  • Sanitation Products – Of course, we would want to maintain cleanliness inside our household even during a crisis. A little bleach or cleaning product will go a long way when you’re stuck inside.

  • Personal Hygiene ProductsEspecially when you are bugging in and you have access to water, a crisis is not an excuse for letting hygiene go by the wayside.


  • Cellphones with ChargersThis will be useful to get in touch with your loved ones. You can also get updated with news over the internet if there is still available cell service or an internet connection.


  • Extra CashThere might be some stores that still operate during the early days of a SHTF situation. It’d be a good thing to have extra cash on you. You never know when you will need to start bartering and paper money will be worthless.


  • Blankets – Yes, blankets are this important. Keeping warm is an essential part of survival. This is an alternative if you don’t have enough materials to make a fire or want to avoid detection and don’t want to make smoke.


  • MapsBy the time you need to leave home and your neighborhood, real-life maps, NOT ones on your phone, will be useful when you want to explore other places looking for food, water and other supplies.


  • Surgical or Respiratory Mask – By now, a mask is a part of our daily lives. You probably already know it’s good to have a healthy stock of masks.


  • Matches or Lighters – It’s good to have both, and maybe a flint too. You never know when you’ll need to make a fire, even if you’re planning on staying in your home.

  • Extra FuelIf you have a car or other gas-powered vehicle on your property, it’s a really good idea to have extra fuel at home. You’ll be glad you had some extra fuel for your bike or ATV when you need to go a distance in order to find food, water, medicine, or other supplies. 

Takeaways Regarding Bugging In

You want to be as prepared as possible even when bugging in. Just because you are in the comfort of your home does not mean you should take circumstances lightly. Stock up with anything that you think will increase your chances of survival.



Still, bugging in is a calculated risk. By being stationary, you are depending on a single water source, a single place for your food- etc. Only preparing for bugging in is like putting all your eggs in one basket. In a real disaster or SHTF situation, you will probably need to move and bug out at some point. You need to learn to strike a balance for being ready to stay home (which we are all too used to at this point), and being ready to bug out.