Bug Out or Bunker Down? How To Choose Your Survival Strategy

When it comes to prepping, one of the most significant decisions you’ll make is whether to hold your ground, or bug out to a safer location.

Depending on the situation, each strategy has its advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we’ll discuss how to choose the right survival strategy for you and your family.

Bug Out Strategy

The bug-out strategy involves leaving your home and retreating to a safer location. This strategy is best for events like wildfires, flooding, or hurricanes, where the danger is immediate, and your home is at risk.


  • Reduced risk: By retreating to a safer location, you can avoid the immediate danger, and protect yourself and your family.
  • Mobility: With the ability to move, you can adjust your strategy based on the situation, and keep your family safe.
  • Ability to rebuild: In a bug-out scenario, you can always return to your home and rebuild after the event has passed.


  • Increased costs: The cost of a bug-out plan can be significant. You may need to purchase or rent a location, travel expenses, and the cost of stockpiling supplies for the retreat location.
  • Condition of the location: In a crisis, many others may have the same idea as you. As a result, you may not be able to find a secure and well-equipped retreat location.
  • Safety concerns: In some cases, traveling to a bug-out location presents safety concerns. You may not have access to reliable transportation, or you may be putting your safety at risk by traveling during a crisis.

Bunker Down Strategy

The bunker down strategy involves staying at your home and fortifying it against danger. This strategy is best for events like a pandemic, economic collapse, or civil unrest, where leaving your home is more dangerous than staying.


  • Reduced costs: Compared to a bug-out plan, a bunker-down plan is cost-effective. You don’t need to rent or purchase a secondary location, and you can use your home as your stronghold.
  • Familiarity: By staying in your home, you’ll be familiar with your surroundings, which can reduce stress during a crisis.
  • Supply availability: You’ll already have supplies like food, water, and medical items stored in your home, which reduces the amount of preparation needed during a crisis.


  • Home security: Depending on the crisis, your home might not be a secure location. You’ll need to make sure you’re prepared to defend your home against attackers.
  • Longer-term survival: While a bunker-down plan is useful for the immediate aftermath of a crisis, you may need to find a more permanent solution for long-term survival.
  • Supply management: While you already have supplies stored in your home, it’s important to manage and ration them correctly to ensure they last for an extended period.

How to Choose Your Strategy

Once you understand the advantages and disadvantages of each strategy, how do you choose the right one?

  1. Plan Ahead

Regardless of your strategy, you need to plan ahead. Understand the risks in your area and how they might affect you. If a natural disaster is likely, create a bug-out plan. If you live in an area prone to civil unrest, create a bunker-down plan.

  1. Consider Your Resources

Your resources are essential in determining which strategy is best for you. Consider the supplies you already have, and how long they will last if you bunker down. Conversely, if you have limited resources, you may need to bug out to a safer location.

  1. Think About Your Family

The safety of your family should always be the top priority in choosing a strategy. Think about the age, health, and needs of your family members. If you have young children or elderly family members, they may need special accommodations during an emergency.

  1. Follow Your Instincts

Finally, trust your instincts. If your gut tells you that staying at home is the best option, then bunker down. If you feel more comfortable leaving for a safer location, then opt for a bug-out strategy.

In conclusion, the decision to bug out or bunker down is a personal one that depends on your resources, location, and family’s needs. Some situations may call for a bug-out strategy, while in others, bunker down is the better option. By understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each strategy and planning ahead, you can make an informed decision and ensure the safety of you and your family.