Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Bugging In: Setting It Up

On the BCP Facebook group (what, you're not a member?), the question of how to "bug in" came up. While "bugging out" is the sexy answer to so much of prepping, it really isn't as easy as folks make it out to be. As with so many things in life, the less-sexy option is often the better one. Some of the reasons for this were covered in a guest post, but there are others as well.

While bugging in leaves you in a known location, with less flexibility and mobility than bugging out might, it counters with many advantages:
  1. Supply weight is of minimal concern, as you're carrying nothing. You have all your gear with you and you know where it is. 
  2. It is more practical for the elderly or physically infirm.
  3. It is also less disruptive for children by keeping them in a known environment. 
  4. Speaking of that known environment, adults in your group also benefit from home field advantage, with knowledge of local resources, access and egress routes, and people who have needed skill sets.
We've covered short-term "hunkering down" in the past, and that is a good place to start. However, the tone of the question that started all of this leans toward an extended bug-in, so we'll follow the lead in that direction.

The first consideration for bugging in is "How long do I expect emergency conditions to last?" The follow-on to that is "What type of emergency conditions do I expect?" Natural disasters, social unrest, and infrastructure failure all present different challenges to address, and these dictate the amount and types of supplies needed. Short-term conditions require minimal special supplies; extended disasters call for storing special gear, in quantity.

The considerations for extended bug-in can be broken into a few major subgroups.

Gear and Supplies
What are you going to eat, drink, and otherwise consume to stay alive and healthy? What are you going to use to maintain your shelter and equipment?

You've got all these supplies. How are you going to protect them, your shelter, and your people from those who would take them from you and do them harm?

Electricity is vital to the way we live. Short-term generation is easy; long-term generation is far less so. There are ways to do it, and you'll have to determine which ways best meet your needs.

We've discussed building skills throughout the history of BCP. Take stock of your weak areas, and get some training.

In upcoming articles, I'll address each of these categories in detail. In the meantime, ponder the questions posed above and set some parameters to work within. These make a foundation to build your plan upon, and give you direction in what can be a very large undertaking.


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