The debate about bugging out or bugging in usually comes down on the side of bugging in, except in those situation where it isn’t possible. There are just too many advantages that your home offers, most notably providing you with shelter and containing pretty much all your possessions. But that doesn’t mean that your home is the ideal survival retreat. Rather, your home is just a starting point.
While you could just bug in, there in your home, without any further preparation, that’s not necessarily a good idea. Rather, your home should be considered a framework to work within, preparing it to become the best survival retreat you can make it.
More than anything, this requires becoming as self-sufficient as possible, while also working out plans for what to do in those areas where you cannot become self-sufficient. As part of that, it would be important to be able to survive, without having to leave your property. There’s always going to be a risk of being attacked or someone invading your home while you’re gone, if you have to leave your property. This risk would increase, if you leave on a schedule, such as leaving every morning to haul water back to the house from a river a mile away.
So, what should you do, besides stockpiling, to make your home into a survival retreat?
Heating & Cooking
Unless you live in the Deep South, you’re going to need to be able to heat your home in some way. For most of us, that means heating with wood, in either a fireplace or wood burning stove. Either of those will provide some means of cooking as well.
But this is going to require more than just installing a wood burning stove and buying a pile of wood. Your stove is really only going to heat the room that it is installed in. So you’re going to need to adopt some other strategies for keeping warm in the winter, such as using bed warmers to warm up the sheets before getting in for the night.
Reliable Water Source
Water is probably the biggest problem for most of us, as not many people own a home on the lake or with running water flowing through it. The idea of getting water from local sources, like lakes and rivers is a good one, except that it requires leaving your property. You’d be better off if you had your own water source, right there at your home.
That means either using rainwater capture or putting in a well, depending on what will work best in your climate. Another option, for those who live in high humidity areas, is to set up fog catchers to draw moisture out of the air.
Waste disposal is going to be a problem, especially the disposal of human waste. While some things, like food packaging, can be burnt in your fire, other things can’t. Digging a hole for an outhouse may not be an enjoyable task, but it might be the best thing you can do.
Grow Your Own Food
For any long-term survival situation, we have to think in terms of growing our own food. That means growing a lot of food, both plants and animals. This will become a large part of the work that we all have to do in the event of a permanent grid-down situation.
Set Up Your Defenses
Make sure that your home is ready to be defended. Just the fact that you are doing well, while others are suffering, can be enough to invite attack. People will see the smoke from your fire, smell your food cooking, and see your garden growing. You can’t fully hide those things. When they get hungry enough, you can expect some of them to gather together and attack.
You never want to be the one who is provoking violence, but you need to be ready when it comes. That mean making your home more defensible and making sure that you family or survival team is ready to take on any attack.