If bugging-out is the very last and very desperate choice, then logically, more resources would go to bugging-in rather than bugging-out. You hedge your bets, of course, by having a plan to bug-out if the situation gets desperate enough, but by and large, your focus is on sheltering in place.
Mass migrations typically have one thing in common. People migrate due to calamities like war, famine, and natural disasters, such as was the case, for example, here in the United States during the Dust Bowl in the 1930’s. Farmers, during this period, migrated from the rural areas to metropolitan areas, because the crops died and the land became unproductive. They set up tent cities outside of large urban areas. Farmers fled one disaster only to create another, and in some cases, worse disaster.
People that live in urban areas believe they will need to flee the cities once the SHTF and those living in rural areas fear the golden hoards will descend upon their lands. The thing is, it’s all speculation, and if history is used as a template then just the opposite may happen.
People will go where other people are, and where the supposed resources will be, or will end up being once the situation stabilizes somewhat. Aid workers, emergency shelters, emergency food, and water drops will take place in cities or close to cities, cities where the people are.
This is not to say that the predictions about the golden hoards found on many blogs and websites will not happen however. It may happen but the degree in which it happens is the key.
Bugging in will not be easy if you live in the country. You cannot jump in your car and head for town to pick up supplies. If you don’t have it once the SHTF fan, you may very well have to live without it, or die because of it.
Your home becomes your base camp, home base, or Command and Control, call it what you will but you need a sturdy structure, that can be defended.
You can’t predict how long the crisis will last, so you have to prep assuming it will never end. This means not only do you need a stockpile of supplies you also need the means to replenish your supplies.
You need a water source that you control, and usually, this means a private well that cannot be contaminated by people coming onto your property. Rivers, lakes, and streams are sources, but if there is a migration from urban areas those particular sources will be overrun, soon contaminated, or even taken over by others or the government.
It would be easier to stockpile food than water. You could have several years supply of food stockpiled in your home while trying to get enough bottled water stockpiled for two years would be a daunting task unless you had considerable protected space and containers to do so. Therefore, a water source is critical, a renewable and safe source.
If you have enough food stockpiled for several years and a water source, then you can develop a renewable food source such as gardens, livestock, and aquaponics where you raise fish and produce together. Having a well-stocked fishing pond on your property would be ideal as well. The objective is to have enough supplies on hand to give you time to develop alternative sources.
Having to worry about food and water in the first few days or weeks of any crisis means you may not survive the crisis.
You do not have to be a homesteader to survive a crisis in a rural area, but having the ability to live without relying on any municipality for anything would prepare you for when the SHTF. However, having sufficient supplies and the resources to obtain more will keep you alive as well.
You would need an energy source and one readily available source is wood. Wood will heat your home and cook your food. It will heat water for baths, laundry, and for purification. Wood is considered a renewable source, but it has to be harvested responsibly. Clear-cutting can lead to erosion, which can lead to mudslides, displaced animal populations and so on. Build up your supply so you have several seasons’ worth of wood stored and harvest so it has time to season before needing it.
Before a crisis does strike you may want to consider solar panels. You can buy in increments and use one panel to supply power to one appliance such as a water pump, hot water tank, heating and cooling units and so on.
You could go all solar but it can be expensive and for some, if not many people it may not be worth the cost. Instead prioritize by need. You know you will need refrigeration, so get a panel set up for that, you know you will need a well pump, hot water and possibly a backup heat source or a cooling source in the summer, so work toward supplying power to appliances that would be difficult to do without.
Wind turbines are an option but again they are expensive and having a turbine towering up over 20 feet or so in the air is a beacon to others, who may very well otherwise pass by without noticing.
As far as the golden hoards are concerned, you can choose to worry about them or not. You will, of course, have to worry about people passing through, people who may have lived in the area but are not prepared, and of course, there are always criminals on the hunt for smash and grab opportunities.
Let people know you are ready, willing and able to defend what is yours using firearms. This will deter most opportunists. As far as roving gangs of rogue Preppers on the loose or Jade Helm type situations you can choose to fret over them or not. Logically, and realistically you would not have to worry, but being prepared is being realistic as well. The biggest threat most likely will be four-legged predators after your livestock, so have the firearms needed to for this type of situation as well.
Having a generator is a good idea, not so much for supplying power to the home but supplying power to tools and having the ability to recharge certain devices or batteries. The generator would not be running continuously, but only when needed for power tools, extra lighting, and recharging, or to supply power to a well pump if you have problems with a solar panel, for example.
Injuries and other medical conditions will be a major concern. A sliced finger can manifest into a deadly infection. A broken leg limits or can stop your productivity, food may rot on the vine, and animals can go unfed, because of this type injury.
It’s important that you have substantial first aid training and the supplies and medicines needed for all members of the family or group.
Yes, boredom is a threat and you must prepare for this. Boredom can cause you to do things you normally wouldn’t do. You may decide to take chances to relieve said boredom. You have to be aware of this and ask yourself why you are doing certain things, to help you realize you may be doing things that could be dangerous.
You would not be able to jump in the car to take a drive to relieve boredom. If any of your vehicles operate and you have fuel, they would be used for chores around the home/farm, or used for bugging-out, they would not be used to cure your boredom.
Lack of Information (Intel)
Lack of human contact goes along with this as well. However, when people say they live in the country to get away from people they still seek out the company of others, and when there is not an option to get together with others it makes it even worse.
Not knowing what is going on in the country or in your local area can be maddening, so it is important that you have the means to monitor for information, or you may decide to venture off to find out, which may put you in danger.
Humans will be a threat, and whether they are a threat to your existence remains to be seen. As we have stated numerous times in previous articles, if you face a well-armed force, then your only recourse is to retreat. This means you need a plan, an escape route. Snoops and those looking for a quick meal or to snatch some supplies without paying can be run off with a few well-placed shots, but a well trained and well-armed force will take what they need or want, regardless of your efforts. Live to prep another day if this is the case.
Remember the police may not show up during a major crisis. A gun in your hand is worth two cops in a car racing around trying to help everyone.