Prepper guides: The difference between bugging out and camping
02/03/2020 / By Arsenio Toledo / Comments
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Prepper guides: The difference between bugging out and camping

Camping is an enjoyable experience. You can get away from work for a weekend to relax, walk around in nature, set up camp and hang around the campfire with your friends or family. However, when SHTF, camping isn’t going to be the easy and enjoyable experience it normally is. It’s going to be you bugging out in order to survive. (h/t to

The main difference between camping and bugging out is the circumstances surrounding you packing your tent and supplies and heading out into the wilderness. If you intend on this being a short-term, enjoyable stay with little to no danger surrounding your trip, you’re going camping. However, by bugging out, you’re leaving behind everything you know for a campground where you think you can survive, even for just a short period of time. Bugging out is a choice you make when you know it’s no longer safe to stay at home. (Related: Bugging out doesn’t have to harm the environment – 10 low-impact ways to set up your camp.)

But perhaps you’re a prepper who is considering bugging out to a campground? It may sound like a good idea. However, you need a certain set of skills in order to go camping, and once you’re already at the campsite, there are certain things you need to take into consideration if you plan on staying there for the long-term.

  • Shelter — A tent is not an ideal shelter. It will hold up in calm weather, but it won’t be a great place in which to hunker down when you encounter strong rain, winds or snow. Being able to maintain a safe core body temperature is paramount to surviving, and living in a tent isn’t the best place to do that.
  • Water — If your campground is located near a water source, then this shouldn’t be a problem. This will be your one advantage, especially if you come prepared with proper water filtration systems to make sure you don’t drink dirty water.
  • Food — No matter if you bring a backpack full of food or you have a big stockpile at the back of your truck, you will run out of food one day. What are you going to do then? If your campsite is near a body of water like a lake or a stream, there may be some fish that you can catch, but that’s no guarantee.
  • Security — This is the main problem when it comes to bugging out to a campground. A lot of people will have the same idea, and that makes it dangerous. If SHTF, order breaks down and a lot of cold, thirsty or hungry people will be desperate enough to do things that normal society would consider a criminal act in order to survive.

When you’re camping, shelter, water, food and security aren’t huge concerns. If your tent breaks or if you don’t bring enough food or water, it may not be a huge deal because you’re only staying at the campgrounds for a night or two. However, if you bug out to a campsite, every decision you make may be a life-or-death one, especially if your chosen campground is a popular destination for hikers and campers.

Bug-out camping may not be the best idea for a bug-out plan. Instead, look into other more viable long-term locations such as a log cabin or a farm owned by you or someone you know.

Sources include:

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