Why Get in Shape if You are Not Planning to Bug Out?

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

One of the most heated discussions in the prepping community is whether to shelter in place or bug out.  A large number of preppers’ first choice would be to shelter in place, and why not?  All your supplies are on hand and you are comfortable where you are.  So let’s just say hypothetically, you decided to stay in your home.   You won’t be using your bug out bag because you won’t be leaving.  But you still need to be in decent shape, even if you are staying home.


You may need to search for water

Assuming a large scale disaster with no running water coming from the tap, you will eventually run out of water.  This means you will have to go out and find a water source, which could be a distance away.  When you do find water, you will then need to take several containers and carry those water-filled containers back to your home.  Sounds tiring, even as I sit here writing about it.

You may need to gather firewood

In a disaster you will need to find a way to heat your home and a way to cook food.  Therefore you will need to gather firewood for the fireplace.  If you are using a rocket stove, you will need kindling.  As I found out from camping and backpacking, firewood runs out very quickly and everyone has to take turns gathering firewood.

You may need to defend your home

If it is truly a collapse, your security will be threatened.  If you have to defend your home, being in shape will give you an edge against your attackers.  Getting and staying in shape improves your speed, endurance and reflexes.

You may need to forage, trade or hunt for food

Once food eventually runs out, or if you are just trying to supplement your supplies, you’ll still need to go out and find food.   When I interviewed Selco, who lived through SHTF in Bosnia, he described having to go out at night in groups to find what they needed.

Without modern conveniences, all chores will require energy

Without prepared foods and electric appliances, you will need to do everything by hand.  When I tried doing laundry off grid, I found that it took a lot of energy to wash clothes, especially wringing the water out.

Even waste disposal will require work

Without running water and trash pickup, the waste will need to be buried.  In the same article, Selco also described having to dig a lot of holes to dispose of waste.

Thinking about all these everyday conveniences that we can potentially lose in a TEOTWAWKI situation gave me a new appreciation for things we take for granted.

Everyday survival will take a lot of energy.  Even if you plan to stay home and ride out the crisis, it would be best to get in shape before anything happens.  And, if nothing were to happen, you are still better off health wise.

© Apartment Prepper 2016


Updated from a previous post that was originally published on Oct 22, 2013

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  1. Plus, you will deal with the stress faster if you are in good shape. Another reason is that bugging in may not work out! You may still need to bug out.

  2. I think the better question is: Why wouldn’t you get in shape?
    Seriously, there’s no bad effect to getting in shape.
    It’s also easier to go on with less sleep than usual, might be a good idea to take turns pulling watch during the night to keep an eye on things (i.e. fires, looters).

    I won’t say getting in shape is so easy, it’s worth it though.

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