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“Die in a Pile of Brass”

(Courtesy of the Gray Beard Green Beret )

It cannot be overstated that all of our individual plans should primarily be to “Bug In” so long as the situation permits. I don’t believe that anyone would choose to leave their homes where they have the most preps, comfort, and familiarity. However, this cannot be the only plan which I see all too often. The “die in a pile of brass” is an irresponsible fantasy and an excuse for a lack of an alternate plan. Hear me out on this.

The Bug In only works until it doesn’t. It isn’t a complete plan because you are already doing it and it’s not an emergency. You are safe at home in your Bug In location because the situation allows you to be. You have security and you have resources. Nothing is going on outside of everyday life. there are no stressors. That’s not an emergency plan, that’s just living. If the only thing that changes in an emergency is that you have guns and ammo on standby instead of in the gun cabinet, I would encourage you to put just a little more thought into that and not be so quick to consider yourself prepared for emergencies.

Of course we are all going to stay put as our primary plan, but we are supposed to be preparing for actual emergencies. Those things which are NOT normal, everyday life. If you are responsible for the planning for you or your family, you are assuming responsibility for their safety and well-being. If you cannot see an emergency that includes the possibility of you or your family no longer being safe, or no longer having the resources you need to maintain your well-being where you currently are, I think you need to think again. Loss of security or lack of resources where you are is exactly the sort of thing you are supposed to be preparing for, not business as usual. You are already doing that. It’s when that gets interrupted or is no longer the best option that we prepare for.

If security goes south, handing your spouse and children firearms and telling them to “take cover” and “best of luck” is silly. You should have a PACE plan that includes getting them somewhere safe so they don’t have to die in a pile of brass protecting the furniture and bean supply. If you run out of resources, then what? You just watch them slowly die from lack of food or water because you never planned to Bug Out? That “die in a pile of brass” fantasy sounds really glamorous and heroic and makes you look tough on the internet, but I doubt your family would trade it for continuing to live and moving to a safe location when the situation obviously calls for that.

Many make the argument that most cannot afford an off-grid cabin in the mountains stocked with additional preps. This is true, and having something like that would be a great resource and should be considered if possible. I also realize not everyone will have that option. However, the Preparedness Community tends to only think in terms of total nationwide or even global catastrophe. In reality, it is more likely to be a specific area that becomes unsafe or is negatively affected. It could only be local or regional and not nationwide. You may only have to go a couple hundred miles to get to safety, or get to a hospital that is up and running and staffed, for example.

Most of us have friends and family that live in other States and Regions of the country. Couldn’t it be as simple as asking them if you can store a tuff-box with some basic needs in it up in their attic, our the corner of a closet at their place? You could just as easily trade them some space to store a box at your place. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. This is something simple that all of us can do.

Planning for only the most catastrophic and least likely instead of the less catastrophic and more likely is just not something that holds up to critical thinking. Let’s all move past the fantasy-world of “Bug In or Die’. And that is really what it is, a fantasy and excuse for proper planning. I do not believe that anyone would sit in their homes when the bullets start coming through the walls and start handing out rifles to their spouse and kids instead of getting away from that situation. I also don’t believe that anyone would sit and watch their family go hungry, let alone die of starvation in their empty kitchen rather than move them to a place with resources. Everyone should have a plan for Bugging Out within their PACE.

I talk about this more and discuss PACE Plans in my full film Green Beret’s No-Nonsense Bug Out. Here is an example PACE that I recommend everyone put some thought into for themselves and their own family’s safety and well-being and consider implementing plans for each of these:


  • Primary: Bug In

  • Alternate: Bug Out by Vehicle with alternate location available

  • Contingency: Bug Out by Foot with alternate location available

  • Emergency: Bug Out by Vehicle or Foot with no alternate location

Each of these require very different planning and preparation, bit isn’t that the point of being a “prepper”? To see these things before they happen and plan and prepare accordingly so they don’t catch us off guard?

I will say that I understand that for some, Bugging Out is not really an option due to physical limitations. That is something that each person must decide for themselves in the end, and I am aware that the only plan available to some will be to just Bug In until the end. This is not meant to downgrade your situation and tell you that you are incorrect in that assessment of your own situation. This is meant for the many who could plan for these but still choose not to.

Courtesy of the Gray Beard Green Beret

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