Shelter Survival

Bugging-In on a Budget Part 2: Warmth and Ammunition

Bugging in for the long haul is not something to be taken lightly. In fact, it is more likely than not that when the SHTF, bugging in is the best-case scenario for you and your family. This is why we’ve taken the liberty of creating a 3-part series dedicated to helping you bug-in, on a budget. Β If you missed the first installment on food and water, click here.

In Part 2 of the series, we’re going to address the cost-effective ways you can meet the necessities of warmth and ammunition.



It’s pretty obvious that a worst-case scenario where you’ll need to β€œbug-in” will also quite likely force you to live without electricity. This is going to leave you with a few issues. One of the most important things you must take into account is warmth. Even desert environments become cold at night. You’d be surprised how chilly it gets when you can’t turn on the heater.

Sure, in a perfect world you could install a pot-bellied, wood-burning stove, or put a back-up generator in the cellar. But who has that kind of money? Here are three effective and affordable ways to prepare for the cold that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.

  1. Heat Packets

Aside from covering your head with a hood, balaclava, beanie or shemagh, the most important way you can keep warm is by covering up your extremities. Your hands and feet. Do yourself a small favor and grab a pack of β€œhot hands.” These are 7-hour hand warmers often used by hunters, anglers and backpackers. Shake them up, and stuff them into boots or gloves, and you are good to go. A box of 20 pairs goes for about $15, they have a shelf life of approximately 4 years. Β 

  1. Candles

Firecraft and mastery of the flame is a huge part of what separates us from the apes. While tearing up your floorboards and digging a fire pit in your living room is an option you can choose to pursue, how about taking a less destructive approach and heading to the dollar store this weekend. 10 candles, ten bucks, no problem. Do this once a month for six months, you’ll be good.

If you are interested in creating more contained candles, or have resources around you like animal fat, consider creating to-go survival candles that you can carry with you from room to room during a bug-in. For more info on that, check this out.

  1. Blankets

While it may be pretty easy to stock up on some extra blankets for cheap, try looking into getting a few emergency blankets for your bug in. They go for about $1.15 each and do a great job of trapping body heat. You can also use them to cover windows, further insulating your home.


We’re going to go ahead and assume here that if you’re taking the time to consider bugging in, you’ve done your homework and secured an adequate survival battery. If for some reason, this is not the case, take a minute to check out this article.


One thing is for sure when it comes to bugging in, you’re going to need a way to defend yourself. If you’re a rationally minded person you’ve already taken into account that a firearm is the best way to do this.

Here are two ways to ensure that you can discreetly stockpile a decent amount of ammunition that can make a huge difference in the fight to protect your loved ones:

  1. Try going to the store on the first of the month, as soon as you get your paycheck. Sure, at first glance that may sound a bit reckless, but go to the store with a single intent… to purchase one box of ammunition for your primary weapon. Nothing crazy, just one standard box of ammo. Think about it, how often have your splurged on things when payday hit? It was payday and you knew that you could get away with it, right? Try reigning that impulse in, and putting the spare change toward an investment in your safety for you and your family. The average box of pistol ammunition holds 50 cartridges. Stick to this plan for six months and you’ve got 300 rounds. Β 

  1. Handloading is often feared for reasons that are completely irrational. Making your own bullets at home has never been easier, as high-quality equipment for sale on today’s market makes the process a fun. Simply put, you should be no more concerned about handloading your own ammunition than you should be wary of canning your own meat or brewing your own beer.

Be prepared to spend $200 on the front end for a complete kit. Then, be prepared to crank out tons of ammunition. You will essentially be producing ammo at 60% less per bullet than if you bought ammo at the store. You also have the ability to customize bullets to your guns. Yes, you are going to have to do your homework on things so that you have the appropriate reloading dies with regard to your caliber of choice. But there is wealth of information out there on the subject. We suggest checking “The ABCs of Reloading: The Definitive Guide for Novice to Expert”

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