Bugging in can be a big challenge. In addition to making sure that you have enough basic essentials, it can also be difficult from a psychological standpoint. As of writing this, my family and I are “social distancing” due to coronavirus. It is a very light version of bugging in, but getting bored is still a problem.
Fortunately, there are still many things that you can do to keep yourself occupied while bugging in or while quarantined. Here are a few examples:
- Organize your garage, attic, or basement
- Home repairs and cleaning
- Exercise your body and mind
- Bond with family
- Learn or teach a new skill
Most of us aren’t used to being stuck at home for long periods of time. The situation becomes even more difficult if you cannot leave even if you wanted to. This is the situation many people are facing now. This article will be primarily geared towards preppers, but I think most people will be able to get something out of it.
Productive Things to Do While Stuck at Home
Take Inventory of Supplies
If you are bugging in or stuck at home for some other reason, you will need basic essentials. It is a good idea to start a period of isolation by taking stock of what you have. This will allow you to know what you have plenty of as well as what you need to use sparingly. Here are some items that you want to keep track of:
- Canned food
- Frozen food
- Grains (rice, flour, etc.)
- Toilet Paper
- Paper Towels
- Cleaning Supplies (Bleach, wipes, sprays)
- Medications (over the counter, prescription)
- First-aid supplies (bandages and antiseptics)
You can also use this list to help you know what to look for if you are able to leave the house to shop. It can also give you an idea of what you can afford to barter for other items.
Spray for Bugs
After you have taken an inventory of your supplies, you want to make sure that they are protected from pests. Having ants get into your pantry and mess up your food supply would be a very bad situation. I like to use Bengal Gold Roach Spray. It is highly effective and will kill more than just roaches.
Review Your Bug Out Plan
If you are bugging in, you should also be prepared to bug out if necessary. Having a bug out plan will increase the chances of your evacuation being successful. Reevaluating this plan, reviewing it with your family, and practicing its first steps are all excellent things to do while bugging in.
To learn more about when to bug out and how to execute a bug out successfully, check out my article, When to Bug Out: Know When to Go and How to Get There by clicking here.
Update Your Bug Out Bag
Having a fully-stocked and well-organized bug out bag for each member of your family is one of the most basic parts of being prepared. If you are stuck at home, go through your bag and make sure it has everything that you need. Also, check to make sure that none of the food is expired and replace any that is.
Clean Your Guns
If you are bugging in, being able to defend yourself and your loved ones is very important. If you are relying on firearms to help keep you safe, make sure that they are in good working order. Make sure that there aren’t any dust bunnies the size of real bunnies hiding in the action or bore. Also, take this time to apply a fresh coat of oil to moving parts.
One thing that I will be doing during my time of isolation is loading up some ammo. While not everyone has a reloading setup, being stuck at home or bugging in is a great time to use one if you do. Start with the calibers that you could need the most.
If you want to get started reloading your own ammo but don’t have equipment yet, take a look at these articles:
If you are going to be stuck at home or bugging in, you want your house to stay as clean as possible. In our current situation, it would be really bad to stay home to avoid getting COVID-19 but end up getting sick because of bad housekeeping.
Primary areas of concern should be the bathroom and kitchen since they are the most likely to become breeding grounds for bacteria. Keep up with your dishes and laundry. If the trash is still being picked up, make sure that you take advantage of it every time the trucks run. This will prevent you from getting caught off guard if the electricity goes out or if the trash services stop.
If you are able to spend some time outside, use it to make sure your yard is in good order. Tall grass can become a hiding spot for snakes and other unwanted wildlife. Overgrown vegetation can also provide hiding spots for intruders.
If you are stuck at home, you might as well get caught up on the home repairs that you have been putting off. Even if you don’t have any major repairs that you need to take care of, doing small tasks such as cleaning and greasing door hinges and cleaning slow drains can make everyday life easier.
If you need to build a tool kit to take care of home repairs and other needs, take a look at my article, Build a Complete Prepper Tool Kit, by clicking here.
Evaluate Home Security
Another thing that you can do if you are bugging in or otherwise stuck at home is reevaluate your home security. Make sure that your yard doesn’t provide any convenient hiding spots for intruders and that your doors and windows are secure.
Also, take this time to make sure that everyone in your family, especially children, understand what to do during an emergency. Review plans for fire, break-ins, and other situations.
To learn more about how to secure your home, take a look at my article, Prepper Home Security by clicking here.
Organize Your Garage or Attic
Cleaning and organizing your garage or attic is a good way to spend your time if you are stuck at home. Getting rid of unneeded items and reorganizing the things you need to keep will reduce clutter. It will also give you more space to store the items you need to keep and make them easier to find.
If you are mechanically-inclined, being stuck at home is a good time to get caught up on your vehicle maintenance. Doing things like changing your oil or rotating your tires will help make sure your vehicle is operational when you need it.
Even if you don’t have the skills or tools to work on your vehicle, there are still things that you can do. Cleaning out your car will give you more space to load up essential supplies if you need to bug out.
Other Good Things to Do While Stuck at Home
While the above section was dedicated to things you could do to stay busy and productive, this section will be devoted to ways you can grow mentally, socially, and spiritually. They are things that we tend to neglect during the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Bugging in or being stuck at home for other reasons gives us the perfect chance to get caught up on them.
Bond with Family
If you are stuck at home with your family, take this time to grow closer to them. Doing things like playing board games, eating together, or the occasional movie night are all ways to grow closer. Keep a set of outdoor games (horseshoes, croquet, football, frisbee, etc.) so you can bond while getting exercise.
Speaking of exercise, bugging in is also a good time to get back into shape. Even if you don’t have a home gym, things like pushups and jumping jacks are good ways to build your stamina and avoid gaining weight.
Get Back In Touch
Do you ever think about your best friend from high school or college that you haven’t talked to in months or years? Well, this is a great time to give them a call. Don’t just like or comment on a picture on social media. Reach out and have a conversation. You will probably both be glad that you did.
If you can’t remember the last time that you picked up a book, that is probably a sign that you need to do just that. Reading is a great way to feed your mind while you are bugging in or stuck at home. I prefer to read non-fiction books so that I can learn new skills and information. However, fiction books are good ways to feed your imagination.
I have made a list of my favorite books for preppers. I have read most of them, and they are excellent resources. You can see the list by clicking here.
Learn a New Skill
Being stuck at home is also a good time to pick up a new skill. This could be any number of things, ranging from woodworking to sewing, to learning how to tie knots. Learning new skills will keep your mind stimulated and your hands busy.
Teach a Skill
If you have kids at home, bugging in gives you the perfect opportunity to teach them new skills. They can learn to help you with chores, how to ride a bike, how to handle a gun, or any number of things. Teaching them a new skill will help everyone involved bond and stay occupied.
Prayer and Bible Reading
If you are stuck at home or bugging in, this is a perfect time to draw closer to God. I am someone who believes that sometimes things happen to get our attention. Using an adverse situation to grow spiritually through prayer and Bible reading will help make it more bearable and improve your quality of life when things get back to normal.
Non-Productive Things to Do While Stuck at Home
This last section is dedicated to things that many of us do on a daily basis and will probably do more of when we are isolated. The things listed below aren’t bad but should be done in moderation.
Watch TV or Binge Netflix
It is mind-blowing how many home entertainment options we have today. While cable and satellite television are still around (for now), the number of streaming services grows every year. While being able to watch whatever we want is convenient, it can also be a big time waster.
Social media, in many ways, is the graffiti wall of the internet. It is where modern “philosophers” go to express their views. Unfortunately, there is a lot of uninformed stupidity out there. It is also incredibly easy to waste hours scrolling through various memes of Baby Yoda and current events.
Read the News
While you need to stay informed of current events, especially during a crisis, reading the news too much can be bad for your sanity. I am very guilty of allowing myself to get sucked into this rut. I bounce between news outlets reading about what is going on both locally, nationally, and worldwide.
There are a couple of problems with this. The first one is that many news outlets tend to be sensationalist. They drum up fear and strife so they can get more ad revenue on their websites or channels. The second is that it completely zaps productivity. You could be spending your time doing something much more productive than obsessing over things that are largely out of your control. Stay up-to-date on what is going on but don’t spend all day on it.