Even though bugging out would be the last resort for most preppers, it remains one of the most popular subjects in preparedness circles. This is because while none of us want to leave everything we own behind, it may become necessary.

Because there are so many variables when it comes to bugging in, bugging out and bug out bags in general, there is no end to the articles written on the subject. As you can see from the links above, I have quite a few as well.  

When it comes to purchasing a bug out location or survival retreat, there is no exact blueprint. While there are some best practices for picking a BOL, how you go about it depends on your personal situation. 

We all have ideas about our dream bug out location, but usually the realities of life make that unattainable…at least in the short term. This doesn’t mean however that we give up, it just means that some concessions may need to be made. 

Our Bug Out Location Thought Process

In the replay (click the player above) of a podcast Lisa and I did a few years ago, we went over what our thought process was for choosing our property. We also went over some of the concessions we were willing to make, as well as some of the things that were deal breakers.

While there are some things we can do to save money, there are some things that are an absolute necessity for it to qualify as a bug out location, rather than just a plot of land. Here are some of the topics we covered this week.

Location: Everything listed below goes into picking the location, but what you can afford plays just as big of a role. Purchasing our dream location may be out of the question, but there are viable alternatives. 

What’s Your Plan: Planning not only involves how you plan to use the location, but how you plan to build up the location. Some people have more time than money, and if that is you long term & short term goals will be needed.

Survival Skills: You’ve probably heard this 100 times, but skills are a very important part of prepping. Building and maintaining a  bug out location will require much more work. Not to mention the SHTF skills you will need while living there. 

Nearby Resources: The available resources in the area is possibly the most important aspect of picking a bug out location or survival retreat. While we can store a given amount of food, storing enough water to survive long term is quite difficult. 

Surrounding Population: Being out in the middle of nowhere can be both a good and a bad thing. You don’t want to be around large populations when everything goes down the drain, but having a neighbor or 2 around may help in an emergency. 

Who is Coming: While it would be nice to have a little cabin stocked with preparedness supplies just for Lisa and I, the odds are the kids will be coming too. We need to plan for the extra resource usage just in case.

Geography: When I say geography I don’t mean location, I’m talking more about the geographic features. How hidden is your location? And how defensible is your location? Basically, how easy would it be for someone to find you and take what you have?

I wrote an article a while back titled “Tips For Picking a Bug Out Location” 
that goes into these topics in more detail. While these aren’t the only considerations you need to take with a bug out location, they are important ones. 

Why Purchase Property

While purchasing property for a survival retreat is not the only option, it is the best option if feasible. Just because you don’t own property doesn’t necessarily mean you will need to head out into the woods, but it does give you more options. 

As we said in the podcast, our plan is to start from nothing and build it up to a viable bug out location over time. The amount of time this takes you all depends on the effort and money you are able to invest. 

Purchasing your own property gives you control over the location, the planning, the storage, and everything involving your bug out plans. It also give you peace of mind knowing that you have an alternative. 


Survival and being prepared should not only be a passion, it should be a lifestyle. The definition of a prepper is "An individual or group that prepares or makes preparations in advance of, or prior to, any change in normal circumstances, without substantial resources from outside sources" Like the Government, police etc. I don't believe that the end of the world will be the "end of the world" I believe it will be the end of the world as we know it now. You can also find me on Google Plus and Twitter

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