How Many Bug Out Locations Do You Need

The following is a guest post from Dan at 

Why would you need multiple bug out locations? Isn’t one enough? In my opinion, the more the better and I wanted to write this article to explain why and, possibly, shatter some limiting beliefs.

See, there’s some confusion when it comes to bug out retreats. Most people think about permanent shelters when they talk about them when, in fact, a shelter is not a location. A bug out location is simply the actual physical place where you can build your home or cabin.

Now, when I suggested you should have more than one location to bug out to, I did it because I realize it’s impossible to know exactly how things will go down and where you’ll end up.

Just look at the refugee crisis in Europe at the time of writing this article. Tens of thousands of people are bugging out from Syria and Libya to Germany but not all of them got or will get there. France, the UK and Austria have already taken a number of them with other EU states preparing to do the same. Plus, let’s not forget how they “landed” in Greece and Italy and the fact that some of them lost their lives during the cross of the Mediterranean Sea. Clearly their bug out vehicles / boats weren’t suited for this.

In fact, some of them are still on these Greek islands right now, waiting to get IDs/visas and continue their journey… so we can say that the islands act as temporary bug out location for them. I think you’ll agree that this “mega bug out” is like nothing you’ve ever read in any survival book, proof that there’re a million and one ways for S to HTF.

Let’s try to change the way we view bug out locations, shall we. How many locations besides of your primary BOL can you think of? I’m talking about places you can bug out to for an hour, a day or even a week, such as:

  • a place in the woods where you barbecue every now and then on public property,
  • somewhere in the outskirts of the city, near an old abandoned warehouse (it may not be safe but it could be used as a last resort),
  • a piece of land where you don’t have anything right now but you could build a small shed that could keep you safe for a little while,
  • a place in a nearby forest that few people know about that you happened to notice,
  • …and, of course, the house of a relative in another town or city that could keep you safe for a while.

I bet right now you can think about quite a few locations to bug out to on your way to safety, right? When we change our perspective and extend the definition of a BOL, we start to find new solutions to possible disaster scenarios and outcomes.

Now… not every location can act as a successful BOL because it has to be:

  • accessible
  • safe
  • low key
  • and either close to your home or on your way to your final destination

So let’s not waste any more time and make an open list of all the places that fit the bill, shall we? I say “open” list because what I need you to do is scout around your area and find more such location you previously didn’t notice. Carefully inspect them, then mark each of them on your map and make sure they all fit the bill.

You may be wondering why you would need so many locations. Should you build shelter on all of them? How about burying some supplies? Well, among other things, these temporary locations will allow you to:

  • catch your breath
  • hide from bullets, angry mobs or foreign military
  • allow you to spend the night
  • …and allow you to eat, drink and even take care of your wounds.

Is any bug out location guaranteed to keep you safe no matter what? Far from it, but in the event of a bug out, when you have nowhere else to go and your final destination is far away, having a small place nearby that no one knows of that can keep you warm for the night… might save your life.

Yes, it’s possible that your location isn’t safe or it may even be compromised when you get there but at least you’ll have a place to camp rather than having to find one on the spot.

Can you make these temporary BOLs safer, beforehand? If you own the land, you can do anything you want and you should but if it’s public property, it can be problematic. Either way, you should note them, mark them with Xes on your map, and make sure your family knows about them as well as how to get to each of them.

One last thing… Since you don’t know in which direction you’ll flee, make sure you have retreats along all your bug out routes.

What about permanent bug out locations? I haven’t forgotten about them. You can read about what to look for when choosing land in my previous article on BOLs.


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

    1 Response to "How Many Bug Out Locations Do You Need?"

    • C. Teal

      Having a plan isn’t a guarantee, it’s simply a way to focus and act, other than simply panicking (which is the absence of a plan). All sorts of dangers could lie in wait as you travel to your BOLs, including bandit raids and ambushes, government checkpoints and (worst-case)’free-fire’ zones, angry locals and ad-hoc ‘poll tax’ stations, etc. Keep your travel low-key, stay off main routes if possible (go through the woods instead of on the road, for example), remain wary. Brandishing weapons may discourage some folks but will invite the government and some others (ambushers) looking to take what you have. Try to develop and use tactical sense: distribution of weapons to people who know how to use them effectively, keep your most vulnerable folks in the middle, use 360 degree security on the move AND when you stop, maintaining noise and light discipline at all times. Traveling at first light may be the least problematic time to move, at least for a couple of hours.

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