If we had our choice, none of us would want to bug out and leave everything we own behind. With that being said, there could be situations that require us to get out of dodge for a few days, or even longer. Natural disasters, civil unrest or man made disasters could make bugging out necessary, so what is the perfect bug out location?
The truth is, there is no 1 correct answer to this question. We all have different needs, different finances and different challenges that come with picking a bug out location that is best for us. It would be nice to be able to purchase a cabin up in the woods, but that isn’t an option for most of us.
SPP229 Tips for Picking the Perfect Bug Out Location
This week we talked to Andrew and Phil from the Matter Of Facts podcast about some different options for picking a bug out location, and went over some of the recommendations you hear about what makes a good bug out location. Below are some of the topics we covered in this weeks show.
Bug Out Location Options
Option 1: This is the “Oh Crap” Location. This option means you haven’t planned anything in advance, or you can’t get to your better option. If you have to use option 1 as your bug out location, you better plan on living like the homeless and being a refugee.
In a natural disaster type situation, this might mean traveling out of the affected area and renting a hotel room. In a societal collapse scenario you could look for secluded areas with abandoned buildings, old warehouses, old farm houses etc. This would be a very short option, and just a place to spend the night.
Option 2: We hear all the time about how you shouldn’t plan on going out in the woods and surviving. While it’s true if you don’t have basic survival skills, at some point you may not have an option. Keep in mind that in a situation that requires something like this, many other people will be thinking the same thing.
The main goal of bugging out is getting away from people, so a popular campground may not be the best option. There is however a lot of land out there off the beaten path. We can scout these places out now, and have a few emergency options when and if that time comes.
Option 3: Just because your area might be affected doesn’t mean that everyone is in a bug out situation. Make a list of people you know that might be willing to take you in during an emergency. These people could be relatives or friends that live away from urban areas, but close enough to you for you to safely get to them.
It’s also important to make sure they know you plan on coming. Cell phones may not be working in a situation like this, and showing up unannounced may not be the best option. You don’t need to tell them they are your “bug out location”, you just need call it an emergency location.
Option 4: Joining a prepper group with someone who has property might be a good solution for people that don’t have the money to purchase property right now. It may take some time to find the right group, but this comes with other benefits as well.
A group that has a pre planned location means more like minded people who understand where you are coming from. More people working together will increase your security, safety and overall preparedness.
Option 5: A goal most of us have is to move as far away from people as we possibly can. For some of us this means the suburbs, and for some it means a little further out. The larger the distance you can put between your self and population, decreases the odds of something bad happening to you and your family.
Option 6: If you are like Lisa and I, your goal is to purchase some bug out property and eventually make it your home. Our goal is to have property that we can continually work on, and eventually make it home.
A few years ago we purchased some property that was going to be our bug out location, but because it was so far away, we decided to go a different route. I’ll explain a little more about this later, but in short, it was just too far away from us.
Purchasing a Bug Out Location
Purchasing property and building your perfect bug out location may not be something that you can do overnight. It might take a little planning and saving to build it up the way you want it. Whether you want to buy a cabin out in the woods, or just some land to build your own, there are some things that need to be considered.
Below are a few recommendations you might hear on the internet for picking a good bug out location. Remember though, it needs to work for you and your family, or it’s not going to work out like you thought it would.
Within 1 Tank of Gas: I recommend within 1 hour driving time. The longer you have to drive, the more variables there are, and more options for things to go wrong.
Away From Population: This may go without saying, but you want to be as far away from population as possible.
Easily Accessible: A bug out location is only good if you can use it. We won’t be able to choose when we need to bug out, and what challenges we might face along the way.
Water and Food: You not only need to have the food and water you have stored, your property also needs to have a water source and other resources near by.
Defensible Property: Our goal is to get away from people, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. knowing how to defend your property is very important just in case. In the show we talked about perimeter security and alarms.
Secluded: Again, this may go without saying, but you want to minimize the chance of anyone finding out where you are, and what you have. Secluded not only means the property, but the supplies you have as well.
Shelter: Having adequate shelter doesn’t just mean a roof over your head. Shelter from the elements means having the clothes and supplies, and the ability to stay warm and dry.
Energy: In a bug out scenario, the odds are the grid will be down and we will need to have alternative sources of energy. Wood stoves and solar chargers, crank radios and lights will all make life much easier.
As I said earlier, we purchased some property in the past that didn’t work out like we thought it would. In episode 49 and 50 we talked about some of the things we were looking at. The one thing with this property that was the deal breaker was the distance it was from us.
Because this bug out property was about 4 hours away (highway) it became clear that it wasn’t a feasible option. The challenges we might face along the route were only the first hurdle, I was also leery about building anything down there because I was worried about what might happen to it while I wasn’t around.
Now that we know a little more about what we want and need, we will have a better idea about what to buy the next time around. When we do purchase another bug out property, I plan on documenting the whole process here…stay tuned!