When you pick a bug out location your decision could make the difference between life and death. Picking the right bug out location could almost guarantee your survival, but to do so there are several mitigating factors that should be accounted for. In this guide we are going to discuss the several variables for bug out location selection, and the steps you need to take now to ensure a successful consummation. Simply thinking you can run to grandmother’s house in the woods holing up until the shit ceases to hit the fan could be one of the biggest mistakes you’ve ever made.
There’s an endless list of reasons for bugging out, and in almost all usCrow.org articles we advocate for getting the hell out of Dodge as soon as humany possible, and only in the rarest of occasions do we advise people to shelter in place. If you’re one of the few that have no other choice but to shelter in place read our article ‘How Preppers can Survive in the City’ for helpful advice on bugging in. Those who understand the importance of bugging out also accept the many dangers of being in the city after doomsday.
Being in the city when doomsday hits can spell disaster for you and your family. Currently, only .94 % (approximately) of Americans identify as ‘preppers’. The average size of an American township is around 20,000 leaving 19,812 people completely unprepared for doomsday. Just imagine 99.06 % of your city’s population running out of food, water, and no presence of government to keep them from cannibalizing one another. After SHTF every city in this country will quickly become an abhorrent madhouse. Let’s get the hell out of here…
Keeping your distance…
In this context of bugging out I will use water as the gold standard for establishing the minimum distance from a metropolitan area. For example, the assumption is city dwellers will emigrate from the city to more rural areas to find water and food. Since humans can only survive three days without water, the assumption is they’d only be able to walk up to four days before being inhibited. People can walk over 20 miles a day, 50 in two days, and can travel over 75 miles with alternate modes of transportation (bikes, motorcycles, ATVs) meaning your safe-zone is outside a 150 mile radius of your city.
In this map I have outlined every major city nearing or over a population with more than a twenty thousand inhabitants. These red zones are no-go zones. There are cities located outside red zones with smaller populations allowing for a shorter bug out distance.
If you’re one of the fortunate few living in one of 6,000+ towns with a population of ten to twenty thousand people you may not have to bug out, and if you do have to bug out you don’t have to travel very long. And if you are one of the unfortunate many that live near or in a red zone your bug out could take well over an hour to get to safety.
Bug Out Location Resources
When considering a bug out location, resources come first. Even if you’re a damn fine prepper with a great bug out shelter with two years worth of food and water, you’ll eventually run out of food and water. What resources should we look for in our bug out locations?
- Natural freshwater sources such as bogs, ponds, lakes, rivers and streams that undoubtedly require filtering for good measure
- Good soil that allows for growing food
- Natural food sources i.e. edible wild plants such as blackberries, asparagus, elderberries, etc
- Near areas with wild game like deer, moose, turkey, rabbit, etc
- Natural camouflage such as dense vegetation to conceal your habitation
Bug Out Location Options
Look, when I read other websites’ guides to picking bug out locations they make this gross assumption that every person that preps is a multimillionaire. Blatant absurdities like this are fairly common. ‘Advice is a dangerous gift, even from the wise to the wise, and all courses may run ill’ — J.R.R. Tolkien. Now, let’s see if we can give you guys some good advice. Instead of assuming you have a nice cabin nestled in the woods I am going to assume you need to find a place to go or else you wouldn’t be reading this article. Here’s your bug out options…
Purchasing land as a bug out location…
The average cost of an acre of land in the U.S. is a little over $4,000, and if you truly feel your survival strictly relies upon your ability to bug out to a secured location then by all means purchase some land. Save 10% of your monthly income and you should have enough money within two years to get a couple acres of land. The benefit of buying land is being able to build up supplies and housing prior to doomsday…
Bugging out to a preselected campsite is what most preppers are planning on doing when the shit hits the fan. Two things I have to make very clear, if you have no survival skills whatsoever camping may not be the best option for you. Secondly, people who plan to be happy campers when doomsday hits don’t take weather into consideration. For some reason people don’t understand camping isn’t the best option during the winter, nor is it sound thinking if you live near a desert and the apocalypse comes dead in the middle of summer, where temperatures have reached up to 125°. At best, camping is a short-term option in ideal climates relying upon too many variables.
Bugging out to abandoned or natural structures…
You’ll have to do a little research about your state but every state in the Republic has abandoned mines (over 500,000 to choose from), ghost towns that are far away from major highways and population centers, or natural structures such as caves. Abandoned structures will keep you out of extreme elements but can be dangerous. Abandoned structures may not be structurally sound, and there’s always the possibility of other people having the same idea you had. If you don’t have the money to buy land, and your surrounding environment is too extreme to camp in, this may be the safer option for you.
I am all for bugging out to a recreational vehicle, but I’m not necessarily too kean on bugging out with an RV. Why? My main issue with using an RV to bug out is its inability to travel through poor conditions such as (mud, ice, debris) without getting stuck, while another disadvantage to bugging out in RVs is you’re basically driving around a giant billboard of preparedness that some people might notice. Now if you own an Earth Roamer XV-SLT 4X4, by all means go for it. If not, it might be a good idea to buy an acre of land where you can park your RV allowing you to use your bug out vehicle to get there safely.
Travelling to your Bug Out Location
When people are considering bug out locations they don’t factor in how they’re going to get there, and the many variables that come with it often imagining post apocalypse conditions will be ideal. If you need to bug out, it’s the middle of winter, many roads are frozen over, and your entire town is trying to get out before things get too bad. Does your bug out plan compensate for an alternate route, additional fuel usage, and etc? Ensure a safe bug out by…
- Have alternate evacuation routes that don’t go beyond your vehicle’s capabilities
- Establish a PNR (point of no return) for your fuel and have 10 more gallons of fuel than needed for the trip to and from your bug out location
- Avoid population centers that could effectively block your route to your bug out location
- Take the road less traveled avoiding major highways within thirty miles of major cities
- Have a reliable 4×4 bug out vehicle that can get you to and from your bug out location
- Always have a hard copy map! I always keep a Rand McNally US Road Map in my BOV in case my primary and secondary bug out locations are compromised
- Have a back up bug out location in case your original destination is compromised
Like I said I’ve read several articles written by other prepper websites and they tend to complicate a fairly simple thing, and I’m not for scaring off newcomers by turning basic math into advanced calculus. It’s really not that complicated, but as with all matters of preparedness each individual situation should be catered to your own unique situation. Some of us live in deserts, mountains, small towns, big cities, and everything in between, and one prepper’s survival plan might not work for another’s. Have a plan, be prepared, and remember your training..
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