I know that many of you have your bug-out bags packed and ready, but do you know where you’re going? I hope that you do have a plan in place because the moment you step out of your front door, after SHTF, survival is your only priority. Survival depends a lot on getting to a safe location where you can establish a secure living environment. There are quite a few folks out there who already have their bug-out location (BOL) plan in place. On researching a variety of websites, I found some great suggestions. If you’re not sure where you’re bugging-out to, maybe this will help you to start thinking about your plan. As always, the key is to “Be Prepared.”
Where you plan to go depends on where you’re coming from, what you’re financially able to invest and will the location sustain you and your family permanently. These are considerations that you must make when making your plan.
Where You’re Coming From
Your BOL needs to be a place that you can get to quickly and easily. Now, this can be within walking distance or driving distance. It really depends on where you live now and what the terrain is like. Do you live in the mountains already or on the plains? Are you in an urban or rural area? Ideally, if you’re driving, you should be able to get to you BOL on one tank of gas. So, if you are in a highly populated area, you will definitely need to figure getting, at the very least, an hour away. If you live in a less populated area, you may have a good location that’s in walking or even biking distance. From what I’ve seen, the general consensus seems to be that coastal areas should not be considered because they are targets for hurricanes, tsunamis and attacks by foreign forces. If you live on the coast now (and this especially includes N.Y. and L.A.), you need to go inland when you bug-out. It should at least be an hour or two away from the coast. Another thing to have when going to your BOL, is three or four different routes to get there. This gives you a choice of ways to go to avoid any problems like road blocks, riots or traffic. Remember, you are trying to bug-out to a place that’s away from the madness caused by the panic of those who aren’t prepared.
Your Financial Investment Ability
There will be some financial investment required to set-up your BOL. People have as elaborate as a cabin or homestead to a camper or place in the woods to pitch a tent. A good suggestion that I found was to purchase a piece of land and then, gradually improve on it. Things to consider are: Is there a water source, is it far enough “off the beaten track”, is it defendable, is it camouflaged, and is the weather going to be an issue. When you’re looking at your financial investment, don’t forget to include stocking your BOL with food and supplies. This will be an ongoing process as even “non-perishable” food has expiration dates and will need to be replaced periodically. Some folks plan to “live off the land” and that would reduce some of your financial investment, but it’s not recommended at all unless you are seriously an expert in wilderness survival skills. And if you have a family, it should never, ever be your plan.
Sustaining Your Family Permanently
Your BOL has to be able to sustain you and your family permanently because you may never be able to return to your home or it could be a few years before you can return. This means you have to have a reliable source of water. I’ve seen suggestions about having a system of collecting rain water in place but I don’t think that’s good enough. You need to look for options like bodies of water like rivers or lakes or the possibility of digging a well on your property. You can still collect the rain water but don’t let that be your only source of water. You also need to consider growing your own fruits and vegetables for when your stores do finally run out. Is there enough room at your BOL to do this? Above, when I mentioned “living off the land,” you may have to eventually do just that when it comes to acquiring meat but the longer you can put that off with a good store of food, the better. To avoid having to worry about hunting and trapping, some folks go the full homestead route and are raising their own livestock. What kind of shelter you have will depend on the yearly weather at your BOL. I wouldn’t plan on living in a tent in Colorado or Minnesota. Actually, I wouldn’t plan on living in a tent in any climate but that’s just me. Unless, of course, there’s no other alternative because I can’t reach my BOL. Even milder climates down in the South can get a couple of days of freezing temperatures, so, you need to make sure that your shelter is equipped for that. I think the ideal would be to have a good source of firewood and a fireplace or wood burning stove. You can also get into solar options or ways to generate your own electricity. It just depends on, realistically, how large of a financial investment you can make. If you are gradually improving on your BOL, that’s’ great but SHTF won’t happen when it’s convenient for you. Provisions must be in place so that, if it happens tomorrow, you and your family have what you need to survive forever.