Although many of us become comfortable in the idea that 21st-century society is unshakable and safe, there is always the possibility that some disaster or war could cause it to collapse. If some event causing the end of society as we know it were to occur, being in a densely populated urban area would not be ideal. There are some folks out there who are concerned about this and wish to invest in a bug-out to have in the event of a SHTF situation. In order to choose a good bug out, there are a number of factors to consider.
BUG OUT LOCATION MUST HAVES:
The location of the bug out is the single most important factor above any others. It is also a balancing act between how far it will take to get there from your home and its distance from the nearest urban area, amongst other factors. Each of the following will take into consideration each aspect you ought to take into account to ensure your safety.
You do not want to be anywhere near a large urban area in the event of some major disruptive/dangerous event. For this reason, you will want to choose a location that is far from the city. However, you do not want to have to travel hours to get to your bug out, so choose somewhere that is reachable, ideally within 60 miles from your town or city. Your bug-out should be reachable with a full tank of gas. If not, ensure to keep a jerrycan in your home or garage. Do not expect gas stations to be accessible. Ultimately, you need your bug out to be reasonably reachable whilst still being far enough from any large urban area.
You want your bug out to be hidden from plain sight. For that reason, stay away from main roads and ideally find a spot with good tree cover. This will hopefully stop any people passing through the area from spotting your place. You will also want to keep visible light to a minimum, making it hard to spot your bug out through the vegetation, especially at night.
Similarly, beware of chimney smoke if you are lighting a fire. Billowing smoke coming out a chimney can be spotted from a long distance away and is something you definitely want to keep for during the cover of darkness. To add to this, beware of smells whilst cooking. We advise that cooking is done at night in order to conceal the smells. Essentially you want to be concealed from all senses as much as possible.
3. Getting there:
If you have settled on a location for your bug out, you will want to know at least three routes that will get you to your hideaway safely. Your routes may include main roads which will get you there faster. However, these could become congested or unusable. For this reason, it is important to know your way around some secondary roads which will take you in the direction of your bug out.
Sometimes you may find a secluded cabin or house that is isolated and surrounded by vegetation. However, in order to have a bug out that is remote enough for your needs, you may need to purchase land and build on it. There are a number of options for shelter. You may use a tent or a trailer temporarily while you build your cabin/house or indefinitely if you decide to. Whatever the case, take note of the weather conditions as you will need to take extra precautions if the area experiences harsh, cold conditions.
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This seems obvious but it is easily missed. Without knowing how long you will need to remain in your bug out should you be required to use it, you will need a source of water. Bottled water will only get you so far if you are there for an extended period of time. A location close to a natural spring, a well, a clean lake or a river are ideal places to position your bug out. Keep in mind that you will also need this water for things like cooking and cleaning, not just for drinking.
6. Self sufficiency:
Remember that you could be at your bug out location for an extended period of time without having any access to shops or the internet. You will most likely be out on your own. Therefore you will need to be able to produce anything you need yourself. Aside from water, as discussed above, you will need to have:
– A food garden
– A source of firewood
– A source of electricity (wind, solar and/or water)
– Fish and game nearby that you can hunt
– Or alternatively, space and resources for livestock
This is another important factor. There may come a point when you will have to defend your bug out should any intruders present themselves. If you have chosen a secluded, well-covered place, then you already have a fairly secure location and the likelihood of this happen will be low. To add an extra element of security, try and find a location for your bug out that is hard to access.
You do not want people to be able to approach your bug out without you realising. For this reason, be well aware of the area surrounding your land, for example, paths, roads, etc… And ensure you are able to surveil these easily and often. Have a detailed understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of your property should you have to defend it.
8. Natural threats:
Beware of potential natural threats which you may come up against. For example, is the area predisposed to earthquakes, flooding, forest fires, hurricanes or tornados? You want to find an area that is unlikely to experience these if possible. This also includes avoiding the floodplain of any nearby rivers. You might find you are unable to locate somewhere that is free from any of the aforementioned dangers. In that case, take precautions so if they were to occur the damage to your bug out would be minimized if damaged at all. This might include creating an area around your bug out that is free from any foliage or tree, this will hopefully prevent any fires from reaching your structures.
9. Red tape:
To conclude, be aware of any government regulations in relation to the land on which your bug out lies. This is important as you may need certain permits in order to build on the land. Of course, this may not matter in a SHTF situation, but it is better to be prepared for that eventuality.