While I am not a fan of bugging out, I realize that situations can force any of us to leave our homes. Of course the perfect bug out location is to have a fully equipped home in a good area of the country. That’s just common sense, but most of us can’t afford that, so what are our options?
You can find friends or relations that you can join in an emergency. If you make prior arrangements with them and stock some supplies, you will probably be welcome. Don’t just make the mistake of showing up and expecting that they will take care of you. In fact, here’s some wise advice from rural preppers who are pretty sure friends and family will find their way to their homestead.
Some people have purchased or gained access to vacant land and stashed supplies ahead of time. This can be a good idea, but you need to have a substantial amount of food and items to provide shelter. You have to hide these supplies well. Some people plan to take supplies with them and live off the land. Unless you are very experienced this is a very hard way to go, avoid this if you can.
I know some people who have a second home or small cabin that they keep stocked and ready to move in. This is a great idea if you can afford it and keep it secure. Make sure that you have the ability to get there in an emergency. Some people have already bugged out and now live in theirs year round.
Let’s assume you have the money and means to develop a bug out location or resettle to a new area. What criteria would you use to find the perfect retreat location?
Here are my thoughts on choosing the perfect bug out location
- I would want to be on the edge of a small town, one just large enough to have at least a small hospital and doctors. Maybe 2000-5000 people. No larger.
- I would want to be at least a hundred miles from a large metropolitan area. I know many people think this is still to close. But with traffic jams, accidents, and fuel problems I don’t think many people would make it this far.
- The town would not be on any major transportation routes. No main highways, freeways, railroads or large airports. Most people will stick to the major roads.
- The town would not be located near any military bases, communication centers or critical infrastructure.
- No large industrial plants, mines or other strategic businesses.
- No major government centers.
- Good availability of surface water.
- An area that exports food and produces more than it uses.
- I would want to be in a politically conservative area with good firearm laws.
- As long as there was good water, a decent growing season, and access to heating fuel, I wouldn’t worry about the weather.
- Avoid any place that the government would be in a hurry to control. For example, major communication links or sources of electric power.
- I would want at least an acre of good land.
- Take into consideration the dangers of wildfire.
- Be sure that local zoning laws will let you accomplish the things you want to without a fight.
A very detailed map, like a DeLorme atlas, will provide much of this information for you.
Before I moved there, I would spend a fair amount of time learning about the community. In addition to the research you can do through the internet and Chamber of Commerce, you need to spent time there. This means getting to know people other than realtors. Maybe subscribe to the local paper for several months. Go on some of the prepper blogs and ask if anyone lives near there, you may get lucky. Find a church in the area, talk to people. The more you can learn upfront the less you are likely to be disappointed later.