The choice of bug-out locations must be very careful, and every prepper folks should keep that in mind. While hinting and lost in the wilderness, only God can help you if you cannot understand your bearings and are unfamiliar with the surrounding area. Read the article and find out all about the proper choice of bug-out locations, and you will increase your chances of survival.
Every survivalist’s dream is to have a bug out location. To make this dream come true, you can buy a private bug out of the land. If your finances allow, then this is the smartest and easiest option. But if like most, you cannot afford such expenses, then you can find some kind of remote public place suitable for bug-out locations.
If you live in one of these 146 counties, you just need to make sure that you are fully prepared.
Our article will talk about where to find a public bug out location for refugee, or buy a personal one, what features should best bug out location has.
How To Buy a Bug-Out Location
Here, as usual, the almighty Internet will come to the rescue. There are specialized sites for the sale of land. For example, we like these:
To choose the area in which it is better to buy land, we recommend using the US-places.com website.
Let’s think, for example, that we live in the Atlanta area.
You need to find the least populated counties in the state.
On this site, you can compare counties by different indicators. You need to click on “comparisons of the population.”
Find the state you need, in our case Georgia.
Based on the absolute population, it offers Taliaferro County. But we recommend that you also consider another indicator, namely population density. For this, the absolute population is divided by the area square.
Taliaferro is at a decent distance from Atlanta, so you will clearly need a bug-out vehicle or truck if you choose this area. Getting here on foot will be problematic, although, of course, it is also possible.
Another point that we do not really like is the proximity of a major highway.
But first, this is a good start for searching for the best bug out location, so let’s focus on this county for an example.
Next, we will take any site selling land given by us at the top and enter the county name for further searches.
Choose the option you like in terms of price and square.
This option seems to be quite attractive both in size and price.
Remember, you can team up with your friends or family members to buy a bug out property. It is not necessary to layout the entire amount yourself.
If you have other survivors in your family, they will be happy to team up and share the costs, creating a kind of survival coalition. In this case, you can afford something even more attractive and profitable.
Even a site of 5 acres is quite capable of accommodating a couple of small dwellings.
Another plus of creating a small survival coalition is that you can prepare together and stock up on supplies, share some other common expenses, help each other in a natural disaster or any other dangerous case. And finally, a group of people has a higher chance of survival than a single person. Think about it.
Make sure to pick multiple bug-out locations. And absolutely definitely do not buy any property without visiting it first.
They often give a beautiful picture and description on the Internet, and even photographs may be of this particular place. Still, upon arrival at the area, you understand that everything is not at all like that. Photos can be taken at a certain angle for a more attractive view, and the area may not be exactly where it is indicated. Therefore, be sure to outline several options for yourself and set out on the road to inspect before buying.
Some people look for bug out properties on Craigslist, sometimes there are attractive options, but they must be treated with special care not to please scammers or simply unscrupulous sellers.
Therefore, always recheck everything before buying.
How To Find Public Bug-Out Land Options
We advise you to search for appropriate locations in National Forests. You can also think of National Parks, but they have several disadvantages:
- rangers checking every nook and cranny;
- a large number of people and tourists.
Where to start looking for a suitable bug out location? From viewing maps, of course.
The simplest thing to do is to view topographic maps on the Internet. And the best part is there are good free options, for example, http://www.digital-topo-maps.com/.
This is how the map will look like.
Click the “My Topo” button and use the zoom buttons on the left.
If you want to find a bug out location in Northern Georgia, you can look for suitable land in Chattahoochee National Forest. In this case, here is what the map will show you.
Find a few spots that work for you, and make a minimalist camping trip to test the spots and see if they really work for you.
For real survivalists, we can also recommend buying National Geographics Trails maps. These topo maps are very well made, and it is easy to put them in your bug out bag due to their convenient size and waterproofness. The purchase of such maps will become a necessary investment in case of Internet or GPS failure.
When looking for a suitable bug out location, we advise you to stick to the seven features that a place should have, which we will tell you about below.
7 Tips To Finding Best Bug-Out Location
We have already mentioned the most important advice above. You just need to do some preliminary research, choose a few options (even if there is one you really like, you should have several alternatives), and MUST check these places in person. Go there on a hike to understand how you will get there, or, in some cases, drive there. But definitely do not buy a bug out property without checking it, and do not plan a bug out the location you have never been.
Here are the parameters to look for when researching to find the perfect bug out the land.
1. Land Property Costs
It would be ideal to find an inexpensive but beautiful land that meets all the requirements, but this is almost impossible, although it does happen.
Determine your budget and look for options based on it. Keep in mind that you can team up with relatives or close friends and split the cost among several people so that the price does not hit your wallet so much, and you can afford a good bug-out location.
Rank the selected bug-out locations based on the price to quality ratio.
2. Water Resources Availability
Besides the fact that water is one of the basic human needs, its presence on the territory of your bug out property can greatly facilitate your life.
You can not look for a location near the water only in one case if you have a rainwater collection system thought out and you have large storage tanks. But even then, we would not rely entirely on them, but rather look for a place near the water reservoir.
If you are planning your bug out in the desert for some reason, you also need to have a backup plan, for example, buying equipment that extracts water directly from the air.
But once again, we say that there is no need to complicate the difficult life. Look for a bug-out location next to a lake, river, pond, any suitable source of freshwater.
But not every water reservoir will suit you. You need to answer the following questions:
- Availability of a water source;
- The constancy of the source of water resources, choose not a seasonal, but available a year-round reservoir so that in the slightest drought you will not be left without water supply;
- Is it running water? If so, it will be an additional bonus because you can use the kinetic energy of such a source of water.
First of all, we need water for drinking, for preparing food. Next are the needs of cleaning, washing. But besides this, water can be a source of electricity.
If the running water is moving at the required speed, you can install a power generation system. Agree, this is an excellent bonus. So we advise you to look for such an opportunity.
3. Bug-Out Location Distance
Two things are important with regard to distance:
- The remoteness of the bug-out property from the city and densely populated areas
- Distance from your home to the bug out location.
In the second case, everything is clear. The distance should be small, ideally, so that you can cover it in a maximum of 5 days on foot. With an average good walking speed of 12 miles per day (keep in mind that you need to take a heavy bug out bag or backpack), the maximum distance is 60 miles.
Make sure you have a sturdy bug out backpack for the trip.
The longer the path to the bug out location, the more unpleasant surprises can happen on the road. Reduce the number of possible troubles that may come your way.
According to Survival Mom (article “When Things Go South Or What To Expect When SHTF“), the government will close most roads, and the military will stop anyone who tries to get through. Therefore, it is a good idea to plan at least three possible paths. Check periodically that everything is in order with these paths and look for alternatives if necessary.
If you own a bug-out vehicle, then the ideal distance will not exceed the one for which one tank of gas is enough. Better not to plan for longer distances. There may not be a chance to refuel along the way, no one knows whether gas stations will work, and even if they do, wild queues for gas may form. As a last resort, you might want to prepare long term fuel storage. But even if it is available, it is better not to risk it and choose a location that is not so far away.
And even if the gas tank allows it, it is best not to travel between states. This can cause some additional restrictions and extension of your path, which can be simply dangerous in emergency situations.
When it comes to distance from densely populated areas, avoid all of the 146 danger zone counties. All densely populated areas pose a danger to the survivalist.
To summarize, you need to ask yourself questions regarding the selected bug out location:
- Can you get to the bug out the location from home without hindrance in a survival emergency?
- Are there some areas with high population density nearby?
4. Government Red Tape For The Land
It will be very annoying if the government brings you problems or fines related to zoning or building structure requirements. This will create unnecessary complications for you and delay the whole process.
Therefore, carefully study all the rules regarding this location, like building houses or growing vegetables or animals.
You absolutely do not need any extra attention for your BOL or extra problems.
Be sure to read all the rules before making a bug out property purchase transaction.
With the onset of a survival scenario, the government will most likely have no time for bureaucracy, but this may interfere with you during the preparation phase.
5. Concealed And Secured Bug-Out Location
It is imperative to successfully hide your bug-out property from prying eyes.
And here you need to think about the balance because the more difficult it is for you to get to the location, the more inconvenient you will be on the one hand, but on the other hand, there is less chance that other people will notice your location. And the hidden bug out property is exactly what you need.
Do not assume that if you have chosen an area far from the city and other densely populated centers of people habitation, then all the work is done, and you do not need to be careful. This is not true. You need to take certain actions to hide your bug out location.
Choose areas that are separate from major roads and trails. Keep in mind that if it is easy for you to find this location, then other people can easily get there. And people are not always kind, and we doubt that they will go to you with good intentions with the SHTF scenario.
Try to hide your home visually as well, let it be invisible from a distant distance, choose colors that will blend in with the local nature, so the bright colors of your home will not attract people.
Another important point is fire and smoke from it. Try to make it not noticeable either. For example, you can burn a fire or stove only at night so that the smoke will not attract attention to your BOL.
It is also worth considering the spread of the smell from cooking over a fire. We will refer to the article by Survivalist Prepper, who writes that the smell from food can spread over a distance of more than half a mile. Therefore, it is worth considering how to hide smells.
We said that a good bug out location has access to the water, but water also attracts other people, so you need to be careful in this matter and think about what actions you can take to hide your stay.
It is very important to hide your property well. This will help avoid conflicts with uninvited guests. Find a suitable vantage point, think about how you can monitor your territory, and protect your BOL if necessary, or in extreme cases, leave urgently.
PrepForSHTF writes that without special skills and training in protecting the territory from bandits (which many people do not have), most likely you will fail and lose your supplies, and maybe even your life.
Therefore, a successful cover-up is extremely important in the matter of long term survival.
6. Natural Threat Potential of Property Location
The map above shows the natural disasters that can occur in different areas. And there are almost no clean areas not marked by any of the disasters. What does this mean — that there is no safe place at all, and it is worth completely abandoning the idea of acquiring survival property? In some specific situation — yes, it is better to find a safer place. But in general, this map should not scare you. It provides an opportunity to better prepare for all the disasters. Forewarned is forearmed. It is always easier to fight the enemy you expect.
Therefore, if you see that forest fires are taking place in your chosen area, then read how you can protect your house from them. For example, make an earthen enclosure.
If you find a good bug out location with a running water source that overflows its shores seasonally, it does not mean that you need to give it up. Perhaps you should just build the house a little higher.
If tornadoes are not rare in this bug out location, it is worth strengthening the dwelling, making it low or underground.
Knowing about potential threats is your advantage over the elements, so be sure to find out in advance what might happen and be more prepared.
7. Prepper Self Reliance Opportunities
Can your chosen property help you in your survival as a survivalist? A perfectly matched survival property might be able to feed and protect you.
Gather all the information you can:
- Is the soil fertile? Will it be possible to grow vegetables or crops?
- Is it possible to raise livestock? For example, is there grass or the ability to prepare hay or forage?
- Are there hunting or fishing spots nearby to feed yourself?
- Are there trees from which you can make firewood?
- How many sunny days are there usually in the area? Is it possible to arrange the generation of electricity from solar energy? We have mentioned the production of water power, but the more alternatives you have, the better.
In general, study everything that the land can give you. The more of these useful things you find, the better, and the more chances you will survive the long term SHTF scenario.
Summing up, we want to say that searching for the best bug out location is a laborious process that needs to be started ahead of time. You need time to learn all the disadvantages and advantages of each potential site. You need to check things like water supplies, natural power grid opportunities, chances for growing food or livestock, self-reliance opportunities, what natural disasters may happen there.
The most important question you should ask yourself is if you are able to get there in case of a huge disaster.
After you make sure that your place is completely suitable, other work will begin. Finding a perfect bug-out place is just the first step of the plan. More actions are coming afterward. You must make a bug out bag checklist (we suggest you take our bug-out bag checklist as a basis), think over the shelter, homesteading, and other things.
Maybe you should consider buying a DIY survival trailer or camper.
You can start by collecting a bug-out bag and then proceed according to your plan.
The earlier and more thoughtfully you start preparing, the better!
What do you do if you do not have a bug out location?
In this situation, you can find a public bug out location. To do this, start exploring topographic maps of the surrounding area for suitable BOL. We recommend paying attention to National Forests, far away from the well-known trails. List some potential BOL. Grab your bug out bag and go to check the selected seats. To camp there for a while will be a good choice, so you will make sure that this piece of land suits you.
Where are preppers buying land?
Before buying a suitable bug-out land, you should do a whole lot of research and make sure that it suits you for all 7 points outlined in our article. There is no definite ideal land location that will suit all preppers. After all, BOL should not be too far from your home so that in the event of a disaster, you can get there as soon as possible. But in theory, the most popular states for bug-out locations are Colorado, Idaho, Tennesse, West Virginia. But we do not recommend scheduling your BOL in an out-of-state. It may complicate your journey.
Is it better to bug in or bug out?
It all depends on the situation. There is no general scenario that fits any disaster. In some cases, it will be safer to stay in your home (especially if it is also prepared for survival situations). It will be better to leave the familiar area and find a safe bug out location in other scenarios. The ideal option would be to have two options and to choose based on the current disaster situation.
How can I find a bug out location?
There are several ways to find a bug out location. The easiest is to do some preliminary research on suitable areas on the Internet, find a county that is far enough from the city, and check bug-out locations on the specialized sites that sell land. It is a good idea to hire a real estate agent to help you select BOL. Be sure to drive to the location prior to purchasing it for a truly great place.