hand holding a map

In a major emergency situation, staying in a highly populated area is not recommended.

Resources are bound to be limited, and people will fight each other tooth and nail just to secure supplies for themselves. Law enforcement units will be spread too thin; riots and general discord are very likely.

In other words, you have to get the hell out of there and evacuate to a more secure place: your bug out location.

What’s A Bug Out Location?

That being said, choosing a bug out location requires a lot of careful thought and planning. This place will be your “safe house” until the situation stabilizes so it should be able to provide you with basic necessities and resources. Your stay can last for as short as 72 hours or it can stretch as far as a month or two. You have to make sure that your bug out location is prepared for any scenario.

Here are what you should consider in choosing the ideal bug out location:

How long do you plan on staying?

You’ll have to first establish how long you’re going to stay in your bug out location.

Is it for a couple of days? Or do you plan to stay for a month? Your choice of location depends on your needs.

For short-term scenarios, you can probably opt to stay in places that lend natural protection like caves, underneath or near fallen trees or rock overhangs. They are also ideal places for you to build a survival shelter. Survival shelters are temporary dwellings— they are easy to build and easy to dismantle if you need to move.

However, if you plan on bugging out for an extended period of time, you might want to select a location that can sustain you for longer, like a log cabin or an off-the-grid homestead where you can grow a garden or raise some livestock.

Does the place have the resources you need?

If you’re gonna go out of your way to bug out, whether short term or long term, make sure that the area can provide for you. You have to know the land’s terrain and climate. Preparations may vary, depending on the terrain. Is it prone to natural calamities like landslides, hurricanes or earthquakes? You might want to check that beforehand.

Your bug out location should have access to basic resources; consider its proximity to food and water sources. Familiarize yourself with the kind of flora and fauna that thrive in the area. You will need this information in case you need to hunt and forage for food.

In a long-term bug out scenario, you will eventually need to grow a garden or raise livestock. Research on the fertility of the soil in the area and determine if you can successfully grow or raise your own food source off the land.

How Do You Get There?

While your bug out location must be located away from dense populations, the rule of thumb is that you should still be able to access it with just one tank of gas.

A longer trip just means more chances of encountering danger along the way, so it’s not ideal to drive out of state. Instead, opt for a location well within a 150-mile radius from the city. This way it’s far enough from the chaos, but near enough for a single tank of gas or, in worst-case scenarios, a hike. That being said, it pays to familiarize yourself with your state’s terrain and lands and to note if you are living in or near a danger zone county.

When traveling to your bug out location, it’s ideal to prepare at least 3 different routes to reach it. Take a drive or hike and test these routes out and try to anticipate any obstacles and roadblocks along the way.

Who Is with you?

Do you live alone? If so, you might do well by just using your survival skills and camping out. However, this may not be the best choice if you are with the family, especially if you have little kids or members that have special needs. More people mean more space and resources. If you have the budget, you might be better off buying a piece of land to serve as your bug out location, which can eventually be turned into a long-term homestead.

Can You Protect It From Bad Guys?

Keeping your bug out location secured should also be a priority. You don’t want a group of bandits to just walk up to your doorstep and ransack all your supplies. Concealment is always the first defense against unfriendlies. You might want to choose a location that is away from the usual paths of travel like roads and mountain passes. While it may limit accessibility, this puts you in a better defensive position.

In Closing

Choosing the right bug out location can significantly increase your chances of survival. When done right, you can even thrive there and be self-sufficient in the long run. It’s always important to prepare and plan beforehand. Evaluate your needs, practice your skill sets and find a suitable area within your state that meets those needs.

Did we miss anything else? Do you have other useful tips for bugging out? Let us know in the comments below!

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