A guide to alternative bug-out locations


If SHTF, how will you keep your family safe? Will you head to an emergency shelter like the rest of your neighbors? Or have you already prepared several alternative bug out locations to avoid the influx of people who will inevitably be taken off guard when disaster strikes? (h/t to BeansBulletsBandagesAndYou.com)

Things to consider before bugging out

Before disaster strikes, scout and prepare at least three secure bug-out locations (BOLs). You can also make a list of places that you can go to if you need a “big bug out” so you can leave the region if you need to. Stock up on the necessary supplies so you can reach these locations without having to make supply runs along the way.

When SHTF, don’t try to bug out in the city, especially since resources will be limited because of the large number of people who are already hiding there.

Even if you’re a prepper, your supplies will be limited when you bug out. Before things go south, have pre-positioned preps, a family member who can help you find what you need, or prepare portable and highly desirable items and skills to trade. (Related: A guide to staying safe in case all Hell breaks loose in America.)

Here are some guidelines to help you find an alternative BOL:

  1. Find an area that’s at least 15 acres in size.
  2. The location must be within an easy one-day bicycle ride from your home.
  3. The property must be suitable to develop for raising animals, gardening, and hunting.
  4. The location must either have a pond or have a great location to build a pond.
  5. The area must be something you can afford.

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These guidelines may limit your options, but it’s worth the effort if it means you find a place that can help you provide for your family when SHTF. You can also set up your own guidelines to determine a location that will suit your specific needs.

If you do not have the funds to purchase a BOL, here are other things to consider:

  • Family – Bug out with your family, especially if they also understand the value of prepping and having backup BOLs.
  • Close friends – If you have prepper friends that you trust with your life, talk to them about sharing an alternative BOL.
  • Keep cash on hand – Even if SHTF, you’ll still need at least a month’s worth of funds for all expenses while on the road.

Alternative BOLs for preppers

Pick a hotel or motel chain, then get the app

If you travel frequently, you may already have the app for your preferred hotel or motel chain. Use your rewards to book rooms, which can be a lifesaver if the hotel has branches in various locations.

The hotel doesn’t have to be fancy, as long as it’s a safe place to spend the night in.

“Blue highways”

When SHTF and you’re stuck in the city, get out of town as fast you can, then head to a “blue highway.”

A blue highway is a road that isn’t an interstate, such as an old fashioned U.S. route. Familiarize yourself with these highways, which will have roads full of small towns with available supplies. Most residents in these towns are friendly and they may help you if you manage to escape the big cities.

Campground/van camping

Alternatively, you can convert a van to a bug-out vehicle. Having a car like this means you can bail out and camp either in an RV campground, a state or county campground, or in an area with national forests where it is legal to camp. Consider this option if you don’t have the funds for a BOL or out-of-town friends and family.

If you don’t own a camper, you can also camp in a tent. Just make sure you prepare tents and sleeping bags or blankets for your whole group. You also need to cover camping basics such as fire safety, proper waste disposal, and how to deal with wildlife.

While camping is more of a temporary bug out solution, it should help you get by until you have a more permanent option.

Seasonal BOLs

If you need to bug out in the winter, head to areas with fishing lodges or similar locations. In the summer, go to hunting lodges that are out of season.

Before SHTF, finalize your plans for your alternative BOL and update your family so everyone knows what to do when you need to evacuate after disaster strikes.

Sources include:

BeansBulletsBandagesAndYou.com

UrbanSurvivalSite.com

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