Economic collapse, hurricanes, floods, forest fires, who knows? Maybe even Aliens. We are in a time when it feels like literally anything could happen. Were a giant spaceship to hover over the major cities in the world and threaten to destroy us if we don’t give them our leader, would we be that surprised? Precisely because we are in such uncertain times, it is important to plan for good bug out locations.
Bugging out is a common term used among preppers and survivalists that refers to escaping civilization and retreating to a hideout or a safe location to ride out whatever catastrophe strikes. Ideally, you can bug out to a location that will sustain you for a long time in the event of a catastrophe that leads to apocalypse.
How To Select a Bug Out Location
Selection of your hideout is really going to depend on your existing location. You do not want to plan to bug out hundreds of miles from where live your daily life only to find yourself stranded with no transportation for whatever reason.
Unfortunately, economic collapse will find people looting, rioting, and desperate to survive if they haven’t prepared. You cannot count on your ability to make it across your state, or worse, across the country to a location you’ve carefully selected.
Choose a place close enough that you could get to on one tank of gas, maybe two if you’ve got some gas stored up. In the event your means of transportation is destroyed or stolen, you should have a bug out location that you could walk or hitch a ride to if you absolutely had to.
Also, you want your spot to be far enough away from major cities and towns that dozens of people aren’t going to trip on it and invade your space.
The Perfect Spot
The other big question in how to choose a bug out location is visibility and exposure. You want to maintain the high ground for two reasons. Crucially, up on a hill you will be able to see anyone coming. You won’t be taken by surprise by someone creeping up on you. Even the most innocent person could trip across your location. Obviously, if that happens, you’ll want to prepare for visitors, or intruders.
Additionally, you want to take the high ground is exposure. In the event of flooding or fires, you want to be above it all. Honestly, the worst thing to happen is you prepare the perfect hideout, all stocked and stored, well equipped and fortified, only to have it swept away by a hurricane at low ground. Take the high ground.
To Camouflage or Not To Camouflage?
Another factor when planning to bug out is cover. Realistically, there are advantages and disadvantages to hiding your location among the trees. If you are surrounded by forest in a deep dense location, it will be harder for others to find you. However, it will also be more difficult for you to see others coming. If you have a high tech security system with infrared cameras that detects anyone within a good radius, this won’t be a concern. If not, tree cover is something to weigh.
On the other hand, in a valley or other open space, you are exposed to all the elements and easy to spot. People can pick you out from miles away and target your location. At the same time, you can see them. You will be able to spot and plan for anyone headed in your direction, potentially from miles away. In the open space case, you don’t need a ton of high tech detection devices; you have your eyes and your ears. Maybe get a dog. A big one.
In the end, there are many things to consider, and it is a big decision. Your bug out location may be a place you need to hunker down for weeks, months, or, potentially, forever. You want to plan well, and take your time.
Where do you want to have your spot? It will depend on your detection and defense capabilities. How much space do you need? If you are only worrying about yourself, you will have many more options to squeeze a small cabin into a remote location. If you have a family to think about, however, you will need more space, more land, and more defense.
Ultimately, the likelihood of disaster striking is not off the charts unheard of, but the chances of anything happening tomorrow are slim. You have time to plot out a location and a decent amount of land and slowly build from the ground up. Construct fortifications to your specifications and take your time bringing supplies to your spot. Just another reason to have your bug out location close at hand.