10 Considerations for your Bug Out Location

Written by Jonathan Dick

If worse came to worse and the world was in chaos, where would you go?

Many people already have determined where they would go – a bug out location – a spot where they could lay low and live for a while if things got pretty bad. If you haven’t decided where you’d go during an emergency, or you already have an idea, here are a few points to consider.

1. How far away?
How far away is your bug out location going to be from your home? With some disasters it doesn’t need to be very far away. For example, a flood zone might only take up a few miles and you might be able to walk to your bug out location. Other disasters, like an economic disaster or nuclear one, might require you to get a little further away from your home.

2. What kind of shelter?
Once you get to your bug out location, what kind of shelter are you going to live in? Is there a house on the property? Are you going to be staying in a tent? The type of shelter that you have might affect how long you are able to stay in the location. If you have to go to your bug out location in the dead of winter, you might be moving if your only living in a tent.

Many people even considering purchasing land in a more remote location so they don’t have to worry about living on someone else’s property. This would allow you to build a home and place supplies there.

Bug out location example

3. Do you have a emergency bag?
We’ve talked previously about what kind of items you’d want in an emergency bug out bag or 72-hour kit. Depending on what are you’re in, your emergency items might differ. For example, if your bug out location is right next to a river, you might want a water filter instead of large water containers.

4. Water
Speaking of water, it’s important to know where you will have access to water during an emergency. If man-made water sources aren’t working, you might need to choose a location that has it’s own natural water source. You might want to choose a location close to a lake, river, stream or natural well. Mind you, if man-made water systems are out of service, a lot of people are going to be looking for water in these locations. You’ll also need to consider how susceptible those sources are to contamination.

5. Nearby food
Depending on how long you plan on staying at your bug out location, food might be a major consideration. Are you going to have enough animal or plant life around you that you can just live off the land? Are you going to be packing in all your food? Is the ground suitable for planting?

6. Popular for other people
If you think you’ve found the perfect place for you, there might be others that think the same. While at times, preparing to defend yourself is necessary, you might have a leg up if you know how to barter and maintain a good relationship with other people who are also bugging out in the same location.

7. How are you going to get there?
Like we mentioned above, this really depends on how far away your location is from your home. If it’s close to your home, you might consider walking or riding a bike. If it’s far away, are you going to be driving? This also has an impact on your ability to prepare with food and water. If you are going to be packing in a lot of water and food, how far you have to travel might be a big decision.

8. How many people are you planning for?
Is it just going to be you? Your spouse? Your children? Friends? Extended family? Many times, people will join with a family friend to buy property and build a home on their bug out location. This is probably one of the first things you’ll need to determine because it has a huge effect on your food storage, water storage and other emergency supplies.

9. Communication
How are you going to get in contact with others? Going to bug out location doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t need to communicate. Are you going to be too far away that you don’t get cell phone coverage? Are you going to get radio and/or TV coverage? Staying in contact with people will help you know what is going on and help you stay prepared.

10. Medical Care
Are you going to have the right supplies at your bug out location? While you might have enough food and water, what if you have a large cut and can’t heal yourself? You might consider a bug out location that is close enough to civilization that you can go to a hospital or find the right drugs that you need but is also far enough away that you can escape if you need to.

What else?
What do you think? What other considerations did you take into account when you were determining your bug out location? Please comment below and let us know. Share your knowledge!

Updated August 10, 2012

71 Comments

  1. Gary Moore wrote:

    Can you recommend a good water filter

    August 11th, 2012 at 9:51 am
  2. Carl in SC wrote:

    We’ve made some preparation with some emergency essentials but have yet to prepare a safe shelter in another area. We have a 12×20 foot corrugated aluminum storage building which I’ve considered making stronger, thus more secure, by adding siding over the aluminum and a stronger roof. It has electricity but we’ve ordered a solar power supply that would be sufficient. I do need ideas on how to put wood siding panels over the metal building. Hope you can help.

    We’ve not thought of another bug-out location although I’ve considered a slide-in camper for my pick-up truck that would, along with a tent, provide short term shelter.

    August 11th, 2012 at 10:03 am
  3. Mike wrote:

    I live in San Diego. Short term, with 4m peeps living here, the highways will be crammed and therefore leaving is not an option. My bug out location is my home. Longer term — say, seeing the calamity coming in a couple of weeks and having the chance to leave quietly — I have family about 19 hours away.

    August 11th, 2012 at 10:25 am
  4. Floss wrote:

    I use the Sawyer Point One bucket filter kit. One of the cheaper kits, and good for a million gallons +.

    A slide in camper will make your truck top heavy, and not clear low cut trails. It might not be the best thing to use.
    Are you planning to bury the container? Be careful if you do, as most are not deigned to hold that weight and may collapse on you.

    August 11th, 2012 at 10:30 am
  5. Carl in SC wrote:

    There are slide-in truck campers that have a top which colapses to just a few inches above the cab which makes it lower and less top heavy when moving.
    I’ve considered a travel trailer which has to be light enough to pull with my Chevy S10 truck.
    As for the metal building I was speaking of putting the wood panels on the side,not the top, although I would like a more durable roof. I haven’t found any info on putting wood siding panels on the sides of a small storage building. So I’m fishing for ideas.
    Speaking of an underground container I love the idea but that is more expensive.

    August 11th, 2012 at 11:02 am
  6. The Ready Store wrote:

    Hey Gary, we have a pretty good selection of filters that you can see here http://goo.gl/y05rQ.

    I personally like the Katadyn Vario. You can read more about it here http://goo.gl/gdxmJ

    August 11th, 2012 at 11:24 am
  7. woodee wrote:

    Great article – might we see a printer-friendly version to this and similar articles in the near future?

    August 11th, 2012 at 11:25 am
  8. Nancy wrote:

    How would it be possible bug out in a metropolitan area like Los Angles/Orange County. The traffic on a normal day is dense. It would be a Katrina-like nightmare. Doesn’t seem to be a Plan B for that contingency.

    August 11th, 2012 at 11:40 am
  9. Shawn M wrote:

    Gary Moore… I recommend the Berkley line of water filters. They have multiple sizes, and are expandable. They are gravity fed, so no power required. And the history of them is good. They are what is used in 3rd world countries by a lot of health organizations. Just pick out the size you think you’ll need… and then I recommend going up one.
    They aren’t cheap, but they aren’t cheaply made either!! I also purchased 2 extra sets of filters. As they are ceramic they will last a long time, and can be cleaned until they wear out.

    Shawn

    August 11th, 2012 at 12:49 pm
  10. Bruce A. wrote:

    We bought bug-out property in eastern Utah, but, thought it is close to water, a well is impractical as the land is high desert. It is also 1000 miles from where we live now.

    But, we have obtained an older 4X4 (much simpler to maintain)and are installing fuel tanks to provide 1200 mile range. Built a fully enclosed trailer to carry tools and our years worth of food storage.

    Just visited a friend’s bug-out property in northern Idaho. Water, game and shelter! Considering buying property there, but it is much closer to large urban population than is Eastern Utah.

    August 11th, 2012 at 12:50 pm
  11. jess wrote:

    I live in a Blue State. High land cost, and even higher property taxes make it impossible for me to purchase a “one tank” bug-out property. Also Strict regulations and building codes make it impossible to build anything reasonably priced, and they prohibit sheds and out buidings. (Yes, I hate it, I can’t afford to stay, but I can’t afford to move) So, meanwhile does anyone have any Bug-Out Suggestions ? just 2 of us and a few cats. I’m doing fairly well with Bug-In, but have NO bug-out plan other than our Bug-out Bags.

    August 11th, 2012 at 12:52 pm
  12. Shawn M wrote:

    To Carl in SC.
    Depending on the type of container you’re talking about. I’d bolt on 2×2’s, or 2×4’s, every 16 in on center. The you’ll also have a gap that you can insulate. This will cut down on the need for heat or AC.
    Then you can just nail the wood siding right onto it.
    You could also mount vertical 2×4’s to build a separate roof across the top. I’d highly recommend that as the majority of heat and cooling will be lost through the top, just like any house.

    Shawn

    August 11th, 2012 at 12:55 pm
  13. Bonnie Anderson wrote:

    I too would love to see articles with a printer friendly option. This way I could add your great ideas to my preparation folder. Thank you for the great ideas.

    August 11th, 2012 at 2:00 pm
  14. Mary wrote:

    I live in so. California in a home I rent. Have no idea where we could bug out to. Children also live in large cities except for one who is a minimum of 10 hours away by car. Other than bugging in I don’t know where we could go that would be safe. We have small tents and the weather stays fairly warm. Any suggestions

    August 11th, 2012 at 2:28 pm
  15. Jase Valentine wrote:

    Dear Folks,
    Was just going to weigh in on Point 10(Medical), but saw a couple of errata to help with:

    From Shawn’s: The water filter brand is spelled Berkey. GET IT. The ‘Big Berkey’ is the Brit and UK, and disaster relief agencies standard. Get TWO or THREE, generally used to retail ’bout $287ea. – REMEMBER, “3is2,2is1,3is0,” when counting on equipment working – that’s the Special Operations rule of thumb standard. We have it for a reason, folks: Murphy.

    Next: Shelter. Putting wood siding on a ‘small metal bulding’ is a good thought, but will require studs and such to support them – in other words, a complete building – so don’t bother. (Cribbed from Monty Python: AND, NOW, FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!) Folks, don’t fight technology, even though a tendency exists in the self-preservation movement to sometimes kinda sorta go Luddite on housing. Don’t do it. Work smart. The log cabin is great, and I’m going to build one, too. But a smarter idea, which may well be my first ‘cabin:’ consider buying a used CONEX or OTR truck cargo container. Buy it, move it on site, bulldoze dirt up against it and over it – and you have an instant, permanent earth-sheltered structure that can be secured and made low-signature if you set it in a little defile – so it’s there and ready to rock when you get to it.(If it’s in Utah,Idaho,etc., glue EPS panels to the inside, cover with thin paneling. . .it’s insulated.)

    Original point: Take points 8 and 10 together. UNLESS you are a Board-certified surgeon, you’re sooner or later gonna die, w/o medical care, from something-or-other-reeeely-stupid-and-embarassing, I don’t care how many times you’ve read Farnham’s Freehold.
    If you’re going to need med support, I STRONGLY SUGGEST you make friends with, and try to talk into going partnership with a current or just retired Special Forces 18Delta Medical NCO(remember this from the beginning of the movie: “I am trained to perform any medical procedure outside the cranial cavity.”. . .?) ‘Cause if that buddy you go halfsies with is a surgeon – is he trained in trauma, and battlefield surgery?
    Additional point about partnership: Unless, and only unless, you two are the most mellow on the planet, plan on buying the larger share of the partnership and being the leader. Which you should be, ’cause you’re doin’ all this forward planning, right? Which is next: Be the leader. Not the tinpot. This is the 21st century: you can find out how to be an effective leader, train – starting NOW – and BECOME the leader your encampment will need. If you can’t, buy the smaller half of the deal, and faithfully FOLLOW THE GUY WHO is THE LEADER. A group can only function with one, effective, non-Neidermeyer-type leader. Otherwise, it eventually goes down the tube. And, that leader has to be good at it, learning always, and can work, and work with, his people – so they always see they have working plans and goals that keep them going.
    If you don’t, you’re all gonna die, anyhow, no matter how many Big Berkeys you bought.

    Let’s avoid that.

    August 11th, 2012 at 2:39 pm
  16. Dave Johnson wrote:

    I read some good suggestions coming from a lot of different people. Air, Water, Food, Shelter. Air – 3 minutes, Water – 3 days, Food 3 weeks, Shelter – Depends on where you are at.In that order. Air is free but how pure is it and what is in it(NBC). Water, the same criteria. Food, minimum 1 year supply for each person (freeze dried 25 yr shelf life).
    Good luck living in the cities when SHTF. Lots of people, no water, no food, lots of zombies looking for what you’ve got. Get out early. Create a spot to be your bugout location and make friends there. Shipping container buried at least 3′ underground in remote location that has spring or well that can be easily defended. You cannot survive on your own. You need approximately 10 – 20 people to survive. Reach out and pool your resources and create a compound and make it a vacation spot with “extra stuff” that will serve all of you when SHTF.

    August 11th, 2012 at 3:33 pm
  17. Doug wrote:

    Good Posts but, no one has mentioned what they are preparing for! I think that is most important and drives the kind of preparation that needs to be made. I am not preparing for the end of the world, or political / economic failure. I am most concerned about a Katrina type event that could last several weeks.

    I am near the Gulf of Mexico and in the past a Cat 3 has removed power and water for up to a week. I have a Motor Home, onboard gas and water (fill all when a storm is a coming), 18 Gal additional fuel (for small generators and dual fuel stoves) 18 #10 cans of ready nation freeze dried foods, 2 cases of MRE, Energy Bars, water tablets, pots to boil in–and matches.

    The first aid and medical needs are an important point. I have put together a good kit. big and small bandages, disinfectant, antibiotics, stiches and staples, creams and ointments, sun block and bug spray,

    The tools are basic tools: Mechanic tools, shovel, saw, axe, hatchet, sheaf knives,bow and arrows, rifle, shotgun, and 357 with ammo for all.

    There are several inland places to go and we may need to barter or defend the camp. Some good barter is tobacco and rolling papers, alcolol, and playing cards.

    If it gets worse than a couple of weeks, It is nice to know I can have more than 1 bug out location.

    Hope We never need to do it!

    August 11th, 2012 at 3:36 pm
  18. Passerby wrote:

    We also have a metal 12×16 shed that could be covered. In thinking about how I would wood-panel it, first apply a layer of primer over the metal, layer of insulation over that, 1/2 in. of whatever plastic, foamboard, etc. you want to use, then screw in your wooden board over that. Then you got the inside to worry about.

    Course, if the bldg. is in place to stay, I would mudbrick the whole thing, just not in Washington State.

    August 11th, 2012 at 3:40 pm
  19. Linda in SC wrote:

    In response to carl In SC, Is this a container,or a shed with sheet metal siding? If it’s a shed, is it wood-framed? If it’s a container, does it have a wood bottom? R-mat insulation is very easy to work with, but only provides a resisistance value of about 2.5. But it’s certianly 2.5 times better than no insulation. Consider cedar (northern white) for your siding. It has air cells, and almost no sap, which makes it naturally resisistant to termitesand beetles, as well as other insects. Eastern Red Cedar has less insulating resistance,but its aromatic properties discourage roaches and also help to deflect human odors. Don;y buy it from a bog-box store. The qualty is terribly inferior. Buy from a small mill or lumber specialty store, where you will get better quality.

    Starting small is much better than not starting at all. At least you have a bug-ou location with a roof, which is more than half the population. If cost is a factor, T-111 siding comes in 4 x 8 sheets, like plywood,and can be installed directly over flat metal siding, and the sizefo the R-Mat is the same. You can always add layers on the inside of the building later, when you have more time and money.

    Water Food, and Sanitation should be you next priorities, as well as a defense plan.

    August 11th, 2012 at 4:14 pm
  20. Carl in SC wrote:

    Linda,the building is a storage building or shed with a wood floor on treated skids which I think are 2×8″. I was thinking of using 2″x4″ or 2″x2″ studs nailed on the outside of the corrugated metal sides, putting some type insulation between the studs and nailing the 4×8′ siding to the studs. Insulation on the inside walls, a roof-over with insulation and I should have a solid, efficient and quiet little building. I’ve seen some good suggestions for enhancing this building and I thank you all for your help. For me I believe I’ll find it easier to work with this existing building than to start from scratch.

    August 11th, 2012 at 4:49 pm
  21. Carl in SC wrote:

    If we have to leave our property for some reason for another bug-out place we’ll probably go with a slide-in camper or a pop-up or travel trailer (Hi-Lo). We can use a solar generator with these. A stockpile of food would have to be transported also and a 6 month to year supply is a large amount to transport. We have water filter pitchers but may need to buy the Berkey type if we encounter dirty water in some areas. I’ve seen some small filters for hikers that the makers say can be used to clean water in polluted streams. It’s going to take some more thought but I believe we need to prepare for these emergency situation. I want to be prepared. So now I need to make some notes. Thanks for this article.

    August 11th, 2012 at 5:00 pm
  22. Craig Chambers wrote:

    To Mary,
    Make friends with someone out in the boonies. Most preppers will need additional people to help out with security, food growing, etc. Do you have any skills that would make you more valuable in that type of situation.
    I’m in the high desert in SE Cali. Write me at ccdewey2001@yahoo.com and we can talk. I’ll need more help here when the time comes.

    August 11th, 2012 at 5:04 pm
  23. Tammy wrote:

    Do you have a below ground basement that stays dry? Why not consider reinforcing your basement and making a shelter in place plan? Based on my own research I’ll be buying a First Need water filter. I have yet to see a bad review on it. Wikipedia has a map of all the nuclear sites in the U.S. we’ve figured out where we are in relation to them and where we’d go if any given one of them ever had a major emergency, provided we had enough warning. If there was ever a disaster on a scale that would knock out power long term- months to years, all the prepping in the world won’t help when containment vessels and equipment begin to fail at all the nuclear and chemical plants, so keep it in perspective.

    August 11th, 2012 at 5:25 pm
  24. Tammy wrote:

    One more thing I forgot to put in my post- check out the LifeStraw personal water filter. This is what relief agencies are distributing in Africa to keep people from getting sick by parasites. It can filter up to 1000 liters of water and you drink right through it like a straw. A steal at about $22-25 each considering it can filter enough drinking water to keep 1 person alive for about 8 months.

    August 11th, 2012 at 5:36 pm
  25. Pat wrote:

    We bought a military tent that has a lining, fly and skirt for insulation. It also has a stove that works off of muti-fuel. (wood & Kerosene). We store water, food and many other supplies for energy, health, hygenie, solar, communications, clothes, shoes, protection, etc. When the time comes we will be able to go to a safe place set up and be good year round. I think we have thought of everything, but until your in the situation you don’t know. I’m sure I’ll be saying I should have gotten……

    August 11th, 2012 at 6:49 pm
  26. Kyle G wrote:

    As far as the city people are concerned. All you really have to do is wait out the people that didnt prepare in a secret location. If you have basic handyman skills you can create a fake wall and hide a basement door, and keep barricading type items on the other side when you go in for the longer haul. As far as outside doors to the basement a shed built strategically on top of the doors with a false floor will take care of that as well. Even a closet can be utilized with the same false wall preparation method for sleeping securely, or enlarged for longer term arrangements. Prepare at least 3 months of food water etc ideally 6 months. If the disaster is severe there wont be many left after that time, if its not that severe you will have weathered out the chaos period. This is a good temporary solution until a more permanent solution can be found for your particular area.

    August 11th, 2012 at 7:51 pm
  27. Passerby wrote:

    Carl, there are so many of us who are paying attention to the Man upstairs, wondering what the Truth is, and then, what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. For what’s it worth, don’t look to have to transport any more than you absolutely have to when the time comes. If that means dig something under your shed to hide supplies, do so. Nobody has to know what you’re doing; this implies a lot of elbow grease; so be it. The Ready Store has some of the best storage supplies I know of. The land I bought was $500 down and no credit check; look around. Keep quiet! For the most part, the dead stay under the ground, protected; think the same way. Remember, this article was about bugout bags; wherever you’re going to end up, you’ve got about 72 hrs. to get there. Carrying anything else is going to slow you down, not to mention who you meet on the way out. Whether you sojourn or plant in one place, freeze-dried foods last longer than anything else and this place has got ‘em…A shed is just a shed.

    August 11th, 2012 at 8:01 pm
  28. BobBob wrote:

    I probably have a years worth of food prep where I am now. Man, its been a fight with the wife. Every can or pea brings a fight. Got 18, 55 gal food grade drums and purifier for that times maybe 500. I am alone as far as prepping in my house. Wife and kids think Im out of my mind. Funny, when we need something they go right to the supplies. There are a million things to think about beyond these basic 10. I like the idea of getting a container and covering it. I thought about covering it with earth and planting indigenous weeds and such over it. Also some diversion mounds so the location doesnt stand out.
    Using a fire produces smoke. Anyone know of a smokeless system or method?
    I study the videos of the Pathfinder on youtube. Hes from that TV show on twin survivalists. Hes great. No BS stuff. All good.
    I would be difficult to stock food and other things ahead of time with people raiding vacation homes and all.
    Learning to trap and use minimal things with multifunctions is important.
    Stock tons of vitamins.
    Does anyone else have a difficult time confiding in people about your plans, or finding people of the same thought? I sure do. Tell as few people as possible about anything you are doing.
    More thoughts later.
    Good sight here.

    BB

    August 11th, 2012 at 8:58 pm
  29. Passerby wrote:

    I’ve got a soft spot for those who are in cities with children, thinking there’s no alternative but to stay put. We moved 12 years ago to the country (still country at this point in time) after having been robbed. Tough; took all the financial resources we had at the time. For us, it was the right thing to do.

    It’s a change of mindset. I still get tested. Learn all you can, do the best you can, hand the rest over.

    I’ve often wondered what I would put into a bugout bag to be able to live off the land in? You know, the “last resort bag.” The one covered in dust when somebody finds out where you are and you’re able to excape, or when camping or hiking for a week or so. Does the Ready Store or anyone have any suggestions on this?

    August 12th, 2012 at 5:30 am
  30. Michelle wrote:

    A suggestion for those talking about covering an existing shed with wood panelling… Have any of you considered using earth bags instead? Earth bag construction usually consists of essentially sandbags filled with dirt and rocks. Rock filled bags along the bottom for a stronger foundation, and sit filled bags higher up. Depending on how thick you want your walls to be, you could get a lot of insulation just out of the earth bags and depending on the thickness of your wall, you could end up with bullet and tornado proof walls. There are several great sites out on the web about earth bag construction and there are often workshops available so you can learn more by helping build a structure.

    I’ve mostly been prepping for job loss. We have plenty of friends and family who are struggling right now because it is getting harder to find work. Low pay jobs are still available, but more skilled labor positions are becoming increasingly difficult to get into even with plenty of experience. We personally had a short period of income loss when my husband had a heart attack just two years ago. I had been trying to keep more food in the house, but we had family move in with us who didn’t have jobs for a while, so reserves were drained in our pantry and our bank account, so the time he was restricted from work was difficult for us. Our daughter was only a couple months old. Thankfully we had family and friends to help out, but I’m working hard to provide for us in the future as well. We never know when something can take us out of the work force or for how long.

    I do have a buyout location in mind if things got really bad, for whatever reason. We have family in the country we could stay with, and land we could build on and move to eventually. We’ve also paid off credit cards and vehicles so we have less to worry about with creditors, etc if income became a problem again.

    Anyhow, there are lots of great ideas here. Thanks everyone for sharing.

    August 12th, 2012 at 7:41 am
  31. Lucinda C wrote:

    Someone posted that it is important to know what type of event you are preparing for…That being said..I would imagine that we should be prepared for all types of events economic as well as natural disasters and of course the ever threatening nuclear disaster. I have read many books to help me prepare but am a relatively new “prepper”.
    My beginning preparations have included water storage, and heirloom seeds. I am trying to prep my own food storage and avoiding freeze dried etc to save $$.
    We live on 2.5 acres in the high desert of So Ca. We have a well. I am thinking about a manual pump for when it all goes down. We have some chickens but no fruit trees or anything like that.
    So many things yet to acquire and of course the ever limited budget. We haven’t
    made any preps for bugging out. We would like to purchase out of state property but that would reduce the $$$$ available for prepping here. I think first we will “bug in” then expand our plans to “bug out”.
    We have looked at AZ which is close to us…but will also share the same water availability problem. ID is lovely but the best prepper areas are at least a hard 20 hr drive…not sure that is doable in a TEOTWAWKI!!

    August 12th, 2012 at 9:09 am
  32. Nancy wrote:

    How does one know their bug-out place will be any safer? Quakes and fires and floods can devastate the land in the blink of an eye. And again – how to get out of town when everyone else is trying to? And no one has addressed the issue of dead bodies and what to do with them.

    August 12th, 2012 at 11:15 am
  33. A. Richards wrote:

    Great information and posts! I live in Houston TX and was here during both Rita and Ike. After the attempted evacuation of several million people from the greater Houston area (Hurricane Rita) – with 3 – 5 DAYS notice, it was an epic fail. The famously long traffic jams from Hurricane Rita are now stock footage for any doomsday scenario show. I think for a really devastating scenario, and evacuation announcements are made – there is no way people will be able to leave. Example: San Antonio is approx 3 hr drive from Houston, during the Rita evacuation – 12 hours to get there. And those were the lucky ones that left ‘early’. My point to all of this is that if anyone is living in a densely populated area – bugging in may be the most realistic way to go.

    August 12th, 2012 at 10:23 pm
  34. Roger B. wrote:

    If you are a city dweller and think you are going to live off the land, hole up and defend yourself or any of these other scenarios, you are probably kidding yourself. Trapping?? Bartering? Really. Unless you live in the country, hunt and fish, grow your own food,are special ops or Bear Grylls all of the preparation for the SHTF might make you feel better but will be of little use.

    Agree with Nancy and A. Richards. Be ready for short-term disaster-i.e. power outage in the dead of winter. Bug out bag or 72 hour kit is a good idea. Beyond that, we have a vested interested in seeing that the S just doesn’t HTF.

    August 13th, 2012 at 8:12 am
  35. Dan T. wrote:

    First, it is so encouraging to read the thoughts of so many like minded people all in different stages of preparation for their survival.I have been in preparation mode for about two and a half years.
    I am just finishing the book,”One Second After”, by William Forstchen, that describes the very real and sobering details and possibilities of trying to survive the aftermath of an EMP strike on America. I would recommend the book to you all. Although it is a fictional account of survival in a small southern town, it not only gives wonderful tidbits of valuable information beyond what “we” might have thought about and are preparing for in various ways, it gives us glimpse of human behavior at its worst when panic, desperation, and death are the harsh realities of the times. Join with others that you can trust and develop a plan A, B, and C.

    August 14th, 2012 at 9:31 am
  36. Diane wrote:

    I live in the country and a conex seems to me like a good idea. How would you provide for air? I have a well and would also like to know more about where to purchase a manual pump, if anyone can provide suggestions it would be greatly appreciated. I am new to this but would like to start preparing a bug out location.

    August 14th, 2012 at 9:47 am
  37. Mel wrote:

    I have talked to my wife about finding a bug out place and she thinks that I am nuts. I have the view that once a long term disaster happens, some people will kill others for food and lodging. I would prefer to have my bug out place to be isolated and defendable.

    August 14th, 2012 at 5:28 pm
  38. William wrote:

    Diane, and anybody else; Go online to Lymans, they have many good things one would need in a bad situation. They have stuff that is used by the Amish, so you know it will work the old fastion way before electricity.
    Remember to have more than one Bug-out plan and Bug-out bag. Murphy is always ready to get in the way!

    August 15th, 2012 at 6:44 am
  39. Audrey wrote:

    I think the website for Amish products mentioned above, “Lymans” is supposed to be “Lehmans.”

    August 15th, 2012 at 8:25 am
  40. michelle dowell wrote:

    William, do you mean “Lehmans”? I have also found them to be a great source. Good customer service.

    August 15th, 2012 at 10:48 am
  41. Dave wrote:

    If things are that bad, going to a hospital would probably mean that the authorities will detain you and it could mean being put in a refugee (or what ever)camp.. but then, if you are hurt / sick enough to go to a hospital, that might be best for you. In this situation, if you chose to go to a hospital, don’t plan on being allowed to go back to your retreat.

    August 16th, 2012 at 9:19 am
  42. Passerby wrote:

    I remember a YouTube documentary on four families who are ‘preppers’ at different stages and styles. I liked the last one; underground, fully stocked except for extra water, and above all, anonymous for the most part. If I tell anyone where I am or what I’m doing, I’ve just opened the wrong door, and where my immediate family is concerned, even then I wonder. I don’t have to know people personally to pray for them. As to uses for duct tape on another article, maybe one of the best uses is over my own mouth, I’ll admit.

    August 23rd, 2012 at 4:35 am
  43. Bob Anderson wrote:

    The biggest problem for me at least is: proximity to DC (my wife is F@#) and lack of money with which to DO anything else, or buy anythinng else. We would like to go back to the F#@ site in WV, where we spent part of the 90s. But, here, we have no money with which to do anyting; a small townhome, no garage, no real storage area. Except for water purifiers and firearms (hunter for 55 years, lots of firearms), we are ‘stuck’, unless and until a billet becomes available in WV. In the meantime, traffic daily is a nightmare; in a crisis, realistically, we would be trapped, and gangs of local thugs from DC and other bad counties would,on foot, be here in hours. What to do!??? Suggestions? Bob Anderson

    September 14th, 2012 at 8:32 pm
  44. Carl in SC wrote:

    Wondering if any updates since 9/14/2012. I’ve decided on going with the conversion of my 12 x 20 foot corrugated metal building into a tiny bug-out house. First, I will cover outside and top of my corrugated metal building with plywood paneling over 2×4 studs. There are exposed wood beams under the floor to which I could attach 2×4 horizontal studs around the perimeter of the building to which the vertical studs would be mounted so depth will be 2″ inches, not 4 inches. Insulation between the studs on outside, then the siding.
    On inside more 2×4 uprights secured thru metal sides to the 2×4 uprights outside. Then insulate the walls, put in paneling or thin sheetrock.
    Putting a wood roof over the top will complete the outside and make it snug and quiet. Of course, insulation will go between old corrugated metal roof and new plywood roof. New windows and regular house door will convert this into a tiny home.

    February 7th, 2013 at 3:49 pm
  45. John in Ut wrote:

    When looking at water filters and your bug out bag along with a reasonable price I would suggest you looking at the Sawyer water filters. Light, inexpensive compared to others and guaranteed to filter 1 mil. gallons of water.
    There are several humanitarian aid projects using these for their simplicity, durability and minimal cost. By the way I do not work for them or get any kind of commission.

    http://www.sawyer.com/water.html

    June 22nd, 2013 at 9:16 am
  46. spockmckoy wrote:

    Personally, I’m not going anywhere. IF I can’t make it at my home, I can’t make it. I have everything I need there. I don’t have enough food to live a long time, but it is what it is. I’m not stocking up with tons of materials I may never need and still have to finance ie-pay for. If SHTF, I’m not sure I want to live in that type of world anyway.

    June 26th, 2013 at 8:08 pm
  47. Misty Waters wrote:

    What about prescribed meds? Like heart, diabetes,
    depression, etc… In an emergency bug out situation you won’t be able to get them. Then what?

    July 24th, 2013 at 9:56 am
  48. TH8 wrote:

    I have a cabin in Northern Michigan, but I worry about getting there if a bug out were ever required. I am also concerned about the harsh winters there and the ability to sustain long term.

    Most of my supplies are at my primary residence and having sufficient redundancy at this point is cost prohibative.

    September 5th, 2013 at 8:10 am
  49. Passerby wrote:

    Carl, good luck on your shed conversion. Right now we’ve pretty much decided to stay in place for the time being, being we’re in the country anyway, but ‘town’ is creeping up on us; not sure what to do then but thinking about moving, but where are you gonna go as more and more ‘country’ gets taken up?

    This is a good article to post every now and then. Would like to hear from some of the others who posted earlier and where they are now.

    As for me, I’m trying to concentrate more on my own health. If I have to ‘go’ somewhere, I better be able to get there physically, and endure to the end mentally.

    September 6th, 2013 at 4:00 am
  50. Babycatcher wrote:

    For the questions about dead bodies, one of the best resources I’ve found is Tess Penningtons 52weeks to Preparedness. She did one subject a week for an entire year, and the whole thing is on her website, Readynutrition.com. Highly recommend it. Has lists of preps, action items, things to consider; sanitation, food and how much, defense,medical care, bartering, the whole nine yards. Check it out.

    September 6th, 2013 at 1:19 pm
  51. Kat wrote:

    We have been looking at land for a bug out location and intend on building on that land. We plan on drilling for a well or two if it does not have one. Also the plan is to hike there as we are in a major city and there would be no way to drive if the roads become clogged. We plan on many hiking trips before in order to make the trip easier when the the dung hits the fan. That is our plan.

    September 7th, 2013 at 11:57 am
  52. Drew wrote:

    To all those asking about water filters:
    For individuals, I recommend the higher end Seychelle bottles. These are the same bottles that the UN, Red Cross, and LDS church bought up millions of. They filter both bacteria AND viruses, and they are rated for international use. For group/larger needs, I would go with the Sawyer .02 microns filter. EASY to use, works on gravity, filters up to 170 gal/day, guaranteed to 1 mil gallons. It also filters both bacteria AND viruses. Note that most filters do not filter both.

    September 8th, 2013 at 9:26 am
  53. NameTerry wrote:

    If you have to bug out there won’t be any medical services. Looters hit drug stores and hospitals FIRST.

    Remember… everyone else thinks they can live off the land or loot whatever they need. Securiy is biggest problem.

    Anarchy usually happens very fast… overnight in Bosnia, 4 days in New Orleans. If you aren’t prepared to act fast and have a plan to work with at least a dozen trusted friends, you won’t make it. People will be desperate and there are LOTS of bad guys looking for the opportunity to become kings in the new world order. The government including law enforcement will NOT help you.

    Poor sanitation will kill a lot of people.

    September 23rd, 2013 at 12:17 am
  54. Reid wrote:

    Here In The flint Hills of SE Kansas land is reasonable many places there are no building codes. You can build or dig to your hearts content. You can build a cabin and underground shelter for less that 10K. As a matter of fact for a few REASONABLE people i would allow you put your little cabin on my place approx 300 acres in a county with a total population of less than 4,500. If interested in checking this area out I’d be glad to tell anyone what little I know (LOL)256-829-8674. I don’t hate anyone and haven’t seen any black helicopters . But common sense says things are coming to a head.

    September 30th, 2013 at 7:10 pm
  55. Amom wrote:

    http://oldhickorybuildings.com/ Rent to own, or buy outright sheds. Can be modified with double pane windows, 2×6 rather than 2×4. Have it placed in the back yard. Insulate it and put some reasonable priced or repurposed paneling up. Hook a generator up to it, buy a Mister Big Buddy propane heater and fill some propane tanks. Place a water container in it. It comes with a factory loft of different sizes for a nice storage area. Purchase a coleman propane use type stove from a yard sale. And have a old fashioned boil type coffee maker up in the loft for coffee and heating water. Along with a container of pots and pans. Extra batteries. A radio, med kit, inflatable beds, sheets, pillows and blankets. This is the set up we use when the power goes out every winter and it seems to work fine.

    October 1st, 2013 at 3:41 am
  56. jess wrote:

    There is a fantastic book called “Strategic Relocation”. Talks about best bug out locations, “safe zones” in populated areas, escape routs, and the like.

    October 1st, 2013 at 5:13 am
  57. Caroyn wrote:

    little solar lights 16 leds on e bay got one for $12.00 no shipping. Works better than I ever dreamed. Stays on dim all night. Any loud noises comes on bright.
    When you have electrical outages, for any reason, really good to have. Also have a caplight, has two bright lights to light your path. Good ideal hat with lights. Works better than I thought it would.

    October 1st, 2013 at 7:50 am
  58. kennyG wrote:

    Seeing all these post really gets the gears going. As for shelter, buy a US army 5 man CREW tent. About $500,. Its low profile, US quality, movable. You can move to an area and then build a structure. The earth bags are the ticket. Dirt, sand, rocks what else is there? Buy the book CONTACT by Max Velocity, a real eye opener about moving about with vehicles in a grid down situation. Lot of things I never thought about that would normally be the downfall of just about anyone uniformed. CHEAPER THAN DIRT has the lowest cost water filter. $25 something. A 5 gal bucket on top of another 5gal with a ceramic cleanable (berkey type) water filter in top bucket. Ive bought for my displaced family. get a VAN. No a mini van but a full size “work” van. Its a truck/ van and get a trailer hitch on it! A good enclosed trailer with a side and back entrance/load ramp. BUY USED! Once at your site, gear goes under tarp (great for gathering rain) and you live in VAN/ Trailer. AND….its all movable. The tent is sow low profile it can be covered by whatever to conceal it. You really cant easily conceal the vehicles. Think in moving in more than 1 vehicle. The first vehicle is the “scout” followed by the more important cargo. Get a Shotgun 12GA Mossberg 500, shortbarrel buy 2 or 3. Two is one. One is none. Always try to have a backup. Lastly go to WalMart and buy about $500 of every medical ting you see. Alcohol and Hydro peroxide will be indespensible. Clean those cuts!! People spend al kinds of $$ on cell phones,birthday and Christmas presents and don’t blink an eye. $500 easy. Think of your lives! Buy everything (at least one each) in the first aid isles. I put our “kits”(I have $1000 in over the counter meds) in 2 GOOD SUITCASES! This one prep will be the most important of most any thing. You may not be able to handle everything, but staph infection will cause a slow death. CHLOROX (non scented) is great for disinfecting water, read up on it. Also POOL SHOCK will disinfect THOUSANDS of gallons. Again as for the Xtra vehicles don’t insure them or even put a plate on them! They are there for SHTF. The police wont be writing out tickets for folks bugging out!Keep them gassed and ready though! Buy hunting type walkie talkies to talk in between vehicles. Any thing you have that is electrical FORGET IT. No one is going to the power plant in TSHTF to turn or keep power on. YOYO (youre on your own).Stay close to Jesus we are gonna need it.

    October 1st, 2013 at 12:36 pm
  59. Get Outta Dodge wrote:

    A dual motorcycle so you can go off road and nagotiate traffic is one method to get to your fully stocked bug out location. A shipping container earth bermed on two or three sides and cammoed is my ideal. Bury supplies separately if possible. Use the container for only large items. Lock up tight and hope no one noticed you put it on the property. Spring or creek property and a goog water filter to reduce costs is what I’m after. I don’t even want locals to know I dug a well.

    October 1st, 2013 at 2:48 pm
  60. Don wrote:

    We have formed a group of families and are buying 18 wheel loads of rice, beans, wheat, corn directly from the farmer. We then repack the grain in 5 gal containers (food quality from Loews) and displace the oxygen with welding rig nitrogen thru a tube drilled full of holes to kill pathogens before sealing the top. Homemade 25 yr shelf life. You can do it with rice purchased st bulk food stores (Sam’s/Costco) Have purchased several dozen #10 cans of freeze dried meat to throw in the pot when preparing. Started before FEMA order severl million meals which dried up the supply for 3-4 months and kicked the price up 60%, Small pond stocked with lots of catfish/bass/croppie – so many I have to feed them daily for them to grow. Lots of other preps like propane/gas generator with separate tank 300 gal of propane. Plan to run it 2 hrs at a time every 4-6 hrs or so to keep the freezer operating. Cookstove is propane as well as waterheater. Have my own well powered by generator. Just bought an 1800 watt solar generator. Planning to increase power storage for that with a couple of marine batteries. We are in Texas about 40 miles from big city. Got to buy a wood stove next. Oh, buy a case of power bars from survival food co – 3500 calories each and pretty inexpensive for a day’s caloric need. You can buy meds particularly antibotics from pet/fish equipment and food suppliers on the internet. Love the idea of decrative solar lighting – gotta get us some, And on and on and…..

    October 3rd, 2013 at 11:20 pm
  61. Vickie wrote:

    Does anyone need any help in ID? I would love to partner up with someone or join a group as I know I won’t be able to make it alone. If anyone has any helpful info, please contact me:
    vicsstix at hot mail dot com. Thanks and best regards to everyone!

    October 31st, 2013 at 3:33 am
  62. willie wrote:

    okay I am in nyc planning to bug in unless the shtf. no car and traffic would be bad making plans like food water filters etc any suggestion? I have been prepping heavy for t6 months got a long way to go any suggestions?

    November 9th, 2013 at 10:20 pm
  63. Vicci wrote:

    I’m wanting to purchase land for a bug out location that is not close downwind of a major metropolis, that has access to good above or below ground water. An area where building and drilling codes and permits will not be a huge problem. Preferably no more than 600 miles from Austin , Texas. Any good suggestions?

    December 8th, 2013 at 2:37 pm
  64. Terry wrote:

    If there is a shtf situation don’t you think the last government action will be to enact martial law. Bugging out may not be possible unless you have some kind of convincing documents to prove you are trying to get home.

    December 19th, 2013 at 7:48 pm
  65. Terry wrote:

    I wonder why none of these survival sites ever mention testing or practicing by turning off the electricity or not shopping. At least turn off the hot water heater for a week. That may be a good motivation to do something.

    December 19th, 2013 at 8:08 pm
  66. spockmckoy wrote:

    I am not bugging out anywhere. All I have is in my house. IF I can’t defend it, then all is lost. I’m not running to hide in the woods to live.

    January 20th, 2014 at 4:50 pm
  67. Don Stanley wrote:

    High costs and regulations: No sheds but you can get a back hoe and dig down and put in a septic system (at least that is what you tell them. I believe a steel shipping container can be used for underground use if it is pre prepped with a asphalt sealer on the outside. use gravel for drainage on the ground where you put it then cover with earth. Have seen treated 3/4 plywood and 2X6’s used for basements in PA. Good for 30 years under ground. Yes you have to seal them on the outside but it works. Your setting it up to look like the future foundation for a home. But it is not.
    Now getting way out there My lady and I have considered building a semi underground home. Using those corrugated barns, They come in pieces and interlock and bolt together.It looks like corrugated pipe only huge.
    The plan was to prep the ground for it. Set up a concrete foundation and build the structure over that. Then spot weld drive way re bar to the outside and spray it with “Gunite” like they use for swimming pools. Over that a sealer and maybe insulation. then earth. It is extremely strong and if you build it like a hill no one really can tell what it is unless they fall down it lol
    Well that is the thought. We worked this out prior to being involved as a Prepper

    January 23rd, 2014 at 2:20 pm
  68. Michael Medes wrote:

    If there is a large solar flare event or other magnetic pluse event that knocks out all power, it’s over, all your preps have been wasted. Within days the atmosphere will be polluted with radioactivity from the 90 or so nuclear reactors which will melt down like Fukushima. Including the spent fuel in the spent fuel pools which are even worse since most have no containment building around the fuel pools and ECG one has more fuel than the reactor core itself. With no power, there is no cooling which is what happened at Fukushima. At most they might be OK for a week or so until the emergency generators run out of diesel fuel and they can’t get more. Until they are all shutdown and the fuel moved to dry storage this is the reality of survival. I was a NRC licensed reactor operator and operations instructor, now retired.

    February 24th, 2014 at 6:16 am
  69. THE Surviver wrote:

    You can find land for sale by owner… in an area about 5-6 hours of where you live. For most vehicles that is more than one tank of gas and then limits the number of people who could get there.

    You can get that land quite often for little or nothing down. Then plan you exit accordingly… always keeping your tank full and two five gallon cans of fuel on hand.

    Bury your supplies on your property and you need only a bug out bag to get out of Dodge with.

    May 27th, 2014 at 4:52 pm
  70. THE Surviver wrote:

    We… as a family… purchased 20acres same year the Muslim was elected president. We now number 40 with two families already living there. 10 miles to a small communiy of 400 and land with a creek but no electricity… this proprty was nearly free. Coffee fot a month cost each of us more. The improvements were a makeshift septic system for our travel trailers… a 500gallon water tank on a stand and a solar panels installation th
    t cost a total of $600 per person. We have a full 2acres in garden and have chickens hogs and cows.

    May 27th, 2014 at 5:11 pm
  71. Lumsing external batteries wrote:

    this luks gud!!!?

    October 24th, 2014 at 3:47 am

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