Choosing a bug-out location

Chief_Rick

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Aug 12, 2020
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My primary bug-out location is my house. I live in the country, can't see my neighbors, but they are still closer than I'd like and I can't say that I'm all that trusting of some of them.

I also have a back-up location that I hope I never have to resort to. But, it's available, and no one that's not trying will ever get to it.

Living along the Gulf Coast we have lots of woods/swamps that a person or family can make themselves invisible in and still live a fairly comfortable life. All the food and water you could want if you know how to fish/hunt, forage, purify and preserve. The only big problem down here, in my mind, are the hurricanes (like we currently have headed this way again).

I could imagine trying to get to the mountains if you're in certain areas of the country.

I'm not familiar with the south-west or the plains or even the north-west.

What kind of locations do you look for in your area? Do you know where water is available? Food? Or do you have to cache/carry provisions in with you?
 

diverdon

Constitutionalist, by choice
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Dec 21, 2011
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I would put everything into the primary location. Get a big tank 1,000 gal plus for off road diesel, a diesel cab tractor and a diesel utv. Fishing and hunting is a nice hobby, but when millions plan to fish and hunt to replace the food they used to buy in a store, expect fish and game populations to collapse. So make sure you have a stocked store room.
 

Eli17L

Sergeant of the Hide
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Minuteman
Jun 26, 2020
129
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BFE.
I left the big city for a small town realizing there was a near zero chance of survival if surrounded by millions of hungry and thirsty people.
Then one morning while siting in my near perfect home in a small town my wife pointed at the neighbors kids and asked if we had enough food for them?
Lots of bad words later I bought 350 acres 70 miles away with no easy access. Can't get there on foot with out a map and a serious plan.
Now any that show up probably belong.
Also when you look at how many are on welfare in a given area those are all people that expect to be fed and clothed by YOU!
Do the math buy ammo and gain as much distance from the threat as possible.
I also would avoid rivers and streams as people fleeing city's need water and will be following them.
Same with mountains I talk to people all the time planing on going to the mountains to survive because that's where the game is. I expect Forrest fires from all the idiots.

IMHO anyway.
 

jphil108

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Jul 21, 2010
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I try to avoid thoughts of running to the mountains, I live in the foothills so I’m close enough if I wanted to but it doesn’t check out in my mind. without modern transport and agricultural supply, the mountains don’t have many resources to go around and their growing seasons are fairly short due to limited sunlight and cold winters. Water is available but not always easy to get, and the terrain means that most of your daily survival work will require a lot of calories since you’ll be fighting gravity a lot. On top of that, how many people do you know that say their plan is to run to the mountains and hunt? As mentioned, fish and game resources will dwindle quickly with so many trying to utilize the same limited resource.

if you have access to a creek where you are and a canoe, odds are good you are in a survivable location. Yes hurricanes suck, I grew up with them on the east coast, but I would much prefer trying to survive in a dense swamp than a barren mountain. I agree with diverdon that more intense preparations at your current location are probably the way to go. I’d also focus heavily on surviving 3-12 month events rather than the end of the world but that’s Just me, in my lifetime I haven’t encountered the end of the world but I’ve been without power for 2 weeks on multiple occasions.

good thoughts above on creeks and travel, probably a lot of disease to follow due to poor hygiene and tainted reservoirs/ creeks, but it’s also good to have easy access to clean fresh water so definitely have a well. As for travel, consider a bike, the kind with pedals, you can cover a lot more ground on two wheels in most places and you can load that sucker down with all sorts of stuff, look at how the VC used to move Ammo, bikes and sticks.
 
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Hobo Hilton

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Jun 4, 2011
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You are late to the "Bug Out" / "Retreat" party..... It will take you at least 5 years of diligent work / socializing with your new neighbors to overcome the label of being a refugee..... Looking at the situation America is in today...... I'd recommend that you fortify your present location, attend a church regularly and link up with people of a like mind.......

Hobo
 

Lowdown3

Commercial Supporter
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Jun 17, 2020
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You are late to the "Bug Out" / "Retreat" party..... It will take you at least 5 years of diligent work / socializing with your new neighbors to overcome the label of being a refugee..... Looking at the situation America is in today...... I'd recommend that you fortify your present location, attend a church regularly and link up with people of a like mind.......


This.

I know it took us till about the 6th year on the land to get any decent amount of food grown, to figure out a good system for regularly putting up wood to heat the house through the winter, to get the practical experience with our alternate energy system, etc.

This is why a deep food storage larder is super important. If we had just moved to our retreat cause TEOTWAWKI and only had a 1 year food supply we would have starved just past one year. It takes a while to get systems in place, going well, etc.
 

Briggs

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Aug 21, 2009
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Yes you have to have knowledge and resources but it’s really about Security after that. How many people do you have to pull 24/7 security, do the daily work, etc? If it’s just you and a few family members then you won’t hold out for long.
 

Alpine 338

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Jun 26, 2010
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Unfortunately, there aren't too many places outside of Alaska that you can get away from the crowds. This late Spring and Summer saw a huge increase of people in my area wanting to get out of the big city. Many of them also looking for real estate. Houses that have been sitting unsold and empty for five years have all sold in my area. I don't think we have a single home for sale under $800K in a 20-mile radius. I'm guessing, and hoping once those new people figure out that we get a lot of snow, Target doesn't exist here, and the roads are a sheet of ice all winter long, will decide this place isn't for them.

Here in the West, water, or the lack of it, is the biggest problem. Don't expect to drill a well and have water. If you're lucky and hit water, it may be hard, high alkiline, smell like sulphur, and just taste bad.

Head to the Mountains? Winter time, you just cannot live of the land and expect to survive. You'll starve and/or freeze to death. We get soo much snow, most of the game has migrated to other areas, and between the occasional Rabbit or Grouse, there is not enough game to live off of. Unless you have stockpiled enough firewood, your going to be very cold, especially without the calories you normally intake. The good part, the snow can be melted for water.

As mentioned earlier, we have a short growing season. You'll be limited to what you can grow, but adding a greenhouse to your location will help a little.

Don't expect to load up the kids in the 5th wheel, and head to the mountains and survive.

Check out the magazine Mother Earth News, you'll be educated to how much hard work there is trying to live off the land.
 
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eastexsteve

Sergeant of the Hide
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Nov 18, 2018
308
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NE Texas
All the people who will be escaping the horrid conditions in the big cities will be coming to the country where I live. That will be the issue. Even though I live in a rural area, oil and gas is booming here right now. Hopefully, all the "refugees" will be able to quickly find jobs and not be trekking up my road for a handout. I'll have a bit of sympathy for them, but not much. I've sacrificed for years to be prepared. They didn't.
 

lightman

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May 18, 2009
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Theres a lot of good discussion above. I guess I'm going to be the one thats different. I'm going to stay in place. My Wife is on meds that She can't live without. Cost and shelf life prohibit acquiring a lifetime supply. Without them She will suffer and die and I'll remain by Her side trying to comfort her until the end. And this will make me a sitting target. But the good news is that we live in a nice small neighborhood just outside a small town. We are surrounded by a lot of dependable and like minded neighbors that we have known for years, and trust. Defending our neighborhood is possible and raising gardens is possible. Water could be a problem and while there is game around us it would be depleted quickly. Most of us stay pretty well stocked up and could live out of our pantries for a month or more. What I mean to say is that none of my neighbors were worried about the toilet paper shortage and none are worried about the ammo shortage. We would have to branch out if the situation lasted very long.

If things were different I would retreat to our Deer lease. There are a few springs on the lease with good water. (its been tested) Lots of game and lots of places for gardens. And we would be around like minded people that we know and trust. There was an old member that lived here at one time that was about as self sufficient as anyone I've ever known. He was born in the house thats still here and lived into his 90's. It was and would be a hard living. But he proved it was possible. He had a well with a hand pump, walked 3 miles to fish in the creek, raised cattle, raised hogs,raised chickens, had a garden, a smoke house, ect. He would go into town a few times a year for things like salt, coffee, ect. He would either walk or ride a mule. It was a hard living then and would be hard now.
 

Eli17L

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Jun 26, 2020
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I often advise people not to live to far out if they need a modern medical system to survive. Lightman you might look into how your wifes illness was treated before these pharmaceuticals where invented.
 
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lightman

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May 18, 2009
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I often advise people not to live to far out if they need a modern medical system to survive. Lightman you might look into how your wifes illness was treated before these pharmaceuticals where invented.
She is a transplant patient and is on anti-rejection meds.
 

Kir

Gunny Sergeant
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Mar 15, 2019
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Sparks, NV
Head to Costco with a few armed friends and turn it into a fortress. Should have some supplies to last for awhile. :ROFLMAO:
 

AManWearingAHat

Sergeant of the Hide
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Minuteman
Oct 10, 2019
105
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Right now, taking my (low) chances living just outside the urban jungle. No other choice right now for financial reasons. Short drive into some more rural areas but would likely have to shelter in place for at least a few weeks to leave after the first exodus wave. Death comes to us all I'm afraid, but I will do what I can to avoid it.
 

Praetorian_6

Private
Minuteman
Oct 11, 2020
25
15
Thanks for the feedback, guys. This gave me pause, because until this point, the bug out location was/is the family farm. It's in a rural place in Western Kentucky, but it's also on the Green River, and knowing what I know about being a Ranger, if you don't want to be found, then you need to be away from natural lines of drift, away from avenues of approach (by foot, by boat, etc...), and I believe the family farm is going to be a hard place to secure without a like-minded community. Might need to reassess this. Before giving it some of the thoughts this thread has provoked, it seems like a wonderful, extremely fertile, huntable, fishable place with clean water, etc... Now, it seems like prime real estate for someone looking to take their own. I can fight, but I can't fight everyone. Hmm...
 

diggler1833

World's Okayest Rancher and Hog Hunter
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Jul 22, 2007
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The more land/equipment/buildings you own, the harder it is going to be to secure all of it.

I'm 65 miles from the nearest Walmart, and 12 from the nearest gas station. My house is 1 mile down a dirt road off of a very desolate highway.

I have a few good neighbors in the area, and to survive on a ranch like mine, you are going to have to have community. If it got that bad, I'd have a lot of calves that I couldn't take to market...so those would be traded to the good neighbors for various services. I've got the fuel/food/water/medical situation better than most with creeks and cattle and large diesel tanks...and a Veterinarian for a wife who has cut on me before. what I don't have are eyes and a gun 24/7....so that's what I'd be trading for.
 

eastexsteve

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Nov 18, 2018
308
193
NE Texas
I keep telling everyone that if something bad is going to happen, it's got to happen soon while I'm still physically able to deal with it. It's got to happen soon before guns are outlawed and this country turns into an oversized Cuba. It's been slowly headed that way, so I wish we would just push the issue and make it happen so we could hurry up and set things straight again. I've got kids that did well in life. One's a nurse and one's a master electrician. But, I've never been able to convince them of how important it was to be able to proficiently use firearms and defend yourself. Oh, they can shoot and take care of themselves. But, not nearly as well as I'd like them to be able to. They see the news. They know what's real and what's BS. They just don't see the urgency.
 

brianf

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Apr 8, 2010
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ill bite

2 scenarios: very different scenarios

seattle x 1000
or
total collapse

with the current population of approx 330 million
US land mass of 3.7 million square miles
thats about 90 people per square mile
of course they will be heavy on the coasts, streams and low lands

but humans are prone to walking (return to nomadic roots) when disaster strikes even if there isnt a clear picture or direction

if it really goes down and people start wandering, no where will be secluded

there are about 30-35 million deer in the united states

that population would be toast in 2-3 years, with everyone shooting round the clock
if not much sooner because most if not all people will not be able to store meat meaning that if available 2 deer/dog/racoon a week per family unit

thats before the government starts taking the animals under marshal law to feed the starving population
remember when russia fell; they couldnt pay the military so they gave them all hunting licenses to feed themselves
and that wasnt a disaster that was just a realignment with the rest of the world helping a little

as said above if you take any type of scrip your only allowed 3 months max so after that if its a life threatening disease...good luck.
the first place i would raid is the prescription counter, that would be the new currency for a bit

then take a look at naked and afraid, the last Alaskans, and my personal favorite most realistic Alone.

if you have a small family 3-5 and are not 100% up on your skills and practice them daily, even with gear your not going to make it very long

only way to make it long term is like the settlers did, start farming and defend your land

the original colonies, Plymouth Rock were prob the most skilled and most in tune with their surroundings because that is the life style they lived back home.
they had weapons, tools, skill, division of labor already set by society, no reliance on technology etc

they almost didnt make it when they landed here

to think a guy with a AR, 50 MRE's in a back woods cabin with a fire striker will make it more than a year during a mess is 50/50 at best
and thats if he isnt found by the similarly equipped roving groups wanting his food
not that hard to smell smoke see light by fire realllllly far away when its dark

think going west,
until the army started killing indians whole sale, going west was a death sentence unless you were going to a frontier fort/established location

original native population of north america has been suggested 5-15 million people

extrapolate that out and its prob about the amount of people that the land mass can carry without farming, if natural resources were more abundant the population would be much higher

and yes i do have a half assed plan but its a crap shoot at best...lol
 

Alpine 338

Lumberjack
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Minuteman
Jun 26, 2010
1,606
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NW Colorado
As said above, it will be difficult to protect your ranch, farm, bugout location, etc. from roving bands or the mass exodus of hungry people fleeing the big city.

Few places can provide the seclusion and year round sustainment that would be ideal for survival. Look at the Native American tribes that lived in the Midwest or Rocky Mountain regions, they were mostly Nomads, constantly relocating during seasonal weather patterns and following the migration pattern of game. In my area, the Ute Tribe would move in during the late Spring, and remain in the area until Winter dictated the move to lower, more temperate climate that allows for survival.
 
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