Considerations for Bug Out Locations

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rainingcatzanddogs

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Considering Bug Out Locations

  • Unless you OWN a private island and have the money to fund your own Navy, there is no 100% secure location.
  • The more property you have, the more rural the setting, the more people in your group you will need to monitor and defend it.
  • Whenever mass migration occurs, expect destruction of the environment
  • Neighbors are great until they really need something and don’t have it, but, you do.
This is a spiral off from another thread regarding security of your home.

A lot of us must live and work within an hour or two of a city with a population over 100,000. We know that WTSHTF, that our position is likely to become untenable. Investing in a Bug Out Location is a big deal to say the least. You don’t want to throw money at it only to realize that you have traded one major issue for another.

You basically have two choices. Undeveloped or raw land or, buying a ready made place. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

The undeveloped property:

Pros:

-you can make it into whatever you would like

-Low taxes/carrying costs

-If you do the work yourself, no one will know what you have or don’t have (Think contractors or locals who only know the property as it was)

-You can choose the location of any building to take advantage of any natural features that may aid in defense

Cons:

-It is a lot of work and takes time

-you may be working without the benefit of electricity and running water

-If you build without permits, depending on your local laws, you may run into problems

-The locals may know your property better than you do because they have been hunting it for generations

-Financial outlays tend to come in large chunks

The turnkey retreat

Pros:

-You already have a starting point that you can tweak to your needs

-the additional smaller projects can be a pay as you go and you might be able to DIY

-you can shower, stay warm/cool, hook up to the internet and even work a regular job from that location which frees up more time.

Cons:

-Many people have been on or to the property. Prior owners’ friends, family and perhaps their friends and family, contractors, repairmen, delivery personnel, if the former owners were survival minded, if they lose their new location, they might consider taking that one back etc. They know where it is, what is there and the potential of that property to sustain.

-Higher upfront and holding costs in the form of property taxes, repairing older used buildings etc

-Your main building may have been constructed for family living rather than from the perspective of sheltering during TEOTWAWKI.

I will say it again; Location, Location, Location.

After you have chosen what type of BOL you want, the next thing is finding the right spot.

I am primarily a Rawlesian Survivalist, meaning I follow much of what James Wesley. Rawles suggests. Not because he suggests it but because it is often reasoned, well thought out and logical. It passes the not-so-common anymore sense test.

There are several things he strongly suggests when looking for a BOL. These are some of the ones that have stuck with me over the years.

  • It should be beyond at least one tank of gas (or one electric car charge) away from any large city (getting harder to do with increased MPG).
  • It should have a natural spring and at least one other source of non-toxic water that does not dry up even in the worst of droughts
  • It should have natural topography that aids in concealment and defense
  • It should be surrounded on the outskirts by natural barriers such as rivers with limited bridges, swamps, bayous, deep canyons, or other terrains that are hostile to foot and vehicle traffic.
  • You want to see them, before they can see you; clear views around the property
  • Adjoining less visited or infrequently used BLM/federal land.
  • It should not be located downstream from a dam, volcano or landslide/avalanche areas
  • Far from any nuclear facility or an active or even closed military base (FEMA may set up a refugee camp there).
  • It should not be a place that has been in the past, frequented by contractors, repairmen, delivery people, cleaning services or other transient labor.
  • Limited road access to the area (An area with one or two ways in), and preferably the town itself is likewise limited.
  • Should not be near popular resorts, campgrounds, parks or church retreat properties, places people might think to head towards because they are familiar with them.
  • It should have good growing soil and terrain
  • Longer than average growing seasons/temperate climate
  • No address/directions found on google maps
  • Good rainfall so that irrigation of crops is not needed
  • Town with a population of less than 500 containing like minded people
  • Not be located east of the Mississippi or West of the west coast ranges

  • Very few locations will meet all of those criteria, and even fewer of them are probably within the budget. So, do the best you can.
 
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poltiregist

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I agree with the assessed ideal location . I can say my tribe have about 80% of the items on the list . I doubt there is time left at this point to establish a bug out location with Economic collapse , growing communism , inflation , starvation , diesel running out and Nuclear World War a high probability . However nothing is for certain until it happens so , I would not give up but at least " try " to secure a bug out retreat not only for oneself but their family .
 

rainingcatzanddogs

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I agree with the assessed ideal location . I can say my tribe have about 80% of the items on the list . I doubt there is time left at this point to establish a bug out location with Economic collapse , growing communism , inflation , starvation , diesel running out and Nuclear World War a high probability . However nothing is for certain until it happens so , I would not give up but at least " try " to secure a bug out retreat not only for oneself but their family .

Yes, the clock is ticking. I feel it every day. My second and preferred BOL is nowhere near done, but, in a pinch we could make it work and because it is in a better location, would be safer there than BOL1 which we have owned for two decades and is more developed.
 

DrHenley

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  • It should be beyond at least one tank of gas (or one electric car charge) away from any large city (getting harder to do with increased MPG).


About the only place in the lower 48 that I'm not within a tank of gas (in either of my vehicles) from a major city is the middle of Montana. Throw in a 5 gallon gas can and then there is no place in the lower 48.
 

rainingcatzanddogs

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About the only place in the lower 48 that I'm not within a tank of gas (in either of my vehicles) from a major city is the middle of Montana. Throw in a 5 gallon gas can and then there is no place in the lower 48.

Like I said, it is getting more difficult with the higher MPG's today.

West Texas has a couple as well but then you are probably going to have to squelch elsewhere.

The point is that those who are unprepared, would at most have at their disposal one tank of gas. Sit in city traffic jam or have to gain elevation while towing, with a couple of million others evacuating for three hours with the A/C running, and they may not have much left. But, some might.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst!

The evac for hurricane Rita in Houston is a case study and these people KNEW ahead of time that the hurricane was coming, were warned many hours in advance to fill up, and that was back when unleaded was under $2 a gallon.

In a bad economy where people are scrimping until the next paycheck, keeping a full fuel tank takes a backseat to keeping a full belly.

It is about whittling down the odds against you at the BOL as best you can, not perfection, because except in heaven, that does not exist.
 
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Arcticdude

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According to that list above, we have the ideal location. Except for rainfall.
We're far enough away from any large city, 200,000 population, at least 4 hours in winter. This city is located on a large plain where most of the food is grown in this state. There's feed lots, dairy's and large potatoe, corn, grains and suger beet warehouses. Between there and here are many natural barriers, canyons, mountains, desert and the weather. Not many people could make the trip to our place on foot, especially in winter. Many of our winter storms drop between 1 to 3 feet of snow per storm. We got a foot of snow today already, and it's still snowing.
After SHTF nobody is going to travel around here during winter. We're at 5,000 feet elevation and have a short growing season, but it's long enough to grow most of what we want to eat.
 

rainingcatzanddogs

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According to that list above, we have the ideal location. Except for rainfall.
We're far enough away from any large city, 200,000 population, at least 4 hours in winter. This city is located on a large plain where most of the food is grown in this state. There's feed lots, dairy's and large potatoe, corn, grains and suger beet warehouses. Between there and here are many natural barriers, canyons, mountains, desert and the weather. Not many people could make the trip to our place on foot, especially in winter. Many of our winter storms drop between 1 to 3 feet of snow per storm. We got a foot of snow today already, and it's still snowing.
After SHTF nobody is going to travel around here during winter. We're at 5,000 feet elevation and have a short growing season, but it's long enough to grow most of what we want to eat.

Yes, you are well situated.
If I could stay mobile in the cold (bad knees) I might consider moving to Alaska. I love the mountains and always have. I do like being able to grow here all year 'round though.
 

Arcticdude

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Yes, you are well situated.
If I could stay mobile in the cold (bad knees) I might consider moving to Alaska. I love the mountains and always have. I do like being able to grow here all year 'round though.
Alaska has short growing seasons, but the 20 hour sun shine makes up for it. The weather is pretty mild in south central Alaska, between Homer, Palmer and Delta Junction. Back in the 40's a lot of Midwest farmers moved to this area and did well.
We moved to our current location several years ago to be closer to family. I've got bad knees, hips and back too, but so far I'm able to deal with the pain.
 

rainingcatzanddogs

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Alaska has short growing seasons, but the 20 hour sun shine makes up for it. The weather is pretty mild in south central Alaska, between Homer, Palmer and Delta Junction. Back in the 40's a lot of Midwest farmers moved to this area and did well.
We moved to our current location several years ago to be closer to family. I've got bad knees, hips and back too, but so far I'm able to deal with the pain.
I've had osteo arthritis since I was 16. By 27 I had to go up stairs on my rear end. Working 10 hours a day on my feet, standing on the ice with metal blades and uninsulated boots didn't do much to help.

The one thing that worries me up there as of late, is the politics. A little too much liberal representation coming out of there. :(

I don't know if I could deal with the dark days of winter either. I need to feel the sun on my face!
 

Arcticdude

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I've had osteo arthritis since I was 16. By 27 I had to go up stairs on my rear end. Working 10 hours a day on my feet, standing on the ice with metal blades and uninsulated boots didn't do much to help.

The one thing that worries me up there as of late, is the politics. A little too much liberal representation coming out of there. :(

I don't know if I could deal with the dark days of winter either. I need to feel the sun on my face!
Alaskans like to consider themselves as conservative, and some are. But overall the state is very liberal and socialist. I loved living in Alaska but it was just too socialist for me.
 

poltiregist

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Noone knows for certain if we are about to experience a Nuclear World War Three , but at least the crowd that has claimed for years there would never be a Nuclear World War Three , have gone somewhat silent as reality shows up . If this does happen we can expect a global winter . How bad that global winter may be is again unknown . I bring this up for considering that survival retreat , cold climates will become even colder and some envision some areas to be too cold for surviving .
 
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Schattentarn

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In terms of bug out, it is the Golden Hoard that is your enemy. I favor the turnkey approach. But the main concern is defense from the Golden Hoard. You need a rural location with roadblocks, checkpoints and these must be in defensible positions. You need your neighbor's help doing this. So I favor a kinda bug out community. Of course you need water and food.
 

EastenerWesterner

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It’s funny you brought this up. We have been looking for our long range plan. She found an area she likes. I don’t mind it because it’s green all year long. Her idea of retirement is loading horses in and taking them down to the beach to ride.

Between 2 small (7000) cities. Investment now seems doable.

Most of the properties are too small for my liking - 10+ acres. Lots of 2-5 parcels. It would be easier in retirement to care for the main house with the smaller property

I suggested once we sell this place, we look at some parcels so I can do what I want hunt, shoot, etc. It was a yes, so I formulated my BOL plan.

20-40a. Ag and timber zoned can have unpermitted sheds. Only need permits once you put water or electric in. I will keep the tractor to install infrastructure. Put a shed for the SxS or tractor. A shed for for staying in. Already have the things to give it the creature comforts of home.

I am sure once she retires, she is not going to mind me taking the dogs and going to work on it. She may even want to come up sometimes.
 

rainingcatzanddogs

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It’s funny you brought this up. We have been looking for our long range plan. She found an area she likes. I don’t mind it because it’s green all year long. Her idea of retirement is loading horses in and taking them down to the beach to ride.

Between 2 small (7000) cities. Investment now seems doable.

Most of the properties are too small for my liking - 10+ acres. Lots of 2-5 parcels. It would be easier in retirement to care for the main house with the smaller property

I suggested once we sell this place, we look at some parcels so I can do what I want hunt, shoot, etc. It was a yes, so I formulated my BOL plan.

20-40a. Ag and timber zoned can have unpermitted sheds. Only need permits once you put water or electric in. I will keep the tractor to install infrastructure. Put a shed for the SxS or tractor. A shed for for staying in. Already have the things to give it the creature comforts of home.

I am sure once she retires, she is not going to mind me taking the dogs and going to work on it. She may even want to come up sometimes.

In our case we are doing a DIY small home and it is a work in progress
_best_quality_1661458221095_IMG_20220825_124459.jpg
.

The plan is to eventually to sell BOL1 and move full time to BOL2, making it a BIL.

It is nothing fancy, Less than 500sf not including the walk out roof. But, with just he and I there full time, we don't need a lot of space. Because the weather is warm, you tend to spend a lot of time outdoors anyway.

We are going to get DIY portable sheds for each one of the kids/group to stay in and finish them out.

Not to sound too weird but, it will be set up for communal living with "common areas" for meals and such. My brother jokingly calls it "the compound" LOL.

It goes slower this way but, it will not be owned by a bank or since most mortgages are sold to the Federal Government, yeah, they won't own it either.
 
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rainingcatzanddogs

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In terms of bug out, it is the Golden Hoard that is your enemy. I favor the turnkey approach. But the main concern is defense from the Golden Hoard. You need a rural location with roadblocks, checkpoints and these must be in defensible positions. You need your neighbor's help doing this. So I favor a kinda bug out community. Of course you need water and food.

I would love to be able to afford the turnkey, but, it just isn't in the cards. We do not want to get a loan and are not in a position yet to sell BOL1.

I think most in the area of BOL2 would not consider themselves "preppers" per se, though they live 80% of that lifestyle by being generational farmers and country people. Most are very conservative minded (the nearest town is dry/AKA alcoholic beverage free) and not partial to city folk even in good times. They stick out like sore thumbs.

As for a roadblock, all I need is a chainsaw. Done. There is only one other person who owns property on the road going into BOL2 and 6 owners within the 2000 acre original land grant for a grand total of 4 residents.

There are creeks and gullies, a large riparian zone that is swampy and boggy, on either side of a large river, leading on the main road through town which is several miles away from the property.

It was the best I could find in my price range for an all cash purchase. There is no perfect BOL, only better/worse than another in different ways.
 
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EastenerWesterner

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I looked at a property that had a barn for its winery, apartment inside. Not permitted. Park model trailer and several small dilapidated bedroom sheds around.
Only the park model trailer was permitted. I am sure those sheds were for illegals that worked for them as a winery. 3acre of fenced grapes on 20a.
Would have met all your all your requirements, just didn’t have the 300k cash at the time. Chinese owned and China was making Them sell it.
Kinda where I got my ideas from but I try to beat the building codes.
 

Arcticdude

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Our ranch/homestead is a somewhat unique property. It's an inholding, which means that our property is 100% surrounded by thousands of acres of National Forest lands. There is no private land even close to our property. We're 2 miles off the county road through 3 locked gates and have a forest service lease for access. My agreement with the FS is that I maintain the entire road. There is a Forest Service gate that is on the bottom of our road. The FS keeps the gate locked from October 1st through May 15th, we have a key to that gate. Since the gate is locked during hunting season, and most hunters are too lazy to walk, we see very few hunters around here.
We bought the land and built all of the buildings and infrastructure out of pocket, no mortgage.
I would suggest looking for an inholding if you want privacy.
 

rainingcatzanddogs

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I looked at a property that had a barn for its winery, apartment inside. Not permitted. Park model trailer and several small dilapidated bedroom sheds around.
Only the park model trailer was permitted. I am sure those sheds were for illegals that worked for them as a winery. 3acre of fenced grapes on 20a.
Would have met all your all your requirements, just didn’t have the 300k cash at the time. Chinese owned and China was making Them sell it.
Kinda where I got my ideas from but I try to beat the building codes.

I would imagine, in your state getting anything done yourself, legally is a PITA. In unincorporated areas of Texas you do not need a permit to build as long as you are going to be the one to live in it and are doing the work yourself. If you are going to do an AirB&B or lease it out to others, then you need a permit and full inspection. If you do a septic, you are supposed to have it inspected and approved but, many don't.

You can build barns, sheds, decks, pavilions etc without a permit as long as you are in an unicorporated area.

China owns the timber property to our south.
 

EastenerWesterner

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Our ranch/homestead is a somewhat unique property. It's an inholding, which means that our property is 100% surrounded by thousands of acres of National Forest lands. There is no private land even close to our property. We're 2 miles off the county road through 3 locked gates and have a forest service lease for access. My agreement with the FS is that I maintain the entire road. There is a Forest Service gate that is on the bottom of our road. The FS keeps the gate locked from October 1st through May 15th, we have a key to that gate. Since the gate is locked during hunting season, and most hunters are too lazy to walk, we see very few hunters around here.
We bought the land and built all of the buildings and infrastructure out of pocket, no mortgage.
I would suggest looking for an inholding if you want privacy.
Mine is unique too.
Water shed Property on the backside.
Park district to the west and south side. Rugged terrain all around.
7 miles from the freeway, and mine is the first house. After a 3 mile 1.5 lane paved road through the park.
When they do offer it, I could get an elk tag because I am a property owner.
 

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