Your bug-out site. Your home away from home. It could be something we need in the future. However, choosing a good bug-out site requires a lot of planning and thought. You’ll need to keep in mind a number of factors, such as location, distance, accessibility, finances and others. If the proper planning is not done ahead of time, you could have a bug-out site that you can’t get to or one that won’t sustain you and your family for the long term if needed.
The location is one of the most important decisions you will make. Security and self-sufficiency are two factors to contend with immediately. In the mountains, you’ll likely have more resources available for defense, but wilderness survival skills will be needed. The wildlife can be one of your main sources of food or you could be a big meal for the wildlife.
If you choose the flat lands or plains, there will be less concealment and cover. This means that you will want to get away from the main roads and other people. Wildlife will be present in lower numbers, as will trees for firewood and building. Of course, farming is an option you may have as long as plenty of water is available.
Choose a site where you have three different routes to get to it. Avoid routes that will lead you through populated areas or danger zones. A good rule of thumb to consider is to choose a location that you can reach on a tank of gas. The gas station on the corner may not be available to you.
Your bug-out site could be on a piece of land that you purchased or one that you found on public land. Purchasing your own land is a good choice, although the finances must be available to do so. There are also many national parks and other similar land choices that can provide you with a defensible, private, bug-out site that will be perfect for you and your family.
How Long Can It Sustain You and Your Family?
You will need to determine how long your bug-out site can be used by your family. Is this only a temporary shelter for a day or two until you can move on to another one more secure? Perhaps you’re using it as a storage location for your supplies. Maybe this site can easily keep you and your family comfortable for a couple of weeks or more. There is no right or wrong answer – you know your family, your supplies and your skills. However, you do need to make sure the planning is in place to back up your stay.
Unless you have a self-replenishing water storage system, then you will want your site near a pond, lake, stream or river. You’ll need to watch this source of water, too. You don’t want one that will dry up in the middle of summer. As long as that isn’t a problem, you will also be able to count on your source of water for fish.
A food source is needed, whether it is wildlife, farming or your stockpile of food. Stockpiling non-perishables beforehand is recommended if you feel the site is secure. Three months’ worth of food for your family is recommended; a year’s worth is even better.
There are many other factors that you must consider when choosing a bug-out site. This post skims the basics. The key is planning in every stage of prepping in order to make sure that the needs of your family are met. After all, keeping your family safe is what it’s all about.