8 Tips for Defending Your Bug Out Location from Marauders

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Bugging out of the city and into the country during an SHTF scenario would be very stressful, to put it mildly. Hopefully, you and your family would be able to bug out quickly, but the trip to your bug out location would probably take a while. Once you finally got there, everyone would be eager […]

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Tips for Picking the Perfect Bug Out Location

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If we had our choice, none of us would want to bug out and leave everything we own behind. With that being said, there could be situations that require us to get out of dodge for a few days, or even longer. Natural disasters, civil unrest or man made disasters could make bugging out necessary, […]

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Bug Out Locations!

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Bug Out Locations!

Bug Out Locations
Forrest Garvin “The Prepping Academy” Audio player below!

There are various scenarios from the possibility of natural disasters to post-apocalyptic chaos that prompt people to find secret locations where they can exist off the grid. When there’s a natural disaster that covers quite a large area – like a hurricane, the necessity arises of moving elsewhere where you have food, water and a place to stay until things are back to normal.

Continue reading Bug Out Locations! at Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Secret Places To Bug Out To When The SHTF

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A lot of preppers have this idea that when a disaster strikes, they’ll just bug out to a rural area. They think they’ll be safe in an area with so few people. But the thing is, unless you’re deep in a national park, you’re going to end up on someone’s property, and eventually a local […]

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5 Worst American States To Be In During a Collapse

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There are many different disasters that would be catastrophic to the United States. An EMP attack that causes the power grid to collapse, a huge natural disaster, or a complete economic collapse far worse than the Great Depression are just three such disasters that would take years to recover from. What many people fail to […]

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What Makes The Best Just In Case Place?

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Image source: Pexels.com

By The Survival Place Blog

Ever wondered what makes the best Just In Case locations, for when the SHTF and you need somewhere away from all the inevitable trouble that will start happening? If so, you’re in the right place. We’re going to go through a few of the vital things you need to consider when choosing the location of your bolt hole.
It’s a critical decision that you need to get right now, as it will be too late after the event. All your preparation, investment, and work in build the perfect Just In Case place will be for nothing if you a) can’t get there and b) choose the wrong location. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.


Somewhere close

When a national emergency or worst case scenario occurs, you can bet on a few things; one of which is, the authorities will set up roadblocks and close major road arteries. And that’s going to cause anyone wanting to travel a lot of trouble just a few hours after the event. So your bolt hole’s ideal location has to be somewhere close to your current home – a place you can access within a few hours. Not only will it help you avoid roadblocks, but the smaller distance will reduce the number of potential incidents that you will encounter along the way.
Within walking distance

Ideally, you will want to choose a place that you can walk to. Within five days is your best bet – and given you will only be able to walk a maximum of 12 miles a day, that means your bolt home should be within 60 miles. Of course, the route you take will also be critical – are there enough places along the way to keep out of harm’s way? You should already know how to build a survival shelter, of course, but you’ll also need to have somewhere safe to set up at the end of every day.


Image Source: Pexels.com

Near water

Finding a location with a natural supply of water is essential, and will save you a lot of work. Whether you are buying land to build a survival hut or plan to use public land, make sure you are within a reasonable distance of a natural spring, river, or lake. Not only is water vital for hydration, but you can also use it for sanitary purposes and power – all of which are going to increase your chances of survival.


Somewhere hidden

Finally, the sad truth is that in the event of a critical national emergency, there will be people out there willing to take whatever they find on their own – including your survival home. Therefore, the better hidden your Just in Case place, the less likely it is someone will see it. Avoid areas that are near well-travelled routes, and the more challenging it is to get to your location, the fewer people will find it. Don’t forget; it’s not just about blending your hut in with its surroundings. You’ll also need to find somewhere that hides much of the smoke and light from fires or smells from food.

This article published by The Survival Place BlogWhat Makes The Best Just In Case Place?

Filed under: How To Prepare, Prepping, Shelter

Prepper Relocation Part I: Questioning the Common Logic

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I routinely read articles online where individuals pontificate about where the best places for preppers to live or relocate too are.  What I don’t usually see is any real cognitive

Finding the Perfect Bug Out Location

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by Jeanie

First off there is no such thing as perfection, but there is the best available property for your needs.

Finding the best Bug Out Location (BOL) depends on your requirements and personality – yes personality. Some people thrive on their own just with their immediate family while others need the support system of like-minded people.

Why do you need a BOL?

There are various scenarios from the possibility of natural disasters to post-apocalyptic chaos that prompt people to find secret locations where they can exist off the grid (OTG). When there’s a natural disaster that covers quite a large area  – like a hurricane, the necessity arises of moving elsewhere where you have food, water and a place to stay until things are back to normal. If you are thinking of terrorist attacks or some other kind of meltdown in the system when cities are just not going to be able to cope, then you may be in your BOL for an extended period of time. Maybe your BOL is just your place to get comfortable with nature over weekend and holidays – so you are going to need to make it more “livable” rather than an emergency escape.

Best or cheapest land?

Let’s face it the cheapest land is the land no one else wants. If you can see potential that others can’t see then go for it but you have to consider a number of factors. Often farmland that has been abandoned goes cheap – the result of too many chemicals or bad farming practices. Nature however has a way of restoring itself, look at how wildlife has re-established itself in the Chernobyl area – but OK we are not thinking that extreme!

People who buy impoverished farmland and let it return to a wooded state – with some judicious help by planting indigenous trees and shrubs will soon have wildlife re-establishing itself within a few years.

The best land has the amenities you want – water, decent soil, seclusion, safety – but the price will be higher.

How often will you use your BOL?

If only to be used in the event of an emergency then a BOL with no accommodation but enough supplies to last a couple of months and tents stashed underground in rot proof containers may be all you need. If you are thinking of it as a weekend retreat then you can consider making it more permanent. Of course a permanent construction is easier to find – but what are you really hiding from – the riotous hordes will be in the cities searching for food and supplies – not in the mountains. And the chances are they won’t have the tracking skills to find your place if you have hidden it carefully. If it is not going to be visited often then perhaps the option of a trailer instead of a permanent place may be an idea – But when I say trailer I mean one like this, light and easy to tow behind a vehicle that can pop up with everything you need and even a tent on top!

What do you need to establish?

You BOL should be carefully chosen to provide you with water, food, and shelter and be reasonably accessible year round. Yes, it may be great to have a cabin in the mountains but how do you get there in winter? How do you stash enough fuel to keep warm? You will need water, shelter, food and medical supplies – more or less in that order unless you have chosen Alaska where shelter will be first priority, followed by fire to melt the ice so you can at least get something to drink!

To keep your family going in the woods if you are cut off from supplies, you will need to have a well, spring, or rainwater tanks on your property. Properties next to a lake or river are easy to find, unless it is near a very small stream. The best may be to rely on rainwater tanks –it is an expense to get them in there in the first place, but entirely doable if you can get a vehicle to the site – check access roads – they should not be too accessible but on the other hand not totally impassable.

In rural Missouri, Arkansas and SE Kansas there are lots of suitable places with wooded streams. If you look at NE Arizona, NE Nevada, NE North Dakota and NW Minnesota you can find cheap land but you will need to check the climate, the availability of water and possibility of growing food or hunting for food. Having a patch of desert without any water doesn’t help. I got excited a few minutes ago about a piece of land in the Sierra Blanco area of Texas I saw advertised online – $20 000 for 20 acres – until I saw the pictures – flat, arid, stony with a bunch of cactus. Unless you built underground any shelter would be seen from miles away.

New Mexico is a possibility as there is quite pleasant weather down that way and buying rural property there is reasonable.

Consider your neighbors

Yes, you are going off grid but humans are a co-operative species and we depend on each other for survival – in your tribe you want like-minded people. So if you are considering buying a large property together make sure you camp out with these people and put yourself into situations where you have to depend on each other  – you will soon work out who you want in your tribe. If purchasing on your own in a new location make sure you can get help from neighbors if necessary.

When you buy a property near a small village check out the townsfolk first – go to the local hang outs and have a drink – tongues get loose and you will soon hear about undesirables in the area – you don’t want to make the mistake of buying into an area where illegal activities are going on – criminals also favor out of the way places where no one is likely to come snooping around!

What do you want to spend?

Generally people are spending around $1000 per acre but there are some bargains around at around $500. Of course if you want everything already there – underground storage, rainwater harvesting, vegetable garden established and fruit trees plus a livable structure you will pay more.

The problem with a lot of rural properties is that although the price per square acre is relatively low the properties are huge so you could end up paying quite a lot. This is where it may be better for a few families with similar ideas to buy the land together and then each establish their own BOL on the property – independent of each other.

Bear in mind that you are going to pay more for flat land, as it is easier to build on and to farm. If you buy something cheaper that is virtually on the side of a cliff you will be able to control access better but it also may also make escape more difficult. Rocky land is cheaper and may provide hidey-holes if you need them or the opportunity to construct something between the rocks that blends in.

Do your homework thoroughly

Study the prices paid for properties sold recently in the area you are thinking of buying so you are not over-paying for land.

Check how far the property is from your current home. How far are you prepared to travel to reach it? In worst-case scenarios where the roads are blown up or blocked you may not be able to get there with a vehicle. Have mountain bikes ready as transport or off-road motorbikes (remember they need fuel so fuel should have been stashed at your BOL and the tank should always be kept full in case of emergency). Check your route from your current home to the BOL – if a bridge is unserviceable can you cross somewhere else safely – will you need a blow up raft to get across? Can you access the property in summer and winter? If it is too difficult to access it is not worth buying.

Find out about climate conditions over the past 50 years – old timers in the town will be able to give you the details of floods, hurricanes, mud-slides and so on or you can do an internet search on the natural disasters that have befallen the area you are planning to buy into. Constructing your home or positioning your camp will also need to take cognizance of the possibility of wildfire, flooding, prevailing winds as well as access to water.

A BOL will need trees for various reasons – they provide shade, firewood and cover from overhead – so try to build your shelter under the tree canopy to minimize detection form the air. A property that has fruit or nut trees already established on it is a bonus and one that has suitable materials for making fires adds to that bonus.

Check the various access points to the land – no one wants to be trapped without a “backdoor” – foxes normally have around 3 to 4 exits from their dens.

Test the soil and identify the grasses growing on the land. The soil needs to be reasonably loamy if you want to grow vegetables and the grass should provide suitable grazing for the animals you plan to keep. Of course if you are looking for something simply to escape to for a short period of time then you don’t have to consider the soil.

What wildlife is already living on your land?

If you are keen on hunting and there are lots of deer and rabbits on your property you probably will be able to get something to eat, but their relatives are going to eat whatever crops you plant, unless you can fence the vegetable garden properly. If you have lots of flowering plants you will be able to keep bees and enjoy the honey – but so do bears. Are there bears in the area?

If you are think of an area like Nevada, Texas or Arizona is the land you are looking at full of snakes and venomous insects? If so you will need to know how to deal with a bite correctly. Otherwise choose a location with more amenable reptiles.

How to go about finding properties for sale

The wider your network the more likely you are to find a suitable property. Register for sites where properties are put up for auction, check EBay (but be aware that putting in a winning bid doesn’t guarantee a sale), get estate agents in the areas you have pin-pointed doing their homework. Try land4less.us for cheap properties. As with anything do check out whether properties are legit and never buy anything unseen. You will also need to check whether you have the mining rights, laws pertaining to construction, restrictions with regard to hunting and so forth.

Put the word out among locals in the nearby village or town – they are bound to get news first and if you offer an incentive you could pick up a bargain before the real estate agents get in on the act.

Lastly don’t forget friends and family – for each person you know they know at least 100 others – it works exponentially. Let your dentist, doctor, barber, even the pizza delivery guy know you want a property in a certain area – you don’t have to tell them why – and you will be surprised at what may come up. The pizza delivery guy may have a granny in Arkansas whose friend’s daughter’s boyfriend has some land…

The ideas outlined above probably aren’t going to appeal to survivalists who want their location to be totally secret because hundreds of people are going to know the general area of where to find you. You have to make up your mind about how far off the system you are planning to go. But if you are buying or renting the property records will be kept and you can be tracked down.

Of course you can do something crazy like hide out in a state park but the park rangers are likely to take dim view of your presence, and taking off for a foreign country and hiding out in one of their national parks could have equally serious consequences. Having said that certain South American countries are welcoming of immigrants – Puerto Rico and Colombia for instance are relatively easy to get into if you really want to go that far.

Multiple locations

You never know where things are going to go wrong so it is advisable to have multiple locations for BOL’s, but that is expensive – so again a cooperative approach may be best. Buy into a number of larger tracts of land with other preppers – so you have at least 2 to 3 options. This enables you to keep an eye on each others land and buildings during routine visits, to develop and share resources, pool labor for bigger projects and to work together in defending yourselves.

If you want to meet up with other similar minded people check out this website: Landbuddy.  They have an interactive map so you can see where other preppers are looking at land and can meet up and work out deals on parcels of land that may be too big or expensive for one person to buy. And before you buy here are more tips on BOL’s

Here are a few suggestions of places to get you started in your search for a reasonably priced property:

Red Oak, Latimer County – Oklahoma


Tennessee  http://www.tnland.com/specials/

Anderson, Missouri   Sugar Creek Realty


Sierra Blanco, Texas


Hettinger, North Dakota


Pennsboro West Virginia


Ozark Mountains – Arkansas




Planning Your Bug Out Location!

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Planning Your Bug Out Location
Best Selling Author Bobby Akart “Prepping For Tomorrow

2-21-16 AKART-slide-show-IMAGE2On this week’s special edition of the Prepping for Tomorrow program, best-selling Author Bobby Akart, founder of FreedomPreppers.com and creator of Plateau Preppers, will begin the first in a series of conversations about choosing and developing the perfect bug-out location.Planning Your Bug Out LocationYou’ve heard it so many times … “I’ll grab my Bug Out Bag and Go!” Go where, you ask. “To the country, of course. Those farmers + ranchers know how to live!” Oh, okay.  Every post-apocalyptic, dystopian novel that we’ve ever read involves somebody fleeing to somewhere or trying to get home from somewhere.  It’s a horrible experience and it only ends well for the main character because it’s FICTION!

Bobby believes if you are truly a Prepper, one who believes in their gut that we will be facing a catastrophic, TEOTWAWKI collapse event, you should identify your bug out location NOW and move there! The safety and lives of your family depend on it.  After the SHTF, everyone will be heading for the hills!

Planning Your Bug Out Location

On this Thursday’s special edition of Prepping for Tomorrow, Bobby will discuss his plans for Plateau Preppers with you, his fellow preppers.
For Social Media, visit www.BobbyAkart.com
Join us for “Prepping For Tomorrow” “LIVE SHOW” every Thursday 9:00/Et 8:00Ct 6:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat

Listen to this broadcast or download “Planning Your Bug Out Location” in player below!

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Archived shows Prepping For Tomorrow at bottom of THIS PAGE!

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The Best Bug Out Vehicle: From Feet to 4 Wheel Drive

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The Best Bug Out Vehicle: From Feet to 4 Wheel DriveOver the past few weeks we have been going over what it takes to successfully bug out. The first week we talked about bug out planning and communication, and last week we talked about bug out location, supplies and resources that need to be considered.

This week Lisa and I talked about bug out vehicles and why the best bug out vehicle doesn’t mean owning a $600,000 Unicat Expeditionary Vehicle. The best bug out vehicle doesn’t necessarily need to be bullet proof and able to plow through road blocks. In my opinion, if you need that, you waited too long to get out of dodge.

A good bug out vehicle need to be a few things…

  • Reliable enough to get you where you are going without breaking down.
  • Affordable enough that you don’t break the budget.
  • And capable of getting you, everyone with you and your supplies where you want to go.

The reality is that even though we would like one of these Super Bug Out Vehicles, we don’t have the same budget the United States Military has. The best BOV (bug out vehicle) for us at this point in time might be the one you already have.

This article from ThePrepperJournal goes through some realistic bug out vehicles that you can actually afford, and also talks about some things you need to consider like where are you going? What are you taking? And who is going with you?

“In my mind a bug out vehicle has to be able to accomplish a few tasks to even make the running. Ideally we have a vehicle that you can use daily that can also hold its own if forced to be put into action to get you out of a hairy situation.”

SPP 131 Picking a Bug Out Vehicle

EMP Proof Vehicles

There is quite a bit of debate about what makes an EMP proof vehicle, and honestly it seems to me that we truly won’t know until that situation is thrust upon us. Some people say that you need something that was made before 1980 that doesn’t require electronic ignition, and some people have done studies that show some cars might not be affected by an EMP.

Even though it’s impossible to get a definitive answer on this, the reality is that an EMP that is strong enough could disable electronics and all the bells and whistles that come in the newer automobiles. A little later in this article I will go through my plan for this that is budget friendly, but is going to require some hands on work.

One other thing to consider is that an EMP proof vehicle won’t matter much if it runs out of gas, an EMP strong enough to disable an automobile will take out most of the infrastructure we depend on today. This is why storing fuel and maybe even purchasing a syphon to get fuel from abandoned vehicles is also important.

The Beater vs The Bugatti

As preppers we have the benefit of looking at the world differently than the average person. When thinking about buying a vehicle most people think about how pretty it is, we on the other hand don’t want it to be pretty because that makes us a target. Our main concern is (or should be) reliability.

While newer vehicles with less miles on them will be more reliable in the short term, if you put some time and effort into an older vehicle it can become just as reliable. Mabey it’s just me, but when I see an older vehicle I don’t see a pile of junk, I see a project and start thinking about what I could do with it.

Along with the increased chances of surviving an EMP, older vehicles are more budget friendly. For under a thousand dollars you can get an old Jeep, Dodge or Ford that no one else wants, put a thousand dollars into it, and have a reliable vehicle.

A couple more bonuses of older vehicles are that they are easier to work on, and you can modify them without destroying the resale value…because there is none. If you want to weld a snow plow to the front bumper or cut a hole in the roof to mount a turret, you can do it with an older “project” car without worry.

We all love the bells and whistles that come with newer automobiles. You push a button and the widow rolls down, you push a button and the doors unlock, but with all these conveniences come more possible complications.

Older vehicles are easier to diagnose and work on because they are simple. The more bells and whistles you have, the more modules, fuses and electrical components you have that cause problems that require computers to figure out.

If you open the hood of a vehicle made in the last 25 years, you can barely fit your hand in there. If you open the hood of an older vehicle, it almost seems like half the engine is missing because there is so much room to work.

Whether it’s the car you have now, or the project car you plan on getting, fuel mileage and capacity also need to be taken into account when picking a bug out vehicle. You need to make sure you have enough fuel to get you where you are going, and you need to be able to bring everyone and everything you want to your bug out location.

Other Bug Out Vehicle Ideas

Also in the podcast this week we talked about other options to think about when bugging out. Bug out vehicles are much more than the 4 tires beneath you, it can include trailers, ATV’s and even your feet.

Trailers: Pulling a trailer would give you a little more room for supplies, but it might also make you a target. We have our horse trailer that could be used to store supplies, but depending on the situation the horses might be coming, or might not.

Campers: We also have a popup camper that would be easy shelter, but again, that might make us a target. Another alternative is to have a bug out vehicle that is a camper. It’s a lot harder to steal an entire vehicle than hook a camper to a bumper hitch.

Boats: Depending on where you live, and where your bug out location is a bug out boat might be part 2 of your bug out plan. Having a bug out location that required a boat to get to would give you a little more separation from you and them.

ATV’s & Bikes: In last week’s podcast we talked about bugging out into the wilderness and how you might want to go further than the campgrounds. An ATV, motorcycle or even a mountain bike could allow you to park your vehicle and venture further away into seclusion.

Shoes: Regardless where you are going you need to take care of your feet. Having blisters or sore feet can incapacitate even the strongest person. Investing in a good pair of hiking boots is not talked about all that much, but it can be the difference between a perfect plan working, or a perfect plan failing.

Final Thoughts…

In this podcast series we talked about why you would even want to bug out, to how to do it. For the most part none of us want to, but it’s something that needs to be considered.

As much as I would love it, having one of the “Super Bug Out Vehicles” we see online is probably never going to happen, but having a plan and a beat up Ford is better than nothing.

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Bug Out Locations, Supplies & Resources

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Bug Out Locations, Supplies and ResourcesOver the next few weeks Lisa and I are going through all the steps of bugging out, and discussing why it’s more complicated than it seems on the surface. This week we are going over bug out locations, supplies and resources, and next week we will be talking about bug out vehicles, and why one might not be better than the other.

When we think about bugging out we tend to think about the most extreme situations, like a full blown economic collapse or war that leaves us no choice but to head for the hills. But in reality bugging out could mean something as simple as leaving your home for a few days or weeks.

With all the different variables involved with why you would bug out it’s impossible to create the perfect plan, but that’s why we plan for the worst, and hope for the best.

The Non Prepper Bug Out

Superdome and KatrinaIn this week’s show we started off by talking about what the average person who knows nothing about prepping would do in a bug out situation.


We have seen a couple examples of this on the news. During hurricane Katrina people piled into the Super Dome where they were at the will of the authority’s and waited for help that never came. Here in Colorado a couple of years ago we had massive flooding that left people standing on the roofs of their homes waiting for rescue.

The non prepper doesn’t think like us and doesn’t plan like we do, yet it still leaves me with an uneasy feeling because it’s hard to tell what they will do in any given situation. Like the scenarios about, some people would probably stay in their homes until it was too late to leave, and so people would pack on the highways and head for where the help is supposed to be.

Let’s also not forget about the people who will be looking to take advantage of the situation by looting, robbing and getting whatever they can while the getting is good.

All of these are reasons we need to do the exact opposite of what a non prepper would do. While none of us want to leave our homes and our supplies, our lives and our wellbeing are worth much more than our stuff.

Bug Out Locations

How Many Bug Out Locations Do You NeedBefore we get into what you should bring with you we need to talk about some bug out location ideas, because where you go and how long you are staying need to be considered before you can pick the correct supplies to bug out with.

A bug out location is not just a fortified cabin in the hills, on top of a mountain, stocked with food, water and thousands rounds of ammunition. Although that would be nice, it’s just not feasible for most of us.

A Friend or Family Members House

Some situations just won’t require us to head out and become a refugee from society. An earthquake, flood or wildfire could leave your home severely damaged or destroyed, but it wouldn’t require packing up and heading out to the wilderness.

In a situation like this we all probably have some place we could go and feel welcome until we get back on our feet, and in some situations we might be that person who need to lend a helping hand.

On a side note, how great would this situation be to talk about why preparedness is so important to someone who looked at you like you were crazy when you brought it up in the past?

Live Like the Homeless

This is something we probably don’t like to think about, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility, especially if we have failed to prepare. There are actually quite a few things we can learn from the homeless because this is what they do on a daily basis…survive.

This situation would be cause by something larger than a natural disaster, and as preppers we know that trying to survive under a bridge in the city is probably a bad idea, there are some options we need to take into consideration.

Depending on the scenario there could be abandoned buildings or houses outside the city that we could use as a temporary bug out shelter. Just remember, the closer you are to people, the more likely you could find yourself in a dangerous situation.

Campgrounds and Wilderness Areas

We hear all the time about how just heading up to a campground is going to be a bad idea because everyone else will be thinking the same thing. While this might be true there are a few more options, and the people there are going to be easier to deal with than the average city slicker.

Even though these people will be hunters and fishermen, it doesn’t mean everything will be peaceful and polite. This is why I say if you have no other choice than to head to the hills, don’t stop at the campgrounds. There is a lot of open space in this country, and if we can find a secluded spot that has the resources we need, we will be better off than staying at a campground with everyone else.

In the podcast I talked about how I would be just like a deer in this situation, making sure I had food and water, but avoiding predators at all cost. In this case the predators would be people.

Becoming Part of a Prepper Group

This is a challenge for most of us, but it really could be our best bet if everything were to go sideways, we stand a much better chance for survival with a group rather than going it alone. This is a challenge because it can be hard to find the right people, and a group that is committed to prepping rather than it just being a hobby.

The right prepping group could set up a sort of community bug out location and rather than one person paying and doing everything the responsibilities could be split up. A good prepping group could also bring valuable skill set you don’t have, and the opportunity to plan and learn in advance if a SHTF situation.

Purchasing Land

If you have the means to do so this is also one of the best ideas for any bug out scenario. Purchasing land that would fit every one of your bug out criteria could end up being very costly, but if you do your homework it can be done.

Lisa and I went through quite a bit of detail about our process for purchasing property for our bug out location in podcast episodes 49 and 50. There were quite a few options we had to consider, some sacrifices we had to make and some resources the property had to have to make it worth it.

Bug Out Supplies & Resources

How Far Have You Walked With Your Bug Out Bag On?While there are many different supplies we need to take with us if we have the option, we can’t depend on those for our survival. The resources that are available at our bug out location are far more important. The supplies we can bring with us will be limited, but plentiful resources will last for years.

This goes for bugging out into the wilderness or bugging out to a family members house, the 5 areas of preparedness are critical to our survival.

5 Areas of Preparedness

These are Food, Water, Shelter, Security and Sanitation. Every single one of these need to be taken into account and have different meaning wherever you go.

If you were to go to a friend’s house to stay, food and water might just mean bringing a little extra with you to chip in. In a true bug out situation it might mean having fishing supplies and a water filter.

If You Have a Location

If you are one of the lucky ones, you have some property you can call your own and possibly store some supplies at that location before anything happens. Lisa and I talked about our process in episodes 49 and 50 of the podcast.

Because money was our biggest factor when purchasing land, we had to make some sacrifices, but there are some things the land had to have. It had to have water rights in order to put in a well, it had to have decent soil in order to grow food, and we had to have the option to build whatever we wanted on the property.

We also talked about what we wanted to keep up there and how safe it would be from theft. Because our budget is limited it is going to take us a while to build it up, and the last thing we want is to go up one weekend and see someone living there and eating our food.

How Long Can You Keep Going?

One important question to ask yourself is how long will you be able to sustain yourself if you do decide to bug out? The supplies we are able to bring with us should be considered a buffer between living like we do now, and becoming more self-reliant.

Setting Up Caches

This can be a tough one because with the amount of money we spend already on prepping supplies why would you want to bury them right? I have been reluctant about this in the past, but having a few extra supplies stashed away if I needed them would be a God send.

There are quite a few options available for building caches, like this one I built a while back, and these could be set up along your bug out route or in strategic places around where you live. Remember not to bury these on someone else’s property, and have a system in place to find them if you need to. The article I linked to above goes into more detail about this.

Learning Temporary Survival Techniques

I have written quite a bit about this in the past, and you have no doubt seen articles about wilderness survival everywhere. This is because these skills are important regardless of whether you are in an urban area, or a rural area.

Building shelter, starting a fire, foraging and hunting for food are all good skills to learn because the supplies you have with you could be stolen and are going to eventually run out. Here are a few article I have written about lost skills and survival skills…

10 Wilderness Survival Skills Everyone Should Know

Primitive Skills – So Easy a Caveman Can Do It

Lost Skills of the Past Could Be Our Future

Post Collapse Skills – What Do You Bring to The Table?

TFHT: Security Theater

(This is a 20 minute video, but it’s worth it…)

This week in tin foil hat time Lisa and I talked about Security Theater which is the process of making us feel more secure, but doing nothing to actually making us safer. Here are some examples and a great article I found at Schneier.com

The photo ID checks that have sprung up in office buildings. No-one has ever explained why verifying that someone has a photo ID provides any actual security, but it looks like security to have a uniformed guard-for-hire looking at ID cards.

The TSA and Airport-security, which only stops events that happened in the past and force the bad guys to look in a different direction. The National Guard troops were stationed at US airports in the months after 9/11, but their guns had no bullets.

The US color-coded system of threat levels which was recently “improved” in light of the San Bernadino terror attack is a great example of security theater. It does nothing for our security, but it gives us the feeling that the powers that be are on the ball.

In this video from Bruce Schneier he talks about the tradeoffs we make to feel more secure and whether it’s worth it. Living in a free country means our safety and security are always at risk. The more rights that get taken away in the name of security, the less free we are as a country.

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Why Bugging Out is More Complicated Than You Think

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Why Bugging Out is More Complicated Than You ThinkOver the next couple of weeks Lisa and I are going to dig deep into bugging out and everything that it involves. Having a good bug out plan is more complicated than you might think, and requires more than just having a full tank of gas and space in your trunk to put your bug out bag.

We already went through why you would want to bug out in the first place in this article, and the reason is pretty simple, because you might not have a choice. For most of us this is a worst case scenario because nobody wants to leave everything they have and basically become a refugee.

In that article I also added a video that is included in the bug out course at the Survivalist Prepper Academy that goes through what needs to be considered when you are doing your bug out planning such as…

  • Getting Family Together
  • Timing
  • Route Planning
  • Getting Separated
  • Avoiding Refugee Routes
  • Outside Communication
  • The Mob Mentality
  • Expect the Unexpected
  • And Be the Gray Man

Also included in the video is the process I use to plan my bug out route and some of the differences to think about if you live in an urban or suburban area vs a rural area.

SPP129 Why Bugging Out is More Complicated Than You Think

Before You go Anywhere

You might hear all the time about why bugging out just makes you a refugee and leaving everything you own is just insane. The reality is that like it or not you might not have a choice.

By definition it would make you a refugee, but with proper planning it wouldn’t be the vision we have in our heads of hundreds of people lined up to cross a border or enter a FEMA camp. The reason a good bug out plan is necessary is to avoid these situations at all costs.

Let’s take a look at some of the areas that need to be considered when formulating a good bug out plan.

The Realities of Bugging Out: We are going to face a lot more problems than we expect when we bug out, and depending on your situation you will have your own challenges. Our age, our health, our family makeup, our family’s health and finances will all play a role.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that this will be just like an extended camping trip. In reality it will be more like living like the homeless than camping.

No one really knows what this situation will look like because there are so many variables, from the degree of the disaster scenario, to your physical abilities and family makeup.

Timing: In the video I mentioned above I talked about how timing is critical. This is even more important in an urban area because your window of opportunity will be very small. Having as much information about how a situation is developing (or could develop) could give you valuable minutes to keep you one step ahead of the masses.

Planning and practice also decrease the time it would take to bug out because if you know what the process is, and you know where everything is, you won’t be running around like a chicken with your head cut off.

How Will Family Members React? We will talk about this a little more below but some preppers are the lone prepper of the household. If someone has plugged their ears anytime you mention prepping, the odds are they are going to freak out a little bit…or a lot.

Some people handle stress better than others, so as the lone prepper it’s up to you to figure out who is going to need more attention or help. The best case scenario would be that even though they didn’t want to hear anything about it, they did listen, and at least know the basics of bugging out.

What Obstacles Will You Face? While it’s impossible to know exactly what could put a kink in your plans thinking about the different possibility’s today will prepare you for if it does. Riots, road blocks (natural or manmade), marauders and weather could become hurdles you need to cross to get to your bug out location.

Always have a plan B, and Plan C. What would you do if a group of armed gunmen were blocking your route? What would you do if the road you planned on traveling was congested and impassible because of abandoned vehicles?

Plan on Setbacks: A well thought out game plan always looks good on paper, but rarely does it turn out that way. Murphy’s Law states “”Anything that can go wrong, will… at the worst possible moment.”

This is why it’s important to learn and think about everything we can about bugging out, even though a band of marauders might seem a little farfetched, it need to be given some consideration. As they say “failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”

Getting Unwilling Family Members to Listen?

Prepping – Getting Your Loved Ones On BoardOne of the questions I get all the time about bugging out and preparedness in general is “how do I get my family to listen?” Because everyone is different, and every relationship is different, there is no perfect answer for this.

In the podcast we talked about how to approach different people and different personalities about preparedness and the importance of not completely turning them off to the subject. I also wrote about getting your loved ones on board in the past.

Family Communications: Before, During and After

In today’s world, and as our children grow up, our families are rarely all in the same place at the same time. With the very real possibility of cell phone service being down or overloaded we need to have other means of communication.

Planning a rally point is especially important in the beginning stages of any disaster scenario because ham radio, GMRS and CB radios just don’t have the range to communicate over long distances.

These radios will come in handy on your bug out route though. For instance, if you have a group traveling in 3 separate cars you can communicate with each other if you get separated.

They will also come in handy at your bug out location. You will have people out foraging or hunting, have people out checking the perimeter, or have people out looking for supplies. Being able to communicate is important for safety reasons as well as efficiency reasons.

Practice Makes Perfect…Probably Not

As I said before, practice is crucial to your success, but don’t expect everything to go perfectly, as a matter of fact practice what you will do if your plan falls apart. Practice may not make perfect, but the more we practice bugging out, the better our chances.

Lisa and I also discussed in the podcast the challenge of practicing if you are the only one in the house who feels it’s important. This is definitely a tough situation, and even if you can’t get them to practice on a regular basis, once or twice is better than nothing.

Tin Foil Hat Time: FEMA Camps

In the tin foil hat time segment we talked about why FEMA camps could quickly get turned into detention camps and why we want to avoid them at all costs.

As preppers we have the benefit of knowing exactly how this will turn out, and while the sheeple will be piling in waiting for help to come, we will be helping ourselves.

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Bug Out Planning and Evasion

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Bug Out Planning and EvasionLet’s face it, there is a very small percentage of us that want to even think about bugging out, we have all our supplies in our home, we feel comfortable there and our family knows exactly where we are.

So why would we ever even think about bugging out?

The reality is that although unlikely it’s becoming more and more possible that something disastrous could happen on U.S. soil that would make bugging out necessary.  Here are a few ideas about why bug out planning and evasion are important that I can think of off the top of my head…

The president decided to stay in office: I know quite a few people think this is completely outrageous, but it is possible, even presidential hopeful Ben Carson thinks so. This could happen if the current president decided that conditions were too volatile to have an election and postpone it…do you think he would? He has shown time and time again he will do whatever he wants.

Natural disasters: Hopefully a natural disaster would not be very long term and your options would not be as limited. Bugging out could mean going to a relative’s house for a few weeks or living in a hotel. If this were an earthquake or massive flooding it could mean much longer.

Nuclear disaster: This doesn’t just mean if someone decided to drop a bomb on U.S. soil, this could mean a meltdown at a nuclear power plant. Along with nuclear disasters there are other manmade disasters that could cause you to bug out like long term power outages or even the food and gasoline supply lines getting disrupted.

Economic collapse: You might think that the last thing you would want to do in an economic collapse would be to bug out, but if you pay rent or mortgage and don’t have the means to pay, you might not have a choice. This is why it’s important to get our personal affairs in line now while we still can.

Civil unrest: This could be cause by many different factors including all of the above, if your neighborhood becomes too dangerous you will have to make the choice to fight, or live to fight another day.

SPP128 Bug Out Planning and Evasion

Bug Out Planning and Scenarios

In order to be properly prepared we need to look at every possibility even if it’s something we don’t even want to think about. If we do this, we are no better off than the sheeple who have their heads buried in the sand ignoring the problems that are standing right in front of them.

In the video below I go through what we need to keep in mind when we think about bugging out, how bugging out is different for urban, suburban and rural settings and my technique for planning a bug out route.

Bug Out Planning

Getting Family Together: Thinking about what we would do ourselves is one thing, but getting the family together is an important part of bug out planning. If your family members are in different parts of the state, you will need to have a plan to get everyone together and on the same page.

Timing is Everything: Depending on where you live, the disaster scenario and the threats in your area timing is going to be critical. If you leave too late the roads could be packed and danger could be everywhere. In a suburban area you might have a little more time, but in an urban area it’s important to make quick decisions.

Plan on Getting Separated: Everything we do when we plan our bug out route is to keep everyone together, but if we don’t have a plan for when we get separated it could throw a monkey wrench into our plans.

Avoid Refugee Routes: An integral part of bug out planning is planning where you are not going to go. The last thing you want to do is think you are safe, turn the corner and be right in the middle of a riot or run into a dead end. We also talk about avoiding highways and other funnel points in the video.

Outside Communications: Your options are going to be limited in most scenarios, but we need to think about every option we might have available to get information about what is going on and where it is happening.

The Mob Mentality: During a disaster most people lose every brain cell they have in their head and will do things they normally wouldn’t do because everyone else is. This could also be called the herd mentality because when people can’t figure out what to do, they look to see what others are doing.

Expect the Unexpected: Even the best laid out plans fail so expect to have to make some decisions on the fly. A road you have traveled every day of your life without problems could be blocked the one day you really need to get through. Expect Murphy’s law to be in full affect in situations like this.

Be the Gray Man: The best way to get out of a dangerous situation is to fly under the radar. Being the grey man basically means being as unnoticeable and unremarkable as possible. You don’t wear cammo in the city, and you don’t wear a 3-piece suit in the country.

Planning Your Route

In the middle of this video I showed the 3 tier approach I use to plan a bug out route. This might not work for everyone, but it will give you an idea how it works.

Planning ahead can help you avoid dangerous areas in your route as well as helping other members of your family (or team) meet up with you in the safest area possible.

Bugging Out: Urban, Suburban and Rural

Finally, at the end of the video I talked about some of the differences in bugging out you will need to think about depending on where you live.

In an urban area you might know nothing about the people that live on the same block as you and your window of opportunity is going to be much smaller than someone who lives in a suburban area and might have better relationships with their neighbors.

Hopefully this video gives you some ideas about bug out planning and the differences to look for when you are making your individual plan.

If you have any other ideas leave a comment below…

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How Many Bug Out Locations Do You Need?

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How Many Bug Out Locations Do You Need

The following is a guest post from Dan at SurvivalSullivan.com 

Why would you need multiple bug out locations? Isn’t one enough? In my opinion, the more the better and I wanted to write this article to explain why and, possibly, shatter some limiting beliefs.

See, there’s some confusion when it comes to bug out retreats. Most people think about permanent shelters when they talk about them when, in fact, a shelter is not a location. A bug out location is simply the actual physical place where you can build your home or cabin.

Now, when I suggested you should have more than one location to bug out to, I did it because I realize it’s impossible to know exactly how things will go down and where you’ll end up.

Just look at the refugee crisis in Europe at the time of writing this article. Tens of thousands of people are bugging out from Syria and Libya to Germany but not all of them got or will get there. France, the UK and Austria have already taken a number of them with other EU states preparing to do the same. Plus, let’s not forget how they “landed” in Greece and Italy and the fact that some of them lost their lives during the cross of the Mediterranean Sea. Clearly their bug out vehicles / boats weren’t suited for this.

In fact, some of them are still on these Greek islands right now, waiting to get IDs/visas and continue their journey… so we can say that the islands act as temporary bug out location for them. I think you’ll agree that this “mega bug out” is like nothing you’ve ever read in any survival book, proof that there’re a million and one ways for S to HTF.

Let’s try to change the way we view bug out locations, shall we. How many locations besides of your primary BOL can you think of? I’m talking about places you can bug out to for an hour, a day or even a week, such as:

  • a place in the woods where you barbecue every now and then on public property,
  • somewhere in the outskirts of the city, near an old abandoned warehouse (it may not be safe but it could be used as a last resort),
  • a piece of land where you don’t have anything right now but you could build a small shed that could keep you safe for a little while,
  • a place in a nearby forest that few people know about that you happened to notice,
  • …and, of course, the house of a relative in another town or city that could keep you safe for a while.

I bet right now you can think about quite a few locations to bug out to on your way to safety, right? When we change our perspective and extend the definition of a BOL, we start to find new solutions to possible disaster scenarios and outcomes.

Now… not every location can act as a successful BOL because it has to be:

  • accessible
  • safe
  • low key
  • and either close to your home or on your way to your final destination

So let’s not waste any more time and make an open list of all the places that fit the bill, shall we? I say “open” list because what I need you to do is scout around your area and find more such location you previously didn’t notice. Carefully inspect them, then mark each of them on your map and make sure they all fit the bill.

You may be wondering why you would need so many locations. Should you build shelter on all of them? How about burying some supplies? Well, among other things, these temporary locations will allow you to:

  • catch your breath
  • hide from bullets, angry mobs or foreign military
  • allow you to spend the night
  • …and allow you to eat, drink and even take care of your wounds.

Is any bug out location guaranteed to keep you safe no matter what? Far from it, but in the event of a bug out, when you have nowhere else to go and your final destination is far away, having a small place nearby that no one knows of that can keep you warm for the night… might save your life.

Yes, it’s possible that your location isn’t safe or it may even be compromised when you get there but at least you’ll have a place to camp rather than having to find one on the spot.

Can you make these temporary BOLs safer, beforehand? If you own the land, you can do anything you want and you should but if it’s public property, it can be problematic. Either way, you should note them, mark them with Xes on your map, and make sure your family knows about them as well as how to get to each of them.

One last thing… Since you don’t know in which direction you’ll flee, make sure you have retreats along all your bug out routes.

What about permanent bug out locations? I haven’t forgotten about them. You can read about what to look for when choosing land in my previous article on BOLs.

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Revisiting Favorite Wild Places

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I spent a couple of weeks in September wandering around the Southwest by motorcycle, mostly camping in national forests and other public lands, which there is no shortage of in this region.  Many of the places I wanted to revisit were favorite areas I’ve done lots of backpacking and exploring in, such as the San Juan mountains of southern Colorado and the Blue Range Primitive area of southeastern Arizona.  These are also areas discussed as bug out locations in my book: Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It’s Too Late.

Riding the Suzuki Vstrom 650, I was able to leave the pavement for long stretches of exploring unpaved forest service roads.  A lighter, more off-road capable bike would be e even better once there, of course, but with all the highway and interstate riding to do the 3700-mile trip out and back from Mississippi, the DL650 was a good compromise.  I plan to post a more detailed account of the trip with more photos on my main website soon, but wanted to share a couple of photos here too.  Those of you living out West are fortunate to have access to so much publicly accessible wild land for exploring, camping, hunting and in the worst-case, as potential bug-out locations.

Southwestern Colorado near the San Juan Range
Blue Range Primitive Area, Arizona

An another note, before I left on the trip I did an interview with Morry Baines, who runs a multitool review site and has been working on a round-up of interviews with various survival authors and others with questions such as “What is the most useful tool for the outdoors?”  You can read the answers including mine and those of some of my fellow survival authors including Jim Cobb, Bernie Carr and others here: http://bestmultitoolkit.com/expert-roundup/most-useful-tool-outdoors/   The full interview that I did is here: http://bestmultitoolkit.com/interviews/scott-williams-bugoutsurvival-com/
Morry also wrote an article on multitools aimed specifically at boaters, and since much of my writing has to do with bugging out by boat, here is the direct link to that: http://bestmultitoolkit.com/knowledgebase/multi-tool-boat-essential-tips/
Also, don’t forget that I’m giving away a free copy of Refuge After the Collapse (Book II of The Pulse  Series) every Friday of this month to subscribers to my newsletter.  Last Friday’s winner was Wayne in Fort Edward, NY.  Today’s winner will receive notification through the newsletter list, and will be announced to the rest of the list later today or tomorrow.  There are three more Fridays in this month, so if you haven’t won a copy yet, hang in there, you’ve still got a chance.