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If there ever comes a time when you need to bug out, you’re going to need a good bug out location. But not everyone can afford to purchase hidden acres in the middle of nowhere, so what will you do when the SHTF and you need to head for the hills?
Here are some unusual ideas for bug out locations you may not have considered, and some suggestions on what makes a good place to run to when you need an escape plan.
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Bug Out Considerations:
Before you choose your bug out location, you’ll want to keep in mind what makes a location good or not so useful. You’ll need to determine which aspects of a bug out location are the most important to you.
Distance and Travel
Your bug out location needs to be far enough from any major cities, but not so far away from work and home that you can’t get there in an emergency. Also, keep in mind your mode of travel. If you’ll be walking or biking, you’ll need a bug out location that is considerably closer than if you are able to drive there.
Seclusion and Population
If you need to make use of a bug out location, you’ll want to consider how many people live in the general location. If it is highly populated, you’ll be fighting for resources and you may have to use considerable energy and money to defend your property. If it’s too secluded, you won’t have neighbors to help you.
Will there be access to medical care where you are bugging out? What medical supplies will you have at your disposal if there isn’t?
How will you communicate with friends and loved ones in an emergency, especially if you have to make use of your bugout location?
Water and Food
You’ll need food and water if you’re going to stay there for any length of time. Is there a potable water source nearby? How will you get food? Are you able to set up camp ahead of time so you can make sure there are supplies?
You’ll need some sort of shelter. Will it be a tent? A cabin? Or some other structure to protect you from the elements, wild animals, or people?
Is there a place to grow food where you will be bugging out? How will you be self-sufficient if you need to live there?
Will you be able to defend your bug out location against theft, looters, or people meaning to do harm?
What kind of natural threats do you need to worry about where you are bugging out? Are there wild animals, weather problems, or flooding?
How many people will you be bringing with you? Is your bug out location able to house everyone that needs to be with you in an emergency? What if other people need a place to stay? How many people can you accommodate?
Who owns the bug out location you are going to stay in? Trespassing laws still apply, even in a disaster, so you may want to make sure the place you choose is somewhere no one else will claim.
With those in mind, you may want to consider bug out locations that the average person wouldn’t think of. Be creative but be smart to make sure your location is safe and has everything you need.
Here are a few ideas…
1. Hunting Camps
A hunting camp or cabin might be a good choice because it has the basic necessities, even if it is a little rough around the edges. Hunting camps are usually easily accessible but off the beaten path, so you’re more likely to find animal visitors than humans. They may even be well camouflaged already.
And of course, a hunting cabin is a great place to hunt for your supper. However, if the hunting cabin isn’t yours, you might run into an armed owner, so make sure you have permission to use it.
2. Abandoned Warehouses or Commercial Facilities
A factory, warehouse, or another commercial facility may be completely abandoned in a natural disaster. They may have some inherent dangers, such as high voltage areas or heavy equipment, but they may also have plenty of supplies, too.
In a national disaster or local natural disaster, not too many people will be showing up for work, so you might find a safe haven in an office building, an old warehouse, strip mall, or factory. Any type of workplace is likely to have some kind of kitchen or breakroom, which may have food supplies and water, as well as first aid stations.
3. Utility Easements
The benefit of a utility easement is that it is easy to track and follow since they are usually mowed and maintained by the government. You’ll be able to follow along the pipelines or electric lines with ease.
4. National Parks
People aren’t likely to be vacationing in national parks during a disaster or emergency situation. And since they aren’t privately owned, you might be able to get away with hunkering down in an empty cabin, ranger station, or office building.
National parks will probably have first aid supplies, vehicles for transportation, and quite possibly, food and camping supplies.
Campgrounds are great for off-season, temporary disasters. Again, people aren’t likely to be vacationing there during an emergency, and you’ll likely find access to water and even first aid supplies. Some campgrounds have cabins, places for RV hookups, or even platforms for your tent.
Keep in mind, you may want to research if the campsite you want to stay in is privately owned or part of a national park, because you don’t want to run into an unhappy owner.
6. Abandoned Mines
Mines can be tricky, but they are definitely worth looking into. You need to be sure that an abandoned mine is structurally sound so that you aren’t trapped or injured by a cave-in. You also need to make sure there aren’t any toxic gasses lingering deep inside.
If the abandoned mine is safe, though, you’ve got a great place to hide. There may be paths, supplies, and even methods of transportation hidden inside, as well as room for plenty of people and shelter from the elements. You may also find electricity, generators, or a water supply.
Caves can be subject to cave-ins and toxic gasses, just like mines. However, caves that have been used for tourist attractions should be more structurally sound and have pathways throughout. They also might have lights and electricity, first aid supplies, and plenty of room to explore and hide. You may also find a water source, as well.
8. Ghost Towns
Ghost towns are more common than you might think. On the one hand, a ghost town will have plenty of buildings to choose from, little traffic, and may have abandoned resources such as water, food supplies, transportation, and anything else you might think of.
On the other hand, you may need to find out why the town is abandoned, or nearly abandoned, in the first place. For example, a town may be abandoned because the water supply is unsafe or because underground mines are on fire, making it too dangerous even for a bug out location.
9. Old Churches
Although people may flock to church during emergencies, old abandoned churches might be a good place to go. There will be plenty of hiding places, and possibly water, toilets, and likely, a kitchen. Some churches stock food pantries, so a church building may have food supplies on hand, as well.
Even better if the church has a rectory or parsonage attached, where you will find places to sleep. If nothing else, an empty church might make a temporary place to get out of the elements.
10. Abandoned Trains
If you look around, you might find some abandoned train cars or trolleys sitting alongside the railroad tracks. If the rails aren’t used by commuter trains, you might have yourself a perfect hide-out spot. Train cars and shipping containers are usually structurally sound and will withstand some severe weather.
11. Old Farmhouses
Empty farmhouses abound in the countryside, where people have needed to leave for one reason or another. Of course, you’ll need to research to make sure the owner isn’t going to show up when you least expect it, but if the location is truly abandoned, you might have yourself a great place to hunker down.
If the main house isn’t habitable, there might be outbuildings, barns, or even migrant workers’ quarters that are. If you are lucky enough to find an old Amish farm that is no longer in use, it will be set up to run without electricity.
If you are planning on bugging out in emergencies, don’t wait until the last minute to make your plan. You’ll want to research specific locations ahead of time to make sure the area is safe and has everything you need to survive. You’ll need to have your basics covered, such as food, shelter, and water.
You also need to make sure you won’t be running into other people or an unsuspecting owner who might accuse you of trespassing. You’ll be in even better shape if you can visit the location to hide supplies, prepare for emergencies, and create a plan to get there.
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