Your bug-out location will be your fortress when SHTF. It will house you and your family and play a pivotal role in your survival. For that reason, it’s important to be strategic in choosing your bug-out location and avoid high-risk areas. Consider the following factors when deciding where to bug out. (h/t to FoodStorageMoms.com)
Climate for growing crops
An ideal location has the right climate for growing crops. Dry areas have little water to sustain crops while colder areas provide little time for plants to bear fruit. Choose a place with the right balance between those two climate extremes.
A survival rule of thumb is to avoid heavily populated areas, such as cities, suburbs and coastal areas. Being surrounded by many people poses several problems for preppers, especially as they’re the only ones who have prepared for an SHTF scenario. When things turn for the worst, people might try to steal your food supplies, seize your prepping site and even kill you out of sheer desperation.
Natural disasters can make a survival situation even worse and destroy your bug-out shelter. Stay clear of places where hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions are prone to happen.
You’ll need an overhead cover to keep your location secure and avoid detection by marauders traveling by air. Look for places with a dense cover, such as forests and mountainous areas. These places also provide wildlife for food and have several land features that serve as an excellent survival hideout. Conversely, avoid the desert or the flat plains as these offer little cover and lack any interesting land features. (Related: How to deal with gangs, mobs, and looters when SHTF.)
Go where the resources are. Once grocery stores and gas stations are closed down, your best bet for survival will be nature. While your survival stockpile is plenty enough to last your for a period of time, at some point this will run out in the event of a prolonged disaster and you will have nothing else to feed your family. Choose a location rich with natural resources like wildlife, clean fresh water and arable land.
Some states are more tolerant of preppers than others. Research on states that have fewer prepping liberties and see how tight each state’s gun laws are and how well your 2nd amendment rights are upheld. The effectiveness of your survival plan will be for naught if such legal restrictions are in place.
The Appalachian Mountains provide wildlife and fresh water and is a fertile region with a mild summer and winter. It’s also far from cities.
Ozark Mountains is a hilly, wooded region with pine and oak forests teeming with wildlife and boasting freshwater streams and natural springs. It’s also located a distance away from cities and has loose gun laws.
Idaho’s Panhandle region
Idaho’s Panhandle region is a mountainous region filled with lakes and rivers that host a robust ecosystem for wildlife. This hunter’s playground is also built on nutrient-rich soil that’s perfect for planting crops and boasts heavily protected gun rights.
The northern parts of Maine are good options for east-coast preppers. The region is hilly, mountainous and covered in trees, which are suitable for shelter, wildlife and fresh water. The downside is that the region receives a significant amount of snow during winter.
Consider these tips when choosing your bug-out location and remember to respect the state’s building permit laws even if you’re going off-grid.