“When shit hits the fan (SHTF), I’ll be in the hills.”
In all actuality, that isn’t a bad plan. In fact, I’d say it’s an optimal plan and in most cases, preferable to bugging in. Especially if the crisis you’re preparing to weather has anything to do with a human-based threat. It’s almost always best to leave densely or even somewhat densely populated zones behind you.
But there might be just one little problem if you haven’t mulled it over a time or two:
- Where are you going to go?
- When you get there, how will you be able to live sustainably?
- If the world is set adrift in anarchy, how will you protect your family, their lives, liberty and property?
- How will you get there?
These questions don’t amount to some half-hazard plan of selecting a spot on a map, dropping a pin and praying for the best. This is going to require a well crafted, tactically influenced, strategic plan …and one that can operate on the possibility of contingencies.
Ladies and gentleman, it’s about ‘location, location, location’… and how you are setup once you get there. Think WAY Ahead of Your Potential Adversaries. At the end of the day, you’re going to have to look at your own financial, resource and transportation capabilities.
This means that if you live in NYC, then picking a bug out location in Montana isn’t going to make sense — that is, unless you’ve got plenty of resources to help you stock and supply your retreat, and get there in a hurry.
Here are a few considerations you need to keep in mind for your choice…
• Distance to your retreat
• Your route (avoiding bottlenecks and natural choke points)
• Can you get there on one tank of gas and can you store gas where you currently live?
• Ease of access to your retreat
• The possibility or likelihood of vandalism or theft to your retreat before the SHTF scenario even occurs
• Will this be considered your property? (If you fear focused political aggression and you might be a target, then you may want to avoid connecting your name to the property itself).
• How much space will you need for self-sustainability purposes?
• Is that space sustainable?
• Do you even need a central property or can you survive off the ecosystem, moving from place to place?
Keeping these pointers in mind may help guide you to your own perfect location and setup. If anything, it’s important to think strategically, envisioning your moves every step of the way ahead of time.
Using Geology, Cover and Natural Barriers to Your Advantage I have always been and likely always will be a staunch advocate of sticking with the ‘out-of-sight’ approach to your perfect bug out location and setup. For example, the opposite of the ‘out-of-site’ approach would be constructing a castle on the side of a mountain. While this might be pretty much impossible for a rabble of bad dudes to successfully attack, you’ll eventually attract attention from schools of much bigger fish.
That’s why I recommend having bug out location that is humble, hard to access, easy to miss and only visible at close distances. Here are a few ways you can use the lay of the land to provide you with that advantage:
• Nestle your cabin about a quarter of the way up a ridge or mountain. This will allow you to use elevation to your advantage (against aggressors), yet at the same time, you’re not giving away your retreat’s location by being visible at long distances. Also, this could situate you near a valley or depression, which could provide you with a water source.
• Use the landscape’s natural ecosystem for cover. If it can be helped, try to avoid setting up in areas with lots of open space and little vegetation. If this isn’t possible (desert and plain regions), then you might want to avoid elevation entirely and setup in a depression. When in doubt, it’s just best to remain out of sight altogether.
• While the route to your retreat should avoid geological bottlenecks and choke points, you might benefit from using them to protect your actual bugout location. Using bodies of water, such as lakes or rivers can force possible aggressors to approach from predictable areas, but be sure not to expose your retreat by setting up on a shoreline.
• If possible, setup your retreat on the side of the ridge or mountain, which mostly faces south, so you can take advantage of the sun for cultivating a sustainable homestead garden.
Imagination Is an Inexhaustible Source of Good Ideas
These pointers should provide you with a short list of ideas and a generation point for new strategies on setting up your perfect bug out retreat. My advice here is simple. When shit hits the fan, the survivors will be the ones who can think outside the box and use those unique solutions to plan ahead. When you keep an open mind, you will be able to maximize on your current resources, providing you and your family with protection and stability for when times are at their worst.
Guest Author Bio: Ali Lawrence was born and raised in Alaska and earned her hunter safety license by age 13. She works in the construction industry and as a practical prepper she is always prepared for everything.