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Old 09-09-2011, 02:11 AM
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Default What are your priorities for a Bug Out Location?



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I just noted how much my years worth of food storage, various pistols and ammunition weighs, and COSTS...and while I've gotten some input on the types of weapons I need and how much ammo to store/carry for each - I'm considering a BOL, but I don't have one and have ZERO frame of reference for how to choose one - so for now, I'll be bugging IN. But it's a neighborhood in the the central Florida 'burbs, and I'm just not comfortable for the long term here...but where to go?

Knowing how much ammo to carry is a great idea, knowing which guns to take is great too...but how are you guys making the decision on BOL's? I live in Central Florida, but my family is in the Panhandle and my wifes family is in Michigan...part of me thinks Michigan is a good idea, real estates more affordable - but it's also C-O-L-D...the area is in great farm/dairy land - but it's also C-O-L-D...she has a lot of folks that can watch out for her...but it's C-O-L-D!!!

So, in addition to food storage (1 year for 3 people stored in racks in my home), water storage (6 weeks in bottled and 55 gal drum), weapons (2 XDSC in 9mm, 1 Makarov, 1 Sig P220, 2 shotguns, and an SKS), and ammunition (630 rds of 9mm, 700 rds of ,45 cal, 350 rds of 12 ga "00" and "000" buckshot, and 2200 rds of 7.62)...as far as survival retreats/BOL's - what were your priorities regarding where you ended up selecting as a fall back/relocation position?

What's really weird - I had NOTHING this time last year...
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Old 09-09-2011, 06:42 AM
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Well I'm from Michigan, but have lived in hot places (Oklahoma) and you can get used to the temperatures.

Everyone has their own selection process for a BOL but here is mine:
  • Secluded
  • Small Community
  • Defensible Perimeter
  • Access to potable water
  • Access to fuel (forest/wood, coal?)

I chose a small house in need of renovation in northern Michigan on the outskirts of a small community (200 people) nestled in the forest (cannot see dwelling from road) with a shallow well (so I can punch new ones as needed) and a defensible perimeter. These things coupled with neighbors in a reasonable distance (500yrds is the closest) where my selection criteria. After owning it and renovating it for about a year now, I know all my neighbors and they keep a close eye on things.

hope this helps!

Last edited by fullofit; 09-09-2011 at 07:34 AM.. Reason: added fuel to list
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:32 AM
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Our group looked at location (remoteness from others), water, fuel (as in wood), defense options, infrastructure, potential for: hunting, fishing, gardening, farming
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadianPrepper View Post
Our group looked at location (remoteness from others), water, fuel (as in wood), defense options, infrastructure, potential for: hunting, fishing, gardening, farming
Shame on me, I left out the fuel part, mine is located inside a national forest, so fuel will never be an issue
Old 09-09-2011, 07:35 AM
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I'm a bug in kind of guy. I'd rather set up my primary residence securely and stay put.
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:17 AM
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Anywhere you have people you can trust to watch your back. A strong community or group of friends or family is better than any isolated location by yourself. You cant be on guard 24 hours a day or even 12 hours.
After that somewhere you are familiar with and know the back roads and terrain. Nothing beats local knowledge.
Anywhere the weather wont kill you if you get stuck out in it is a bonus in my book, but if you have the first 2 points covered thats less of an issue.

Hope that gives you something to think about.
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:28 AM
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Another thing I left out, the AO (area of operation) of my BOL is an area that my grandfather had a cabin and I spent my summers there as a child so I am very familiar with the area, the trails and logging roads, where the lakes and streams are etc.
Old 09-09-2011, 09:29 AM
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Water, food, and shelter, in that order.
Old 09-09-2011, 09:36 AM
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Awhile back I posted an article on my blog about Bug out location essentials

To me, the most important topics are:

safe drinking water
sanitation / personal hygiene
security / safe place to sleep
food resources - gardening and hunting
ability to cook
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:43 AM
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I am in agreement with Fullofit and AmericanPatirot121. I have lived in Florida and Georgia and you can get used to weather. As for the c-o-l-d part. It is much easier to set up a form of heat than an air conditioner in a high humidity climate. I also would rather have a "Bug In" location. Something close enought to get to town (small) if necessary, but remote enough people who don't know you will not find you easily. Access to water, food, fuel and aid when and if needed is of great importance.

Ultimate decision is - obviously - yours, but you need to decide if being close to people who can, and will, help you is more important than buying a new coat.
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:45 AM
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Number one priority should be Somewhere you can get to, on foot, if necessary.
The best features of a BOL that one can think of do nothing for you if you can't get there.

After that, community is vital. A strong community gets through short term emergengies just fine, and make long term scenarios a LOT more livable.

Number three should be resources - Food, water, fuel sufficient to provide for it's population. Even the best of communities can suffer in the long term if the land cannot support them.

Ps. Oklahoma gets very COLD, too. We had a nice ice storm in '07 that crippled transportation and knocked power out for weeks. No riots, no looting, just a bunch of neighbors helping each other out, and taking an unscheduled vacation.
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:16 AM
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My BOL priorities are water, defense, and ability to raise food. Just about equally, because all three are necessary for survival.
Old 09-09-2011, 10:34 AM
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My primary bug out location is not a fixed position but rather several square miles of very rugged remote mountainous terrain here in Wyoming.
I have massive amounts of wild edibles up here and enough fish to feed a patoon.
If you're really interested go over to the camping forum and look up my thread 5 day lrrp. There are some photos of what may become my secondary bug out location. Very defensible.
Old 09-09-2011, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White Tiger View Post
I just noted how much my years worth of food storage, various pistols and ammunition weighs, and COSTS...and while I've gotten some input on the types of weapons I need and how much ammo to store/carry for each - I'm considering a BOL, but I don't have one and have ZERO frame of reference for how to choose one - so for now, I'll be bugging IN. But it's a neighborhood in the the central Florida 'burbs, and I'm just not comfortable for the long term here...but where to go?

Knowing how much ammo to carry is a great idea, knowing which guns to take is great too...but how are you guys making the decision on BOL's? I live in Central Florida, but my family is in the Panhandle and my wifes family is in Michigan...part of me thinks Michigan is a good idea, real estates more affordable - but it's also C-O-L-D...the area is in great farm/dairy land - but it's also C-O-L-D...she has a lot of folks that can watch out for her...but it's C-O-L-D!!!

So, in addition to food storage (1 year for 3 people stored in racks in my home), water storage (6 weeks in bottled and 55 gal drum), weapons (2 XDSC in 9mm, 1 Makarov, 1 Sig P220, 2 shotguns, and an SKS), and ammunition (630 rds of 9mm, 700 rds of ,45 cal, 350 rds of 12 ga "00" and "000" buckshot, and 2200 rds of 7.62)...as far as survival retreats/BOL's - what were your priorities regarding where you ended up selecting as a fall back/relocation position?

What's really weird - I had NOTHING this time last year...


We were in the exact same situation as you....central florida burbs and all...

We bought 10 acres in western NC for about 40K. It is flat, at 3500ft elevation, and rural.
We still need to drill a well (bought 4K), build a home (bought 60K)(berm home for us due to the fact that they stay about 56 degrees year round), plant an orchard and garden, fence part of it for goats and chickens, etc...

It is not too cold there, and is not too hot there either...perfect in fact. There are some really rural areas too, and many of your neighbors are farmers with whom you can trade.
Old 09-09-2011, 10:54 AM
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Not having a place to bug out to is not a smart idea. Remember, there are many unforseen reasons why you might have to leave your primary location and in a real hurry.

Don't believe me? Just ask some of the more than 500 families whose homes burned in the recent Texas wild fires. How about those in the northeast whose homes flooded in the recent hurricane/tropical storms or those that are still having to deal with the flooding along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.

It probably will not be a huge SHTF situation, but when it effects you to the point of your home being severly damaged or destroyed, it is a SHTF situation for you. It will probably be something natural like weather (floods, tornados, etc), earthquakes or something man made like an accidental chemical or radiation release that will force you to bug out.

To simply plan on bugging out, with no place in mind to go to is a foolish plan which instantly makes you a refugee and subject to possible having to rely on others or on organized governmental type of help. Think about the shelters set up after hurricanes and other severe weather disasters. Go stand in line, sign up, go in and get your bunk. Wait for food to be given out and hope your stuff doesn't get stolen while you're not looking. You better plan on giving up a huge amount of control over what you can and can not do at that point.

So, to answer the OP's question as to what my BOL Priorities are...

1: Something I own and control 100% of.

2: A place that is far enough away from the large masses of people that I won't have to deal with a lot of hungry folks, at least at first depending on what happened. Ideally, at the end of a dead end road that I can control acces to and from the perimeter.

3: Good clean water source. Could be ponds, lakes, rivers or wells as long as they are not contaminated by ground water chemicals and out of the wind fall out patterns of known possible problems (like a nuclear plant, large chemical plants, etc...).

4: Good location for setting up a large garden and fruit orchards to grow food as well as good pasture land for raising cows, horses, goats, pigs, chickens, rabbits, etc... Also, plenty of good timber for use as building material as wll as a sustainable fuel source. I also want a place with lots of game animals on the property like deer, turkey, squirrels, rabbits, ducks, geese and even wild hogs. While I won't count on hunting wild game for a main food source after a SHTF event, I would like to be able to supplement our food supply and I would hunt now as the legal seasons would allow.

5: I want good solid built home structures with several large bedrooms, bathrooms, a huge kitchen and a full basement. I also want several out buildings (barn, shop and a few secure storage buildings on site.

6: The ability to set up for total off-grid abilities. It doesn't have to be that way to start... I can work on that, but I'll need good open sky access for solar and perhaps a nice hill to set up windmill generators on.

Those are a few (not all) of what I was looking for when we were looking for our BOL/Retreat.

One thing I'd add is that if you do not plan on living there 24/7, you may not want to buy anything other than unimproved land becauseif you are not there to protect the place, someone will eventually go on the propert and they will steal and/or damage what you have worked very hard to have there. IMHO, the best plan is to find your ideal BOL/Retreat, buy it and move there and live on it. That will give you more time to keep making improvements and by physically being there, you are protecting it.

Medic73
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:25 AM
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Can reach it without trouble in the event everything falls apart. Having a place so remote it is hard for even you to get to makes no sense.

A place where you can live prior to the big event. At some point you will need someone there or you will lose all you have.

You need a water well with potable water. A good septic system is a real asset. Wind power and solar.

A place with trees but not up against the house. Fire dangers need to be eliminated like trees right up against house or shelter. If you can build a earth sheltered house that would be great. More fire resistant the better.

You want to be off the main roads. You want to know what kind of neighbors you have. If possible your neighbors are in the same group with you. If you have bad neighbors they will not get better when it all comes down on you and them.

the place you have had better be defendable. It also has to be a place where you have tested it for being a place you can live.
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Old 09-30-2011, 03:59 AM
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Sorry for dropping off the "radar" folks - things got really busy at work and I;ve been doing quite a bit of traveling recently - but THANKS for the ideas! I got some ideas from everyone here and I'm even more convinced a good BOL location is a MUST (especially in central Florida).

As I said previously, I had NOTHING when I started in January...other than some camping stuff that really needed updating...after a LOT of investment of time and money I feel we've got the basics covered - I call it our 1 year plan (could probably take us 2 years with some conservation) - and I've begun to work on a 5 and 10 year plan. The 5 year plan will be to target and then acquire some rural land. Based on some excellent points made by a few of you, I'll be looking for some land north/central from my current location and within one tank of gas (approximately 350 miles). Good folks in the region that leads me to - but no one in either family.

I especially appreciated the blog link left by Kev, during my recent travels I also just picked up a new magazine I plan to subscribe to by American Handgunner, called "Survive" (tell me there aren't a LOT of preppers...we're now being targeted by marketing firms and Walmarts number one online items are long-term food storage and prepper gear) that also contributed some ideas.

I've added emergency communication (2 meter radio & antenna), and began buying some American Silver Eagles - just BEFORE it crashed - in an effort to have some type of hard currency during an SHTF event...because I really still believe it's coming. An election year with record levels of unemployment, tremendous debt (including to folks that never liked us much to begin wih) and solar flair/crazy geologic events have us one "Black Swan" event away from becoming Japan...or equatorial Africa.

but heck...whether any of that ^^^ happens or not...long-term unemployment is at such high levels - it's a much more likely scenario than a significant physical/social event. I'm glad I am far from the beginning of this journey, but I'm realizing how much further I have to go...

Thanks again folks!

mattBattson I'm still intrigued about moving to Western North Carolina...it's been in the back of my mond for a couple of years. How long before you moved did you get the idea to make the move...and did you have a "final straw" type moment that caused you to head north?
Old 09-30-2011, 09:57 AM
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We chose or BOL based on.
Distance from roads, the less developed a road was the closer we where willing to be to it.
Water supply needed to be close, our close is farther than many because we have so many people we can haul more at once if needed.
Wood and plenty of it.
Old 09-30-2011, 03:54 PM
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Lack of access and people.

Water source, fuel source, game in area.

resources for shelter.
Old 10-01-2011, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White Tiger View Post
I just noted how much my years worth of food storage, various pistols and ammunition weighs, and COSTS...and while I've gotten some input on the types of weapons I need and how much ammo to store/carry for each - I'm considering a BOL, but I don't have one and have ZERO frame of reference for how to choose one - so for now, I'll be bugging IN. But it's a neighborhood in the the central Florida 'burbs, and I'm just not comfortable for the long term here...but where to go?

Knowing how much ammo to carry is a great idea, knowing which guns to take is great too...but how are you guys making the decision on BOL's? I live in Central Florida, but my family is in the Panhandle and my wifes family is in Michigan...part of me thinks Michigan is a good idea, real estates more affordable - but it's also C-O-L-D...the area is in great farm/dairy land - but it's also C-O-L-D...she has a lot of folks that can watch out for her...but it's C-O-L-D!!!
..



My BOL grows everyday. So what I have decided to do was to Organize the stuff into groups of amount scenario setups.
Run out the door and dont look back gear....
Load the truck and get away from the area gear...
Sit it out at home as long as possible gear..


The truck has built in solar panels..lighting both regular..12v..110v..and UV. the inverter is a 2000 watt and has 2 deep cycle batteries. testing this system has powered an apartment for 2 weeks at a time cooking with small appliances..and being carefull about usages. I have had to use the system in 3 weather events that left me without power to home and was quite comfortable. stored inside is enough camo netting and reflective material to hide the truck. Each storage unit for inside the truck are from large and mini coolers (hard plastic type) this allows a fast modular system to keep things protected and organized. Inside my house there are 8 coolers of rotated long storage foods and meds..etc.. you must keep long storage foods in a cool dry place to achieve your long term storages. each cooler has recycled plastic bottles..jars..with dates marked..10 gallons of water in jugs on hand with 20 additional empty jugs stored. I rotate the stored water out often. Some additional coolers are packed with clothing and shelter equipment. If It is possible to truck out of the area on one tank of gas at least this will suffice.
You never know what may happen so by grouping your gear accordingly allows you a great many possibilities. My walk away gear is also grouped as to my ability to utilise what time I think I have to get way. I have also set up a second set of walk away gear incase I am able to take another person with me.
In my walkaway sets are maps to areas with resources along my route....
farm feilds...
livestock...
Horses...
Horses will be my initail goal whether or not I keep the truck. (sorry if you own them but they will be mine) and just like rotating foods I regularly revisite my routes to the resources to verify they are still available.
Second to a horse or two a dog or two will accompany me if possible. both are such multi use animals that I value their importance. I am now geocaching supplies rather than store all this stuff at home. each cache is needed but expendable or still there for future revisits. Sometimes just leaving your area untill the dust settles and returning may be the safest route.
As far as a fall back destination or route. 2 or 3 will not be enough. I have as many routes as I keep researching mapping and checking out. Being mobile and being able to travel and gather at night and hide during the day will be the norm. Being as unprodictable as possible Is your safest mode of thought. Hunters are gonna be everywhere and if you can rid yourself of routines and such then you are safer than trying to stand and fight. You cannot hunt the wariest critters because they have no routines....
Prepping never stops. Every day I dream up new gadgets or ideas or plans. I keep my focuss on these projects at all times as life will demand the same logic WSHTF
As far as I am concerned it has already happened, and we are just getting phased into it slowly. Boiled frog syndrome best describes our situations in todays world...


A frog put inna pot of cool water is comfortable.
begin to heat the water to a boil slowly and the frog wont jump out and boil to death.
Try to drop a frog into boiling water and its reaction will be a yipes! get me the hell outta here!

We are already in the pot...the water temp is rising.. do we wait to die in boiled water or react to save our life now......


Its not a matter of if the water will eventually boil... its a mater of when...
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