By Tim Gamble
In preparedness and survival circles, we talk a lot about bugging-out. But a lot of folks don't have a bug-out location. Where can they bug-out to, when and if it ever becomes necessary? Here are some ideas for bug-out locations for people without bug-out locations.
1) A Relative's Place. Maybe your Uncle George has a fishing cabin in the mountains. Or Great Aunt Ida lives alone in that huge old house on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. Or Cousin Eddie has a small farm in Kentucky. Talk to them about using their place as a bug-out location. You could even stockpile some food, clothes, and other supplies there ahead of time. You don't have to move into the house with them. Perhaps you could park a camper or RV in their driveway or backyard.
It can be difficult relying on family at times, as pride, ego, jealousy, hurt feelings, and old grudges often get in the way. Put aside those petty family squabbles. Besides, Great Aunt Ida is a lonely old lady who will need someone when the SHTF, and Cousin Eddie could always use some extra hands on the farm.
2) A Friend's Place. Your best friend from high school... Your old college roommate... The guy you used to golf with every weekend before you both got too busy with careers and family... Chances are you know lots of people that have scattered across the country over the years. Its time to look some of them up and reconnect. Perhaps while reconnecting, you can find a "bug-out buddy."
Reconnect first and reconnect now. Simply calling up an old college buddy out-of-the-blue after many years to see if you can use them as a bug-out location won't work. Rebuild that relationship now. And remember, the bug-out buddy thing works both ways. What if they are the ones needing to bug-out and your location is safe?
3) National or State Parks. Many national or state parks have camping areas. Some have cabins. Some have RV or camper spaces. At others, you will have to hike in with tents. All these could be used as temporary bug-out locations. I've even heard rumors that some survivalists have buried caches of food and supplies near their favorite spots for use when the SHTF. You'll need to scout out locations ahead of time, and prepare accordingly, but these are good options for those who have no other options.
4) For-Profit Campgrounds. National and state parks aren't the only camping option. There are lots of for-profit campgrounds around the country, offering everything form cabins, to RV and camper hook-ups, to primitive camping. Decide on a general area (or areas) you may want to bug-out to, then start looking for campgrounds. And, for goodness sake, go camping there a few times before you need to bug-out. This will give you lots of practice and insights in what you need to do and to bring with you, when the time comes for bugging out.
5) A Church Retreat. This is an idea that might work best for a small, tightly-knit church of like-minded folks. The church buy some land in a rural area. It can be "officially" for use as a church campground or retreat, and unofficially as a potential bug-out location for church members. Start using the retreat now, and start making improvements to get it ready for a church-wide bug-out should it become necessary.
A number of churches in my area already have such campgrounds or retreats - some individually, some in conjunction with other churches in their denomination. These church campgrounds could easily be pressed into use as bug-out locations.
6) Create a Mutual Assistance Group (MAG). The MAG, or survival group, can then go in together to purchase a few acres of land that could be a mutual bug-out location. This, too, will take effort and time to find the right people, and then to hash out the rules, but it can be done.
Here is a great example: I'm aware of three families who joined together to purchase a small farm that was for sale in the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee about fifteen years ago. Over the ensuing years, the families spent most weekends and vacation time on the property, working it into a very nice homestead / retreat community.
You could also find an existing MAG or survival group to join, but that can be difficult to do, and takes much time and effort. For many, it may be easier to just form one of their own with family and friends they already know and have things (values, beliefs, attitudes, worldview) in common.