Imagine you find yourself in a situation where you need to leave your current surroundings due to an unforeseen event or emergency. It could be a natural disaster, civil unrest, or any unforeseen circumstances that require you to leave your home and find a safe haven. In these scenarios, having a well-thought-out bug out location becomes essential. This article provides you with some valuable tips to help you choose the perfect bug out location that will not only ensure your safety but also provide the necessary resources for survival. So, let’s dive into the top tips for choosing a bug out location and ensure you’re well-prepared for any future uncertainties.

Top Tips for Choosing a Bug Out Location

Understanding Bug Out Location

Definition of Bug Out Location

A bug out location, also known as a BOL, is a predetermined place where individuals or families can retreat to in the event of a disaster or emergency situation. It is a specific location that is planned and prepared in advance to provide safety, security, and resources when they are most needed. A bug out location serves as a backup option when staying in one’s primary residence is no longer viable or safe.

Purpose and Importance of a Bug Out Location

The purpose of a bug out location is to ensure the survival and well-being of individuals and their families during times of crisis. It is a strategic retreat where essential needs such as shelter, food, water, and protection can be met. A bug out location provides a sense of security, peace of mind, and the ability to sustain oneself and loved ones in the face of adversity. It is an essential element of emergency preparedness and can make a significant difference in the outcome of a disaster situation.

Scenarios Requiring a Bug Out Location

Various scenarios can necessitate the use of a bug out location. Natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, or flooding can render one’s primary residence uninhabitable or unsafe. Civil unrest, social unrest, or political instability that may lead to violence or mass panic are also situations where a bug out location becomes crucial. Additionally, pandemics, widespread power outages, or economic collapse can make it necessary to evacuate to a bug out location. Being prepared for these scenarios ensures that you and your family are not caught off guard and have a safe haven to turn to.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Bug Out Location


When selecting a bug out location, proximity to your primary residence or the area you are likely to be when an emergency strikes is a crucial factor. Ideally, your bug out location should be within a reasonable distance that allows you to reach it quickly and safely. Consider the time it would take to travel to your bug out location and any potential obstacles or bottlenecks that might delay your journey.

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Accessibility is another vital factor to consider. Ensure that the bug out location is easily accessible by road or other means of transportation, even during adverse conditions. A remote location might offer privacy, but if it is too difficult to reach, it may not be practical or feasible as a bug out location.


The security of your bug out location is of utmost importance. Look for a location that provides natural barriers or security features such as distance from population centers, rugged terrain, or natural boundaries like rivers or mountains. Additionally, consider the crime rate in the area and the presence of local law enforcement.

Availability of Resources (Water, Food, Firewood)

A bug out location should have access to essential resources to sustain life. The availability of fresh water sources like rivers, lakes, or wells is paramount. Adequate food sources, such as nearby forests or fertile land for agriculture, are also essential. Additionally, consider the availability of firewood for heating and cooking purposes, ensuring you have enough resources to meet your basic needs.

Navigational Landmarks

Being familiar with the surrounding area and having navigational landmarks nearby can significantly aid in your ability to find and reach your bug out location. Natural landmarks like mountains, rivers, or distinct geographical features can serve as reliable points of reference, especially if GPS or other electronic navigation systems are compromised.

Weather and Climate

Consider the weather and climate of the potential bug out location. Extreme temperatures, harsh weather conditions, or vulnerability to natural disasters should be taken into account. A bug out location with a moderate climate, minimal risk of extreme weather events, and suitable conditions for survival is preferable.

Assessing Potential Hazards

Natural Disasters

Research and understand the likelihood of natural disasters in the region where your bug out location is located. Consider factors such as hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, or flooding that may pose risks to your safety. Choose a bug out location that is less prone to these hazards or has natural features that can mitigate the impact of such events.

Threat of Wild Animals

Depending on the location, the presence of wild animals can pose a threat to your safety. Research the local wildlife and understand any potential risks they may present. Take precautions by ensuring your bug out location has suitable means to deter or protect against encounters with dangerous animals.

Risk of Disease or Contamination

Assess the risk of diseases or contamination in the area surrounding your bug out location. Consider factors such as proximity to industrial sites, nuclear power plants, or areas with poor sanitation. A bug out location located away from these risks is preferred to ensure the health and safety of yourself and your family.

Likelihood of Human Threats

Evaluate the likelihood of human threats in the area surrounding your bug out location. Research crime rates, the stability of the local community, and any potential risks associated with civil unrest. Choose a bug out location that minimizes exposure to these risks and ensures the security of yourself and your loved ones.

Considering the Cost of the Location

Land Cost

The cost of acquiring land for a bug out location is an important consideration. Depending on the location and demand, prices can vary significantly. It’s essential to establish a budget and explore options within that budget to ensure the affordability of the bug out location.

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Construction or Modification Costs

If the bug out location requires construction or modification to meet your needs, it’s important to consider the associated costs. Building or renovating structures, setting up infrastructure for water and power supply, and creating a secure perimeter may require additional financial investment. Evaluate these costs when selecting a bug out location to ensure it remains within your budget.

Maintenance Costs

Owning a bug out location comes with ongoing maintenance expenses. Consider the costs associated with maintaining the property and any structures on it. Regular upkeep, repairs, and potential upgrades should be factored into your overall budget to ensure the long-term viability and functionality of the bug out location.

Travel or Relocation Costs

Depending on the distance between your primary residence and the bug out location, travel or relocation costs may need to be considered. Fuel costs, transportation fees, or potential expenses associated with moving belongings and supplies should be accounted for. It’s crucial to have a realistic understanding of these costs and how they might impact your ability to utilize the bug out location effectively.

Top Tips for Choosing a Bug Out Location

Proximity to Resources

Nearness to Water Bodies

Access to water sources is essential for survival. Consider the proximity of your bug out location to rivers, lakes, or other reliable sources of fresh water. Being near water can provide not only hydration but also the potential for fishing or trapping opportunities.

Access to Hunting or Fishing Grounds

A bug out location that offers access to hunting or fishing grounds can provide a reliable source of food during an emergency. Research the availability and regulations surrounding hunting and fishing in the area where your bug out location is located to ensure there are viable options for sustenance.

Proximity to Edible Wild Plants and Mushrooms

Incorporating easily accessible edible wild plants and mushrooms into your diet can supplement food supplies during an emergency. Consider the flora and fauna in the area surrounding your bug out location and determine if there are abundant sources of edible plants that can be foraged.

Availability of Fertile Land for Farming

If long-term sustainability is a priority, consider the availability of fertile land for farming near your bug out location. Assess the soil quality and evaluate the potential for growing crops that can provide a sustainable food source for you and your family.

Evaluating the Features of the Land


The terrain of a bug out location plays a significant role in its suitability for use during an emergency. Consider the topography of the land and how it may impact your ability to navigate, build structures, or establish a secure perimeter. Flat or gently sloping terrain may be preferable for agricultural purposes, while hilly or mountainous terrain can provide natural barriers and enhanced security.

Soil Quality

Assess the quality of the soil in the vicinity of your bug out location, especially if you plan to rely on gardening or farming for sustenance. Soil that is fertile, well-drained, and nutrient-rich is ideal for growing crops and ensuring long-term sustainability.

Amount of Sunlight

Consider the amount of sunlight the bug out location receives throughout the year. Sufficient sunlight is necessary for the growth of crops and for generating solar energy if renewable sources are being utilized.

Availability of Shelter or Potential for Building One

Evaluate the availability of natural or man-made shelter in the area surrounding your bug out location. Consider the presence of caves, forests, or other suitable places for temporary shelter or potential for building permanent structures. Ensuring that you have options for shelter is crucial for long-term survival and protection from the elements.

Top Tips for Choosing a Bug Out Location

Sustainable Living in the Bug Out Location

Agricultural Potential

Assess the agricultural potential of the bug out location. Research the types of crops that can be grown successfully in the region, considering factors such as soil type, climate, and access to water. Establishing a sustainable food source through farming or gardening can significantly contribute to your long-term survival in the bug out location.

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Hunting Possibilities

Evaluate the hunting possibilities in the area surrounding your bug out location. Familiarize yourself with local wildlife, seasons, and hunting regulations to ensure that hunting can supplement your food supplies if needed. proper hunting skills and the ability to process game are essential for this sustainable food source.

Availability of Renewable Energy Sources (Solar, Wind)

Consider the availability of renewable energy sources at your bug out location. Solar power and wind energy can provide a reliable and sustainable source of electricity, reducing your reliance on traditional power grids. Assess the feasibility of installing solar panels or wind turbines to ensure long-term energy security.

Potential for Rainwater Collection

Water is a crucial resource during an emergency. Evaluate the potential for rainwater collection at your bug out location. Determine if natural features or infrastructure can be set up to capture and store rainwater for your water needs. Rainwater collection systems can provide a sustainable and reliable source of water.

Legal Considerations

Land Ownership Laws

Understand the legal framework surrounding land ownership in the area where your bug out location is located. Research property rights, land use regulations, and any potential barriers or restrictions that may impact your ability to acquire and maintain the bug out location.

Local Restrictions on Building or Renovations

Familiarize yourself with local building codes and regulations regarding the construction or renovation of structures on your bug out location. Ensure that any plans align with local laws to avoid legal issues in the future.

Zoning Laws

Research zoning laws and restrictions in the area of your bug out location. Different zones may have specific regulations regarding land use, such as agricultural, residential, or commercial purposes. Ensure that your intended use for the bug out location aligns with the zoning laws to prevent any conflicts or issues with local authorities.

Permit Requirements for Hunting or Fishing

If hunting or fishing will be a significant part of your bug out location strategy, understand the permit requirements and regulations associated with these activities. Research local hunting and fishing regulations, obtain necessary licenses, and ensure compliance with all legal requirements.

Top Tips for Choosing a Bug Out Location

Availability of Emergency Services

Distance to Nearest Hospital or Medical Facility

Consider the distance to the nearest hospital or medical facility from your bug out location. During emergencies, access to medical care may be vital. Evaluating proximity to medical services ensures prompt medical attention when needed.

Access to Emergency Responders

Access to emergency responders, such as police, fire, or paramedics, is crucial for your safety and well-being. Determine the response time of emergency services in the area where your bug out location is located to ensure that help can be reached in a timely manner.

Availability of Local Law Enforcement

Consider the availability and effectiveness of local law enforcement in the vicinity of your bug out location. A responsive and reliable local law enforcement presence provides an added layer of security during emergencies.

Personal and Family Needs

Space for Family Members

Ensure that the bug out location has enough space to accommodate all the members of your family comfortably. Consider the number of bedrooms, living spaces, and storage areas required for everyone to live in the bug out location for an extended period if necessary.

Access to Educational Resources for Children

If you have children, access to educational resources is crucial. Research local schools, homeschooling options, or distance learning programs available in the area of your bug out location. Ensuring continuity of education during an emergency situation is essential for the well-being and future of your children.

Accommodation for Pets

If you have pets, consider their needs when selecting a bug out location. Ensure that there is adequate space, shelter, and resources for your pets to thrive in the bug out location. Additionally, research local regulations or restrictions related to pet ownership in the area.

Special Medical or Dietary Needs

Take into account any special medical or dietary needs of yourself or your family members. If specific medications or dietary restrictions are necessary, ensure that the bug out location is well-equipped to meet these needs. Access to medical facilities, pharmacies, or specialized food supplies should be considered when evaluating potential bug out locations.

In conclusion, choosing a bug out location is a critical step in emergency preparedness. By considering factors such as proximity, accessibility, security, resources, hazards, cost, and personal needs, you can select a bug out location that meets your requirements for safety, sustainability, and long-term survival. Remember that thorough research, planning, and consideration of various factors will enhance the effectiveness of your bug out location and increase your chances of successfully navigating through and recovering from a disaster or emergency situation. Stay safe, be prepared, and choose wisely.

Top Tips for Choosing a Bug Out Location

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By Chris Wright

My goals with are to help you prepare your family for every day life as well as the things that pop up like job loss, storm damage, store shortages, etc. The better prepared you are for life, the easier survival becomes. Learn to thrive, not just survive!