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4 Foolish Mistakes People Make When Picking A ‘Bug-Out’ Location (LOTS Of People Do No. 2)

4 Foolish Mistakes People Make When Picking A 'Bug-Out' Location

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When choosing a location to “bug out” to, there are three very common mistakes people make, each of which could seriously compromise your survival plan, or even worse.

Don’t make these mistakes, and you’ll stand a much better chance of pulling through.

Mistake 1: Head for the hills!

Sure, we’ve all said it, either seriously or in jest. Things go south, we’ll fall back to the mountains and regroup. Especially for those in the western US, the mountains are this near-mythical stronghold full of resources and assets ripe for the picking, and somehow nearly perfectly secured against government intrusion. The reality is much more brutal. Unless you are already intimately familiar with where you want to go, are prepared to not be able to live off the land, and have supplies in place or can bring the bulk of your gear with you, this is a terrible choice.

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Not only will every other like-minded person head that way, but in a disaster, roads already will be clogged, and you may not even be able to make it to your location. This one should be saved for the very well-prepared or for those who already live close to the hills and know exactly where they are going and how to survive in the wild for the long term.

Mistake 2: Hunker in the bunker

Close behind heading for the hills, many survivalists and preppers imagine a fortified position they can withdraw to, and either hide while the world falls apart, or even hold off determined gangs of marauders. Raise your hands: How many here have a real fort, or super-secret hidden bunker? Didn’t think so. You might hold off the odd band of criminals, but otherwise your bunker might become your own personal Alamo. Think wisely before committing yourself to the safety of your homemade fortification. You are better off having a few rural acres with a water source, cabin and supplies.

Mistake 3: The stay-at-home survivalist

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OK, this one isn’t always a mistake, but a lot of the time it can be. For me, that’s my usual plan. Where I live, the biggest worry is an earthquake. If I’m still alive when things go bad, then I’m good. I keep an earthquake kit stored away from the house, and I can eat and live decent, and probably can help my neighbors some. However, if serious civil unrest happens, I’m screwed, as I live smack in the middle of an urban area.

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At that point, staying at home could be the worst mistake I ever made. Take an honest assessment of the risks you face where you live. In some cases, you can almost always stay put. In other cases, you’ll have to be ready to leave. From wildfires, to neighborhood-destroying riots, the risks to the stay-at-home prepper are legion. If you can’t leave, then at least be extra well-prepared. Store gear outside the home, possibly even lightly buried if building loss is a concern. Have a place you can hide in if at all possible. Either way, have a fallback plan, even if it’s just hooking up with your buddy two miles away.

Mistake 4: The isolated homesteader

For some of us, this one may be a dream come true. A simple home, off-the-grid power and communication, a big garden that feeds us and gives a surplus to can, maybe some livestock, good hunting, trees for fuel, and a stream to fish in. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? I know it does to me. At least until something happens that would push me out. One benefit of cities and populated areas is that there are more people and more resources to combat an emergency. An earthquake, fire or flood could destroy all your hard work, and leave you with nothing. If you are one of the fortunate rural homesteaders, you must take extra precautions, because you may be one of the last to get any help in a disaster, and if civil society breaks down along with a grid collapse, you may be in trouble.

Do you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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  1. I am living #4 and will gladly take my chances!

    • Me too! The thing is, folks who live “way out” are kinda used to living that way. Our power goes out all the time. We are prepared for it & just do things a little differently when there is no power than when there is.

  2. I’m a blend of #3 and #4. Not off grid or remote, but rural, on acreage with multiple great water sources, large garden and some perma-culture, livestock, and plenty of homesteading tools and experience. I believe I can survive longer than most!

  3. Look, don’t forget that people head for the hills because they are hard to get to- for everyone- that includes your enemies. No one will be pulling up with their posse in their minivan trying to rob you if you’re 8500′ up and you demolished the only trail that leads up there. Yes, have a plan to get there, but once you’re there, you’re there. The other choice is the valley or some flat area with lots of roads. Flat terrain is easy to navigate. Rocky mountains? Not so much. And yes, I spent 30 years hiking some of the most rugged and remote places in Utah, so I know a lot of great places to bug out… in Alabama now, so have to focus on surviving where you’re at…I think the most important resource is going to be having and being good neighbors.

    • I agree. First after disaster step is knowing when to sit and when to move.
      First pre-disaster step is to know and build alliances with your neighbors.

  4. All yall just gave info you didn’t need to…the author just played wak-a-mole for your info. This article just said there is no good idea and no way out…be smarter.

  5. I am living #3 and short of a military invasion, I feel well prepared. My point, if you are already rural and have a network of skilled homesteaders near by, it is about as good as you can ask for.

  6. Many times and not even factoring in the type of crisis getting to the site you have may not be possible. When you get there it may be occupied which now presents the problem of evicting the occupants. Living in the tri-county area in Michigan we have four million people and if they decide to move we will come to a student whoa with a solid line of cars that will be abandoned. Our state can not absorb this population in the countryside. With the people going out from the city they will ruin the lands ability to produce food and ruin anything that is edible. With very few prepared to travel on foot and prepared to feed themselves will find themselves attack from the desperate who are armed. I have given much thought to this and think the best way to survive is stay in your home make it as fireproof as possible and make the home look abandoned. A silent alarm to warn of someone who approaches is necessary. good firearms is a must. With the multitude of poor people who will exit are used to a violent lifestyle and will resort to violence first. To be blunt surviving in this area will be difficult for the prepared and for most impossible. I have a plan but it involves keeping power on and a plan to invoke a plan to put the population on a plan to limit power and fuel and most of all food. Setting standards for caloric intake will be most difficult because of the condition of the obese and health problems. medications must be regulated as well. Life must be set to as near normal as possible. The best way to do this is to set a square foot standard to the homes. With families grouped into one home to insure that food and water are used as efficiently as it can be. Areas set so that buses can be run and used instead of using private cars. People who work for services like electrical or gas may transport to and from work in their own cars. land used along highways and parks will be converted to food production. Adults will be assigned to work for food production and people who have physical problems can take care of the children and provide teaching in the schools. Production of electrical power is of primary concern. Power to produce gasoline and diesel fuel should be first. Power provided to hospitals second. Areas that provide production and repair should be supplied. Power can be produced by many sources but one has been ignored. We have a river that could provide megawatts of output on both sides of the river. Train traffic would be at a minimum but these engines could produce power for critical areas. Planning by the people could provide the adaptive creativity needed to get this area back to productivity and save the multitude of lives. Planning is the secret but who can or will step up and be accepted by the people to do the job. The many problems will need a clear thinker with real solutions. Government of Fema hasn’t the people with the skill to do it. All they have is force!

  7. I would like to hear what the writer of this articles suggests are good locations to bug out to.

  8. It’s not where to go or when to go and it’s not about go or stay. It’s about being flexible and using situations to your survival advantage.

  9. Bilge Pump McCoy

    Another big mistake is not knowing your neighbors. I have a small 5 acre rural property with an old travel trailer on it that I keep stocked with a few essentials. I only get out there about 3 times a year just to check on things. I’m sure my supplies would disappear if someone didn’t keep an eye on things. My neighbor across the road keeps an eye on the place and I always drop buy to say hello and chit chat for a while when I visit. We should all make a better effort to meet and be on good terms with our neighbors. There is strength in numbers.

  10. I can not believe we put thei ass im office twice.
    He was an idot the first time and we put him in again.
    The Ninth Circuit are all liberals so, and the SCOTUS
    is up in the air.. The criminals will be very happy their
    Government protects them. They have the “All clear th
    rob and kill”. I guess it’s “Revoluton or Slavery”.

  11. To the author:

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