The Big Move to a Survival Retreat Bug Out Location

survival retreat bug out location

Within the survival-preparedness-minded community, there is no doubt a percentage of those who fantasize about living at their own survival retreat (bug out location) full time. To somehow find a way to do it. To get out of the city, the urban sprawl, or densely populated suburbia.

[ I posted this article during 2010, the early years of Modern Survival Blog. It’s a good subject that I’ve written about a number of times over the years. So I’m adding a bit more content to this one, re-publishing it, and looking forward to your opinion and comment. ]

Survival Retreat

Your survival retreat. A location somewhat protected from the chaos that would surely result from a major epic disaster (there are plenty examples to pick from!). Your castle. Bug out location. Ideally your permanent residence to live a bit more self-sufficient lifestyle – while leveraging your self-reliance.

Maybe it’s simply a ranch type property with a decent homestead situated out of sight on several (or more) acres of land. There are all types of people, and I’m sure all types of different visions when it comes to a preferred survival retreat location and home.

Having a vision of your survival retreat (bug out location) in your mind is key to your success. The more that you think about it, and picture yourself there, the more that your conscious and subconscious mind will help you get there. It all starts with thinking.

But how in the world does one actually accomplish this? Getting there is no easy task. Actually purchasing and moving to that survival retreat is quite a lofty goal tangled with many issues to overcome!

Besides the obvious personal commitment to move away from your current location, probably of foremost concern is the cost of purchasing a survival retreat. And how might you earn money there? We all need an income to pay bills, and property taxes…

For some this isn’t such a problem. However I suspect that the percentage of people who could outright afford and purchase such a property is relatively low. Although this obviously depends on many factors.

Since most people can’t afford a second home, all you could do is to actually leave your present location and move to a new location. Meaning that if you already own a home (well, the bank most likely still owns it via a mortgage), you will have to sell it. If you are lucky enough to have an existing home with some good equity in it, then you have something to work with to help you find and purchase your survival retreat.

Like I said, finances will probably be the biggest issue when it comes to successfully making a move. Again, this is why being out of debt as much as possible is so very important. Debt holds you back in so many ways.

Some initial questions while considering a move to a survival retreat bug out location might include these…

  • How much money do I need to purchase that land /property?
  • Does the property already have a home on it? If not, how much will it cost to build something there?
  • What are some of the nice to have features of a survival retreat property?
    – An existing water source on or abutting the property such as lake, pond, spring, or river
    – A well
    – Septic
    – Privacy from the main road and/or neighbors
    – A private road sure is nice
    – Soil that can grow food
    – Favorable climate
    – South facing open area for solar panels near the house?
    – Like minded people in the area
    – Favorable politics and governance
    – there’s more, but those are just a few bullet points…
  • How much can I afford to build?
  • How much monthly income will I need to survive comfortably at this survival retreat?
  • How will I get that monthly income?
  • Are their any jobs available to me in that new location to help with my monthly expenses?
  • What will my monthly expenses be at the new location?

A few more thoughts:

Everyone will have their own unique financial issues to overcome. But a common denominator will definitely be the monthly expenses. That is, how much money do you really need to survive and still live a life style that suits you in your new location. There is no doubt that most of us can live on far less money than we think. A big issue may be any existing debt obligations.

Make a list of what you believe your regular monthly expenses will be at the survival retreat. Really give this some thought because there are categories that may not come to immediate mind. After you total it, add 25%. Once you have a number, then the challenge will be to find a way or ways to obtain that number in your new location. If you’re retired and have adequate source of cash flow, it may be do-able. If you need to work, well, that’s always the challenge and biggest impediment.

And that’s not even mentioning the fact that you may be moving away from family and friends (depending how far away you to). It’s a life changing event.

You many find that if you are leaving the lifestyle of the city or suburbs, your new expenses may be much lower and you may be able to work less time for the system (maybe part time? wouldn’t that be nice…) and more for yourself. It will be a challenge however, because a typical rural survival retreat location is not often one that is abundant with job opportunities.

Once you start thinking about it, you will discover the obstacles to getting there. The thing is, if you really want it, don’t stop thinking about it and researching ways to overcome the obstacles.

Imagine you are already there.

UPDATE since publishing this article during 2010…

I first wrote this while planning to leave California, where I lived for nearly 15 years (career move from my roots in the northeast). I absolutely made up my mind that I was leaving the rat race, so to speak (we, Mrs. J and I). Current circumstances at the time made it easier to make that decision – “I’m doing this”. Without getting into what those circumstances were, I will say that I did a lot of research. Pros and Cons lists. Spreadsheets. Maps.

But the point I’m trying to make is that the transition to my current ‘survival retreat’ full-time bug out location FIRST came from THINKING about it. Regularly. Coming up with a vision of what that place would be like. And now, were’ here.

Left CA during 2012. Was interested to move to New Hampshire (or Maine). After a temporary stay in MA (family there), finally found our survival retreat during 2014. From when I made up my mind that somehow we were going to do this – to actually getting here, took 4 years. But it all started with the mind. Thinking. Deciding that somehow we would do it. Thoughts lead to actions. That’s my simple point.

Here’s an interesting side note… Back during the time period when I was envisioning and researching where we would end up, I had come across a particular photo online. It was a red colored bench sitting underneath a beautiful Maple tree in full fall foliage colors. A perfect surreal scene. I printed and saved that picture for inspiration. Not sure where it is at the moment. Well, all these years later, here’s a picture of my own red bench underneath that formerly envisioned Maple tree, next to my chicken coop…

One last thing… Having lived here so far 8 years, I can tell you that a lifestyle with acreage, a private road, working the land to an extent with gardening, and all the required maintenance — this requires “equipment”. So factor that stuff into your costs! Tractor, Accessories for tractor (e.g. brush hog, rake for road maintenance, etc.). Mowers. Snow plowing. Oh my, I could go on and on… But I’m just saying, it consumes time and money for said equipment.

Got your own survival retreat? Living there already? Do you want one of your own? Lets hear from you…

[ Read: The Most Likely SHTF Scenarios? ]