Road Atlas for Bug Out

What If You Have To Bug Out

To Bug Out. Evacuate. Leave the area. I cover this topic from time to time. This time though, think about this… If for some reason you have to bug-out, and you have no choice (let me repeat, “you have no choice”),
WHAT WOULD YOU DO? and WHERE WOULD YOU GO? Have you thought about it at all? Well, you should, even if you believe you’re perfectly safe and prepared at your present home location.

Instead of imagining a scenario where you could actually choose to stay and ‘bug-in’ and ‘ride it out’, what if you could not stay, because if you did, you would be in grave danger.

Depending on what happened, you may have time to evaluate pros and cons. Gathering information. Like “What happened?” And “How bad is it?” Or “How bad might it be, or become, where I live?” Are there things that I have, or that I can do, to mitigate and overcome what’s happening? Is it going to be safe enough here throughout the ordeal? How long might I make it here (survive here) on my own?

What If A Disaster Requires That You Bug Out

What if there is a disaster of sufficient magnitude (where you live) such that you MUST GET OUT? A disaster of this magnitude might be of the type whereby you might have little time to collect your thoughts, analyze the situation, gather information, talk to others, weigh out all the pros and cons, and make decisions that will (hopefully) be the right ones. In some scenarios, you may have minutes or just hours to decide whether or not you need to bug out.

Let’s make the situation even worse… What if it’s a ‘mega-disaster’, and is very wide spread? A disaster so big that when you bug out (because you HAVE TO LEAVE), your options of destinations might be under the same or similar disaster where you left from? Have you thought about where you might go (if you absolutely had to bug out)?

There are plenty of dramatic examples that I could present, ranging from regional to much wider geographical consequence. The thing is, if and when ‘it’ happens, most people may become paralyzed with fear, and make bad decisions as a result. I’ve seen ‘panic’ in the eyes (and actions) of ordinary people during times of ordinary disruptions in life. It’s remarkable to witness (and kind of scary). You, the prepared, will more likely ‘think on your feet’, and preferably have thought about this beforehand.

You really do need to have a plan. As remote a likelihood as it may seem, you never know, it just might happen. It is not my intention to get into the technical aspects of a bug out situation, like what to do, where to go, what to bring, and all that… Plenty of articles here on these various subjects (and likely more in the future). Instead, I’m presenting the notion of planning ahead for a bug out from your home. Although maybe an unlikely necessity for most, one never knows…

[ Read: Road Atlas & Maps For ALL 50 States ]

Rand McNally Large Scale Nationwide Atlas
(Rand McNally on amzn)


  1. I would suspect with a large enough disaster regional or larger and you HAD to “bug out” most would just die on a trip to nowhere. Not being pessimistic but if there is nowhere to go why go?

    1. Thus the preemptive thought process. Perhaps a prepper suburbanite, or ‘apartment prepper’, or a prepper who has to live in a populous region for their job… living in a relatively population-dense region… Maybe this person has a friendly relationship or family relationship with someone else who happens to live in a safer region – and that person happens to also be into preparedness (be it a way-of-life, or, a prepper on purpose). Maybe the topic can be preemptively discussed about this situation. (This is just one example)

  2. When hurricane Katrina happened people drowned in their homes. People jumped in their cars and got stuck on the highway in the heat and died of thirst. If something that big happens you definitely want to plan ahead to give yourself the best chance.

  3. I’m heading to Ken’s place, with Blue in tow.
    Be it 2800 miles 😳

      1. Ha.. I bet with all his TP he could unroll it end to end and leave a trail from home to your place. :-)

    1. OK, OK.
      On a serious note.
      If/When a area/county/state/country event happens, where are you going to go?
      Hiking to the mountains?
      Driving somewhere “safe”?
      Heading down river?
      Are willing to abandon the resources that you have acquired at home?
      Are you going to take what you can pack on your back and walk 100 miles to be turned around for some unknown reason?
      Even worse are you going to trust FEMA or the .gov to help you?
      I understand Ken’s thought on this article, but in a mostly overpopulated country, where is a safe place to “Bugout” to?
      Let me add this, all those buddies who know what “stuff” you got… you going to trust them if they have 50-100 others all coming to their place also?
      YES have a “Plan” but ya better put a hell of a lot of thought into it.
      The old saying “Stay away from crowd’s ” what do you think ALL routes out away are going to be? Even a small town of 1000 will be 100% disastrous and dangerous.
      Hunker down, become Gray, disappear.
      God help us all “If/When”.

    2. Ken, DoubleTap:
      600 rolls of TP would be a GREAT thing to have if the Shit Hit the Fan. One heck of a stinky mess for sure LOLOL.
      And for future reference..
      “NO 600 rolls is not enough” If/When we truely have an “event”.
      Think on all the food you have stored, that’s all going to be processed into xxxxx that you’ll need that TP for… right?
      BTW TP is only one of hundreds of things people better be thinking on, there is a heck of a lot more to preparing than Beans -n- Rice.

      1. NRP & Blue, you got that right. There is also whiskey. Don’t need TP to process that :-)

        1. Prepared:
          Had to chuckle some on the Whiskey comment, not needing TP to process that….
          Obviously you’ve never hung around with my crowd, we used to “get $hit faced” all the time…..
          Requiring a LOT of TP

  4. I think the vast majority will stay at their home until it is too late to leave believing things will get better, FEMA or some other agency will be on scene shortly to give them guidance and advice and won’t be able to comprehend the enormity of the situation. By the time they realize they are on their own they will be low on water, food and the bad guys will have begun roaming the streets and highways. Gangs will have blockaded intersections and will be collecting “tolls” which is anything you have that they want and getting out of a city with thousands of desperate people will be nearly impossible.

    If it is a sudden event most will have a 1/2 tank of gas or less so they won’t be going far even if they get out of the maze of traffic, crime and chaos. If by chance they succeed in getting out into rural areas they will find many roads blocked by locals who will not be a welcoming committee and they will be forced to turn around. If they make the mistake of trying to force their way into an area or trespass onto someone’s property the result will most likely be fatal. We live up on a mountain because we like solitude, being left alone and anyone thinking that “running to the hills” is a survival plan may want to rethink it and add a lot more reality and a lot less fantasy.

    1. RC You expressed my thoughts to a tee, I have several mountain ranges here in northern Nevada that are minutes away but even getting to them would be a long shot for the same reasons you listed. My plan now includes an off road UTV (electric for stealth travel) as you can hear a gas powered UTV literally miles away. We have many service roads and paths but even that makes me pause my choice would be totally off road head to the hills after dark if situation permits. My uptake is that leaving a known situation/location going to an unknown situation/location is just another round of throwing the dice. I still recall the old nam sniper ‘LIE’ motto…”locate, isolate, eliminate.” BUGGING OUT is my absolute last alternative.

      1. Someone mentioned bugging out to nowhere, what you would call SOL or S#it Outta Luck.
        A serious fear is becoming a migrant, drifter, refugee, golden hoard? whatever works for you.
        You make it to somewhere/nowhere.. whaddayagonnado ?
        A backpack, you have days maybe.
        A vehicle, you have a week or three if your damn lucky.. if nobody decides they want your stuff.

        I personally don’t want anyone showing up here, I don’t want to be in that situation myself
        on either end.

        Dragging a couple trees across the drive entrances, posting some unpleasant messages and loosing sleep.
        Prolly keeping the pup outside as an alert system, he’s noisy.
        Yes, the old diesel tractor will continue to work with manual battery charging.

  5. I have given a lot of thought to this very situation of needing to bug out from where I spend most of my time. I have prepared a bug out location 220 miles east of where I live and a bug out location about 120 miles southwest of where I live. I will not discuss the things I have done but I have been at prepping for many years. I have also considered the possibility that all three places could be at grave risk – then what?
    Well then, why leave my primary residence. If all three places are at grave risk then here at my primary residence I would take my family underground. Without discussing my underground preparations we would take up defensive measures for the long haul. Long haul defensive measures are very stressful and I have tried to soften this as well.
    I know that bad times are coming.

  6. It is an interesting ‘what if’ exercise because all of us who are preppers / preparedness-minded, well, we do most of our mitigation at our home/homestead. In a sense, all those tangible eggs are in one basket. Although most of us tend to believe that our own particular location will not ever be in a circumstance whereby we ‘have to’ leave (due to any of the many hypothetical situations that may affect your specific AO as such) – it’s something we assume we’ll never need to do.

    1. Ken J.
      I agree with not having all the eggs in one basket.
      Hence several locations for supplies.
      To be honest, bugging out would be of the very last thing, especially for long term, more than a month or so. Other than that, timing would be of the upmost importance, missing the hordes on the way would be critical.

      1. Yes, it would be the very last thing for me, and only if absolutely positively unequivocally beyond a shadow of a doubt, necessary to save my and Mrs.J’s life from impending certain danger crossing the threshold of which we could not defend or survive. Otherwise, I’m staying put :=)

        1. Same here. Rather die at home than on some road in the middle of nowhere and die might be a blessing considering some other options we don’t like to think of.

  7. About 30 years ago, DH and I lived in a house with railroad tracks going literally through our backyard. One day, a train derailed. Volunteer firefighters came to tell me I had to evacuate, and to take any pets with me. My DH was at work, and we didn’t have cell phones then. I grabbed my two year old neice, who was living with us at the time, my two dogs, and my parakeet. I dropped my dogs off at the in-laws and took the neice and the bird to my parents house. We were allowed to return after about six hours. I was young and clueless and just left, not putting any thought into what I should grab, such as important documents. Things are different now. If we had enough time, we would hitch up our camper trailer which we keep stocked with household needs (including lots of NRP’s recommended preparedness item!), and get to a campground somewhere safe. We now have stuff ready to grab and go if we should have to evacuate.

  8. As others have mentioned, a lot depends on why you are bugging out. Number one danger here is forest fire. Finally convinced Mrs Alaskan that is why I keep my BOB ready to go. BOB means Bug Out Bus, that school bus I converted, keep maintained, and ready.

    1. Yup, Forest Fire would be one of the scenarios. I’m sure a lot of folks out west can relate to that one! Another would be a major earthquake which severely damages infrastructure (at least for those living in those zones).

    2. Old Alaskan:
      Agree with ya on the Fire thing.
      But normally a fire is maybe a week or two???? I’m thinking long term, months to a year or more, basically relocating.

      As Ken mentioned Inferstructure going down, we’ll as folks that prepare we ALL should have that covered… Right?

    3. Been wracking my brain for a bit trying to think of something that could make me bug out. Fire seems the most plausible as I live in a heavily wooded area. I’d probably just load up my bug out van quickly and find the nearest safe Walmart parking lot to camp out in til it was safe. I could get most of my preps in their quickly too if needed.

      I thought about the Golden Horde coming my way too but that seems farfetched. I’m in a small town surrounded by woods and mountains off the beaten track. No stores even in my town. I guess if an attack was imminent I’d just slip into the woods with a pack. I’d lose my preps but still be alive.

  9. Reckon I would just call uber and ride out with him….Wait…did I say uber? I meant Goober…lives right down the trail from me.

  10. With all the city dwellers headed to the sticks, we’re already in the sticks. Tough to imagine a scenario in which we would bug-out from here. Never say never. It could happen. I have thought of a couple of spots. Definitely last resort kind of stuff. If it should come to be, how will ya contact your friends, family, VIPs ? If things are that desperate, your phone won’t function. Plan A becomes plan B which quickly devolves into no plan at all. There are solutions.

  11. Hopes those ” city dwellers ” would have watched Deliverance at some point and would have a decent fear of the big unknown evil countryside.
    Or just terrified enough to stay put out of general stupidity.

    Gods, I don’t want ant liberal screamers in my yard.

    1. horse: speaking of deliverance, years ago when i first saw the movie, i have never gone hunting w/o several back up guns, may call me the local neighborhood nut job but no one is going to make me squeal like a pig.

    2. Horse, you really made me laugh! “I don’t want any liberal screamers in my yard.” Too funny! I just picture all these ‘Karens’ in your yard…….

  12. It seems like the majority of the people who write in this blog have been prepping for years and live in a secluded area with gardens or livestock or ponds nearby. (I’m jealous). I got a family of six with four kids all under the age of 12. It would be nearly impossible for me to bug out with enough food, water and shelter for us all. I live in the central valley in California so our nearest bug out destination would be 40 miles. Think I’ll just hunker down with at home with God, family, our preps and plenty of ammo.

    1. Mister E:
      Actually you have a 1000 mile head start on most.
      And an idea of what you’ll need.

    2. Several here are in less that ideal circumstances but try to make the best of it.
      There is a huge pond on the property, odd shape near an acre but it has farm runoff.
      Out in the country, yes but within 35 minutes(car travel) of a small liberal city.

      Always issues, some good things some bad.
      One of the better things where I am is it’s mainly a conservative area that’s fairly armed with scary black things.

      1. …scary black things wouldn’t happen to be high speed wireless devices would they?

        1. One has a strap, plastic/wood/rubber..
          Kinda oily.
          Cold like my last GF but unlike her they warm up fast when triggered.

    3. Mister E,
      The biggest part of any survival scenario is an honest assessment of your situation and you have already won that fight. Everyone has advantages and disadvantages to their situation and acknowledging them realistically can be challenging even for those that live in seemingly ideal locations.

      Sounds like you have made a wise choice and can continue to plan and prep as your kids grow and your needs change. In a couple of years your now dependent kids will become valuable assets that can help defend and share responsibilities should the need arise.

    4. Mister E
      If you are in the central valley you are in prime farm land so if a EOW situation came up there would be prime chance of either being able to grow food or find work on one of the farms. Without farm equipment all would need to be done by hand.

      Or you could be captured by the overlords and made a slave LOL

      In reality we all started somewhere. Just keep trying to prep and you will continue to move forward

  13. Good Discussion and I value all opinions. Bugout is not an option for me as I have roots and family in a community that is about 35 miles from a major southern city. I have prepped to the best of my ability for my family and my wife and I. I am 67 yr old and fortunately still able body and mind. I have great neighbors who are mostly like minded. Retired Military and law enforcement. We Are sufficiently armed and want nothing more than to be left alone to help neighbors in need if necessary. Live in a semi- rural area. Hope this is not off subject but just hopefully food for thought. Good luck to everyone when “the walls come tumblin down” As for me I will stand and fight to the death. God is on our side and after the dust settles we will prevail. Keep the faith no matter what never give up.

  14. A few years ago when I first though about bugging out scenarios, I figured I would take my camping gear and as much food as I could pack along with my family and head to the nearest provincial park! One weekend when camping at said park, I looked at all the people and wondered how many of them might do the same thing as me in a bug out scenario … and how many more from the neighbouring cities would think the park would be the best place to go also. I didn’t think there was enough space/resources for everyone! Fast forward several years … we saved and have a small trailer that is livable during a bug out. We also have made arrangements to stay at a property with family if things go bad! We will arrive with resources so as not to be a drain on the family. We have three routes mapped out to get there and have driven each route more than once. Each route can accommodate the trailer no problem!

  15. Years ago I perused all sorts of scenarios for bugging out; places to go, had BOBs packed, etc., etc. My how times have changed. Truth is, my DH could not survive it. Twice a cancer survivor, severe arthritis in spine and hips. Gets winded just going to the mailbox. Up until last year we were purchasing a vehicle for vacations and also a BOV. No longer. Cancelled it. We stay put until the ammo runs out. Or, should it be a natural disaster just toss the GSDs, food, water, camp gear in the truck and get to the edge of the disaster zone with the intention of returning as soon as possible. However, I’ve left the final decision of our survival in the hands of Jesus. I’m good with that.

  16. I don’t usually deal in absolutes.
    This Homestead is my ALAMO. This is where I will make my finale STAND. I ain’t buggin out..PERIOD.

    I’ve lived through 100mph winds, -50 weather. 116 degree weather, a volcano (twice), 10′ snow drifts, valley full of forest fire smoke, earthquakes and much much more.
    No flooding, wildfires, earthquakes, volcanos, tornados have or ever will make me leave. I live on the high ground, very nice ground too.
    My Dad, Mom, Little Brother and Uncle ashes are spread on my homestead.

    I live in the house I was born in. I’ve Lived on the Homestead my entire life, I ain’t leaving.

    1. Tmac: looks like I’m with you and Stand my Ground. I’m not going anywhere,and I’ve worked hard to have what I have. I’m 76, in good health, strong and mentally fit, but my wife is not as robust as I am, and I don’t think she could take a long, hard bug-out. And I’m definitely not going to leave her behind. I have the means to grow a lot of food right here and pretty much have most of what we need, (including lots of TP.) Also the means to defend it to the end. When the end comes, I will bend over, kiss my a$$ good by, and ask Jesus to accept us. So MOLON LABE.

      1. P.S. Looks like we all have our “ALAMO”, somewhere, we just haven’t come to it yet.

  17. Sounds like a lot of people on this blog bugged out a long time ago. Joel Skousen wrote a book called”Strategic Relocation, which seems knowledgeable. What most are discussing is bugging out from our permanent bug out location. Under the gravest extreme would that happen, and I would try to make it temporary. That means caches so you have something to go to or come back to. I’ve long felt that the things wrong with most homes are: 1) Wrong location, 2) Not fire resistant from the exterior, 3) Not bullet resistant, 4) Doors and windows not resistant to break in, 5) Not self contained, i.e. well, septic, fuel, garden, livestock. Although most of you are beyond these issues in your preparedness, any of us could face a situation where bug out is necessary. In case of forest fire, I will try to save my home. Sprinkler, water barrel, pump, and bulldozing trees like crazy if there’s time. Outside Colorado Springs a few years ago, some people saved their million dollar homes with a garden hose.

  18. One more. If you need a map to get to your BOL, you didn’t practice.

  19. Afraid you’re right, Tmac. I don’t have anything clever or profound to add to your words of wisdom. We all just do the best we can, and try to stay encouraged. I wish I was surrounded by more people like the ones on this blog. Thanks Ken J.

  20. There is only one type of disaster I can think of that I did not deal with as a young first responder long ago: A volcanic eruption. Realistically, Many of us that live on the Left Coast live on the Ring of Fire. I also will point out that the Four Seasons of California are: Earthquakes, Floods, Riots and Wildfires. The largest metropolitan area within my state also has an active volcano within the County where Portland, OR is located. Tough to live in an area where you cannot breathe the air through the volcanic dust.
    I would submit there is another reason that would make a person relocate: The aftermath of a shooting or killing. Most of people on this site have guns or weapons nearby and many have their CCW. If you ever get involved is a shooting with a person from a large family or a gang, you now have a bounty on you. Best advice is to relocate to a new area and become and stay the gray man. I’ve had to do this several times in my early years and I’ve helped several other cops after they became involved. Beyond you, the shooter, your spouse could face retaliation at work and stalking at the grocery store. Your children could face bullying and retaliation at school. This is what you have to look forward to after you have gone through criminal and civil court proceedings. Now you know why I do not carry all of the time and one could say that I have mellowed with age. Like most people mentioned already, I want to be left alone these days.

    1. Calirefugee, We were 60 miles from St Helens when she blew her top. Sat in the back yard and watched as she disappeared below a shoulder of Mt Rainier. Because the wind was blowing more from the West than the SW that day, our relatives in Kansas got more ash at their place than we did at ours. That made an impression. One of the prime reasons I like my location in the coastal PNW is that I’m only downwind from the Pacific Ocean. Military bases, nuclear plant, volcanoes, big cities, industry – all downwind from me most days of the year.

      1. Anony Mee
        I was changing water on a hay field. I heard a clap of thunder and looked to the southwest. There was a huge dark blue-gray cloud, full of PINK lightning coming straight at me and it was moving really fast. I got to my truck and felt stuff on my face, it was the ash fallout. This was about 11:30am. My Mom came tearing down the road, jumped out and said Mt St Helens has erupted and the news said that cloud was deadly. I got home, got my 2 kids and wife and went to Dad’s house. I had just enough time to get the dogs in and then it was pitch black. Not a single sound, with thick ash falling. At noon, it was just BLACK outside. By 4pm the power had been out for a couple of hours. I went outside, much to the dismay of my Mom. There was about 4″of grainy ash/glass sand on everything. It turned into paste when it got in your mouth. I went back and got a mask we use in the grain bins and started checking on my livestock. By 6pm the ash somewhat moved south, and we got some clearing, plus the power come back on.
        There’s alot to this event, to much to put on here. But, It was scary as hell. And ruff on every living thig out there. I lost a lot of calves, all the pigs and many cows. When their lungs got ash in them it turned to cement, had to put MANY down, huge financial loss.

  21. I’m sure there are people that will have to “bug out”, but since I live in my “bug out” location that I have steadily built up over the past 40 years, I’m already there.

  22. Just a little note… I know that many of our regular readers are quite well positioned in their rural location Alamo. This article is mostly intended for those who may not already be in that position. The majority of people live in suburban, and even urban areas. I used to be one of those – living in population dense suburbia during the majority of my working career. After all, that’s where most of the ‘jobs’ are. For those people, it’s a good idea to think about “what if” they had to get-out-of-dodge (for whatever reason). And to at least give it some thought.

    1. No matter where you go
      There you are!
      Might have to bug out from wherever you are, can just never tell, better to have thought it over a bit. Real easy to be somewhere unfamiliar and need to exfil

  23. Another 2 cents worth for the .005 cents it’s value is.
    I don’t care where ya live, 100 acre farm/ranch. 5 acre rural, suburbs, city or a 500 unit apartment complex.
    Ypu need to… let me rephrase that, you MUST have a plan…
    I don’t care what location you are in, I’ll bet you 100 doughnuts that I could come up with a reason you need to “GOOD” (Get out of Dodge).
    Take a little time and use those God given brain cells to come up some ideas, write then down, go over them. Walk away for a few days than revisit ypur list and figure out what/where/why/when and HOW.
    Then just for the heck of it… Do It a couple of times just to see if it will work.
    Sort of like practicing “Lights Out Weekends”.
    Life is good here on Lightning Point, but you can bet your butt I have a “GOOD” plan.
    Heck, even Ole Blue has a “Bugout Bag” ready to go.

    1. NRP & Blue, slow progress on this one. loose plan already. only extreme issue- like fire /or something i cannot work around- would necessitate us being REFUGEES. End “spot” would depend on cause of evac./routes available. Planning definitely a long item needed. we know some routes would be closed-under certain events.. We keep things available for the trip in either. never loaded and done it because of other limiting factors.things change… WE ALL Have to keep thinking about changes…and how those will affect trip ability and destination

    2. Blue – Your Poppa is correct. Even though your current location IS your bug-out location, my better half says to always have a backup for the backup.

      NRP – That puppy Blue is hanging around with the right feller. 600 dog treats is never enough for a smart dog…

  24. I can think of no motivation short of nuclear, biological, or chemical that would lead me to bug out from the close vicinity of my home. I do have plans for hitting the woods surrounding in order to defend my home from a more mobile position should circumstances and prudence warrant me abandoning it…without the worry of those inside being the backstop of incoming.

    For sake of discussion… should organized bands of armed ne’er-do-wells with prior record of threatening homesteads be headed your direction… would you fight from your front porch, attempting to protect your family and loved ones inside….or usher them into the surrounding woods to predetermined positions of cover and concealment (and relative safety) …and engage the threat from ambush if they manifest their evil intentions?

    1. Dennis, When I wrote this article, I had that concern in mind. Wondered if anyone would bring it up… having some sort of plan for if an “organized band of ne’er-do-wells with prior record of threating homesteads…”, one of sufficient numbers whereby your homestead would likely be overrun (unless one had a sufficient repelling force). Instead of succumbing to near certain termination, one might consider one’s surrounding area to either wait it out with sufficient shelter and supplies till they’re gone, and/or, to impose an offensive ‘surprise’ action against them at the appropriate time, if able to do so. Food for thought.

      1. Romeo Charlie:
        I agree, always lead em around the back where the Backhoe is sitting.

        1. …and if the battle comes to your front porch…..?
          Okay…I give?
          Nope, not me
          150 acre property scope….
          Fenced yard
          Front porch
          Back deck
          Home interior

          Not limited to ‘THE BATTLE AT THE FRONT PORCH’.

          If you made it this far, your good as pig fodder or swamp fill…..

          God willing

        2. RC
          Would like your prospective on my comment, besides

          Seriously….was it
          Good, Bad, Different opinions?
          Or is it just me being old, stubborn, living in la la land, protecting whats mine not theirs, for the giving….(simple hand over.)

        3. Joe C,
          I was replying to NRP & Blue’s comment above yours and forgot to address it to him.
          As far as your comments I agree. Never have a stationary position, shoot n scoot and use the knowledge of your terrain to your advantage.

  25. – I would have to agree with Cali, there are reasons why one might have to relocate, some of which we may not have thought of yet. Where I am, where I live, I have worked for a couple of decades since I got out of the Army to make my home. Not counting the money, that’s a lot of sweat equity built up and a lot of connection to the community to have to give up.

    I do have four alternates though, already lined up and ready to accept me if I must. I have three grown children, two of which are in the process of buying houses, one of which is somewhat “oversized” for his family. It is not self-sufficient, but it is being made more so; there is a well that needs a pump, and they are currently putting off-grid solar panels up in an area where there are a lot of grid-tied solar panels already. The other home is only a few blocks away but has an inactive well also. Both homes are well-armed.

    The youngest daughter is renting, but her current home is withing spitting distance of one of Texas’ larger rivers and her husband holds a family share (he and two unmarried, older and distant sisters) in some ranch property about midway between us. Roughly an hour away from either of us. We have mutual acceptance agreements in place among all of us. These are all to the south and east of me, and my house is big enough to provide shelter for any or all of them, although all would be a bit crowded.

    Last is north of me, an old army buddy who is a retired and now widowed empty-nester with a large house whom we have shared quarters with before. It is on the edge of an urban area, but we were just talking about this the other day and the welcome mat remains out if need be. This home is at the foot of the mountains, and he is also well-prepped and well-armed. It is the farthest of the alternatives.

    Do I intend to bug out to any of these places. Quite simply, no. I have no intention of leaving my home for any of these. But there are alternatives if need be.

    – Papa S.

    1. I keep my bag in the car, It is my everything bag.
      It’s horribly lacking for some situations but it was mainly if stranded and needed to get home
      in a grid lock- non working car situation-lock down.. asteroid impact, super massive cme.
      Whatever trips your trigger.

      I need to replenish the food.
      I’d love to carry a rifle but haven’t gone there yet, likely a .22 with a vacuum sealed box of ammo 250r

      I ordered several compasses, Can’t wait to see if they are quality or not., went cheap this time.
      Where I live, my animals/pets.. hell or high water if I’m alive I’ll get back to whatever remains.

      Really, nothing significant ever happens here, middle of nowhere central Wisconsin aside of heavy rain.. wind?
      Mebbe some day I’ll get some of that climate changey stuff.

      I have thought about maps but I always know what direction to head, I should locate my state maps again and put them in my car, old as they are.
      I’d like a laminated WI road map.
      Looking at a WI atlas on ebbay

  26. Harriet Parke wrote a book, under the auspices of Glenn Beck, entitled Agenda 21. In the book, the populace was rounded up and relocated, except for those that faded into the woods. We have considered how we might do that here in the surrounding woods and swamp. We even play a game called Little Girl/Boy Lost in the Woods with the grandchildren. They are learning woodcraft and how to forage for food. They can saddle the pony by themselves and ride through water. We were eating lunch at a restaurant yesterday, and the 6-year-old suddenly exclaimed that if he had to leave home, he would take the Bible! So they have been putting thought into it as well. I must say that it would take me several days to organize a bug-out.

    1. RR, I want to praise you for your family’s training. If your 6 year old wants to take his Bible, then he is well trained. Keep up the great work.

  27. Oh, but I do have a choice. I plan on bugging in and will defend my family, my property and my Freedom to the death. The reason? If it comes to that we are in deep trouble and will die anyway so I plan… with a little help from my friends, to take as many bad guys with me as possible.
    Out here.

  28. As Ken has stated, most of us here are pretty well set to stand at a bug in, not a bug out, with our rural and set households.
    It would take a major, major occurrence force me to bug out.
    Could we do it?
    Would it be practical?
    Two horse trailers; one self contained. Two trucks that could move each of them, if that circumstance would allow us to truck them out. Livestock, essentials, tools, petc- other than what’s already packed.
    Devistating house collapse?
    Maybe a BOL scenario

    Got the small cabin.
    Even thought about making a small stone structure on the property, as the farmer who rents, has made 4, 8h,x10l,x12w foot piles of stone….right on the field/woods edge.

    Feel safer and more secure at home, than traveling to or into a questionable location.

    Just like ppl with a BOL in the UP, living down state. To reach the UP;
    The Mackinaw Bridge…
    The route of Chicago way….
    No thanks
    Canada route….
    Banned boarder crossings.
    Your UP hide-a-hole is now useless

  29. This is a tough situation. There certainly are situations that could force anyone to have to bug out, i bet the folks in Ukraine could tell some stories. Or from a hundred other places wracked by war and conflict of all flavors.
    War or conflict i believe could well be the biggest cause of displacement of populations. Not pretty, not at all not for anyone normal.
    There is always the chance of natural disaster. Pick your scenario, from volcanic eruption to massive floods to drought to wild fires and everything in between. All could force even a remote rural hideout to have to bug out.
    Basicly anyone subject would become a refugee, not a great prospect there.
    Am putting more thought into this, plans need to be fluid, things can change in an instant.

  30. I don’t have an emotional connection to our current location. We are older, and have built as much here in two years, as we could. It depends so much on the situation. Who ever thought we would have a pandemic, even though it was long over-due?
    By the time we packed up food, water, medical supplies, defense items….we would be too tired to go anywhere. We are just too old. We have a good friend in a prepared group, that we could work with, less than an hour away. I think they would welcome our supplies, additional support and some medical knowledge. I would rather they come here, but they practice in the woods and know every inch of it. Really our only realistic choice is to stand our ground. We could set a few traps, but we are 45 minutes outside Atlanta…how long?…how many? And then, there is that five mile circle. Not sure what it might hold.

    1. Ariel, we don’t have anyone that close. our are 4 hrs -now… if i had someone that close would preposition supplies in metal drums sealed.2-3 drums,
      LTS stff properly packed…has tremendous ability to help thru. dehydrated and freeze dry would be longer for shelf life…. if canned goods, could be rotated out every 12-18 months- as able… in cool spot-insulated sm corner of shed/basement/cave? keep list of those.then your packing would not be as hard/ heavy.. then could easier load dressings for meals..and necessary daily stuff. meds/ herbals/flour.. more whole grains could be packed in barrels in big bags/- kind used for corn/wheat/ chicken feeds/or sandbags? in barrel. whole larger grains like dry corn can be used to fill crannies.Would take barrels empty, load there. plop in several hot hands.. in each./or dry ice…would be. pre freezing grains..oats, wheat, corn. milo all can be ground…for flour… sorrel seed also – used for making milk extender. instant potatoes/rice/ store longer would make good fill ins for top of barrel. Abt 400#/drum.. would seal drums tight + full.when full-silicone to seal. just ideas, gives options.

  31. Ariel:
    We are about the same distance from ATL as you are…and in the same boat…have been here 18 years, and all of our preps are here. We are in our 70’s now, and not physically able to pack up everything. Our neighbors are good ol’ boys, but not prepared for anything. Our children belong to the fruits and nuts crowd and would never get here…We plan on standing our ground, and if that doesn’t work, our neighbors can last a long time on the spoils of war…Good luck and blessings to you~

    1. Yellow Rose, Wouldn’t it be something if we lived near each other and didn’t even know it? I wonder how many on this blog talk with people everyday that might be a mile down the road? I thought I might know you from another site and we might have a mutual friend up around Floyd Co. We are in the other direction.
      Like you, our kids are more into “live for the moment”. The grandkids can see something might happen, but can’t afford to do anything about it. Good Luck and Blessing back your way.
      Just Sayin, There are good suggestions, but we only know one the the group really well. There is no trust among the group and us at this point and we are burning daylight. I do appreciate your list and it may serve someone well, who has to bug out.

  32. Ariel…that would be something! I live due north of ATL…I don’t comment on any other sites, although I do read a few others…I have one friend in Floyd Cty whose name is deb…Hang in there!

  33. Slight deviation but still kinda OT
    Pretend some bigly thing happens, the people that are able, those disperse cities big and small.
    After overrunning small towns and villages and finally locked out, barred.. road blocks, where do the rest go?
    They have zero options, NONE.
    This is a probable thing these days with that dementia guy provoking Russia.

    I’d guess “a very few” will be ok for several days, people with kids 1 to 3 days- weather dependent.
    Any of them will be fine until realization hits home, that’s hunger/shelter so it could be mere hours into those buggeroutters first day.
    They will accost rural homes/communities en masse, it starts as a trickle.
    *People will demand they be coddled, sheltered, fed- sob stories..
    They have nowhere to go at all.

    This isn’t that golden hoard thing, these are hopeless individuals and families with real demands and expectations.
    My guess is many will be armed, no food but damn sure they have a gun.
    People get violent when denied things they think they need or deserve even/especially at others expense.
    I’m looking at worst case here.
    If you have to bug out, make damn sure you can take care of you/yours and have a realistic destination beyond “somewhere else”.

    Anyone living outside of mega cities, suburbs and outskirts is S-O-L
    I imaging I’ll be having to lock everything down every day and night, sleeping in hides/blinds around the property to protect the property and animals using that crappy first gen night sight toy.
    What a horrible situation.

    Sand bags might be an acceptable prep, several hundred.
    A cauldron hanging over a fire pit with a mannequin leg sticking out?
    Ba, the imagination is going in a bad way.
    Try to never underestimate the deprivations, hate and anger/fear that drive people in bad situations.

    1. Make your home less of a target for the desperate, by making it appear it has already been ransacked and gutted of all possible resources.

      Open windows and doors…blowing curtains…trash and debris scattered about…broken glass…empty food containers…ripped boxes…soiled clothes…and what looks like dead bodies, which are giving off a decomposition smell. Nothing looks more dead than a proper dummy, with a raw chicken rotting inside it, face down in the mud(or an actual db, if available).

      Remember how to use Punji Stakes? I bet very few in any horde will.

      1. Rebar makes excellent Punji sticks and are easy to make ahead and have ready to hammer into the ground with a wood block. Groupings set at different angles above ground along with those buried in holes covered with small sticks and leaf debris are good force multipliers.

        1. Rebar is a very good idea! A small grinder…and sharpen them up nicely. A mallet and block to drive them into the dirt properly…and some consideration as to their placement.

          Rebar is naturally camouflaged, sturdy, reusable, can be painted to conceal, doesn’t burn, and is cheap. No need to use thicker rebar, either. The pre-cut, thinnest width, rebar found at Home Depot, or Lowes, will do nicely.

          Hide them in the tall grass…in hedges…and places the enemy will seek as cover, once you start shooting at them. You old Vietnam combat vets know….

        2. Take construction adhesive pour approx 1/2 cup into a 2” or 3” snap off lid that has a sidewall to it stick in about 15 to 20 roofing spikes 8 or 10 inch length sticking out in all directions and let dry and you have a caltrop from Roman times, these can be placed anywhere and camouflaged with grass weeds. Stepping on one of these will ruin someone’s day two or four legged. We had a trespass problem decades ago with motorcyclists who cut fences on our 100 acre ranch, we put these out and after they had a few encounters with these buried caltrops we had no more cut fences.

      2. I don’t own the place I live, I know the owner would have issues with that but when things hit the s#itter priorities will change.
        It’s a fairly nice place.
        Hard to make it looked sacked with 10 horses, 8 goats, 4 sheep lounging wherever.
        House is something like 70′ from the road directly, further by driveway.

        I understand the idea but I’d have to physically destroy things to make it look sacked, hide equipment, hide the two tractors.
        More things to think about.

      3. Ision, Nope. That’s just an invitation for the homeless to crash there, hunters to overnight and leave a bloody mess, or teenagers to use it for whatever.

        1. But those hazards are not LOOTERS looking for a ripe target…and prepared to take it.

          I will take a curious homeless person, seeking shelter from the rain, over a gang of looters…ready to kill, in order to obtain supplies, who are tempted to assault a ripe looking target. Any other tactic only signals the looting enemy that you have something to loot…and to carefully plan your elimination…so they can take it. You must have lots of what they need, else why protect it so well?

          Why not set up a few snipers and keep quiet…until you show yourself? If no one shows after a few hours…then investigate the ripe target, keeping the snipers in place, as your team moves in…maybe to set a small fire to see if someone inside shows up to address it…letting your sniper take them out before making any breach?

          The idea is to mitigate, not eliminate.

          Camouflage is not a new concept…and it is used because it works.

          Best to be ignored, than to call attention…or to demonstrate you are protecting the very thing being sought.

        2. Ision
          If i was looting i would loot everything and anything from everywhere and anywhere i could, it would be like clearing a building, a block, a zone, dont underestimate the methodical actions of groups or gangs, not all are a bunch of willy nilly opportunist. Ive seen this in action, homeless vagrants, not so much, a group of gang members? Definitely, in Mexico many of the gangs resemble paramilitary organizations more than rag tag drug dealers. Even some of the inner city gangs in most US cities are heading that way, all it takes is solid leadership, they are there in many forms, both good and evil

        3. Exactly what I figured. And, exactly why the camouflage is needed. I expect the looters to be organized, else…they would be engaging EACH OTHER!

          Learn from Nature.

          If you are not as big and dangerous as you need to be…in order to directly fight off a predator, what do you do?

          You’ve got, in most cases, ONE good combat effective in a home, housing a married couple, at best. Their ONLY chance is to try and avoid attracting the specific attention of the very gang you put forth.

          Looking like a perfect target is NOT the best way to avoid that attention, nor is looking like a well stocked, but guarded, target. Why give the enemy ANY information at all?

          Camouflage, and hide, as best you can. Then, if probed…at least try to make your first kills easier…with the element of surprise.

          Your only other choice is to abandon the position, if you can….after deliberately leaving behind POISONED FOOD SUPPLIES, which only YOU can easily identify.

  34. Never underestimate the killing effectiveness of a poisoned water supply…

  35. So, how far can a person who doesn’t know where they are going get?
    The curse of the clueless and unprepared, the stranded and the lost.
    Those will be each a separate problem.

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