Bugging out is a central concept for most preppers. The notion being that when times get tough and the skies darken you will take off into the wilderness in an effort to avoid trouble and stay alive.
It’s hard to argue with this logic, and you should always have a plan to bug out in case a situation becomes unmanageable or unsurvivable, but knowing where you’re going is paramount to making this strategy worthwhile.
If you ask any given prepper about, this they will probably answer that they’re heading out into the “woods”, the “hills”, the “desert” or some other remote, natural locale to wait for the whole situation to blow over.
This is obviously not a very specific answer when it comes to a BOL (bug-out location), which means they probably don’t have a very specific plan unless they are being evasive with you on purpose. Even so, a great many preppers will answer this question similarly.
This is a potential failure of planning but more importantly it is a failure of imagination! There are all kinds of places where one can bug out to for temporary or semi-permanent respite from a dangerous situation that you have likely not even considered.
In today’s article, we’ll be showing you several potential BOLs that can work for you in times of trouble.
Bugging Out, the Law and You
Before we get into our list of alternate places to bug out, we need to pause and consider the law and its impact on our plans. I would never advocate, and nor would the owners of this website, that you break the law for any reason.
Or at least break it without an extremely good reason! Bugging out to save your life and the lives of your family from a major disaster or some other crises that can threaten your lives is probably a good reason.
But nonetheless in our case the land, building or any other location that you are heading to doesn’t belong to you.
At least it probably doesn’t; it belongs to somebody else, and ultimately the rule of law will likely give them the right to determine who gets to access to their property, and much less who gets to stay on that property.
You must understand ahead of time that even though existential circumstances may mean you choose to trespass in a time of uttermost need that it is excusable; assuming your trespass gets found out it could be forgiven, but it does not mean it will be.
Also, you must never assume that a given location will be unguarded, even in the midst of a crisis.
Some property owner who gets really bent out of shape, including potentially the federal government, that you were not respecting the rule of law as it pertains to their land/building might not be willing to forgive it and may press charges in the immediate aftermath when things settle down.
I don’t say this to scare anybody out of doing what they need to do to stay alive, but it is something you must be aware of. And you must be doubly aware of it if you plan to scout any routes to, in and out of your chosen bug-out locations ahead of time!
With that said, on to the list!
8 Places to Bug-Out You Have Never Thought Of
Hunting camps, whether they are ones you yourself have made use of, or only know about from prior travels or conversations, can be great locations to bug out to in a pinch.
The trails going to them are usually well established if discreet, and many of them have structures that can provide ready shelter from the elements, or at least help you establish shelter against the elements.
A cabin, even if its furnishings are spartan, is a much better thing to head to than a bare plot of land, especially if the weather is wet or cold.
Of course you must be cautious: if you do not own the hunting camp (and even if you do) other people might have the same idea, especially people that are more of an outdoorsy bent.
If there is any category of people that you can count on being armed under these circumstances it is hunters, a fact which can both help and hurt you. An unknown contact with scared and desperate people who are armed might end in tragedy.
On the other hand, it is far from out of the question that you can find tools and even find some spare ammunition stored inside an old hunting cabin that you can make use of in a pinch.
Utility easements for major installations like high-tension cross-country power lines and pipelines can make convenient places to bug out to, mostly because they will be easy to get to once you know where you are heading and because they make navigation easy even when GPS system stopped working or you lose your map.
It is very difficult to get lost when you are following a major utility easement.
Utility easements also feature typically clear ground all around them, which will reduce your energy expenditure when traveling along them.
They are also so large and so lengthy that they are typically unguarded, even by fencing, so long as they’re not traversing directly through a built-up or populated area.
You can think of these places as sort of an easy shortcut to a bug-out location even if it is only a temporary one to catch your breath, or as a rendezvous with other people, or assess the situation.
Plenty of folks think about getting away to a campground when it is time for a little R&R away from civilization, but not too many will be thinking of them when danger is close at hand.
Even in the midst of a disaster, these can still be good places to bug out to, being typically removed from civilization, off the beaten trail and having roads that are reasonably easy to navigate, along with many of them having multiple ways in and out.
If you are bugging out in a vehicle, especially a larger one like an RV, these more commercialized campgrounds could be ideals spot to head to first, and may very well have facilities that you can still make use of.
Even campgrounds that are more difficult to get to could still have value, as they are an easily referenced, and relatively secluded rendez-vous point.
Not that I would recommend making yourself an unwelcome guest and letting yourself in, but a remote property that belongs to a friend, or a friend’s family, is a great place to bug out to when you need some measure of certainty middle of an emergency.
If worse comes to worst and other people show up at the property you are more likely to encounter people who know you and, hopefully, trust you. I would always rather deal with friends and acquaintances in an emergency than strangers!
Lots of folks have remote cabins in the mountains, lakeside homes or just remote pieces of unimproved land that they use for hunting, investment and recreational purposes.
When you hear a place like this come up in conversation, perhaps inquire a little more about them, and stick a pin in your map for a rainy day.
Even better, if your friend or your friend’s family is of a like-minded attitude when it comes to prepping, go ahead and broach the subject with them, and you might have a pre-made survival group in the waiting.
Large industrial facilities and installations will more than likely be abandoned when things get really bad, perhaps containing only a token custodial presence if that.
Considering that these places do not typically have commodities or other items that people consider valuable and worth looting in the context of a disaster, these areas can make for great, quiet places to head to when it is time to bug out.
These facilities will also usually have plenty of places to hide, and their large and expansive nature means that hiding smaller vehicles will be a cinch.
There are some attendant dangers however: many industrial facilities contain physical dangers like heavy, automated equipment, mega-voltage power sources and hazardous chemicals that you must be cautious of.
Unfortunately, many of them are also known for high crime and other human dangers in their vicinity, though this is largely dependent on where they are sited.
But with those dangers comes opportunity: you can be assured of finding plentiful first-aid supplies and other raw materials that might help you on your journey.
You can depend on your typical office buildings being abandoned at the first sign of trouble when a major disaster occurs. It is hard enough to get cubicle workers to stay at their desks on major holidays, to say nothing of a serious crisis.
These buildings have advantages for preppers in that they are usually multi-story, strong buildings that can provide great shelter, and contain plenty of usable goodies inside; food, water and a few first-aid items not the least among them.
You will need to exercise extra caution when it comes to choosing a commercial building to bug out to since many of them will be located in metropolitan or suburban areas, and that means plenty of people.
Plenty of people means a greater likelihood that someone will have the same idea you do, or have an interest in the building for some other reason.
Ghost towns comprise a category of abandoned places they can take many forms.
From ancient settlements that were just left behind by the march of time to more modern villages or towns that were cut-off due to the loss of industry, prior major disasters or simple ennui.
Ghost towns are great places to get away from people while finding some nominal amount of shelter.
Of course any place that has been long abandoned or has only inhabitants numbering in the single or low double-digits is not likely to have much in the way of supply and other resources you can make use of.
You’d be surprised at how many ghost towns there are around the world; many of them keep standing until nature reclaims them or redevelopment knocks all the buildings down.
You might also be surprised at how many people don’t know about ghost towns that are near them.
Make it a point to talk to some old-timers in your social network and ask them about ghost towns in your region. Chances are they can provide one or two, even if it is only a small clutch of buildings left abandoned and forgotten.
You can also check out this Wikipedia list of ghost towns across the United States.
State and federal parks have many advantages for preppers who desire to head out into the middle of nowhere and wait for a disaster to blow over.
You can likely find a patch that is as remote as you please, and can take advantage of professionally maintained infrastructure to help you get to it. Many state and federal parks have roads and trails that lead to and at least partially into the lands within their confines.
Many will also have a variety of pre-mapped and marked campsites, trails and natural features that can help you get into and out of where you are going.
For all but the smallest of these installations, there is more than enough room to get lost and make yourself extremely hard to find, whether you intended to or not.
Perhaps their only disadvantage is that they are so well-known that other people might seize on to the idea. Increase your chances of getting in and out discreetly by looking for alternate ways into the parks besides the main road, gate or whatever.
Bugging out is serious business, and if you are serious about it you had better have a wide variety of potential bug-out locations to cover every contingency.
Don’t think you can just head off into the wild blue yonder without a plan and a specific destination. Get ahead of the pack and keep yourself and your family safe by plotting routes to several of the non-traditional bug-out locations listed above.