The Uncensored, Real-Deal Guide to Bugging Out of the City

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The concept of bugging out is one of the most discussed and controversial topics in preparedness and survivalism. The term “bug out” comes from the military. It means retreating, fleeing in a hurry, abandoning position in panic. This definition applies to the act of bugging out in survivalism as well. For the sake of objectiveness, let’s consider bugging out as fleeing the urban context because this is the current situation for most people. 

Given the tense situation building around the world, we’re about to see more and more people fleeing from the cities. Many of them have no idea what they’re doing so the definition above fits perfectly. As situations escalate, these relocations will be less planned and they won’t just be moving – they’ll be fleeing.

You can find entire chapters in numerous books, endless videos, articles, and treaties dedicated to the whys and hows of bugging out. The debates continue whether it’s the best or the worst idea ever for when the SHTF. 

This dilemma stem perhaps mostly from two conflicting factors:

  • The myth of the lone wolf, the romantic and somewhat unrealistic idea of living alone, either fighting in the city or hunting and foraging in the wilderness. It is promoted and believed by many as a viable bug-out option.
  • Bugging out involves many variables and decisions which are profoundly important. Bugging-out comes with severe and lasting implications. Detachment from reality and people are nearly impossible to avoid. 

Let’s cut through all the nonsense and terrible advice out there. Let’s get real about bugging out.

Why would someone choose to stay rather than bug out?

Abandoning home or bugging out, however we look at it, is an extreme measure, usually dictated by extreme circumstances. In some cases, it can be the only obvious option. In all others, things are not as clear-cut. Examining the reasons why some people tend to remain in place may offer a few insights on the issue.

Motives range from limited options (or none at all), low mobility, fear of the unknown, misjudgment of the situation (something Selco highlights frequently), and lack (or excess) of trust in authorities’ capacity to help. Comfort, conformity, and even entitlement can be reasons for people to stay put as well. Not to mention that a house and its contents can be a significant possession, frequently the most substantial one. No one wants their home looted or vandalized during a disaster.

Indeed in most cases, staying put is probably the best option. Home equals safety to the majority of people, and rightly so. At least during normal times, and therein lies an important distinction, one that can help answer if and when it’s best to stay or to evacuate.

With all that’s going on globally, everyone should have a clear plan

It is necessary to have a clear limit as to when enough brown stuff has hit the fan to justify moving elsewhere, considering the evolution of the situation and our circumstances. This limit is personal and may vary. But having this drawn in advance puts things in perspective while we’re still in good judgment and advantageous position, rather than engulfed in chaos.

Aside from the multiple factors and contexts possible in any evacuation scenario, in essence, there are only two ways to bug out: either with a plan or without one.

Bugging out without a plan is just running from danger

Fleeing without a plan or defined objective is becoming a refugee. That’s what happens when someone decides to rush out without any previous thought or preparation. We grab whatever we can (if we can), get into the car (if possible), and dash, hoping for the best.

Unplanned bug out can work, and a lot of times, it does. But simply evading danger, though crucial for survival, doesn’t necessarily improve the odds of success. Depending on the nature and extension of SHTF, it could mean jumping from the pot directly into the fire. 

Bugging out with a plan is moving towards safety

Having a plan (or two), knowledge, and information gathered in advance, means we, at the very least, pondered a few crucial factors. In doing so, it is possible to weigh options, make informed decisions, think more clearly, and act without panic, also adapting as necessary.

Planning implies asking – and answering – questions like “where,” “how,” “when,” and “then what.” To answer those satisfactorily, we’re forced to consider various aspects involved with the execution of something, possible developments, and scenarios.

That’s what turns a haphazard getaway into a strategic escape.

IMPORTANT: Having a plan doesn’t mean considering every possibility, laying out every detail, and setting each step in stone. Being adaptable is vital in survival. In other words, don’t over plan. And be ready to abandon your plan at any moment for a better outcome.

The more we know ahead of time, the better we can plan and the faster we can adapt

Information and knowledge are essential for mobility and flexibility in a bug out or bunker in scenario (and it’s sensible to plan for both). Following are some tips for gathering useful intel before a disaster or SHTF: 

  • Situational awareness: This pertains to the original meaning of the term (knowing what’s going on around us). But right now, it’s essential to expand a bit and keep close tabs on the economy and finance, politics, criminality, transportation, production and supply chains, geopolitics.
  • Spatial awareness: Get to know more and stay informed about the people, places, routines, entrances and exits, resources, and routes, both on smaller (house, building, block) and bigger scales (neighborhood, city, other states, and so on).
  • Background: Research history of places and areas you often circulate to the occurrence and developments of natural and human-made events. Map out potential hazards and “complicators” (hospitals, stadiums, police stations, military and diplomatic facilities, prisons, bridges, etc.).
  • Routes: To increase bug out safety, the same intel as outlined above, is needed on paths and places to be used en route. Otherwise, we’re just heading into the unknown as soon as we leave home. Add topography and other details you might consider pertinent.
  • Self-awareness: An honest assessment of our abilities and limitations (physical condition/fitness, skills, etc.) is important for a more precise judgment on whether potential obstacles in a bug out scenario represent a challenge or not, and to what degree. Extend to family members, pets, and others included in the plans.
  • Readiness: This is where a bug out bag comes into play. Think “survival and agile” instead of “comfort and clunky.” A backpack containing a quality knife and flashlight, an emergency blanket, some clothes, a tarp or poncho with cordage, medicines and basic first-aid kit, some cash, copies of documents plus a list of contacts, a few energy bars, a water bottle and filter, a lighter. (Here’s a look at Daisy’s lightweight kit and here are Toby’s recommendations for often-overlooked items for your bags.) Each member should have a ready-to-go bag.

Three points in the bug out equation define the line of action

Context: For someone living alone and without limitations, bugging out can be as simple (although not necessarily easy) as dashing off and getting there. Having others – kids, elders, relatives, pets, conditions, etc.- adds complexity and challenges, and most certainly requires a specific set of plans. It may mean bugging out can be risky, take longer or be more difficult, or even impossible.

Location: Depending on the severity, reach, and SHTF duration, a B.O.L. can take different forms. It can be a hotel in another state, away from the path of a hurricane. Or a relative/friend house in a region out of fire/flood range. It can be a new home in another country to escape a dictatorship, civil war, or invasion. Technically, any place safer than our current location qualifies as B.O.L.

Timing: A highly discussed topic, opinions on timing vary wildly. Most preppers and survivalists have valid points. I’ll present my view, and it’s a simple one: you are your best judge. If you conclude that the situation is, or will become, bad enough and already decided to leave, then go. There’s no way to know how long the opportunity to leave will remain. Only we know about our situation enough to make that call. And in the end, whatever we do will be on us.

Bugging out does not mean you have to leave the city

One consensus in prepping and survivalism is that cities quickly become very dangerous during disasters and SHTFs in general. Resources become scarce, and services decay or disappear fast when the grid goes down. Too many people equal more competition and lots of violence. Density is a bitch: an immutable principle of SHTF.

Now, of course, having a piece of land or community in a friendly and safe region can be a good thing. But it’s not a requirement for bug out. In reality, very few preppers (and non-preppers for that matter) can afford a dedicated place that is ideally distant, safe, well maintained, stockpiled, and always ready.

But, what good is a B.O.L. if we get there and it’s not functional? What if it has been invaded, looted, or vandalized? Things like that can happen even during normal times. If SHTF, the odds of a secluded B.O.L. being out of order may increase considerably. An effective B.O.L. is not just a matter of money either. Having a presence, a connection, and knowing the place (also being known) is, in fact, more determinant for having a functional B.O.L.

Prepping for an in town bug out location

After the crash of 2008, I felt it was about to hit the fan and that I could end up living on the streets one day. Around that time, I started preparing for that possibility. I’m a city dweller, so it’s obvious that whatever happens – an economic meltdown, a coup, an E.M.P. – I’ll have to deal with the streets sooner rather than later.

If I ever bug out, reaching our B.O.L. (a family branch living in a rural setting) implies crossing a lot of urban ground to get out of town. If that is not an option or possibility, I can’t imagine any scenario in which I’m comfortable hiding inside for weeks or months, despite stockpiled supplies. Even if staying indoors is somewhat safe, which will depend entirely on the situation, at some point, I’ll have to go out.

I’ve been “training” for SHTF by spending time walking around town, scavenging, interacting with people, eating, and sleeping in parks and streets. I was basically living homeless for a few days now and then. I wanted to know this reality and feel it. Then I started testing gear and reviewing my area, map routes, and resources. The scope included more tactical exercises to improve my situational awareness, refine grey man strategies, acquire street smart, and stay fit.

Finally, this in-town B.O.L. had to be something simple, practical, and affordable. Basically, this would be a place to store gear and supplies and for my family and me to stay. If we can’t leave the city and our home becomes too dangerous, having this option is beneficial. Not all SHTF situations demand fleeing town. This little B.O.L. could also serve as a springboard to my definitive B.O.L. Check out this guide to help you choose a bug out location.”

The cache: splitting resources is a sensible strategy

A small room in an inconspicuous commercial or office building can double as a cache and city B.O.L. A storage room can do as well, but office buildings are usually located in safer areas. Perhaps more important, they sit lower on the list of targets to desperate people looking for food and other stuff during emergencies. Finally, people are going in and out all the time, so it’s more discreet if you need to stay in for a period.

During the protests and riots of 2013 against the government, we fled to our small city B.O.L. on two occasions. I live in an area where popular gatherings and demonstrations are frequent during turbulent times. It’s an OK neighborhood, but my street is right next to where mobs converge. Some days it was possible to hear the shouts, gas bombs, and helicopters from our room. Stores and banks got vandalized in our area.

Some neighbors fled town for a week or two. I figured it wasn’t bad enough to justify leaving the city (it wasn’t, not full-SHTF-bad anyway). But we felt unsafe at home, and I had no idea if things would get worse. Staying in our small city B.O.L. proved an opportunity to test this strategy. When the protests ended, we returned home, and I knew it was viable in an emergency. We did the same again during the worse days of the 2018 trucker’s strike.

Research everything and find your best options

Do your own B.O.L. research and test it: Depending on where you live, if you decide to try, be sure to carefully study the distances and locations. As for costs, you may split the rent and other items with relatives or friends, preferably ones also into prepping. Find a location that attends to all parts, put it together, and discuss the strategies and plans. Don’t forget OPSEC when building and supplying your cache, so strangers don’t know that your place has SHTF resources.

Another viable option is a B.O.V. (Bug-out Vehicle): Bug-out vans (or R.V.s) offer versatility, mobility, and flexibility without spending a fortune on a dedicated B.O.L. (R.V. sales exploded in the U.S. in 2020, indicating that many are opting for this as a strategy.) It can also function as an out-of-town B.O.L. for those who don’t have one but still plan to flee in case of SHTF. Having a discreet vehicle ready, stocked with food, gear, and other emergency items can be a lot less expensive than maintaining a B.O.L. in or out of town.

Depending on the vehicle’s size, a family can live inside for some time until the situation improves, and it’s possible to return home or leave definitely. It can be used as an “extra room” if you reach a friend or relative out of town. Find a safe, inconspicuous place to park. Be discreet operating it. OPSEC is essential here too. Being nearby also means it’s easier to maintain and keep functional.

NOTE: If you live near the sea, a lake, or a river, a boat can be an even better option in some scenarios.


At the core, bugging out with a plan is less dependent on chance and relies more on variables that we control, increasing our odds of survival. 

As for the possible exodus, it may be that nothing significant happens (other than what has already happened, of course). Anyone who left may return and start rebuilding whatever got lost or destroyed during this crisis. But it may be the other way. We may find that those who opted for the early bug-out were justified in doing so.

Have you considered bugging out? Or, maybe you already have. What are your plans, thoughts, ideas? Let us know in the comments below.

Picture of Fabian Ommar

Fabian Ommar

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  • Just a word of caution to anyone considering bugging out to rural locations. Unless you have a solid foot hold in the community you are going to – historical roots, close relatives, etc. – you will be most unwelcome and treated as such. You would also need to be self sufficient enough to take care of you own needs for the foreseeable future.
    We had a tremendous influx of “visitors” with the outset of covid. It was enough of a taste of things that may come to determine that we do not want more. If you do not have a solid foot in the community, or enough of your own resources, you will be a threat.
    Pound for pound, rural folk have much more ability to defend what is theirs than do the people you are trying to escape from.

    • Although some what true. You missed a lot.
      This pandemic isn’t a SHTF scenario, so your example does not apply.
      Certain types of people would be welcome anywhere: those with useful skills or knowledge. Outsiders or not.
      Does your community refuse new doctors (outsiders) coming into the area? No, because they are useful to the community.
      Which proves my point.

      Then there is the Fact: that most Rural people are kind and generous. Most are Religious and it stems a lot from that.
      But for the most part they also expect people to take care of themselves or be an asset to the community they are becoming a part of and not just leeches or freebooters.

      After SHTF, things will change a lot. But people with useful knowledge and skills are always needed.

    • @Timmy totally agree, I keep saying (as I do in the article) that a location to escape not just about having money or a good map. It´s not tourism. If the SHTF is local (hurricane, flood, fire) we can bug out to a hotel or another safe place and that´s OK because this new location is in order and the grid is up.

      But if the situation gets bad everywhere the people in that small nice rural town will be on DEFCON1 just the same as everyone else. It´s unrealistic to think these folks will receive anyone with open arms and share their resources, more likely the opposite as you said.

      My family (parents and 2 other branches plus some friends and their families) have properties in a rural area about 100 miles from here. It´s a nice small rural town in farmland. We´ve been there since 1995, last year my folks definitely. Even then we´re not “locals”. We´re not complete strangers, but “the people who came from the big town”.

      Right now someone showing up to live there wouldn´t be outright rejected, but I´m sure if things get difficult this may change. It all depends on availability of resources.

      • Resources might be a problem. but the biggest drawback to having resources come SHTF, will be manpower.

        Since everything will have to be pretty well done by hand, it will require a lot more “hands” than are presently available. So most of those communities will be accepting able bodied people, because of that need.

        Especially if you have to have a full time defense force just to keep what little resources you do have from being stolen. If they are patrolling and defending that, they are not tilling the soil, planting or tending crops or animals.
        So that means a lot of outsiders will be needed to support all that manual labor or as members of the defensive force.
        Most of you look at these scenarios from a current perspective and not from a SHTF one.
        Once a few million people who are unprepared, flee the cities , they will be like locusts, Stripping ever town, village and community bare, unless they are stopped by an armed defensive force.

        Since they will range in groups of just a few to hundreds, coming in from all different directions, you will have to have a 24/7/365 defensive “ring” encircling your community to protect it and to keep the scarce resources you do have.
        Otherwise you too may have to become part of these traveling, homeless, mobs.

        If you think that you can go about you daily chores and just keep a gun handy to defend, you are thinking wrong. Some of these Groups will be armed, Their Snipers would be able pick you off while you are out working. before you can even reach your gun. Without an active patrolling force or active perimeter force, you will not survive.

        If there was a lesson to be learned from all the riots this last year; it is the willingness of these mobs to set everything in sight on fire, without regard for the future needs of the local community or themselves.
        So if your community does not have adequate protection to stop them, they may just burn you all out of house, farm or business.

        Now, such a Defensive force by itself, will take a whole lot more man power than most of these communities can supply, let alone all the manual labor that it will take to keep the normal stuff running after SHTF.

        So you really need to rethink your perspective on “outsiders” and how they will be greeted.

        • “Once a few million people who are unprepared, flee the cities , they will be like locusts, Stripping ever town, village and community bare, unless they are stopped by an armed defensive force.”

          OK let´s think this through.

          In your opinion, how far do you think such a mass of desperate people would be able to go, fighting each other and consuming everything on the way, not even knowing where they´re going?

          How far people can go by foot? Alone, with someone/in a group? I´d guess 99% wouldn´t make it past city limits. Massive exodus are incredibly deadly. Logistics dictate this, for any large group whether an organized army or a mass of refugees.

          They do happen though. In 1971, 4 million died in India during the biggest exodus known in history, when milllions tried to bug out from an invasion of the West Pakistanese army. That´s just an example, there are many more.

          Anytime there´s fear of a massacre people will try to leave en masse and in desperation. But most will die, and therein lies the matter of bugging out or hunkering down.

          With time, sure, people leave, as they see hope elsewhere or hear about better places. Look at recent SHTFs: about 3.5 to 4 million left Venezuela. But that was over the course of many years.

          If you´re talking about a Mad Max / The Road scenario, I´d agree with some of what you said. People get caught by surprise, or they leave in waves. Same in places hit by Tsunamis, earthquakes, invasions. Siria, Iemen, Beiruth, Haiti… there´s a lot of people staying in cities after SHTF. Life goes on.

          Anyway, full-on SHTF is pure speculation. There´s hardly something like locust waves, even when things get pretty bad all of a sudden. But of course, I could be wrong.

          • @Fabian O.
            You hit it the nail on the head!
            For some reason, people seemed to think these masses of humanity will come pouring out of the urban areas, into the country side and consume everything in their path.
            Now, how do these masses some how make it to the rural areas, I do not know. Are there Kwiki-Marts, fully stocked, manned, and accepting debit/CC on the way??
            Maybe Urbers giving them lifts to the country side?
            Most Americans can barely walk from the parking lot to the Wal-Mart sliding doors without getting winded.
            Yet, they are going to be a threat?
            Do the rural just fell off the turnip truck, country bumpkins not know these masses are coming? Just let them waddle (see my Walt-Mart reference) up to the rural communities and start to raid their gardens and help themselves to the pantry?
            I think not. I think we just might be smarter than the average urbanite.

            To all, if you have not noticed, after this election, there is a growing class war out there between the coastal elites and the so-called flyover states.

          • Fabian O,
            Spot on. Most people have never humped a ruck and have no idea what they will be facing if they try to run to the hills. It will be more like crawl along a ditch to the city limit sign and die from thirst or someone wanting their BOB.

            If by pure luck they make it out of town they had better stick to public land as the penalty for trespassing on private property will be shoot first and not worrying about asking questions.

            I live in a fairly remote mountain area and outsiders stand out like a sore thumb. We don’t need their help, they have nothing to offer that is worth having to watch them 24/7 and they are considered a threat regardless of their real intentions as we can not afford to take a chance and assume they are good.

            I was stationed in the Philippines during the Marcos revolution and things go sideways very quick and situations are very fluid changing by the minute sometimes. The vast majority of Americans are soft, out of shape and have no idea of the horror they will face when people are scared, angry and will do anything to protect their property and family. WORL means exactly that. NO RULES.

        • Manpower?
          We dont really need additional manpower or mouths to feed, especially if they can only do a limited degree of manpower at a time.
          What do I need an additional body during the winter months other than feed them?
          We can and have already come to each other aid when needed to stack fire wood, clean out the pens etc.
          Now who we do need are those with large livestock that can be used as beast of burden. Not going to find that kind of skill from a urbanite.
          Security? Just by your post, Mic, I can tell you have never been in the military and know nothing about security.
          Nuff said.

      • @Timmy and Fabian O.
        Quite right on all points.
        I know a lot of good nature folks out here.
        But when push comes to shove, we have a better understanding of economics and logistics of how many people we can take in and feed, especially if it looks to be a prolonged event.
        Hard decisions may have to be made.
        Will there be skill sets that might be more attractive than others?
        When I was in my Wilderness EMT course, the doctor who was taking the course for her CE requirement, was the first to admit, without modern facilities, diagnostic equipment (labs, X-ray, MRI etc.) it would be back to the late 1800s for medical.
        Rural communities have volunteer fire departments and with more than a few crossed trained EMTs/Paramedics.

        • “Will there be skill sets that might be more attractive than others?”.

          Absolutely right. I guess that depends a lot on the nature and extension of SHTF.

          But whatever the case, doctors/nurses, dentists, mechanics, engineers, electricians, butchers are always welcomed. Whoever can keep people fed, healthy and moving.

          Can´t see much use for a lawyer specialized in M&E during SHTF though. Unless he/she can knit or something. Kidding (well, not really lol).

          Then there are secondary (communications, weapons operation, blacksmithing, etc.) and the rest. Some are just mouths to feed and unless these have some skill to offer, depending on the situation it won´t be easy for them. Mostly because it isn´t easy for no one. Survival isn´t camping.

      • “It all depends on availability of resources.”
        I live in a rural Southwestern town that has about 7,000 year-round residents. It is not a farming community, although there are several cattle ranches outside of town. We have two grocery stores, seven gas stations and a small community hospital with fewer than 20 in-patient beds. We have two auto parts stores. Unfortunately, we are less than 75 miles from the state’s largest metropolis. I can assure you that, in a full blown SHTF situation that would lead to a sudden exodus of urban dwellers, our town would be quickly overrun and depleted of food and fuel. Grocery stores utilize the just in time delivery model that requires daily resupply to keep shelves stocked. Grocery and fuel trucks, medicine and auto parts come from the “city” and would have to utilize the same road that would be blocked with refugee vehicles. So, resources are not just important, they are everything. Are you a carpenter? We’ve already got several. Mechanic? We’ve got several fine ones. If you are an MD then you’ve got chance at being welcomed, since most of our doctors and specialists commute from the city.

        The several million people that would evacuate the metropolis might have a bug out plan to get somewhere beyond our town, though I seriously doubt it. But, when they hit our town, they will be locusts.

  • I always thought timing to be the most important factor when it came to Bugging out to a BOL outside of an urban area.
    When to bug out? How to even recognize a bug out situation?
    Look at when hurricanes hit Florida. Those who leave early on, traffic is about normal. Gas stations still have fuel, cheesey poofs, water and lotto tickets to sell.
    24hrs later, and a few hundred thousand or maybe even over a million people all trying to bug out, using the same highways. Gas stations may or may not have fuel or even be open. Happened to a friend of mine. He was on E on the gas gauge, just crossed the FL/GA border before he finally found a gas station open with fuel.
    Another thing I have seen some tend to think the roads are always clear, the weather perfect for a Sunday like drive to their BOL.
    If you live in the North, SHTF, you think the guys who run the snow plows are still going to be out there plowing?
    How about the firefighters out West? I recall seeing a wild fire jumped over a highway. A few big rig trucks and more than a few vehicles caught fire. Instant road block/traffic jam for miles and miles. Was not till the fire passed and the could get tow trucks in to haul the wrecks off the road before the traffic jam ended. SHTF? Big Billy Bob’s Rig and Tow Service is likely not taking calls if 911 is not either.
    Might have to hump it to the BOL. What does that look like? In the winter in the North?
    Or in the summer in the Southwest?

    • Timing in a bug out is Critical. Which is why the “wait and see, I can always bug out later on”, crowd” will face the kinds of things you posted. Another issue is that you must plan where you are going and how you can get there. In dealing with the “How to get there”, back roads and lessor used highways, etc, are less likely to be blocked.
      If the weather is that bad, or the fire in your path of travel you better stay put until it clears up. Not risking your life ( which is why you are bugging out), so why would you risk it in either of those scenarios? That is just crazy.
      As far as the summer Heat in the Southwest, you travel by night, early morning and/or evening, not mid day.

      Now to the location, you better have scouted it out, know the resources and that it will provide for your needs,
      Planning on bugging out to a cave, might work, but there better be plenty of water and game nearby or it is useless as a BOL.
      Recon and planning are of the highest importance.

      • Back roads less likely to be blocked?
        Not really.
        Nearly every small town or farming community within 50 miles of a major urban area know where the bottle necks are.
        I know a guy who’s BOL is about 160miles from where he lives, or 3 hours by car. If one is cut off, he has to back track to the other one. If they are both cut off, then he is going on foot cross country. And this is rugged, mountainous arid area. Desert survival is possible, with the correct training. Your average unbanite does not have a good chance of that.

        I live in the NE. It is green most of the time, and snow for about half of the year.
        I used to be a big fan of LifeStaws. Then one year we had a bad drought. Most of the water supplies that I would of depended on for the I have to hump it home from work, dried up. The one lake, the water had receded 100-200yrds back from the normal shoreline. The new shoreline was preceded by about 20-30 yards of mud. The kind that you sink up to your groin too. Get stuck, better hope someone very nice will come along and throw you a line (in SHTF situation??).

        Recon and planning are good ideas.
        Do not be surprised when the situation has changed and your plans need to adjust accordingly.

    • All very excellent points to consider. I live near a big city in Texas. Even during normal times, the traffic is horrendous. I would think that if people were stopped for whatever reason, it would make them very susceptible to people who need supplies and want to ‘ borrow’ someone’s.
      We have planned to stay right where we are and make do. For us, being in a vehicle with no idea where we are going makes 0 sense.

  • What your seeing isn’t bugging out it’s just moving. It’s not as much to get away from people it’s to get away from a type of people or an amount of that particular type of people.
    Round here the majority are moving to 1-5 acre dreams still close enough to drive to work. They aren’t out in the sticks on a ranch trying to bust sod or trim hooves for the first time to bring in the paycheck. The sure ain’t moving to caves rubbing sticks together for fire.
    Even city dwellers and large business owners are moving to other cities that actually enforce the laws, have expectations for assimilation into the community and actually have values and reasonable beliefs.
    All this being said yeah there’s a lot more to bugging out than Red Dawn grab them sleeping bags n head for the hills. I can also tell you if you don’t get off the X faster than everyone else you aint going no where. I’d look real hard at where ya think your going cause like round here everyone think SE Ok is a shangrala that apparently can support millions with deer, turkey, moonshine and marijuana year round and they all think they are heading to the hills!!!!

  • I live in small-medium size town in North Carolina in the mountains. Although we may have some issues it won’t be as bad as any large town or city or as bad as it will be close to any military base…Be sure to research first the place you want to move to and check out the CRIME STATISTICS of that town as well as the DEMOGRAPHICS so you will therefore understand what is in that place/town/area etc.
    Safer towns are in general smaller towns. The more people you are around during a SHTF situation the worse off you will be, so be cautious and be sure that you are going to an area that isn’t to crowded/overpopulated. Most incorporated areas are better, safer and quieter at a time such as it will be when all hell breaks loose and the SHTF. So just be as safe as you can be and start checking out places NOW. If you procrastinate you will as they say “miss the boat”. If the dog had not stop to poop, he would have caught the rabbit. Also remember it’s better to be safe than sorry!!! Generally speaking rural is always better than urban living!!!

  • The two biggest factors in not staying in an urban environment in the US, are the lack of water and food. The next is related to that: The amount of Looting and Rioting that will occur, after all the “easy pickings” of food and water are gone.
    All the “Oh, we can just rebuild”, have no clue what it takes to keep a modern city going. Without the Electrical grid and the people to run it and resources to keep it operating, you can’t rebuild.
    Once the “qualified” people who run such things, “bug out”, you will not have an easy way to rebuild the system.
    First you would have to import enough food and water to support them and yourselves, then fix them up shelters, then you must somehow find a way to make contact with them and persuade them to return.
    In some cases this will also require them being settled and protected at an “out of town”, powerplant, dam or other facility. As a lot of what a city needs is operated from outside locations.
    All of this must be done using maybe early 19th century technology. ( no cars, trucks, or motorized farming equipment to raise crops or transport food with, etc). So it would be quite a monumental task.
    Short of a Dictatorial type government and Slave (or forced) labor camps, it is probably impossible.

  • In 2019, I had decided to move from Greater Denver to Appalachia. In Jan 2020, I had started to get rid of things, when I learned that a mysterious new illness was exploding in China with panicky government mashing the people. Cases started to appear in 18 other countries. Who knew how crazy things would get?

    I had way more time than I thought, but February, I made it to rural West Virginia. This state would love to see new residents–but we need honest, hard-working people with something to give, not helpless babies wanting a handout. Some of this site’s readers are exactly what we need. There is land and old mobile homes cheap–but financing is a challenge.

    And it is good to be in place BEFORE SHTF hits for real. You can make friends and figure out how to be an asset to your new community,

    I spend time pondering what skills I have to offer. I want to learn more.

    • I am planning to relocate from NJ in the next 2-3 years. I’ve been looking into TN, & the Overton County area. From what I’ve gleaned from the internet, W. Va is impoverished, with limited resources to offer. What has been your experience? What towns/counties would you recommend in W. Va?

  • Mexico to the south.LA to the north. Ocean to the west. Desert to the east. Not knowing who would hate you because you voted wrong in the last election, which provides cover for all the nincompoops who sold us out, then you really have to have a tight community which has your back — as part of your prep.

    The only solid thing I can think of and believe in is the wisdom of God. We only have a little power and even less wisdom. He promises wisdom to those who ask. I’ve asked numerous times and it pleases me to say I’ve never been disappointed in the outcome. Rely on myself, to fix things myself and everything falls short. I’m sadly limited against the merciless and graceless zombie apocalypse. Having cancer, it’s even worse. My community is keeping me alive and I’m getting better. I should be very afraid. But I am not. Fear is wearing blinders.

    Staying alive as best one can is our obvious goal. If we knew how it will all turn out, we would make solid and successful plans way ahead of time. There’s the kicker. We don’t know the future. We can plan, infer, guesstimate, speculate all we want. But nothing will do like gracious common sense and as many skills sets as you can get a handle on. A severe test appears to be on the horizon. Passing that test will take everything we’ve got. It’s possible that the lights could go out. Easily done by enemies.

    Love and best wishes to all in this prepper community.

  • 4991 / 5000
    I’m Swiss, so I come from a densely populated country.
    I have access to a bunker from the WK-II, 3m ceiling and 2m walls including ventilation, etc.
    But that’s not what I’m saying

    In the country you are never alone, in the USA you can maybe walk 50km into the forest and nobody will find me.
    Nevertheless, there are people who know their way around the forests and find everything.
    What will they do when order is suspended?
    If I have a gun and a telescopic sight with which I can shoot 3-4-500m, I lie down in the bushes and wait until I catch the owner and can take his belongings.
    Not exactly nice ….. right, but you should never expect nice people.
    If you want to be safe in the forest, you have to have enough companions to keep watch, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
    Anyone who was in the army knows what that means.
    You have to do all of this even if you live in the deepest forest.
    The one who’s after you always has an advantage.

    I took part in exercises in the army where I was outside in the rain, snow and cold for 6 days with only 1 set of emergency wakens. After 3 days, half of the Kopmpagnie had failed.
    Even the rifle started to rust because it didn’t get dry anymore …. (((-:
    If you want to do something like bug-out, do it where it is warm. If not, take a lot of emergency laundry with you … it will keep you healthy. It is an immense relief to be able to put on dry, clean, warm clothes.
    And don’t forget the medication. “Pulmocort” a cortisone product for the lungs and bronchi ….. extremely important. If you catch a cold you are out in 2 days, antibiotics, pain and anti-inflammatory agents, in Switzerland for example “Algivor”.
    fatty ointment for the nasal mucous membranes ….. Here would be the “Bepanthen” nasal ointment and something to disinfect small wounds, “Bepanthen” disinfecting wound cream.

    If you are outside, you must have something to eat that you are used to. If you think the emergency bolt like NRG-5 can help you or you can live on BPR packs, don’t make too many illusions.
    Unfamiliar food makes you sick and weak for 1-2 weeks.
    Better a canned soup, like an NRG-5 bar.
    And without a weapon everything is nothing …… then your things belong to everyone else, just not you anymore.
    Guns are not a problem in the USA, except Biden is now disarming yourselves …… Not “yet” in Switzerland either, but the government here is doing its best to disarm us Swiss.

    And never forget, for a weapon, also spare parts and 20 magazines including loading aid. 3 magazines are too few to keep a generous one that you may not even see at a distance.
    Unfortunately, the weight of the ammunition is high, so you have to be very careful with all other things what they weigh.

    Oh yes, hunt, never forget to bring your spice. Nothing tastes good without it.

    Many of you have known all of this for a long time, of course.

    I am now a man over 50, extremely talented, and grew up as a farmer’s son.
    But I live in a small town today.
    I will stay where I am because I live several floors above the ground. Inconspicuous, the bunker would be 20km away.
    But I’ll stay where I live because that helps me stay healthy. Everything is there, here I have only 1 stairwell to guard …… none of my neighbors know what I have.

    As long as there is still some civilization left, I’ll stay here.

    Because food, weapons and ammunition, medicines, heating material, clothes, tools, etc. etc. are all too much and too heavy to take with you.

    Anyone who drives along in a beautiful car is immediately stopped and robbed without civilization.
    Stopping a vehicle is really very easy, and until the car has stopped and the driver has got out, his defense is also very weak and imprecise.
    A motorcycle is much worse: the driver cannot hear, see little and cannot stop immediately. He goes into every trap.
    Eun “UTV” would be great because it is very easy to hide and camouflage. I did that a lot in the army …..

    Unfortunately, an electrical UTV would really be a very, very good thing, you can’t hear it …… if it weren’t for the other disadvantages of the battery, which has little range and which can then hardly be recharged.

    But if you can manage it, a silent vehicle ….. by the way?
    In the army you would often hear your opponent long before you could see them.

    If you have a bug-out vehicle, take so-called crow’s feet with you, so you can stop many pursuers.
    Oh yes, the tires of vehicles cause a lot of problems. Non-Aire tires are highly recommended. You can’t drive scghnekll because the “observer” next to you must have time to see, and the faster you are, the easier it is for you to fall into the trap.
    Tires that cannot be flattened by crow’s feet, a very good thing. Without air they are not comfortable to drive, but fast is not anyway …….

  • Never drive a vehicle alone ….. never alone.
    And if you can afford it, a thermal helmet camera is incredibly useful.

    Crow’s feet help stop the chase, because those who chase you usually see them too late.

    Drive in the dark and see where a warm object is … very good, but unfortunately very expensive.
    There are also some things that work well against thermal imaging cameras.
    For example a tarpaulin / film with a plastic bubble underneath, as used to pack packages.
    Residual light telescopes are also quite good and less expensive.
    Knowing what’s coming in the dark is an invaluable advantage.

    A ghillie blanket is very useful if you don’t have a bug-out target.
    You can’t be active for days, you have to rest and sleep sometimes. If you are alone or only with 2 – 3 children, under a gillie blanket and crawling into the undergrowth, a very good thing.
    No Ghili suit, because everyone who sees you with it will give you a German pass, because he thinks you are a danger, a soldier, etc. With military utensils one draws fire on oneself.
    Tactical outfit is more of a hindrance than useful, because you don’t want to play war, you want to survive.
    Whoever sees you with something like that will shoot first and then talk.

    We also used Katadyn filters in the army.
    clean drinking water is probably one of the most important things.

    So if you have a marine or something in your group, learn from him how you should behave in terms of combat.

  • On the subject of staying in town or not …..

    So, as a soldier you know about it.

    The city offers many advantages to the defender, many more if it is destroyed.
    Anyone who breaks into a house as a soldier almost always dies.
    The one who defends it always has a strong advantage, because he waits while the intruder has to act actively.
    Soldiers who do this clear each room individually with a hand grenade.
    Forget the nonsense in the movies, with such “heroic deeds” a soldier almost always dies. Of course, SWAT units have full gun vest equipment, but it is so heavy that they can really only storm 1 house with it, if a fight lasts more than 30 minutes, they are at the bottom.
    If it’s hot like in Texas, they burn up in it, if it’s cold the whole thing still weighs 35 kg.

    In addition, gunshot vests are not insurmountable, nuclear ammunition can still often be found.

    If you are not dealing with well-supplied soldiers, defending an apartment on the 3-4 floor is an easier matter.
    one has to eat, drink and everything else with it.
    The one in the house can wait … just not one person alone for 3 days.

    If there is a fight, you have to think about whether you have enough people to stay or you should go now.

    Those who resist well can show that there is something to be gained here. Ammunition will be in demand like never before.
    Anyone who wants to disappear from a city at this late point in time will probably face a street check at some point.

    You should think about how you want to cope with something like that.
    The one who set up the road spade has a “sentry” that is a hidden shooter who covers the matter from ambush.
    Do not think about breaking through a barrier with a ram, the vast majority of cars cannot take it.
    Even the terribly largest US monster jeeps break down.

    UTVs are very good at this, with which you can use the smallest of ways to sneak around something.

    Whatever you try, always take your time first and observe what lies in front of you, keyword binoculars ….. ???

  • We are an elderly couple who would have to stay put. More suggestions for anyone in the same situation is always welcome
    It’s important to remember that in some cases, when the SHTF, like an invasion from a foreign power, there will be a lot of people on the roads, heading for the hills, and driving away may be impossible. Food theft would be another issue
    .I look forward to reading more on the subject while I still can, before media censorship
    pulls the wool even further over our eyes..

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