Bugout and Homestead Location Considerations for SHTF

Below are some talking points for things to keep in mind when selecting a bugout location. There's no reason why you have to rush into selecting a Bugout Location (BOL). Put some thought into and scout potential sites. Your Shelter In Place (SIP) or Homestead is where you live right now. If a move is in your future; then the below ideas will come in handy. If you're stuck where you are for a while, then at least harden your home and make it more defensible. Our Target Hardening Guide for SHTF will be a good place to start.  


Naturally #defendable terrain (more on this later.)⁣

Natural source of water (lake, pond, river, stream, well, etc.)⁣

Adequate #shelter for you and your family.⁣

Abundance of natural resources (timber, wildlife, wild edibles, fish).⁣

Suitable farming/agricultural land and good soil.⁣

Outside the area of immediate danger.⁣

Outside of any urbanized areas⁣

Away from major roads (so it can’t be easily discovered in the first place).⁣

On high ground (it doesn’t have to be on top of a mountain, but make sure it’s not deep in a valley or at the bottom of a hill).⁣

Natural elements that make an enemy attack more difficult (thorny brush, rough/rocky terrain, steep uphill slopes, etc.)⁣

Clear view of the land before you (so you can spot enemy movements).⁣

Install layers of barbed wire fences and nail boards in a #perimeter around your bug out location.⁣

Grow thorny brushes around your bug out location.⁣

Create fake cover for the enemy that bullets can pass through but that they will move to instinctively (brush, logs, etc.)⁣

Make the attacking ground as rough and steep as possible with the aid of sharp rocks.⁣

Consider turning the attacking ground into mud to slow the enemy advance.⁣

Build #traps for the enemy (i.e. pits with sharp spears pointed upwards and covered with foliage).⁣

Maximizing places of cover and firing positions for the defenders.⁣

Minimizing places of cover and firing positions for the attackers.⁣

Inhibiting the enemy advance as much as possible.⁣

Having a healthy #stockpile of #provisions.⁣

Having a #selfsustaining source of food.⁣

Choosing an area with an abundance of food/water sources.⁣

Off the beaten path. Not near urban area, foot or vehicular traffic. Can't be seen from road.

Should be easy to give written or verbal directions so that you can inform friends and family how to find you.

Have easily defendable access points and choke points. Should should able to narrow avenues of approach to 2 or less. 

Doors and windows should have shutters and deadbolts.

Natural means to heat and cool. At the very least, have furnaces or fireplaces.

Root cellar, underground storm shelter, or other means to escape from threats and provide cool places to store food.

Research historical weather data, geography, and conduct local surveys to determine a home placement on high gound, away from the city, with no past flooding, 50 miles from nearest nuclear plant, with deep rooted nearby trees that do not throw shade on home, off the beaten path, surrounded by forest or open pasture with linen of sight, with nearby water sources, 75+ miles from coastlines, no factories using using gases/chemicals in 5 miles proximity, with fertile soil, and with at least 2 egress routes from home & 2 roads that lead in two compass directions.⁣


What's the threat in your area? Are you prepared for localized natural and man made disasters? Hurricane alleys, nuclear power plants, earthquakes; these are places to avoid. (See diagram)

Disasters Zones 



Bug Out Location(BOL) = Federal Land? 

When you can't Bug Out to your own land or that of a trusted friend/family; consider National Forests and Parks, wildlife preserves, and other wilderness areas, including rivers. (Notice, we are not discussing State Owned Land, we'll cover that later)

These nearby areas of federal public land might be your next best option. In most cases you can hunt and if you get deep enough in you could bend trees and use fallen wood to create a shelter or find a cave or rocky overhang.

Again, you will want to scope this out in advance of an actual SHTF scenario. Federal public land is managed by 3 different agencies: (FWS) Fish & Wildlife Services, (BLM) Bureau of Land Management, and the (NPS) National Park Service.

Check the rules and regulations for any areas you are considering. Most National Parks that do charge admission offer annual pass and lifetime pass options which are well worth it if you plan to use the land during a SHTF event. You should include buying a pass as part of your bug out planning.

Active military/family are eligible for annual free passes.

Disabled Veterans can apply for a lifetime pass at no charge.

Discounted Senior Passes available for U.S. citizens 62 years of age or older.

Federal Access Passes are free, lifetime passes, available to U.S. citizens with any percentage of a documented permanent medical disability.

Following SHTF, it's likely there will not be any enforcement at land/park entries. If there is, your pass should get you in.

In many cases, dispersed camping for up to 14 days is allowed and free of charge. Dispersed camping means you are camping within the National Park or National Forest but are at least one mile from any other area designated as a campground. (See diagram)

Bugout Locations



Do you live in the gray? If #civilunrest unravels, #marauding becomes commonplace, or riots break out; avoid the blue (reference diagram legend). Anytime the are large groups of people in #urbanareas, bad things happen.

Half of the US population lives in just 146 counties, (the blue zones). If you want to setup an #offgrid camp, then avoid doing so near the blue areas. Same goes for buggingout in a #shtf #scenario.

Likewise, if an EMP, nuke, or other form of attack takes place; it's highly likely to be in one of these counties. (See diagram)

Bugout location

Stay prepared. Avoid high population areas. Train. Keep a bug out or get home bag nearby. Carry essentials on hand or in pocket. Be gray, avoid attention. Stay away from natural disasters prone areas. Make sure natural resources are nearby. Ensure they locstion can be properly defended. Make a plan using ICERS

Ask questions and create solutions to vulnerabilities.  Prepping starts now, it starts with a plan to egress or stay put, make sure you do right.

We've created an #INCH Loadout Checklist, and a #Homestead Defense Guide.⁣ These factors will help you select a homestead with security and sustainability in the mind.⁣