Recently. I have been looking for a BOL property again. I have had several conversations with other preppers about going in on property together, alone, etc. Then I examine my geography and demographic, and it hit me… I live in a highly populated low self sufficiency demographic and geography. I need more than one Bug Out Location… “What?” you might ask… or Why? Various reasons, actually. Lets take a high level look at why that might be.

First, not every  SHTF is going to be a TEOTWAWKI. That is just fact. As much as we all prepare, and shows like Doomsday Preppers want you to think, there are clearly smaller more imminent SHTF situations to be worried about. Just ask all the tornado, flood, Earthquake, and other natural disaster victims over the past year or two.

Second, a BOL made for long and short term SHTF situations could be advantageous in a couple different ways. Let’s define a short term BOL and a long term BOL. Please keep in mind this is opinion only and I am sort of brainstorming as I go here, so bear with any random thoughts that get us pulled aside or that you may not agree with. In fact, do not forget to comment and let me know what you think whether you agree or not.

Short term BOL: The short term BOL, is just that. Short term. What do I consider to be short term? I think short term would be from 45 – 60 days. Short term can mean an interim stop for a few days before leaving for home or before trekking on to a longer term Bug Out Location. Or it could bean three to seven days away from home while an emergency such as the floods that happened in NJ this past year after the hurricane passes. The short term Bug Out Location should have a cache or caches of food and supplies to last your stay. It should have a source of water, whether it is well, spring, or water that can be brought to the location from a river, pond, lake, etc, and purified. You may want to have electricity piped in, or have solar and/or wind power. ro a few batteries that can provide you with a couple of amenities.

With that definition, I think that just like caches of supplies along a Bug Out Routes, the short term BOL acts in a similar fashion, providing the essentials you need in a short term situation that will allow you more of the amenities you would like to have. Think “toilet, running water of some sort, possible refrigeration, etc.”

As for the number of short term Bug Out Locations, I am beginning to believe that a prepper should have a couple of them at the least, whether one is “semi-permanent” and another one or two are designated longer term “camping areas” where you have supplies cached for you and the family. That said, it doesn’t have to be a camp site. It could be a hotel room you rent, but near the hotel there are supplies you might need. Everyone’s financial situation is different so I am aware not everyone (including myself) can afford to purchase multiple properties or make available multiple bug out locations. To illustrate, I was at a prepper meetup this weekend, and the topic of discussion was Bug Out Bags, a popular topic amongst preppers when they get together. It’s a good ice breaker conversation, to be honest. It helps to asses how far along or how mature a prepper may be with regard to how far along they may or may not be which their preps. i.e. meaning, my belief is that many or most preppers put together a BOB first…

However, my point still remains the same as I look at situations where I may be forced to go west, or northwest, southwest, or north from my NJ location. In any one of those directions, in a bad disaster situation my assumption is that there will be a plethora of traffic if you do not get out of dodge early. The decision then becomes, what BOL to head to. Interestingly, should you find yourself thinking along the same lines, you may want to have a couple BOLs for “emergency a,” “emergency b,” and another for “emergency c” and “emergency d.”  Or you may want multiple short term BOLs for different seasons…

I am not going to offer advise as to where to look or what to do to find one. Scott Williams over at Bug Out Survival wrote a great book about bugging out called “Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It’s Too Late,” with a deep section on potentially choosing a spot. Jack Spirko over at The Survival Podcast has several posts on Bug Out Locations, and MD Creekmore has a great book on setting up a “Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat.” If you have not picked them up, you should give them a shot.

Am I over complicating Bugging Out?  Complicating the idea of the Bug Out Location? Let me know what you think. Not asking where, of course, but do you have a BOL, and is it more permanent or temporary? Do you have multiple locations or one?

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We’re a group of suburban preppers in the Northeast and live in the NYC suburbs that write The Suburban Survival Blog to talk about preparedness and self-reliance out there to help others prepare for what could be an uncertain future due to economic, weather, and other reasons.