So, I have been giv­ing more and more thought to a BOL. Here is why: My fam­i­ly’s home, which is my cur­rent BOL is 100 miles from my home in NJ. It is rur­al, but still near major roads and is high­ly vis­i­ble to the street, as is the gar­den, vehi­cles, etc. Con­cep­tu­al­ly, while 100 miles, I real­ize that 100 miles is not that far from my exist­ing loca­tion and all major roads even­tu­al­ly lead there when bug­ging out. I have met a few prep­pers in my area now, and we are all start­ing to chat and talk… One of the prep­pers, I am get­ting pret­ty friend­ly with, and he sug­gests that the refugees in a SHTF here in the NYC / NJ area are actu­al­ly locusts that will strip homes and land of all resources because they are not prepped them­selves. I have giv­en this much thought over the past month or so, and have looked to blogs, pod­casts, mag­a­zines, etc for advice on BOLs.  There is some infor­ma­tion out there, but not a ton. In the end, it would seem that bug­ging in, is well, prob­a­bly not going to be as advis­able as bug­ging out in a real SHTF or TEOTWAWKI sit­u­a­tion.

First, let’s keep in mind that I am not made of mon­ey, and do not have the mon­ey to yet pur­chase a BOL.  It is going to be a pri­ma­ry goal over the next 12 — 24. Some of what I am look­ing for begs sev­er­al ques­tions with a lit­tle com­men­tary:

- My per­son­al four cri­te­ria for a BOL, (water on prop­er­ty, guns are accept­able, land is good for grow­ing food and live­stock are wel­come in the com­mu­ni­ty), assum­ing I buy acreage in a com­mu­ni­ty, vs. a plot of land, although the cri­te­ria stay the same for both.

- How far is far enough away, how close is to close?  Whew, what a thought.  Bet­ter yet, is 100 miles far enough or is it too close.  Is two hours on the road enough or should I go four?  I am not sure 100 miles to rur­al PA is enough, how­ev­er, I am sure that I can find a remote enough spot to be self reliant and self suf­fi­cient for the short or long term if I need­ed to be.  So the search begins.  I do know I do not want to be near any “major” roads or inter­states due to the rov­ing num­ber of locusts that will fol­low the road sys­tem to what­ev­er des­ti­na­tion they per­ceive as good for them.

- How much acreage is enough?  Two acres, five acres, 10 acres, 25 acres?  Good ques­tion.  I know I want a min­i­mum of five acres, ide­al­ly 10 acres.  There are mul­ti­ple rea­sons for this:

  • One, to allow enough prop­er­ty around me to iso­late the BOL itself,
  • Two, so that I can build an ample size gar­den, pos­si­bly up to one acre in size,
  • Three, so that I can cache preps on the prop­er­ty marked so that only I can find them
  • Four, so that I may hunt and trap on the prop­er­ty, and I believe that five acres is too small for this.
  • Five, so that I may build into the prop­er­ty per­mi­cul­ture changes that ben­e­fit the prop­er­ty itself for growth.

- Hid­den gotchas to watch out for in buy­ing a piece of prop­er­ty – Not sure what they may be yet, but being too close to oth­er peo­ple, where some­one could just stum­ble across your BOL.  In a SHTF, stum­bling across my place would be a bad idea unless they had some­thing of val­ue to me to barter.  Prop­er­ty tax­es being reassessed every year, increas­ing the cost of the prop­er­ty to me (not sure how real­is­tic that is), not being able to find water on the prop­er­ty, van­dal­ism as a sec­ond prop­er­ty that gets vis­it­ed only occa­sion­al­ly, etc.  I am sure there is more that I have not touched on or can think of off the top of my head.

- I think that tent camp­ing is not a good idea for a BOL and I would want to put a trav­el trail­er or small cab­in on the prop­er­ty ASAP.  I think that psy­cho­log­i­cal­ly peo­ple want a sense of home, even if a trav­el trail­er is on the prop­er­ty, and an out­house vs. tent camp­ing for long term bug out sit­u­a­tions. I also think that if a build­ing is on the prop­er­ty I would tend to use it more than not… It gives the guise of secu­ri­ty and shel­ter in what­ev­er the weath­er condition(s) may be.

- What type of ter­rain will the BOL should be on? Quite prob­a­bly hilly but not moun­tain­ous ter­rain.  I would want some­thing rel­a­tive­ly flat with hills to pro­tect what­ev­er area I choose to gar­den or put a struc­ture on.

- Rough win­ters, hot sum­mers, glob­al warm­ing and / or cool­ing?  Still work­ing on this…

- I think that every­one should watch out for poten­tial annex­a­tion by sur­round­ing towns/cities.  Admit­ted­ly, I got this and sev­er­al of my ideas for this post from oth­er blogs, but I thought it nec­es­sary to men­tion this because if you or I are too close to state or nation­al land this could pos­si­bly be bad.   One of my goals is to keep prop­er­ty tax­es as low as pos­si­ble… I will have “per­ma­nent” struc­ture on the prop­er­ty for some time for this rea­son.

- If even­tu­al­ly mov­ing per­ma­nent­ly to the BOL I no longer have a fall­back posi­tion? My thought on this… Um, let me get the BOL first and then I will fig­ure out the rest from there.

- Have redun­dan­cy options for elec­tric, a well, heat, (not grid depen­dent) — This is a must, and one of the first things I would do after putting a struc­ture of any kind on the prop­er­ty. As lit­tle grid depen­dence as pos­si­ble.  I may have elec­tric piped in, a large propane tank on prop­er­ty, etc. How­ev­er, the less grid depen­dence, the bet­ter…

Well, these are my ini­tial thoughts on a Bug Out Loca­tion.  I may add some com­men­tary in the near future regard­ing defend­ing the BOL, etc.  But for now, this is what I have come up with.

Oh, and I am look­ing for­ward to M.D. Creek­more’s new book on Bug Out Loca­tions.

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