Friday, January 13, 2012

Prepping your bug out locations

Having at least two defined bug out locations is important.  Having them ready for you when you get there is just as important.

A good bug out location will be fairly remote, a little challenging to get to, but even better, it will be easily defended.

Once you've identified one of these close to you and another in a separate geological area, you need to start getting them ready.  When you first arrive, you may not have any food left if you've had to walk any distance.  That means your bug out location should have some buried food cache at a minimum.

Let me say that a bug out location is some place where you will not have day to day control over and that does mean some risk.  I typically recommend "cheaper" food cache items for that reason.

However, as M.D. Creekmore pointed out in this post on the survivalist blog, storing food isn't really enough.  You should also store some simple twine.  It's cheap and a lot of it can be stored in a very small area.  Additionally, some clothes pins so that you can clean and dry clothes.

I talk a lot about building a fire, but what about if it's too windy and a fire could create a very real dangerous situation?  Or if it's raining?  You need some kind of way of cooking that is enclosed.  Now the article I linked to talked about a "cooking grill" ... personally, I have a simple metal box with no bottom and a lid on a hinge.  A grill sits on supports.

Now I can cook in the wind or rain by putting the box around the fire.

Now you can get real fancy like I did and build in a method for transferring some of the heat from the fire into any tents or structures you have.

Next is some decent cast iron pans and the largest "stock pot" you can find.  The stock pot doesn't need to be cast iron or anything.  Just large enough to allow you to make soup ... or use to help get things clean.

If you want to get really smart ... put as many seeds for your garden into your bug out bag.  Keep in mind the shelf life of the seeds you store so that you can rotate/replace as needed.  This way you can get your garden going once you get to your bug out location.  Personally I don't like to store much of anything at my bug out location that can go bad over time.  Food is my only exception to that rule (and I store things with 20+ year long self lives so I'm okay).  Seeds are small and light enough that you can keep a large variety of spring, summer, and fall items

Next, the article I linked to above talks about lamp oil.  Personally, I think storing something that flammable is a bit foolish.  It would be far better to learn how to make oil from animal fats or even better from roots or other vegetation at your bug out location.

Here's the thing.  As much as possible you want to know how to make/acquire the things you need at your bug out location instead of stockpiling them.  Things like rope/twine (at least for me) are a giant pain in the rear to make.  Clothes pins are the same way.  Ditto with something to stop your fire from killing you (or going out).

One more thing.

My view on bugging out, or surviving when the shit hits the fan, is admittedly different from a lot of people.  I personally don't store much food.  Instead, I have ways of growing my own food.

In fact, with preciously few exceptions, I want to be able to make, find/gather, or grow everything I'm going to need should there be grid/supply failures.

That means I'm not stockpiling much.  Instead of spending money on stockpiling, I spend it on education.  Learning about plants, animals, migration patterns where appropriate.

I spend my time on training and scouting locations and routes.

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