The Best 5 Bug-Out Locations In The US

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The Best 5 Bug-out Locations in the US

In the survivalist parlance of our times, when we’re using the term “bug out” we’re referring to getting away from danger after a society collapse scenario or a natural/manmade disaster. Getting away ASAP from the big bad city if it gets dangerous seems like the right thing to do.

Now, if you’re a rational human being and you’re preparing for the worst, bugging out from your current location implies that you have a place to bug out to in the first place. Also, even if you’re living in a small city/rural area, if you are within 100 miles from a highly populated city, like NY for example, it would be a good idea to think about a bug-out location for you and your family.


Just think about it: if shtf, there may be myriads of people leaving the big cities and heading to suburban areas/rural communities in the proximity in no time, on foot or by car.

Anyway, regardless of your current location, the fundamentals when picking out a BOL are the same.

Also, you must educate yourself in acquiring survival skills along with stockpiling stuff. The Romans had a saying, it goes like this: “Omnia mea mecum porto”, it means “all that’s mine I carry with me”. This should be the motto of any survivalist.


Now, getting back to our business, here are the top 5 bugging out locations in the US:

The Mid South and especially the East of the Mississippi River is one of the best places to retreat, if you’re living in the eastern half of the US. But, you should avoid the New Madrid fault zone (check that thing on google, it covers areas from of Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee), one of the biggest earthquake-happy fault zones in the country.

The Great Plains is not a bad choice either, especially if you’re into agriculture and growing your own food. Again, you should stay away from the New Madrid fault zone and keep an eye for tornadoes (think Tornado Alley). Population density in the area is low in most parts, and that’s great for a BOL.

The Northwest is arguably the best BOL in the United States, being populated by huge numbers of freedom loving Americans and being blessed with a great number of lakes and rivers and also with abundant wild life. Think Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, even eastern Washington (not urban places, that’s a no brainer). In lots of areas the population density is low and you can also grow your own food/live stock.

The Southwest is a good choice if you’re familiar with the area. The weather is warm, there is a lot of space to bug out to and also the people are nice and love freedom. The downsides are the drought and hence potential water shortage. But overall, it’s a nice place for preppers.

The Mid-Atlantic (think North Carolina and South Carolina, the southern area of DC) is another good spot if you’re planning to build yourself a bug-out retreat. The landscape is beautiful and the further you go down south, the friendlier people get.


Now, let’s take a look at the fundamentals of bugging-out:

-The location is essential: how far away from your current home is your BOL, how do you get there in a timely fashion in case of a disaster and how fast and how safe(you don’t have to rely on public transportation for that), you got the picture. Rural areas are the best and the safest, especially if you have friends there/you’re known in the area.

– If you’ve already decided about the location, what kind of shelter do you have in mind? Can you afford to build a house on that property? You’ll use a tent (that’s a desperate measure)? The answer to that question will determine for how long you’ll be able to stay there (in the winter, you can’t live in a tent for too long, for example). You can purchase an empty piece of land (that’s cheap) in a remote rural area and start building up your “thing”, gradually. In time, you will be able to have a BOL in which you could survive indefinitely, as opposed to an improvised one that’s only temporary and unsafe. If you can’t afford building a second home, you can use instead shipping containers, a trailer home or an RV, use your imagination.


-You must acquire survival skills, living off the land, you know; but not the basics of gardening and hunting (everybody knows that in theory), I mean the practical stuff; that could take years to master, so you should’ve started yesterday. You must know the essentials about your BOL, like if there is wildlife in the area (stockpiles will not last forever), if the soil can be used for agricultural purposes (is fertile or not), if you have water nearby, if you can have livestock;

– Water is essential to survival, hence having a clean water source near your BOL is vital. You can store water in a cistern or something similar, but again, it will not last you forever. A good BOL is near a river/other natural water source.

-Weather is an element to take into consideration when choosing a BOL, as you should plan ahead for hard winters in some areas and for natural disasters(flooding, tornadoes) in others.

-Protection is a complex thing to take into account. It also means that your BOL should be camouflaged properly and well hidden. A good BOL should be inconspicuous, not very easy to find and easy to defend.

-The Getaway plan is crucial, because the perfect BOL is useless if you can’t get there. You should plan ahead and have multiple routes for reaching your BOL (at least three “safe” ones). You should avoid populated areas, obviously.

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  • By BellaSnid, October 12, 2014 @ 04:53

    What is a good rule of thumb for deciding the distance to travel to a ‘ bug-out’ location? I have heard that you need to travel to an area that would take more than a half tank of gas from the nearest metropolitan area. I think that more than 3 hours away could get dicey at best. What is your opinion? Your reply will be appreciated.

  • By Alec Deacon, October 21, 2014 @ 13:11

    Sorry for the late reply. From my experience, i believe that the maximum distance for a bug-out location should not be more than a half tank of gas. You don’t know what to aspect in a SHTF situation and you’d be better off on the safe side. Some people think that you should go as far as a full tank, but I would not recommend it, without knowing very well your location.

    So you are absolutely right with the half tank. Also know in advance different routs towards your bug-out location.

  • By Dino, December 3, 2014 @ 20:54

    We live in southern California. Very heavy dent populated area of Los Angeles and Orange County. There are several mega city between where we at to where we are going BOL. My advise to everyone that is planning for the same thing. Make sure you planned where is all of your break stop in advance. If you don’t it could derail your plan to your BOL. The places you stop should have access to water even if you care your own water. Safe or not to be seeing by other people and protect yourself (armed). How often can you stop is depends on how far of your travel. Our routes is minimum of 800 to 900~ miles one way. Good luck and remember. “The future will belong to those who prepared today.”

  • By Eff That, October 7, 2015 @ 23:20

    If you’re worried about illegal immigrants coming TO the U.S. than the word is “immigrate” not “emigrate”. That means U.S. people are illegally leaving the U.S. which makes no sense.

  • By Ranger Rick, June 30, 2016 @ 18:35

    I made the move to North Idaho, gun shows in schools, ladies are not needy and can take care of themselves, kids in 1 / 6 grade are being taught survival skills by family, I teach in the area and have many families that are learning skill sets, since last year we have over 60 ham operators in the local simplex commo area. It does not get any better.
    Come on up and survive,
    North Idaho

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  1. Two US Cities About To Be Destroyed By Natural DisastersMy Family Survival Plan — October 8, 2015 @ 06:25

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