117: Choosing the Perfect BOL

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Memorial Day 2016
May 23, 2016
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You May Not Have the Legal Right to Use Your Bug Out Location!
May 30, 2016

Choose the Perfect Bug-Out Location Every Time: A BOL You Will Love and People You Enjoy

So you found a place that sounds great on paper.  You even took a trip to visit it.

You visited the property a second time, and just fell in love with it.  You.  could see yourself there, and all the amazing things it has to offer.


Before slapping down thousands of dollars, do a little more digging.

  • Know your property
  • Know the area the property is in
  • Know the hazards in the area
  • Don’t discount convenience
  • Know the climate zones and growing periods
  • Choose a location with hobbies and enjoyment in mind
  • Choose your neighbors wisely

Know the Property, but You MUST Know the Area around It

Life altering decision

You are stuck with home AND surrounding area

Stuck with surrounding people

Don’t regret your decision.

Easy Ways that You Can Learn about Your Potential Home

In final stages of your decision making, consider doing the following:

  • Taking Vacations
  • Bed and Breakfasts
  • Renting

Taking Vacations

Taking them anyways

Center yours around scoping out your Bug-Out Location

What does the area have to offer in hobbies and adventure?

Bed and Breakfasts

Great way to:

  • have daily conversations with people that live there
  • gain lots of information about the potential location from locals


Rent a cheap, crummy apartment in the area

great opportunities nearly every weekend to learn the area and people.

Your BOL Could Be Amazing

take the time to learn the area that you want to move to before purchasing the property,

know exactly what you are getting into

simple, low cost ways you can experience the property and the area

Know the Dangers where Your Bug-Out Location (BOL) Will Be

Meant for when the Stink Hits the Fan (SHTF)

choose one that isn’t going to:

  • place you more in harm’s way
  • reduce your ability to respond to emergencies.

What Hazards are in The Location

Know benefits and hazards in the location you are choosing.  

What are the Natural Disasters and Regional Disasters?

Which disasters are possible?

Are you willing to accept that possibility?

What steps do you need to take to protect yourself from them?

  1. Storms
  2. Tornados
  3. Hurricanes
  4. Flooding
  5. Wild Fires
  6. Volcanoes
  7. Water Supply Risks
  8. Nuclear Accident Potential
  9. Burglary or Mugging Rates

Are You near Medical Support

  • How important it is that you can get medical care? Yes?
  • An hour or so from a hospital.  Hospitals don’t show up until the town has about 5 thousand or so.
  • Hard work, wild environments, you can get hurt
  • After first-aid is performed, you may need more care.  Give thought to medical care when you decide your bug out location.

Knowing Your Location

Know your location by

  • Address
  • GPS coordinates

Same with your Bug-Out Location (BOL)!

  • Don’t be on the receiving end of a three-day manhunt resulting in a life threatening situation.
  • Be able to tell them to any emergency services when necessary.

Don’t Regret Choosing the Wrong Bug-Out Location (BOL)

What risks are available?

Am I willing to take that risk?

Can those risks or disasters harm me?

If I get hurt, can I get to medical care?

Can I bring the medical care to me?

Choose a Location with Conveniences

  • convenient to resources: modern conveniences to help you improve land
  • convenient to your current location: so you will be willing to visit.

Location Determines Convenience!

Choose to be be about 30 minutes or less to a small town of a few hundred people.  They can come with many small conveniences you will enjoy.

  • Gasoline
  • Grocery Items
  • Family Doctors
  • Post Office
  • Hardware Stores
  • Libraries
  • And much more

Just go into town if you need something.  You can get to know the residents also.

Your BOL Should Be Convenient to Traveling

Not easy to drive 12 hrs to a BOL, work on it over the weekend, and then drive 12 hours back?  

Even 6 hours away, you won’t really spend time there.

And since it will have been so long after the last time you worked on it, you will be kind of lost.

Choose a BOL within 3-4 hours from your home in MOST circumstances

  • You can visit often, and build an amazing property.

Don’t Fail to Choose a Convenient Location

Make resources convenient and make your Bug-Out Location (BOL) convenient to you.

You can get more done, so your chance survival will be higher.

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Know Climate Zones and Growing Seasons

Some plants need a long growing season and deal with heat well.

Other plants can’t take the heat but can deal with less sunlight.

Choose the Perfect Hardiness Zone for Your Preferred Crops

Plant Hardiness Zone Map

  • Know your climate zones.
  • Know which plants grow there.
  • Be aware of your limitations.

If you want a nationwide hardiness map, the USDA hardiness map is probably the best place to go.

Diversify with Microclimates

You’re in hardiness zone 7

You want to grow a plant that is best in zone 8.  

Create a micro-climate a little warmer than the rest of your property

  • reducing wind
  • providing evening sun
  • while heating an eastern thermal mass.

Something from hardiness zone 6, then create a cooler micro-climate.

  • some edge tree coverage
  • blocking the sun in the late afternoon and evening

You are in zone 7

  • Don’t try growing plants from 3 or 9

You can do it but probably shouldn’t unless you are trying to prove it can be done.

  • To time and labor intensive.

You have “Micro-Climates”.  Based on:

  • sun patterns
  • wind patterns
  • overall climate
  • Heat storing masses
  • locations of other items

There are different micro-climates in different areas.

Warmer areas may be used for plants that need it. Same with cooler areas.

Determining the Solar Patterns before Visiting It

Look at the solar patterns before taking time to visit a property:

Google maps: Images have time stamps. Pay attention to time of year.

Find My Shadow: CAD and grid-based software http://www.findmyshadow.com

  • draw your property
  • choose a date
  • and see where the shadows will be throughout the day

My Ultimate Favorite: Sun Calc Map.Even better for the lay person is to look at the SunCalc Map.  

  • choose your location
  • the date
  • and the time of the day
  • determines where the sun will be

It also has time stamps for dawn, noon and dusk.  You can move it to see different times.

Sun Calc Map

Make Up for Limitations with a Greenhouse

The perfect Bug-Out Location (BOL), with perfect climate, with perfect micro-climates for EVERYTHING you want to eat doesn’t exist.

Use a Greenhouse

  • Different models
  • Different building techniques
  • Extends your growing season by months
  • Make them warmer with heaters and masses.
  • Make them cooler with burying them.

Don’t rely only on Greenhouses

  • Use your seasonal planting dates for full production.

Always Think about Growing Food

  • What do you like to eat?
  • Where is that stuff is grown?
  • Can you grow that stuff in post-collapse?
  • Understand your climate
  • Learn to create micro-climates
  • Remember that you can always grow in a greenhouse.

Choose a Bug-Out Location (BOL) Based on Hobbies

You will love your property more if helps you do what you enjoy.

Doing what you LOVE makes you happier.

Outdoor sports and great views: Colorado or North Carolina

bug out location mountain bike

Outdoor Activities Could Affect Your Happiness

  • Mountain Bike or Trail Run: you will want hills or more
  • Geocaching can be almost anywhere.
  • Wilderness caches aren’t going to be in downtown Chicago.
  • Hike “away from it all?”  You may want to be close to some awesome waterfalls that you can hike to.

bol hobbies

Climate Effects Your Activities and Your Property

Winter sports like ice-fishing, skiing, or snowboarding… not Florida.  

  • Florida great for scuba diving every weekend.

Like Gardening and rich soil… not Arizona

Land and Soil can Affect Your Acitivities

  • Rock and minerals collecting  
  • Polishing, cutting, and tumbling gems as a hobby that will second as an income
  • Choose the correct location

Some Activities May Be Done Almost Anywhere

  • Geocaching
  • Reading
  • Journaling
  • Writing


  • Don’t forget the things you enjoy
  • If you don’t you will despise your new location.
  • We are meant to work, but also to play.  
  • Neglecting what you enjoy will make you miserable, depressed, and you will hate your property.  
  • You will REGRET your decisions.

Know Your Neighbors

In Stink Hit the Fan (SHTF), neighbors will become your lifeline

You will rely on them for something.  

Make sound decisions about your neighbors and your neighborhood

You can avoid many problems.

Know Your Neighbors!

We want to do

  • what we want,
  • whenever we need,
  • without others getting in our business.  

Know your neighbors

You don’t want people around you constantly needing to know or care about what you are doing.

You really don’t need them to invade on your space, privacy, or rights.

Your Potential Neighbors

What does each person do for occupation and hobby

Is their skillset valuable in an emergency?  Would yours be valuable to them?

Have a conversation with them under the assumption that you are looking at the property to learn about them.

Choosing a Town Size

Small Towns

Everyone knows each other

These towns usually are a niche around some activity

  • In one, you may be always considered an outsider
  • In others, you may be a perfect fit
  • Tough to be an Atheist in a small town of strict Christians

Mid-Sized Towns

You can completely blend in, or disappear, in a town of about 25,000 people

  • big enough for people to stay out of your business
  • small enough that you will be less likely to deal with large city issues
  • usually have good hospitals

Don’t purchase a property inside city limits.

Reduce local government and regulations where and when you can.  NO HOA!!!

Your “Bug-Out Neighbors” can Make or Break You

Choose helpful and enjoyable neighbors

  • Ones that appreciate and respect your rights.  
  • Ones that will lift you up in hard times

Don’t deal with buttholes and thieves.

  • You have enough to deal with, without dealing with awful neighbors.

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Ken is addicted to fitness and mountain biking. He is such a thrill seeker, people are starting to be concerned!He enjoys MTBing, Hiking, Climbing, Geocaching, Orienteering, Weight Lifting, and Wilderness Survival.

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