Staying safe when SHTF: How to defend your Bug Out Location
02/21/2018 // Lance D Johanson // Views

With all the threats in today's world, there may come a time when you have to consider your best survival plans. What if you were forced to leave your home behind, do you have a place you can retreat to? Are you prepared to defend yourself and your loved ones against threats of violence, abuse, false accusation, or civil unrest?

Are you prepared for a time when your familiar home could become an unsafe place? Here are 18 tips for preparing your family or your team for an exile and how best to defend what you have.

Don’t divulge the bugout location

Unless they are part of your most trusted inner circle, don't let anyone know your bugout location. This will prevent others from knowing your plans, and possibly trying to take what is yours.

Get familiar with the territory surrounding your bugout location

Scout out the areas where thieves are most likely to approach the property. Make thieves vulnerable in these areas but preparing false cover that is easy to estimate and penetrate.

Prepare the means to travel to your new location

Have backup fuel ready and take the roads less traveled by to get there.

Have a bugout bag ready

It should be outfitted with a handgun for personal protection, keys, cash, and addresses of trusted people. Also, make sure your bugout bag is packed in your getaway vehicle and ready to go, just in case you have to move quickly.

Be prepared for civil unrest

If there is civil unrest, be prepared to stand guard day and night to defend against marauders looking for anything they can get their hands on. As cities break down further, more desperate people head to rural areas to loot homes. Rotate your team to stand watch through the night.


Have multiple hiding places

Don’t hide your valuables all in the same place. If your stash is discovered by thieves, you could lose it all, fast. Same goes for self-defense tools. Hide defense items in different locations where they could come in handy in the spur of a moment.

Find the perfect location for your bugout spot

Determine the most valuable aspects of your bugout location to prioritize your defense. A natural source of water will be highly valuable. If defended properly in an SHTF scenario, that water can be a great negotiating tool, barter necessity, and a place to re-establish community.

Defend your land

Set up traps and trip wires around your agricultural space, to keep thieves out of your freshly grown food. Noisy and painful traps can alert you to these thieves. Consider non-lethal booby traps to help protect your property.

Use natural facets of the land to your advantage

Slopes, waterways, thorny bush areas, and tree outlooks can all be used as natural advantages. A bugout location that is on high ground is easier to defend because marauders will have to climb in the open to get to you. Thorny bush areas create natural walls that marauders won’t dare trudge noisily through. Tree outlooks can give you a greater line of sight to see intruders coming from afar. Prepare trenches or use natural slopes and fallen logs to create defensive shooting positions for your team.

Always be prepared for an ambush

Approach threats using strength in numbers, but have a spotter back you up from a hidden location. (Related: Choosing a rifle scope with night vision on a budget.)

Make sure your bugout location is stocked

Prepare first aid supplies, a standalone water filtration system, a backup food supply, fire starting supplies, and heirloom seeds to sustain your team.

Get familiar with natural foods and medicine

Be prepared to eat and medicate using the natural flora and fauna in your area. Keep a book(s) to help you identify the native species of herbs, trees, and fungi.

Have an escape route planned

Just in case you feel you cannot defend the location, have an exit plan in place. However, don’t expect everything to work out as you planned, be prepared to make in the moment decisions.

Be prepared to negotiate

Stock up on a select barter item that could be used to negotiate with bandits.

Prepare false loot in a small safe

To trick enemy combatants into thinking they got what they want from you, pretend this stash of supplies/cash is your last, but surrender it in the end to appease the looters. You will have given up a few things, but this move could save your life and protect your real stash, hidden elsewhere.

Prepare your team to specialize in different firearms

Each defender should have a sidearm handgun, but one person could be in charge of long-range shooting. Others could be equipped with defensive semi-automatic rifles to engage combatants at mid-range. Have shotguns ready for close quarter fighting. Have at least five magazines accessible for every pistol and ten magazines for every semi-automatic rifle. Stockpile at least one thousand rounds of ammunition for every weapon.

Beware of those on prescription drugs

Make sure the no one on your trusted team is taking psychiatric medication. When the pills aren’t there to cope, the chemical changes in their brain worsen, and their mood can change on a dime. They could become suicidal and a detriment to your team.

Be prepared to sacrifice

The needs of women and children should always come first. Evil takes advantage of naivety and permissiveness, so be prepared to do what it takes to destroy evil if it threatens your life.

Sources include:



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