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How I Plan on Bugging In

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Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Huples. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


There are multiple articles, videos, and books about bugging out and a few on bugging in. My aim here is to throw a bit of thought on the bugging in concept from my unarmed Canadian perspective. This article is more a personal ramble than a detailed ‘how to’ for others.

Bug In or Bug Out?

For me my first choice is a bug in at home though I am not sold on it as a definite concept. For this reason I have one prime bug out location (BOL) at a cottage and two secondary ones at friends’ homes. This is really a personal choice. For all those that say you are 100% dead staying at home in SHTF there are more saying you will 100% die in the woods. The truth is between the two extremes but for me I need a roof and walls so I have them at home and at the cottage. If you bug in will it work long-term? If you bug out can you get there and can you be assured of survival on arrival?

The Bug Out at the Primary Residence or Your Primary Bug Out Location (BOL)

If you do not have a wood fire and close, dense forests then I’d not even consider this. Same is required for several local water sources. Having a great knowledge of the neighborhood helps even if the neighbors are literally a knife throw away! For me I keep them both equally stocked as I am still figuring out the pros and cons of each and likely will be doing so until, and if, the actual SHTF occurs. “Two is one, one is none” seems a good rule except for BOL where many people have one main choice. So rather than having one, either bug in it home or bug out then in at a BOL, I have two. Costs more of course but if you are really preparing for the end of civilization it seems a better idea to me than focusing on only one main alternative.

Food

You should have a year’s supply of food stored in the house and the same buried nearby that you can access even if you cannot use your house. That would be a minimum for a SHTF scenario. As you go beyond this (I’d aim for twenty years supply. I have two at present) keep a year’s worth in the home or BOL and the rest in ground cached nearby in multiple locations but accessible if you cannot safely enter the home.

If you are focusing on preparing for a Winter storm, train derailment, etc. then you are preparing for something other than the end of civilization. I always prepare for the worst possible case as it makes the more likely events very easy to navigate through. This should cost you about a thousand dollars. Buy Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers. Buy strong food grade buckets and consider the gamma lids for all of them but at least four of them. Unscrew the middle, empty, add a plastic bag, and you have a toilet!

You should have a year’s supply of food stored in the house.

Buy oats, flour, pastas, sugar, extra virgin coconut oil, rice, beans, and grains (each bucket has most of these as you do not have only one or two types of food in a bucket. If you have to grab a couple and run at least you have a bit of variety) in bulk and freeze them for 72 hours to kill the critters and then decant into one gallon or smaller Mylar bags. Add in yeast and salt and spices to every bucket and you are good to go. Have a good mix of types rather than just white rice and pinto beans (these are a great staple but have a variety available).

On average each five gallon bucket is approximately one month’s food for one person but with decent foraging and careful use you can stretch this to two months. You will lose weight but so is everyone else. They stack well but are obvious so plan where you keep them carefully. Mine has asphalt added to their outside for the driveway sealing I’m never going to do. Consider the Mylar bags only in your attic placed so they cannot be seen if anyone looks into the space if the attic is not a room. Consider tins and cans stocked in under the bed containers placed under the stairs and well covered by the usual junk people have. I have a huge amount of tins and jars padded by blankets in the bottoms of boxes filled with old cassette and video tapes. If able put tins and bottles inside wall spaces which I have not as yet done.

I do rotate food but not the long-term stores. I have about ten cardboard buckets filled with a variety of everyday foods we normally eat and replace the filled pantry from these and then repurchase. This adds up quickly and we believe tins do not really expire if not used before their expiry dates.

Tools for Survival

BioLite Wood Burning Campstove – Powers most USB-chargeable devices including smartphones

A full range of gardening tools and prepping supplies is an absolute requirement as is seeds. Seeds go off so get the expensive Mylar sealed ones but spend only $10-20 on these a year. Buy a few every year and store carefully. You cannot have too many nor can you wait until SHTF to learn gardening. It is a lot of fun and not as hard as I figured it would be before I started out. Consider raised garden boxes and have lots of tarps and nails to cover these if the SHTF is radiological. Have poles and clear plastic to construct a greenhouse if, like me, you do not need one at present. Learn how to harvest seeds now and not in SHTF. I have mixed success with beans and amaranth and incredible success with most herbs. I am still learning but it is easy and fun once you get into it. I absolutely will not be gardening until after the first Winter post SHTF. This would be making myself a target.

Have three plans to cook food and make sure all three are not dependent on modern civilization. I have a wood house fire, a BioLite, and a solar cooker. I also have propane for those none long-term events when I don’t really want to cook in the living room. Have at least two good quality cast iron pans and the ability to boil water in 5-10 pint amounts on an open flame.

Have good quality foraging and wilderness skills books. Open these up frequently and look at them and try to use them. Have a large store of plastic bags and bottles. Learn how to boil can as a minimum and have a plan to dehydrate via solar large quantities of fruits and vegetables. Your pre-collapse buckets will eventually run out and your job is to use them as little as possible for as long as possible. Have some ability and knowledge to harvest tree sap for drinking and for boiling down into sugars if you live in a suitable area. Know how to harvest bark and cook it. It is tasty and full of sugars. Again do not wait until SHTF to find the axe is rubbish for this or you do not know how to peel it correctly from a living tree.

For me livestock is not possible for various reasons but if you can you should explore this and make sure you can feed them well in SHTF even if the stores never open again. Fishing rods, lines, hooks, and nets are set up at home and the cottage for us and we know how to smoke them (the fish I mean!).

If you do not sprout seeds already may I suggest you start to do so? It is easy, healthy, and tasty. Again they go off over time so buy yearly but keep all of them. Some is better than none. They also turn into plants and require very simple equipment you should have now rather than try to improvise in SHTF.

Water

Berkey Filters are excellent Prepper resources.

Berkey Filters are excellent Prepper resources.

Have at least two sources of water within easy walking range. Have a wheel barrow and buckets to transport it to cut down on the time and effort this part of your new life will take. If this is not possible you need to store thousands of gallons of water not a few cases of bottled water.

Have the ability to clean and use the water using various means. Initially I am using stored water and then the Berkey Water Filter. This is expensive but I do feel a good Berkey with four black and four white filters at my home are well worth the investment. We used it in a previous home for all our water but here it is wrapped up in a plastic tote waiting for the day I need it again. Next year the BOL gets one as well as it is an essential and essentials should work very well, for years, and be ready to use at your destination not carried there. Tablets and portable filter systems are for traveling only in my opinion. I have a lot of them so I can use them for daily living if the need arises.

Good quality rain barrels, tarps, and food grade plastic pipes should be readily available to convert rain into water for drinking, bathing, and the garden. Again I have these but they are not set up as I am not keen on screaming “prepper” to anyone who walks by the house or cottage. You should also have a large supply of large clear soda pop bottles. I do not use the stuff myself but collect them from others who do for “starting my plants”. Prefilter, lie in the sun, and consume in a couple of days. SODIS water treatment is clearly explained on the web and is an easy back up plan to provide large quantities of water if the Berkley fails.

Heating

As I said I’d not consider staying anywhere without wood heating but I live near lots of woods and in a climate that gets a bit cold in the Winter. Cold enough to freeze your nose hairs! I have a decent tent system and on top of the mattress in front of the fire it will work great especially with the sleeping system we have. I have not duplicated this at the cottage as I’d rather travel with the ability to be warm but I see the need to spend the cash at some point in the near future.

men-dj11-woodstoves-1

Wood-stoves in Northern climates will save lives in a SHTF event.

I have lots of black bags to seal the windows (see Security) and lots of cheap survival blankets to put up for heat reflection and clear plastic for the doorways. It is my number one concern as death will come swiftly to the unheated up here. In the Summer (yes it does get hot in Canada) the basement of the home stays cool and the cottage stays cool as it is on a rock system by a river.

We have decent Winter clothing in both places and SHTF clothing ready to go in the basement. I went with merino wool for the base layers but have cheaper layers to wick if I feel the need to change clothes in the Winter. I plan on getting smelly in SHTF (see Security) initially and during the Winter a weekly spot wash is all I can see doing.
Power

I would love to put up solar panels at the home and the cottage but until more people do it is just a big, fat target on me. The one home in our neighborhood with solar is not defensible and I cannot see how they expect to stay there if armed and cold people show up. One day perhaps when 25% of the homes do this I will but until then it is simply not worth the risk.

I plan to have no lights at night. Up at dawn, work hard, sleep at night when not on watch from day one in SHTF. For millennia that was the human experience and I see clinging to our current lifestyle in any form in SHTF as being risky. I can use solar lights to generate light that is brighter than the current house lights but that is for emergencies only. I am not even sure if I’d risk it then but I have it and it works. I use a few small solar panels that easily get enough power for this when set up on the 300 square foot balcony and the Biolite stove produces a bit.

I am flirting with a gas generator but for SHTF I cannot see the use. We no longer have a sump pump in the basement so really it would be for the fridge and freezer in a temporary Summer blackout.

Transportation

Our car is the bugout vehicle of choice and we keep 40 liters of gas on hand all the time but if I cannot use it then we have decent bikes with small panniers. Walking would be our main transport method so the wheel barrow is an essential bit of kit as well as good quality back packs. Other than the local area I am not planning traveling much at all in SHTF. Kayaks at the cottage would be helpful in the warmer months if a distance travel was needed but I’d not risk it without a clear destination and honestly in SHTF my local area will be the extent of my concerns.

Security

Guns run out of ammo and using them might not be a good idea if people fire back. The noise would also likely attract a lot of unwanted attention. Plus in Canada it is not as easy to equip yourself like GI Joe as it is in our neighbor to the south. I also think it creates a false sense of security but that is just my opinion. If I find a gun in SHTF I’ll carry it and use it. I have some plans on how to do that but it is not really a legal thing.

The home is defended mainly by passive means. Heavy duty iron fencing and another six-foot wooden one going up in the Spring. Having dogs means this sort of fencing is actually above suspicion and welcomed by the neighbors. Barb wire and solar motion lights go up in SHTF as I am not that sociable at the best of times. Doors, windows, and frames have the fixes easily done and available on the web but the wood pile by the garage is basically entering the ground floor in early SHTF. Stacked high and deep on tarps it won’t allow anyone to get in. We can leave the house by the ladder on the balcony as and when we feel it is safe to do so. It does mean I can be burned out but the house is concrete and looks small and uninviting compared to the neighborhood which are wood and much larger. Passive alarms on any entry point and wooden hurricane boards are further things that go up in SHTF.

Operation Enduring Freedom

The cottage goes for not looking inhabited and the already ransacked method. As a nurse I have a collection of body bags and a few of these around the place with rotting meat inside would likely put off most people along with the danger contamination signs and tape.

Both places have food and supplies in ground away from them in case of loss of the building (fire or intruders) and I have plans to evacuate and retake both places. This is situational and has some legal issues so I am not discussing it here but stay and fight to me seems more risky than running from the determined and taking it back later on. I’d definitely allow any intruders who have driven me from the place to find a large amount of alcohol that is poorly hidden. As hard as it might be to not drink it myself in SHTF I want to make sure a large group of intruders can get well drunk in this circumstance.

Both places have lots of black heavy-duty garbage bags and duct tape. All doors and windows get blacked out but, again, I am not planning to use light sources at night. In the first few months of SHTF I am also not planning to have the fires going at all and later on only at night. If it hits in the Winter this will have to change but we can stay warm enough without a fire for a week or more. Making cooking smells or showing smoke is just not worth it in the early phase of SHTF and we have planned food, clothing, and sleeping accordingly. Use a wood fire at night if possible and have no daytime smoke.

Active methods of security are bows and lots of arrows. The home entry points are blocked so anyone determined enough to scale the 9-12 foot balcony might be asked politely to not do so. We also have a lot of throwing knives and attached to long sticks, they can be useful to spear fish or any other thing dumb enough to try to get into the home. Classic historical methods of deterring intruders from your ‘castle’ and they work silently. A well-aimed piece of fire wood is also off-putting. One thing I have determined that intruders are dealt with in ways that mean they cannot every return to try again.

In both areas we have good relations with our neighbors and plan to help them out a bit depending on the SHTF. We know them and their habits and have studied them carefully for a few years. We absolutely have not revealed ourselves as preppers nor would do so in SHTF. I am hoping for a Winter event so this aspect dies off rapidly but you need to have neighbors who are allies not enemies. In a bad SHTF they are all enemies so mainly we plan to hide out and defend as best we can.

Going outside will be carefully done. The radios are only for emergency use and we would only use planned routes and times of travel to avoid people. Having worked twelve-hour nights for years it will be no issue going outside at 3am and being back by 5am. Each outside trip will be in the same outer clothes each time and no these will never get laundered. Hair and beards will grow as if we cannot heat water to clean them. After a couple of weeks your hair does not really need washing anyhow (yes we tried that!). Food intake will be rationed so we will lose weight except the day before any planned heavy work or travel when we will have a decent 4000-5000 Calorie day. This will also be a Sunday thing for us but mainly 1500-2000 calories a day the rest of the time. Fat people will stand out very quickly in SHTF.

Have one in ground food cache and two in home ones that are okay but you would happily surrender to an intruder if over powered. Giving them something very reluctantly might save you or not but is worth a try. Getting a week’s worth by emptying your “only” stores should make them happy. In a slowly evolving SHTF we will ask for food and water. We will line up for it and use anything supplied locally. Not doing so is a big red flag that you do not need the help.
After the first year we plan to advertise our health care skills if the area is stable and generally join in with whatever community is there. As both towns are old ones with a long history of water trade and lumbering I cannot see someone not starting a community in them once the population has again dropped to a normal historical size for the terrain. Skills are more important than equipment and we both have great health care skills. We also have a lot of equipment and know how to replace it. People will need to give birth and have bones fixed and cuts sutured.

Obviously offering these services will only be done when our community has sorted itself out without our help. I have no desire to be the leader nor am I willing to risk our preps before stability has occurred. I also have no desire to join a prepping community as I cannot see myself being part of either a paramilitary or hippy organization. Maybe I’ll meet some eventually that seem more suitable and I would happily store food and supplies in their BOL but I’d rather be a lone wolf than submit to some else’s authority however benign.

Location

We carefully choose our home and cottage. Both are out of the obvious way especially the cottage and both have large garden areas and plentiful trees and water very nearby. Even this step seems not enough and we are floating the idea of relocating a lot more northwards when we retire in 5-6 years. The cottage can be easily sealed off from vehicle travel and should be the primary bug in location for us. What puts me off this is knowing that the locals will drive around on ATVs with guns for a while after SHTF has happened looting all the cottage places even those not on lakes and remote. The cottage supplies are mainly buried except for old and dirty tools that work great. I see it as a Summer place and the home as the Winter place. I’m actually planning to loot abandoned lake cottages myself by kayak or snow shoe in early SHTF if at the cottage.

Walk everywhere around your locations and make careful notes as to where all water sources are including swimming pools. Note all fruit trees and clusters of wild edibles. Over time note when these are ready for harvest and learn how to store and process them. For us in Canada it is vital we know our black walnuts and acorns. The protein and fats from them is utterly essential to have.

Know all the roads and trails and rail links. Where are the out-of-town food warehouses and how can you get to them easily? If you have local bus and train services where do they normal park when not in use? Diesel is always a useful addition and our local trains have lots of spades, axes, and other goodies stored in them. Police, Fire, and Ambulance buildings should be known and considered for entry. Even if ransacked already likely you can find useful things inside.

Future

I’d like to be able to install solar and wind power after an SHTF but the cost is too much for me at present so I am looking at ways to do so from scavenging materials. Overall prepping is a hobby for me and I am hoping it never becomes my life but if it does then I will do what I can in the now to help my loved ones survive and a new community arise.

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  • Eric

    “Guns run out of ammo and using them might not be a good idea if people fire back”.
    Not having them when people are firing at you is what the bad idea is. Buy plenty of ammo. “Plus in Canada it is not as easy to equip yourself like GI Joe as it is in our neighbor to the south”. You can buy lots of guns in Canada. ” I also think it creates a false sense of security but that is just my opinion”. They give me a true sense of security, but that is my opinion. Get guns and ammo. Don’t be ridiculous.

  • Huples

    Thanks Eric, maybe one day.
    For me I still see them as a risk in early shtf. I have plenty of gun experience but bullets go both ways and I’ll duck and run from them. Late shtf I see the use. Early I am not getting into a fire fight, not going to kill with them as far too noisy and not needed, and I’ll run before standing my ground. You can only tread on me if I stand my ground! I’ll stab you in the back later on at a time and in a way of my choosing not yours.
    If most of my neighbours had gun ownership and knowledge I’d have multiple guns and massive ammo. Here at home that is not the case and the cottage is not defensible from the armed locals so why bother was my conclusion.
    I totally accept this is not going to be seen as sane by most people on this site but I have thought long and hard on whether to get guns and I’m not convinced at all that they’d make me safer in early sthf in my situation. If I have one I’ll use it and early on it would attract the flies and scum. Not having one I have to hide, run, and remove threats silently. Not having one focuses me on this.
    Cheers
    Hips

    • Daniel

      Sir, there are things called suppressors.Also a suppressed .22 would be very effective at taking down threats. But then that is just me.

      • Huples

        I know. Almost none of neighbours have guns and suppressor or not I am not getting into a fire fight with the remains of the police or army. It is very situational which is why I put my plans out there.
        Thanks
        Hups

    • BobW

      Huples, I understand your position of not wanting to use a firearm early on. It doesn’t really work for my environment, but it takes knowing your environment.

      What if you considered procuring an inexpensive hunting rifle with iron sights? Hear me out. Take it to the range. Get it zeroed with iron sights, install a scope, zero that. Then coat it with grease, put it in a good a case, and bury it near one of your sites next to an ammo can full of the ammo you zeroed with.

      Scrounging a firearm AND matching ammo in an area that doesn’t have many guns is going to be a tough play. Even if your plans are slightly nefarious.

      Having one stored long-term would ensure you have something when you need/want it vice having to do a risky scavenge to find one.

      Whether you go centerfire, rimfire, or even muzzle loader matters not. Having the option can make a huge difference.

      I thought about buying a bushel basket of Hi-tech pistols to stash. Nuthin’ fancy, nothing great, but when its hi-tech or rocks, it sounds pretty good.

      • Huples

        Hi Bob,
        I’ve consider shot guns and air rifles. Thing is I’m running off or using silent killers. My gf is extremely against any gun if any sort but she is cool with knives and bows. I know! I know! Lefty liberals we are 🙂
        I have fired automatics and stuff so if I find any I can use them well enough. You are exactly correct on iron sight versus scope. I agree with that. Less tech the longer it will work. Iron sights work okay. I had raf marksmanship on a .303 with iron sight years ago. Dead into the head at 500 yards.
        Guns make noise. I’m not making noise or smoke or anything to target me in early shtf.
        I might get a high powered hand cranked air rifle eventually but I’m in need of more food first. No food sucks.
        I’m not seeing armed gangs as a main threat to me other than the police and the local hunters at the cottage. Either group will end me whatever gun I pull on them so better to use the grey cells, silent methods, and luck. As I said if my neighbours were armed (almost none are) I’d tool up to ensure fire rate and range and ammo exceeds anything but bullets go both ways and a bullet wound is a death sentence in shtf.

        • BobW

          I do understand. I don’t want to be in a gun fight. Ever. But when someone puts baby in a corner (you were out scavenging)…

          This is why I suggested getting a long gun, sort it out, and put it in LT storage. You don’t have to use it in the short-term, but having it for later could be good peace of mind when you need those stores at location X that is lightly occupied. Bows require close ranges. Spears even closer. Having a true ranged option, even if you choose not to use it makes a lot of sense.

          What about scoring an old WW2 .303? You know its operation, they are uber durable, and inexpensive. Like I said, its not about intent to use, its about having the option to do so to ensure the safety of loved ones. We have no idea what each of us will face if calamity strikes. Having options, even if its purely used as a means of breaking contact with an aggressor is a good play.

          • Huples

            You have not seen my gf Bob. She’s as tough as nails and shed likely have to save me. No we’d be out and about together. I’m not kidding about staying in the house for months and sealing entry so we can only get in and out from the balcony.
            A gun is something I’ve considered and rejected. A second Berkley would make more sense for me

    • RAIDER

      I agree with you Huples, I’ve been under fire in the military, after TSHTF I prefer discretion as the better part of valour, I will cut and run if I can avoid a fire fight.

  • PAUL SMITH

    Hi Friends,
    I am a relatively healthy 75 year old. I probably will live into my mid 80s if conditions are right. In SHFT, conditions won’t be right, so I plan to bug in right where I am right now. I do live in a relatively small community, but too close to a major metro area.
    Having been raised on a post-depression wheat ranch, I learned a great many skills that we would be able to use in a SHFT. My main SHFT strength is my knowledge.

    I will be a source of information for as long as I can. I have to depend upon my neighbors and community, I have no choice, besides, my faith won’t allow me to do anything more than help as many as I can as long as I can.

    I don’t see anyone mentioning all of the hundreds of cattle grazing within walking distance. Of course, they will be gone within the first 6 months, as NO ONE is remotely prepared for more than 2 days after a SHFT.

    • BobW

      Paul, I would agree that the old-timers (hope that isn’t offensive, I’m almost there) can/could/should be a fountain of knowledge on how to make it when things are rough. My dad is an old-timer. While no longer able to do a lot of physical stuff, he’s a mechanical Mr. Wizard. He provides the knowledge, and I provide the manpower.

      As for the hundreds of cattle grazing, all I can say, is good luck with that. You don’t really think those ranchers are really going to not actively watch their lifeline? I don’t have cattle yet, but when I do, I fully understand that if SHTF, they are the most important tangible resource I’ll have. They’ll have to be actively managed during the day, and actively guarded at night. To sit around, and lose even one could be the difference between life and death.

      I’d love to read how a rancher or former rancher intends to preserve their herd if/when something bad happens.

      • Bolofia

        Southwestern (open range) cattle feed on vegetation available to them in the desert. Ranchers that I know do not need to provide hay. One rancher friend has 40 square miles of range with 16 wind powered wells. It takes considerably more land to sustain the cattle than is needed in wetter climates, but his cattle are healthy and well fed. You can be absolutely certain that ranchers will protect their herds.

    • Huples

      Hi Paul,
      I’d take you in without hesitation. When you watch prepper videos on groups I’m always thinking of my gf’s 80 year old ex farming parents. They still work hard and have incredible knowledge. Their grandson is useless and dangerous. I’m prepping for them joining me in shtf if they want (not telling them in advance) and not for him.

      Out of interest how much feed and water without power is available in cattle ranches on the industrial scale? I’ve heard all dead within the month not six months. I’m a vegan anyhow and plan on mainly that intake in shtf for various reasons but always nice to hear about possible food sources. Would any of those cattle be able to survive if freed? The are a few industrial farms to my north.

      Thanks
      Hups

      • BobW

        Hey! Don’t steal my questions!

        I’m hoping to get a pair of cows to raise next spring. All I see the locals giving the cows out here is regular old hay. Unsure if they hit them with corn. I’m also planning on growing corn and wheat in the spring to learn what it takes to bring some to maturity. I figure the corn stalks will feed something, at least goats, but just maybe cows.

        • The Deplorable Cruella DeVille

          Having grown up working a dairy farm in the mountains of upstate NY, I may be able to provide some insight.

          Milkers are fussier, but if you’re not milking for commercial consumption, any decent quality graze land will do fine while the grass is actively growing. The steers and bulls, (required to continue the herd, not obvious these days. Artificial insemination is the norm), will eat almost anything green. These critters are also smart enough to head back to the barn as dusk approaches, assuming they have been trained to do that by providing some grain of similar each evening.
          The winter will be the problem: You can figure 25 pounds/11 Kg per head, per day to keep the steers healthy, and the milkers producing. That is a LOT of hay….
          In a SHTF, without fuel to harvest the hay, and the large extended families needed to do so using hand tools, I expect the herd size to decrease dramatically. Most farmers will probably harvest a couple of steer for the protein immediately, smoke/dry to preserve it, and drop dairy head count to one or two. The rest will be sold, given away, or slaughtered about half way through the first winter.

          Goats and sheep are far, far easier…. Sheep eat only grass/weeds, and will need about 3% of their body weight each day, figure 3 pound of rough hay. They like the weeds and leafy stuff, so that helps too.
          Goats – eat absolutely anything except grass, and can forage in the winter although they will need a decent weather tight pen, and a few pound of course hay daily.

          • Sam’s nephew

            So goats will eat course hay, would prairie hay work? That can be foraged from most native locals.

            • The Deplorable Cruella DeVille

              Yes it will work. It’s nice and rough, with stringy fibers. They eat it up.

        • Sam’s nephew

          First, buy sweet corn for your use and field corn for the cattle and hopefully not the Monsanto varieties. If the field corn does not produce good ears, then cut it down in it’s entirety and put it in a slot trench on a sidehill, covered with tarps and old tires, boards, etc. to hold the tarps down. The corn and stalks will begin to rot over time but they do make a good silage to feed your cattle in the winter, especially if you are short on shelled corn and/or hay. Hope this helps! Old time farmers used to do this, not sure about now. It also is good to feed to hogs.
          P.S. It sinks pretty bad as it begins to rot and that could be a decent detriment to the un-friendly’s.

          • The Deplorable Cruella DeVille

            Yeah it works well. We called it “bunker silage”. The finer you can chop the corn and stalks, the better it keeps. Help eliminate air pockets. You’re actually looking at an anaerobic fermentation process, so the less oxygen the better.

            Now a days the larger farms build three sided concrete structures – floored, and with sides 6 – 10 feet high. Wide enough to get a tractor with a bucket in. Cleaner, dirt doesn’t mix in, and keeps most of the small critters out.

  • BobW

    Interesting approach. I’ve been a sharp stick kinda guy for a while as well. Bow and arrow, spears, knives. I have mixed feelings about getting rid of all firearms prior to our relocation. I did add a single firearm a bit back, just in case.

    I’m curious. You’ve been a big proponent of walking/cycling to move around. How far is your BOL from your homestead? If I decided to depart home for the BOL, I sure wouldn’t want to leave a years’ supply of food for whoever decides to investigate. I understand in a hostile situation. That wouldn’t be a bugging-out situation, that’s a fleeing situation.

    • Huples

      Hi Bob,

      Thanks. I knew my approach is a bit different from others but it is not better or worse. Everyone’s situation is unique. For me Fortress Huples cannot be defended so why bother. It can be made really hard and deadly to get into this one small home. The Bol seems a death trap in early shtf so why flee there? Still radiation or local violence might make it the option.

      It is 160km or 100 miles. Various routes and none passing near anything like a mid sized town. Excerpt in deep winter we can walk that in four to five days including diversions to walk around small towns. I actually think we can do it in three days with good weather and light loads. Cycle is overnight. It’s dead tiring but is possible for us at present. As we get older I’m not sure. If the car works we load the bikes, bags, and buckets as the prime mode. But our first response is likely bug in and hide at home. Still not certain in all sit reps what we are actually going to do. As I said I’m not a fan of carrying stuff to the Bol. Small water and food caches scattered around on route but we’d carry enough anyhow.

      My thinking on the food is that worse case you’d need twenty years (nuclear winter) but I’m far off that. The one year in the basement takes not a lot of room but further has to be buried. That’s is the phase we are into now. I see the supply at home as great but not essential. The buried supply is vital and essential. I cannot fight off the local police (regional station is half a mile from our house) if they come searching, I do not want everything hidden in the ground as people might figure it out if I need it in the early shtf, and if I have to leave within the year it’s fate and I can plan for that loss. If forced evac then others will leave and there is zero reason to enter the house and it is not really obvious Preppers live here. If planned leaving I’d bury what is left in one of ten local regional forests we have within 10 miles of us.

      Overall I think I am guilty of not seeing Bol as the bug in. Stay at home or go to Bol, either way you are then bugging in. We are all planning to bug in even if we have to travel to do so. Of course some plan mobile lives in shtf but I am not. Far too hard a life for me. It is too easy to focus on the BOL and initial security but neglect year three’s food and occupation.

      • BobW

        You are a lucky one, brother. Most do not have a defined BOL. An area, sure, but a defined place, like a cabin/cottage/mine is dreamy for most.

        The way I see it, if you are pulling pitch and moving to the cottage, you are bugging out. It doesn’t mean becoming a nomad, but bailing out of your home.

        I think one must assume they will lose possession of their primary home at some point. At a minimum, you’ll need materials necessary to repair firearm damage/doors being kicked in.

        Maybe folks need to consider adding one or two used external doors to their prep list. This would support repairs after a rude entry.

        What about keeping most of the home food off-site? Like you said, leave 3-4 months of food in the place, and the rest around the property or in the forest. Finding a year of food in a home would immediately tell most anyone they found a preppers place, and could in theory lead them to wanting to find where you went. On the other hand, a treasure trove of food and alcohol would incline aggressors to stay a while, generally ensuring the trashing of your place.

        • Huples

          Thanks Bob. I prep worst case so I might need a year in the house before it is safe to leave.
          Food is a cheap prep so I’m cool with losing the year’s supply. We are vegan so almost the entire store is none meat, fish, milk, or egg which radically cuts costs. The entire store is also from large bags not expensive survival or camping food.
          If I leave in a rush the home is gone. No biggy. At that point there will be a lot of dead people’s homes to use and mine is a 1200 sq food detached. It is not likely to make anyone excited with envy. If I plan to leave and return it will be empty.

          Overall if you have a Bol my message is prep it and your home to bug in. Two is one, one is none. If you live on Manhatten you might get stuck there for months before you can bug out. If you can get out you might need to be carrying nothing to do it faster and safer. Extreme case as an example.

          The cottage was very little money. On a river, not handy for attractions. You can get land only for cheap off water up here and plan to tent and then build a cabin. You can find a patch in a park and pre supply it with food and tools for free.

  • christopher

    to bug out or not- i think the strategic thing to do is to not lock yourself into one or the other, but prepare for both. you need to consider the weather at that time, and the STHF situation ( do you live in city, flood zone, near nuclear reactor then prepare to bug out if possible) do you have relatives in country? bug out if possible. i live in country so none of these apply to me. i would like a piece of land about 5-10 acres to have if needed a ways away of my home for backup. one thing I did was go to county GIS office and had them print out a local map about 3ft by 4 ft showing all roads and bridges, lakes and ponds. i am already extremely familar with all the state parks in area. i figure if I do bugout, it will be in vehicle first, hide it off road , then shed down to a bugout pack and hoof on foot. weapons? thank god i am in the USA and live in a state that recognizes the 2nd admendment , so I have plenty of each, even down to blackpowder weapons. i keep plenty of both blackpowder and regular powder on hand. I can reload all of my calibers I have. as they say” hope for the best and prepare for the worst!”

  • Illini Warrior

    In regard to the Gamma bucket lids – just a wonderful invent – but – NOT for long term storage ….
    #1 no need to access buckets on a regular basis – you’re sealing them foe 10-15-20-25 years … #2 added expense 4X the cost …. #3 the construction leaves the center screw out portion weak for bucket stacking

    buy the regular locking lids – a soft strike hammer and a bucket lid lifter … shouldn’t have a problem …

    • Huples

      Thanks Illini,
      Not sure about 4x the cost. It’s more I think. My first 12 were a deal and useful for toilets and water storage when emptied.
      Yup. I will learn and pivot to regular ones now.
      Hups

  • RAIDER

    For me being a Brit bugging in is more a case of logistics and family needs, First family needs, it may be fun, cool and macho to bug out to the woods and build a basha or live in a tent, but what about wives, girlfriends, partners, kids, grand parents? Could they survive for months living rough with proper food, hot water, hygiene etc?. In the UK many folks who say they are PREPPERS are actually Wilderness Survival and Bushcraft practitioners often only planning to survive in the wild like John Rambo. Prepping is a much broader pallet of skills, plans, preps etc than just wilderness survival techniques.

    Moving on logistically its getting VERY difficult to move fast from A to B simply because of population density, traffic density, road systems etc, in many parts of the UK if the need to bug out occurred between 7AM to 9.15 AM and 3.30PM to 6.30 even on dry sunny days is nigh on impossible simply because of traffic congestion. The number of vehicles in the UK has doubled in 30 years and its population by some estimates has risen by 15 million people all in an island that was already overcrowded. Then throw in disruption from traffic accidents, road works, sports events, protests, floods, bad weather etc and often one reads of traffic jams trailing back 15 miles often drivers stuck for 8 hours and traffic slowing to a crawl over entire regions. Throw in say PANIC as evac orders are issued and you can imagine the chaos in trying to bug out in the conventional sense.

    • Huples

      Hi Raider,
      I understand that very well. Having grown up in the uk I think anyone not bugging in might be crazy. As you say a prepper’s home should be picked to bug in no matter your income level.
      The default is not to shot first here but to shoot back. If everyone is armed and you are not it becomes nuts to be unarmed. In Canada most guns are held for hunting and the cities and suburbs have few guns. Our rural areas have plenty. For me the idea of standing and fighting against an armed gang makes no sense. It will be rare to encounter them where I am. Bullets go both ways. A light bullet wound in shtf will likely kill you.
      Many Preppers in Canada are heavily armed. They don’t talk about it as the police will show up and remove said guns. I am not for the reasons I gave

      • Sam’s nephew

        The perfect plan, there is no such thing! I’m not a hunter and have no want to own a gun. We’ll bug in and pray for the best while expecting the worse. The small village I’m in is already stacked to the gills with weapons as most people are ex-military, me included. Gangs would not last long here with these home town guys that are just itching for entertainment anyway. For you Brits; I’ve been through the UK 36 times driving tractor-trailer rigs (American), I think you call them lorries. That was back in the 1980’s.

  • Loog Moog

    Don’t use up all of your ammo in the coming Civil War. Save some for the Chinese/Russian invasion to come later.

    • Huples

      Thanks Loog,
      I am not in the Land of the Brave and Free. Your advice likely makes sense there but only after you have secured your home, have a safe BOL, prepped both with food and water, and taken care of other issues that will end you in a long shtf.
      Out of interest why is that your main concern with Clinton presidency? I am much more concerned with Her stance on a war with Russia and her continuing plans to remove wealth from the 99% and continue to increase it to the top 1%. That is more likely I think than sending the Army into every home in the USA to remove guns.
      In shtf of a slow duration many people will trade guns in for food unless they have a lot of food.

      Peace
      Hups

      • BobW

        Its more complicated that any one thing. Wealth redistribution (upward), “social justice” that erodes the thin veneer of civility, war on authority, history of mysterious deaths, embarrassing track record on foreign policy that upsets governments and sees Islamic juntas rise, inability to effectively foster a relationship with principal enemies, zero respect from anyone but the global elite. It goes on and on. Its not that the other guy is worth spit, but we’ve already seen she’s a gun grabbing, rights eroding marxist, not someone who can reverse what has been going on.

        • Huples

          For sure its interlinked but current wealth inequity is bad enough for revolution

          • EgbertThrockmorton1

            Huples,
            Excellent take on a critical mass situation! Enjoyed the different viewpoints you caused to be exercised here, well done, sir!

            • Huples

              Thanks Egbert,
              I try to write my ramblings to generate discussion as everyone else usually has more interesting things to say than me anyhow.
              I’m pleasantly surprised how okay most are with my plans and lots to add to them now

          • BobW

            You failed to metion the race war these people are fomenting.

            Culture war, race war, wealth war. Its actually kinda surprising that the wheels haven’t fallen off already.

            • Huples

              All just symptoms of the ability of the elite to keep the rest of us separated while they continue to implement a police state. Internet the next area to be cleansed

              • BobW

                Prophetic, Huples. Massive ‘mysterious’ internet outages are here.

  • Connie

    Wow, this is a great article! Learned a lot and certain things that were mentioned had never occurred to me, but now make perfect sense. Thank you. Connie

  • Nailbanger

    IMHO,
    un armed people are too easy to herd like cattle,,,,
    Just my opinion

    • Huples

      Yes and no Nail. Yes and no. Armed people fire back and that can be deeply upsetting to the herders. Unarmed, trained, and thoughtful run off, sneak back, and stick you like a pig. I’ve done some military training and I don’t care how well trained they are. If they make me mad ill wait them out and hurt them silently.
      As I said almost the only armed groups I’d face are the Police, the Army, and hunters up north. I have okay skills to offer but no way I’m getting into a fire fight. If the population here was armed I’d be armed.

      • BobW

        While I understand your unarmed position fine, I can’t disagree with Nailbanger. I see a problem with the idea that armed = combative or confrontational. Whether I’m armed or unarmed, I’m not looking for direct confrontation. Straight up is a losers battle.

        Post- ROL is not going to look like the old west with gunfighters dueling in front of the saloon (not that it really happened all that much, but it certainly has been romanticized aplenty). We’ve learned too much about unconventional warfare since the 1960s to think honorable warfare is the ticket to a long post-apoc life.

        When the Army/Marines/Police/feds come, breaking contact and getting out is the only answer. Unless you are keeping a tank/mortars/artillery at the homestead, you will be outgunned, and likely outmanned.

        On the other hand, three or four aggressors show up, you are forced to bug out due to being unable to match power for power. You want to try and sneak around with sharp sticks trying to pick off guys with guns who took your place and are after you? I admire the spirit, but question the approach. But thats OK. You have a plan. Stick to the plan. From what I’ve discerned, you have thought it through.

        • Huples

          Hi Bob,
          No is the answer but I’ll plan it at the time. There are various illegal things I can do to neutralize all four prior to ending them. Not that I’d do anything illegal. However would that action, theoretical, be worth it? I’ve zero idea but I do not want to engage in a gun fight unless I’m behind the lines directing the troops. I’m brave in that situation lol

  • Bolofia

    Huples,
    Based on this article and prior posts and comments, it is obvious that you have given a lot of thought to your location and have put into action your planning and preparations. My own assessment of needs and my selection of survival strategies differs from yours, but that doesn’t invalidate either approach. We are both fortunate that we live outside of high density areas, where the propensity for looting is very high. I suspect that your locale would not be initially targeted by the ‘Golden Horde.’ If that is the case, then you are doubly fortunate.

    Although I live near a small, rural community, it is only 70 miles from a major urban area. The highway that comes through our town would be a major evacuation route for desperate people who have no resources and no idea where they are going. Those circumstances produce a significantly different defensive strategy than what you may have to contend with. Excellent article, and great fodder for thinking!

    • Huples

      Thanks Bolofia,
      I deeply appreciate that feedback.
      I love reading others detailed plans. Always something to learn or add.
      There’s nothing to really attract the horde here and fairly easy ways to get them moving north. The cottage might be inundated if people have a few days and cars work.
      Overall I’m hoping never to use any of this stuff but our society is very vulnerable even if we avoid a major war 🙁