Bugout Locations

Thoughts on Temporary Bug Out Locations (BOLs)

Most bug-out situations faced these days are of the temporary nature. They are force upon people by events such as hurricanes and floods. Whatever the initiator, the temporary refugee needs a place to go, and some way to maintain life while waiting for the situation back home to pass. In cases where “home” has been destroyed, he will need to maintain quite a bit longer, until a new home is built or found.For a Prepper, this kind of bug-out situation should be less stressful than for the average Joe. He will have supplies and transportation arranged beforehand. Having made arrangements to move prepared supplies, he might grab the appropriate Rubbermaid totes, toss them into the back of his camper, and depart. Or, he might load boxes of supplies deemed necessary for his destination into the storage compartment of his trailer, and begin the haul to safety. His advance preparations place him at the head of the line, and provide a sense of comfort while other panic.He will feel quite a bit better about things if he has a good residency plan, as well.

One concern I hear from Prepper pals is the security issue. A common thread revolves around the fear that an RV is inherently at risk during a move. I reply that, while that may be true in a societal collapse, with all the usual expected TEOTWAWKI actors, the average bug-out is less likely to encourage road blocks, raids and high-jacks. My concern has been the security issues at the destination, where the refugee has set up camp, established some sort of daily routine, and can’t just pack up and go on five minute’s notice. Security at the BOL is important, too, and maybe even more important than what might be desired en route.

If you have done any sort of RV camping beyond boondocking, you’ve likely noticed a ubiquitous aspect of it – a general neighborhood feeling in the air. Wave at someone in the camp ground, and you’ll get a smile and a wave back. Let someone see that you’re having a problem, and they’ll help you out. Having trouble backing into that space? The guy across the row might magically appear in your rearview mirror, exactly where you need him to be, and just when you thought you were alone in the. The neighborhood feeling permeates most campgrounds.

Campers are plenty self sufficient people. They plan their trips, carry supplies, tools and equipment, and know how to use them. Get a bunch of them together in one place, and you have a group that doesn’t carry the same concerns that the average refugee does. Where one group lacks, another can supply.

The RV BOL is best situated beyond the range of the disaster, but if it is intact and populated, it can be within the area. In my opinion, the better parks are those with a monitored entrance, modern hook ups (working or not, under the present circumstances), and an obvious appearance of upkeep. These things suggest regular visitors and an involved management. This type of park will attract more responsible customers. As with other preps, the work in identifying this place is best done in advance. This requires some thought by you, in determining what might happen in your area, and what route out of there will be open under the conditions.

Back to the “residents”. In my travels, I’ve met a few strange individuals and couples, but no more so than at the mall. Maybe less so. On the whole, I believe that I can count on them to at least respect my things. It’s hard to do any sort of mischief in a park setting where everyone is used to watching out for each other. It’s hard to ignore a troublemaker, when that same n’er-do-well might pick a more personal target. Under bug-out conditions, it shouldn’t take long to group together with most of the park visitors and establish some sort of neighborhood watch. They will be as concerned about their group and their things as you.

A lot of rigs are equipped with CB radios, and some groups carry portable radios. Air horns are common. An alert can be devised with any of these.

Under most severe conditions, you might decide to go armed. Be warned that firearms are generally prohibited. You’ll be breaking a few rules, and maybe a few laws if you go in armed. That might not mean a whole lot to you if you find yourself needing to protect the park from looters, or thugs intent on cracking that particular nut. I would not be surprised to see several RVers presenting when the need arises. It’s up to you on how to proceed. It would seem that with the potential for a solid group structure in the park BOL, a few responsible armed members would go a long way to making the place even more secure.

So, let’s go over a few things to do and remember.

  • Scout your RV BOL ahead of time. Stay there a couple times and see how it feels.
  • Try to establish a backup location along the way, and one near the primary BOL.
  • Determine if you can gain access without a reservation.
  • Be ready to divert to your backup if the primary location is full or closed.
  • Practice at least one time constrained evacuation to test your preps and skills.
  • If you can, prepare to set up on public land if all plans fail. Your last BOL or resort.

To enhance your plans, try these.

  • Check into what radios other campers use.
  • If you BOL is a regular haunt of yours, make friends with other regulars.
  • Do a security review of the location, and play the “bad guy” in your evaluations.
  • Get other preppers to sign on with you, and test a convoy evacuation and camp plan.
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