Knowing the value of available resources is important. If you have the option to choose where to build your off-grid home or bug-out location you should consider designing your environment to be as rich in resources and as safe as possible.
In these modern times, the image people have of homesteaders and people who choose to live in rural areas is portrayed wrong and they are depicted as rednecks, hicks and in some cases paranoid or anti-social individuals because they live in the “middle of nowhere”. People fail to realize that in these harsh times, when the economy is uncertain, safety and abundance are great things to have and being able to subsist longer and more richly because of your environment is not a “weird” thing, but a positive one.
People who live off the land have to adapt and they go through a constant learning process. You might not always have internet and looking up how to recognize a tree and a food type by taking pictures of them won’t work.
Do you know how to look for water? Do you know how to look for food? Because these resources are all around us and food, water and shelter is yours for the taking if you know how to find and exploit them. Human beings have survived because we adapt to the environments and we can make our environment to adapt to what we need and work in our favor. If you plan to set up an off the grid location, a bug out location or just a new place to live you might want to keep every factor in your new environment in mind.
I’ve recently discussed with a close friend about bug-out locations and he asked me how would I chose one and if I can give him some tips as he is currently looking for land in order to build a “vacation house”. After thinking about it for a while, I came up with a short list of items in what I want from a piece of land I’ll use to build a bug out location. In a SHTF scenario like a massive natural disaster or a pandemic that would drive me there, these items will be priceless.
Here is a list with some useful tips in choosing land for an off-grid or bug out location:
The land has running water, preferably from two sources. Having a well and a spring or any other water source in the area would be ideal.
The land should be fertile and have crops or food bearing trees on it or in the area. You will have to grow your own food and the quality of the soil is something you shouldn’t ignore. Sure, the soil can be improved, but why start with a disadvantage?
I would go for a land near BLM (Bureau of Land Management) public land or a state park, but in a somewhat remote location. Mostly because these lands should be protected and not be over-exploited, poisoned or so on.
Make sure your land is not located in a state or area that has declared off-grid living illegal. Even more, make sure you do a research about the rules and regulations from your area before you start building your home (even harvesting rainwater is considered illegal in some states). It’s better to know about the rules and regulations from your area and about the loopholes you have. If you decide to go against the rules, make sure you take all the needed precautions. Make sure you don’t have any nosy neighbors and that your off-grid projects are out of sight.
The land should have a reasonable amount of sun in the daytime. This will help you with your gardening plans and it will help heat your house, especially if you decide to build an earthship.
Recommended reading: 10 reasons why Earthships are perfect Bug Out Locations
I would go for a piece of land situated in an area that has a great climate and survivable temperatures. Researching the UV indexes and “hardiness zones” for the area you live in will give you a good idea about that. You won’t always have electricity or fuel and having to face harsh winters without proper heating is a terrible life experience.
You should definitely go for a piece of land that is secluded. Even though some people say that they won’t live anywhere within two gas tanks of a town. Personally, I believe that if you want a good bug out location your area should be hard enough to find on a map and traverse to in a ground vehicle. This of course, if you want to avoid other people and sleep well at night when the world around you is crumbling.
Related reading: Things you need to know before going to live off-the grid
The land should be close enough to a clinic, a hospital or a doctor that I could drive there within an hour or have someone with me that can take care of any medical needs I have and vice versa. A while ago I’ve read on a forum about a prepper who built his bug out location in an isolated area that is in the “vicinity” (it takes him almost two hours to get there) of a medical research facility. He chose to do so because in the eventuality of a global pandemic, the medical institution will be working full time and he would be located near some of the brightest medical scientists. I must admit that it was pretty smart to do so.
The land should have a store to purchase items relatively nearby, whether it’s a small or large store. In the US, even the small towns often have large chain grocery stores or stores like Wal-Mart and if something happens, these stores will not get looted as fast as the ones from large cities. Even more, you have good chances to stockpile on items you need at a good price since these stores often offer discounts to sell their merchandise.
If a large store is not located in my area, the land should have mail handling within a reasonable distance for packages, so that items can be purchased by mail or over the Internet.
The land should have an average wind and climate that isn’t prone to disasters or droughts. When SHTF you want nature to be your ally and not your enemy. Also, seeing how the climate is changing, you probably want to build your bug out location in an area that is not prone to drought or wildfires.
Make sure the piece of land you want to purchase is not listed on an emergency evacuation route. The last thing you want to deal with is a large mass of people running from a disaster. You can defend your home from a few unfriendly roamers, but having to hold down your fort against a horde of desperate people is something totally different.
You should do a little research about the wild animals located on your land and in your area. This will give you a good idea about what game you can get but also about what precautions measures you need to take for your home and garden.
For most people getting all of these will be impossible, but you will have to choose depending on the knowledge and skills you have. If you are familiar with living of the land you will not care much about having a store nearby, if you never went hunting, you will not care about what game is available on your land. You have to weigh your options before you pick the land suited for you.
I hope this list will provide you with a good start and don’t hesitate to provide me with your ideas or suggestions for choosing a piece of land for a bug out location or an off the grid house. Please use the comment section if you have any good tips.
Stay Safe and God Bless!
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