Prepper Options When A Bugout Is Necessary
In preparedness, redundancy and options are important. One area of preparedness where preppers should build in options is in their ability to bug-in or bugout. Each prepper family is going to be different in their needs.
Preppers who live in the city might believe they need to bug out for their own safety and survival. Preppers who live in the suburbs or rural locations might prefer to bug-in. It will all depend on individual circumstances. But for those who feel they need to bug out, one main issue arises, cost.
Preppers who feel the need to bugout might feel trapped by not having a place to go. Having a fully stocked retreat is out of the financial means of many preppers. After purchasing land, preppers would need to build, develop and then stock their survival shelter. Again, this could be very costly. But one option that could save on the cost of a fully operational bugout location could be having a bugout hut instead.
Countering the Bugout Location’s Biggest Problem
One of the biggest problems with having a bugout location is that you’re not living there! Even the strongest of locks won’t keep someone who has time and desire from getting into your bugout hut.
If unethical people come across your shelter or bugout hut, they will see it as an opportunity to “procure” your prepper supplies. This is one reason why you want to hide your bugout hut from anyone who might come across it. But even if they do find your well-hidden bugout hut, you will want to be stealthy in how you stock your bugout location.
The easiest and best way to do this is to dig down and build a false floor. Actually, you will be creating, in effect, a root cellar. This will have many benefits. Not only will it keep your important supplies hidden, but the further you dig down, the cooler it will be, keeping supplies like food from spoiling in the heat. The opening to your underground root cellar/bugout hut will need to be covered in a way that won’t be visible to others and it will have to be watertight (something beyond the scope of this article).
Creating A False Picture in Your Bugout Hut
One last, but major step in keeping your bugout hut’s true purpose from unwanted visitors is to help them see that there is nothing of true value in your bugout hut. You will have to put some thought into it, but you will want to place some items in your bugout hut that you don’t care if they get taken.
First, don’t give them a light to look around and poke around. Keep your bugout hut dark and bring your own light when you come. Next, leave behind some old rakes and worthless gardening tools. Leave behind some old buckets. You could throw an old tent that has holes in it in the corner. You could also place an old broken down camping stove in there too. They won’t know it doesn’t work until they take it home and try it. Remember, the idea is that you want them to look inside, poke around and realize there is nothing of value, on the surface that is!
Further Reading – Creating Myth when the SHTF
Stocking Your Bugout Hut
Preparing Your Stash
Having a sizable stash of food and essential supplies is most of what having a prepper shelter is for. You want to make sure that any food you have is ready-to-eat and can last an extended amount of time. You also want to make sure that it is not vulnerable to temperature changes when being stored.
Medical supplies, radios, cooking supplies, and water filtration systems are also items that you want in place and ready to use when needed.
Additionally, rotating your stock is important. Even first aid cream has an expiration date, so be sure to implement a system for restocking and date checking that is easy to use. Whether you use a marker to clearly date everything or some other system, be sure to know what is getting ready to expire and what can last a couple of years.
Canning is one way to ensure that you have vegetables, fruits, and even meat that is ready to eat should you not have access to a fire, or you are in your bugout hut for a good deal of time.
Food can last for years when canned properly. There are two different techniques for canning: pressure canning and water bath canning. Pressure canning is best for acidic items, while water bath canning can be used for your everyday veggies. Knowing the difference can prevent unwanted bacteria growth and a proper seal.
Even meats can be canned. Be sure to check the recipe on what you want to can, prior to starting, to determine which way to can would be best for what you are storing. Also, be sure to note how long the nutritional value is maintained and food safety dates for eating. The lids of your canned items should be clearly marked with what the item is and the date it was canned. If able, also include a toss out date (although a good canned food can last several years).
Preserving Meat Without Refrigeration
Most bugout huts don’t allow for refrigerator space because the likelihood of having power when you need your shelter is nil and running a generator just to keep a refrigerator going is expensive and a waste of stored fuel; it’s not a vital resource.
The best way to store your meats is by canning (described above), dehydrating it, or smoking it.
Dehydrated meats, like beef jerky, are great sources of protein and iron. It doesn’t lose much of its nutritional value when you dehydrate it and it can last a long time.
Smoked meats are great for keeping short term. If you hunt and catch a small animal, smoking it is an alternative to cooking it over a fire. You still need a fire to create the smoke, but if you have other things you need to cook, you can multi-taste with smoking your meat.
Knowing where to find what you need is important for a bug out shelter. Using shelving units and totes is a great way to keep your items organized, clean, and dry.
Bug Out Bags When You Need to Bug Out from the Hut
In the event that it is no longer safe to stay in your bug out hut, you will want to have bugout bags ready to go. Items that should be included in a bug out bag are: first aid kits, fire starting tools, a knife (something larger than a pocket knife may be a good choice), extra clothes (clean socks and underwear should never be undervalued), a mummy style sleeping bag, a water bottle with a built-in filter, MRE’s (ready to eat meals) and a compass. Other items can be added, but just remember, whatever you put in the bag may need to be carried for many hours at a time.
Items like a tent may not be something you want to include, to save weight, especially if you are skilled in shelter building. If sleeping under the stars is not something you are up for, or if inclement weather is a concern, there are ultra-lightweight tents that can be purchased.
First Aid Kits
Never undervalue a good first aid kit. When living off the land, you never know what you will encounter and what injuries can take place. Even just having access to ibuprofen or an anti-burn cream are important when you aren’t sure when you might be able to return home.
There are vast varieties of first aid kits. Some are meant more for day packs, with band-aids, tweezers, and an ice pack. Others have splints and cooling/heating blankets in them. Having a variety of first aid inventory should be a must-have component for your bug out hut.
Hand-cranked radios and ham radios should be included in your bug out shelter. Radios are a great way to get the latest details about what is happening in the news and weather forecasts. Hand crank radios are ideal for this, as you don’t need to worry about batteries. Solar radios serve the same purpose; they run off the sun’s energy.
Ham radios, or amateur radios, serve the purpose of communicating with others when phone lines are down. They allow you to talk to those in close proximity or across the globe.
Fuel can be used to run small motors or to facilitate in fire starting. You may want to consider having some extra fuel stored. Gasoline does go bad, so you will want to make sure you rotate any fuel stored on a regular basis.
If you have propane tanks on your property, these can be a viable resource. Propane doesn’t expire, as it’s a gas, but you do want to make sure the tanks are full at all times.
Water can be a valuable asset depending on the scenario you face and the amount of time you will be in your bug out hut. While storing water can help for short term stays, it can take up a lot of room. You will need to have a combination of stored water, as well as a filtration and water collection system in place for a longer stay.
Building Your Shelter
If you don’t have a bug out hut, but want to start one, you can make the job less stressful using a garden shed. If you don’t have a shed, you can easily construct one in a weekend using premium DIY shed plans from 3DSHEDPLANS or buy a prefabricated shed at your local hardware store.
Sheds are great for bugout shelters because you can put a lot of items, when well organized, in a small space. Just be sure to leave room for people when planning your hut. If you decide you want to add an underground bunker, a shed is a great surface building to work with.
When you are ready, turn your shed into a bug out shelter. The time invested in building out a proper shelter can be extensive but will be well worth the effort should you need it. Even if you decide to equip your shelter with the minimum of food and outdoor camping essentials, a shed is a great resource to get you started.
This was a guest post by C.F.
If you enjoyed the article, please vote for the site at Top Prepper Websites.
Copyright – Content on Ed That Matters (unless the work of a Third-Party) may be reproduced in part or whole with attribution through a link to www.edthatmatters.com. If you are interested in a Third Party article, please contact the author for permission.