Friday, October 16, 2009

15 Reasons Why I Don't Have a BOL and 5 Reasons Why You Might Want One

Many hard-core preppers and survivalists feel that having a BOL (bug out location) is right up there with flashlights and stored food when it comes to things to have to survive a disaster. Although I have a bug out plan, I have not set about creating a specific bug out shelter for a number of reasons, including:
  1. Financially it doesn't make sense (for me) to support my current home and a secondary home/cabin/land/etc. I've done this before and like with boats, RVs, and vacations homes, you end up spending an inordinate amount of money supporting a place that you don't use nearly as much as you do your main home.
  2. I often wonder how people who have cabins a good five or six hours (on a good day) from where they live will make it when, even on major holidays, traffic on major, and minor, roads can slow to a crawl. Crawling for 10-15 hours sounds like misery personified.
  3. Should there be an earthquake (a very real possibility in these parts) getting anywhere will be tough as there are many bridges, overpasses, underpasses, tunnels, etc. within a dozen miles of here.
  4. Leaving a bug out cabin stocked with supplies is an open invitation to theft, vandalism, and burglary....something I really don't want to worry about.
  5. The usual places where you would locate a BOL are generally very rural and often don't have even basic infrastructure (medical services, pharmacies, law enforcement, etc) that most people, myself included, have come to rely on.
  6. I am not a "back to the lander". I've tried this before too (when I was young and idealistic) and while the notion of having a rural home with its own well, chickens, and vegetable garden seems nice in thought, actually creating a homestead from scratch is A LOT of work, more work than I would want to do.
  7. Everyone else will have the same idea...after a disaster. The locals won't be happy about this. After a major disaster, a whole bunch of people will get the idea to run for the hills. First of all, people are already living in the hills right now and they won't take kindly to strangers over running their land and their small towns. Second of all, you won't have the social structure (like friends, family members, and other people who make up your current community) that you can rely on. Third of all, YOU (not the local police) will be responsible for defending your bug out location from the marauding hordes.
  8. I like to remain light and portable. I do this when I backpack, I do this when I travel, and I do this in my home. The number of things that I actually need to survive are quite limited in number and quite portable so the thought of having a lot of money, time, equipment, and supplies tied into my bug out location would significantly limit my options for relocating (ie: leaving behind one set of stuff at my home is enough to worry about).
  9. I feel like there are enough resources in my general vicinity that I could survive off of what I can find wild and what I could scrounge than what I could find in the wilderness. Granted most places of significance would be looted in a hurry but I figure that if I can batten down where I am for a few months, that would give those who were much less prepared time to die off.
  10. After a disaster, society will restructure itself. I would rather be in on the ground floor of this restructurization than wandering out of the woods some time later and try to figure out what is going on.
  11. If worse comes to worse, I could take off and live in the mountains on a moment's notice. It wouldn't be too comfortable but I could, of course, do this.
  12. I like the idea of having multiple locations to bug out to, around the country and around the world. It's very difficult to plan for every eventuality. Should your current home and bug out location five hours away all be impacted by the same disaster, you will end up with nothing. Better to have a multi-faceted bug out plan which will allow for you to utilize a number of locations depending on the circumstances.
  13. With kids and family spread out all over the country and the world, I wouldn't feel very good being holed-up in a bug out cabin not knowing what is happening with everyone else that I care about.
  14. I am, as a rule, super busy on a daily basis. Keeping my home stocked, prepped, and ready for disaster is a top priority, however doing this times two is not something I want to schedule into my busy day.
  15. It is my own opinion that having a BOL is a better theory than an actuality. I run across this a lot...many ideas seem excellent in theory and on paper but when you actually do them/drill them, you find out that the actuality of what you are doing doesn't quite measure up with what you theorized would happen.

Well, those are my personal reasons for not having a bug out location. There are a number of people I know who feel that having a pre-set bug out location is a great idea. In the following circumstances, you may decide to have a BOL of your own:

  1. You have the money and time to support two locations (your home and BOL).
  2. You either are a back to the lander or you enjoy camping/hunting/other outdoor activities to the point where a bug out cabin a ways from your home would be well used and well cared for.
  3. You have a BOL in an area where you are tied into the community and you have a plan for using the BOL to shelter you, the spouse, the kids, and other people who are important to you (there's safety in numbers and you generally want your kids, at least, with you in such a situation).
  4. You have a reasonable chance of getting to your BOL (a few people I know have helicopters which they will use to access their BOLs).
  5. You have put a lot of time, effort, thought, and action into creating your own infrastructure for your BOL (water, septic, security, food sources, etc).


  1. The line about the less prepared neighbors dying off made me chuckle! (It's one of those days).

  2. The idea is to LIVE at your Bug Out Location and not be a visitor. Dump the place in town and get the hell out. Go LIVE on your land. Get to know the people in the area. You gotta use your head.


  3. A "BOL" is like an insurance policy.

    Every one hates to make the payments but, when the time comes to cash it out, "IT'S THERE" and you'll ripped all of the benefits.

    Couch Potato.

  4. Excellent thoughts...prepping comes in many size does not fit all.

  5. WOW!

    All of those reasons are very valid ones.

    I only got each and every one after I read them a few times.

    Its expensive and dangerous to have a BOL.

    Is there an alternative to a BOL?

    Would you post something about this subject?

  6. Well I sorta have a BOL. I live in a town of about 40,000. The parents live on forested acreage about 6 miles out of town on the top of a very steep hill. I have told them, If bad comes to worse, Im moving in. LOL BTW about half my preps are stored at their place. It wouldnt be any problem to move the rest there in short notice.

  7. Good article. While I like the idea of a BOL I too have tried versions of this and they end up costing to much in time and money to make them worth it under a most likely to happen crisis. I have gone the other route now and have invested time and energy into making our home our BIL. While a BOL under certain circumstances would be priceless I had to come up with our plan using our "threat probability matrix".