Shelter is something that is better to be proactive about rather than reactive. This means it’s better to have a plan before being put into survival mode when SHTF. But you’ll need more than shelter to survive long-term. Having a good piece of land that covers the core needs for surviving is key. When looking for a bug out property, or a place that is far from the chaos, there are a few things to consider.
You should try to find a property with its own water source, whether it be a pond, creek, or well. This is especially important for long-term scenarios, as most municipalities will be shut down. Having a well is great, but you’ll need an off-grid power source and/or a manual pump. Finding a reliable natural source like a river or pond is ideal as they are renewable water sources. You can also stock up on water if you can easily get it there without too much attention.
Another consideration when thinking about water is the geographical features of the land itself. Are there going to be places that naturally collect rainwater? Will the sources of water on the land be available year-round? All of these are major things to consider.
Back to focusing on the features and characteristics of the land. You need something that can hide your shelter, and maybe even help shelter you. This could be tricky as you don’t want to have land that is hard to live off of. Another thing to keep in mind is how easy it would be to accidentally come across your property. You don’t want wanderers stumbling onto your land and finding you living there. Think about how easily you could defend the property you have chosen. You want to give yourself every advantage possible, including being secure from weather and all forms of predators (as much as possible).
Living Off the Land
Not all land is created equally; be sure to choose an area that can sustain your lifestyle. If you have seasonal weather, you’re going to want an area that has plenty of wood to burn, the ability to install an underground bunker to take advantage of the consistent temperatures below the frost line, or somehow otherwise account for keeping warm in the winter months. If you have solar panels and batteries, be sure to find a location with plenty of access to sunlight. Fertile ground is always a good thing to look for or cultivate in order to grow your own food.
An area with a good amount of natural resources is great, such as a wooded area where wildlife is abundant. This way you can hunt, fish, and grow your own food if needed. If you have enough room you may even be able to raise your own livestock. Keep in mind that livestock needs to eat too, so you’ll need to grow their food as well.
Now obviously this is somewhat unavoidable, but you can minimize the risk. Natural disasters such as tornadoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes are going to happen no matter what you do. The only thing you can do is try to find areas where these sort of things are not common, or develop a homestead that takes these into account, like an underground bunker. For example, up north, winter storms pose a serious threat of being snowed into your shelter, and freezing temperatures are dangerous. Other natural occurrences such as droughts, flash flooding, hurricanes, volcanoes and typhoons should also be taken into consideration.
Your best bet is to try to find land that is self-sustaining, and at least 60 miles from an urban area. Wherever you choose should be somewhat difficult to reach, so random people are less likely to find it. High ground is good for a tactical advantage, but not so much for collecting water, or finding water sources. Go too low and you’ll get flooded out, along with your supplies and other key items and animals. A wooded area is good for concealment, hunting, and a heat source, but may not be the best for growing food, or having livestock. There needs to be a certain balance achieved. It’s up to you on what you would want to sacrifice, if need be. Let your skills help you decide. If you’re a better hunter than a farmer, for instance, a wooded area would make more sense for you than a field. Think in terms of security and daily needs, then factor in your own skills to find the land that will best sustain you.
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