How To Defend A Bug Out Location

The main difficulty in holding a position is the availability of resources, particularly trained personnel, firearms, and ammunition. Having a large arsenal is less useful if there are not enough people to operate the weapons, as a person can only handle one weapon at a time. This makes manpower critical, unless there is an expectation of reinforcements.

Ammunition, however, is a key factor. It’s common for people to have sufficient ammunition to get into a conflict but not enough to get out. Prolonged firefights consume vast amounts of ammunition, so it’s crucial to avoid using all your supplies in one battle. Therefore, it is important to steer clear of unnecessary engagements whenever possible.

Planning for bugging out

Firstly, always be ready to swiftly relocate from your current shelter to a secondary position. This requires having an alternative site prepared in advance. Options like spider holes, foxholes, and camouflaged blinds can serve as effective backup locations. These alternative positions must be chosen carefully to ensure you can’t be cornered within them. Keep in mind that cover protects you from bullets, while concealment hides you from enemy observation.

It’s crucial to avoid getting trapped inside your shelter. You could be flushed out with fire, overwhelmed by superior weaponry, have doors broken down, or even have grenades and other explosives dropped through openings. If you are defending with only one or two others, you cannot effectively guard all directions, including the roof, making entrapment a serious risk.

Additionally, ensure these alternative locations are within a reasonable distance to allow for a quick escape, and regularly check and maintain them to ensure they remain viable options. It’s also wise to have a communication plan in place to coordinate movements and ensure everyone knows where to regroup if forced to evacuate.

Finally, always keep a stockpile of essential supplies at these alternative sites, including ammunition, food, water, and medical supplies, to sustain you during prolonged engagements.

Ideal scenarios

Position your shelter at the center of a circle on a piece of paper, marked like a compass with north, south, east, and west. Suppose your front door faces south, which means the back door faces north. Measure 1,000 yards from each direction to establish your perimeter, then divide this distance into 100-yard zones to create fire sectors.

These measurements are just examples; you need to determine your actual perimeter size based on your property and geographical features. Ideally, you would set up listening posts for nighttime and observation posts for daytime at the 1,000-yard mark at all compass points to alert those in the shelter of any intruders. Once an alert is issued, defenders would move to their assigned shooting positions, each knowing their designated 100-yard sectors. Prepare and leave range cards at each position.

Range cards should indicate distances from key points like the front door, windows, or notable landmarks, ensuring shooters know their fields of fire and avoid firing randomly. Overlapping firing positions are essential to prevent exploitable dead spots. Make sure all weapons are zeroed for their respective ranges, with snipers set for up to 1,000 yards.

This setup is ideal and assumes you have enough personnel for guard duty, trained shooters, and coverage for all firing positions. Recognize that this might not always be feasible, so always have a backup plan. Additionally, ensure you have communication systems in place for coordination, maintain supplies at key points, and conduct regular drills to keep everyone prepared.

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The most likely scenarios

If you and your spouse or partner, along with your children, face threats from marauders or looters, guerrilla tactics become essential. You must leave the shelter to avoid being trapped. Outside, you need positions to fire from, hide, and provide cover for non-combatants in your group.

In extreme cases, abandoning your shelter might be necessary to save your lives. Therefore, you need supply caches in the area to survive until the looters leave or you can reclaim your shelter. Supplies inside the shelter might be stolen or damaged, making external caches crucial. You must also consider the possibility of never returning to your shelter or land, so these caches should be sufficient to help you establish a new location.

To prevent a prolonged firefight, an early warning system is vital, especially with limited trained personnel. If you have electricity, use exterior lighting, particularly motion-activated lights, and motion-activated sensors around the perimeter. Cameras, either wireless or hardwired, can also be useful. Guard dogs are another option.

No system is perfect, so you also need a plan to protect non-combatants if you can’t escape before shooting starts. Safe places like a root cellar, basement, or any location that offers protection from gunfire are essential. Establish clear procedures for quickly moving everyone to these safe zones and keep essential supplies there for their safety and well-being. Regular drills and clear communication plans will help ensure everyone knows what to do in an emergency.

Recommended tactics

recommended tactics for defending your bug out location


Reinforcing Entrances: Doors and windows are the most vulnerable points of entry. To strengthen doors, consider using solid-core doors with heavy-duty deadbolts. Reinforce the door frames with metal plates and add a security bar or barricade brace that can withstand force. Windows should be secured with bars or grilles, and you can apply security film to make the glass more resistant to breaking. Shutters or storm panels can provide additional protection and concealment.

Barricades: Inside your shelter, position heavy furniture or specially built barricades to block doors and windows. This can slow down or deter intruders. Bookcases, heavy tables, or specially designed barriers can serve this purpose. Make sure these items are easily movable by you but not by attackers from outside. If possible, create secondary barriers within your shelter to provide a fallback point if the outer defenses are breached.

Sandbags: Use sandbags to create defensive positions both inside and outside your shelter. Sandbags can absorb bullets and shrapnel, providing effective cover. Place them around windows and doors to protect against gunfire. You can also build sandbag walls to create safe zones inside your shelter. Ensure that these walls are high and thick enough to provide adequate protection.

Surveillance and Early Warning Systems

Cameras: Install security cameras at key points around your property, such as entrances, pathways, and other potential approaches. Use both visible and hidden cameras to deter intruders and monitor their movements. Cameras with night vision capabilities are essential for 24-hour surveillance. Connect the cameras to a central monitoring system inside your shelter, allowing you to keep an eye on your surroundings without exposing yourself.

Tripwires and Alarms: Set up tripwires around the perimeter of your shelter. These can be connected to various noise-making devices, such as bells, cans, or electronic alarms, to alert you of any intrusions. Position these tripwires in areas where intruders are most likely to pass, but make sure they are not easily visible. The sudden noise can startle intruders and give you an early warning of their approach.

Motion Sensors: Install motion-activated lights and sensors around your property. These devices can detect movement and trigger lights or alarms. Motion-activated lights can illuminate intruders, making it difficult for them to approach unnoticed and potentially scaring them away. Pair these lights with audible alarms to alert you and your neighbors. Wireless motion sensors can be placed in strategic locations and linked to a central alert system inside your shelter.

Concealment and Deception

banner tlw 2 foods to hoardCamouflage: Use natural or artificial materials to blend your shelter into the surrounding environment. Paint your shelter in colors that match the local terrain and use netting, foliage, or other materials to break up its outline. Consider creating a false front that disguises your shelter as an unimportant structure. This can make it less attractive to potential attackers.

Deception: Create decoy shelters or supply caches to mislead intruders. These decoys should be placed in areas where intruders are likely to find them before discovering your actual shelter. Make the decoys appear valuable, with visible but non-essential supplies, to divert attention. Setting up fake trails, signs, or markers can also confuse attackers and lead them away from your true location.

Safe Zones: Establish hidden safe zones within your property where you can retreat if your primary shelter is compromised. These can be concealed bunkers, hidden rooms, or even natural features like caves. Stock these safe zones with basic supplies and ensure they are well camouflaged. Having multiple layers of defense and fallback points increases your chances of survival.

Consider this

Those seeking to steal your supplies are unlikely to burn you out right away, as they want your supplies intact. However, criminals may act irrationally and attempt to burn you out after a few hours of exchanging gunfire.

In a total societal collapse, self-appointed groups or government-appointed entities might try to redistribute supplies. Such groups will also want your supplies undamaged and may opt for a prolonged siege. They could cut off your electricity or water supply and use other harassment techniques to force you out of your shelter and surrender your stockpile.

Defending your bug-out location or safe haven during a crisis is uncharted territory for most people. Without specific training in defense or offensive tactics, you risk losing your supplies or even your life if you attempt to barricade yourself inside and fight.

It’s crucial to have an escape plan when faced with armed individuals or groups. This plan should ensure you can leave your shelter safely, allowing you to survive and continue your preparations for another day. Make sure you have multiple escape routes and know the surrounding area well. Additionally, maintain caches of essential supplies at various locations outside your primary shelter to sustain you if you need to flee. Regularly practice your escape plan with your group to ensure everyone knows what to do in an emergency.

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1 thought on “How To Defend A Bug Out Location”

  1. The average person can not shoot 1000 yards I can shoot 300 yards with my 3006 my son 200 yards with his 3030 and my brother 2oo with his 32 win. spl, my wife shoots a 20 gauge semi auto with no. 3 buck shot my grand son is dam good with his 22. LR yes a 22. semi auto will take down anybody with many shots my sons wife shoots a 20 gauge custom made single shot with 3 inch no. 4 and we all carry hand guns my other grand son shoots a 12 gauge dbl. barrel coach gun my brothers wife is our runner like bring me water come rap my wound bring me more ammo theres also my home made m79 and my home made RPG there may be more than this for people but they will bring more guns and more supplys I will not be made to Bug Out Trip wire will not work out side bears dear racoones but solar motion lights out side are great PS I know I can not spell


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