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Bunker Down or Bug Out?

It is an age old problem for all people especially in a disaster zone. Do I run or do I hide? Preppers, Survivalists have to consider this choice when they are evaluating their own plans. There are benefits and disadvantages for both and you need to consider those.

The UK is a much smaller country than the US, Canada or Australia. I think we fit in one of the Great Lakes as a small island. This means that nowhere in the UK can we travel far enough away to be out of reach of civilisation. From one end to the other, lengthways, is 840 miles. That is one extreme to the other. Widthways it is a maximum of 360 miles although that includes Wales. The average width is 150 miles. Nowhere is too far from civilisation unless you live in the extremes of the country or in the wilds in Wales or Scotland. A 1,000 acre woodland is unavailable for us to purchase and convert to a retreat unless we are very rich. I’m not and unless the security goes way down in banks I’m not likely to be.

If we break it down we have several options available. (Note: I use the word farm when I’m talking about a smallholding or a home with a reasonable plot of land in this article)

1) Buy a remote farm in Scotland, Wales or a rural part of England and move there.
2) Buy a remote farm in Scotland, Wales or a rural part of England and built it as a retreat.
3) Buy a farm close to where you are and move there.
4) Bunker down where you are.

Taking them one at a time.
1) Move to a remote farm.
Advantages:
Remote. Only in a long term scenario would desperate people from the cities come to your farm. Local people will be fewer and more likely to have a preppers mindset anyway.
You can build what you want and make adjustments to access and visibility of the site.
You can befriend the locals and build a support network.
Disadvantages:
You need to be independently wealthy or have a job that allows you to work from anywhere.
Not everyone will like the lifestyle, especially as it is not necessary, at this point.

2) Buy a remote farm as a retreat.
Advantages:
Remote. Only in a long term scenario would desperate people from the cities come to your farm. Local people will be fewer and more likely to have a preppers mindset anyway.
You can build what you want and make adjustments to access and visibility of the site.
You stay where the work is.
Disadvantages:
You need to be independently.
You cannot fully secure your site whilst you are not there and locals could see you as the outsider and not to be trusted.
If the situation deteriorates you, and your entire family, have to get there. Possibly through hostile territory.
It will be a culture shock and steep learning curve, if and when, you have to move there.

3) Buy a farm close to you.
Advantages:
You can build what you want and make adjustments to access and visibility of the site.
You stay where the work is.
Disadvantages:
Purchasing land in or close to a town is expensive.
In a situation large groups would be out exploring for what they can find and there are few places to hide.
Your garden plot is more than likely going to be removed and destroyed as well as any animals you have and any infrastructure you have set up.

4) Bunker down in your own home.
Advantages:
You stay where the work is.
It is cheap.
No changes to your situation.
Disadvantages:
In a situation large groups would be out exploring for what they can find and there are few places to hide.
Your garden plot is more than likely going to be removed and destroyed as well as any animals you have and any infrastructure you have set up.

Of course that is not a complete list but just pointers.

My personal preference would be to move to a farm over two miles away from a small rural town in Wales or Scotland. A few acres, woodlands and a stream would do me. I’d better get saving.

For most of us in the UK though, we will have no option but to bunker down where we are. We will not be able to afford the price of land and with the price of fuel, the cost of motoring going up and the state of the roads it means that commuting large distances is not viable.

The major disadvantage is that when a situation occurs you, and everyone else, will have your homes broken into and gardens ransacked looking for food. If you resist you will die. If you have anything it will be taken by people either armed with guns or simply armed with pointy sticks. Resisting, even with weapons is a short term solution. You may repel the invaders but you can be sure they will be back and next time they will be prepared.

Best bet is to have your stores hidden and just keep out of the way. Once checked few will want to return to an already ransacked home. Move to a room, retrieve the stores and keep your head down, destroy the stairs if necessary so that the home looks abandoned and live without the benefits of candles, torchlight or sound, for a while at least. At this point morality as we know it will vanish for those in this situation, there will be little charity because even giving an old friend a meal will mean that they will be back the next time they, or their family, is hungry and they will not just go away if you refuse. They will bring the mob down on you and you are unlikely to get away with it a second time especially if they know something is hidden.

Talking about hidden, you will need a very good store for your survival gear. One you can store everything you need in and one that you can easily disguise for this situation. You are looking at a secret compartment behind a wall or an underground room depending on your living situation.

This means that not every town home is suitable for someone with a survivalist mindset.

Most importantly though, no matter where you live, you and your family must keep perfect OPSEC. Can you manage that?

I think that starving and desperate people will make a mockery of your plans, although you can prepare for that but not eliminate it completely. Decide what you are going to be able to do, run or hide? Plan from there.

1 comment to Bunker Down or Bug Out?

  • Great article, for me though – it is not an option to “buy out” of the City so would have to “bug in” – for me I would ensure one room is a secure room where I can retreat to if all else fails – bugging out would be the last resort but have a “go bag” ready if it comes to that.

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