There is probably no stopping your now from building a bug out cabin or a secret survival shelter. With all that’s happening around us, anyone can dream of having a place to wait out an SHTF scenario but few get around to doing it. If you have the means and serious desire about having a good contingency plan when SHTF, you should have your own bug out cabin or retreat. If you are dead-set on getting yourself a survival shelter but have no idea how to get started, these tips are just what you need!
What You Need to Know to Build the Ultimate Bug Out Cabin!
Top Tips for Good Bug Out Locations
There may be a multitude of reasons for you to leave home and head for a safer place. It only makes sense to have a survival shelter away from it all; one to get you through rough times especially if your main house is destroyed. Choosing the right location to build your survival retreat is, therefore, a critical decision. Before you dive in too deep, consider these tips for finding the right bug out location.
1. Security of the Location
Your survival shelter or bug out cabin should be hidden from view. If you have a good spot for an underground bug out shelter, much better. If not, at least see to it that you have a good view of the surroundings. You should be able to see what or who is coming your way. This also makes defending your place easier.
2. Distance to the Location
It is a well-known fact among preppers and survivalists that when you bug out, your cabin or camp should not be easy for others to spot. However, it should not be too far from your home either. Remember that in an emergency situation, time is of the essence. You do not want to get caught up while on your way to safety. Look up the areas or states nearest to your place that are best to bug out.
3. Accessible Water Source
Water is essential to survival so the best bug out spot should have a reliable water source. This is why some of the most recommended locations are located in the mountains, where rivers and streams flow through.
Building a super secret survival cabin requires you to work with the environment of the location you picked. There should be vegetation around the area you want your cabin built. The materials you will pick for your building should also match the dominant color of the surroundings.
You shouldn’t only be safe from economic or natural disaster threats. You should also be safe from diseases and contaminants from a dirty location. This is why low lands and wetlands are a no-no for bug out. You should be able to clean your location easily to maintain hygiene.
6. Climate and Natural Disaster Threats
As we’ve stated, water is important, so you wouldn’t want to bug out in desert or arid areas. If it’s too frozen on the other hand, it will be more difficult to maintain a bug out cabin. You also have to forget areas that are too prone to natural disasters. Hawaii, for example, has an active volcanic activity. You might also want to avoid the tornado alley or the hurricane path.
7. Food Source and Production Potential
Now, it is very important to consider food sources when building a bug out cabin. It is good to note that wherever there is a spring or natural water supply, plenty of food sources like fruit-bearing plants and trees can be found. Animals will also be close by. Areas where there are fertile lands are also ideal for growing your own food supply.
8. Best Survival Locations
Considering the previous tips for picking the perfect bug out location, we now point you to the specific states to go when SHTF. Based on the opinion and study of survival experts, the following states are best for bugging out:
- Northern Idaho–The majestic mountains of Idaho and western Montana
- Oregon–One of the best prepper locations
- Ohio–One thing: Amish
- Colorado–The Rocky mountains
- Western Dakota–Less population and low real state prices
- Northern Arizona–The nearest best place to bug out in Southwestern US
- Eastern Kentucky–Appalachian mountains
9. Worst Survival Locations
Based on the opinion and study of survival experts, the following states are worst for bugging out:
- Rhode Island–Too small and too populated
- Wyoming–Too flat and windy
- Florida–Too populated and too many hurricanes
- Texas–Too hot and too open
- Hawaii–Too far and a bad place to be in when SHTF
- California–Too populated and also a bad place to be in when SHTF
- New York–Same as California
Tips for Building a Bug Out Cabin
You know by now building a bug out cabin is not a walk in the park. Heck, it could be a walk in the great big national forests of Alaska! But a well-thought-out bug out cabin plan or design will save you money and a lot of trouble. Here are tips to build an effective bug out cabin.
1. Use T-11 Siding in Construction with Support
Use construction adhesive when using T-11 siding to keep the nails tightly spaced. This will prevent critters from pecking on the siding where bugs can enter.
2. Screen Gable Ends
Be sure to critter-proof your cabin if you don’t want your supplies ruined by them. Seal or block those areas either with sheet metal or mesh screens.
3. Minimize Vents and Screen Them Well
A normal house needs to breathe but you can’t afford this luxury in a bug out cabin. Any point of access can be used by critters to seek entry into your cabin and destroy it.
4. Seal Rafters Eaves
Another attractive point of access for critters are the rafter eaves. You also have to find ways to seal up or screen the opening.
5. Caulk the Edge of a Metal Roofing
Apply waterproof caulking on a metal roof to avoid freezing and ripping the roof off if water gets accumulated and frozen in the gutter.
6. Locate the Chimney Near a Ridge
A chimney is better located near a ridge to avoid buildup of ice and snow.
7. Seal the Crawl Space
The crawl space is also an entry point for critters and can even be a breeding ground for snakes and other critters. Seal the underside of the floor with a metal sheet or steel mesh.
8. Pressure-Treat Wood Materials
Using pressure-treated wood for your cabin will not only protect it from water damage, it will also make it critter-proof.
9. Secure Your Cabin Entries
Some prowlers can come and seek entry to your cabin. Make that super difficult for them so they will just leave the cabin alone. Frame your shutters and doors in angle iron and carriage bolts. Another layer of doors is also a smart idea.
10. Build Hiding Spots
Even with your reinforcement, some prowlers may still get in. Add built-in hiding places to your place to make it difficult for prowlers to find your supplies.
11. Install Flashing on Roof and Screen All Vents
Use steel roofing and flashing for a sturdy roof over your head. Screen the vents well.
12. Use Sturdy Screws and Metal Fasteners
Use Simpson type metal fasteners and screws instead of ordinary nails for better-supported roofing.
13. Consider a Root Cellar
Let’s go old school and opt for a root cellar. Many pioneers survived on their own with a root cellar included in their building plans. Secure its door with a steel frame, too.
14. Add Locks for Security
With a sturdy door, you need to add one more element to keep it inaccessible from unauthorized persons. Use a sturdy padlock and Hasp set for this.
15. Planning for Long-Term
You’ll never know how long you are going to wait out a crisis out so you can try to add a few more supplies. Try adding a wood burning stove, an indoor garden, and solar power for a little bit of comfort far out in the woods.
Watch the step-by-step guide on how to build an ultimate bug out cabin in this video from Drop Forged Survival:
A well-planned bug out cabin can help not only you or your family, but a few others you might want to bring along. With these tips and ideas, you can build a bug out cabin and perhaps use it as a wilderness retreat for now. Build a bug out cabin now because who knows when you might need it!
Will you consider these tips for your own bug out cabin project? We’re excited to know how your project is working out in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on October 20, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.