Wagons Hoe! Things to consider when picking a camp Site while bugging out.

Things to consider when picking a camp Site while bugging out. There are many considerations that need to be looked at based on the current situation. OK, let’s say that the SHTF and you need to get to your emergency retreat by car or by foot, and it will take more than one day to reach your bug out location. You will need to decide on a safe place to camp for the night along the way. How do you decide what is a safe place to camp for the night? That is what we will look at in today’s post.

Today we will consider both bugging out by foot and by car separately because they both have their own challenges and you will need a different area for each.

Bugging out in a Vehicle:

Ok, so here is the picture, it has hit the fan and you have decided it is time to go. You load everything into you bug out vehicle and you are off to your retreat. You have been driving all day and decided that you are just too tired to drive straight through, so you pull off of the road in a secluded area to rest for the night. You roll up the windows and lock your doors then lean back in your seat to get some sleep. You are sleeping soundly when you are awaken by a knock on your window. Opening your eyes, you see a big guy standing at your window with a shotgun pointed at you and telling you to get out of the car. You exit the car and he takes your keys and your car with all of your supplies in it and leaves you on the side of the road with nothing! How could you have prevented this?

Your first mistake was parking on the side of the road and not finding a secure place to hide both you and your vehicle. Just because you have all of the water and food that you need and a place to sleep, that doesn’t mean that you do not need a safe place to hide. In a SHTF situation, those locked doors on your vehicle won’t amount to a hill of beans when people get desperate. Op-Sec should be your word of the day when bugging out! Start by locating an area that is as far from populated areas as possible. Try to avoid parks and rest stops as they will attract a large numbers of people and bandits.  Next look for and old barn or building that you could park behind. Preferably one that’s set far back off the road where no one can see you. If you can’t find an old abandoned building, then look for heavily wooded areas that will help mask the presence of your vehicle. You should also make sure that your vehicle is turned around and facing the exit  in case you have to make a quick getaway. The next thing you will want to consider is a way to make an early warning alarm of some type. Something that will let you know well in advance is someone is approaching. A few samples of this are a string with cans attached with a few rocks in them and strung up off the ground a few inches. Attach a trip wire to it and set these out in a 360 area around your vehicle.  Another idea is the battery operated driveway alarms. It can detect moving objects up to 60+ feet away from the sensors and the receiver has a range of over 300 feet! Place these in the road behind and in front of you to detect anyone approaching your vehicle. You could also place them on you dashboard in the front and back of your vehicle. Of course, if there are more than one of you one person should always be awake to keep an eye out for approaching danger. Another consideration is a place to relieve yourself when mother nature calls. Unfortunately women seem to get kind of finicky about these kinds of things. Unlike most of us men, they need “Privacy”, go figure! However if you want to arrive at your destination in one piece, it’s sometimes better to let them have what they want. What you don’t want is for them to go traipsing around in the open or very far from your vehicle. Personally I would suggest getting one of those pop up privacy tents that can be used right outside the vehicle with a luggable loo of some kind. This way there is no need for them to venture far from the security of your vehicle. By taking all of these things into consideration before hitting the road, you can be in a better position for getting safely to your retreat when you do have to bug out.

Bugging out on foot:

Camp site selection is even more critical when you are on foot as there is no way to quickly escape from a dangerous situation if attacked. Many of the same ideas and principles apply as are recommended above. The battery operated driveway alarms could still be used, as well as having a camp toilet close by. The other thing that you will want to consider if you are on foot, is a good water source nearby if possible. Do not camp next to it, you just need to have access to it.  You will want to fill your water containers before you head out the next day as well as for bathing and cooking. If you will be going it on foot, I strongly advise that you get out and actually walk the trail from one end to the other before having to bug out. This will let you see exactly where the best locations are as well as the best sources of water. When you are on foot, good Op-Sec can make the difference between life and death. If you are by yourself then you must realize that you cannot stay awake for 24 hours and still expect to be at the top of your game all the time. You need to stay sharp if you want to survive and the only way to do that is with sufficient rest. If you can, try to have someone to travel with you when bugging out. While there is a notion that being a lone wolf is manly, the fact is that it’s just plain stupid if you have a choice. There is safety in numbers and you should always try to have someone with you when traveling. Always look for places that provide good cover and concealment when choosing a good campsite, You need to be as far off of the beaten path as you can to avoid run ins with others. Take the time and scout it out so that you are aware of everything around your site and always find an alternate path of retreat in case you need it. Ideally, you want to find a spot that can be easily defended with lots of cover and not just concealment. Remember that cover will protect you from bullets that are fired at you while concealment simply hides you. In summary, spend the time to think through how you will defend yourself and locate good campsites in advance so that when the time comes you will be ready and not just another victim of the crisis!  Well that is it for today and I hope this post has got you thinking about Op-Sec when bugging out and just where you will camp when the time comes. Until next time just keep on prepping!


-The Sargent-

8 thoughts on “Wagons Hoe! Things to consider when picking a camp Site while bugging out.”

  1. Hmmm maybe the concept of looking for a place to spend the night in your vehicle BEFORE you have to bug out. If you have a place to go finding several places before hand would seem like the way to go. Also you should NEVER camp close to water. Fill your bottles,canteen ect then get the hell away from the area as others that you don’t want to meet up with may also be looking for this water source.

    • You are correct, and I have made the change to the article to reflect it. I had not realized that I had suggested that they camp near it. Thank you for catching that. 🙂

      • Also fill your water as soon as you arrive and top it off just before you go to bed, so if you have to leave in a hurry you have water. Of course always top before you leave if possible.

  2. Just a suggestion, don’t camp right next to water. There will be bugs and the ground may be wet. When moving through the back country people follow along watercourses – they are a “natural line of drift” – so you may have a guest who wasn’t even looking for you. Get at least 100 meters off any trails. Be aware of the wind direction – smoke and cooking smells can be detected a long way off, try it for yourself. The string and cans approach has a drawback – while you will be warned that someone is coming, after they trip over the string they know that they have been detected and they no longer have any reason to be sneaky.

    • Sorry, just because your alarm went off, doesn’t mean they will stop trying to be sneaky. In fact it may switch them to sneaky mode. The one that tripped the alarm may come to locate you and the others with him stay back waiting for a scouting report.


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