Should You Buy A Bug Out Property? The Good and The Bad

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By Bryan Lynch •  7 min read

The idea of buying property for a bugout location became popularized and romanticized during the modern onslaught of survival TV shows and movies.

bugout location

Now, don’t get me wrong. When normal life gets turned upside down having a piece of land to retreat to far away from the roving bands of misfits, sounds darn appealing. And there certainly are upsides to owning such a location. 

But before you decide on spending your hard-earned money on this idea, let’s go over a few aspects of bugout locations that are good and bad.

The Good About Bug Out Locations

Let’s start out by taking a look at the upside of owning a bug out property. 


Generally speaking, when people purchase a property for this purpose, it is not located a few blocks away from their home. They are located outside of the city they live in, county, and even state. A bugout property will provide a safe distance between you and whatever emergency is taking place where you live. 


Bugout properties tend to be rural or very rural. People like to think of them as some cabin stuck deep in the woods way off of the beaten path. If this in fact the type of property you can find it should offer a decent amount of security from the general public. 

Supply Storage

A big advantage of a secondary property is that it will provide a location for storing supplies.

Everyone’s circumstances are different and some people simply do not have the storage space at home for their emergency supplies. A bugout property will help to solve this problem. And if worst comes to worst and you cannot make it home to your supplies, you can go to your bugout location where supplies are already stored. 

Resource Management

For me, this is one of the biggest reasons for owning rural property. Living in a city is not always conducive to those that want to be self-sufficient when it comes to energy, water, and food. Owning country property will afford you with the ability to set up solar panels, turbines, dig water wells, and grow a garden or raise livestock. The only limit to what you can do on your property is your imagination. 

For Those That Cannot Bug Out

Bugging out on foot or via some other vehicle may not be in the cards for some individuals in your group. They simply may not know the skills needed to survive or they may be too young, sick, or elderly to keep up with you. A bug out location should provide a safe and comfortable location for those that need extra assistance. 

The Bad About Bug Out Locations

Now that I have gone over some of the perks of a bugout location, it is time to discuss the downside to them. Ironically, some of the things that make them good can also make them bad. 


By looking at a population density map of the United States, you can easily see that most of the population lives in or around cities. This means that most likely if you are reading this you live in one of these areas.

Unless you have stored plenty of fuel, a bugout location is going to need to be within a few hundred miles of where you live (or the distance your vehicle can travel on one tank of gas) Considering this distance, how truly remote of a property can be purchased?

Is It Actually Secure?

Just because a cabin is stashed away in the woods does not automatically make it secure. 

First off, there is going to be a road leading to the property which is a dead giveaway that there is something at the end of the path. 

Secondly, all the things that will make the location self-sufficient like, solar panels, generators, garden, livestock, etc. will also make the location stick out. During an emergency event water, food, and power are going to be priceless resources. 

Where on the property is the home located? Is it located on a high point where incoming threats can be seen in all directions? Is it boxed in with only one real exit route? Is it located along a river where boaters could easily see or access the property?

Ultimately, if an outside threat wants to gain access to a property they probably will. But do not make it easy for them. 

Will it still be there?  

This is one aspect that does not get discussed much concerning bugout locations. Will it the property still be there when you need it? There are a few things to think about. 

As much as we prepare for emergencies we simply cannot predict exactly when or where they will happen. So it is within reason to assume that an event could take out a bugout property. 

When buying property away from your home, you should ask yourself how often will you be able to check on the property? Weekly, monthly, yearly? When no one is living at the bugout location a lot can happen that you may not know about. What if an animal or person broke in and wiped out your supplies? What if a tree fell onto the structure and damaged it, allowing the inside to be subjected to wildlife and the elements? If you are not able to check on this location regularly, are you 100% sure it will be there when you need it most?


The cost of land alone is a huge investment. Not to mention land with a premade structure on it such as a house or cabin. Then there is the additional cost of setting the property up as a bugout location. This means supplies, adding security measures, possibly hiring someone to look after the property in your absence, bringing in anything else you may need or want, insurance, taxes, etc. This is an investment in you and your family’s safety but make no mistake, it will be a big investment. 


Buying a bug out property is just not feasible for everyone (most everyone). The next best thing you can do is ensure your bug in plans are laid out.

Check out this video on how to bug in on afternoon.

So…What’s the Answer?

Unfortunately, I cannot give you a yes or no answer as to whether or not you should buy a bugout property. That decision rests on your shoulders and yours alone.

However, on the other hand, it may be in your best interest to simply move to a “bugout” location and make it your primary residence. This way you will not have the additional cost of a second property and you can live the self-sufficient lifestyle if you so choose.   There certainly are properties out there that fit the bill as bugout locations and they work quite well in that role.

But before you put all of your eggs into one basket, conduct the proper research on that location and fulfill all other survival needs first. Do what is best for you and your situation. Stay Prepared!

Bryan Lynch

Bryan grew up in the Midwest and spent every waking moment outdoors. Learning how to hunt, fish, read the land, and be self-reliant was part of everyday life. Eventually, he combined his passions for the outdoors, emergency preparedness, and writing. His goal was to spread positive information about this field. In 2019, Bryan authored the book Swiss Army Knife Camping and Outdoor Survival Guide. His second book, Paracord Projects For Camping and Outdoor Survival, is scheduled to be released on March 2, 2021.