This Archaic Bug Out Location Could Be Your Only Option

Yes, ReadyNutrition Readers, I am advocating the possibility of finding yourself a nice cave to shelter within when the SHTF.  This primarily as a backup location, but as a primary location if your house is either in a target area for a disaster or if it is not constructed sturdily enough.  Uncle Caveman would surely shed a tear in his eye just thinking of the exodus…back to the caves.  Let’s discuss some of the advantages to being able to find a suitable cave…right after we define what is suitable.

For starters, the ideal cave would be formed from rock, such as granite or a similarly “hard” stone.  This is mentioned because many “caves” are in fact just deep fissures and are made out of ice or comprised partially of ice.  This poses a problem of both cave-ins and also floods.  Many “caves” on the slopes of mountains are just fissures with ice surrounding the walls…and not a true cave with a floor, ceiling, and walls that will not dissolve with higher temperatures.

First suggestion: find your state’s BLM (Bureau of Land Management) to learn of resources that will locate and map the known caves in your area/vicinity of your home.  I stressed the word “known” because for every cave that has been mapped there are at least 10 that have not been.  The ones made of rock/stone are usually more stable.  Chances are there is nothing being done in the caves that are on federal or state property.  Perhaps there will even be “no trespassing” signs, or they’ll try to keep you from going in the cave.

Your job is to find them and learn about them as much as possible, even if you can’t enter into them.  After the SHTF, I seriously doubt the “friendly” park ranger will be concerned with keeping you out of the government-owned cave.  The advantages to a cave (besides the obvious of keeping the elements off of you) are worth considering.  Caves stay cooler in the summertime, and if you manage to occupy one in the winter, can maintain an even temperature that may be less than what is outside by a substantial degree.

Caves can be readily defensible depending on their layout.  Many caves have a large, anterior chamber with smaller chambers to the rear or sides.  These smaller chambers can be used as storage rooms, and also for a retreat or a hide if for some reason it becomes necessary to vacate the larger chamber.  The disadvantage is that few caves have an exit, so if it becomes necessary to defend yourselves, you do not have a recourse but to win.

You also need to find out what “roommates” may be in the cave, such as bats or bears, the latter of which tend to be very defensive of the territory.  Also, if you live in grizzly country, the fall months are the time the bears feed before bedding down at the end of the year.  You don’t want them coming in while they’re still awake, or moving into the cave when they’re in there asleep.

Keep your plans to yourself.  Plenty of others will have the same idea.  Ensure there is a water supply nearby the cave, as well as adequate game and also wood for fires.  Most of all, learn as much as possible about the cave(s) you are considering, not just geographically but from a geological perspective.  A cave may be something to use as a fallback retreat that may provide you and your family just what you need from either a temporary or a permanent perspective after the SHTF.

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published September 27th, 2017
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  • Bolofia

    If you happen to live in the intermountain West, there are additional options; namely, abandoned hard rock mines and prospects. Ideally, you would want to find a mine tunnel or an adit that connects to a vertical shaft which opens to the surface. The benefit of these structures is that you have an air flow, which allows you to conceal fires while mitigating the smoke and odors from cooking, etc. As with natural caves, you must ensure that the space is not already occupied by wildlife – particularly rattlesnakes.

    There are literally hundreds of abandoned, territorial-era gold and silver mines in my neck of the woods. I’ve examined quite a few and identified several that are quite suitable as an emergency or fallback bug out location with reliable access to water. In a no holds barred SHTF situation, I wouldn’t hesitate to use one of these mines if it became necessary.

  • A Arizonian

    As always J.J. wise advise, I have two, in different locations; as you know my background well you will understand why I’m very conflicted about stationary shelters, I have penetrated the very best (as you know, it was my job) I survived in the harshest conditions by staying mobile. Of course, in today’s technical world that can be dangerous as well. Caves provide shelter from many of the attacks we may face, no question about it but they can also be a death trap. You maybe able to defend it very well, but you may never be able to leave without be shot or worst. I agree, they are a great resource to be researched and used, but know they too have issues you have to address, as does being mobile.

  • Milkshakesuds

    If you haven’t made an acetate umbrella a cave may be necessary. I dont camp out in just one cave, but have a series of caves, overhangs and shelters (hollow trees) one can rotate, an underground railroad so to speak. Some are better than others and small ones can be camouflaged. I check my favorites regularly because critters like to make homes in them and i dont like surprises. its easy to tell if someone has been there.

    As far as being cornered in a cave, i set sound snares and fish hooks about 50 yards out to alert me. Setting false trails to other caves isnt that difficult.

    But living in cave for an extended period makes me think head colds, achy bones, and just general discomfort.

  • A Arizonian

    No amendment necessary, I think it’s a great idea for many of the attacks we might face in the near future, that’s why I have two, just thinking out-loud that’s all!

  • A Arizonian

    No amendment necessary, I think it’s a great idea for many of the attacks we might face in the near future, that’s why I have two, just thinking out-loud that’s all!

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