Our Location, My Parents, and Our Last Defense Location

This guest post is by By buckiqt and entry in our non-fiction writing contest .

I live in a small town in Pennsylvania, Located right off of Interstate 80. Its your regular small town where everyone knows what is going on, and its usually pretty quiet. We are blessed with a beautiful river, which is even more beautiful now that there is a levie system and flood gates.

There are not a ton of fish in there, but the population is steadily building up. I live in the downtown, right across from my step childrens school, and about 2 blocks from the housing. We live in a 2 story house with no basement, a fenced in back yard with evergreen trees that keep anyone from seeing in, and a small garage that has doors on both side so that you could back a vehicle straight through into our back yard.

It happens teotwawki, communications are down, but everyone assumes it will be fixed. We stay in contact with my parents over the radio to see what they think. Days go by and nothing is changing. We are keeping our children inside as much as possible, no need to draw attention to ourselves. People are beginning to get antsy. They are starting to run out of food. Every noise you hear at night makes you jump because you wonder if someone is trying to come in.

You start to notice cars coming in to town that you don’t recognize. They are coming off the highway in search of food. Our town blocks off the exits to keep people moving, but there is more then one way in. They are going around and coming across the bridges. We decide that we need to move now. We contact my parents and let them know that we are coming, and that unless there is a problem there will be complete radio silence.

We live 2 blocks from the bridge, and we can hear the movement. They are closing the flood gates. This cuts off 2 escape roots, leaving 2 that are further out, and that are more isolated. We back the truck through the garage and the kids carry there assigned equipment, containers and bags into the back as quietly as possible. Quietly because other then moving the truck back into the yard, nobody can see what is going on…just hear, and the last thing we want are some hungry people in our way.

We are prepared, we have practiced, the kids know every drill, they know with the point of a finger what they need to do. Our truck is loaded, the last couple extra supplies are in, I walk through check the house one more time for anything I think we would really need, making sure that everything is shut off and disconnected, and then I lock the dead bolt behind me.

We are off, down a road that I have traveled many times. Ten long miles to my parents house, along the way you see the many roads and driveways that people have barracaded. There are a couple miles of cornfields, and then forest on either side. The kids are sitting in the back, staying as low as possible. I sit in the front hoping that there will be no need for me to use the gun between my legs. We make it after what seems like a lifetime, we are at my parents.

The truck is backed into the garage, since it has direct access to the house, and we won’t need to unload everything right away. My parents house elevation is 4,000 ft. located on about 1.5 acres. The house is right next to a hill which could cause a problem, because people could hide right there and wait for us to come out and take us out one by one. One side is against the bank, the other side is woods with a creek, and the last side is the main road.

There is plenty of room at their house, it is heated with coal so keeping warm will not be an issue here, and you can here a vehicle coming from miles away. However, there are neighbors who can see everything.

My parents house offers some protection, and more food. There is more wild game here, and there are fish. But, the area is open and people want more then just fish, squirrel, and venison.

We decide after a couple of days that we need to move to the cabin. Our truck is loaded for the most part, so reloading the things we have taken out is easy enough, we proceed to pack what room we have left with my parents and siblings survival gear. The other vehicles are loaded, and if any neighbors are watching, they could easily have an idea of what we are up to.There will be more of us on this move, and more vehicles.

This could be easy, or it could be a problem. There will be 5 vehicles this time. A high number, but 3 are honda’s and the parts on them are mostly interchangeable, and they get amazing gas mileage. The truck is first out of the driveway headed up the hill, because it sits highest, followed by the three honda’s, and last is the trailblazor. There are less and less houses as we move up the mountain, no need to move slow and make targets out of ourselves.

We make it to the stone road and we turn down in. Its all wooded now and hard to see if anyone may be waiting sitting behind that tree, or that big boulder. Down around the drop off we drive till the road splits. One house sits straight out, but we are headed up. We come to the first of four red heavy metal gates. (There are a total of four of these to make it through, each gate goes down into the ground 6ft., and each has wires tied to it going back atleast 10ft through the trees on either side.

Only motorcycles and fourwheelers will make it through without having the gate open.) Each family member has a set of keys so the first vehicle unlocks it, drives through enough for everyone to get through, and the last vehicle locks it. We head up the mountain stone/dirt road to the top. (The top is 6,000ft.) We are at the 2nd of the 4. This is the same procedure first vehicle unlocks, and the last vehicle locks it back up.

We are now headed down into our bug out location. There are 2 more gates that we will need to get through, and when headed down into it there are a series of drain pipes that work for keeping the road in better condition, but also work to keep people out. If you don’t hit the pipes the right way, you will most likely blow a tire. Once you are throught the final gate, everything opens up and you can see our location.

There are plenty of beds, and fold out couches for everyone to be comfortable. There is some food there, including a series of different gardens located throughout the property. There are boxes full of supplies already here that are labeled and ready for use.

There is years worth of firewood cut and waiting for us. The fireplace is constantly used and fixed when need be. We have an outhouse, and there are 2 springs on the property, and a short hike will get you to a creek full of fish. There are plenty of toys and games to keep everyone entertained. We have motion lights set up, that the animals have gotten used to over the years, and everyone has worked with our firearms. From skeet, to target, to hunting.

The brush and trees around our location is very thick, and if you walk through it you will be cut up pretty bad. So this may keep people from trying it, but they also may be willing to because you can’t really see a person when they are behind it as long as they are careful and wearing darker clothes. Each of the windows has a special made inside shutter that can be closed, and there is a tiny peek hole in each so that you can keep an eye out.

The guns and ammo are in a safe on the first floor that is hard to open even if you have the code. We also have some firearms and ammo hidden throughout the property. We have supplies in each room in the house, however the majority are in the basement. There are a total of three exits at our location, and thats not including using a window if need be. We also have a crawl space that was built specifically for our children, they know where it is, on occasion we will have them go back in and stay quiet.

This can be extremely hard with our 2yr old, but the older children know how to make this easier, and if need be my youngest sister is able to go back in with them. This was something we saw as a must, and maybe you will to. You have to crawl back in, making it easy for her to stand guard, and if something would go terribly wrong, there was a very large vent cover installed back in there, that can be unscrewed so they can get out that way.

However, our planning did not stop here. We realize that anything could happen, and in the event that we are being over run, our next meeting point is about a 6 mile hike through the woods. Our meeting point is a series of caves that were carved out of the stone in the mountain.

A person can be standing right above them, and you have no idea that they are there. There are also supplies located along the way in different hunting boxes that can be taken with us. Despite how cold it is outside, the cave stays warm for the most part and put over ten people in there at a time, Block the entrance off, and you will need to start shedding layers.

In my own mind, I don’t see us ever having as a group, to head out to the caves, but you never know what may happen. I find it hard to believe that a lot of people would make it to our cabin. They would have to drive there vehicle up the mountain, and then up another dirt road, and make it through a series of gates. It seems so unlikely in my mind. But, you never know, I pray that we will never find out.

While I have not included everything that we have at our location for supplies, or defense. I wonder if any of the things that we have done will help you, or what suggestions you may have to help us.

This contest will end on December 16 2012 – prizes include:

Well what are you waiting for – email your entries today. But please read the rules first… Yes

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of TheSurvivalistBlog.net. He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. Holy cow! Talk about being prepared! Can I send one from here there to keep the blood line going?

  2. Petticoat Prepper says:

    Excellent story! You’ve done a great job prepping for your family. I could easily picture each step in my head. I love the last ditch escape to get the kids out.

    I dream of having a retreat but doubt that will ever happen for me. I am however working on getting out onto some land I own for my primary residence. I am currently encouraging the briars and bramble to grow around the property lines. Neighbors would like me to remove those but that’s not happening for the very reason in your story.

    Again, really good story!

  3. Interesting plan.

  4. Holy cow! I am so impressed! Sure I am not a long lost, beloved relative??? 😉

    Obviously, you all have been working on this for years. My hat off to you all. One question ~ do you have or plan to have any animals there such as a milk cow, chickens, a pig or two?? If so, do you have feed? Do you have a guard dog?

    Thank you for thinking of the children’s safety. That really impressed me. And the fact that the children know the drill – good job!

    We have been considering buying part of the property next to us. However, there are nasty bushes on it with thorns. Now I am rethinking my reluctance; we should be able to take out some so the land is usable but leave a corridor that would deter people from pushing through.

  5. I had to stop reading and go check to be sure I was on the right blog. This will go on the bookshelf between my retreat in Idaho and my personal tactical island of the coast of bullcrapistan.

  6. If your primary plan is to bug out then you’ve left a potential gap in your preparations already. What if the roads and routes are all closed? What if you are one of the first to be vandalized and never have a chance to escape? I believe in bugging in and making as much defensive planning as you can at home. If that becomes untenable then bugging out is a good back up plan. Until then, sheltering in place provides far more benefits if you’re in the right location to begin with.

  7. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    Only you know the details of your area – its sounds like you have it pegged pretty well. The only advice I would add is to consider some of the various times of year that might change matters.

    In the winter, would roads be snowed in if plows weren’t working ? That works both ways, people can’t get in AND they can’t get out. I imagine people in mountainous passes living in small towns will REALLY require some good thought on this – some passes are snowed in for MONTHS at a time.

    Forest fires. When its fire season and one gets spotted, crews of people are sent to fight it, using aircraft and boots on the ground. After The Event – that may become a thing of the past. Is your area safe from that threat ?

    No one can plan for every eventuality, but the ones you are fairly certain will happen should at least be planned for. This is a great thread – I’m certain you will gain some ideas here. Thank you for writing it.

    • Snow plows work both ways too, and are a good source of secondary income (or a great way to make new friends).

      Forest fires scare me. The fire threat is just about everywhere, better in the woods than an apartment, condo, or tightly packed subdivision IMO though.

      I like your plans buckiqt. Redundancy upon redundancy, never know what might happen. Probably already accounted for it, but fish nets/trot lines/motion sensors/night vision makes fishing and hunting a lot easier and faster, after the game wardens are otherwise occupied. Not like you’ll have time to go sit in the woods for hours, or catch fish one at a time.

      And, drafty/leaky hunting cottages on a couple acres are dirt cheap in some parts of the country. Lots of sellers that can’t afford them in this economy, good deal for those who can. If they border state/fed land, even better. We bought a 1/4 acre lot with a handpump, travel trailer, shed, and outhouse – bordering federal land – for $7k. It’s my nephew’s vacation shack and primary BOL (and our Plan C) now. Just mentioning it as some seem to think this is way outside their budget.

  8. My only comment is something that you didn’t mention. How often do you practice any of these two Bug Outs. The more you practice each leg with full load of gear, the better it will go if and when it gets real. Otherwise; all I can say is that you have an anvuable plan, and I for one am envious, LOL.

  9. Backwoods Prepper says:

    Sounds like you have a good set up. the only thing I suggest is 3 Rabbits 2 does and a buck of the meat variety (New zealands)in three months they could be 20 eating size rabbits.. A few chickens for eggs. Save atleast 3 days vacation and some sick days when things start going south you need to take off to the BOL. IF it was a chicken little event then no harm no foul you still have you job and it was a good practice run.

  10. You, sir, are probably the most prepared person I have seen. Congrats.

  11. I’m definitely impressed. I also live in PA, near 80, and pretty much know where you’re at. Good to know there are seriously preppers within 50 miles of me.

  12. Highest point in PA is 3213 feet, Mount Davis.
    Highest point in WVa is 4862 feet, Spruce Knob.
    Just saying.

  13. SurvivorDan says:

    Interesting indeed. if it all works for you…I like it.
    Hard to keep those gate tracks clear so they will move up and down, huh?
    I think I would find a simpler gate opening mechanism. Too much to go wrong with that set up. How about (lockable) removable steel posts in concrete receivers. Pretty effective against ramming. Less exotic but simpler to maintain and probably more effective.
    You could add camouflaged tank traps (ditches) – simply hide the bridging materials nearby.

  14. I hope that you mantaine all those gates and locks. It would suck to reach the gate and see a frozen lock on it.Unless you have a replacement lock with you and spare keys.

  15. IF I were you I would find a way to move to said cabin and rent your home in the city. That is my style, and I have moved to my bugout place in a national forest. I am very remote but found work/jobs to save money and pay bills.

    You could use a German Shepherd Dog for protection, warning, retrieving, hunting, backpacking, and as a great companion as I have living remotely. They are dogs who need jobs to be happy dogs.

  16. pat henry says:

    I am thinking to buy a 30′ sailboat, mooring it on the North Carolina coast and provisioning it for a survival retreat. I seek opinions as to the viability of such a strategy. TIA. Hank

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