Preppers often debate the pros and cons of the two common survivalist shelters for the SHTF. Each has its own perks and each has its own disadvantages. Every prepper and every situation is different, so in order to help you decide what will work best for you, we highlighted each of these shelters and why one might benefit you more than the other.
Why Bunker Down?
As appealing as a bunker may be, the hidden shelter does come with its own set of disadvantages. A major one being the amount of oxygen available in such a small underground space. Seeing as you'll be confined in this location for extended periods of time, the risk of running out of oxygen is inevitable.
The best way to counteract this issue is by installing some sort of ventilation system so that you are constantly replenishing the oxygen levels in your bunker. The airflow will make the prospect of living in an underground bunker much more reasonable, although keep in mind that adding ventilation is just another exposure point increasing your risk of being found.
The obvious allure of a bunker is that they can't be seen by air or passerby, but that also means you will have no eyes on the ground to report what's going on around outside of your bunker. That is, of course, unless you step out from your shelter and reveal your location. After all, once your location has been found, any intruder would simply need to wait until you have no choice but to leave the bunker or starve. So in order to avoid revealing your location while maintaining proper surveillance, you can add exterior cameras around your bunker that stream live footage or can be set off with motion detection sensors.
If your bunker has access to electricity, as most should, adding a robust surveillance system will beef up your security with minimal effort. With weatherproof cameras, live HD footage, and even night vision, you will increase your security by equipping your bunker with a high-end surveillance system.
There are many reasons that preppers and survivalists decide against a bunker and instead decide on a bug out location. If you have access to a large area of land that you are comfortable living off of, then a BOL might be a better choice for you. Not everyone is as fortunate to have land access, or the ability to travel to such a discrete location easily if an attack or apocalypse were to occur. But we all know that the further away from civilization you are the better the BOL.
If you have a BOL then youâ€™re going to need surveillance on a whole new level, not just cameras and motion detectors, but around the clock patrols and motion activated trail cameras. These types of security measures reinforce a larger area of land and prevent intruders from sneaking up unseen. A BOL isn't generally hidden from view, whether aeiral or on foot, so you have to keep an eye on your borders at all times for maximum security and surveillance. The security efforts for a BOL can be extensive and, at times, exhausting, but it comes with the territory and it's well worth it.
Increase Chances of Survival
Keep in mind your skill set and surroundings before heading out to build your BOL. Do you have access to fresh water like a lake or stream? Is your location in a vantage point with good visibility, or does itâ€™s location present more weaknesses than strengths? Will you have areas with proper irrigation for planting and growing food? Is it in a region that hunting will be an option so food will be plentiful and not sparse? These are all vital questions to ask when determining the location of where you choose to bug out and the chances of survival.
If youâ€™re already a proud bunker owner but are considering switching to a BOL, you donâ€™t need to ditch the efforts youâ€™ve already put in. Instead, experts recommend using your bunker as a cellar space for veggies and roots, or even as a last resort cache or weapon storage.
Casea Peterson is a freelance copywriter and content marketing specialist for businesses in the outdoor industry. She has been writing personally and professionally since 2009, but when she doesn't have her pen in hand she can be found somewhere in the woods hiking, hunting, or exploring the Pacific Northwest.