This entire project came together much more rapidly than I would have ever imagined, as it went from concept to book contract in about one month, with a six-month deadline to complete a manuscript of over 80,000 words. That deadline was met before the end of December, and now the manuscript has already been through the editing and revision process and illustrations and maps are being created by the designers at Ulysses Press. I have to say I am happy with the result and that the book is almost exactly what I envisioned it to be when I first sat down to write the proposal. But with the suggestions of my publisher some aspects of it have evolved to make it much more targeted to the audience that can use it the most.
Some of you may have read the editorial description of the book from the page here or over at Amazon, but these short back-cover blurbs can't tell you everything you want to know about what's inside. I don't want to publish a complete table of contents at this stage, still three months away from the book's release date, but I do want to give you some idea of what to expect.
First of all, the inspiration came about from the innumerable trips I've personally made into wild places all over the United States and elsewhere. For years I spent huge amounts of time poring over maps in search of the most remote and least inhabited places in the country, and then trying to get there either on foot, or by canoe or kayak. Of course there are more such places than any one person could visit in a lifetime, but I sure found my way to a lot of them over the last 25 years and I'm nowhere near done yet. I had long wanted to put this information together into a useful book, but didn't have much interest in writing hiking guides, or other such recreational outdoor guidebooks, as there are plenty of them on the market already. What I originally envisioned was a guidebook for people who wanted to "check out" like I did and leave civilization for awhile. I figured not everyone had the time to do the research and the exploratory trips I did, so they might appreciate having a handy book that puts it all in one place.
The book does include this information, and can be used in that way, simply for planning getaways in times of normalcy. But it's also so much more, as the focus has changed from "checking out" to "bugging out" which seems more appropriate in the times we are living in now. The locations were chosen so that just about wherever you happen to live in the Lower 48 States, you'll have a variety of options to choose from. The bug out locations in the book are broken down into eight regions of the country:
- The Gulf Coast Southeast
- The East Coast Lowlands
- The Appalachian Corridor
- The North Woods
- The Midwest and Heartland
- The Rocky Mountain Corridor
- The Southwest
- The West Coast and Pacific Crest
Beyond the place-specific information, the first 100 or so pages of the book is all about bug-out planning. Topics covered include:
- The fantasy and the reality of living off the land
- Choosing a bug-out bag
- Clothing and shelter considerations
- Firearms for survival
- Food and Water procurement
- Researching potential bug-out locations
- Use of tools like Google Earth in planning
- Types of federal, state and private lands in the U.S.
- Advance scouting
- Exit route planning
- Bug-out motor vehicles
- Alternative transportation
- Bugging out by boat
- Use of horses and pack animals
This site is for all the other topics that I could not fit into the confines of a 320-page book and for expanding on those topics that are included. It's also a place for photographs, videos and other extras that could not go in the book. And it's a place for you, the reader to ask your questions through comments or direct messages, as well as submit your own ideas which I would love to hear about and will consider publishing here as well.