How to construct a “bugout” home for $250

Prepping is becoming a way of life for millions of people who, for various reasons, believe that something bad is coming our way, whether it be a financial collapse, a global war, massive civil unrest or some as-yet-unforeseen event.

One of the age-old questions regarding preparations for the moment when stuff hits the fan is whether or not you should “bugout” and if so, to where. That decision is made more difficult by the fact that virtually no one will know when that moment will arrive – until it does. So many folks just figure they’re going to shelter in place as best they can, storing food, water and gear in their cars and in their homes. (RELATED: Are You Really Prepared? Essential Safety Tips From A Veteran Cop)

But if you’ve decided that no matter what the best thing for you is to get out of wherever it is that you are, you’re going to need a bugout location and some shelter once you get there. And since money is tight for most people, that shelter needs to be effective yet inexpensive.

You can actually build a bugout “home” for a little more than a couple hundred bucks – one that will protect you from the elements and allow you some storage.

Introducing the Earth Bag shelter.

As reported by Ask A Prepper, it’s a very simple concept, and while it will take some sweat equity to build, once you’ve got it together it will serve your needs very well.

First of all, you may be wondering what an Earth Bag is in the first place. Ask A Prepper noted:

I wish I could offer you a much more exciting description but basically these are small durable bags, very like sandbags, that can be filled with dirt, rocks or sand. Each material has various benefits when it comes to structural integrity and insulation. Dirt will not insulate as well as the small rocks and sand will.

Earth bags, which are used to build frames and are very strong, have been utilized to form actual homes, root cellars and, of course, emergency shelters. They do not need tensile materials – no wood or brick – and they are extremely durable and “just absurdly cheap,” says Ask A Prepper.

Most models the site analyzed cost between $250-$500.

Earth bags are stacked like you would if you were stacking them to form a flood barrier, with barbed wire placed between the layers in a number of ways so you can create just the design you’re looking for. Then, they are covered in stucco grating and a very strong plaster that is waterproof.

“Of course,” the site noted, “the very basic use of these Earth bags is for fortification. These would be a great option for stopping flood waters from hurricane [sic] or other natural disasters. You could also use these bags in a more tactical and defensive modality.”

The site also suggests that Earth bags could be utilized for different types of blockades and defilades for cover from gunfire.

And, of course, these bags can also be used to construct bunkers – for protection from the elements, bad weather, bad people and so forth. They can be designed so as to look like a natural part of the landscape, making them harder to detect to the naked eye.

“When I look at what’s possible with these Earth bag shelters I am not thinking about the pen ultimate [sic] shelter that will survive a shower of meteors and a nuclear blast,” the site reported further. “What I am thinking about is perhaps the best bugout option available.” (RELATED: How To Make Your Own Bug Out Bag (BOB) For Emergency Preparation)

The biggest problem in finding a bugout location for most is funding: In these tough times, few can afford to purchase land and then build on it. So this Earth bag concept is perfect for those who have a plot of land and want to put up some shelter on a budget. If you don’t own your own land but know someone who would be willing to let you use theirs, the Earth bag shelter is an affordable contribution on your part to the overall goal of survival.

J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for and, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.