In 2019, the Kincade Fire burned about 80,000 acres and threatened over 90,000 structures in Sonoma County, California.
It caused evacuation warnings and orders in many parts of the county.
At the time, Erik and Laura W. lived in Sebastopol, in Sonoma County.
Laura had left town to attend a conference in another part of the state.
But instead of staying in a hotel for the five-day conference, Laura took the couple’s tiny house with her.
You see, the couple had recently purchased the tiny house because of the housing crunch in the Bay Area.
When their main property was evacuated, Laura was already on the way to the conference with their tiny house.
The couple was able to dodge the traffic jam from people evacuating.
According to Laura, “All of my friends are either without power or in an evacuation zone. They’re sleeping in cars, hotels, friends’ places,” she said.
The couple’s tiny house is about 300 square feet. It has a full-size refrigerator, solar power, sleeps six people, and has both a bathtub and four-burner stove.
They were grateful to be living comfortably in their tiny house, compared to their friends who were stuck in hotels waiting to know if their home had survived the fire.
While the Kincade Fire destroyed at least 200 structures (including 94 homes) thankfully, no one died in the fire.
The fire caused the largest evacuation order in the county’s history.
Erik and Laura were lucky they had a place to go when many of their neighbors and friends didn’t.
Bugging out is certainly a last resort during a disaster.
However, oftentimes people don’t have a choice. When you must evacuate you need to have a place to go, or at least somewhere to stay.
This is why people have turned to tiny houses as a bug out option.
You can hook them up to your car like a travel trailer and go wherever you need to…
Tiny houses can offer more comforts and long-term solutions than a travel trailer, but they’re not for everyone.
What is a tiny house?
Most tiny houses are less than 400 square feet. In other words, they are very very small.
To put this into perspective, the average master bedroom in a standard home is about 300 square feet.
Benefits of a tiny house for bugging out:
A tiny house has many advantages for a bug out location.
First, you can move it or take it anywhere you need. Tiny houses can be set up on a piece of land or they can be pulled around by a vehicle.
Another benefit of a tiny house is that you need very little space to set them up.
Since they are so small you can pull up to a camping spot or anywhere that you can find some land.
You could purchase a small amount of property away from your home and set up your tiny house there.
For instance, if you lived on ½ acre you would have plenty of room for your tiny house, garden, animals, and other necessities.
Like everything else, you can spend as much or as little as you want on a tiny house.
Some of them sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars, or you can also build your own tiny house for merely the expense of building materials.
The problems with tiny houses for bugging out:
Fitting a family or a couple into a tiny house can be cramped, so you should probably plan on spending a lot of time outside.
A lot of people that live in tiny houses create outdoor living spaces as well.
Even if you’re not too outdoorsy, you will want chairs and outside amenities to avoid feeling stuck in close quarters.
Another drawback to tiny houses is that they don’t have much storage, and every bit of space inside a tiny house has a purpose.
These homes are designed like an IKEA room – nothing is wasted.
But when you are bugging out, storage and supplies are crucial.
You want to take as much water, food, and gear as you can. Which could cramp the already limited space in a tiny house.
Another issue with tiny houses is security.
If you are pulling your tiny house behind your vehicle you want to find someplace safe to set up.
The walls of a tiny house are more like a trailer, so they aren’t as thick as a standard home.
Which means bullets would likely pass through the walls of a tiny house, and there isn’t much to hide behind in these homes, or anywhere to escape to.
Pros and cons aside, a tiny house can provide a long-term, inexpensive living situation.
It can be portable and provide more protection compared to a tent.
And if you are considering a tiny house, one of the most important things is having somewhere to go, like a piece of land set aside for a bug out location.