Wednesday, July 09, 2008

SHTF: Where is your survival retreat?

I had a dream the other night that the end had finally come (What else do we dream about? :)). The family across the street went to grandfather's ranch. The couple next door went to their lake house. Wife's friend and family went to family farm.

We had no where to go.

All relatives were either long gone or lived in urban areas. Nobody to go to and no one who could take us in.

I have always believed in "bugging in" first as part of my survival preparedness plans. Why? Because this is where my supplies are. I know the area, where supplies may be available, what plants and food grows best here and the people around me.

However, all of us in the preparedness world need to consider a fall back, well out of town retreat should the big one happen.

For instance, if there is a nuclear, chemical or biological attack.
If there is a pandemic.
If there is wide spread social breakdown, rioting, looting and unleashed crime.

Staying in an urban area would be the worse idea in those situations.

How to get out of town is one thing which i will not cover here.

But where to go, your survival retreat is the first problem needed to be solved.

A survival retreat can be a few acres of land a couple of hours out of town. It may be a hunting lease or fishing camp. Perhaps the corner of some family property someone still has mineral rights for.

To prepare for your survival retreat, check local listings within two hours of your town for rural properties for sale. A house, farm or shelter is not neccessary if money is tight. Rather, find five or more acres with access to running water for starters.

When checking the property, count the number of ways in. Is there a farm to market road? Dirt road? Uphill or downhill? Trails? Rocky or difficult terrain? After all, when you go to your retreat might be in bad whether or in the winter.

How about that water supply? Is it a running stream, river or creek? Or a dried up stock tank? Access to a river is ideal as it can supply drinking, bathing, washing water and a potential food source.

So your survival retreat has all these things? What next? Well where would you live?

Consider a portable travel trailer for starters. Or maybe a used mobile home. Or a do it your self cabin kit.

Any of these cost affective options are good, but the priority should be on inexpensive and portable. Why?

Because you may only visit your survival retreat a few times a year. Rural properties left unattended are often the targets of vandalism, crime and potentially squaters. Wouldn't it stink to find a family of meth heads camped out in your 250,000.00 dollar retreat shelter?

Also, consider finding a storage space in a nearby town to pre-place supplies. Things like water filters, camp furniture, sleeping gear, cooking equipment including a stove and fuel, long term storage food, "defensive equipment" and other necessities which will not go bad or expire.

I don't think anyone should place needed supplies at their retreat unless they are well hidden in caches onsite. But that is my opinion.

The catch is how to pay for something like a survival retreat. Consider a rural home or property loan. Or use part of your retirement savings. Remember, land nearly always increases and maintains its value. It might be a good financial investment.

Finally, know how long it takes to get to your survival retreat and how much fuel will be needed. Maintain that stock at all times. Keep supplies close at hand and ready to load should you have to leave home with little notice. And always have more than one route to your retreat. Preferably off the main roads and beaten track.


David said...

"Consider a portable travel trailer for starters. Or maybe a used mobile home. Or a do it your self cabin kit."

We already live in a fairly rural area, and I've seen some rough living arrangements here in America's Third World County. Yes, I've known some folks who simply stacked hay bales (harder to find nowadays than the big round bales) and tarped over for a home--usually while building another. (And my wife has had students who sheltered with their family in the big roud bales. Seriously. Not "In a box under the bridge" but close)

Still, a bugout place is very nearly where we live now. Small town (just newly reached around 2,000 souls) with the "piney woods" about 100' from our back door, and over the hill beyond is seen by man about once a year--during deer season.

I decided in 2000 to spend as much of my non-working hours in a second, temp job with the Census and thereby learned more of the backwoods part of this largely uninhabited county than even most of its residents. (Saved scans of my maps, too, but don't mention that would ya?)

Good, informative blog.

BTW, really appreciated your personal "lights out"/power outage story earlier. We had one of our own last year as the result of an ice storm that took out power and phone and even "city" water (no power for pumps to refill the water tower) for a couple of weeks. It's amazing how long a (recently, at the time) discarded car battery can power one small flashlight bulb and how much light that one bulb will shed when everything else is dark, dark, dark.

One advantage to power outage in deep, cold winter: no problem with food storage (couple of large ice boxes out on deck did for the freezer food. Fridge food was gone in first couple of days). Oh, another advantage: bundling. Nice. :-)

John said...


Thank you for your kind words and for reading my blog. I hope I did not thank you TOO LATE for your courtesy and patronage.

I cannot stress enough to people the most important thing in these trying times..

a) Pay your utility bills
b) Stock extra food
c) stock extra water
d) know where to get b and c
e) know how to live without a
f) be prepared to protect what you have

The round bales I know all too well. Another thing is to have even a simple all weather tent and camping supplies!

Keep up and keep at it. We are in perilous times dontcha know?

Thanks again!

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