In part one of this topic I wrote about why you would want to have a survival retreat, especially if you live near a city when a yellow or red event crisis unfolds. Some people will look for real estate such as a cabin on a lake or a secluded hunting cabin in the woods, others will look to purchase property in farm country and perhaps buy a small hobby farm, others may think to load up their camping gear and head into the backwoods for an extended period of time. And there are others that will look for an in-town retreat, meaning a small community of less than a few thousand people. All are viable options, and some may be better suited for certain regions of the country.
Of the few options I mentioned above lets take a look at the two defining differences: Secluded survival retreats and in-town survival retreats. Both have their own pros and khans.
Survival Retreat – In Town: Pros
- You will be part of a community, hopefully where people help people.
- You will benefit from having lots of community people you can barter with.
- You may benefit from the security precautions the community takes, especially if law enforcement remains intact.
- You may benefit from any local hospitals or clinics.
- You will benefit from a greater skill pool off all the people in the community
- Greater risk of being burglarized.
- Increased risk of communicable diseases.
- Greater risk of your prepping lifestyle being noticed and your supplies confiscated for the “good of the community”.
- Limited privacy.
Survival Retreat – Isolated: Pros
- You will have better privacy.
- Easier to hunt from right outside your door.
- More room for gardening.
- More control over your own supplies.
- Better control of overall sanitation.
- Batter able to keep livestock close and easier to feed.
- Much lower risk of communicable disease.
- Lower land and house prices.
- The more isolated you are the less opportunities you will have to barter for needed items.
- Probably will require more than one family unit to provide adequate security.
- You should not depend on much help from neighbors or whatever law enforcement may be left if attached by looters.
Personally for my own retreat planning I have two locations; a primary location and a secondary location that is about a 2 day walk from the first. Both I would classify as isolated, though they are located less than a day’s walk (twenty minute drive along back roads) from small communities of 400 or less people where I and my family are well known.
A few other things to think about when choosing a retreat location:
- It should be 300+ miles from major cities.
- It should be located 50+ miles from major interstate freeways and other channelized areas.
- Good local resources for wood, wild game, crop growing, and of course water.
- Good source of surface water (saying this again a different way because water is important) and year round precipitation.
- No risk of flooding, major earthquakes, hurricanes, forest fires that would burn your retreat home, etc…
- Some natural defenses like hills or berms that make prepping for defenses would be preferable.
- Low population. Less people usually means less problems.
Now that we have broken down the isolated retreat against the in town retreat, lets take a look at the preppers who want to head off into the wilds all alone and survive on bug, chipmunks, deer, and living in man made stick shelters under a blown down tree versus a prepper who plans to hold up with family or friends.
As for the lone prepper, personally, I do not think that is a very good idea. I have the utmost respect for people like Bear Grylls and Les Stroud. The skills of such men are amazing, and while such skills will keep you alive for a few weeks and possibly a month, surviving in the wilds like that long term can have devastating affects on a person. Trying to survive on such skill for many months to a year or more is going to be very difficult. Even if you know how to build a log cabin and sustain yourself with food and water and scrounging wild roots and veggies, you are taking a big risk just by being alone if you get hurt. If you get hurt or even sick bad enough to keep you from maintaining your food and water stores you are going to die. If you break your tools that you brought with you and have no way of fixing them or bartering for new tools you are going to die. If your hunting rifle breaks or you run out of wire or thread suitable for snaring or hunting game, you are going to get very hungry and could die. For me, going out alone into a survival situation for extended periods like a yellow or red event is just asking for trouble. You need to know how to do everything for yourself, you need to know how to do it well, and you need to make sure you are always healthy enough to maintain camp and supplies to be able to keep alive.
Being part of a family unit or a group of like minded friends, or a combination of the both is a safer way to prepare when planning a survival retreat location. For example, I am part of a small group of like minded family and friends. Some of us have paramedic and nursing work experience, some of us are former military including military police, combat medic, and a force recon marine. Some are avid outdoors-men who can hunt and are familiar with woodland survival techniques, others know how to plant and grow food and how to preserve food for storage… the knowledge and skills spread out over ten different people is not only diverse but amazing. Also think about all the knowledge that can be cross-trained from members of your survival retreat group. If somebody takes a class on soap making or maybe animal trapping and all you need to do is hold a class for the group and cross-train that new knowledge.
Another good thing about being part of a group of preppers is that it can really help bring costs down. Think of a retreat location more like a vacation spot out of the hustle and bustle of city life, and maybe go a step further and look at the retreat as a time share property or a membership managed LLC that owns a lodge open to use by members only. Of course it may be easier if just one person owns the property and is open to work and tools contributions from the group. Either way if you setup a prepper group you need to know you can absolutely trust the people you are forming up with. This may be less important when dealing with just family members. Either way there will be arguments over things. Be prepared for that as well. But remember the ultimate end goal you are trying to achieve.
In part three we will look at survival gear and suggested lists of items and things you may want to consider for your retreat location.