Unfortunately, having a ‘Plan B’ just isn’t the modern American way. The great and diabolical misfortune of having two to three solid generations of assumed prosperity in one’s culture is the side-effect it has of lulling the populace into comfortable apathy. “Prepping” becomes a kind of novelty; a lifestyle that people joke about while planning out their next vacation or their next suburban home purchase. It’s something that others consider in that fleeting moment in front of the television while witnessing the news of a catastrophe on the other side of the world, only to be forgotten minutes after changing the channel. Such things do not happen here. Not in the United States…
I am a child of an age laden with illusory wealth, and have benefitted (for a short time at least) from the financial fakery of our economic system, as have many Americans. Most of us have not had to suffer through the unmitigated poverty, hopelessness, and relentless fear that are pervasive in harsher days. All our problems could be cured with money, especially government money, and as long as the greenbacks were flowing, we didn’t care where they came from. Ultimately, though, the ease of our well-to-do welfare kingdom has set us up for a cultural failure of epic proportions. Anytime a society allows itself to be conditioned with dependency, its fate is sealed.
We do not know what crisis really is. Many Americans barely have an inkling of what it entails. We imagine it, in films, in books, and in our own minds, but the fantasy is almost numbing. We lose sight of the tangible grating salty rawness of the worst of things, while imagining ourselves to be “aware”. Most people today are like newborns playing merrily in a pit of wolves.
Preppers, on the other hand, are those who seek to understand what the rest of the public goes out of its way to ignore. They embrace the reality and inevitability of disaster, and suddenly, like magic, they are able to see its oncoming potential where others cannot (or will not). The price they pay for this extended vision, however, is high…
I see the prepper generation as a generation of sacrifice, men and women who must endure the collapse of the façade for the sake of an honorable future society they may not live to experience. Modern day Cassandras? Hopefully not. But, certainly a group of people who have lost much in the path to knowledge. We lose our blissful naivety. That which once easily entertained us becomes banal and meaningless. We set aside many of our dreams to make room for the private and public battle we must wage for the truth. And, in the early days of our awakening, we tend to lose sleep.
Low-Cost Root Cellar/Bunker
This guy did something very sharp and inventive: His cellar had all the benefits of our great-grandparents’ root cellars, the American Army war bunkers, and the secret Viet Cong building method with none of their drawbacks. Watch the video and learn more!
The primary advantage of this otherwise complex life is actually simple: we have a ‘Plan B’.
Independence, self sustainability, true community, and redundancy in systems; it’s all in a day’s work for the prepper. But, one thing tends to sit upon our minds above all else, and that subject is ‘home’. Not necessarily the home where we are, but the home where we will shelter during darker days. Call it a retreat, call it a bunker, call it whatever you like, but every prepper has to have that place set aside that gives him the utmost advantage while facing off against calamities that normally annihilate average people.
Also read: After The Collapse: An Accurate Expectation Of What Is To Come…—Part 3
Choosing a retreat can be easy, or so difficult it explodes your brain depending on how you approach it. The problem I see most often with those seeking a back-up location for a collapse scenario is that they engage the process as if they are still living in 2006, hunting for their McMansion with a view on the sunny hillsides of Colorado or California, instead of thinking in practical terms. So, to help clarify a more fundamental approach to choosing a survival retreat, here is a list of priorities that cannot be overlooked:
You may be searching for a homestead property or a more discreet retreat area for only the most violent disasters. In either case, property placement should be your number one concern. Where is your subject property located? What are the strengths and weaknesses, economically, socially, and legally, in the state you are considering. What is the disposition of the government and law enforcement in the county your retreat resides in? What kind of environment are you surrounding yourself with? These are all very important issues to consider.
Even more important, though, are the dynamics of the land you are choosing. Are you looking for a typical flat piece of developed farmland with easy access to roads and town amenities? Then you are going about this all wrong. Are you purchasing a cabin in the woods where you and your family will be isolated and alone? Again, not very bright but is better than nothing, you need to be as far a away as you can from The Golden Horde when the time comes.
The ideal retreat location is a combination of rugged terrain and varied topography that is just accessible enough, and set in proximity to LIKE MINDED NEIGHBOURS who will aid each other in the advent of a social implosion.
It may feel strange to consider it at first, but try to think in terms of an aggressive party: a looter, a criminal, or just a hungry refugee. Now, take a second look at your retreat selection. Is it easy to wander into? Can a person stroll right up to the front door, or do they really have to spend a lot of time and energy to reach you? Is it within sight of a major highway? Is it in the middle of a funnel or valley which people would naturally take to get to a tempting destination? Is it flat with little cover and concealment, or is it nestled in the midst of hills and crevices which can be used strategically? How many routes in and out of the region are there?
Crops can be grown in any area with any climate if the correct methods are used. Energy can be produced with a multitude of technologies and tools. Structures can be built to adapt to the materials that are most abundant in the region. However, once you commit to a particular environment and terrain type, you are stuck with it for good. Choose wisely.
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As mentioned in the section above, isolation should NOT be the goal here. The concept of the lone wolf survivalist waiting out the implosion with his family in a secret fortification is not realistic, or likely to work at all. In the most volatile of collapses, such retreats only offer a tempting target for unsavory characters, from Bosnia to Argentina and beyond. If you don’t have a community of preppers around you, you have nothing.
Ideally, choosing a retreat location, especially for a homestead in which you will be living on a day to day basis, should be done with multiple families involved. The more preppers involved, the larger the perimeter of warning and defense, and the safer everyone will be. It is not enough to have a friend or two on the other side of town or to have a couple neighbors who are open to the subject of collapse but have made no efforts to prep. A return to a true community foundation is the surest way to secure your retreat. There WILL be people who will wish to take what you have in a crisis situation. Your best bet is to surround yourself with people who already have what they need…
Explore real estate markets near family members who are on the same wavelength. Talk with existing prepper communities and see if you might work well together. Form your own group of land seekers and make purchases together, saving money for everyone. Know who you will be weathering the storm with!
Related article: 25 Must Know Skills For Surviving The Coming Nightmare
This has been mentioned in previous sections, but let’s establish what defensibility truly involves. Do the natural features shelter you, or hinder you? How many lines of sight are near your retreat and will they work to your advantage, or someone else’s? Is your homestead on the top of a wide open hill and visible for miles around? Will attackers exhaust themselves attempting to reach you? How much warning will you have if someone is approaching your location?
Make sure your surroundings work for you. Folds in the land topography not only off greater surface area for your money, but also cover and concealment. Forget about beautiful views, perfect soil, and room for a gazebo. Is the retreat actually protecting you or not? If this single issue is not considered and resolved, nothing else matters.
This is why I recommend starting from scratch with the raw land if possible. Many people dislike the notion of building their retreat or homestead from the ground up, claiming that there is not enough time, or that the project will be too costly. This is not necessarily true, especially for those who plan the construction of their retreat around off-grid living strategies. Raw land purchases, depending on the region, can be highly affordable. Building using present materials, like native timber, reduces costs drastically. And, as long as your house plans remain simple, construction can be started and finished within a matter of months.
When building from scratch on raw land you have chosen using the guidelines already discussed, you can place your living quarters in the most advantageous position for defense while being able to reinforce the home itself as you go. For those using an existing structure, the job becomes a bit more difficult. Additional fortifications will have to be planned carefully to adapt to the framework of the building. Weak areas of the property will have to be strengthened using fences, walls, or strategically placed vegetation that frustrates approach. High points in the terrain should be used to establish observation posts. At every moment of the day or night, someone must be awake to keep an eye on the surroundings. Respect the realities of a collapse, instead of disregarding them, and your chances of success increase a hundredfold.
Many would place water resources at the very top of this list, and having an ample supply is certainly vital. Digging a well is a must. Building in proximity to a stream, river, or lake is even better. That said, rainwater collection is a viable supplement to weaker indigenous water supply, along with water storage done in advance of any event. The average adult human being needs approximately 2.5 liters of water per day to survive comfortably. The common vegetable garden needs around 2” of watering overall per week. Bathing and general hygiene require several gallons per week depending on how conservative you are. It is important to gauge the water production and storage capacity available at your retreat. If the math does not add up, and if rain collection is not enough to fill the gap, then move on. Find an area that will sustain you with water, but do not neglect the rest of the items on this list just to be near a roaring river…
This is an area with far more flexibility than most people seem to realize. With the right methods, a garden can be grown in almost any climate, and at any time of the year, even winter. Every retreat should be fitted with a greenhouse, and this does not require much expense or even energy to build. Makeshift materials often work wonders and the cheapest greenhouses tend to supply as much produce throughout the year as expensive and professionally built models.
Raised bed gardening is efficient, requiring less water, and producing more food than typical gardens. Small orchards are possible depending on the climate and elevation of the property. Wild edibles in the area should be cataloged. Find out where they grow in abundance, how to cook and prepare them, and which edibles you actually enjoy eating.
Animals require at least some acreage. Two acres being the minimum if you plan to raise several species. Goats, chickens, and rabbits are much easier to squeeze into a smaller parcel than cattle or horses and draw much less attention to your retreat. A single milk-producing cow and a bull, however, have the ability to keep your family healthy and fed for a lifetime. The trade-off is up to the individual prepper. The bottom line is, the number of animals you plan to raise determines the amount of open field you will need to clear on your property to provide the grasses and feeding area they will require.
Recommended reading: During the Collapse: Know Your Enemy Part 1 – The Unprepared Neighbor
Proximity To National Forest
Another aspect to consider is how close your property is to national forest areas or unclaimed and unpurchased acreage. Perhaps you are only buying 5 acres of land in a well-placed area which borders thousands of acres of forest service. Not only have you purchased the use of 5 acres, but the potential use of thousands of acres through attrition, while guaranteeing that no unpleasant or unaware neighbors will move in too snug next door. Abundant resources will be at your fingertips in a post-collapse scenario, including timber, wild game, possible minerals, caching sites, secondary retreat locations, etc. The advantages are numerous…
3 Superfoods That Cost Almost Nothing To Make And Will Keep You And Your Family Well Fed No Matter What Happens.
One was praised as the great depression “food miracle”. The people that knew about it banished hunger for good…while the rest where starving and tightening their belts! Not only that you will learn the exact process of making it the right way, but you’ll use it to preserve meat in it and create one of the most finger-licking, mouth-watering tastiest foods you’ll ever eat. And the best part? It lasts up to two whole years without refrigeration.
The other food was also long-lasting. Invented by one of the most vicious samurais in history, it was born out of war and necessity. So don’t expect a gourmet meal here – but do expect this “samurai superfood” to be so nutrient rich and probiotic-packed that you and your entire family won’t need anything else for months on end.
With these 3 superfoods alone, you’ll probably have a complete stockpile in your group and you’ll never need to depend on anyone else in times of crisis. Watch the video below and learn more.
Secondary Retreat Locations
Never put all your eggs in one basket. We hear that warning all our lives but few take it to heart the way they should. I have dealt with many a prepper who has become indignant at the idea of having to leave his home to escape danger, claiming that they would “rather die” than have to beat feet to a secondary location. I personally don’t get it. Fighting back is admirable, but fighting smart is better. There is nothing wrong with living to die another day, and this is where the multiple retreats strategy comes into play.
Some survivalists live in the city and have set up a retreat in an area distant but reachable. Others have taken the plunge and uprooted to start a new life on the grounds of their new refuge, leaving behind the metropolis and sometimes even their high paying jobs. In either case, they have done far more for their futures than the average American has even vaguely considered. However, it is not quite enough…
Backup retreat locations should be chosen in remote areas near your primary retreat, and very few if any people (even friends and associates) should be told about these places. Keep in mind, these are last ditch survival spots. They are not ideal for long-term living arrangements. Little if any infrastructure will be built in these places, and all shelter materials should be heavily concealed. Caching sites should be set up well in advance and placed on at least two separate routes to the same location. You should have no worries over whether you will be able to feed, clothe, and protect yourself on the way to the emergency site. Hidden approaches to the area should be scouted ahead of time. A viable water source should be present nearby.
Thinking Ahead: It’s Pure Sanity
There are all kinds of excuses for not doing what needs to be done. Americans have an ingenious knack for rationalizing their own laziness and inaction. If you want to know how to get ahead in the world of prepping, or just the world in general, all you have to do is become a man or woman who makes a plan, and then follows through on it! Welcome to the top ten percent!
One excuse that I do in some instances take seriously is the problem of the conflicting family. We all know a prepper or two whose spouse or children are not on board, ridiculing or even obstructing their efforts. When expenditures of cash (or large expenditures of cash in the case of a property purchase) are in debate, the tensions can be crippling. In every disaster, there are oblivious masses which make things hard on those who are aware. From the Great Depression and Weimar Germany to New Orleans after Katrina, it is not uncommon for people on the verge of starvation and death to still assume that government help is right around the corner and all will be right as rain.
All I can recommend to those struggling with the survival-impaired is that you educate friends and loved ones on the nature of recent events like Katrina, or the economic collapse in Greece and Spain, or the tsunami and subsequent reactor meltdown in Japan. Show them that this is real life, not a cartoon. Make them understand that they are not immune to the tides of catastrophe, and that preparation is not only practical but essential.
Survivalism is not a product of insanity; it is merely a product of our precarious times. A disaster is only a disaster for people who are not prepared for it. The only madness I see before me in our country today is the madness of those who believe themselves immune to the fall of the curtain. The true “insanity” rests in the minds of men who presume tomorrow will be exactly like today, and that the comfort of their existence is law, a foregone conclusion, set in stone, forever…
The Most Comprehensive Book Available
Our grandfathers had more knowledge than any of us today and thrived even when modern conveniences were not available. They were able to produce and store their food for long periods of time. All the knowledge our grandfathers had, in one place.Here’s just a glimpse of what you’ll find in the book:
The Lost Ways is a far-reaching book with chapters ranging from simple things like making tasty bark-bread-like people did when there was no food to building a traditional backyard smokehouse… and much, much, much more!
Discover how to survive: Most complete survival tactics, tips, skills and ideas like how to make pemmican, snowshoes, knives, soap, beer, smokehouses, bullets, survival bread, water wheels, herbal poultices, Indian roundhouses, root cellars, primitive navigation, and much more at The Lost Ways
Here’s just a glimpse of what you’ll find in The Lost Ways:
From Ruff Simons, an old west history expert, and former deputy, you’ll learn the techniques and methods used by the wise sheriffs from the frontiers to defend an entire village despite being outnumbered and outgunned by gangs of robbers and bandits, and how you can use their wisdom to defend your home against looters when you’ll be surrounded.
Native American ERIK BAINBRIDGE – who took part in the reconstruction of the native village of Kule Loklo in California, will show you how Native Americans build the subterranean roundhouse, an underground house that today will serve you as a storm shelter, a perfectly camouflaged hideout, or a bunker. It can easily shelter three to four families, so how will you feel if, when all hell breaks loose, you’ll be able to call all your loved ones and offer them guidance and shelter? Besides that, the subterranean roundhouse makes an awesome root cellar where you can keep all your food and water reserves year-round.
From Shannon Azares you’ll learn how sailors from the XVII century preserved water in their ships for months on end, even years and how you can use this method to preserve clean water for your family cost-free.
Mike Searson – who is a Firearm and Old West history expert – will show you what to do when there is no more ammo to be had, how people who wandered the West managed to hunt eight deer with six bullets, and why their supply of ammo never ran out. Remember the panic buying in the first half of 2013? That was nothing compared to what’s going to precede the collapse.
From Susan Morrow, an ex-science teacher and chemist, you’ll master “The Art of Poultice.” She says, “If you really explore the ingredients from which our forefathers made poultices, you’ll be totally surprised by the similarities with modern medicines.” Well…how would you feel in a crisis to be the only one from the group knowing about this lost skill? When there are no more antibiotics, people will turn to you to save their ill children’s lives.
If you liked our video tutorial on how to make Pemmican, then you’ll love this: I will show you how to make another superfood that our troops were using in the Independence war, and even George Washington ate on several occasions. This food never goes bad. And I’m not talking about honey or vinegar. I’m talking about real food! The awesome part is that you can make this food in just 10 minutes and I’m pretty sure that you already have the ingredients in your house right now.
Really, this is all just a peek.
The Lost Ways is a far-reaching book with chapters ranging from simple things like making tasty bark-bread-like people did when there was no food to building a traditional backyard smokehouse… and much, much, much more!
And believe it or not, this is not all…
Table Of Contents:
The Most Important Thing
Making Your Own Beverages: Beer to Stronger Stuff
Ginger Beer: Making Soda the Old Fashioned Way
How North American Indians and Early Pioneers Made Pemmican
Spycraft: Military Correspondence During The 1700’s to 1900’s
Wild West Guns for SHTF and a Guide to Rolling Your Own Ammo
How Our Forefathers Built Their Sawmills, Grain Mills, and Stamping Mills
How Our Ancestors Made Herbal Poultice to Heal Their Wounds
What Our Ancestors Were Foraging For? or How to Wildcraft Your Table
How Our Ancestors Navigated Without Using a GPS System
How Our Forefathers Made Knives
How Our Forefathers Made Snowshoes for Survival
How North California Native Americans Built Their Semi-subterranean Roundhouses
Our Ancestors’Guide to Root Cellars
Good Old Fashioned Cooking on an Open Flame
Learning from Our Ancestors How to Preserve Water
Learning from Our Ancestors How to Take Care of Our Hygiene When There Isn’t Anything to Buy
How and Why I Prefer to Make Soap with Modern Ingredients
Temporarily Installing a Wood-Burning Stove during Emergencies
Making Traditional and Survival Bark Bread…….
Trapping in Winter for Beaver and Muskrat Just like Our Forefathers Did
How to Make a Smokehouse and Smoke Fish
Survival Lessons From The Donner Party
Click here to get your paperback copy of The Lost Ways and The Lost Ways II