Showing posts with label retreat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label retreat. Show all posts

Friday, April 15, 2016

Reader Questions: Meister on Appalachian Land Purchase or Beach Front Property

Meister said: Looking at a large property purchase. Having issues deciding on location. Appalachia or the coast with a boat. Tough decisions.

Meister asked a question that has a fairly complicated answer. Should he purchase land in the Appalachian Mountains (or that general region) or on the ocean with a boat. For background Meister lives (based on his google profile) in the greater Indianapolis IN area.  I will talk the general pro's and con's of each then hit the questions that would guide my answer if this was a conversation.

Mountain land:
Pro: Cheap
Pro: Low maintenance costs
Pro: Minimal population

Con: If that situation becomes untenable options are limited.
Con: Lots of poverty and drug issues. Of course this is a very local thing but the meth heads in town or a trailer nearby could be a real issue if things get ugly and EBT cards stop working.
Con: May not be the easiest culture to assimilate into. There could be a we/ they thing if stuff got ugly.

Beach land:
Pro: Vast resources readily available. Food storage could be greatly supplemented by shellfish, crab, fish, etc.
Pro: Being able to have either on a dock or a trailer in a shed, a boat capable of intercoastal waterway type travel gives a great supplementary option.
Pro: A little cabin on the ocean and a boat would be huge fun for the family and an anchor to get teen and adult kids to come out for the family vacation for years to come. This is something you could really enjoy.

Con: Population. Beaches tend to be relatively busy places as they are cool. Sure there are some more isolated areas but you have to really look for them. Without googling it I suspect the low population density of the Appalachians is difficult to find on the Eastern seaboard unless you look at extreme norther Maine.
Con: Cost. Your dollars will get a lot less land if it is on the water.
Con: In a worst case scenario being on the water puts a big ole high speed avenue of approach right on your back lawn. Not so long ago Pirates raided small towns and settlements in the American South East because it was easy to hit one and vanish into a maze of islands or get back to a safe haven.
Con: (Boat) Significant upkeep costs. A trailered boat costs money. A boat you have to keep in the water year round or dry dock costs real money to upkeep. I knew an accountant who had a very long conversation with a legitimately wealthy client that in fact no she could not comfortably afford a boat.
Con: (Boat) I would be worried about not having my eyes on such an expensive thing, especially if it was in the water.

Now the thoughts/ questions I have to guide the decision:

Q- Do you plan to keep living in the same area you currently do or relocate?

Thought. Distance- My rough math says the Appalachians (picked Cumberland, TN as an arbitrary mile marker) are fairly close to you, approximately 275 miles so a tank of gas or so. Also it is pretty open country so I wouldn't be TOO worried about making the drive if things got bad. Relatively un populated/ affordable beach front land would probably be in the Carolina's which are roughly 750+ miles (I used Mertyl beach as an arbitrary mile marker). That is a lot further any way you cut it. Also there are a lot of more built up areas in between. A further away place means you are less likely to use it get away (and be around/ check on your stuff) and it will be harder to get to in a worst case scenario.

This is probably the biggest issue in my mind. The ocean is pretty far from where you live. As such this favors land in the mountains. If it was not almost twice as far we might be able to argue for the ocean but......

Q- What sort of scenario do you see happening?

Thoughts: If your concerns run more towards a major financial collapse that runs short of full on grid down Mad Max I would go with the beach land and boat. Better economy (in general) and closer to population centers for work and such. Depending on the boat you have it has the added benefit that if the social/ political situation becomes intolerable you could easily sail down to the Caribbean or Central/ South America for a couple years. Your trade could be practiced underground for enough to keep the families bellies full and a reasonable boat running. The Appalachians are the white third world now, imagine if the EBT cards and government programs were cut off? On the other hand if you see things going full on Mad Max a cabin in a holler with a big garden 30 miles from a town of 3,000 people in BFE Kentucky/ TN would be a good place to be. If your immediate neighbors were solid and the terrain was good folks could do well up in those hills, it has been done before. For that scenario the openness of beach areas and the high speed avenue of approach of the ocean add risk.

This can go either way depending on your concerns.

Q- How much cash do you have for start up? How much for maintenance?

Thoughts: My very rough math says the beach land with boat is going to be a whole lot more expensive than some land in the mountains. Of course if you want a whole lot of acreage in the mountains (like 50+) but just an acre or two by the beach that starts to change things but it's gaming the scenario a bit. Bottom line a given amount of cash will get you a whole lot more real estate in the mountains than on the water.

I don't know your budget so it may or may not matter. However this favors land in the mountains for most budgets. The buy in for a place in the mountains could realistically be 20-30k with almost no maintenance. Beach land is probably going to cost more, then there is a boat to consider. In fairness a boat can mean a lot of things but I inferred more than a little row boat/ skiff. Boats are expensive to buy and have significant upkeep costs. From a family of boat owners I know the adage that they are a hole in the water you throw money into is true. If you had say 20-40 acres with a shed and a cabin and ran onto hard times all you would need is to scrape up cash for property taxes. On the other hand if you want them to stay operational boats cost money on a continual basis. Bottom line the up keep costs of a place on the coast with a boat will be higher.

Anyway if I had to boil this down to a suggestion. Both are fine options but that is a cop out. Unless there is some information I am unaware of I would lean to the mountains based primarily on distance.  The economics and what is better for which worst case scenario can be argued a lot of ways but the distance is very clear cut.

Thoughts?

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Shared Bug Out Location/ Retreat Ownership

This topic comes up from time to time. It is something that has personally came up as an option in my life recently so I have been thinking about it.

Before getting started I am not a lawyer, real estate agent or anything like that. Even if I was in any way qualified, which I am not, to give specific real estate advice it would only be accurate for the geographic area of my expertise. Real estate laws, zoning, etc vary such that a real estate specialist in Idaho may not know much about the specific laws in Texas. If you are seriously thinking of doing this consult a lawyer who does real estate in the area you are looking to buy in.


Personalities need to be considered as well. Do you have a personality which allows for the inevitable give and take that comes with sharing? Does the other person? If as family/ friend dynamics go can you two make it work together? If the opinionated person does more of the work and the easy going person is cool with tagging along it can work. Otherwise maybe not so much.


We will talk about the pro's and cons then have some discussion.

Pro- Pooling resources (money) This is definitely the first thing that comes to mind and I would say the primary reason people consider this sort of thing. Neither person has enough money so they pool together. At the low end this is often the difference between being able to buy into the market or not. At the higher end it is getting better quality and or a larger piece of land. Also potential for shared maintenance/ development costs (A 1/4 mile road split 2 ways is better than 1, etc) is promising.

Choosing your neighbors. I didn't think of this one right away but it came to me in time. Of course you can always take a look at the neighbors crappy meth shack compound and decide not to buy there. However in this case you get to CHOOSE your neighbors. That could have huge benefits in an emergency.

Bringing together strengths/ minimizing weaknesses. Say the rich city cousin Jill wants a place but is worried about leaving it alone. The less rich country cousin Tim is out in an area all the time and is good at building stuff but can't scrape up enough cash. Mutually beneficial arrangements can certainly exist here.

Con-

So many different issues. Any time you involve relationships and money things can get crazy in a hurry. Even removing the preparedness angle we all probably know some folks for whom the family beach house/ cabin turned into a nightmare. I don't mean to short change this but there are just so many possible ways for it to go wrong. Seriously major relationship ending problems can and often do come up.

Discussion-

Legal/ financial

I believe it is very important to have a clear written understanding of what the agreement is before deciding to enter into it. Ask the hard questions now before there are any issues.

What are both parties putting in and what are they getting. There are many ways to do this, especially if people bring different things to the table. I would just say to be very clear about what each person is going to put in and get out. If Tim builds Jill a cabin at cost is he now an owner and if so of what?

How will future decisions be made? What about future expenses? At a minimum this should be in writing, both people should sign it and have a copy. This way they both know what they agreed to and can refer to it in the future as needed. That being said unless it was cost prohibitive, $500 in legal agreements about a $1,500 piece of west Texas desert you are splitting with a buddy doesn't pass the common sense test, I would do this with a lawyer. They would likely bring some good points to the table and make sure everything was legal.


What if someone needs to cash out?

If at all possible I would look to legally sub divide the land/ retreat. Tom and Jane (relatives or whatever) decide to buy 10 acres. Tom gets the northern 5 and Jane gets the southern 5. They share the road that is in the middle. They legally divide it so their ownership, tax liability, etc is separate. If Tom decides to sell and Jane (or another relative) cannot buy the land he just sells it. Other than losing having a close neighbor Jane and her family are not affected. If sub dividing the land make sure both parties have water rights and necessary right of ways for access/ road use in place. That way if you stop getting along or they sell to a stranger nobody is up a creek without a paddle.

In some cases this is not possible. Zoning may prevent homes from being built on pieces of land smaller than a certain size. In some cases this can be skirted around by using tiny houses on flatbed trailers but it would likely really hurt resale (since a person could not build a traditional cabin/ home). This is something significant to consider and in my eyes would be a real negative for an area. In other cases the lay of the land would make a simple split difficult or inequitable due to a key feature (water comes to mind) being located where division would not make sense or terrain lending itself to one building site.

I think establishing Tim's land and Jane's land is important even if the way they actually do things is a lot less formal or even downright communal. This way they are both protected in some sort of a worst case situation but short of that they can do whatever they both agree to (though in some cases with real estate property rights/ ownership can be affected so check local laws, etc).

If legal division is possible you can really stop reading this.

If it is not possible/ practical then you really would need a solid agreement in place.

What if one party is supposed to pay half of the taxes and can't/ won't?

Also in general what is the plan for if a person plans to sell or dies? Does the whole place get sold or just their share? I don't know about you but I do not want to own half of a piece of land with a total stranger! Odds are they would have a hard time selling that way. In some cases agreements can be written the other party gets the first opportunity to buy the land. In others a sale might even need to be approved by specified parties.

Co Use

Are your goals similar or at least compatible? If Tim to have a raging party with a band every fall and Jane's family is trying to hunt for deer the same weekend there it's going to be problematic. Of course smaller spaces and non delineated property lines would compound this all and honestly that is not a situation I would be very comfortable with.

If people are sharing land who can do what there? If one person wants to grow corn and the other wants a mud bog to drive 4wd trucks in the same place that is an issue.


How will shared resources be used and by whom? If both families have a couple hunters and each want to bring some friends/ relatives there are going to be way too many hunters for their 10 acres. Ditto fishing, firewood collecting, etc all.

Shared structure? Is there going to be a shared structure on the land? This really complicates things, especially if the structure brings significant value to the place such that you can't give one person the structure and the other a couple more acres, or have them pay a bit less or whatever. Ending up sharing a structure really adds to the potential for complication. Now instead of sharing a field and both having camping spots you are sharing a house!

This really brings to mind all the family cabin horror stories we have heard. Everyone wants to use it labor day weekend and nobody wants to chip in for the new roof. Also what space belongs to whom and when? Are some part of the rooms each persons and they can use them whenever while others are communal? Or do the parties alternate exclusive use? Honestly in this situation (which I probably wouldn't get in) I would look hard at the timeshare model. Communal stuff like basic cook wear, etc would stay out and people would have lockers/ bins or something for their personal stuff that would stay there. Each party would be entitled to use the place so much based on their share or whatever. Still I would try not to do this.

In conclusion by being smart on the front end I think a lot of down sides can be mitigated. A situation where there are clear legal property boundaries with a legal agreement on maintaining the road or whatever has very little risk of hassle. A handshake agreement to buy a cabin between a couple people is a nightmare waiting to happen.

After writing this I realized that I primarily considered two parties who are very close friends or family. More people would make things way more complicated as would people who knew each other less well. As such I did not really feel like talking about either of those options.

Sure there is probably more. Depending on how my train of thought continues and the comments go there may be another post.

Thoughts?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

What To Do With Some Money?

If everything goes as it should I will have some money become liquid in the next month or so, between $15,000 and 20k. I am trying to figure out what to do with it. As such I am soliciting your input.

Ideas I have considered then discarded
-Beans, bullets and band aid's. I am relatively pretty good there. Of course these are always areas we are working to improve but I have a bunch of guns, cans full of ammo, literally tons of food, etc.
-Various medium to large sized prep items. FLIR, silencers, a nice rifle scope or two, etc. Will get many of these in time in due time but I can handle them (except FLIR) on a save for a couple months then buy type plan. I try hard to be smart with the occasional times I get a big chunk of cash.
-Buying a(nother) house. With my semi nomadic nature buying a place I planned to live where I am working is a lot more space than I need, plus the costs of buying/ selling as often as we move add up. Buying where I might live later would leave me as an absentee land lord for a long time. Also that would involve debt which I really don't like.
-Cash in the bank. I have an emergency fund and a vehicle replacement fund both in the bank now. Between the two that is as much exposure to that risk as I can tolerate. Still I included this in the poll on the right because it is a good 'figuring it out' short term option.

Ideas that remain with pro's and con's
-Buy land. Pro. BUG OUT SITE!!! Tangible and not going away. Will allow me to cache a bunch of stuff I have been hauling around. Like no BS I would set up a Terminator Cache!!!  Except technically a Terminator inspired cache as we should all know CONNEX's are only designed to take weight on the top corners not on the roof or sides so literally burying one would require bracing, probably via poured cement but I digress. Will give me a place I could go and live real cheap if I need to. Con. I am in the bottom end of this being feasible price wise. Fixes me to a location. As I move every 2-3 years that it is a bit more complicated than buying land 30 minutes from home. If I don't end up nearby when I settle down this could end up being a long distance thing which is not optimal.

-Buy gold/ silver. Pro. Inflation proof and (particularly silver) at pretty good prices these days. Transportable store of wealth. Con. Doesn't solve any problems for me. Also leaves me trying to physically store more assets and a higher percentage of my net worth. My risk, relative to my overall financial situation, of a catastrophic break in is already about at tolerance level now.
-Replace the soccer mom SUV. It is still running fine now but isn't getting any younger. I hope to get another year or 18 months out of it but am not totally sure that is realistic. Since I do not borrow money for vehicles this will be a major expense. Pro. Solves a significant financial/ life problem I have coming up. Con. This is the closest thing to a nest egg I have and using it for a short term (vehicles constantly need fixing/ replacing) problem seems penny wise and pound foolish. Used right I think this money could go a long way to setting me up in a decent spot. Also I feel like having the upcoming need to replace the vehicle will help me be disciplined in saving for that while I might not be so disciplined to put money back in the bank (or whatever) to replace what came out. Worst case if the vehicle I have now dies before I have the cash to replace it outright I could borrow from my emergency fund or get a loan for some of the money and pay it off in a hurry, which ever made the most sense.

-Something else I didn't mention?

My gut says if I can make it work land is the preferred option. 

Please vote in the poll on the left and leave your comments here.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Retreat Rules Prequil

I linked to a couple of good post and sort of teased the subject awhile ago. Have been thinking about writing an actual post on the subject since them. Last night, as I tossed and stirred trying to sleep I realized to write that post I had to write a post on retreat locations. To really talk about that I had to talk about types of groups. So I intend to address both of those in this post.
Talking about groups. We have a continuum here. On one extreme we have naturally formed groups such as a family/ group of friend/ the more ambiguous tribe.This is Grandpa, Aunt Jill, Uncle Tim, Brother, Brother #2, Sister and Cousins Jeff and Sally. It is also a group of buddies who decide to get ready. It is also a more general form of community or tribe.

The pro's of this type of group are that you know the people and trust them. This makes so many things much easier.  Also strap hangers ( a significant issue in a survivalist context) tend to be mutual. Instead of 10 sets of grandparents, uncles/ aunts, cousins, etc you have a far smaller number.

The downside is that while a persons position in an authentic group might be solid their physical preparations might well not be. A likely scenario here is a third of real survivalists, a third of folks prepared for a decent hurricane and the remaining third with little, in terms of preps, put away, and that is not including the inevitable strap hangers.

In the middle are a sort of hybrid group, say half organic and half intentional or varying degrees of one or the other. If done right this could be a very good way to go that maximizes the benefits of each and minimizes their downsides.

Also there are the religiously based groups. These kind of span the range between the edge of truly naturally formed groups all the way to the edge of the intentionally formed groups. These groups vary somewhat. A more organic group based upon a local church or three could be very strong. On the other hand a piece mill group selected mostly for a specific religious nature (as our friend Harry noted long ago) can do a good job of getting the most religious, by whatever measure, people but without established relationships or skills.

On the other extreme we have a truly intentional group where they select Tim for his medical skills as an ER Doc, Bob because he is an awesome mechanic, etc. These groups theoretically pick people with necessary skills to meet all sorts of needs.

The plus side to this is that you can get an intentional range of skills to meet all sorts of needs. The downside is that to be blunt these people usually don't really know each other. Maybe they met a few times then went shooting and camping or something. However are they the kind of person you could ask to show up at 3am in the middle of nowhere with a gun, a shovel, a bag of lime and all the cash they can pull together?

The issue of families particularly concerns me with these groups. What sort of survivalist has plan A be to abandon everyone they know and go hang out in the woods with a few strangers? I sort of worry about the morality of a person who plans to abandon everyone they know in an emergency. Personally my goal, aside from the survival of my nuclear family is to provide as much support as I can to my tribe. I fear either A) A group will have a bunch of anti social psychos or B) When the balloon actually goes up a lot of 'group members' are going to show up with an extra SUV/ van load of family.

That is a brief discussion of what I see to be the range of group options as well as a touch on their pro's and con's.

Now that we have discussed people we can talk about land.

As Pastor Joe Fox notes land costs money. There is not a shortcut.

While Pastor Joe is talking more about a full on intentional community where people live full time the general point seems valid. Stuff costs money and there is not a way around that. What I am striving at is that there are a range of potential options that could be used for a retreat type setup.

 On one hand we have a Daddy Warbucks situation where one individual or family has a piece of land and everyone plans to go there if things get bad. In some ways this is the most realistic place for many groups to land. Of the 5 families in said group they go to the place of whoever has the best set up.

[On a slight tangent we would have to better define what 'things get bad' means. Can you go there if you lose your job then your house or just if there are roaming mutant zombie bikers and Daddy Warbucks needs help with security? Also what are you supposed to provide vs what does Daddy Warbucks  provide in terms of material things and stuff you do for him? Where are people going to stay? Is Daddy War Bucks going to have a 'study', his wife a 'craft room' and each of his kids their own room while 4 families sleep in an unfinished basement without heat? Are you going to be a trusted friend and defacto family member who helps ensure mutual survival sharing in the groups success or I suppose failure; or are you going to be a modern day serf with the side job of protecting him and his? Will you all eat at the same table or are you getting scraps while he feasts? There is not a right or wrong answer here. Just questions you should answer while you have time to make other arrangements if desired.]

Somewhere in the middle you have a bunch of people who, by plan or circumstance, ended up near each other. By near I mean walk to borrow a cup of sugar/ long distance rifle range. A square kilometer or a bit more for several families I would say. Of course in really rural areas that could be stretched a bit.  Maybe a rural west Texas or Montana Rancher has a solid play with his 8 closest neighbors but their homes are spread across 10 square miles. While that has some significant security concerns they are still a group.

On the other extreme a group of people buy land together as an intentional retreat. A few people or families buy some land that may have buildings on it.

Anyway we have a range of options here then a wild card.The wildcard is that we, whether a previously existing group or not all end up together in the same spot. This is a spot none of us own. Say 4 hobos, or broke families decide to camp in the same place in the state forest. Or they occupy an abandoned building or something. The point is nobody bought it and we are all there.

The reason I needed to talk about these two things is that in my opinion they radically shape the extent to which rules need to exist and the way rules will be established, judged and adjudicated.

Now that this is out of the way in the near future I will get to the planned discussion of retreat rules.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Communities, Retreats and Retreat Rules




-One Retreats Rules at Survival Blog

-Retreat Rules a discussion

Interesting points for starting a discussion.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Today's Happenings

1) It is hot.

2) A possibility came up that is very exciting. Don't want to say anything since it is still very much in the speculative stages and I am trying hard not too get set on it happening. However I am entirely distracted by it.

3) I have a hundred pages left to go in the newest Tom Clancy book. 

4) I'm a geo batchelor for a bit while Wifey and the kids are home to visit family.

5) Was going to go shopping for food today (on post) but realized it is payday. I would rather starve but thankfully there is a frozen pizza in the freezer.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Surviving in Different Places

One thing about the Army is that we move, like a lot. Depending on what exactly gets counted we have moved about 6 times in the last 6 years. Thankfully we are getting better at the process. What comes with us, what gets shipped, getting set up in new places, etc all. Kids sure complicate things which is probably the big adjustment for this move. Aside from travel opportunities the biggest benefits I see to the unintended consequence of my job that is moving regularly is that we get to see different places. Also it gets us out of a specific regional mindset I think too many folks seem to be stuck in.

For reasons I am not clear on everyone seems to think the specific place they live in the best possible survival location. It doesn't matter that they live in a city of 250k nestled up against an even bigger city in Southern California or New York with oppressive government and an even worse HOA between a maximum security prison and a chemical waste plant but they are completely certain is the best place ever.  Somehow living in different places lets us see things a bit more objectively.

When it comes to locations there are all sorts of positives and negatives for every place. As that applies to life it also applies to survivalism. For instance the inland west has a lot to offer for sure. Then again so do other areas. While it's generally true that population densities in the eastern half of the US are high that is a slightly simplistic way of looking at it. You certainly would not see that population density from driving around Louisiana. Also it's a great place to grow just about anything, water is abundant, lots of game, a conservative pro gun government the list goes on.

Even more foolishly some people get the idea that it is in their best interest to stay in this less than ideal (or even pretty ideal) location no matter what happens. Sometimes to the silly point where they claim to be willing to die there.  This is just dumb. The only exception I can see is someone who is sick, inform or elderly. If folks in those situations decide to prep with a good bottle of scotch and a handgun with 1 bullet or to just sit against a tree waiting to die I can't fault them too much. However for most folks living is the preferable option.

Believe it or not moving doesn't suck that much. It sure beats dying or serious problems. Looking at history the answer that moving away from problems is sometimes the only viable option has played out numerous times. The problems one needs to avoid could be social, political or to speak the unfortunate truth religious or racially motivated. The invariable truth is that being alive with your loved ones to start anew elsewhere beats dying on a very nice piece of real estate.

Also during our meandering experiences we lived in an RV for awhile, have spent too much time in hotels and in various spaces without much stuff for awhile. In no particular order here are my thoughts on those various less than ideal situations.
-The smaller a space is (and the higher # of people) the more organized it needs to be.
-Stuff that fills multiple roles is important.
-Stuff that is not essential and or used regularly needs to live elsewhere or go away
-It sure helps to know there is an end to a situation. It may be a week, a month or even a year but knowing you will move, the addition will get done, etc all really helps.

If this post has a point it is that considering living in areas and housing that is outside of your comfort zone. It might benefit you now, you might even like it. What seems odd right now can turn into a situation that you never knew would be perfect. Also at some point that might be the only option available.




Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Recent Conversations

I have had a couple conversations with close family members lately. One about precious metals and another about rifles. We will talk about them as part of the need for a quarterly rehashing of all basic topics.

A relative asked what I thought about silver and gold as an investment:

For the sake of avoiding repetition check out this post on getting into precious metals. I told him that I do not like PM's AS AN INVESTMENT. Making money buying and selling commodities requires buying low and selling high. If you have those skills that is great. Personally if I knew how to do that reliably I would be doing it for a living. That makes it basically gambling which probably is not smart.

I do like PM's as a conservative piece of my overall financial situation. Sort of like insurance or an alternative savings plan. I like them for protection against high inflation, currency debasement and even an outright economic collapse. They generally move opposite to more modern instruments like stocks and such which is nice. For most people assuming they are halfway financially squared away (no huge credit card balances, etc) putting some money into PM's makes sense.

We talked the qualities of both silver and gold. To recap silver is affordable and valued appropriately for day to day type transactions but it gets heavy fast while gold is very compact for it's value which would be useful if you have to move it. For his situation I said it would not be a bad idea to buy a big bag of silver then put the balance into gold, mostly 1 ounce bars/ rounds.

As to total amounts I recommended not to go crazy but maybe to put a certain % of your liquid assets into PM's. Depending on your situation and where you think the doom thermometer is this could be lower like 5% or more like 25%. Like most things somewhere in the middle is probably the way to go.

Another relative asked if I would recommend that he purchase an AR-15 or an AK-47. I told him to go with an AR. This is for a variety of reasons. First the price gap between the two weapons, which was part of the AK's advantage has closed drastically in recent years. Second given his military experience muscle memory lies with the AR. Third the logistics of potential resupply are probably better for the AR. John Mosby makes a case that the AR is a better weapon which is hard to argue with. That being said (and this is how I closed the talk) both are good guns that should serve you well.

There was also a separate thread of the conversation about specific builds for AR's and barrel twist rates. The answer was that considering that his intended uses of casual plinking and potential SHTF I suggested not to bother. If so inclined he could do a lot of research and spend a bunch of money. However my recommendation was that a good basic carbine like a S&W MP would do everything he wants for a lot less money.

Maybe these questions give a bit of insight into what normal non whacko survivalist folks are thinking about these days.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Monsters of Anarchy



Stumbled onto this randomly today on Youtube. Excluding the intro and closing the narrator is reading I am Your Worst Nightmare by Jeff Traskel posted on Survival Blog. In any case the audio plus pictures makes a powerful message even stronger.

Tuesday Group Discussion

I stumbled onto a new (to me anyway) blog called Preparing Your Family. They seem like good folks.

A recent discussion of groups (1, 2) got me to thinking about group dynamics. Specifically the whole "retreat" host and guest thing. I had a nice post mostly put together then realized I wrote it awhile back in response to Bayuo Renaissance Man's discussion of hosting a bunch of people displaced by Katrina. So I guess if you aren't up on what we have been talking about then read the links.

Anyway that is all I have for now.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Groups, Beginning Survivalism and My Generation

Lizard Farmer wrote a post called The Wave: Bugging Out? Some Things To Think About that I definitely recommend reading. Sometimes when I see something particularly interesting on another blog and or my thoughts would be a lengthy or complicated post I do a post on it. This is one of those times. To me the post breaks into two distinct areas, groups and beginning survivalism both in general and for young people.

On the topic of groups my thoughts that apply here are prety simple. There are two broad ways you can expect to get invited into a group: if you have something to offer or have a close connection with the group. Close connections like family or long term friends are typically something you have or don't.


An intentional survivalist group is not going to be interested just in your sparkling personality. They will want folks who bring something to the table. Typically if they are a group worth joining, they will want people with at least some basic skills, equipment and stuff.  What is desirable to a given group will vary widely based on the group. A group that is formed around a bunch of ex Army buddies probably doesn't need shooters but might need a medic or somebody with legit food production skills. A group with 2 doctors and 4 nurses doesn't need an EMT but may really need somebody who could organize their security and lead individual as well as team/ squad training. A group that is really squared away logistically might be more able to sacrifice on your individual 'stuff' to get a healthy able bodied person with some decent but not amazing individual skills. I was in a situation like this for awhile. A friend was very logistically squared away but getting older and aweful short on 'group'. For any chance at security they needed more shooters and for any chance at primative living they needed healthy younger folks. We would have obviously brought everything we could but showing up with just the clothes on our backs would have increased their chances for survival.

As to beginning survivalism. My observation is that age (assuming you are over 21 and thus able to buy guns, etc) is not the biggest factor or even on the list. Time one has been seriously preparing (we could make this a matter of degree but lets keep it simple) and discretionary income available are what matters. A 26 year old who has been seriously into survivalism for 5 years with X discretionary income will be better prepared than a 50 year old who has been into it for 2 years with a disposable income of 1/2X.

However as to my generation they have had less adult time to prepare than older folks due to age and typically their incomes, and correspondingly discretionary income, are lower than older folks. The answer on how to get going is simple though.

Figure out what you can afford and buy something you need at regular intervals. TEOTWAWKI Blog is running a $40 a week series that would fit this situation well. Almost all 20 somethings have some flexibility. Most can cut their lifestyle a little bit or figure out how to earn a little more money without doing anything extreme.

While getting your gear together work on skills. Make a list of skills you might need and look at the ones you have then work to close the gap between the two. Find a group or take a class or give somebody you know a call. Start Geocaching or going on day hikes. Join a backpacking group or attend an Appleseed. Learn to build and fix things.

As you do these things look at your area's vulnerabilities as well as what is worrying you. Start to come up with plans for probable events like a Hurricane on the gulf coast or an earth quake in California. As you get further along pay some attention to the Black Swan's like an EMP or whatever.

Anyway those are my thoughts on that. Yours are of course welcome.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Questioning Conventional Survivalist Wisdom: Rural "Retreats"

I have been thinking a lot about patterns of life lately. The way people work, live, shop and when things get bad how they fight. Also how survivalist theory (for lack of a better word) says things should work and how folks actually end up implimenting that theory. A couple of significant flaws are readily apparant to me.

The theory goes like this. Move out to the hinderboonies to a farm/ ranch. Grow lots of your own food and be safe because you are so isolated and well, you do have lots of guns/ big dogs/ pits of boiling oil/ etc. Earn a living through multiple home based businesses. Live happily ever after.

The first flaw has to do with living until things get crazy, if they ever do. Most people work at some sort of job or in a business, not some theoretical home based whatever that is mentioned in a few short psuedo how to books. That is a nice idea, it just doesn't happen for a lot of people. Most businesses exist where there are a decent amount of customers. It makes everything easier. Rural areas and super small towns do not typically have the capacity to support gun shops or much beyond a bar, a gas station or two, a smallish grocery store and if the state laws suck (and you can't buy booze at grocery stores or gas stations) a liquor store. A town of 2,000 can't support a plumber, a lawyer, etc. If you look at how many people out of a hundred need their services in a given month the math does not add up. Those folks and many others have to go elsewhere to ply their trades.

What many rural people do is drive great distances to a bigger town or city to work. Drives of 30, 40, 50 or more miles ONE WAY to work are fairly common in a lot of areas. People chose to do this to be able to afford to buy a home on their wages, or to live in a safer/ better area or to have that rural dream. The reason I believe this is fundamentally flawed as a long term plan is that fuel prices are going to continue to rise. I am not some peak oil doomer but the supply is either stagnant or going down and worldwide demand is definitely going up. Also the value of the dollars in our wallets and paychecks is not doing so well. I believe that driving may well become very expensive if not a real luxury in my lifetime. We probably won't run out of fuel but it will keep getting more expensive. The viability of long commutes alone in a car or even worse a truck/ SUV is going to go away, first for low income folks (this is already happening), then it will gradually slip up the economic ladder. Right now IIRC the national gas price average is about $3.75. Would the math on your commute work at $5 a gallon? What about $7.50 or $10? As years turn into decades I think being withing a short drive, if not biking/ walking distance of where you earn a living as well as at least some limited shopping and services will become more and more important.

The second flaw is more significant if/ when things do in fact go all Mad Max. I don't feel like talking a whole bunch about defensive preparations as they apply to rural survivalists. Lizard Farmer and John Mosby do that at least as well and probably better than I could. However a consistent theme of failure in terms of rural home/ farm/ ranch defense is a lack is manpower. You aren't going to be able to secure a house, barn and a bunch of outbuildings with 2 or 3 adults. Heck just having a single guard 24/7 will grind 2-3 adults down in a hurry if you consider all the other work that has to happen.

To man (not necesssarily with men parse, maybe fill is a better word) a decent guard and have  sufficient force to deter, drive off or kill a decent threat you are probably looking at close to 10 fighters. Note that I said fighters not people, adults or shooters. I am talking about folks who can do things like running with full kit using buddy movement techniques to assault through goblins positions and shoot them in the face. 10 year old Suze with a cute pink .22 and 75 year old Gramps with the walker don't count.  In a lot of groups once you really look there are a lot of support/ home guard types, kids and senior citizens for every viable fighter.

I have talked rural vs small town before 1, 2, 3 and don't feel the need to rehash that part. Rural folks are going to have a harder time getting some sort of collective security thing going. Even if folks are game and want to work together there are fewer of them and they are farther apart. Should they set up some sort of QRF type group it is going to take a lot longer for them to organize and get to where they need to go. If things are wonky enough that vehicle use is limited this would get even worse. Depending on the specifics of population density and distances involved a rural QRF might not be  able to do any better than show up after the fact. Conversely somebody in a small town is more likely to benefit from collective security measures. They will probably get more help, faster than those living rurally.
I do not mean to say that a rural situation can't work now or if things get all Mad Max. Like any sort of plan there are just some downsides that have to be managed. Considering that the upsides of rural living are significant it is worth at least considering. Ultimately some folks will be best suited living rurally and others may not.

Anyway those are my thoughts on that.



Sunday, June 3, 2012

Azimuth Check

I have stolen this title from Lizard Farmer who runs an excellent newish blog that focuses on retreat/ farm/ ranch defense. His post was more a check on how folks thought his blog was doing. I will head in a different direction. My azimuth check is more about the direction from where my/ your overall situation was to where we want it to be. I will break it into a few categories.

Finances:
How is your debt situation? Do you have any debt with an adjustable or otherwise particularly high interest rate?

Do you have some savings for if something happens?

Do you have some money accessible to buy things if there is an event that interupts normal banking (this means cash on hand)?

If you can afford it have you considered putting some money into precious metals? There isn't a right or wrong answer to this one. Folks differ widely on this topic.

Health:
Are you and your family of a reasonably healthy body weight? If not are you making tangible progress towards getting there?

Do you have any health/ medical/ dental issues that could be improved but have not been? Maybe you need an elective surgery or have been putting off dental work or need to get into physical therapy to get something worked out. Bringing us back to the last question it is utterly amazing how many medical issues decrease or go away if you get to a reasonably healthy body weight.

If applicable do you keep a stash of essential perscription meds on hand? Keeping 30 days on hand is ok, 90 days is pretty decent and will cover a lot of issues but of course more is better. It may mean paying out of pocket but consider the alternative which is, to varying degrees, very ugly.

If applicable do you have at least a pair of spare glasses in your current perscription (two or three would be better)?


How are your chompers doing?

How are you doing at physical fitness? Can you walk long distances with a load? Run fast for short periods and slower for longer ones? Control your body weight through a variety of tasks and obstacles? Lift heavy things or carry another person?

Skills and Training:

Can you make a fire? At night? Can you do it when it has been raining for a week strait?

Can you find your way around with a compass and a map?

Can you make or improvise some sort of shelter to be as comfortable as possible in a variety of situations?

Can you turn basic staples like flour, rice or wheat into a decent or even tasty meal?

Can you grow or raise your own food?

Can you find or gather food from fishing, hunting, plant gathering or something else really cool I have never heard of?

Can you fix stuff? Mechanical things? Small arms? Brick and mortar? Wood? Plumbing? Electrical?

Can you engage targets with personal weapons in realistic circumstances?

Can you organize a defense be it at home or in some sort of hasty situation?

If the Chinese invade or whateveer can you plan and execute small unit Red Dawn/ partisan/ G style offensive operations?

Stockpile and Equipment:

How is your food storage doing?

Do you have personal weapons as well as the stuff needed to use them? Do you have some spare parts, cleaning stuff and ammunition to keep your guns running without a trip to Wally World or the local gun shop?

How are you doing at storing all of the other stuff like medical supplies, batteries, fuel, cleaning and hygiene stuff, spare parts, etc all to keep on keeping on as well as you can without outside assistance?

Is the stuff you have put together into kits or packages or systems that will meet your needs on short notice?

I am sure there are some good questions that I missed. This covers a ton of ground so do not be ashamed if there are some areas where you fall short. My goal is to give you some areas to think about and see where you are at. Every one of these questions is not equally applicable to all situations. Like many things you would be well advised look at these questions with brutal honesty, action what is applicable and disregard what is not.

Hope you all had a great weekend!










Saturday, May 12, 2012

Home Defense

I stumbled into this video. There really isn't anything (big picture) in it that I disagree with. I like the emphasis on preventing people from breaking into your place to begin with. An alarm (or at least the placards), a big  barking dog and some motion lights will go a long way to making the neighbors house seem inviting. As the old cliche says "you don't have to outrun the bear, just the slowest member of your party."

The only real point that I would add that is within the video's scope is about OPSEC. Often, and probably more often than not, burglaries are not random. Crooks don't just decide to rob your house at 1832 Woodland Street out of the blue. They decide to rob you because you sold a car for 10 grand a few days ago and they think the cash is in the house. They decide to rob you because you showed a dozen people a safe full of sweet guns at a party a year ago and one of them (probably just making conversation)  told somebody who is a crook. Limiting public displays of stuff worth stealing by using common sense measures goes a long way.

Also having a gun on your person, a plan and a long gun handy for if goblins decide to actually come into your house is very sound advice.
John Mosby recently wrote an interesting article about defensive considerations aimed more at the survivalist/ wanna be G angle. Like everything he writes it is worth checking out. There were a couple points that made worthwhile additions to this piece. What will deter the appearance of a tweeker or keep them from being successful will not necessarily deter a dozen motivated and well equiped goblins of any variety. If an organized and motivated group decide that a hard nut is worth cracking they will probably crack it, especially if that nut is composed of just you and the missus. However unless you really piss somebody off or have something very valuable this shouldn't be an issue. In that unlikely situation your options are to fight valiantly and die in place (IMO that is what you do when your plan and contingency plans fail, not the primary plan) or get out of there. Depending on your lifestyle this may or may not be a concern for you. Personally I don't lose any sleep over this sort of thing. All you can do is prepare then give it your best there is always a situation that you can't handle.

Anyway JM talks about some steps to harden your doors against breaching. Given that every yahoo has seen enough cops to know about battering rams and hooligan tools, both of which are readily available on the internet, don't be suprised if these tactics are used. [Up to now we have pretty much talked about free or fairly inexpensive simple things you can do to become a harder target. Hardening entrances may be worth considering depending on your situation. There are probably a lot of ways to harden a door. Something like this seems like a good option on the cheap/ low impact end. Making sure you have a door that doesn't suck and sticking a couple extra hinges into it and replacing all the little screws with 4 or 6 inchers isn't that complicated. These are probably things anybody can do. Going a bit further reenforcing the frame and putting a serious door on is a good way to go, especially if you are going to be there for the long term. Along these lines I am a fan of steel "screen doors" with deadbolts. It is another layer somebody needs to go through. They are also useful in the summer if you don't have AC. ] JM's recommendation to put a good door into a reenforced frame with lots of hinges and multiple deadbolts is hard to argue with. It will stop, or at least seriously screw up the tactical momentum of a crew trying to breach with a shotgun or tools. If folks coming after you are serious enough to competently breach with explosives I suggest escaping, evading, relocating and seriously thinking about who you piss off in the future.
I have some more thoughts about realistic and affordable harder homes and gardens.
Additionally I would say that using the new DIY type window glass laminates has some fascinating possibilities for delaying forced entry. I estimate that you could harden doors as described above and windows in this fashion for the cost of a nice rifle or a long weekend at the beach. Not exactly cheap but also not an unrealistic amount of money for most people.
Also if you have a suitable choke point I like interior security gates.  Also it is yet another layer that folks would have to go through to get to you and yours. Remember that layers equal time. Also if a concealed guy at the top of the stairs behind a gate says "if you come up here I will shoot you" goblins would have to REALLY WANT IT to try and breach the thing. Assuming your family is safely upstairs this should make securing the choke point to wait for the cops/ cavalry a pretty doable task.

Of course you can go further and build some sort of a bunker house if you have the coin and desire.

Anyway I hope this gives you something to think about in terms of home defense.

Thoughts?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

How Do We Do It?

The subject of money comes up more and more as the Great Recession drags on. Folks have been downsized or had their hours cut, or had inflation magically increasing prices in random areas such as food, fuel and medical insurance that are clearly not an indicator of inflation, chipping away at their purchasing power or whatever. In general the poor poor pitiful me stuff has been on the rise. I have been looking around my residence and thinking.

Right now I am sitting in a pretty comfortable recliner that we purchased slightly used for $100, new they are about 4 bills. The couch next to it was purchased by my parents in 1986. The coffee table in front of the couch was free as I found it beside a dumpster and carried it home. Our dinner table cost Wifey (actually her mom) $30 or something back in college. The chairs are slightly mismatched because we combined the best of what both of us had upon combining stuff. Our printer sits on a nice butcher block that my Dad handed down to me at 14 or so. Our entertainment center thing cost $80, it is sort of a wierd piece and we probably won't take it back to the states with us.
We have a coffee maker I got as a used hand me down about 8 years back. Our electric griddle is about the same age and has some issues with maintaining temperature and hot spots. Our Queen sized bed cost Wifey $50 back in college. I think the frame cost us $100 in Georgia. The bed in kiddo's room cost us $30 if I recall. We paid an average of about 15 cents on the dollar for all of his stuff. He thinks toys come from Grandma, thrift stores and the dumpster. So much so that he urges me to go to dumpsters when we walk by them.

We wear clothes until they fall apart. Wifey recently decreed that a pair of shorts of mine had to go. Something about refusing to sew a half dozen holes and not wanting me to be arrested for public indecency in the near future when those holes expanded. I think they were about 8 years old. My clothes are purchased at used stuff places or Walmart. The hat I wear when not at work was given to me as a promotion. I regularly find myself wearing entire outfits of stuff I was given or scavenged. Wifey'c clothes come from thrift shops, personal sales, gifts and apartment stores when they have good sales. Kiddo's clothes are from personal sales, gifts or once in a blue moon purchased new when something really cute is at the store.
Our stuff is all servicable if a bit worn and quirky. When something stops being servicable we replace it though of course we try to get a deal.

I realize that we are different from most folks. I have had enough conversations with people to know that what we do is not common or normal. The income I bring in is decent, but not anything worth bragging about. We probably live on 60% of my take home wages. Wifey stays with kiddo and takes care of the homefront. We paid cash for both of our modest but decent vehicles and do not have any debt. We have put some money away for emergencies and have some fairly decent preps for our place in life.
Aside from guns, precious metals and vehicles the most expensive thing we own is a Sony flat screen TV we spent $800 or so on, which was a huge deal for us. After that we have a couple lap tops that cost about $500 new and it goes downhill rapidly from there.
This is why every time somebody talks about how they can't afford to prepare or save or pay off debt I WANT TO SCREAM BULLSHIT, YOU CAN BUT JUST DON'T WANT TO!

I am not saying that you could or should live like we do. My point is that folks can choose not to be like the broke jokers with maxed out visa cards and home equity loans who live next door. It is fine if you don't want to but it is certainly possible. You can afford to prepare and or save if it is important to you and you are willing to do what is necessary to make it work. I hope this all gives you guys something to think about.
Edited Later to include:
Commander_Zero said...It's an easy enough thing to do on your own, it's bringing the wife onboard that makes or breaks it. If you're both genuinely on the same page about it you have a good deal going...you each act as the others accountability partner.

Once the debts are paid off, its pretty easy to live within your means. Everytime I feel weak and want to splurge I listen to some Dave Ramsey on the internet and it gets my head back on straight. (And usually puts me into a work-and-make-money frenzy.)

What are you doing with the other 40%? Socking it away, Im guessing? Saving for a house? Just wondering what the longer terms goals are.

I wanted to discuss this on the main page because it brought up a couple points worth discussing.
While spouses are a whole subject of their own it is worth touching on. I think it is fair to say that nothing significant can happen in a marriage without both spouses being on board. If you are the guy who takes a spatula to the mayo jar even though you have a full jar in the shelf a spouse who blows through money shopping faster than a cokehead gambling addict it will be an issue. Having some degree of financial compatability is important for a relationship to work and is one of those practical things folks so often ignore when choosing life partners. This is particularly problematic for folks who do a financial 180 degree turn after a decade of marriage. The scenario where you want to go all Dave Ramsey and the Mrs still likes to take her visa shopping for designer clothes is an ugly one. In a lot of ways I have more sympathy for the spouse who wants to keep on with what she signed on for. I wish there was a good answer but if there is I don't know it.

A partner who is on the same page helps, especially if your weaknesses are different. She is strong when you are weak and visa versa. Also generally being passionate about the same goals helps too. Folks aren't usually willing to sacrifice much for things they aren't passionate about.

I agree with you about debt. The thing is that both the good and bad cycles are self perpetuating. If you pay down debt it is easier to focus on paying it off. It is a lot easier to pay cash for stuff when you have no bills except basic living expenses. Then you can really start getting ahead. On the other hand when your income is going to a couple car payments, a payment on a toy like a bike or boat, 2 credit cards and a line of credit on the house it is very hard to save up to buy stuff with cash. Also you are paying a bunch of interest for the privledge of paying tomorrow for a cheeseburger today. The further you go in this cycle of debt the harder it is to get out.

As to the other 40%. You pretty much guessed it. For awhile we were putting most of it into our emergency fund, then we started making huge payments on my student loan. Sometimes we save for big stuff (maybe that isn't saving parse but more of a save to spend which is kind of it's own category but I digress) like when we need a car. About 15% goes for retirement. A little bit goes for precious metals. Some goes for kiddo's college fund.

You are 2 for 2 with guesses. Right now we are saving to buy a house. If it works out right we will have a solid downpayment in a bit more than a year.

As to long term goals. Continue to not make stupid decisions. Buy a reasonable home and pay it off at an accelerated rate. Help the kid(s) pay for college. Continue to save for the future. Get a little doomstead on a few acres in the middle of nowhere. Put away enough cash to retire with some dignity or at least not on a diet of rice and dog food. Also I want a Harley.



Friday, February 17, 2012

Mountain man invades remote cabins, tasting occasional luxury

Read the story here.  My thoughts are as follows:

This reinforces why I carry a pistol on me and keep a long gun handy in the woods..

If the idea of a cabin or "retreat" that is fully stocked just waiting for you to leave urban/ suburban life to ride out tough times has not already been sufficiently discouraged this may help.

Why does he have to be a survivalist, couldn't he have been a dimented vegitarian or a PETA nut or something?

Be careful if you spend time in rural Southern Utah.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Random Thoughts on Pistols and Reality

Blogs die regularly. Folks get tired of posting or otherwise move onto other things. I sure miss Hermit's writing and in my last updating of the links page Sgt Jarhead's now defunct blog got deleted. He was nice enough to leave a comment saying he was done blogging but will pop in now and then. I sure appreciated that. However on the bright side new blogs also pop up. If I was sappy I would compare it to the circle of life. In any case I am really enjoying Arctic Patriot.

Yesterday Arctic Patriot paraphrased the old quote "a pistol is only good for fighting your way back to the rifle you shouldn't have left in the first place" in a comment here. I am not going to say that the quote isn't catchy (sure I've said it at least once in some context or another) or the idea isn't sound. However if we lookat it the idea, while sound, just doesn't work in the real world. For example if I knew that when leaving Applebees at 1905 next Saturday evening two men with guns would try to rob Wifey and I a rifle would be a handy thing to have. Then again I would also like AWT on station, a sniper section in overwatch, a mechanized Infantry platoon to conduct the assault supported by a pair of M1 Abrams tanks, a thousand pound IED on the spot where the robbers are going to wait, and to watch the whole thing play out on the little screen in my Bradley. Clearly that would be total overkill but fighting fair is for children and idiots, plus I don't pick up the tab for munitions. More realistically if I was forwarned about the pair of robbers with handguns instead of bringing a folding stock AK and wearing body armor to go get buffalo wings and a tall Coors Light draft at Applebees; we would instead choose to avoid the situation by getting Pad Thai a few miles away or maybe ordering a pizza and staying home.

The issue is that we don't know when something bad is going to happen. Violent criminals don't make appointments any more than the stomach flu or worn automobile parts do. We do our best to be prepared and deal with these things when they appear. Also open carrying rifles are verboden in many areas and in the ones where it is legal folks generally don't do it. In rural America seeing somebody walking down a road with a rifle during deer season is pretty normal. However I haven't seen a single AK in a grocery store even in the red blooded gun toting PNW or the deep South. For that matter I haven't seen a shotgun in a McDonalds or Starbucks either. Legally and or culturally carrrying long guns while conducting everyday affairs just isn't an option.

Even if you are out in the sticks, on a farm or 'retreat' pistols are the weapon which will not be left in a gun cabinet, truck or barn. Though you could in theory carry whatever long guns get in the way during chores, work and everyday life. Try to carry a rifle while feeding animals, stacking hay, etc. It just doesn't work. Pistols are, for better or worse what we are left with as a defensive weapon when outside of our home. Like calling the cops, by the time you get to the gun safe/ closet/ trunk to grab your favorite rifle one way or another you won't need it any more.

I used to think that a shotgun was a good first weapon. I liked that idea because they are affordable, versatile and within their envelope of performance pretty darn effective. However the issue I failed to see clearly is that it is pretty hard to discretely answer the front door with a shotgun or take it to the corner store for milk. While the shotgun is great for a lot of things it will inevitably be left in a closet or trunk while I pistol can be with you. A gun that can be with you only part of the time probably isn't a very good choice as your only gun.

Pistols are pretty crappy weapons. Since they are small and light they relatively difficult to shoot well and have weak little bullets. The gallows joke (Q: what is the first thing someone does after getting shot with a handgun? A: Whatever they were doing before they got shot.) is more true than most folks want to admit. However REALITY is that if you want to have a firearm on you during the course of your everyday life, in the city, the suburbs, a small town or way out in the sticks it will almost without exception be a pistol. REALITY is that unless you are at home or your business where you keep a long gun ready to go (as you should) if you get into a gunfight a pistol is what you will have to defend yourself with.

I am certainly not saying you shoudln't own or train with shortguns and rifles. They have a very valuable role in home defense and darker scenarios. What I am saying is that like it or not a pistol is what you are far more likely to actually use in a fight. I am also saying to put some thought into the pistol you choose to carry and train and practice regularly. It might save your life.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Got To Make A Living

Our friend Wyn Boniface wrote something the other day that reminded me of a boring and harshly realistic fact. People talk about all sorts of criteria for where to move and how they are moving to 90 miles due west of BFE, Idaho/ Wyoming/ wherever. We look at all sorts of different stuff. Rawls's acronym WALLS (water, access, location, light, security) is great for analyzing an individual piece of land.

The thing is that it doesn't matter if you find the perfect place to ride out the end of the world unless you can make a living. Unless you are retired AND can afford to pay cash for the place you need income. I urge people to have a realistic plan about how they are going to pay the bills because you need money even out in the hinder boonies. Living at the most ideal place to ride out the end of the world where you can support yourself is probably a reasonable choice.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Want To Be Part Of A New Texas Off Grid Town

Enter the rabbit hole.

Want To Own A Town?

Washington town up for sale on Ebay. You could be the chief of police and have all your friends be deputies. LEO privileges as well as Class III and NFA weapons without all the strings would be fun.
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