10 things to consider when planning your prepper retreat

By Pat McLene

Farm (Pexels copyright-free image)

Self-sufficiency site of the week

This week I want to introduce everyone to another self-sufficiency site that contains a lot of good information. That site is Survivopedia, a very slick and professional-looking webpage. Most of the articles are written by professional freelance writers, but at least the owners of the site appear to select the articles they publish with some care. Avoid the click-bait on the right-hand side since they rarely take you to the fascinating articles they purport to link to. But putting that aside, Survivopedia has a wealth of information that can be of interest to the serious prepper.

The mailbox


Last week’s column generated an awful lot of comments. Of course, that’s no surprise when the column title contains the words “guns” and “confiscation.” But as usual, and despite what I wrote, there appears to be some confusion being expressed in some of the comments. Just because I believe gun confiscation is on the horizon doesn’t mean I believe it will necessarily be successful, or that it will occur – in the main – by door-to-door search and seizure. The best way to confiscate anything is to make it simply too difficult or expensive to acquire or retain, which is why I suggested that now is the time to acquire, and that caching is the way to retain.

This week, I’m going to start an extended series of columns on finding a self-dependent prepper retreat. I won’t be covering how to make a living at your live-in bug-out, because I’ve covered that already in previous columns. But I do want to add one line that might make it easier for you to understand why it’s possible to live somewhere out in the sticks and make a living. It’s very simple: If there are people already living there, they must be making a living. It could be the way they make a living doesn’t suit you, but ultimately that will be your choice.

Is prepping the right thing for to do for Christians? Or should we just be trusting in the Lord? Learn about that balance in “Be Thou Prepared” by Carl Gallups – “Equipping the Church for Persecution and Times of Trouble.”

We’re going to start our trip into finding a place to live with greater personal freedom by determining your hierarchy of needs. Everyone has one; and if you’re sane, the desire not to die is at the very top of the list. That one is pretty fixed. (Yeah I know, “Live free or die” is on a lot of people’s lips. But history has shown the majority of humanity doesn’t actually believe it.)

Other items in your “needs” list can be fairly mobile. For example, making a better-than-average salary might be pretty high on your current list, but another item might be the safety of your family. And the relative importance of both of those items can change with the conditions. Earning a ton of money in a high-crime city where your children can’t leave home without an escort should, in my opinion, take an inferior position to “less money but safer kids.”

So let’s start by making the assumption your desires for safety and self-dependence have climbed up the ladder on your needs list. It might be because you’ve started a family, or it might simply be because you’ve been reading the news. How do you go about finding your place in the sun?

The good news is, you can start your search from right where you are: in front of your computer. Unlike the old days when you hitched up a wagon or bought a berth on a sailing ship and took a flying leap, today you can begin your journey without ever leaving your seat.

According to the U.S. Census, there are 87 people for every square mile of land in the United States. Seems kind of crowded, doesn’t it? (Actually, to you it might not. But I’m a county boy. Having visible neighbors makes me itchy.) Obviously, this statistic doesn’t tell the whole story. For example, the District of Columbia has 9,856 residents per square mile, while Wyoming has only 5.8 residents per square mile. And believe me, there are places in Wyoming where you can be the only person for miles around.

Quite obviously, population density is an important livability factor for the prepper. It definitely has a place in your hierarchy of needs. But by itself, it isn’t as informative as we might like. There are lots of places in the United States where no one lives … for very good reasons. So the first thing to do in your search for a prepper Shangri-La is to make an honest assessment of your hierarchy of needs.

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Below is a list of some of the things to consider in no particular order. Feel free to insert your own:

  • Area Population: Population density is obviously important.
  • Ease of Access: Living next to a freeway is not the prepper ideal, but establishing your homestead six miles up a goat track is not a good idea either.
  • Growing Conditions: If you truly intend to attempt to live a more self-dependent lifestyle, you’re going to have to provide much of your own sustenance. Living on top of a mountain will provide you with a great view, but try having that for breakfast.
  • Degree of Governance: Make no mistake, no matter where you live, there will be people who want to tell you how to do it. Your goal is to try and locate a place where there are few people with the authority to do so, or the means of enforcing their autocratic desires.
  • Average Temperatures: Are you a sun-lover or a shade-dweller? Can you deal with humidity or does dry air make you crack? Remember, there are places you can live that can be both hot and wet or cool and dry.
  • Employment Potential: Can you bring a job with you, or can you find one when you get to your retreat? Are you dependent on a pension or can you be flexible enough to leave an old job behind and learn a new one?
  • Distance from Population Centers: The average population of the area where you intend to live may be low, but just how close will you be to population-dense cities?
  • Crime: Being out in the middle of nowhere does not necessarily mean living in a low-crime environment.
  • Water: Nothing, and I mean nothing, works without water. How much do you have? How consistent is it? How easy is it to get? Who really owns it? These are all questions that need to be answered before you drop a dime on your new dream home.
  • Security: Probably a large part of your desire to relocate is based upon increasing your own personal security. Some of that is covered in the “needs” above, but at a more localized level, you should already have ideas that will guide your homestead choices.

Next week, we’ll start taking a look at each of these items in greater detail. Until then, your homework is to start thinking about your own needs as they relate to this list, and add items that pertain specifically to you and your circumstances. Feel free to leave me a comment listing other items you think should be in consideration. If I think your additions are valid, I’ll include them in the series.

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