“Doug Carlton” on Survival Retreats in the East and Surviving on a Budget

I wanted to address a couple of things some of your readers have brought up recently. There’s been a lot of well thought out letters on retreat sites that aren’t in the west. That’s great, I live on the east coast myself. I want to hear more about other locales, as I’m sure Jim does as well. If your state isn’t on his list of retreat locations, don’t take offense. As long as you’re applying some of the same logic, ideas, and planning to your retreat location then you’re doing far better than most survivalists, let alone sheeple. Jim also makes the distinction that
there’s plenty of bad places to be in the West as well. Think about it, is living in Los Angeles better than living in the hills of West Virginia just because it’s out west? Heck no, and you won’t hear Jim saying that either. It’s all about personal responsibility. It’s your life, your plan, and you have to make choices. You are the only one that can decide your requirements. Likewise, you are the only one that can decide which path to take when requirements, reality, and resources conflict. I live in Virginia. I’ll be the first to admit that where I live isn’t exactly the 100% best location as a survivalist. I have a fairly nice urban set-up here, but I make no bones about the fact that it’s untenable in some scenarios. It’s where I choose to live for a variety of reasons. Those are my requirements and my choices.

Speaking of requirements competing for resources, David brings up a great point about money. During the timeframe that Jim actually started writing “Patriots” all of us that were in “The Group” were pretty darn poor. Most of us were college students, or recently graduated, so we weren’t exactly “rolling in the dough” at the time. I can remember searching the seats of my 1965 Barracuda for quarters to buy a burrito. My character in the book is a pretty close approximation of what most of us had in terms of guns, gear, food, etc at the time. Now I have a job and have a bigger budget for survival stuff. Anyway, even though I find it easier to buy this or that, it’s also easier to screw up and buy the wrong this or that. When I was dirt poor, I probably was a little more careful exactly how that money was spent. No, I wouldn’t want to trade back into those days financially, but the point is there is always a way to maximize the situation that you are in.

Money is an important resource, but it’s only one of several. Just work your preparations into your budget. It doesn’t have to be big dollars. Five or Ten dollars a week will buy a lot of medical supplies at the local drug store in a couple months. A few dollars extra buying a couple of cans/packages of food at the grocery store over what you need will add up
fast. “Overbuying” logistics can be done in very small amounts so you don’t really feel the increase. Just a couple bucks a week will do the job well. It also makes rotation easier, as it’s stuff you use daily anyway. Since you use it daily, you are also more accustomed to that food as part of your diet, so when a problem comes, you aren’t all of a sudden having a change
of diet adding to your stress. Thrift shops can be outstanding places to get gear, as can be various Internet boards. Networking with others will help things out. Even if it’s just over the net, we as survivalists can help each other out in trading to level out various things we need. Maximize your training. It doesn’t cost much to actually get into and stay in shape. That has huge benefits beyond anything you can buy. Taking a hike with your map and compass doesn’t have to be a big affair. Even the most urban areas have some sort of park system worthy of exploring and getting some good out of it. Go camping for a couple of days, and practice the things you’ve read about in books or on the net. You’ll get a big surprise how well (or not) all those things you’ve read about and think you know really work. There are an endless list of things you can do for training that are free, or low cost. You are better off with training than with gear anyway.

I have to agree with Jim, if there’s one priority where money should go, it’s food. The easiest way to tell someone that’s truly prepared from a poseur is to ask, “How much food do you have stored?” rather than any question about guns.- “Doug Carlton”