Letter Re: Comments on Polar Pure and Hawaii as a Retreat Locale

Aloha Jim & Memsahib,
Per your advice in an earlier blog posting, I rushed in an order for 16 bottles of Polar Pure water purification crystals from the folks at Ready Made Resources. I placed the order on August 26th and received my shipment on September 14th. The entire shipment of 16 bottles (enough for our family of three for quite a while plus something extra for barter and/or charity) arrived via Uncle Sam’s snail mail in what I thought was a surprisingly short time. (I had been expecting something like 6 to 8 weeks from Tennessee to the islands.) The shipment was sturdily packed, the documentation was clear and accurate ad the price was quite reasonable – approximately $205, including shipping. That tells me these folks care about their customers; and they’ll definitely be seeing more of this customer in the future. Again, thanks for the head’s up on the Polar Pure. Though we’ve been pretty lucky this hurricane season in the Pacific, we’re technically not out of the woods until December 1st. I’ve lived through two hurricanes and a number of tropical storms during my nearly forty years here, not to mention the occasional odd water main breaks (some of the mains on Oahu are 50 + years old and fracture on a regular basis) and the odd winter flood, or sewage spill which can result in water outages lasting for hours – sometimes days. With a good supply of water purification crystals along with our backpack water filters and stored bottled water, we should be in reasonably good short-term shape on that score. I’m still working on possible solutions to our long-tern storage problem – we live in a three bedroom, two bath townhouse. However, it’s ground floor with a yard, so food grade plastic barrels for catchments are a possibility. Next up is a replenishing run to the Big Box store(s) to restock our canned goods shelves. We make it a point to store what we eat and eat what we store. That way there are no last minute surprises with family or neighbors being confronted with unfamiliar foods they may not like, or might, say, be allergic to.

As an aside, I read your earlier evaluation of Hawaii as a retreat/relocation area and, much as I hate to say it, I have to agree with you. If things should get severely Schumeresque, this is not the place you want to be caught. Beside all the items covered in your evaluation, there is the day-to-day cost-of-living to just carry on a normal life, here (about 35-40% more, on average than on the mainland). For example, I just picked up a hundred rounds of mil surplus .223 [Remington] 55 grain ammo for my AR, in Honolulu, and it ran me just about $43.50, including tax. Since private individuals without an FFL are forbidden by law from shipping ammo to Hawaii you are pretty much at the mercy of the local dealers and what they see fit to charge. There only two or three firearms dealers, per se, here on Oahu .

If you are coming to Hawaii and you’re single, it would be best to have a really good paying job lined up in advance; if you’re married and not already financially comfortable, you will both be working…guaranteed! Even with my military contractor’s salary, my wife’s pay plus cost-of-living allowance (she’s Civil Service), and my son’s post-high school entry into the work force, we ain’t exactly “livin’ large”. A two bedroom townhouse can easily set you back $300,000 or more; median price for a three bedroom two bath single family home is over $625,000, depending which island you settle upon. And, if you’re hoping to find any sort of decent sized land suitable for a survival retreat/farm, you’d best be well-heeled, indeed. It’s just one of the reasons the Admiral and I (my wife is ex-Navy and my son says she can be as tough as Bull Halsey when she wants to, hence ”the Admiral”) are planning a move to the mainland mountain-west after retirement.

I really enjoy the blog, Jim. It’s a regular part of my daily regimen; and, I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned in the year or so I’ve been frequenting the site. It’s been well worth my 10 Cent Challenge subscription. Keep up the good work. – Gandalf, in Hawaii