Letter Re: Advice on Finding a Retreat

Hello Mr Rawles;
Back around 1996, I downloaded (and paid for) a copy of your novel “Triple Ought” [an early shareware draft “Patriots”]; I and others around me, learned from it and enjoyed it immensely. I now have an autographed copy of “Patriots“, and have read it more than once.

A little background;
We lived on a ‘farm’ retreat in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (“U.P.“) with two other families from the Summer of ’99 (read: Y2K) to the Spring of 2002 and experienced first-hand the trials and joys of such an existence. We survived on the very basics; we raised our own chickens, a few head of beef cattle, one hand-milked dairy cow, had a couple pigs, and several meat rabbits. Built and utilized a greenhouse and gardened as much as is possible in that climate. Picked apples from our own apple trees, made cider, and put up hay from our own 40 acre hay field, (with a neighbor’s help and equipment that we bartered barn space for). Stocked our pantry with home canning, including venison. Had generators and fuel on hand. Heated at least in majority with wood-burners, etc, etc.

Unfortunately, due to a change in employment circumstances, and a very tough job market in the U.P., we had to move back ‘down-state’ and resume a ‘normal’ life. The whole retreat has been sold (we didn’t have much ownership) and everything is gone. We are left with little other than the mindset that we know how to survive and now have a little ‘been-there-done-that’ know how.
I work in the construction industry and have never been able to get far enough ahead of the bills to do much of anything ‘extra’ and right now with the economy where it is we couldn’t be much less affluent! We are not able to maintain anything above a minimum standard of preparedness, and I worry that when the ‘balloon goes up’ on this economy, we certainly will lose our home (we are close now) and therefore will be little more than refugees ourselves, with limited ability to carry our gear on our backs. I don’t have any connection to anyone that has a home that they wouldn’t lose in a spiraling economic collapse.

My question in this letter is this: What is your best advice for people in similar situations that lack a retreat or the means to acquire one, and cannot plan on maintaining their residence as a ‘stronghold’?
Tactically, I know an R.V. is just transportation to the next ambush, and don’t have the funds to acquire one anyway, but I know we will be ‘boots on the ground’ long before things get really bad.

Thank you for ‘taking my call’. – GvO

JWR Replies: I often get inquiries from readers that, like myself, have a tight budget. The best course of action is to join an existing retreat group, offering your skills. To find such as group, see our Finding Like-Minded People in Your Area static web page. If you can’t find one, then form a new one, by putting out “feelers”–looking for like-minded people in your region.