SurvivalBlog Reader Survey Results: Conveniently Bypassed Areas

The following are the first batch of responses to our survey about areas that might be bypassed by looters and refugees, WTSHTF:

There are many islands off the east coast that in my opinion would be avoided by most and are rich in natural resources. Particularly Virginia and believe it or not New Jersey–one that comes to mind that I’ve visited in NJ is Island Beach State Park. And don’t forget Acadia in Maine.

In Arizona: The Santa Rita Mountains are south of Tucson, just east of I-17, and are used as a landmark for everyone coming across the border from Mexico. The Chiracaua Mountains are southeast of Phoenix. They are more inaccessible. Anyone wanting to make them a retreat locale needs to study up on the terrain and weather of the location. Summer highs of 110 are common and the phrase “it’s a dry heat” is a reality. A better location would be the strip of land between the north rim of the Grand Canyon and the state line. It is difficult to get to and not near any major freeway. To the north are the badlands of Utah and to the east is the Navaho Nation.

There is a nice little quadrangle of Appalachia between four interstates, also known as the Monangahela National Forest in West Virginia. Bordered by major G.O.O.D. interstates 81 to the east and 68 to the north, it’s also bordered by I-79 to the west, and 64 to the south. If you have a retreat there, or have friends or relatives there, it’ll be about as safe as can be this close to Washington, D.C., but if you don’t, then mountain folk will take less kindly to fleeing urban zombies, If you aren’t known, then you won’t be welcome!

James Hancock County Tennessee is a small county near the Virginia and Kentucky line that is really overlooked. There is not one foot of rail line here and you don’t go thru here to get to anywhere. No four lane roads lead into or out of the county and the total population is around 6,000. There are a few more counties west of here that are just as inaccessible. The downside is Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the fuel Plant at Erwin are relatively close ( by nuclear disaster standards ) but it a beautiful area where land is cheap and the people are friendly. We have more livestock than people and the Clinch river has the largest variety of fresh water mussels in any river in the nation.

The Illinois Valley in southwestern Oregon. Cave Junction is the “Big Town” in this area. Grants Pass, Oregon is past the northeast end of the valley, and Crescent City California is past the southwest end. Tiny towns are here and there. It is rural, open carry [of firearms] is very common, and real estate prices are presently low. Unemployment is high, but if you can bring your work with you, then you can do just fine.

West Texas (from Fort Worth to Midland/Odessa), the Hill Country (west of Austin down to west of San Antonio)

Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York

Various islands in the 1,000 Islands Region in Upstate New York (St. Lawrence River area)

I recommend the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area (“BSF”) in eastern Kentucky and Tennessee, roughly 40 miles west of I-75. There is very rugged terrain inside BSF, so few roads through it. The area around BSF is lightly populated with tiny settlements along rough winding roads that dead end at the river gorge. Poor access to jobs, fuel, food, medical care, etc.

The Owens Valley (US 395) corridor of the Eastern Sierra California. I believe that the military bases of the Mojave Desert is almost certainly going to be turned into a giant refugee camp due to the I-40, I-15, I-5, and US 58 interstates and associated railways. This is particularly true of the USMC logistics base in Barstow and Edwards Air Force Base. However, once one travels further north to Bishop, California, one should be able to travel all the way through the Owens Valley and into central Nevada.

In the Great Lakes region:

One good bypassed area is southwestern Wisconsin, between the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers – Crawford, Vernon, and Richland Counties in particular.Look at the topo maps – it’s full of hills.

There really is no reason to go through there. Major highways are far from that area. The Mississippi has some traffic, but not the Wisconsin River – that’s really just recreational.

The very small nuclear power plant in La Crosse has been long shut down. Ft. McCoy is well East of La Crosse.

Door County, Wisconsin – North of Sturgeon Bay (only 2 bridges) – Washington Island, ferry access only plus airfield. Lots of boat harbors
Problem – Nuclear Power plants to the South, Two Rivers and Kewaunkee, expensive tourist area along the Green Bay side of Peninsula

Beaver Island – Lake Michigan – A huge island, 36 sq. miles with seven lakes on it. It took me four hours to drive perimeter, two airfields, long ferry ride and only from Michigan side

The uppermost portion of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (UP) – North of Houghton/Handcock Michigan – the growing season here is actually better than to the South of it!
Only one bridge, and it’s a raise-bridge, so it can be shut off from traffic in moments.

Bayfield/ Madeline Island Wisconsin – Remote, but cold area . (Once the lake freezes, you can drive to island, but then there is period of weeks when you can’t drive and boats can’t make it, so there is an ice air boat.

Wisconsin’s “Northern Highlands”. Wisconsin has over 15,000 lakes and is second only to Florida for fishing licenses This is an area of forest, with some agriculture, potato country (first plant patent) and wild rice – hunt, fish, camp – it’s all here. If not on a lake, land is reasonably inexpensive.