Letter Re: Ecuador’s Uplands as a Retreat Option

Dear Jim:

Amid decisions about planning to weather the storm after TSHTF I see people dangerously narrowing their strategy options. They are putting all their eggs in one basket when conditions could require them to abandon those plans. The typical options are flight, fortress, and community and any of the three could wind up being best… or worst! Let me share a few thoughts on the flight option.

Flight usually involves bug-out bags, bug-out vehicles, defensive armaments, haste, maybe stealth, with hopefully one or more pre-stocked destinations. But what if a hazard has affected a huge region, making your pre-stocked bug-out location unusable? What if the entire hemisphere becomes too dangerous?

I bought land in Ecuador that I could flee to if needed. At 25 acres for $5,500 it was feasible for someone of very modest income. Besides being some distance from home it has good survival potential: plenty of rainfall, perfect temperature range at 6,500 ft. elevation (no heating or cooling season), year-round growing season, low population density, self-sufficient neighbors, above the tropical diseases and poisonous snakes of the Amazonian lowlands, rivers teeming with trout, good streams for hydro-power, small government, no building permits required for the countryside, almost negligible property taxes, peaceful changes in government. You can see the possibilities.

I recommend having pre-stocked bug out locations nearby, even for those who are full-time residents on a survival retreat property, as well as distant retreats in some other part of the world. Be prepared to leave at all times. My passport and other needed travel items are part of my every-day-carry kit.

What if you are suddenly driven from your home by fire, home invaders, or other calamity and you have nothing but your pajamas, slippers, and maybe a jacket? What if civil order has broken down and there is no-one you can turn to for help? In that case you would be well served by one or more secure buried caches, giving you what you need to bug out, shelter, clothe, and feed yourself, as well as a weapon or two. I chose the buried, large-diameter, hermetically sealed PVC tube with heat-sealed Mylar liners for my buried caches. I buried them away from my house but within easy walking distance, using as much stealth as possible to avoid being seen and to avoid leaving tell-tale traces of my activity. Another use I have yet to employ: a string of small food and water re-supply caches en route to my bug-out destination in case I need to make the week-long trek by foot.

A network of buried caches would enable the owner periodic access to food, ammo, etc. while appearing to have little worth stealing. This could be the ticket to escaping plunder by roving gangs or government during the first year or so of violence following a full-blown SHTF event. There are many possible approaches and anyone handy in the workshop can fashion suitable buried cache containers. Those without the time or ability can buy various-sized pressure-tested cache tubes online through SafeCastle, a trusted SurvivalBlog advertiser. – J. in New Hampshire