A Prepping Reality Check – Part 1, by Mama Bear

(How-To Think, Plan and Make Decisions in Preparation for When the SHTF)

Let’s have a reality check for all preppers, survivalists, and conspiracy theorists. How serious are you about being ready for TEOTWAWKI? I read many articles on the blogs about guns, food storage, politics, etc. But one thing that I read very lttle of is anything on the issue of decision making, attitude, commitment and how to think about surviving the coming TEOTWAWKI.

All the guns and food storage in the world will be of no benefit to you or your family unless accompanied by decision making, priorities, survival attitude and a survivable location. Preparations are very individual to circumstances and location. So, let’s discuss decision making and being committed to surviving TEOTWAWKI. Let’s look at the process of questioning in determining individual preparedness and the decisions to be made during the process of preparing. In much of this discussion I will use myself as an example. Understand that I am not trying to dictate any particular decision but am trying to illustrate my decision making process in the hopes of illuminating and expanding others’ decision making process in order to improve their chances of surviving/succeeding when the SHTF.

General Planning and Location

Recently, I have read several articles which had a common theme – the construction of a “retreat” for the writer and his family in the event of TEOTWAWKI. While I admire the writers’ commitment to providing a retreat for the family, I must question the feasibility of these “retreats.” In each article that I read, the “retreat” was located 2-5 hours away from the writer’s home. (At highway speeds, this means 100-300 miles away.) Given a TEOTWAWKI situation, I question whether the writers would ever actually arrive at their “retreats.” Consider this situation, TEOTWAWKI has occurred. Fuel is unavailable. Traffic is snarled ten times worse than any rush hour ever experienced. All major highways are blocked. Then ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you have enough fuel to drive directly to your retreat?
  • Do you have enough fuel if you are delayed in traffic or must detour or use the engine heater or air conditioner?
  • Do you know an alternate route, avoiding all major highways, to reach your retreat?
  • Do you know how long the alternate route will take and do you have enough fuel to make it?
  • How many potential obstacles exist on your direct and alternate routes? (e.g.; other communities, bridges, railroads, weather obstacles)
  • What if your vehicle is attacked while sitting in the traffic jam?
  • What if you are ambushed while driving your alternate route?
  • What if a member of your family, or you, are injured or incapacitated by attack or accident while en route to your retreat?
  • What if, because of attack, accident or malfunction, you no longer have your vehicle and must proceed on foot to your retreat which may be 75-300 miles away? At an average pace of 12-15 miles per day? (Your trip could take 6-25 days or even longer.)
  • Do you have food, water, backpacks and a way to transport children/pets who may be too young to walk that distance?
  • How will you transport anyone who was injured in the attack or accident?
  • How will you keep the retreat and supplies secure until you have need of it?

Any or all of these questions/situations could lead to disaster for you and your family before you ever arrive at your retreat. Personally, I believe that having a retreat more than one day’s hike (10-15 miles) from your current living residence is a recipe for disaster when the SHTF. Matt Bracken in his article on Civil War II and Kit Perez’s article on strategic relocation address this issue partially in assessing your current residence and whether it is sustainable during TEOTWAWKI.

For those who doubt my estimate of daily progress of only 10-15 miles per day, I used the progress logged by pioneers in their travels. Remember, you will be traveling with others, possibly young children. There is time spent getting organized and fed in the morning, time spent on breaks and resting, time spent finding a secure place to camp at night and setting up camp. There is time spent preparing the evening meal in time to put out the campfire before dark so that it is not a beacon bringing unwanted visitors to your camp. Also, this is not simply a day hike along a clearly marked path or sidewalk. Every advance of your party must be scouted for potential violence, ambush or obstacle. Therefore, 10-15 miles per day may be optimistic.

In the past, I did a good deal of backpacking. In my experience, using a 75-80 pound pack and hiking on existing trails in good weather where navigation and scouting were not needed, a 20 mile day was a good day. So I believe that estimating approximately 12 miles per day under adverse conditions is about right.

Upon arriving at your retreat:

  • What will you do when you find it already occupied?
  • Will you attempt to retake it? Absorb those who have occupied it? Or move on?

For those who currently are prepping in place, I would ask the following questions:

  • What are the gun possession/registration laws in your state/county/city? This will impact what you are able to keep with you and what you are able to acquire.
  • Do you have enough land for a garden and small livestock (e.g. rabbits, chickens)?
  • Do you know your neighbors? Are you friends?
  • What political persuasion are your neighbors?
  • What religious faith do your neighbors profess?
  • Are your neighbors of similar ethnicity and economic status?
  • What is the murder/crime rate in your neighborhood?
  • Are any of your neighbors preppers?
  • How will you defend your home and family from violence and/or disease?
  • Can your home be adapted to the necessary activities of a grid-down society?

As Kit Perez addresses in her article on strategic relocation, if your neighbors are too disparate from your beliefs and practices, then you should probably reconsider your commitment to where you live and begin to search for a location more conducive to survival as those neighbors may very well be the first threat to your survival. At various times in my life I have lived in large cities such as Toledo, Ohio and Tucson, Arizona. Then I got serious about surviving the coming collapse. I researched various locations and settled on a location in northeastern Arizona that is geologically relatively stable, has few weather related hazards/disasters and a very low population density.

I moved to a small town (approximately 3,000 people) but quickly realized that even here there was a higher threat level than I was comfortable with. In part because the community is split between those who are members of the LDS Church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), most of you know them as Mormons, and those who are not. The split is about 50/50. The LDS Church teaches us to have a year’s supply of food on hand and to store water, fuel and clothing to the best of our ability. I personally have heard people in the community state that there was no reason for them to prepare because if anything happened, they would simply go and take what their Mormon neighbors had stored.

I decided that having next door neighbors who knew I was a member of the LDS church and a prepper was more threat than I wanted, especially living in a two by stick house that was not designed for defense and was vulnerable to most weapon calibers. So I relocated again. Now I live completely off-grid, out of sight of any county road, at the end of six miles of jeep trail, and my nearest neighbor (>2 miles away) is also a prepper.

Structural Integrity

Let me pose a few questions here in considering the structure in which you live or plan to live once TEOTWAWKI happens.

  • How bullet resistant are the walls of your living structure? Remember that most calibers can penetrate 2-3 inches of wood and 2 by stick construction has less than in inch to stop a bullet.
  • How strong are the doors and door frames? Many can easily be kicked in.
  • What field of fire is there from each window?
  • How many people will it take to defend the structure in all four directions simultaneously? Do you or will you have that many people in your home?
  • How fire proof is the structure and the surroundings?
  • How easy will it be to heat/cool the structure in a grid down situation?

Although an earthship is very labor intensive to build, it is also inexpensive, very bullet resistant and fire resistant, easy to heat/cool and strong. Other building methods that may meet these standards include adobe, rammed earth and log construction. With the resources available in my area, earthship became my choice. Logs are relatively rare here in the high desert. Adobe is feasible but requires lumber to frame the adobe bricks and considerable labor and time in fashioning bricks, then stacking and building. Rammed earth requires considerable lumber for framing in the construction of the rammed earth that then is removed when completed. The tires which provide the framing of the dirt in constructing earthships are available for free here from the local waste company. In fact, they even deliver them, 500 at a time, for free. Dirt is plentiful on my property and the only lumber is for framing doors and windows and constructing the roof. As an additional benefit, earthships with a metal roof are virtually fireproof and I live in an area where the most likely natural disaster is wildfire.

I have modeled much of my lifestyle after the Amish in order to minimize dependence on electricity and fossil fuels. After almost seven years, I am finally going to be putting in a small solar system for limited refrigeration. For lighting I use Luci® lights and kerosene lanterns. My phone and laptop charge in my truck. Water heats on my stove (propane right now but switching to wood). Eventually I will use a wood-fired water heater. The adjustment in living standards once the SHTF will be minimal.

I have an extensive garden, a 12’x16′ greenhouse (built from salvaged scrap lumber), goats, sheep, hogs, pot belly pigs, a horse, rabbits, chickens, guineas, turkeys, ducks, Great Pyrenees and cats (for pest control). I buy very little from the grocery store. Between the animals and garden I have most of what I need other than some staples. I have also put up a year’s supply of food. Although I do want to increase my supplies of sweeteners and grains. And am planning to enlarge the greenhouse this year.


For those who would object that it is not financially feasible, let me describe my circumstances. At the time of the second move, my husband had recently died and my only income was from disability. I received a $13,000 inheritance. I was able to find 120 acres of undeveloped grazing land with a well for $40,000. I put 25% down from my inheritance and put the balance on a 10 year mortgage which is now almost paid off (early). The first year I lived in a tent. Then I acquired a small travel trailer which I still occupy while building earthship barns and eventually a home. I have a garden, greenhouse, a pickup truck, livestock, and a year’s supply. This has all been done on an income of only about $1,100 per month, plus a bit from odd jobs.

So do not tell me “IT IS NOT FINANCIALLY FEASIBLE!” It all depends on how committed you are. In assessing your commitment, ask yourself:

  • How essential is that $100 a month bill for cable or satellite television?
  • Do you really need the latest and greatest iPhone or other gadget?
  • Do you really need the car payment on the newest model?
  • How much have you spent on clothing in the past year? (I buy the vast majority of my clothes from thrift stores and yard sales. Amazing deals!)
  • Can your grocery bill be decreased? Cheaper cuts of meat, cooking from scratch, etc.
  • How much did you spend eating out at restaurants in the past month?
  • How much do you spend on video games, movies and other entertainment?

Look carefully at each penny that you spend and whether it moves you forward towards the priorities in your life. If it does not, reassess whether you should spend on that item?

(To be continued tomorrow, in Part 2.)


  1. SB seems to be geared towards folks that are very well off and can afford to purchase a retreat, or had relatives that were wealthy and owned land/property , that was inherited.

    Simply, working class folks, and/or folks that are sheepdogs but may have had a few financial curve balls thrown their way, most simply cannot even fathom having their own retreat to go too.

    So, for some of us, this article is non applicable due to the fact that most of either do not have a bug out location, or cannot relocate to a rural area with little job opportunities.

    Appreciate the article though.

    1. I started this journey with $10000 and lousy credit. It is not about being wealthy or financial curve balls. I have been homeless and had to file bankruptcy. It is about priorities and sacrifice for what you believe in. Also, even if you have to shelter in place or choose to shelter in place the idea is to assess, question and make decisions based on your individual circumstances.

    2. Paul, there are a mix of articles on this site with a range of resources for each person. What my brother found was that being prepared actually saved him money in the long run. Reason being, he has a rotation of food that his family actually eats and they pressure can meats on sale.

      Take a look at Wendy DeWitt’s video called “everything under the sun” which should give you help. I have been amazing that the array of thoughtful resources shared by my LDS friends and I think the LDS family is a model of what we all need to be in terms of self sufficiency.

      None of us need to be victims, we can all take control and be prepared. I think the author is trying to say this is a journey and along the way you need to pick your priorities. 45% of Americans have multiple tattoos but few have enough savings for new car tires. That’s a priority decision folks make.

      Take care, stock up on what you can and take a browse at a few of the articles that Jim published last month (two of them) around the Dollar Store type buys that sincerely can help each of us get prepared.

    3. Paul

      Some of us are decidedly not wealthy. What we have to do is prioritize what is needed and find ways to do that. Those of us in this position will likely have to make use of the home in which we live as a place to hunker down if needed. There are lots of ways to prep on a budget though; that’s why I wrote the article on prepping at the dollar store recently. Is it easier if you’ve got plenty of money? I’m sure it must be. But really, the most valuable thing you will have is family and friends,knowledge, experience, faith and community connections and all of that is low cost!

    4. I never saw SB as being geared toward wealthy people. Life comes down to choices. Some people say they never have money, but they sure spend plenty on cigarettes and tattoos! A budget is helpful, and shows each one of us where the money should be spent, and IS being spent! If folks don’t have a budget, then they probably do not know where their money is going.

      Also, cooking at home, from scratch stretches the pennies, and SB has been posting some good recipes. I am not a great cook, but I can feed 7 of us nicely for 7-14 days on what it would cost us to go out for one family-style restaurant meal.

      Choices and priorities are important, regardless of income.

  2. Great article, looking forward to the next part. My husband and I are accelerating our savings to be able to move from where we are now.
    We moved to our tiny town of 870 people 5 years ago from the suburbs of Chicago to start our journey of being away from a major city and to get accustomed to living at least a half hour away from any services. We found that we love this more solitary lifestyle. We don’t however love all of our neighbors for several reasons.
    1. In our tiny town we have discovered that there is a significant amount of people here that are heavily into alcohol. I am not interested in getting involved with people that may be unpredictable if SHTF.
    2. In our tiny town apparently they frown upon having small livestock!
    3.A couple of the neighbors have drastically different political views than we do and they (woman/woman) relationship have stated their views with no uncertain terms in a ranting and raving way. We no longer speak with them because we won’t support their lifestyle/views, Ect
    4. There are at least a couple of “preppers ” but they brag so much about what they have and how they are going to use it/or take it from others that My husband and I see them as an OPSEC nightmare.
    5. There appear to be a couple houses in the area that have a lot of people going in and out so we’re pretty sure there is drug dealing going on.
    6. I had a job at the local general store for a few years, I got this job to be able to meet people from my community and get to know them. What I discovered is that a significant portion of the people coming in (remember only 875 people population here) are on the state link card system and the purchases they make are in the arena of soft drinks and junk food, not nutritional food items that I thought this was supposed to be used for.
    These items listed above are the reasons that we are ramping up our savings for a large down payment on a place that we will be able to have our animals, large gardens, and room to spread out a little. This may also include having a small house on our property to include Mom and Dad and possibly even my brother who is like minded and single.

    The ideas presented in this article are even more motivation for us to get where we want to be. We’re just not sure where it is yet but we prepare for it anyway

    1. The reasons you listed are also prevalent in my local area. Additional reasons I chose to locate outside of town. Look for rural property on a dirt road. People such as you describe are much more likely to stay with pavement. In Beyond Collapse there is an excellent chapter on identifying dangerous routes and areas post collapse

    2. Hi RKRGRL68, you make some great points and if I can make some comments. They apply to most people moving from Big City to Hicksville so these are directed to anyone moving to a small town from the Big City.

      Since the culture is so different, you may as well be moving to Thailand.

      The very first thing people should do and this is NON-NEGOTIABLE if you want to succeed, is get rid of your old phone number, and get a local one ASAP. Don’t even think about giving anyone in your new location a Chicago, California, New York, etc. phone number. Your biggest secret in life is that you are from one of these terrible places. You’d rather have someone find out you were a leper or had AIDS than that you were from Chicago or California etc. Keep your old phone for two months to be sure all your old contacts got your new number, but never give your old number to anyone in your new town. Again, this is totally non-negotiable if you are ever expect to fit in.

      Second, get your license plates and drivers license switched over the first day you arrive for the same reasons.

      Third, never get judgmental about the locals in your new location. They are not from Mars, you just escaped from Mars, that’s why you are in their town. FIND COMMON GROUND. Don’t get judgmental about lesbians, drunks, or teenagers with pink hair and tattoos. Instead, find out if they have a good chutney recipe or if they have any heirloom seeds they can share. If you disagree on politics, then find other subjects you do agree on, I’m sure there are plenty.

      Fourth, this is a great country but the government totally stinks. Look at the bright side of your customers cheating on food stamps. Hopefully it will hasten the collapse. I’d rather see the collapse happen on my watch, not on my grandchildren’s. And who is smarter, the people on welfare or the idiots paying into it?

      Fifth, if there is drug dealing going on, there were way more drug dealers in your old neighborhood in Chicago. It goes on everywhere. That is only because there is no freedom in this country, only the illusion of freedom. It doesn’t mean those neighbors are unsafe, or unsavory, just trying to make a buck. Mind your business, wave and smile when you see them, and they will wave back and remember you as the nice lady who smiles a lot. You have a lot of common ground with them too, you just don’t know what it is yet.

      Lastly, everything you mentioned goes on just the same in the Big City, it’s just more noticeable in small towns.

      When people move to a small town, the most important thing they can do is to blend in as quickly as possible. When people ask where you came from there’s only ONE answer, “Someplace nowhere near as nice as here.” If you went to college, that’s a big secret too. Hide yer schoolin’ and if ya gotta talk like the locals, that’s a plus too. Wave and smile at people when you are driving. Some places only do the “one finger” wave from the steering wheel (no, not that finger, that’s Chicago!) but it’s still a wave.

      And Don’t Be Judgmental. Find common ground with every single person you meet. Everybody has something they can contribute to your knowledge base so find it and take advantage of it. Don’t give them an excuse to think you are one more Big City slicker that has come to ruin their town and lifestyle.

      How about taking some cookies over to those lesbians and seeing if they have a good chutney recipe? 🙂

      1. There is no need to force act like a local. This is from a small town boy who’s small town area got flooded with big city people.

        You can be upfront and honest.

        “Yeah I came from *big city* “hi how ya doin” this is a beautiful city y’all got. Any way neighbour I’m Jay. If you ever need anything lemme know I live over there in that house right there. Hey do you like chilli my wife makes great chilli lemme get settled a bit and ya wanna head over fer some chilli?”

        Yes your trying way to hard but that kinda effort is appreciated. If you speak “all elegant like” or eloquently and use big words it won’t be held against you if your friendly.

        Also don’t start talking about prepping…. The meth addicts and drug dealing people, cops …. Most people will think your nuts and you’ll be kept an eye on.

        Not just by the other preppers… Who will never let you know if they are … But by the criminal element too.

        Just be friendly and relaxed and that’s it.

      2. Besides joining a local church, if applicable, my recommendation is to volunteer at the local food bank, library, etc. Go to chamber of commerce meetings, volunteer at the fair, etc., etc. Harder to be an outsider if you’re part of the community.

        1. Exactly. Remember your location is one that you chose. It should be one where you want to live ideally it should be around communities you wish to be a part of.

          For example as I’m sure y’all can tell from my posts I don’t really see eye to eye with alot of the great American redoubt crew.

          And that’s ok. Because people are people. They wouldn’t want me as a neighbor any more than I’d want them as neighbours.

          The end result I’m not gonna plan on moving there.

          There are areas of Virginia Georgia etc where I walk into a bar and meet my people often times they will card me as they don’t believe I’m not from around there at that I did in fact come from the west coast.

          The good people are out there every where and when it comes to good people I’m gonna quote a friend

          “Game recognizes game”

          So go out meet them join them and build good communities

      3. Dear St.Funogas,

        With all due respect, there are lots of legal ways to “just make a buck” without selling drugs, and I’ve done plenty of them (including scrubbing toilets) prior to becoming a health care professional. I can absolutely promise you this about any drug dealer in your neighborhood: They don’t care about the laws of society and they don’t care about you either – not one whit. And the people they will attract to your neighborhood will be less than savory, most definitely. There is an unmistakable link between crime and drug use. Try feeling “safe” when those drug dealers next door blow up their house while making meth (and set the woods around your homestead on fire), or when their “clients” break and enter into your home to steal items which they use to get drugs from your “nice” drug dealing neighbor. It suddenly doesn’t matter that there are less of them than in your previous location. Even one will feel like one too many.

        I understand and appreciate your desire to be non-judgmental but to me, it sounds misguided. We have to draw the line somewhere. For society to function at a high level there has to be agreement on those standards we will have and won’t have. To “smile and wave” at those who willfully break the law is empowering those same people to wreak havoc. Regardless of whether we are new or long-standing members of a community, we should demonstrate the fortitude to stand for what’s right. Nothing will garner the good will and respect of your neighbors faster than exemplifying good character. This is particular true in rural areas.

        I do worry when we mistakenly assume that drug dealers are just “making a living” and aren’t hurting anyone. There is tremendous pain for parents who find out their teenager has fatally overdosed- thanks to the neighborhood drug dealer. (And that’s just one of many horrific outcomes I have seen in my career.) It’s all a road to nowhere. IMO, the loving, compassionate and noble thing to do is confront and condemn drug dealing, not condone it by willfully turning a blind eye.

        Besides this, I generally enjoy reading your posts. I find them to be consistently thought-filled and charitable, so thank you.

    3. Just as an FYI, people buy soda and junk food (ie items with a long shelf life) with meal assistance to be resold later. This is illegal and will get them removed from such programs if found out, so don’t confront them directly.

  3. “So do not tell me “IT IS NOT FINANCIALLY FEASIBLE!” It all depends on how committed you are.”

    Hey Mama Bear, you are a total inspiration and it sounds like we are cut from the same mold. It might be the same mold they make bleu cheese from but that’s another story! 🙂 People are “stuck” in the cities and “stuck” in their jobs because they want to be. There are so many ways to escape by this time next year but in their hearts,they really don’t want to. There are too many conveniences they’d have to give up. So they stay put, griping all the while, pretending like they’re stuck, clinging secretly to all their excuses. They wouldn’t have to go so far as to live in a tent, but most of them could escape just as easily as you and I and lot of others have.

    I’m finishing up writing a book on frugal living, not the usual garbage you see published about clipping coupons and comparing car insurance companies, but radical life-changing stuff, some of which you mention. Americans are incredibly clueless in the money management department and so many preppers, if they REALLY wanted to, could get their own place in the boonies, if that was their ultimate goal, as you have shown.

    On your 10-15 miles a day on foot, I agree with you that is too optimistic. The pioneers did that once they were in routine, but for us fat lazy moderns who don’t walk anywhere, 5 miles a day would be probably be more like it if carrying a lot of gear and had children along. That’s experience speaking.

    Looking forward to the next installment.

    1. Just food for thought, but I have averaged 40 miles a day before with a bicycle over trails and roads, albeit with minimal gear. In this country we tend to think of bicycles more as toys for children or rich people, but they are serious transportation machines.

    2. I agree with you St Funogas! MamaBear is a great inspiration. It also sounds like your upcoming book is going to be a wonderful resource for so many!

  4. Thank you, Mama Bear! Your article asks people to seriously examine core questions about survival, and helps connect decision making processes and strategy choices to the realities of prepared living. Thank you for sharing all of this in the context of your own life story.

    A question regarding sweeteners… In addition to purchased sweeteners, are you in an area where you can easily grow Stevia? Of course we realize that one might have to grow a lot of it, but wondered about this.

    It will be fun to hear about your greenhouse expansion along the way too!

    1. There is potential to grow stevia and I am looking at the possibility of a couple of sugar maple trees for the future. Sugar beets will grow here and I have finally found a source for non GMO seed.

      1. Yes! Those maple trees are a neat idea for the future… We have considered these as well. …and sugar beets are excellent too. Hoping Stevia will add to your options!

        1. This is my first year (I’m almost 60) that I tapped trees and made syrup. I’ve made black walnut syrup and maple syrup; just tapped black walnut, silver maple and red maple trees. We don’t have any sugar maples so I went with what was growing around me. Being my first year, and no experience, I really didn’t expect much but actually produced almost 2 full gallons of syrup. That is enough to last the year if my husband doesn’t request pancakes or waffles several times a week. 🙂 I wish you luck with your sugar maples but while they are growing you can tap all other maple trees; also nut trees to make your syrup.

          1. That was actually the first place I checked and nothing listed on their website for 2020 that I could find. Apparently there were some GMO exposure issues from what I am gathering?? Hopefully it will return next year. SESE didn’t have any either.

            I did find some non-GMO sugar beets on Amazon shipping from “Mabes Warehouse.” Here’s the link for anyone interested.


  5. Very nice. You are correct in saying if you are all in to making yourself an off grid place, you really can. YOU are a strong woman. Keep walking with our KING!

  6. It’s heartening to read an article like this. The “ideal versus the real” is important to all of us and our varying circumstances, not just financially, but emotionally and physically as well. But each of us are capable of doing something positive…even if you are alone in your journey as many of us are, that does not mean that you are alone in your hopes, dreams and aspirations. There are an army of like minded “preppers” out there, intelligently living OPSEC for now….hopefully we will never have to “go there” in terms of activating our defenses and we can happily proceed with a productive life, knowing that having a little security is a good thing by itself , and not wasted.

  7. Good job Mama Bear!!!! Such a wonderful perspective. I too had to figure out how to pick up my lost marbles, so to speak, and get out of Dodge on a budget under extenuating circumstances (financial and health). My determination overrode my fears. My family was shocked. I love the quiet solitude and the lack of crime. I live near a town of about 500 people. I found out that there is a very small problem with alcohol and drugs, but it’s limited to a very few, and everyone keeps an eye on them, mostly the Sheriff. All the old timers say they have zero crime, but that’s because everyone is armed. I’ve always dreamed of building an earth home! Excited for you. With much admiration, thanks for writing and looking forward to more!

  8. Mama Bear, wish you were my neighbor based on your views. But I’ll do my best to be a great neighbor to those whom I have already. It’s incredibly sad about those poorly spoken comments about taking from others but I’m sure you are well prepared. Take care and thanks for the article. Really nice job.

  9. I enjoyed the first installment very much. And the comments section just as much.
    I have thought of a smaller town too but never off grid since at my age, I just do not want to.
    One major reason I see a problem with serious seclusion or off grid is the ability for emergency medical care. I had a friend that had an excellent place on many acres with a custom built home.

    Sadly, he was home when he suffered serious chest pains. He called his wife first and than 911.
    The EMT’s took over 30 minutes to get to his place and by the time they got to his place, he was gone.

    I prepare for the most common End of the World as I know it and that’s emergency healthcare. At 60+ years of age, I will take my chances bugging in.

  10. Mama Bear,
    Thank you for putting some of the thoughts I wrote earlier this morning more into perspective for me. I’ve had a chance to re-read what I wrote and I I realized that I sounded kinda snotty & pretentious. I do love living in a small town & we have met some wonderful people. I was very scared to move from the suburbs to a small town but we didn’t let our fear stop us. When we do move we want more acreage to be able to have the things we want.

    As far as the neighbors go, we do say hello or wave, the drunk neighbor wanders over when we are outside & he regales us with old time stories & humor (he seems to like us, he screams and swears at everyone else).

    The drug dealers, well we just ignore it and I know it goes on every where, there were some right across the street from us when I was growing up and I even remember sitting with my dad while he staked them out with his binoculars (my dad is a retired police chief from the town I grew up in).

    The Lesbian neighbors, well, we welcomed them when they moved in next door and everything seemed fine, had each other over for dinner, BBQs, ect until they suddenly started calling us Ken and Barbie and then cheated my husband out of some money when he helped them out with a home repair (we’re fine with that and suspect that they had some sort of spat between themselves and lashed it out on us) so now we just keep to ourselves but are still respectful and wave & smile.

    Regarding the link card, I guess I’m just disgusted with the fact that some of them brag about how much they have and the schemes that they come up with to behave this way. I’m not opposed at all to good people needing help (I myself have had hardships in life) . I just pay for guidance and try to be the best person I can be.

    We also still put out our very elaborate Halloween display and enjoy everyone coming by to see it.
    I’m sorry if I came off as trite, that was not my intention as I love engaging with everyone here and learning from others and gathering new perspectives and ideas.

    1. RKRGRL68, you do not come off as “trite”. Rather you come off as a totally learning person who is open minded and then draws conclusions when individuals are not appropriately behaved. I really liked your comments. That’s exactly why I read this site. We can exchange views founded by observations and conclusions and sometimes those turn out to be reinforcing decisions that we all want to make but for whatever reason, we do not hold ourselves to making the most courageous decisions.

      Take care, and thanks.

  11. We moved to a place that was fifty years behind and we love it. Good people in town and our nearest neighbor is 3 miles away and preps as well. Very like minded people. We home schooled our kids and were very involved in the community and 4H, one has even had a few articles published in SB.
    But even in this rural community evil lurks and leaks in through cell phones in the form of sex traffic grooming w/apps like snap chat. One of my daughters got hold of a cell phone she hid from us and started calling in the coyotes. We intercepted a possible abduction at a remote lake she was to meet him at. She was 16 and he was 23 and drove 250 miles to get to her. Thank God for my L.E.O.
    Friends taking action. Now CSI is investigating her cell phone contacts and found it goes deeper than we think. Because she was mad at us for interjecting and getting the phone taken away she decided to go to a local secular crisis counseler and make up a bunch of lies about our treatment of her. To make a long story short, DSS took her story as truth and got the local judge to sign an order removing all of our kids from the home, that was in November and they have been dragging their feet ever since. My wife could not handle the stress and left me a month ago. She figures if the man is gone and out of the picture she would get them back quicker. And I must add she also worked for DSS liscensing foster families. Our doctor in town calls DSS once a week to report a mother on meth and they always give the baby back again, very sad times were in.
    I have a good support group of pastor couples and men of God we meet weekly with each other. This helps greatly. So i said all that to say this. No matter where you are, big city ailments can creep in and blindside you in an instant. Always be on guard and watch the back doors as well. Don’t let your children speak to anyone that’s not cleared through you first. Now I’m considered to be abusive because I will not let my children have any form portable media, if they ever get returned to me. The risk is just too big. Thanks, love you all and please pray for the Roit family.

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