Navigating the Real Estate Price Dilemma, by Jonathan Rawles

One of the largest obstacles to relocation is the high prices of land and homes in desirable retreat areas. With mortgage rates rising, but prices still high, affordability is taking another hit. As a brief example, a recent search on Zillow for homes in Boundary County, Idaho with the criteria of 2,000 square feet and 20 acres returned only four results, starting with a rustic off-grid cabin at $850,000. There are many factors playing into this, including a limited supply, high demand, and a skewed market. Rural areas hold only 20% of current housing supply and 10% of new builds. …




IT Careers and Rural Living, by M.J.

I’m writing this as an expansion of JWR’s article posted on December 8, 2022. As he noted, many office jobs can now be done from home. This article is about how I got started in my career in Infomation Technology (IT). While bumpy at times, IT has really paid off for me financially. I hope that my article will inspire some readers to follow a similar path, which may allow them to escape the dysfunctional cities. For those who are already living in rural America, read on to find out about another way to earn income. I got started in …




Update: A Home-Based Business — Your Ticket to The Boonies

JWR’s Introductory Note: This article is an update and substantial expansion to a piece that I wrote back in December of 2005. — The majority of SurvivalBlog readers that I talk and correspond with tell me that they live in cities or suburbs, but they would like to live full-time at a retreat in a rural area. Their complaint is almost always the same: “…but I’m not self-employed. I can’t afford to live in the country because I can’t find work there, and the nature of my work doesn’t allow telecommuting.” They feel stuck. The recent Wu Flu pandemic proved …




Preparedness on a Shoestring Budget (Updated)

Introductory Note: This is an update to a couple of articles that I wrote back in the early days of SurvivalBlog. — I often get e-mails from readers claiming either directly or indirectly that preparedness is “only for wealthy people.”  They believe that working-class people cannot afford to prepare. That is nonsense. By simply re-prioritizing your budget and cutting out needless expenses (such as alcohol, cigarettes, convenience foods, and subscription movie streaming services) almost anyone can set aside enough money for a year’s worth of storage food in fairly short order. It is amazing what can be done with hard …




Update: Big Decisions — Weighing The Risks and Benefits

JWR’s Introductory Note: The following is a slightly expanded update to a post that I wrote for SurvivalBlog back in September of 2005: — When doing radio interviews or giving lectures, I’m often asked where the “perfect” place is for a survival retreat. The short answer is: There is none. Granted, there are a lot of places that are much better than others, but there is no single “one size fits all” perfect place. Much ike buying a pair of boots, the decision has as much to do with the size and shape of your feet as it does the …




Revisiting The “Worst Case” Retreat Potential for Northeastern States

I have had a couple of consulting clients contact me since July, both asking me for advice on potential retreat locales that are fairly close to Northeastern cities.  My replies to them were fairly pointed and terse: There are simply no viable retreat locales to survive a “worst case” collapse anywhere within 100 miles of New York City, Boston, or Philadephia. This is because the population density is simply too high. And, in fact, I generally discourage my clients from residing anywhere east of the Mississippi River — or better yet the Missouri River — if they have the opportunity …




One Man’s View of Geopolitics, by Francis The Semi-Prepper

I have a somewhat different view of the war between Ukraine and Russia. This starts off with some rambling so just relax. I’ll get to the point. I refer to myself as a semi-prepper sine we live in a nice suburb about 24 miles (~17 miles as the crow flies) from where our daughter and family live in a major southern city (they are about 2.9 miles from the city center). This is not the ideal location as far as I’m concerned but our grandchildren are that important to us, we are not moving even though I feel something will …




A Vehicle to Help Adjust Your Thinking, by R.V.

We bought a travel trailer. Our first trip took us from Georgia to North Dakota and back. The unit is built to handle changing sources of energy and limited sources of energy. It is designed to leave no trace other than tire prints. My primary motivation was to be able to join our family together on outings and make camping easier on my wife. I encourage camping and hiking. God will find you and/or you will find God in the wilderness. Our trailer was built by Grand Design. It is a 30-foot model, without slide-out extensions. (I am disclosing the …




A Retreat Locale Selection Criteria Update

When I launched SurvivalBlog in 2005, I summarized my criteria for selecting retreat locales in a series of articles. Soon after, I evaluated 19 western states, for their retreat potential. I later put that data in a SurvivalBlog static page: Recommended Retreat Areas. This article serves as a 2022 update to that page. Some Things Don’t Change A lot has changed in the intervening 17 years, but some ground truths and some key trends haven’t changed at all: The tendencies of governments haven’t changed. They’ve only grown a bit bolder and their tools for surveillance of the citizenry have become …




Update: The Big Picture — Grid Up Versus Grid Down–Oil, Soil, and Water

The following is an update to an article that I posted in SurvivalBlog back in September of 2005, shortly after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast: — Before selecting a retreat locale, It is crucial that you decide on your own worst-case scenario. A location that is well-suited to surviving a “slow-slide” grid up scenario (a la the deflationary depression of the 1930s) might not necessarily be well suited to a grid down situations. As stated in my post on August 15, 2005, a grid down situation will likely cause a sudden onset variation of TEOTWAWKI with a concomitant mass …




Should I Stay Or Should I Go Now?, by Kevin R. Berg

The title of this article is an echo of a song title, by The Clash. This essay is about how I will choose an area for further investigation before moving to the American Redoubt. This summer I will load the family into our RV for a trip through Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota. As we travel, we will all be looking out for the pluses and minuses of each area. I have already marked up a paper travel map of the route and we can make marks on the map to remind us later. When I make a long …




Bugging Out Between Civilizations – Part 2, by N.C.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) While trawling through the SurvivalBlog archives I came across a 2015 two-part article: Six Prepping Principles Derived from One Year as an Expat- Part 1, by G.L. Six Prepping Principles Derived from One Year as an Expat- Part 2, by G.L. I really liked his approach to layering. To that, I added researching “carry-on only travelling”, backpacking, and general bug out bag/survival kit principles. I put this reading and learning together to make a “civilization-centric” approach to bugging out. Fair warning: This is simply my thought experiment. Thankfully I haven’t been in …




Bugging Out Between Civilizations – Part 1, by N.C.

I was talking with an old friend and the subject of the ongoing war in Ukraine came up. He asserted that he would have acted to leave Ukraine sooner, if he had been there. Frankly, I don’t think he would have, and I told him that. I based that on the fact that during the recent Antifa rioting, he point-blank denied that there were riots within an hour of him. When he could no longer deny that riots were occurring, he opined that it was “basically a different world” and again, made no preparation. If he could deny all that, …




Update: In-Town Versus Isolated Retreats

This feature article is an update to a SurvivalBlog article that I wrote back in August of 2005: — There are two distinct modes of fixed location survival retreats: ”In Town” and “Isolated.” The former depends on some local infrastructure while the latter is designed to be almost entirely self-sufficient and self-contained. Isolated retreats are also often termed “remote” retreats. Not everyone is suited to tackling the tasks required for self-sufficiency at an isolated retreat. Advanced age — with the inevitable loss of muscle mass — physical handicaps, lack of trustworthy family or friends, or chronic health conditions could rule …




Why Do We Prepare?, by Todd X.

I am a prepper. As a child, I remember my grandmother’s stories of living with scarcity during the Great Depression and her life lessons about the necessity of being prepared. As a teenager, my father was a senior operations officer at the Strategic Air Command (SAC) headquarters. He believed he would have an early warning about any incoming nuclear attacks. Consequently, he devised a code phrase. If he called and said: “I have some bad news: Grandpa fell and broke his hip” then we were to grab our bug-out bags and quickly head to our well-stocked cabin in the woods …