Realities and Compromises While Retreat Shopping
Over the summer I was blessed to meet a lot of fellow SurvivalBlog readers here in north Idaho. Most, if not all, made several drastic changes to their retreat shopping list either during or right after their trip here. Most notably, the changes made most often were: Distance to a sizeable town/economic base, the parcel size (acres), and access to the parcel.
It’s important to realize that once you take in the enormity of the locale you have chosen to relocate to that these factors become the number one issue in a search. There are many superb retreats here and elsewhere in your region of choice but realize that in between now and when TSHTF  you must live a semi-normal lifestyle. If this means that your mate is 15 minutes from Costco and the hair salon then so be it. If I were a marriage counselor I would strongly advise against the ‘super tactical retreat in the boonies’ if your wife has issues with it. Practical is as important as tactical when it comes to living your daily life before TSHTF.
I want to reinforce to those men out there that although sitting on your porch sipping your morning coffee while overlooking your interlocking fields of fire on your 40 acre retreat 45 minutes from the nearest paved road is cool and all, but it may just be better to envision the same thing taking place on your 5 acre retreat 15 minutes from a ‘larger than you would have thought you’d live near’ town.
Look folks, there are those of you out there that would be happy to just get out of the locale you are living in, let alone worry about finding the ‘super bunker retreat’ in the boonies, and you’re right, if you can figure a way out then just do it. When you think about it, even if you could only ’take your existing house on a postage stamp lot in the suburbs and trade it for the same exact property in a free locale, would you do it? Would you do it if you still had to deal with a Homeowner’s Association (HOA) ? How desperate are you? Is it all worthwhile if you can just escape so you can stop waking up each morning with that dull pain in your chest because you know your living in the middle of a foreign landscape? Is it worthwhile if you can still live close to the lifestyle you’re accustomed to but were legally able to purchase and stockpile certain items that were banned in your locale? Just because you can’t buy that super retreat does not mean you can’t do anything at all. How much longer will you allow the boots of tyranny to smother you in your present locale? These are all questions that I asked myself thousands of times over two years until I snapped and just made the move. I had a client here recently that was uncomfortable at our local shooting range when I took him shooting because he realized that in the locale where he currently lived, we would have been arrested for even possessing such weapons let alone driving up to a ‘self-supervised’ range on the side of the highway to shoot. I knew exactly what he was going through. Been there, done that and escaped!
Speaking of reality, do you really need that 40 acre retreat? Of course, but the reality of the situation is that you are still there, so if it takes duplicating all the nice amenities you live with now in suburbia and transfer those items to your free locale so your marriage stays intact and your mate does not ‘loose it’ from culture shock, then you ought to consider it. Also, the access road should not be a four wheel drive only road or a snowmobile in winter road, as your mate, unless properly prepared and motivated, will most likely hang you out to dry, have fun with that.
Now, the issue of actual acreage. We are blessed with 10 acres on our retreat and let me tell you, it is a lot of work. The animals aside, just the upkeep on the trails we have throughout the property is enough to make me thankful we don’t have 80 acres! Unless you plan to till the ground outside of your regular organic gardening or building a bunch of structures for family or refugee then anything I’d say over twenty will be a bit much for the average city folk moving to the sticks. It may sound cool to say you have 80 acres but unless you need it for tactical or farming reasons, then you ought to reconsider. There are no tea parties in the country and nobody is impressed or really cares about how much ground you have and most likely they’ll have more land than need you anyway.
Not everyone out there is cut out to make a drastic lifestyle change within 30 days, we did, but we had prepared and prayed about it for several years and then made our move. Trust me; I was used to my granite counter tops, manicured lawns and concrete sidewalks. My wife transitioned easily but I was still flabbergasted that our ‘mud room’ really was one. (I had thought it was just a storage place for my cases of ammo), and contained mud off my shoes before we put gravel down on the driveway last spring. In addition, the fact that my wife actually had no issues walking out the door to slaughter 15 chickens one morning, then walked back in and ate breakfast. I’ll be the first to admit even as a former U.S. Marine I was a bit taken back by what real living was all about. I missed going to the local high class food market for nicely wrapped chicken cordon bleu ready to bake.
Just think back 150 years and learn the skills you need to know to live in that era, then either practice them regularly or just go ‘off grid’ on your retreat, but either way realize that you’ll need to make compromises in order to have your mate comfortable with making The Big Move.
If you and your mate are totally on the same page and properly motivated then by all means buy that super tactical retreat and you’ll have more fun than you can imagine working on your property day to day. But, please be prepared to make compromises while shopping for your retreat. It will spare your marriage and keep your real estate agent sane, and I’m certain they would appreciate that!
Remember: research and pray! For His Kingdom – T.S.