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Selecting a Prepper Retreat

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Obviously we’re a fan of colonization and if you’re lucky you can get ownership with one of our colonies (just ask me how), but I’m writing this for those of you who may want to start from scratch and create your own colony or just purchase some retirement land. I’ll keep this article pretty basic and give you some of the primary options to consider when searching for that personal piece of paradise. I’ll also start by letting you know ahead of time that I am a prepper, but put much more weight in being self reliant and sustainable than I do in buying my way to prepper piece of mind. To elaborate I consider food storage important but not as important as a garden. O.k. So moving on to picking the land. Below are some of the primary things you should consider.
Geographical location: This will depend alot on why it is you prep. I personally believe in mitigating as much risk as possible and incorporate that into the process. First thing you have to decide is will you expatriate or stay in the US. If you decide to expatriate I recommend the country of Uruguay. For this article however I will assume you are going to stay in the US. Right off the bat I eliminate any left leaning states as those are the first that will trample your rights and hinder your freedom. I also avoid being with in damaging hurricane reach as well as active fault lines and other frequent natural disaster areas (ie tornado alley). If you do choose one of those types of locations you can mitigate the known threat as best as possible. I then prefer to avoid likely terrorist targets such as well known land marks, oil refineries and major cities. It is also best to be a good distance away from a major city for both price benefit and population drift during a crisis.
After this I consider climate. Alaska is beautiful and in many ways a perfect location, however I am not a fan of the cold and therefore have no desire to homestead there. I personally prefer a mild climate that allows me to optimize growing produce and also provides a much more tolerable living condition in the event of no electricity. For me I prefer SE America, however there are other great viable options as well.
After you have selected a general location it’s time to move to picking the land. Of course you want to get the best price you can, however you don’t want to sacrifice important features that are necessities for a prepping lifestyle. First ensure that the area and land you select is properly zoned for what you plan on using it for. For instance you don’t want to buy in city limits if you intend to stay proficient with your firearms. I recommend agricultural land outside of city limits.
Water was a very important feature to me. A running source of water on your land is great (of course ensure you build up outside of its flood plain. In addition ponds on the land are also very nice to have. Having both is ideal as it allows you to have your own contained source that can’t be tampered with from the outside (pond) and a continually renewing source (river/creek). Wells and springs are great as well. Of course if you find the perfect land other than these features you could dig a pond and a well to make it work for you.
General terrain features. This is quite extensive in itself and also quite dependent on each individuals desires. I’ll share some of the things I consider.
Security – I prefer to have my land surrounded by forest and agricultural land. I prefer to have minimal avenues of approach to the land (roads) and barriers around the land. The land that I am currently looking at fits this mold perfectly. It has one road in, it is cleared in the center with my forest land to the borders. The back side has a large creek and both of the sides have large open fields that are easily observed. Defensively the land is set up quite well.
Food – I also consider whether the land is suitable for gardening and raising livestock.
Forest and Trees – Having a fair amount of forest is important to me as well. This provides a defensive barrier and supports natural wild life. In addition it provides a wealth of building supplies should you desire to use them.
Existing Structures – depending on your intended use, this may be something you consider. If you are fortunate enough to find land that has structures on it that fit your needs you should weigh the cost and time of building your own verse buying them in place in your decision. There are benefits both ways and each situation is dependent on those (and possibly other) variables.
Distance – If this is to be a bug out location for you then you should also consider the distance and route from your primary established residence. Closer is not necessarily always better. An hour or two distance from you is ideal, however much further is still doable as well as closer. The reason to keep a fair distance is that it separates your two locations from possible localized events (ie. storm, town seige, etc..). The reason closer is better is it ensures you have the best chance to make it to it. It is important to know all the primary routes to the retreat as well as many varied and even off road routes if possible.
If you take the above basic important steps into factor along with your personal requirements you should be off to a great start at selecting the perfect location for your retreat.

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Shane Blevins
Shane Blevins retired from the US Army at 20 years of service. During his career he served in Special Operations and the US Army SERE School. He is currently a senior program developer for OGC and operates an online entrepreneurial network. He is happily married to his wife Jennifer and has 5 children.