Author Topic: TEOTWAWKI Real Estate and bugout planning  (Read 426 times)

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Online Weisshaupt

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TEOTWAWKI Real Estate and bugout planning
« on: October 13, 2016, 12:21:37 AM »
So I have collected some thoughts on how to evaluate land for Teotwawki survival.

The greatest Danger is people not of the tribe. The greatest asset is people within the tribe. Human Organization within a tribe is limited to about 300 individuals. Beyond this number and tribal bonds and trust made possible by first hand knowledge of families and mutual friends begins to erode.  So ideally your area will allow such a large tribe to form for mutual defense and economic production.. but no so many that multiple tribes and splinters will prevent mutual defense and co-operation.  Finding the "right" population density for this  is tricky.  You want to be far enough from high population areas that the hordes don't roam through your neighborhood ( 100-150 miles depending on how far you think people will drive or walk ) , but you have enough  people to defend your area, and provide the skills required to sustainability survive without trade and outside help. 

 My final conclusion on the subject is you should be looking for Agriculturally zoned land, unincorporated into a township, ideally with mineral rights,  but within 2-5 miles (walking distance)   of a town  of small population (around 1000)  - After die-off of the weak  , I believe this will put you in that 300 person zone.  Your neighbors should be within shouting  or signaling distance  - say 1/8 to 1/3  mile away.  Your neighbors should be actively engaged in some form of production already. Farming, ranching or manufacture of other goods.

You should be looking to build relationships with these neighbors via leasing  your land to them  if you aren't going to be actively living there,  establishing to some degree that you "belong" to their community.  Any help you can give them mending fences, or running small errands will further your endeavors. Likewise, show up at the local bar every so often and meet the locals and become "known".  The most important individuals you must meet are the town and county Law Enforcement. They will be the prime factor in preserving or re-establishing  some local version of the rule of law. Their views will probably determine if resources are pooled, if guns are confiscated, and what sort of person should be deputized.  Register your car in that location, so people will recongize your plates as "local" when you are evacuating to your bug out land.

Land should be defensible - meaning 5 -15 acres.  More than that and it becomes a Target, either for the government, or for jealous townspeople. If you can't stand over it with an AR-15,  it isn't yours.
Depending on climate and water conditions,  this should be enough land in most locations to sustain a a small group.. if your group is larger, consider perhaps building a central compound and  assigning ownership of specific parcels to specific individuals or families in the group, and getting them on record with the county. . at least then you look small to anyone perusing records

Open water like rivers and large lakes will become "commons" - as people travel up and down them looking to hunt or fish, or simply get water..  Many will not consider using your land to access these resources as trespassing - since you don't "own" the body of water they are using.  I think in many cases a running stream will lead people to your property as they look for that new fishing hole, or game watering hole to hunt.  Being on  or along the way to such locations may not be prudent.   A private pond of a smaller size is beneficial, but only if you can prevent others from discovering it or following run off to/from it.

If you  think you found your location and are considering a specific parcel, start planning it all out , even if you are not sure you will ever do anything but put a camper there.  consider where you would sink a well ( better yet, understand where the current well is sunk, what power requirements the pump has, how many gpm it can provide. . Then consider where water needs to be. Where will you put animal troughs and gardens.  Can you get water from the well to there?
Same goes with power - is there a drop from the grid, will you go Solar? Generator?   Where will Power need to be run to - House? Barn? Shop?  Water Troughs often need power for bubblers/heaters.   Will you have an electric Fence?  You might notice that your electric and water runs go the same places. Make sure you bury them at the same time.  Yeah that hydrant and electrical box look pretty lonely in that pasture, but when you start building the barn or keeping animals ,  you have the area ready for easy access.  Find out what the local laws are- what setbacks are required, how many structures you can build,  what size and so on. Know what  the city will let you do.  Yes, post collapse no one cares. Some things are going to be easier to accomplish pre-collapse.

What animals will you run? What plants will you grow?  Can you effectively irrigate that with the well? ( I think securing a source of water is important.  Yes I know it falls from the sky -  until it doesn't because the weather is all F'd up due to nukes going off or the rain is toxic. )

Note where sources of fuel are. Are there natural gas wells? Oil Wells? Forests or lumber mills?  Waste with which to produce methane or biodiesel? Yes , it would be nice to have a natural gas well your own on your property. Its going to be darn hard to find one like that. 

Can you get ditch water/rights?  Ditch water is a wonder way to irrigate, but then of course, you will become subject to things staying somewhat  stable so the ditch keeps flowing.

Okay so you purchased your raw land and you have a plan.  Or better yet, some partially developed land with a well, a driveway, and what taps the local area provides. 
Redundancy is good. Having a well AND city water is good. Having Natural gas from the city and a propane tank is good.  Having city power AND a generator or solar is good. Choices are good.

Try to layout the structures in a courtyard - this will minimize the amount of walking to and from a garage for tools,  from the house to the barn to care for animals etc.  This will also create a "circle the wagons" defense where your structures form a barrier wall

SO now what?

Sink the well and provide some way to power a pump ( if that is human power so be it -  maximum depth  is around 30 ft for most hand pumps. There are special and expensive hand pumps that will go to 250  or so. Further and you are needing real power.  )  Power and water being in the same location  means they can share a structure AND  distribution ditches easily.   

Then Consider a high tunnel hoop house as one of your first structures - probably over where your first garden will be and probably close to the well.  These kits are relatively cheap - You can cover this with Blue tarps  and use it as your "home" ,  and eventually use it to shelter your main kitchen garden from that hail storm that is going to shred everything.  If you are doing Solar, you can use the waste heat from the inverters to heat the hoop house in the winter ( either because you are living in it, animals are living in it, or you want to extend the growing season) If using a generator , consider buying a welder. Modern  units can provide 10KW of AC power, they are built like tanks,  AND you can use them to weld.  They aren't cheap ($3500 gas, $4500 diesel)

Otherwise buy  a wood stove . Now. At some point the EPA is going to make regs for new stoves near  impossible to meet. Or consider building your own "rocket stove" as part of your structure. Vent the stove through canvas as you would with a hunting tent.

Water for watering the crops  is right there.  You can also use this structure for Aquaponics if that is something you want to try.

If living in the hoop house - Build a "country kitchen" on a cart - get water in from the well, drain it into buckets, dump the buckets outside. You will use this kitchen all of the time later when butchering animals outside anyway

Your next project should probably be a Septic system  This needs to be 150-200' away from the well location. You must avoid compressing the soil. No motor traffic. No large animals. Making it the "green grass" portion of the yard is somewhat prudent but most counties require a significant setback form any structure. .   Consider sizing it for the size home you eventually want to build, even if the only thing you plan to hook up to it is your RV.  This is also an excellent time to run that first trench  with water and power to your RV location, and to all of the other locations--  which may or may not be the eventual home location.  Run the septic to an outhouse if there is no RV or House ( yet)
Your outhouse should look like a British Police Box. Because that would be cool.

As for equipment you will need a tractor ( 35+ HP), a bush hog, a bucket and forks, and a sprayer , an auger, a  3 point trailer hitch adapter and hopefully someplace you can put them out of the weather (  A shipping container? ) Other equipment will depend on exactly how you decide you will make this  land work for you,  but I don't see any endeavor that won't require cutting, spraying  or moving stuff.  And you will use that auger big time on the fences.  An ATV with a cart is also super useful, but tractor with a cart/trailer is almost as good.

Other equipment to consider - Haying (Side rake and Bailer),  Seeder,  Harrow.

Next? Fences.  If you plan to have animals build fences. If you don't. Build fences. This allows your neighbors with animals to easily graze on your land - they may even pay you for it. Leasing land for a crop means it may not be available to you when you bug out. Animals? Well you can live there with them if it comes to that. Especially if you have your "compound" area fenced off.  Fences also serve as warnings to other humans that this is not "open" land. Animal pens, like the septic, should be located at least 100' or more from the well location.  Gates go everywhere.  Every adjoining lot should have a 14' or 16' gate.  This allows access for equipment, an easy way to get animals who escaped a way back in , and an easy way for neighbors to get animals to/from your parcel for grazing.
On gates used often get a real (lockable) latch and don't use chains.  Plan your pens and barn such that you can easily channel animals from one area to another   planned my gates so they would open to create such channels ( sometimes with help form a portable fence panel) - Try to make it possible for animals to return to the barn (or barn area) from their pens/pastures - this gives you one place to water and feed them instead of having to venture into each pen in 6 feet of snow. . Consider Horse panel or cattle panel or other temporary fencing   to make temporary paddocks until there is a barn.

Also consider defensive plantings - thorny trees ( russian olives - are they trees or weeds?)  or thick bushes.  Berry bushes are a good thing for a perimeter They are thick. they grow food. And a hungry person might just steal the berries and then leave instead of venturing further onto the property.  Call it charity of a sort.  Leave corridors that will encourage those who do venture onward through narrow corridors  you can see and shoot at easily from your compound.

Long driveways suck from the perspective of snow removal and mud.  You need to balance access with being seen from the road. Turns in te drive can be used to make sure any approaching cars give you a nice shot from the compound.

consider where you need animal shelters and feed storage. Metal Shipping containers are a cheap way to obtain both.  One of my neighbors sets two next to each other with about a 10' gap, and then puts a makeshift roof between them so the animals can huddle in there for shelter. Hay/feed gets stored inside. Move the animals? Move the containers to where they go.

So at this point you have something basic and livable, and you can move on to adding some real creature comforts. Like a real insulated house. 
Don't build a bunker.  Its useful only in a case where everyone else is below ground or dead.  The second you are discovered,  they plug up your air and just wait you out.  Consider building a earthen home or "earthship"  - there are lots of good, cheap designs- they are passively solar heated, and can provide real physical security on 3 sides easily, while still making it difficult to cut off your air.  I have seen earth-ships built with internal atriums that allow exit from the earthen part of the structure to the roof - of course this becomes an area of potential attack as well..still nice to know 3 of your walls will inherently stop bullets.   Also look into Structural Integrated Panels (SIPS)  instead of traditional stick framing.  They go up easy, the R-Factor is through the roof, and  with the saved time in construction you break about even with stick built. Or consider a hybrid using SIPS for the roof.

Consider hybrid systems for the home.  Have Propane/Gas furnace AND a Wood stove ( located as close to a fan driven central air vent  as allowed by code)
Have a propane/gas Water heater with a solar heat exchanger  Have a Propane and a wood Stove. Choices are good.  If geothermal makes sense, pair that with the propane.

Now you have a comfortable place to live,  a comfortable place to take care of animals is next. Build a barn

Cars not covered with snow and an indoor place to work during the winter is also nice,  maybe build a shop/garage?

Of course a lot of this is do as I say, not as I have done.  Some of that is because I realize I should have done it some other way.

Please feel free to take a run at any of the above ideas as being wrong ( maybe they are) -  there are a lot of trade offs here and mileage may vary.

« Last Edit: October 13, 2016, 01:36:56 PM by Weisshaupt »

Online AlanS

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Re: TEOTWAWKI Real Estate and bugout planning
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2016, 07:10:26 PM »
Well thought out, Weisshaupt.

You're the second person I know that has actually taken any steps toward self sufficiency. The other person has the critters, but is lacking any agricultural assets.
"Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem."

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Online Weisshaupt

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Re: TEOTWAWKI Real Estate and bugout planning
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2016, 09:18:07 AM »
BUMP.

Come on folks,  others must have different ideas on how to approach  buying a bugout and developing it.. The idea here is we compare ideas and keep the best ones...


Offline Libertas

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Re: TEOTWAWKI Real Estate and bugout planning
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2016, 03:53:01 PM »
Don't get frustrated or impatient, people will contribute in time.  For me I am trying to survive work crunch, and I will need info like this as I plow forward with my from scratch plans, no doubt many compromises in store for me...I will only be able to do what I can.
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Online AlanS

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Re: TEOTWAWKI Real Estate and bugout planning
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2016, 10:19:47 PM »
FWIW dept: I'm not bugging out. I'm already rural, I'm just trying to get the homestead self sufficient. Unfortunately, life keeps getting in the way.
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Offline Predator Don

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Re: TEOTWAWKI Real Estate and bugout planning
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2016, 12:38:51 AM »
We have two tracts of property owned by family members. One in a rural area, 50 acres, not close to interstates and they have farm equipment and other necessities to survive. If it gets bad, moving temporary housing in is the avenue we will likely do. There would be at least 4 families to distribute the burdens associated with a country going to hell. There are more trusted people we know but are not too keen on planning...but could be trusted if TSHTF.

The other is 33 acres but much closer to the city. Both have ponds, one a creek and a well. I'm not sure this property could be defended, if for no other reason than location. We all have our lists of supplies we would buy, once it is obvious things are getting dangerous. Our families are from lukewarm there could be an issue to me, who believes it will be when, not if. We keep a supply of food, water and a few other necessities to endure a short term issue.

We have not thought as long term as others....we used to but our original group splintered. We have families which total around 15. Three are military, one is a nurse and the rest of us are getting old. I don't worry as much for food as I do over a sickness. And frankly protection. There will be so many who will not have the meager supplies we have....I can't imagine creating a compound that looks to have organization to it. It could appear as a neon sign, advertising attack.
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Online Weisshaupt

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Re: TEOTWAWKI Real Estate and bugout planning
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2016, 11:59:36 AM »
We all have our lists of supplies we would buy, once it is obvious things are getting dangerous
 
Do you have any pre-defined points as to what will be considered dangerous enough to actually trigger the buying of supplies? Boiling the frog creates normalcy bias and tends to rationalization.  Your group should decided ahead of time what conditions would signal  buying of supplies - otherwise, they will probably be trying to buy them in a crowd who also see the same thing. ( but maybe you can count on your neighbors being so dumb that they still won't do anything even when there is a Giant robot outside their door screaming "Danger! Danger! Defcon 3, 20 Trillion Debt,  Lousy candidates! Shredded Constitution! Corrupt Officials and agencies! Mainstream media is noting but govt propaganda arm! Riots in the Streets!  Danger! Danger!" Oh wait. That's today's Drudge report. )

Seriously,  I thinks its time now. I would stock at least 6 months a person at this point. Maybe three in one location and 3 in the other, but 6 in both is probably better. ( After 6 months you can go and retrieve the well hidden stash) Also get a Berkey filter or similar - wells that are good now, may not always be so, or you may be forced to move off.  Just don't mess around with food and water. You know you will need them always. The Mormons keep a year of food..  Much of this can be in canned goods, and you can continue using them- just stock from the back &  take from the front.

Its hard to say if a "organized" camp screams "attack". It might also scream "Guys who are armed, know what they are doing, and will kick your A**es. Find easier prey"    Ideally with your numbers, you are patrolling/keeping perimeter  watch  and will intercept anyone before they find your camp anyway. This may be easier or harder depending on the geography.

I have  prepped two places  - its nice to have options if you can afford to get both ready.  It would certainly make sense to stock both with supplies, and have a plan to move or retrieve them once it becomes obvious where you need to be.  It took me a while to come to terms with the fact that when the event happens, one or the other place and all of my work there  is likely going to be abandoned or lost -  unless one of the "trusted people we know but are not too keen on planning...but could be trusted if TSHTF." ends up going there instead of here ( or vice versa) .

If you have to pick one place to prep:

On The 50 Acres...its that a currently working farm?  Is it livestock, plants or both? Which animals, Which plants? How good is the well?  Is it flat or hilly? Forested?  High ground for the area or low?   Is it likely anyone would do that? What is living in the pond now? how remote is it? ( there is such a thing as too remote- that was proven in Argentina) What other resources are available around there? What skills? What ideology are the neighbors?

On the 30 Acres -- How far from town is it ? - how big is the town? How good is the well?  Is it flat or hilly? Forested?  High ground for the area or low?  Is it likely anyone would do that? What is living in the pond now? What other resources are available around there? What skills? What ideology are the neighbors?

Which one has the creek? ( Out here a Creek is a flow of water 2-4 feet wide and a few inches to a foot deep. The Eastern definition tends to be much larger.)
Would it be easy to move up or down that flow? Would anyone be likely to do it looking for food or fresh water?

 If you already have campers/RVs and vehicles to use for temporary housing, has anything been done to allow for RV  hookups of power, water or septic? How good is the well? Does either site have the equipment ( Backhoe) to quickly and easily dig a newer larger septic?  I  am not talking fancy. I am talking hole in the ground with half Barrels and/or tile. Ideally with a large IBC tote or two set up as the settling tank(s).   For the cost of some PVC pipe, conduit, cable and recycled barrels and a couple of weekend with a back hoe you could have a location ready for that influx of people  and for way less than 10 grand. Probably around 6k. Yes, you COULD drive the vehicles over to a central location to dump septic, do an outhouse ( you already know there will be a jackass who will insist on using the one in his camper..) , run independent generators ,  run hoses, etc.  Its all about the standard of living you are after, and how quiet you want the camp to be, and how much fuel ( or human energy) you are willing to expend in such activities, and how much risk you want to take.  (Hoses above ground can freeze. Cables above ground can be eaten/cut by rodents, or just crimp form ground traffic and so on. Every calorie you expend dealing with these issues is a calorie you will need to replace with food. Ounce of prevention = a Pound of cure. Really you want to be focused on gorwing food and security. Not mending a broken hose for the 5th time)

Centralized power is also a really good idea, even if its generator driven..  Assuming the existence of a generator already on property , a cheaper system of batteries and a decent inverter ( maybe a dual so you can do 240) would be the cheapest central power source.  Probably another $5-6 K,  but it  will allow silent running and be more efficient on fuel since only one generator would charge the battery bank. ( With details on the gen,and how long you want to run silent,  I can help design that system, and  it could sit on a small trailer, or in a pickup with shell. )  Likewise, a central freezer, fridge ( look at converting a cube freezer- air stays inside when opened - can be more efficient if you use a bucket system to get things in and out and you aren't digging for minutes)  Likewise a central kitchen/living area will be conducive to group dynamics  and cohesion. 

Also look at those hoop houses.
http://www.farmtek.com/farm/supplies/prod1;ft_high_tunnels_cold_frames;pgpb01680r6c.html

If you double sheet the hoop and inflate an air cushion with a fan - these can be insulated decently. So for around 7K you can create 2800 sq feet of "indoor" living space - you can expend some energy heating.. It will look from outside as if its for  agricultural use - not like a camp,  and depending on what you cover it with ( perhaps blue tarps on the North side and leave it clear on the south for passive warmth)  you could partition it off into rooms, and perhaps park RV's inside it- which will also reduce the cost of heating the RVs. The "clear" plastic isn't all that clear - it gets less so with age, and a double layer will make it much harder to see though. Perhaps have tarps on the south side you can raise and lower to control the light/heat. A portion of this area can be dedicated to group living.  Otherwise you will have issues "Why is it always MY kitchen we use for meals? And they always leave it so dirty, and my camper smells because they always cook that spicy onion dish.."  - etc.  Facilities used by the camp need to be group facilities and not part of someone's private space ( and as much as possible everyone should have one. Even on Subs they have those curtains in front of the bunks)

In the meantime it could actually be put to agricultural use, and there are actually government grants to help buy such things.

So in summary,  I think your major task right now is to get the group  to pony up some money for long term food  - freeze dried food, and buckets of grain ( these can be made cheaply yourself) and a grain mill.  Decide on a property or plan both. Sounds like right now your group wouldn't even know where to assemble if communications were cut. ( and sadly a Russian Nuke attack where that would happen is back on the table. Probably pretty unlikely still, but...its doesn't cost much to talk now while you can, also plan communication drops at both properties. Just a PVC pipe with a water tight lid - you can leave keys, messages, or any other small useful object inside - and then you build a cairn over it or have a predetermined hiding spot. )

Second - get them to at least prepare a plan for doing the expanded septic system, on one or both properties.  If you are worried about disease, the best thing you can do is ensure the human waste is taken care of properly, and with as little contact as possible.

The Power system is something that would benefit the current property owner, as they would have power 100%  even when grids down, so you might be able to convince them to carry more of the burden ( of course  you can also go with a battery less system, but that means the generator will run nearly 24/7 and much of its power will be wasted.   Of course a PV system is an even better idea, but now the cost jumps  by another 10K or more.

Likewise,  a large fuel tank may also benefit the owner of the property, he would use and refresh the fuel and keep the tank ready for when there is no more fuel coming.

What caused the splintering in your group? Is there anything that could have been done to avoid it?

Offline John Florida

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Re: TEOTWAWKI Real Estate and bugout planning
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2016, 06:38:30 PM »
  Does the stream have enough water to do a hydro plant?
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Online Weisshaupt

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Re: TEOTWAWKI Real Estate and bugout planning
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2016, 12:06:46 AM »
  Does the stream have enough water to do a hydro plant?

As long as you can go undetected by the EPA.  Diverting a water source, or building a dam - even on ditch water, is now messing with navigable waters.

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2015/08/wyoming_farmer_battling_epa_over_legal_stock_pond.html

Offline Predator Don

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Re: TEOTWAWKI Real Estate and bugout planning
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2016, 12:24:51 AM »
We all have our lists of supplies we would buy, once it is obvious things are getting dangerous
 
Do you have any pre-defined points as to what will be considered dangerous enough to actually trigger the buying of supplies? Boiling the frog creates normalcy bias and tends to rationalization.  Your group should decided ahead of time what conditions would signal  buying of supplies - otherwise, they will probably be trying to buy them in a crowd who also see the same thing. ( but maybe you can count on your neighbors being so dumb that they still won't do anything even when there is a Giant robot outside their door screaming "Danger! Danger! Defcon 3, 20 Trillion Debt,  Lousy candidates! Shredded Constitution! Corrupt Officials and agencies! Mainstream media is noting but govt propaganda arm! Riots in the Streets!  Danger! Danger!" Oh wait. That's today's Drudge report. )

Seriously,  I thinks its time now. I would stock at least 6 months a person at this point. Maybe three in one location and 3 in the other, but 6 in both is probably better. ( After 6 months you can go and retrieve the well hidden stash) Also get a Berkey filter or similar - wells that are good now, may not always be so, or you may be forced to move off.  Just don't mess around with food and water. You know you will need them always. The Mormons keep a year of food..  Much of this can be in canned goods, and you can continue using them- just stock from the back &  take from the front.

Its hard to say if a "organized" camp screams "attack". It might also scream "Guys who are armed, know what they are doing, and will kick your A**es. Find easier prey"    Ideally with your numbers, you are patrolling/keeping perimeter  watch  and will intercept anyone before they find your camp anyway. This may be easier or harder depending on the geography.

I have  prepped two places  - its nice to have options if you can afford to get both ready.  It would certainly make sense to stock both with supplies, and have a plan to move or retrieve them once it becomes obvious where you need to be.  It took me a while to come to terms with the fact that when the event happens, one or the other place and all of my work there  is likely going to be abandoned or lost -  unless one of the "trusted people we know but are not too keen on planning...but could be trusted if TSHTF." ends up going there instead of here ( or vice versa) .

If you have to pick one place to prep:

On The 50 Acres...its that a currently working farm?  Is it livestock, plants or both? Which animals, Which plants? How good is the well?  Is it flat or hilly? Forested?  High ground for the area or low?   Is it likely anyone would do that? What is living in the pond now? how remote is it? ( there is such a thing as too remote- that was proven in Argentina) What other resources are available around there? What skills? What ideology are the neighbors?

On the 30 Acres -- How far from town is it ? - how big is the town? How good is the well?  Is it flat or hilly? Forested?  High ground for the area or low?  Is it likely anyone would do that? What is living in the pond now? What other resources are available around there? What skills? What ideology are the neighbors?

Which one has the creek? ( Out here a Creek is a flow of water 2-4 feet wide and a few inches to a foot deep. The Eastern definition tends to be much larger.)
Would it be easy to move up or down that flow? Would anyone be likely to do it looking for food or fresh water?

 If you already have campers/RVs and vehicles to use for temporary housing, has anything been done to allow for RV  hookups of power, water or septic? How good is the well? Does either site have the equipment ( Backhoe) to quickly and easily dig a newer larger septic?  I  am not talking fancy. I am talking hole in the ground with half Barrels and/or tile. Ideally with a large IBC tote or two set up as the settling tank(s).   For the cost of some PVC pipe, conduit, cable and recycled barrels and a couple of weekend with a back hoe you could have a location ready for that influx of people  and for way less than 10 grand. Probably around 6k. Yes, you COULD drive the vehicles over to a central location to dump septic, do an outhouse ( you already know there will be a jackass who will insist on using the one in his camper..) , run independent generators ,  run hoses, etc.  Its all about the standard of living you are after, and how quiet you want the camp to be, and how much fuel ( or human energy) you are willing to expend in such activities, and how much risk you want to take.  (Hoses above ground can freeze. Cables above ground can be eaten/cut by rodents, or just crimp form ground traffic and so on. Every calorie you expend dealing with these issues is a calorie you will need to replace with food. Ounce of prevention = a Pound of cure. Really you want to be focused on gorwing food and security. Not mending a broken hose for the 5th time)

Centralized power is also a really good idea, even if its generator driven..  Assuming the existence of a generator already on property , a cheaper system of batteries and a decent inverter ( maybe a dual so you can do 240) would be the cheapest central power source.  Probably another $5-6 K,  but it  will allow silent running and be more efficient on fuel since only one generator would charge the battery bank. ( With details on the gen,and how long you want to run silent,  I can help design that system, and  it could sit on a small trailer, or in a pickup with shell. )  Likewise, a central freezer, fridge ( look at converting a cube freezer- air stays inside when opened - can be more efficient if you use a bucket system to get things in and out and you aren't digging for minutes)  Likewise a central kitchen/living area will be conducive to group dynamics  and cohesion. 

Also look at those hoop houses.
http://www.farmtek.com/farm/supplies/prod1;ft_high_tunnels_cold_frames;pgpb01680r6c.html

If you double sheet the hoop and inflate an air cushion with a fan - these can be insulated decently. So for around 7K you can create 2800 sq feet of "indoor" living space - you can expend some energy heating.. It will look from outside as if its for  agricultural use - not like a camp,  and depending on what you cover it with ( perhaps blue tarps on the North side and leave it clear on the south for passive warmth)  you could partition it off into rooms, and perhaps park RV's inside it- which will also reduce the cost of heating the RVs. The "clear" plastic isn't all that clear - it gets less so with age, and a double layer will make it much harder to see though. Perhaps have tarps on the south side you can raise and lower to control the light/heat. A portion of this area can be dedicated to group living.  Otherwise you will have issues "Why is it always MY kitchen we use for meals? And they always leave it so dirty, and my camper smells because they always cook that spicy onion dish.."  - etc.  Facilities used by the camp need to be group facilities and not part of someone's private space ( and as much as possible everyone should have one. Even on Subs they have those curtains in front of the bunks)

In the meantime it could actually be put to agricultural use, and there are actually government grants to help buy such things.

So in summary,  I think your major task right now is to get the group  to pony up some money for long term food  - freeze dried food, and buckets of grain ( these can be made cheaply yourself) and a grain mill.  Decide on a property or plan both. Sounds like right now your group wouldn't even know where to assemble if communications were cut. ( and sadly a Russian Nuke attack where that would happen is back on the table. Probably pretty unlikely still, but...its doesn't cost much to talk now while you can, also plan communication drops at both properties. Just a PVC pipe with a water tight lid - you can leave keys, messages, or any other small useful object inside - and then you build a cairn over it or have a predetermined hiding spot. )

Second - get them to at least prepare a plan for doing the expanded septic system, on one or both properties.  If you are worried about disease, the best thing you can do is ensure the human waste is taken care of properly, and with as little contact as possible.

The Power system is something that would benefit the current property owner, as they would have power 100%  even when grids down, so you might be able to convince them to carry more of the burden ( of course  you can also go with a battery less system, but that means the generator will run nearly 24/7 and much of its power will be wasted.   Of course a PV system is an even better idea, but now the cost jumps  by another 10K or more.

Likewise,  a large fuel tank may also benefit the owner of the property, he would use and refresh the fuel and keep the tank ready for when there is no more fuel coming.

What caused the splintering in your group? Is there anything that could have been done to avoid it?

First, the splintering. The majority were not committed. That simple. Even among our family, the commitment level is uneven, at best. It was hard enough to get them together for supply lists. Land is not too hilly, both with combo of trees and open pasture. The water supply is good, understanding anything can be contaminated. One has a large home, nice barn, the other has two homes.  Since we have outdoors types, we have small campers, tents, small generators, backhoe, tractor and one has a fuel tank, things of that nature. Chickens, cows, not many but some.

I can tell you now not one of them is committed enough to do a "hoop home" or expand a septic system. I figure, when it gets bad, we will do the latrine thing if the septic already there becomes over burdened. I probably have the most supplies, enough food for 3 months, if I count all 15. Lots of "tradable" items. I don't think food will be our biggest issue, we hunt and fish and there is plenty of wild game. We are armed but I only know my ammo levels.. The thought process of most is a scenario where things could be bad for a period of time before some semblance of normalcy occurs. But who knows.

I could go into greater detail but bottom line, it's my family, it's who I believe will bond together, with enough trusted friends to form a good group but I'm thinking no more than 50.

I'm not always engulfed in scandals, but when I am, I make sure I blame others.

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Re: TEOTWAWKI Real Estate and bugout planning
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2016, 08:51:37 AM »
Providing you have the backhoe and the supplies to do the latrine that will work, but it will burn post TEOTWAWKI fuel and calories.
If things go bad, EVERYONE will hunt and fish. Wild game was extremely scarce during the great depression, and depending on the event we see, it could be again. Granted it could take years to get to that point, but then I think "the bad for a period of time" will likely be measured in years, not days or months.  We will end up with a Yugoslavian  type conflict, and it will probably go on for years.  Years in which food production is low.  Trading may be non-existent - unless you want to venture into a marketplace in town ( In Argentina the net migration was actually to an urban area - trying to find a job or just the safety of a herd) . If you keep appearing as an outsider in a marketplace to sell/trade something valuable, someone will notice and follow you back to camp, to see if they can raid you .. You want to be a low key as possible - doing work, trading, running multiple generators etc will all be clues to other parties you might be worth checking out.  Granted , they may look and decide its not worth the risk. or not.

The lack of commitment  and agreement is the scariest thing to me. The whole point of prepping is to be prepped. Meaning having things done, supplies stored, and skills acquired and a plan to execute  such that you aren't joining the mad scramble for those things, and wasting resources  while learning and are instead  concentrating on more important issues  ( security, sustainability) -- A lack of commitment implies a lack of mental preparation as well.  Nukes might have dropped and some of the group will feel its time, while others, say," no we will wait some more and see." If one of those "wait and see" people is the owner of the land, then things may be delayed - possibly disastrously.  Forcing travel trough a dangerous area with supplies and so forth.

You really have two options
1) Get them to agree to plan to be executed when certain events occur ( US City Nuked,  Riots that result in Massacre of hundreds,  etc etc)  Whatever the group can decide and agree upon as being "bad enough" to warrant the next stage in preps

2) Prep like the group wasn't there. Perhaps planning for a unknown group to arrive, but without asking for or expecting  their help. Where you and the family that own the 30  or 50 acres,  start getting a large septic put in, or build a hoop house (  which could be used by the family for agriculture or storage until such time as its needed)  and just not worry about the others. After all they may still be sitting in their homes saying "we will wait and see" long after they should have bugged out.  Having a safe prepped place where they won't be expected to be doing hard labor may do more to entice them to you than the crap going on around them. The money you spend yourself on such a project would be worth the survival of family members would it not? And if you are wrong? It was only money, and it went to purchase a useful durable good of one type or another, which you can recoup some of the cost  on.  Prepping is a life insurance  policy. It may pay off big time, or it will accrue value ( at a lesser rate)  that can potentially  be sold in the future.

(Fixed tags - Pan)
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« Last Edit: October 17, 2016, 01:50:04 PM by Pandora »