Total Survivalist Blog: retreat

I linked to a couple of good post and sort of teased the subject awhile ago. Have been thinking about writing an actual post on the subject since them. Last night, as I tossed and stirred trying to sleep I realized to write that post I had to write a post on retreat locations. To really talk about that I had to talk about types of groups. So I intend to address both of those in this post.

Talking about groups. We have a continuum here. On one extreme we have naturally formed groups such as a family/ group of friend/ the more ambiguous tribe.This is Grandpa, Aunt Jill, Uncle Tim, Brother, Brother #2, Sister and Cousins Jeff and Sally. It is also a group of buddies who decide to get ready. It is also a more general form of community or tribe.

The pro’s of this type of group are that you know the people and trust them. This makes so many things much easier.  Also strap hangers ( a significant issue in a survivalist context) tend to be mutual. Instead of 10 sets of grandparents, uncles/ aunts, cousins, etc you have a far smaller number.

The downside is that while a persons position in an authentic group might be solid their physical preparations might well not be. A likely scenario here is a third of real survivalists, a third of folks prepared for a decent hurricane and the remaining third with little, in terms of preps, put away, and that is not including the inevitable strap hangers.

In the middle are a sort of hybrid group, say half organic and half intentional or varying degrees of one or the other. If done right this could be a very good way to go that maximizes the benefits of each and minimizes their downsides.

Also there are the religiously based groups. These kind of span the range between the edge of truly naturally formed groups all the way to the edge of the intentionally formed groups. These groups vary somewhat. A more organic group based upon a local church or three could be very strong. On the other hand a piece mill group selected mostly for a specific religious nature (as our friend Harry noted long ago) can do a good job of getting the most religious, by whatever measure, people but without established relationships or skills.

On the other extreme we have a truly intentional group where they select Tim for his medical skills as an ER Doc, Bob because he is an awesome mechanic, etc. These groups theoretically pick people with necessary skills to meet all sorts of needs.

The plus side to this is that you can get an intentional range of skills to meet all sorts of needs. The downside is that to be blunt these people usually don’t really know each other. Maybe they met a few times then went shooting and camping or something. However are they the kind of person you could ask to show up at 3am in the middle of nowhere with a gun, a shovel, a bag of lime and all the cash they can pull together?

The issue of families particularly concerns me with these groups. What sort of survivalist has plan A be to abandon everyone they know and go hang out in the woods with a few strangers? I sort of worry about the morality of a person who plans to abandon everyone they know in an emergency. Personally my goal, aside from the survival of my nuclear family is to provide as much support as I can to my tribe. I fear either A) A group will have a bunch of anti social psychos or B) When the balloon actually goes up a lot of ‘group members’ are going to show up with an extra SUV/ van load of family.

That is a brief discussion of what I see to be the range of group options as well as a touch on their pro’s and con’s.

Now that we have discussed people we can talk about land.

As Pastor Joe Fox notes land costs money. There is not a shortcut.

While Pastor Joe is talking more about a full on intentional community where people live full time the general point seems valid. Stuff costs money and there is not a way around that. What I am striving at is that there are a range of potential options that could be used for a retreat type setup.

 On one hand we have a Daddy Warbucks situation where one individual or family has a piece of land and everyone plans to go there if things get bad. In some ways this is the most realistic place for many groups to land. Of the 5 families in said group they go to the place of whoever has the best set up.

[On a slight tangent we would have to better define what ‘things get bad’ means. Can you go there if you lose your job then your house or just if there are roaming mutant zombie bikers and Daddy Warbucks needs help with security? Also what are you supposed to provide vs what does Daddy Warbucks  provide in terms of material things and stuff you do for him? Where are people going to stay? Is Daddy War Bucks going to have a
‘study’, his wife a ‘craft room’ and each of his kids their own room while
4 families sleep in an unfinished basement without heat? Are you going to be a trusted friend and defacto family member who helps ensure mutual survival sharing in the groups success or I suppose failure; or are you going to be a modern day serf with the side job of protecting him and his? Will you all eat at the same table or are you getting scraps while he feasts? There is not a right or wrong answer here. Just questions you should answer while you have time to make other arrangements if desired.]

Somewhere in the middle you have a bunch of people who, by plan or circumstance, ended up near each other. By near I mean walk to borrow a cup of sugar/ long distance rifle range. A square kilometer or a bit more for several families I would say. Of course in really rural areas that could be stretched a bit.  Maybe a rural west Texas or Montana Rancher has a solid play with his 8 closest neighbors but their homes are spread across 10 square miles. While that has some significant security concerns they are still a group.

On the other extreme a group of people buy land together as an intentional retreat. A few people or families buy some land that may have buildings on it.

Anyway we have a range of options here then a wild card.The wildcard is that we, whether a previously existing group or not all end up together in the same spot. This is a spot none of us own. Say 4 hobos, or broke families decide to camp in the same place in the state forest. Or they occupy an abandoned building or something. The point is nobody bought it and we are all there.

The reason I needed to talk about these two things is that in my opinion they radically shape the extent to which rules need to exist and the way rules will be established, judged and adjudicated.

Now that this is out of the way in the near future I will get to the planned discussion of retreat rules.