Looking Back One Year After Buying Our Prepper Property

After living with our house hunting decision for a year, we look back on what we have learned and would do differently.

One year ago, we left our home near the city and moved into our rural prepper property. Last week, I wrote about the lessons learned moving from the exurbs to the middle of nowhere. Today, I will discuss things we wish we had done differently regarding our property search, which is detailed here.

More Pasture

My biggest regret is that we do not have more pasture. We cannot raise goats or even pigs unless I were to fence part of the mountain. Having already installed fencing on a mild grade, I can only imagine how difficult it would be to fence steep terrain.

While I like to think of our land as our “homestead,” the terrain constraints limit our homesteading capacity to small livestock. It may also limit the amount of land we can use to grow food in a grid-down situation.

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Make Rules for Smooth Functioning of Your Prepper Retreat

Who’s in charge at your retreat? What will yo do if some people there are lazy? Maybe you should have a set or rules and expectations for prepper guests.

In yesterday’s post, I discussed how we expect another family, their adult children, my adult children, and their significant others to bug out and join us here in the mountains for any kind of serious disaster.

If you end up being the host family for other family members, friends, or fellow preppers that bug out to your place, you need to have some rules. You also need to think about the rules before everyone shows up. (Because: preparedness.)

Rules are necessary to prevent chaos, to establish a command structure, to identify responsibilities, and to ensure that everyone understands why they are there and what we seek to accomplish. Survival in a world without utilities and little or no chance of resupply will be difficult. Survival will be impossible if your prepper team is pulling in different directions, or stopping to argue or debate every decision or instruction.

Here’s how my rules stand today:

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You Don’t have to be Rich to Escape to an Island

The wealthy may have their tropical islands, missile silo condos, ammunition bunkers and other escape plans, but you can you can prep on far less.

This article on ZeroHedge complains about billionaires “hiding out” on tropical islands while the rest of us are stuck at home dealing with COVID-19 the problems caused by the elite.

I have three thoughts on this:

  1. Yep, I agree it is unfair that the elites don’t live under the same rules as the rest of us, whether they are wealthy business people or our elected officials who have their own retirement and medical systems. Rich folks take prepping to a whole other level with private jets, private security, island getaways, and houses on 50,000-acre ranches.

  2. This is no surprise; the rich are always been treated differently than you and I. You probably have heard of the Golden Rule: He who has the gold makes the rules. Centuries ago, the elite were royalty, nobles and rich merchants and the rest of us were serfs, servants and tradesmen. Little has changed except their titles, and we now have indoor plumbing.

  3. There is nothing stopping you from prepping on a smaller scale. You, too, can “hide out” from COVID-19 or other problems, but it takes a commitment and a willingness to change your lifestyle. You must decide if you are the kind of prepper who has a bugout bag or who lives on their island full time like Larry Page.
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Crazy Real Estate Market Caused by People Fleeing Cities

After a recent renaissance in which cities where THE place to be, people are now fleeing large, urban areas and are desperate to buy rural property.

After my recent visit to help clean it out, our retreat went on the market. (For those of you who are new to the blog, a quick recap: Our retreat is an old family property that has not been well maintained but is in a good rural location. We no longer need a retreat as we moved to our permanent prepper property in 2020.)

One day after the listing, we had an offer, just below our asking price. The next day, we got a second offer at our asking price. By the third day, there was a bidding war, and we ended up settling at about 10 percent above the asking price. A nice premium!

Coordinating approval of the offers took some time because what I refer to as “our retreat” is owned by multiple parties and I am only one of three on the selling side. Ever try to coordinate something among three people? It’s not any easier when they are all related.

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Time to Double Down on Prepping

Look around. When things take a turn for the worse, it’s time to double down on prepping and planning for the worst case scenario.

I can’t help but think that the Biden Administration is pushing us closer and closer to the edge of ruin.  His latest idea of double capital gains taxes on the rich (who do most of the investing) will likely cause a significant drop in the stock market as people liquidate positions this year to avoid paying double taxes next year.  On top of that, he’s weak on the international stages and his foreign policy will potentially embroil us in another war before his term in office is over.  Then there’s the mess he’s making of our society by embracing socialism, and going where no president since FDR has gone to force his policies upon the American People against their will.

I had hoped Joe Biden would be “more of the same,” meaning just like every other mealy-mouthed Democrat and a good many of the Republicans who over promise and under deliver. Instead of being a president who accomplishes little or nothing, he’s caving into the far left and pandering to the Socialists.  He seems to fully support demonetizing the police, punishing people who create jobs, and turning what’s left of our free market into a highly-regulated, government-controlled market doomed to failure.

I’m starting to worry about our future.  Over-taxation is one of the top precursors to revolution, and aggressive socialism usually leads to economic collapse, eventually.  Both of these outcomes lead to a collapse of the government and our complex system.  That spells trouble for the country and its population.  You think we have social unrest now?  Wait until things fall apart and there is no veneer of civilization holding people back.  Blood will flow in the streets.

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Clearing Out our Survival Retreat and a Look at What We Stored There

Ever wonder what a prepper stores at their survival retreat? We visited our retreat and here’s a look at the supplies we cached there.

Over the long weekend, we made the long journey to our survival retreat and recovered some supplies we had cached there. Most of them had been there for less than a decade, but some items had been there since before Y2K.

Now that we have our permanent prepper property, the retreat property will be sold. This trip to remove our personal property was the first step in that process. We also met with a realtor and she gave us some ideas on how she would market it. Thankfully, she agreed that we should sell it “as is” and while we won’t be making any renovations or major improvements, she made some suggestions of what might make it more marketable without the need to spend much money. We hope it will be on the market in June.

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The Best Way Preppers Should Spend their Stimulus Check

As Congress creeps closer to yet another stimulus bill, Preppers may be in for a windfall. Here are our suggestions on how to spend it.

Yesterday, I suggested you use the coming (temporary) period of exuberance and excitement after the COVID-19 nightmare draws to a close to prep. Below are some suggestions in greater detail, but because we’ve talked about food and water before, we’re going to start with the bigger preps and work backwards:

Get Out of the Cities

I think the biggest priority for any serious prepper should be to move out of an urban or suburban location and to a rural one. I’m not talking “vacation country” where people go to spend two weeks a year, but hardcore country where just about everyone owns a chainsaw, a rifle and pickup truck.

Your stimulus check won’t buy your new property, but it can cover the travel and other expenses related to a property search.

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September 22 Prepper Diary: Back to our New Property

The move continues as we get closer to our goal of living at our prepper property one step at at time.

We are in that happy time between seasons when it is too cool to require air conditioning yet too warm to demand heat.   The days are sunny and comfortable but nights are chilly enough that we had to put the thick comforter on the bed.  I will admit that I am happy my wife goes to bed before I do because she warms up the bed!

The sudden arrival of fall was driven home by the even cooler weather in the mountains. Yes, we just drove another pick-up truck load of gear to our new property. As I unloaded more stuff and fit it onto our storage shelves, I inventoried our 5-gallon pails.  As I discussed in the prior article, it seems I need to acquire some more beans to balance out the many buckets of rice and wheat.  We were stuck indoor due to the rain, so I did some indoor chores, like installing towel bars and toilet paper holders in the bathrooms.

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August 3: Our First Step Towards Moving

We kicked off our move by renting a U-Haul and loading it with food and ammo. Dragging it up, over and around the mountains was a chore.

For our second trip to our new home, we rented a 4’x8’ cargo trailer from U-Haul.  I found their trailers to be surprisingly reasonably priced, even once I added the insurance. 

I scheduled the trailer pick up for late afternoon, giving us the rest of the evening to pack it.  Then we left the next morning, drove most of the day, unloaded that night and the next morning, and then returned the trailer to our nearest U-Haul dealer – which was 30 minutes away.

Loading the trailer was far more time consuming than unloading because of the need to carefully fit everything in to maximize space and to load balance.  You want about 60 percent of the weight in front of the trailer and 40 percent on the back half.

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Prepper Diary July 8: A Retreat Visit

Our daughter visited the family retreat or bug out location without us for the first time. It was a learning experience for all involved.

Our youngest daughter and her boyfriend visited our retreat this past weekend, her first trip there in 10 years and her first visit alone without us, her parents.  She described it as “going back in time” which is very true as we have not updated the old cabin furniture and the kitchen is one that harkens back to the 1970s.  It’s mid-century modern, but not in a good way,

Our daughter is in her mid-20s and is doing her best at what she calls “adulating,” meaning acting like an adult and assuming adult responsibilities.  She has her own apartment, job, car and better benefits than I do, so she’d doing jut fine. Nonetheless, this trip was a good lesson in adulating because:

  • She had to do things like turn on the water pump, turn on the hot water heater, vacuum up the stink bugs, try to repair the leaky toilet (fail) and find out first hand that the dishwasher leaks.  OK, that last one is our fault – we do the dishes by hand because it leaks and we just forgot to tell her because.  I think the dishwasher seal has dry-rotted or decayed, and who wants to buy a new appliance for a place you visit four or five times a year?
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