Survival Retreats run the full gamut from basic to luxurious.
Some people have enough money to set themselves up with all the amenities way out in the boondocks, and others just have to make the best of what they have.
Some can live out on their retreat full time, and others have to work in the city. They set up their refuge in the countryside as a fall back position.
I know people in this county who have done both. In general, the younger you are, the less chance you have to relocate to the woods. Younger people have to work to make money, and they don't have a lot of disposable income.
We came out here when my wife and I were 32. She was just out of the Navy, and I had just left the Marine Corps. We had a small financial reserve, but for the rest we just had to work. I took jobs from running a main frame computer in a bank to working in a gas station. My wife took care of the kids until they were "stay at home alone" age then she went to work as a teacher. I went back to school full time and worked nights. Once I finished, I got a good job with an oil and gas company, and I stayed there for 20 years. It was a "good"job in that I made a lot of money, but it was a bad job in terms of who I worked for , and some of the things the company did. If Lebanon started me on the road to the life style of a recluse, that job finished it.
We didn't start out like the people in the picture above, but we didn't have a set up like this one, either.
One thing is for certain though, no matter how far out you go and how limited your exposure to society is, you can't escape it. You stay tied into the machine via financial , governmental and health matters if nothing else.
This week we had to go to an insurance seminar sponsored by the State Health Benefit Plan Department of Georgia. My wife retired from teaching, and we get our health insurance through the SHBPD. But every year, there are changes, and you have to "elect" different policies and benefits.
We drove to a college town in the middle of the state, and crowded into an auditorium with about 200 other "seniors." This is not a fun experience, because a lot of the people there are in their eighties and older, and there is a lot of "cliche" senior behavior. I noticed that about 75 percent of the attendees were women, which makes me think the old trend of the men dying off first and leaving old blue haired widows is still the rule.
We did get a lot of good information, but we were both pretty unsettled by the time we left. You wind up thinking "Good God, is that what I'll devolve into?"
We stayed at a state park lodge. It was one we hadn't been to in a long time. Beautiful place, with a lake and a fantastic dining room. The meals were great, and it was very relaxing. It did cost us some money but I am pretty sure it's tax deductible. Even if my tax accountant tells me it isn't, it was worth it. People always ask me, when it comes up, why I have an accountant when I was an accountant. The answer is, I didn't work with taxes. And there's always the old saw "a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client." That works in accounting too. Anyway.......
We have been making a real effort to "get out" some, and this was a way to derive some relaxation from a trip we had to make anyway.
This same week, I went to transfer some money from an account I opened in 1986, into another account at the local bank. When I moved here, the bank was a small red brick building. There was only one bank in the whole county, and it had no branches. Now, that old bank is the county library, and there are branches of the same bank in five states.
As you would expect, there's no personal relationship with anyone in the bank anymore. I do as little as I can with them, because I know the guy who came here , took over the bank , and "grew" it into the mega monster it's become. I don't like him. I also don't care for the production line attitude they have now.
I was told that I'd would have to pay a $7.50 fee to make the funds transfer. I said I wouldn't. So I saw the department manager, who sent me to somebody else, who sent me to somebody else.. There, a guy about late twenties explained to me that "banking has changed a lot in 30 years." He told me they had to change the rules , but that he could set me up with a different type of account that would be better for holding money. I asked him how better? He didn't have an answer for that, but he said I was "really" using that old account "wrong" and this "new account" would work better for me.
I asked him how he knew that I'd had been using the account inefficiently since before he was born. He didn't answer that.
I told them to just leave it not to touch it. I'll keep it open and hope it is inconvenient for them. I have lots of work arounds, so it won't bother me any other than the fact that they tried to BS me into closing a 30 year old account and opening one I have to pay fees on. The guy treated me like I was an idiot. I'm old , but I'm not that easily manipulated.
Then there's the fact that it's "property tax" time again in the mountains.
And, it's time to pay property tax. Out in the area I live, the county barely maintains the roads, there's no Sheriff's Department protection because they are all patrolling at the lake. If you have a fire, the county sends you a bill which they hope you will pay. If you go in to raise hell, they tell you don't worry about it, they just hire some company to see how much they can raise out of people who have had fires, and if you don't want to pay, you don't have to. I'm not making that up, because that's what happened to me a few years ago.
If you don't pay the property tax, though, the county seizes your property and sells it on the court house steps. But I guess the good news is, a lot of that money is sent down to Atlanta to pay for black urban school districts, who have no money because the school district administrators there embezzle most of it, and the tax base there is nil because they've destroyed any businesses in the district. So people out in the countryside not only get to pay for subsidized housing, healthcare, welfare, cell phones etc for the "urban poor" in Atlanta, we get to pay for their schools, too!
Even living way out here in the woods, and hardly ever coming into contact with anyone else, I still get to deal with all this. There's just no escape.
Here are some cartoons to lighten up this post:
Puerto Rico: A survivalist laboratory.
Puerto Rico is a territory. There are about 3 million Puerto Ricans in the territory, and as of a 2013 report by the Pew Research Center, there are an additional 5.1 million Puerto Ricans living in the mainland U.S. In 1917, the Jones Act granted U.S. citizenship to all Puerto Ricans. Even so, Puerto Ricans living in Puerto Rico don't cast votes in the Presidential Elections. Once Puerto Ricans move to the U.S. and establish residency, they have full voting privileges. Puerto Ricans living in Puerto Rico pay no federal income tax.
Every few years, the United Nations issues a pious report condemning the U.S. for it's policy of "colonization" towards Puerto Rico.
Right now, if you are interested in what happens when a society collapses, Puerto Rico is the place to be observing.
After the hurricanes, the infrastructure there has been wiped out. No one is sure how they are going to repair it, replace it, or completely reconstruct it.
Watch the news reports from down there if you want to know what would happen here in similar circumstances.
First, the Sheeple are proving to be an issue. News clips show families with no baby formula, no canned milk, no diaphers, no nothing , but well supplied with babies. They knew that Irma was coming, but a great many seem to have done absolutely nothing to prepare. I watched a couple complain about having no milk for their baby, because "nobody has brought nothing here for us."
Same with food. The mayor of some little village was whining about "my people are starving." Nobody seems to have bothered to lay in any canned goods, and with no transportation due to blocked roads, whatever they had fresh has gone bad or been eaten. The news story showed long lines of people lined up to get two cans of green peas, and some sugary snacks.
Water is a problem. I saw a story where some lady showed up to get water from a military tanker, but she had nothing to put it in. The reporter went on and on about how sad this was, that poor Chica didn't even have a bucket to put water in. Poor Chica was not responsible for this though, because the reporter felt the military should have brought a bucket for her, as well as fresh water.
Lots of stories on medical supplies. Some old guy was followed around from pharmacy to pharmacy, but no pills to be had. Now , it's been two weeks since the storm, roughly, and most prescriptions are either 30 days or 90 days. So, why is Joe Sh*t the Ragman out of pills? Could it be he didn't bother to go get a resupply before the storm?
Theses are just a few of the things you can pick up from watching the events in Puerto Rico. I have no reason to believe it will be any different if something dramatic happens up in the continental U.S.
The general consensus is "Somebody got to come come down here and be responsible!"
New Magazine Out:
This is one of the periodic "specials" that American Survival Guide puts out. Given that this is the Fall edition, it's not surprising that a lot of it has to do with survival in cold weather environments. I have a serious case of "castle syndrome", so I don't pay a lot of attention to articles about surviving in the bush with minimal supplies and equipment. I keep season appropriate equipment and supplies in the Jeep, and that's the extent of it. I do have significant amounts of field gear stored in the barn, from the period of time when I had small kids and we did a lot of camping. I get it out ever so often to check on the condition, and that's about it. Nothing short of a major forest fire is going to blast me out of here. If you wonder why, read this:
Truly, everybody who has an interest in survivalism (or being a prepper, or whatever moniker suits), should read the book, then see the movie. It's powerful motivation to get your act together. You may not like the story, but it's educational. Cormac McCarthy is the same author who wrote "No Country for Old Men" which should give you some idea about "The Road."
There are also some excellent articles in this issue of Prepper Emergency Survival Guide on field communications, dealing with the aftermath of major disasters in your area, choosing a few firearms to suit your needs and budget, and feeding yourself after a disaster. It's all good stuff. Not much of it will be new to most of us, but you just never know when you will read an obscure article in a magazine or book, and think " I need to do something about that."
Thought for the Day:
I had forgotten this old song til a friend sent the link to me: