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Thursday, February 11, 2016

go west, cubicle warrior ( 1 of 4 or 5 )


GO WEST, CUBICAL WARRIOR

A cubical warrior living in the East asked on advice about relocating.  Now, I’m assuming that said minion was assuming several things.  Such as, the living he was making dictated a continuation of the same type of career.  He could not just buy a quarter of a million dollar country retreat and telecommute from there.  He might be dragging along family and family members are not exactly known for embracing The Dark Side of survivalism and getting all giddy about living out of a travel trailer while a sudden unexpected snow storm trapped them in the middle of spring construction of a convention house.  I’m assuming a regular suburban type of move with family is desired.  Junk land is bought nearby and used for vacations ( the excuse given to the spouse ) or as a collapse back-up ( the real reason ).  After all these years, I just assume most minions want a normal life with affordable back-up plans ( hell, that is the life I’m living now and I sure didn’t plan on that one ).  So, while a Greyhound to junk land and living in a tent for six months working minimum wage is THE quick and cheap Rat Race Escape, most folks will take a pass, roll the dice and do things the safe ( as in safe for the marriage ) way instead.  I’m also assuming that said minion has a head full of American Redoubt advice.  While most of us feel crowded and hemmed in and unsafe amongst the populace ( even those of us living in the West ) and might wish to flee to safety, let’s talk about if that is even a good idea.  In a nutshell, what is the average nervous city dwelling survivalist to do?

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I don’t necessarily agree that if you are East you should go West.  On the surface it is great advice, but digging a bit deeper the West has many problems.  Hell, EVERY place has many problems in the very near future.  In Rawles fiction series, after economic problems and Dreaded Blue Helmet Occupation, things stabilize and return to near normal in a reasonable amount of time.  For Yuppie Survivalists, this is just the future they want to hear about ( because if things stay in collapse mode too long, things like propane and chainsaws and SUV fuel and PV panel batteries break or are depleted and if luxuries such as those disappear than Pussy Preppers don’t want to survive ).  Back in Non-Unicorn-Glitter-Farts Land, in reality, when overpopulation meets resource contraction, there will NOT be a recovery until population is culled enough to allow the soil to recover ( and, sorry to burst bubbles, organic methods need INPUTS.  Inputs are not available if their location is occupied by an enemy.  And everyone who won’t share is an enemy ).  And that is in the East.  In the West, where there never was a non-carbon fuel source of water in too many locations, the reality is that in terms of resources the West is far more crowded than the East.  There will be no recovery at all, just a return to the mean.  Populations will be nomadic grazers only.  If rain is not the norm where you are in the West now, forget long term agriculture.  The East will revert to agriculture level insofar as soil fertility allows and the West except in a few fertile areas will revert to nomadic population levels.  The American Redoubt is non-viable in this regard.  It is another mans version of moving to Wyoming or New Hampshire with the desired demographic to vote in freedom.  It does not work for PODA.  More next article

END
 
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31 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Peak Oil Dark Ages. I'd trademark but we won't be around long enough for that to matter.

      Delete
  2. In the west, water is indeed the biggest issue. You need to either have it on the property (at or nearly at the surface not a 200'+ deep well) or have it close enough to walk to in no more than an hour or so (so _way_ closer than 5 miles). Rainfall catchment can be primary, but even with a huge cistern there will be times you will need to supplement that rainfall - and you cant affordably irrigate a large field of grain nor water a herd, long with rainfall collected 3 months before if all you have is that collected rain fall. The old west's range wars were about access to water for the ranchers vs farmers access to irrigation and not wanting their crops trampled by the cows on the way to water.
    Here on the western edge of the midwest I can walk less than an hour from town, or either of my properties and get to one of 3 small rivers/canoe navigable big streams, that historically have never gone dry. AND these same bodies of water have never historically flooded enough to endanger the town or either of the average elevations of my properties. So I am mostly set that way.
    The midwest, west of the mississippi has most of the same advantages as the far west, with less mountains and slightly more intrusive government (usually run by religious right if you lean that way) I have some 'no go' corridors - anything within three hours drive of the coasts including the Mississippi river and great lakes (including the Great Salt Lake, Lake Mead, and Lake Tahoe even if you are Mormon the SLC, LV, and possibly Reno metro areas are too big of Metropolises.)
    But there are still plenty of medium size and smaller cities and large towns to work at. People in more rural areas still want the same services that people in big cities take for granted. CPA's, Lawyers, Tire repair/replace, cable TV installers, even fast food workers. Sure it is easier to get into the smaller communities if you already have community ties or live there - but if you have the skills to fill a need/want that enough people have you can find employment.
    Real estate isn't always as cheap as you might think for the 'conventional' homes, etc. But junk land exists if you look hard enough, and other housing opportunities can be found.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just as everyone seems to envision Mohave desert when they think northern Nevada, so too no one really deep down thinks about water. About as much as they think about no carbon fuels, I'd wager. Just human nature. I just wish more could think about the unthinkable. Especially if they are getting paid to write about a collapse.

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  3. On the topic of inputs for organic agriculture, probably one of the most critical inputs long-term, if you don't live on the coast, is iodine. I recommend stocking up on something like kelp meal if you're planning on farming inland. Best time to do it was before Fukushima, but still better to do it before the next nuclear disaster.

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    Replies
    1. That's a really good question... the answer, if you're using it for its iodine content for fertilizer, is it really doesn't matter as long as you keep it dry. Iodine is soluble so it will wash away, but otherwise it should stay put for however long you decide to store it.

      Now if you plan on actually eating the stuff rather than using it for fertilizer, I would definitely be more concerned about shelf life.

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    2. I'm not familiar with the stuff, but "meal" implies it is ground up. Yet, if it has no fat I can't see were anything goes rancid. Just spitballimng here. I was just thinking it might be cheaper than buying it in the salt form. Heck, I don't even know if iodine is sold in supplement form, just that you get it from the right kind of salt and need it to keep from getting nasty diseases.

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    3. It's kind of like wheat -- if you buy the consumer product, you pay ridiculous prices; the farm product is a fraction of the cost. Kelp meal fertilizer is a couple dollars a pound; iodine supplements in the form of kelp are a couple dollars an ounce.

      Iodized salt is not a bad cheap prep, but it doesn't have any other trace elements like kelp does. Himalayan salt has lots of trace elements, but it's not cheap.

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  4. I think a starting point would be to research how many Native Americans were living in your area 300 (east coast) or 200 (west coast) years ago.

    Once you have that number add to it:

    Simple technical advances like metal tools, windmills, steam power, horse drawn technology, fencing, traps and weapons;

    Scientific knowledge;

    Modern ideas like intensive agriculture, genetics, knowledge of diseases and pest, irrigation, disease resistant for crops, etc.

    Then subtract some from your new number for:

    Loss of top soil,

    Paving and buildings on prime farm land,

    Imported diseases and pest,

    Loss or pollution of water resources,

    Increased population but not an increase in basic back-to-the-land knowledge,

    Then subtract another 20% - 50% for overshoot and learning curve.

    This should give you a good idea on your local capacity to support Humans.

    Now you have to think strategically. In my opinion, it would probably be wise to not aim for the "best" area. Because remember Ol' Remus' s first rule of survival "Stay away from crowds". So the best area is probably not the one you want.

    So that leaves us with the so-so to bad areas. Each has their pros and cons. Either way, getting through the initial die-off will require some luck.

    Amazingly, the more skills and basic needs you take care of (like storing copious amounts of calories in the form of wheat, beans, etc) the luckier you become.

    It's all about playing the odds.

    Idaho Homesteader




    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, now don't take offense when I talk about Idaho later :). Heck, even Nevada isn't perfect.

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    2. Just make sure you remember that Idaho is big and diverse so it's hard to generalize. Similar to how you like to remind us that all of Nevada isn't like Las Vegas.

      We have really wet and really dry. Some places are kind of crowded and some places you might be the only person within ten thousand acres. Certain cities have a great economy and others might make it as high as a recession at best. Mostly conservative but a few liberal/granola/environmental activists.

      Taxes are fairly reasonable and over 1/2 of the state is publicly owned so lots of recreational opportunities.

      My area reminds me of Western Washington. We are not quite as wet but we receive enough rainfall to have lots of different species of trees, ferns, etc. Our temperature stays fairly moderate. High in summer average around 80-85 and lows in winter are usually 20-25. Lakes, mountains, trees and streams with not that much population.

      Idaho Homesteader

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    3. I hate to generalize but find myself doing it anyway. With fifty states, things tend to get that way just to make sense of the data. I shouldn't be too harsh on Idaho. I'd live in Oklahoma if I could and it shares the same employment issues ( only jobs in the metro areas ). I think I'm unduly critical since all the poser wannabe survival gurus pimp for the place. You actually own the Living The Life and are more qualified to speak, and I do recognize you know of what you speak.

      Delete
  5. Jim,

    I'm the minion. You are on the right track for what I was looking for. I wonder if the appeal of the redoubt is 25% survival and 75% escapist fantasy?
    OhioMatt

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    Replies
    1. I think you are on to something. As in, the perfect wetdream of a retreat, only available to a very select few. Like, say, the pulp book series from the 70's where macho men slew legions of evil and bedded as many bitches.

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  6. Can't speak for said minion James, since I'm unaware of his living situation? But for myself (Single, no children, so less complicated for me than many folks) had I not been allowed to park my RV on my parents acreage, I had the following plan.

    Rent as small and cheap a place in town as possible as long as work held out. Buy junk land within reasonable distance (Not so far that you couldn't go there at least a few weekends a month). Place simple trailer to start, and start putting in the preps in cache form including water. For shelter, having been through this at a previous property, I do not recommend building anything permanent until you are able to live there full time. Theft and vandalism are a constant worry if you do. A cheap trailer, not so much. Do not leave anything in the trailer of value. Bring everything up with you for your stay, and it all leaves with you. Remember, your actual preps are cached. The only permanent exception to the trailer might be a well hidden earth sheltered option.

    Prior to the real estate bubble, I might have considered purchasing a house as an investment, but now I feel that anything less than a very cheap home (think super low taxes) in a rural area (low population density) is a bad investment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Conventional homes were the bankers bread and butter and the governments cash cow. Very little to be gained from them then, nothing now.

      Delete
    2. Watch a "conventional" house being built and you will not want to pay half of everything you earn for 30 years to "own" it. In Portland, they are OSB with minimal plywood trim, built by the incompetent in the rain, wrapped with Tyvek to seal in the rain (building better black mold!).
      I'd rather live in an 18" bumper-pull trailer (or 7mpg medium-size Class-A rv)that I have re-sealed tight. At least, if there was fuel and jobs, you could go there and work until it's time to vacation again on the junk land.

      pdxr13

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    3. Very wet weather here this year. More snow in three months than the last three years combined. And what are they doing? Winter construction, leaving the wood out in the snow. Not Portland levels of wet, granted. But these are commercial buildings so you know they ain't cheap. Morons.

      Delete
  7. Again too many words in this post, so I had to break it up..

    As far as preppers moving out west to the Rawles Redoubt It probably won’t work for most people as there is just not enough money there to support people that have lived and gotten use to the normal American life of today. People that live what they see as a good life today, a life filled with debt from buying trinkets, eating out several times a week and a life where you throw money at a problem and it’s fixed instead of fixing problems themselves.

    I don’t see them easily taking to austerity as a lifestyle and that is what would likely be needed as far as their viewpoint.

    I read once that if more people now live in a place then did in Wyatt Earp’s time and you think we may get an EMP event or the loss of the grid you should live someplace else because the ecosystem without the grid will not support the people living there. Don’t know if there is truth to this, but it sounds sound.

    Jobs and money are much more common in cities (this is why people flock to cities during hard times) then in the country. Retired people that get a monthly check could easily make the move as the check comes to the closest bank or mailbox. But what if the checks stop or simply don’t buy what they do now? These people could be in a world of hurt if they think the government and it’s checks delivery and value are written in stone.

    Rawles pushes his Redoubt as a way to escape “The Golden Horde” But honestly I think “The Golden Horde” is a prepper wet-dream for most part that history has not supported. Most people will sit in place waiting for Daddy-Government to rescue them, all the while using up recourses like food and fuel. Within a few weeks they will not have food, fuel, willpower or anything else needed to go out and roam the countryside. A few will, but most won’t. A bigger threat in the country then city people is your neighbors that didn’t prep. They are close to you, likely have guns and like the city folks, must have food. I don’t think it’s safe to think anyone you run into is safe to trust. No easy answer to this, at least that I can see.

    On-line income makes the Redoubt seem doable, but at the same time Rawles seems to think the economy, the net and the US dollar are going to evaporate. How does he (and those that don’t think the move through) think all the self-reloaded people are going to survive? I don’t really see him addressing this much.

    I bought 5 of his books ($1.00 each) at the Good Will Store last year and read them. They don’t at all deal with what I would call reality. In his “How to Survive The End Of the World” book he actually recommends buying a used fire truck to have on hand just in case your house caches fire. Considering it gets cold (as below 32 deg cold) where he wants everyone to move to a fire truck would be just about the dumbest thing to have. It puts out fires with water, that means water tanks, pumps, valves, hoses, spray heads. And having been a carpet cleaner for 20+years (carpet and fire trucks have the same things in them) I can tell you letting a truck sit outside just one night in the cold will destroy all the things that the water touches. You MUST keep that fire truck warm 24/7 365 days a year or else it will be junk. How is a person going to afford a garage big enough to hold a fire truck being heated all winter to keep that truck warm? What kind of fool gives advice like this? And who takes advice like this from this fool? But people (way too many) think he is the end-all for survival advice, it’s almost a worship mentality. And that’s dangerous.

    Chuck Findlay

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "On-line income makes the Redoubt seem doable, but at the same time Rawles seems to think the economy, the net and the US dollar are going to evaporate. How does he (and those that don’t think the move through) think all the self-reloaded people are going to survive? I don’t really see him addressing this much."


      Nickels. According to 'that other site', we are suppose to stockpile boxes and boxes of nickels. :)

      After the "Nickel Age", we advance to the "Silver Dime Age". Once we get through that, everything will be wonderful because of the Second Coming.

      ;)

      Idaho Homesteader

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    2. So I guess I should be saving Nickels. I buy and save silver, but I do it for a retirement nest egg, not for a prepper fantasy Barter-Town (as in Mad Max) way to survive.

      My idea for surviving post SHTF or even a down-turned economy is to have repair skills, the tools and parts (Screws, bolts, welding wire and 1,000 other things) to support those skills.

      I keep busy now fixing things and things are still going to need fixed post bad times. I think I will still be able to work and make money. Being out of debt and living a simple life I am able to charge 1/2 of the going price for the work I do. I keep busy this way and still make a decent living and am trusted to do good work by my customers.

      I developed and am developing more relationships with people now before it goes all bad so I have a ready made and going income. Waiting till it hits the fan before you start a new skill is going to be tough. Heck it took years to build a customer base, get all the tools and skills needed to do my work. Post SHTF tools are going to be hard to find. I stop at all the local pawn shops every week looking for more tools to do my job. It was slow to get what I have, but I'm pretty well set now with tools and skills. But I'm always looking to get more so I can do more and therfore make more money.


      Chuck Findlay

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    3. Don't get me started on those damn nickels! :)

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    4. Hehehehe. I knew that would get your goat :)

      If I don't give you a hard time, who would.

      Idaho Homesteader

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    5. My new Old Lady is pretty good about giving me a hard time, but like you it is in good fun. The more the merrier, dog-pile on :) Keeps me humble and I don't start thinking too highly of myself. Much. Okay, not as much.

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    6. (My new Old Lady is pretty good about giving me a hard time)

      I think it's in their DNA as they ALL do this.

      That's why I have gone MGTOW, Life is so much more peaceful and stress-free. Chuck's a happy person...

      Chuck Findlay

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    7. I think I like being picked on. Some character fault.

      Delete
  8. Part 2

    Also I know water is in short supply many places in the West. Wells have to be drilled deep and in many cases they are too deep for manual pumping. And in some areas of the West it’s illegal to collect rain water because the government says it’s not your water. If I lived there I would covertly collect it as we all need water and I don’t trust government to get it for me in a place where it’s not common.

    I live in Toledo Ohio (a suburb of it) and water is all over here, in fact it’s abundance is a problem. My city water is safe, but even here where water is all over the place water can be a problem. Toledo had a water problem with Microcystin Toxin a few years ago and Flint has it’s lead problem that is going to take $$$ Billions to fix for all new pipes. So even where water is plenty there can be problems. I use a Berkey type of filter and a few Katadyn portable filters, and I collect some rainwater, hopefully I’m safe.

    I would like to live out in the country away from people but I’m somewhat tied to my customer database that took years to build. I went through a divorce, motorcycle accident and job loss all at the same time. It took years to recover from all that (and the court system that took everything) years that I lived on almost nothing. I never want to go through that again and I will not cast aside customers easily. I do prep a lot and plan for a life of lower income, but that doesn’t mean I want it to happen enough to abandon my income for a life out West.

    I am planning to move out 25-miles or so to have buffer from the city and also to enjoy the life there. This is out a bit and still close enough to do my work. But what I won’t be doing is moving out West abandoning customers that took 10-years to get. It is a recipe for disaster.

    An alternative place in the East that I have never seen mentioned is Michigan’s UP (Upper Peninsula) it’s remote, has few routes into it. It has “The Mighty Mac” (a big bridge) as the only way to get to it from the the lower part of Michigan. It has limited access from the West. And it has a lot of water. The great lakes, water falls, rivers, ponds are abound. Wildlife is abundant (as are bugs.) It has a drawback in that it’s cold and gets a lot of snow, and the bugs. When they have a place named mosquito beach you know the bugs are bad! Munising (a place I visit almost every year) gets 131 inches of snow, I hate to think of living with that much snow.

    Tennessee and parts of Kentucky are mentioned as places in the East that would make good remote places to live. But then when you say the word “Remote” it also almost always means that there is much less money there to generate an income.

    A move to a new place needs to be thought out well and the question of income, water, living conditions and what we personally are willing to live with needs to be realistically addressed or the move will fail and a person could end up in more trouble then if they stayed where they are.

    Also as far as income we all should be developing multiple income streams. Most times this means self-employment or at least a side income that is separate from a normal job. I have multiple incomes and feel fairly comfortable with their future prospects in a good or down-turned economy. I fix just about everything, auto repair, electrical, plumbing, welding, window and door installs, wood working, anything in a home from the roof to the basement floor I repair. I build furniture, I buy a lot of old broken electronic items at garage sales and sell them at a flea market. I bought a log splitter and always had chain saws and get paid to chop down trees and haul away the wood. Did I mention I partly heat with wood? Not is it only free, I actually get paid to go get it. I wish I could do that with natural gas…



    Chuck Findlay

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  9. Part 3

    My point is that we all must have money coming in and it’s mighty hard to find money in places that are remote and have a low population density. It’s a good idea to be able to make money from multiple things. When you work for someone else (a normal job) and you learn a new skill you have to hope (mostly in vain) that your boss sees fit to reward you for the new skill you learned. But when you are self-employed a new skill or tool pays of right away. As an example a few years ago I bought new plumbing tools (PEX Tools) that cost a few hundred dollars. One job paid for the tools and I have been using them every few weeks for 2-years. This is real and almost instant income. But had I worked a normal job I would probably still be making the same money as before I learned a new skill. I did the same thing when I bought a MIG welder.

    But a problem is self-employment scares most people as they see it as sporatic and don’t want to abandon the security of a weekly check.

    Having scraped bottom with the divorce / motorcycle accident / job loss (all at the same time) and years of living on close to nothing has conditioned me to not be afraid of slow times. Debt (which I will NEVER have again) also makes people afraid of dumping the weekly check. Get out of debt 100% and you gain freedom. Who knows, you may even find you can work much less when the debt is lifted and start to really enjoy life as no one really likes to spend all day, every day working for someone else.

    The 4-K word limit thing sucks!


    Chuck Findlay

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    Replies
    1. "Having scraped bottom with the divorce / motorcycle accident / job loss (all at the same time) and years of living on close to nothing has conditioned me to not be afraid of slow times."


      That would be a great guest article.

      Idaho Homesteader

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  10. Dude, you should be writing guest articles! If you can be making money as an independent in this economy, you are doing better than most. Yes, it would be stupid to give it up. Rawles is just the latest Survivalist Guru. A long line from the 70's, all pretty much teaching the same thing to the same people. Don't hate the Player. His script was written long ago. I hate some things he says, but by and large he is just the current mouthpiece of survival commercialism and does well enough in that role. I was actually more butt hurt when his last novel ( of the Patriots series ) sucked ass than I was about his over priced advice. I appreciate the long involved comments, but can't do justice to them in my response. I hope the last two posts in this series help you some. If not, feel free to e-mail me or just keep commenting.

    ReplyDelete

I must moderate-trust me. You don't want to see what happens otherwise. Sometimes it takes awhile to respond as I only check two or three times a day. No N-Bombs, nothing to get me libeled. Otherwise, have at it. If you criticize me, make sure to praise my hair first.