Yes, we have talked about this before, but I was watching a video that made this subject a lot easier to visualize. Take a ruler and a US map. Draw a straight line up from Dallas Texas to Fargo North Dakota. To the right lives 75% of the US population. Draw a less straight line at the Sierra Nevada mountains on the California border up and squiggle over to the Cascades up through Oregon and Washington State. To the west of that line live about another 15%. Only ten percent, 30 million folks, live between the two lines. Close to half the land mass, ten percent.
Now, take away five cities within that land area. Las Vegas is ( roughly ) two million. Denver is three million. Phoenix has five million. Salt Lake City and El Paso are almost one million each ( these are metro area figures, not city proper ). Total, twelve million people. Take those figures and add it to the east and west coast. Not counting those cities, the land area from the California border to the Dallas/Fargo line has only five million people living in it. About one and a half percent of the population in about half the countries land area.
Now do you see the attraction of living out West? Do you now understand how desert junk land can be so cheap, even when the Western states are 80-90% federal land not up for sale? And if I took the middlin size cities such as Billings Montana, Albuquerque New Mexico, Amarillo and Lubbock Texas, Spokane Washington, Tucson Arizona and etcetera, how many decimal points would be needed to get that sub-one percent figure left? As if the figures weren't low enough anyway.
I simply looked at my world map and picked out the cities big enough to be listed in the US between those two lines. Fifteen in total, the small cities not already listed, totaled three and a third million. That leaves under two million people living in small towns, on half of the continental US. Well, okay, it is closer to 45%. But I'd call half as close enough. One and three quarters million left out of 330 million population. Those small cities were all fifty thousand and up, leaving small towns under that amount in the under two million figure. Surely you can find a job in a town of thirty thousand?
And the added bonus is that these small towns are surrounded by nothing. You have a huge moat surrounding you made of desert without water. Right now, even after Saudi Arabia was attacked, everyone is blissfully filling up SUV's, not a care in the world ( even two days afterwards, the only survival guy I see covering it was “Survival Prepping For Normal People”. Kudos to him and shame on the rest ), two hundred mile drives no big deal. But in the near future, those kinds of distances are going to be your friend.
Now, as I've said in the past, the West is NOT a great place to prepare for the end of the world. In that area, there is so little water that it is STILL overpopulated despite its vast landmass. Far too many folks depend on petroleum to deliver water to them. If you are living there, you cannot depend on man made water systems. I would have exactly two criteria if you moved there, and that is a year round natural surface water source and a rain catchment system. I call wells dangerous and overpriced.
If you envision living a lifestyle that depends on city water from a well, or a well of your own, you should have no business living in the American desert. Which also means pretty much forget about farming. Those areas with the water are so overpopulated you shouldn't be living there anyway, just from population concerns. “Stay away from crowds” still applies in the West. Actually, it is MORE important, as the water supply is too centralized and will draw MORE people like maggots to meat. At least back east folks will stay put, as they get enough rain right there. Out West, water is a trouble magnet.
In your relocation activities you have one of two choices. Plenty of rain and food with plenty of people, or few to no people with no water. It is easy to find Too Many People along with No Water ( visit Phoenix or El Paso ), but it is a LOT harder to find plenty of water with no people around. You must pick your poison. I don't discount living east. You still have oodles and gobs of options minimizing people ( living in swamps, on mountains, the Canadian border ). But just the sheer mass of folks CLOSE to that is still an issue. I don't call either option, rain or desert, better or worse. It is just what trade-offs you choose.
The only focus on this article is to appeal to those few who choose solitude over food production, to point out how it is a much better option than was previously portrayed. Just avoiding twenty cities, you have HALF the country to choose a spot where only one half percent of the population lives. That is a rather attractive option. It isn't free. There is a cost. You most likely can't grow your food and you must live a water conservative lifestyle. And while isolation is good, THAT cost is you must deep stockpile to avoid the coming transportation dearth.
I can hear a couple of you, okay, Jim, where's the downside? I'm not seeing any! You few, you can be happy living in the desert. If anything I said scares you, stay in the rainfall areas. You won't be happy in Big Skies and small streams erroneously called rivers. You'll need big bullets and large larders. And except for the lower, southern desert where all the idiots live clustered together ( no offense to minions-you have your crap wired. I speak of the millions prodding along the golf courses built in the Sonora ), you will be living in the cold. Most desert here is thousands of feet elevation, like the Mongolian Gobi rather than Death Valley.
Another vital requirement is that you understand what post-apocalypse living will entail. More than likely, you will be a herder. And that requires a militant lifestyle. Either to be a raider, living off the scraps of outposts able to farm, or to be a tripwire for that farming community, keeping outside forces away. Make sure you have that temperament. It isn't for Libertarians who think they have a natural right to their property. It is for people unafraid of taking what isn't theirs, or killing those only passing through. It isn't for Defensive Minded Only folks. It takes a harder edge, matching their surroundings.
( .Y. )
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It is important that you are emphasizing and listing what is the requirements and protocols for hermitage and hinterland hugging encampment. I see way too many examples of yuppie transplants (cash uppity from rustbelt or sunbelt expatration or with pensions, trusts or tort award shakedown monies) continuing their suburban affluenza behaviors and lifestyles. Everyone knows of the type, just cause they move to an area and encamp, only half assed approaching attempts at assimilation AND feebly ingratiating into and with the local populations. Those limp wristers who want to flee clown world and hide behind the aprons of deplorables for safety and security forget they still are wearing the vestiges of former selfs like clown clothes and exhibit mannerisms or lack things generally, that even all the most short bussed locals call bullshit to. Although a Redoubter wannabe may get a smile or wave from others it should be known going in there is entry fees and really tight codes of conduct. When food and those delightful carbon fuels become scarce, collapse commences earnestly. Those friendly become jealous or have a disdain which begots some violence and takings. Always happens, always.ReplyDelete
Hahaha! Stupid Yuppies. You put it quite well, loved it ( "hiding behind Deplorable security" ).Delete
A rare lucid moment, It is all true as a witness testimonial. There will be some shaking out and spicy times in the most obscure and everywhere locales. Change of address procedures with one's administrative affairs does not mitigate the adherence to the book, manuals, civil codes required in the new A.O. just saying.Delete
After reading your comment, I will change my handle to "Pilgrim."Delete
I should read the real life story of John "Liver Eating" Johnson, but since I haven't I will reference only the movie, "Jeremiah Johnson." In the movie version of Johnson, the guy did quite well as a survivor who hunted and trapped in mostly solitary conditions. The thing is though, he was taught by someone else who called him "pilgrim." After that he had to survive on his own.
I would imagine that this same pattern -- starting out as a 'pilgrim', or yuppie, or whatever -- is the norm. Those who have the right stuff and who survive then can boast, or ridicule the next set of pilgrims.
Honestly, I don't know who my bigger enemy is: the proud rugged individualist or the commie collectivists. Yeah, no joke here. It gets worse as the mindset of the Northern European stock looks down upon those less hard working Southern Europeans. Source: a recent article by VD Hanson. But of course he's right, so I'll have to remember that as I search for allies: "Remember, when they hear your last name, you will be thought of as inferior.
Pilgrim, signing out.
I tried to watch Jeremiah Johnson. Boring as heck. No love.Delete
Yes. A note I observed is to assess those towns or locales for its hub purpose of existence, current. Not it's historical mining or train stop reason. Is it a county seat with all area state, local, federal agencies: facilities and attendant employees, contractors-leaches, affirmative hired chain followed families and assorted booster clubs encamped. Is it an infrastucture hub (rail, power, etc) or has any corporate/fincial/tech-info footprints that is indicative of high value targets or exertion of their own intersets over the locals. I had to delay my own site selection based upon the requirement of an on the ground assessment of viability of an area. (No do overs, must be right decision the one chance to do it right) a realtor website (they lie like car dealers) or googling info for answers "to your liking and fancy" are not going to work well, if at all. Boots on the ground.ReplyDelete
I did well buying sight unseen years back. I don't think I could do that today.Delete
Good points, I also stress open water sourcing and some such of agraian type activities in areas as foundational requirements. This is the starting point on your fantasy 'redoubter league' team picks.ReplyDelete
It is hard to find an area that has an old school cloistered population base that wants zero growth, no outsider economic or development ideas, and has no plans and never will have any thoughts to paving roads, as they are just fine as they are as graded dirt. Unincorp towns, few numerically membered political bodies, and a nice flat or better yet, a contracting (quiet!) economy, is ideal basis points for hermitage scouting criteria. A 3k to 10k county wide or area body count would provide basic services and base of operations zone for a minion hermitage. That 25-30k+ body count numbers pulls in negatives that must be countered and more planning allowed for. (Meth-scumbags, snap welfare clingers, militarized and reactionary lash out type LEO, intertwined within the population numbers that high are SJWS and fifth columnists plying their trades to make inroads into a new cash coffer, and playing fields for power and control. Stay away from crowds, has to include ensuring relative distance and ability to maintain (that freedom dividend from hermitage) a distant detachment.
I don't think any politician, from Sheriff to DA to mayor, can get elected without promising the heroin high of growth. Frigging sheeple.Delete
True, even the cow counties have their gravy train trough for the local "enterprise zone" spending largess games. Just don't be entwined in even those smaller 'micro' political bodies/systems. All can become lethal, quick like.Delete
DEEP, DEEP, REALLY DEEP Hermitage.
I'm pining for a deep hermitage, now. I just wonder how much is "never being satisfied" boredom and how much is Lizard Brain warning. I had to-spit!-interact with people socially today minding my own business walking the dog. And they turned out to be scumbags even with all my charm and brilliant hair. That might be a contributing factor :)Delete
Good post. Something about desert squatting gets me all tingly inside :D Most people simply see the desert as uninhabitable for the most part, so this is the desert squatters ace in the hole. Yes, the water collection suggestion is spot on, and buys more flexibility as to where you can relocate. A new cistern tank is around $1k last I checked. Go with an oversized tank if at all possible. There’s more to it I’m sure. There will be trenches filled with gravel, and perforated pipe wrapped in filter cloth, etc. Still, it will be a fraction of the cost of your typical well, especially in the desert. The one exception might be land near the base of a year round snow capped, high desert peak. Your water collection chore then becomes an easy one.ReplyDelete
You can still have a small garden, but you will be limited to growing only a few things, and likely in raised boxes, so choose wisely.
One of the minions here once posted a great link on, Air Wells, Fog Fences & Dew Ponds, which I saved. I do not know how viable of a strategy it is, but it’s worth looking into.
Keep as many collapsible 5 gallon water jugs filled with drinking water on hand, as possible, for those low rainfall years.
I’ll probably be uploading a few guest articles in the near future. One will be on desert squatting, as well as an update on my motorized bicycle.
I would suggest more, smaller tanks. Not putting all eggs in one basket. And "collapseable" jugs? Are they more prone to leaks? I'd be careful.Delete
I forgot to include this in my first post, but I recall that the homesteaders in rancho Costa nada, buried trash cans in the nearby creek bed to collect water. You would have to figure out a way to filter it. I suppose I got ahead of myself, and forgot about the simple and frugal prerequisite.Delete
I mentioned the collapsible water jugs, because they come in 5 gallon sizes, and are thick and durable vinyl. But really, whatever you can get for free is the way to go.
I recently learned that obtaining water from my locale may not be that hard after all. Only one year round flowing river, very few natural springs - my goose should be cooked.ReplyDelete
What is still bad though - I live near the Mexico - U.S. border. So a major chance of invasion if collapse is fast. If collapse is slow, then the traffic may be southbound rather than northbound.
But I recently read of desalinization and how a simple expedient version of this may work. Our water table is very shallow, but very saline. Distillation is my only hope, and I formerly thought it required a full blown still.
Not so. A simple layout is a pot with boiling water, then placing sticks above the mouth, then placing cloth to become saturated with the steam would do the trick.
Yes, requires fuel to burn, but compared to the earlier thoughts, I thought I would be required to move away.
Why do I feel like a complete retard for not thinking of that easy method? You can always solar pre-heat, to need far less fuel.Delete
@10:32. Look up solar stills. They work best when the sun is shining, but I do believe they work round the clock. The one exception would be freezing temperatures.Delete
I was looking at more information on tranpiration bags (clear plastic bags placed over tree branches in full sun for water) when I came across this tip. Yeah, trapping steam is the basic concept - I don't know why I didnt' think of that earlier either.Delete
There are still a lot of isolated spots in the Midwest that have adequate or even abundant water supplies. Nebraska, Iowa, and the Dakotas have many rivers, including the Missouri River. You can drive dozens of miles between tiny towns. Minnesota has 10,000 lakes and hundreds of rivers and streams. And don't forget Wisconsin. From my time as an over-the-road truck driver I would judge Wisconsin to be the best kept secret in the U.S.ReplyDelete
Winter coats are required in all of these states, but it does help in keeping the riff-raff out (excepting the major cities like Omaha, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, etc.).
If you are too poor to do an extended visit to a potential relocation location, then the next best thing is online research of racial demographics and voting patterns for the county you are considering.
Not scared. Deserts, if among varied high interspaced mountain ranges will have a base sustainability level. There are developed or exploitable wells and system infrastructures within creeping charlie distance, Full year or seasonal springs are out there, as well as wildlife guzzlers and grazing infrastuctures. At a distance, yes. That is why bicycles and half assed hiking abilities.ReplyDelete
That desert can also be a resource void wasteland shield with no grocers, thus keeping sketchy scumbags at bay. Just saying.
Of course desert towns or villages attract the crackies, so beware initial wanderings.Delete
what happens when you ride your bike to the river, and the banks are lined with the filth of elko? Huge fat whores and lice infested crack heads washing their taint or shatting in the water. what if someone poisons the water trying to kill the fish? You with your bolt action and a bayonet vs. the hoards of aids carrying filth that want your tricked out beach cruiser and wool socks? I would be afraid of having to go haul water by myself.ReplyDelete
No fish, so that isn't an issue :)Delete
Best quickie description of the social milieu in rural desert areas I've seen. Really put it in a nutshell. Sorry, but the "good people" are not going out to these areas, it's the lone, mad dogs.Delete
Nightshift here. The desert living is interesting as I could handle the hermit life. I do enjoy my internet though. I could do it but water is obviously an issue. I do have decent springs on my land.....and trees. And good neighbors. Do I need a bugout location 1500 mikes away?ReplyDelete
You live at your bugout location ( sarcasm alert not issued LOL )Delete
Also of note - many desert dwellers depend on herding goats more than full size cattle. Even though their smaller size makes them more suseptible to predators, they forage on desert scrub and thrive where larger cattle won't survive. Check out goats - they are a possible option. Goats can also be trained to pack some supplies, providing they are trained for this. They leave smaller tracks that can be mistaken for deer in case you are attempting to avoid being tracked.ReplyDelete
Check out goats.
Goats should handle the cold better, as well.Delete
I like this. What we really need is a population density map that shows maximum density without hydrocarbons. It's certainly higher than pre-Columbus. It's lower than a rave party at the Kappa Sigs at the University of Florida.ReplyDelete
Deep thoughts. Good post.
It can't compete with your eastern seaboard map, but I don't like graphics ( it competes with my wonderfully brilliant words LOL ) Seeing as how the whole globes population is half our current one just in the lower 48, without the fuel, I'd wager about seven to seventeen million total, similarly placed as today. Even today, if we didn't have overseas oil, I think we'd have half the population ( this assumes lack of colonial control, with all those knock-on effects )Delete
Alaska Panhandle. Lots of water and wild food, very few people. No roads.ReplyDelete
It doesn't get all that cold there, right?Delete