Saturday, January 7, 2017
Discounting the north
There are a lot of bug out maps for potential safe places bouncing around out there. They have some things in common: avoid big cities, have access to clean water, be able to grow food, and so on.
A big one is having a mild climate. That's nice, but a lot of people think that way. In a SHTF situation everyone will bug out to such places. Maybe those places won't be so good once thousands and thousands of people try and move in.
I'm here in the mountains of northern NH. It's cold and the growing season is short. However, the population is low and there is a lot of open Federal land and big private timber lots. Private land owners get huge tax discounts by allowing public access to their lands.
Snow and cold have advantages. All it takes is one unplowed snowstorm to make travel impossible. While it's difficult to get out of your house, it's just as hard for the golden horde to get to invade. Besides, most people will be heading south so they don't freeze to death.
Yes, the cold is an issue, but a good woodstove and a big pile of firewood make all the difference in the world. I've always said a woodshed full of wood is better than money in the bank. In an emergency situation it's possible close down much of the house and concentrate living near the woodstove. That reduces the amount of firewood that you need to survive. Good warm clothes makes all the difference in the world too.
Having good food storage is essential. You really don't want to try and forage for food in the dead of winter. It can be done, but everything is harder in the cold and snow. Times are lean. That will discourage those who think they can bug out and live off the land. They will head somewhere else.
There are some tricks to living in snow country. One big mistake people make is that they think it's easy to melt snow for water. I've lived for days on snowmelt, and it's a lot of work. The woodstove was kept blazing hot and big pots of snow sat on the stove. It's discouraging to melt down a big 5 gallon pot of snow and end up with an inch of dirty water on the bottom. Snowmelt also tastes pretty bad. I've dug through feet of snow and ice to get to liquid water in a stream. It's less work than gathering snow all the time.
On the bright side, refrigeration is not a problem. Neither are insects for that matter. It's not all negatives.
In a pinch I could keep my house warm just with the firewood within walking distance to my house. I've done it, and all with hand tools too. Get some snowshoes and tobaggons and it's possible to haul a lot of things around.
If you are prepared, the cold and snow are advantages. It keeps the riff raft away.