Sunday, March 28, 2010

Survival communities

Survival is all about community these days. The lone wolf in his bunker in the woods was popular at one time, but those days are over. Most preppers came to the realization that a group has a better chance of making it than an individual. While most preppers like to have well rounded skill sets, nobody is good at everything. Some jobs require more than one person. Then there is the fact that you've got to sleep sometime.

Never forget that the life of a lone wolf is . . . well, lonely.

In response to this some preppers have tried to form groups. One idea is to get a large piece of land, pool resources, and make a defended compound. Those don't have a very good history of working out very well. It can be pretty hard to make a living out in the hinterland. How's the group going to be ruled? Too many rules and people bail. Not enough rules and nothing gets done. Who's in charge? Not only that, the compound idea just begs for government scrutiny.

Another idea is to have a bug out location where everyone will meet in times of disaster. One person might own a farm, ranch, or cottage out in a rural area. Supplies are prepositioned there for when the time of need comes. There are advantages to this arrangement. People can stay in their jobs. Their life can go on as normal. The group isn't living together so they avoid day to day frictions. One problem is know when it's time to bug out to the retreat location. Will travel even be possible? Once most people get there, they have to figure out how to live together. All those frictions previously avoided now have to be faced during a stressful time.

This sort of thing works best with known threats for limited periods of time. It's a good enough solution for someone who lives in a hurricane area. They know when a hurricane is coming, and after a few days or weeks, they go back home. It doesn't work so good for a something like a solar flare or EMP that knocks out the grid and disables most electronics. If you aren't at the retreat already, you've got a long walk ahead of you. There's no guarantee that the retreat will still be standing when you get there. If it is there, who's to say it's not already occupied by people who's land deed came in the form of a 308 bullet?

Back in the hippy days, a lot of people experimented with intentional communities. Darn few of them are left. The Farm is perhaps the most famous community still in existence. It evolved and changed a lot over the years. The place is worth study. For a variety of reasons, most intentional communities didn't make it. Still, people experiment with them to this day. Noble as those experiments may be, they aren't for me.

I'm going to be living in an unintentional community. It's going to involve my neighbors, and any friends and family that bunk in with them and us. This isn't a plan. Nothing is official. My neighbors don't even know it yet. It's one of those things that will just happen. We don't have all that much in common. Our politics vary. We are in a variety of life situations. Ages are from babies to oldsters.

I think it could work. Even though we don't have all that much in common, we know each other. It's the sort of place where you wave at every truck and car that comes by. They wave back. Many will stop to talk. The road around the lake is perfect for walking. The local joke is that it can take all day for a 2 mile walk. A person can head out in the morning and stop to chat with everyone along the way. By the time he gets home the sun is going down.

For better or worse, these are the people I'm heading into the future with.

Do you know your neighbors?



  1. I'm thinking along the same lines as you. If there is a total collapse situation then my close neighbors and I are in it together, no other choice but to band together and work it out. If there is a more gradual economic decline to a depression, then I'm anticipating one or two of our four children and their families to end up at our place. We have already been making plans for accommodating more people in the home etc. We are a multigenerational household already with my elderly parents living with us. I figure we can fit in about 12 people total now, if it ends up with more than that, then we will have to build some primitive cabins etc or convert our loft in our barn into living quarters. I can envision if the economy worsens in the near future (inflation out of control, etc)we will all need to pool our resources in order to get by even if there is no "collapse". That's just the future, I think we will all eventually be multigenerational households. Prepare now as best as you can because it will be an adjustment any way you look at it.

  2. I'm always polite to my neighbors in case I ever need some weed or stolen property.

    It's all about connections.

  3. Hey aren't they the guys you bought that new window from . . .

  4. Yes.

    Yes they are.