Rural survival

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Littlesister 1 year, 6 months ago.

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  • #1186

    James Mitchner

    This forum was empty. Well, not any more!
    I live in a rural setting. My wife and I own a small farm surrounded by forests on all sides and neighbors close enough should they be needed by far enough away as to not be an intrusion on one’s privacy. We are both retired. Since moving here we have experimented in various activities designed to make us more self-sufficient – raising chickens, vegetables, fruit trees, alternative heating and lights, wild game. Although the body is sometimes unwilling, we do have the equipment/capacity to till the land and grow food as long as Mother Nature and the wildlife allow it. We are in a relatively safe place from social upheaval. Not saying that a societal upheaval or collapse would not affect us in indirect ways… it could and likely would regarding the delivery of needed goods to the region. Our biggest security advantage is likely our isolation. Our biggest risk factor is also likely to be our isolation. Help will be a long time coming, and if we should ever be targeted for some reason it will be a dicey issue for the two of us.

  • #1198

    OldMt Woman

    We have a similar situation and have drawn similar conclusions, JamesM. There is another thing we have noted, unfortunately. I take a look at how the pre-industrial people groups have managed in various areas of the world. Y’know…just in case we’d ever have to live post-industrial/post-electronic. In our high region of the Rockies, pre-industrial people did not live up here year ’round in large groups. They migrated…same as those we currently call ‘snow birds’ who migrate down to AZ-TX in winter and enjoy beautiful summers up here. Those of us who stay can well imagine what it would take to survive subzero temps at night…month after month without modern furnace or even gas for the chain saws that cut the firewood.

    It’s doable….the old trappers, others did it. But as we’re aging, manual labor on a large scale is becoming unmanageable. Even now, during a blizzard, we are on our own. No one can get thru that type of weather until they clear the roads. So far, it has not been a big problem. We’ve been here for decades but…now we are rethinking things. Recent medical issues without our younger generations near by…make assessments total up differently. 🙁 Still thinking…
    …AH! We have ‘edit‘! Thank you Daisy/Selco for setting all this up!

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by  OldMt Woman.
    • #1211

      James Mitchner

      I understand completely. For me it takes a lot to keep this place up. Without things like tractors and ATVs it would be impossible. Additionally, our house is not designed for use without electricity. Sure, we have a wood-burning stove. And we have alternative lighting and several means to cook. But living that way is both mentally and physically stressful. We have stores. We also have the means to mill grain manually. Hard work… all of it! Some think we can just trot out into the woods and harvest deer, elk, and… whatever. But those game animals will be gone quickly. I’m thinking opossum, coons, squirrels, and things we now turn our nose up to in order to augment the stores we have. Only those who have the advantage of mental clarity, good health and the means to sustain it would survive. Loners are at a distinct disadvantage regardless of preparations. It will take a community.

  • #1217


    I’ve done both the extremely rural survival and the big city version. I currently live on the outskirts of a town of about 100K people in a nice neighborhood where you still see kids riding their bikes up and down the sidewalks until the streetlights come on.

    I really did enjoy living in all of these locations but I ran into a security issue at our rural homestead that made me reconsider it as a longterm plan. We had 3 men show up and try to insist on coming into my home to make a phone call. It would have taken the police 45 minutes to arrive (if that) and I believe they were only deterred by the fact I had a gun. At that place, we didn’t have any neighbors within screaming distance. I truly loved the solitude, but I fear that during a real SHTF event, we would have been targets since it’s just me and my teenage daughter.

    • #1220

      James Mitchner

      I am leery of having service providers come to the house to do any work simply because we are isolated and we never know if in conversation they comment about our location and who may be listening. I always be sure the garage door is down and nothing is in view that might create interest. OTOH, I don’t seem to play well with others. Having neighbors close enough to monitor your comings and goings or tweeting their blinds to monitor you is just not my ‘thing’. Walking out of your condo or apartment with a rifle slung over your shoulder is likely a reason for a snowflake to call 911. I think we’ll stick.

  • #1265

    Crow Bar

    I must of hit the jackpot when it comes to being surrounded by good people. My neighbors are elderly and sometimes need some help and I am gladly willing. I watch out for them, and they watch out for me. If I have extra eggs, I give them away to them or the other neighbors.
    Other neighbors, we get together a few times a year for a fun shoot. Could be skeet, could be .22s. Then we have a cook out afterwards.
    When I go out jogging, or bicycling, I wave to people as I go by.
    I make a point of saying good morning or afternoon and smiling to peole I run into at our one person post office.
    A few winters ago, my wife’s car got stuck. I was trying to push her out and not succeeding. Someone driving by saw me struggling. He turned around, came back and helped me push her out. Never met him before.
    Driving down the county road, you can see many people have gardens. Some have small livestock. Others have medium or even large livestock.
    I am sure there are some not very nice people around here.
    But we are rural, have harsh winters and know pretty well we are on our own. Going to need to help each other if we are going to make it.

  • #1291


    We live rurally but are incredibly blessed to have bought the little farm I grew up on. I had a head start on knowing the longtime residents. For those I don’t/didn’t know we set off on a goodwill tour as soon as the hens started laying. Coming by with fresh eggs gave us a positive introduction and usually a jar of homemade jam (or something equally yummy) in exchange.

    If you can, try hard to get to know your neighbors. You’ll be surprised how many other preparedness-minded folks are close by. All it takes are a few favors and a few chats leaning up against someone’s truck and you’ll have a lifelong ally.

    • #1297

      James Mitchner

      Both you Crow Bar and Homesteading Mama are indeed fortunate for such good neighbors. Here we are getting an influx of suburbanites, often not from this state originally. They seem to have a different perspective on things than do the “natives”, who are very friendly and helpful. We still wave to each other as our vehicles pass on the road. The others… never.
      Last week we lost power due to the remnants of Michael passing through. I called several neighbors to see how they were getting along. One elderly couple, both in ill health, had no power, too. I carried a generator down and ran it so they wouldn’t loose their food stores in the refrigerator and chest freezer. Neighbors just do that. The old man tried to pay me and seemed to get a little upset when I wouldn’t accept any pay. He couldn’t seem to understand “Neighborliness”. (He’s originally an urbanite and not from here). You two have community. You both should do well.

  • #1763


    I am a bit in the middle. Rural agricultural area that once was verrrry rural and verrry agricultural, now there are just shadows of ag (except cattle and hay) and the rural-well everyone keeps just buying up the old pastures and farmland and building so people get a little closer all the time. There is also a massive developer that is taking over large swaths of land here and putting in ‘perfect suburban villages for retirees’ who aren’t from here. Now it isn’t in our area yet but it will be in the next decade or so and that is truly painful for me as my family has been on this acreage for over a hundred years.
    That being said, a lot of our neighbors are distantly related and we have long term trusted relationships with them-even the ones we may not be super fond of, weirdly enough. However, there are newcomers who are from a more urban background who are straight up assy and complain about our cows looking over their fence and they try to spray weedkiller for every weed(You are in the woods, man, there are going to be weeds!)and try to trap the local raccoons and squirrels because…’ewww animals’. Those people just…confuse me. However, in the grand scheme I think we are in an ‘ok’ situation in terms of the people around us. Could be better, could be worse.

  • #1858


    “We had 3 men show up and try to insist on coming into my home to make a phone call”

    This is an old ploy, it happens everywhere. Kinda like the water company guys, that are not.

    • #3449



      It was very obvious they were up to no good. Their car had no license plate and they claimed it was overheating and popped the hood. I managed an automotive shop for 10 years and know what an overheating car smells and looks like. They were definitely bad news.

  • #3447


    I’ve lived in Louisiana for nearly all of my 42 years, moved from the country to the city and now to podunk, evacuated from numerous hurricanes (Katrina, Rita, Gustav, George, etc.) and a 1,000 year flood. I was introduced to prepping at an early age, but didn’t get the “prepping bug” until 9-11. My husband (of 7 years) and I moved out to a rural-ish area 4.5 years ago, population 1,653, in the town 4 miles away. We have around 5.25 acres of land, containing a 1.5 acre stocked pond (we LOVE to fish!!!!), in an already established home. We know a handful of our awesome close-but-not-too-close older neighbors, and have built trust, a community, network with them. My husband and I are working on becoming more self-sufficient (planting fruit bearing bushes and trees, gardening, expanding our pond, looking into ways to convert the electric water well on our property [used to pump water into the pond] into a means to serve it and switch to manual water for emergency purposes, and researching going off grid, among other things.) I look forward to more posts on here, so I may learn more from all of you!

  • #5628

    Preppy Squirrel

    It’s funny we are somewhat rural but my experiences are opposite in some regards.  The locals consist to too high of a percentage of multi generational welfare families.  I think the word Appalachia paints a picture well enough.

    Interestingly it’s the outsiders who are coming in and farming and setting up sustainable and organic farms. It’s the outsiders who are building infrastructure and creating businesses and jobs.

    My areas economy was largely dependent on mills.  In the 80’s they started being moved abroad.  The young workers moved to other places.  This left retirees and those who depend on at least part of living from government, to a high percentage.  Now that people are moving into the area from outside, things are changing.

    Those who work, work hard and have a lot of machinery and skills, between that and the large amount of small farms and truck gardens and grass fed beef, pork, and poultry operations, we have a lot of food security here.

  • #5635

    Crow Bar

    @preppy Squirrel,

    I have read a number of articles about people becoming disillusioned with corporate life and opting for small scale farming, many of them in their 20s and 30s.   Cannot blame them.

    I dont know everyones situation around here.  I am sure there are some bad apples that spoil the barrel.  I just try to be the best person I can, and wave a lot.

  • #6821

    David Smith

    We have a small farm in New Zealand, the Country that is considered a safe bug out location.. which it is.. tho any city is a problem.  We have 100 acres.. about  one third in forest.  A small area of valley, and some steep hills.  Looks a bit like northern West Virginia.. which I have seen…but we are not far from sea.  The two local towns are old river port towns from the early days.  Still have the old wharves.. tho not used now.

    We are a long way from any major city, which is good, but close enough for schools and a good small hospital.  I am very glad we did not  bugout to a really remote area ( we did look at some places) as the SHTF did not happen as expected and we have lived sort of normal lives.  Raised two children, worked at jobs off the farm, built a nice house and generally look “normal”. :-).

    My parents lived on the farm in the early years and were a big help getting established.  They are dead now.  And quite unexpectedly my adult daughter and her man just returned to the farm.. to escape the city rat race.. and built a nice house and  had a child ..and have a big garden.. which was the plan.  So we get to help raise our granddaughter and have the younger blood on the farm to help.  Very nice.

    So here I am sitting in my Ark.. and it is DRY.  Sigh…  I do have to say we are very much enjoying our “Golden Years”.. and if it does start to rain.. we are ready.

  • #8398


    Our area used to be a two lane road that has extended to 4 lanes. what was once more of a country setting is now becoming more suburban. I heard the main road may become a 6 lane highway somewhere in the future. Our neighborhood has changed a lot. We don’t know a lot of the folks like we used to and they seem to want themselves. My nextdoor neighbor whom we have known for years is a joke. Her husband is very lazy. Used to be a gov. firefighter.  I have seen him watching us from his kitchen window many times. We have NO privacy around here and we live on a corner lot as well. When our garden starts coming in, here he comes. I don’t mind sharing but this guy is a trip. Told him one time he could help pick if he wanted some beans and tomatoes. He left and went home just to come back the next day. Only good thing is that our car is in garage so when we go to store, we just drive in and close garage door to take our groceries out. We need to move out of here but that is not going to be easy for us as we to are getting way up in age now. So not sure how we are going to manage where security is concerned. We are to close to military bases as well as  shipyards. So that might go against us as well.

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