Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The problem with retreats

I was pondering retreats and how I could get one the other day. I was also processing some information I've gleaned from various sources. I would like to score some land up in New Hampshire, Vermont, or Maine for use as a camping site for me and my buddies, and as a retreat location if the poop did hit the fan in a big way.

I was talking with several guys at the gun club, and several have property in Maine. All of them have trouble with the locals breaking in and using the place for a party hangout, looting, and other nefarious purposes. If they lock the door, they break through the windows. If they cover the windows with metal shutters, they are worried the locals would set the place on fire.

One of the guys has a good spot that is behind the house of the guy he bought it from and they keep an eye on it, but still his cabin is broken into by kids looking for booze and as a party place.

So unless you live at a retreat, then building any permanent structure is an exercise in futility. I guess that is lesson number one. No matter how remote you are, eventually a local teen will discover the place and use it for their amusement.

So the options are to live in a tent, or bring your shelter with you like a pop-up or RV. I guess the other option is to build a cabin, but cover all windows with metal security covers, and have a proper security door. They can still burn it, so keep your supplies cached in the ground nearby.

It's still a dream of mine to have, but considering my 401k has a year-to-date return of -52% I doubt I could escape the job anytime in the next 30 years. I have zero intention on moving to a retreat full time unless I had to due to mutant zombie biker ninja's rampaging across eastern Mass. Some survivalists woudl say I'm an idiot for not giving up on the job, but we all have opinions, right?


BigBear said...

This is unfortunately true. If you build a retreat it can only be shell with nothing in it. You will be broken into and robbed. Bury your stuff nearby or keep it in a secure location close to the retreat something like a storage unit in town.

It's funny that people think moving to the wilderness is a great way to get away from crime but personally I have been directly affected by more crime since building my retreat than I have had in the city.

Staying Alive said...

Don't worry, you will do the right thing or you will starve and die. And you have at least a couple months to sit it out. Take your time!

I'll be looking for ya'.


Staying Alive said...

There is no problem with a retreat but rather a problem GETTING a retreat. Took 30 years of hard labor to get mine!


Anonymous said...

We have had a remote cottage/getaway for 40 years, only two break-ins in that time. No permanent neighbors, but everyone close by looked out for each others stuff when they were there. No damage, and less than $1,000 of merchandise taken (electronics, air rifle, chainsaw) between both.

I bought the adjoining acreage and built new a few years back, so we keep a much closer eye on our 'guest house' now.

Not to suggest that'd be your experience, just my .02. If I had to do it over again - I might look at commercial metal entry doors and glass block windows. If off-grid, put in some motion alarms (maybe like this: http://www.firstratesecurity.com/strobsecsys.html) for extra protection.

My bugout plan, b4 we moved here, was to throw our dual sport bike on the tongue trailer, and head for the cottage. If the roads were blocked, abandon the truck and take the bike the rest of the way.

theotherryan said...

Unlike the city no one notices if an empty place gets messed with. If you leave a place in town and some weirdos start hanging around your neighbor will probably call the cops (assuming you told him u were going out of town for 2 weeks). If your rural place is out of sight of those friendly neighbors then all bets are off. Also it is a lot harder to make friends with the neighbor when your there a few weeks a year.

DaveP said...

We're talking with a owner of a farm - and he said prisoners had escaped and burned down most of the buildings, so I think you have a point here...just keep a shell (ie: roof) and bring everything else.

Plus, who knows, the same disaster could affect your retreat, then what?

Personally, I'd like to make a nice campground on the property (ie: clear brush, level and grade, setup water supplies) and get to some farming.

Then, if TSHTF we either just bug out with our camping gear (tent etc) or pick up a beatup camper van for it's last journey (depending on how much warning etc).

-DaveP in PA