Blog - Should you have a “bugout retreat”?

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Blog - Should you have a “bugout retreat”?

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Image The coronavirus pandemic is bringing a lot of people into the preparedness fold, and re-igniting the interest of those who’ve been at it a while (and perhaps slacked off out of boredom). Whichever group you happen to be in, you’ve probably been exposed to the idea of “bugging out”. BUGOUT! The concept of the bugout is simple: when things “go bad”, whatever you determine that to be, you gather a selection of supplies and tools and head for a retreat — either pre-arranged or improvised in a theoretically hospitable area — for an indeterminate period of time, perhaps permanently. This is in contrast to evacuation, which is a temporary, short-term relocation due to an immediate and unavoidable danger that destroys or renders your home uninhabitable. An evacuation may be a proactive response to a known threat (such as a fast-moving wildfire headed in your direction), or a reactive response to one which has occurred (such as leaving because an earthquake has made your house dangerous to enter). The idea of the bugout is a popular one in preparedness circles. In the last week I’ve seen some hastily-written prepping articles touting the “bugout bag” as the first thing a new prepper should make. Some (thankfully few in number) celebrate the notion of bugging-out to wilderness areas where one might subsist on hunting and gathering. Others recommend buying and stocking a “retreat” to also serve as a vacation home. Vacation retreat? The concept of the second home as a bugout retreat has been very popular in recent years. The idea is to buy a vacation home and visit it frequently. This allows for maintenance and rotation of the survival supplies kept there, but it also supposedly gets the neighbors used to seeing you. This, the proponents believe, will make you “one of the locals”, and in difficult times ensures that they’ll accept you as one of their own. Being a rural dweller myself, I’ve never believed that to be true — any more than I believe locals would welcome people camping in their forests and poaching their deer. As it happens, my skepticism has been validated by the current coronavirus panic. Maybe it isn’t such a good idea Reports are coming in from far away places like Scotland, and chatter from the coastal communities here in my own state of Oregon. People who own vacation homes have been encouraged (or, in some cases, ordered) to leave and go back where they came from.  The general feeling in these smaller municipalities is that rural areas — which are the most popular for retreat homes — have very few resources to take care of affected locals, let alone the tourists and  vacation home owners who visit for a few weeks out of the year. When something bad happens, they want those scarce resources to be spent on the people who live there and make the community what it is.  When there isn’t enough to go around, rationing will happen, and people tend to want to see rations go to their friends and neighbors first. Despite the predictions of retreat protagonists, the full-time residents of these areas most definitely do not consider part-time residents to be “their own kind”. In fact, the part-timers appear to be about as welcome as carpetbaggers in the postbellum South. Whether you’re new to all of this or an old hand, don’t allow yourself to feel bad because you don’t have a bugout retreat. It’s really not a practical solution to a problem. There’s a better way There is an important lesson to be learned from this, and it’s one that few people in the preparedness world seem to take notice of: the best support system you’ll ever have is the one you make with your neighbors. I know the image of the rugged individual is a popular one; it’s seared into our cultural DNA. After all, the  frontierspeople who conquered the Wild West didn’t rely on anyone else to help them through hard times. Very true. And you can find their untended graves and abandoned homesteads all over the West. They often died young and their survivors left with little more than the clothes on their backs.  Human beings are social animals. We’ve achieved our modern world by working together with other people, to build things we couldn’t build by ourselves. There’s a big difference between desiring solitude and rejecting cooperative association with others. The latter makes us weaker and exposes us to the ravages of the world. Rather than spending time, money, and energy on a vacation/retreat home where you may not be welcome during a disaster, spend those resources on working with your neighbors. Help them out, cooperate in neighborhood projects, and steer them to the task of local preparedness. There’s nothing better than a friendly neighbor when your generator runs out of fuel, or you need someone to go to town and pick up your medicine. Most of all, though, read all preparedness advice (even mine) with a critical eye. Things like bugging out  may sound macho as can be, but is it based in reality? Does it make sense? If it seems to run counter to what you know to be reality or human nature, perhaps it’s just someone’s fantasy.  Prepare yourself, prepare your family, prepare your neighborhood, prepare your town. Do it in that order and you’ll have the support system you need, and everyone else needs, when the time comes. And it’s never too late to start! -=[ Grant ]=- P.S.: I’ve been reluctant to post too much information during the ongoing panic, because I know everyone is already bombarded with information as it is. So, instead I’ll offer this: if you have a question about preparedness that you’d like my opinion on, send it to [url=mailto:info@grantcunningham.com]info@grantcunningham.com[/url]  I’ll answer them in a weekly blog post, and of course I won’t reveal your name or location. Even if it seems to be a trivial or simplistic question, remember: we were all beginners at some point!
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Re: Blog - Should you have a “bugout retreat”?

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Of all the accounts that I read about the LA riot, Katrina, and Sarajevo, they all say banding together with relatives and neighbors gives you the best chance of survival. In a lawless situation, lone wolves quickly become victim to wolf packs.

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Re: Blog - Should you have a “bugout retreat”?

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Not just anecdotal on the small resort communities.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2 ... ond-homes/

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Re: Blog - Should you have a “bugout retreat”?

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Stiff wrote:Of all the accounts that I read about the LA riot, Katrina, and Sarajevo, they all say banding together with relatives and neighbors gives you the best chance of survival. In a lawless situation, lone wolves quickly become victim to wolf packs.
Yup, learned that growing up in the aftermath of many hurricanes. Andrew, Wilma, Frances, Jeane, and many others I can't remember the names of right now. We were sometimes out of power for weeks on end, grocery stores stripped and shuttered for weeks on end, and during Andrew in particular there was little help from the outside world for weeks on end. But somebody had a generator, somebody else had a ton of canned food, somebody else had a closet full of diapers and baby food, somebody else had a gas powered chainsaw to clear downed trees so we could actually get out of the neighborhood to search for supplies. It's a collaborative community support system that gets you through hard times. Be friends with your neighbors, and most especially the ones you dislike. Your personality differences often mean you have different lifestyles and therefore different skill sets, tools, and supplies that may be useful during a disaster. In other words, Bubba may be a loud drunken jackass, but you'll feel differently about him when you can use his lifted truck with the Trump flag hanging off the back to get through flood waters if god forbid a loved one needs to get to the hospital.

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Re: Blog - Should you have a “bugout retreat”?

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wooglin wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:03 am
Not just anecdotal on the small resort communities.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2 ... ond-homes/
Nope. We have a sudden influx of NY-ers and NJ-ers here on the island. a pair of couples right across the street. They bought the house 2 years ago, and summer here, but appeared a week or two ago when the warnings started. Other cars with yellow registration plates are all over town, and the market is suddenly empty...
"We have met the enemy and he is us." Pogo.

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Re: Blog - Should you have a “bugout retreat”?

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kronkmusic wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:40 am
Stiff wrote:Of all the accounts that I read about the LA riot, Katrina, and Sarajevo, they all say banding together with relatives and neighbors gives you the best chance of survival. In a lawless situation, lone wolves quickly become victim to wolf packs.
Yup, learned that growing up in the aftermath of many hurricanes. Andrew, Wilma, Frances, Jeane, and many others I can't remember the names of right now. We were sometimes out of power for weeks on end, grocery stores stripped and shuttered for weeks on end, and during Andrew in particular there was little help from the outside world for weeks on end. But somebody had a generator, somebody else had a ton of canned food, somebody else had a closet full of diapers and baby food, somebody else had a gas powered chainsaw to clear downed trees so we could actually get out of the neighborhood to search for supplies. It's a collaborative community support system that gets you through hard times. Be friends with your neighbors, and most especially the ones you dislike. Your personality differences often mean you have different lifestyles and therefore different skill sets, tools, and supplies that may be useful during a disaster. In other words, Bubba may be a loud drunken jackass, but you'll feel differently about him when you can use his lifted truck with the Trump flag hanging off the back to get through flood waters if god forbid a loved one needs to get to the hospital.
And together you stand a better chance of repelling armed gangs of looters, should it come to that.

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Re: Blog - Should you have a “bugout retreat”?

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Happening in my area, bnb properties are popular in the next town and an article in the paper about LA landlords getting away from cities and moving into their rental properties. And going to our local grocery stores and stocking up on the way.
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Re: Blog - Should you have a “bugout retreat”?

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Stiff wrote:
kronkmusic wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:40 am
Stiff wrote:Of all the accounts that I read about the LA riot, Katrina, and Sarajevo, they all say banding together with relatives and neighbors gives you the best chance of survival. In a lawless situation, lone wolves quickly become victim to wolf packs.
Yup, learned that growing up in the aftermath of many hurricanes. Andrew, Wilma, Frances, Jeane, and many others I can't remember the names of right now. We were sometimes out of power for weeks on end, grocery stores stripped and shuttered for weeks on end, and during Andrew in particular there was little help from the outside world for weeks on end. But somebody had a generator, somebody else had a ton of canned food, somebody else had a closet full of diapers and baby food, somebody else had a gas powered chainsaw to clear downed trees so we could actually get out of the neighborhood to search for supplies. It's a collaborative community support system that gets you through hard times. Be friends with your neighbors, and most especially the ones you dislike. Your personality differences often mean you have different lifestyles and therefore different skill sets, tools, and supplies that may be useful during a disaster. In other words, Bubba may be a loud drunken jackass, but you'll feel differently about him when you can use his lifted truck with the Trump flag hanging off the back to get through flood waters if god forbid a loved one needs to get to the hospital.
And together you stand a better chance of repelling armed gangs of looters, should it come to that.
Absolutely. I srill hold that community defense is only one facet of holding a community together during a disaster. It's important, but food, water, shelter, medication, power, etc. are far more important and far more likely to be strained and felt personally. Looting happens after every storm, mostly targeting shops and warehouses. It can be real, and maybe you're the guy to head your community defense effort during a crisis, but again it's only one facet.

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Re: Blog - Should you have a “bugout retreat”?

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I’m not liking this response to vacation property owners. Local folks have no problem collecting on the full property tax even though the owner rarely uses local services. However, at this once-in-a-lifetime moment when these remote owners need it the most, they’re painted as invaders.

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Re: Blog - Should you have a “bugout retreat”?

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face it. people in general suck. selfish, greedy. in it for ourselves, every one of us.
at the moment i have nothing cheerful to add. maybe later.

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Re: Blog - Should you have a “bugout retreat”?

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I'm continuing to go to my farm because I need to get it bush hogged before the spring growth gets away from me. Also, it's something to do. We're not using the local stores, we bring everything we need with us. Headed up Friday morning for a long weekend, of work...
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Re: Blog - Should you have a “bugout retreat”?

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Stiff wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:05 am
I’m not liking this response to vacation property owners. Local folks have no problem collecting on the full property tax even though the owner rarely uses local services. However, at this once-in-a-lifetime moment when these remote owners need it the most, they’re painted as invaders.
It's a burden to the local health system if they get ill, is the biggest complaint I've heard - people bringing in the virus. There are a lot of elderly retirees and disabled in the area. We have a small hospital and fewer physicians than metro areas and many of them are older. And fewer EMS paramedics and ambulances.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

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Re: Blog - Should you have a “bugout retreat”?

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Stiff wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:05 am
However, at this once-in-a-lifetime moment when these remote owners need it the most, they’re painted as invaders.
Nah. They're always invaders. :)

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Re: Blog - Should you have a “bugout retreat”?

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highdesert wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:12 pm
Stiff wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:05 am
I’m not liking this response to vacation property owners. Local folks have no problem collecting on the full property tax even though the owner rarely uses local services. However, at this once-in-a-lifetime moment when these remote owners need it the most, they’re painted as invaders.
It's a burden to the local health system if they get ill, is the biggest complaint I've heard - people bringing in the virus. There are a lot of elderly retirees and disabled in the area. We have a small hospital and fewer physicians than metro areas and many of them are older. And fewer EMS paramedics and ambulances.
I understand that. But then perhaps some of the collected tax can be used to increase the capacity of local services.

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Re: Blog - Should you have a “bugout retreat”?

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I understand that. But then perhaps some of the collected tax can be used to increase the capacity of local services.
That doesn't even qualify as a pipe dream. In the past when areas in rural Mn have been suffering and were in need of help from the state they have just let whole communities die, social darwinism you know. I'm sure it's much the same in other areas of the country.

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Re: Blog - Should you have a “bugout retreat”?

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eelj wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:37 pm
I understand that. But then perhaps some of the collected tax can be used to increase the capacity of local services.
That doesn't even qualify as a pipe dream. In the past when areas in rural Mn have been suffering and were in need of help from the state they have just let whole communities die, social darwinism you know. I'm sure it's much the same in other areas of the country.
Once upon a time I saw some service funding calculations and IIRC it was based on number of people in the area who lived here year around, not rentals or transient occupancy. Most of the doctors in the area are just here a few days a week, either semi retired or their primary practices are in other high population, high income areas.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

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Re: Blog - Should you have a “bugout retreat”?

Post by Marlene »

I love it when white people in the US call anyone an invader.
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Re: Blog - Should you have a “bugout retreat”?

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highdesert wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:50 pm
eelj wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:37 pm
I understand that. But then perhaps some of the collected tax can be used to increase the capacity of local services.
That doesn't even qualify as a pipe dream. In the past when areas in rural Mn have been suffering and were in need of help from the state they have just let whole communities die, social darwinism you know. I'm sure it's much the same in other areas of the country.
Once upon a time I saw some service funding calculations and IIRC it was based on number of people in the area who lived here year around, not rentals or transient occupancy. Most of the doctors in the area are just here a few days a week, either semi retired or their primary practices are in other high population, high income areas.
Then maybe the tax on non-resident property owners should be prorated to include only the days when they visit. That sounds fair.

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