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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Shangri-la or La-La Land?

To many preppers the retreat is almost the same as Shangri-La. They view their cabin in the woods, lake side cottage, mountain top retreat or desert hideout as the safe place they can go to and live in peace. I do it myself sometimes. We think of all the great reason we can live there and never truly look at the problems we will have to overcome as well. Game will always be plentiful, gardens produce bumper crops, the water will flow and be pure, and only trusted, invited, guests will show up. Paradise to be sure.

An acquaintance of mine dropped by the house a while back. He had come by to discuss deer hunting on my property and see how I did last year. During our conversation he mentioned how bad the economy was and how he had a fall back plan. I didn’t tell him I was a prepper but I did probe him on his plans.

He had just returned from a week or so stay up north at his in-law’s cabin. He told me how great it was up there, good fishing, great weather and he saw a lot of game there too. He told me his plan was to head up there if things went to hell in a hand basket.

That scenario is common. His is not the first time I heard that plan and I actually heard a guy a work tell a similar idea to that last week. Looks like the woods will be crawling with survival minded folks once the balloon goes up. Anybody see a problem with that?

During the Depression game was hunted hard and heavy for a meal on the table. My mother used to tell me about how she would come home from school, pick up her .410/.22 over under Savage and walk the railroad tracks behind her home looking for anything they could make a meal out of. She would kick up a rabbit once in a great while, but the wild asparagus and the fruits she found were mostly what they had. She told me that she would sometimes see others walking the track hunting too. Most days she just enjoyed a long walk. My father also told me stories of the Depression that were very similar. He would walk to school carrying a 12 gauge double barreled shotgun and walk the fence rows to and from school hunting and trapping. It was not unusual to see several boys skinning game under the willow tree behind the school. Can you imagine seeing half a dozen boys walking up to school with a shotgun today?

I have written several times about my grandfather and his brother going to a cabin in the Huron National Forest back in the late 50s or early 60s and planning to live off the fat of the land for a while like they did as kids. He always ended that story with, “The fat of the land is pretty damn lean!” They found very little game, the fishing was poor and they ended up going to town to dinner more than once.

If your plans include heading for the hills you might want to have a serious think session with your plans and make sure that you have everything in place. My cabin is ok for three seasons but without the generator and propane we would freeze to death in there. If I had to bug out to there in late fall we would be in a world of hurt. Because of crime and break-ins we have not pre-positioned a lot of supplies there either. Tonto is always giving me crap about that too. He even put a cache up there as an experiment a few years back to see if it would survive a couple years in the ground.

Take off the rose colored glasses and give your woods retreat a long hard look. It could be pure folly to have that as your primary prep plan and find it was all a nice fantasy.


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