If you’ve made the decision to purchase a getaway property to bug out to when the stuff hits the fan, there are a few things you need to consider before putting down your money. You want to find a property that does what you need it to and provides for you with a minimum of effort. So here are a few things to consider when you’re purchasing property for a survival retreat.
Your property needs to have water. Whether that’s a well, a pond, or a stream, bugging out to a property that doesn’t allow you some sort of ability to collect water is a recipe for disaster. Without water you’re dead. Your ideal property will preferably have multiple ways of collecting water, particularly if you have a deep well that relies on electricity to pump water. Don’t count out rainwater collection, too, if you live in an area where that’s legal.
In a survival situation you won’t be able to rely on electricity, and if you use propane or natural gas to cook or heat then it will eventually run out too. You’re most likely going to have to rely on a wood-burning stove for cooking and heating. Finding a property with good, usable timber such as oak, maple, or birch will put you ahead of the game.
Sure, you can always grow your own trees, but it will be years, if not decades, before they’re mature enough to be harvested. Buying a piece of treeless land means that you’re not going to be able to stay warm when you really need it. Buying and storing firewood isn’t an ideal solution either unless you can protect it, since firewood theft is rampant in many rural areas of the country.
3. Southern Exposure
When you bug out you’re going to have to start growing your own food to supplement whatever you have stored. Plants can’t grow without light, so make sure that your property has plenty of area that’s exposed to sunlight from the south and west. Buying a piece of property on the north side of a hill or mountain is a recipe for not being able to grow any of your own food.
Let’s say that you have the opportunity to buy a 30-acre parcel of land out in the middle of nowhere for a song. Have you thought about why it’s so cheap? Maybe it’s land on the side of a mountain, or features steep hills, with cliffs and dropoffs that make it difficult to build on or farm.
If you’re buying an existing house or farm that’s one thing, but if you’re buying bare land with the intention of building a retreat, make sure that the land is usable. Too many hills or too much change in elevation may make it difficult to build a house or use the land for small-scale farming, timber harvesting, etc.
5. Distance From Population Centers
Practically speaking, most people won’t be able to afford buying large parcels of land near major metropolitan areas. Even a couple hours outside LA, New York, or DC, large acreage will set you back hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions. They may be nice places to live with beautiful scenery, but with the millions of people residing in those areas they’ll be quickly overrun with unprepared refugees from the cities and inner suburbs when times get tough.
But even around less-populated areas you could be inundated with city folk looking to steal what they need to survive. Dubuque, Iowa may have fewer than 60,000 people, but all it takes is a few hundred or few dozen ne’er-do-wells roaming around in packs to do some serious damage to the unprepared. You obviously want to buy a property that you can reach without serious difficulty in the event of a disaster, but you don’t want the uninvited to be able to reach it easily either. And if those with criminal intent are able to reach your property, you’ll need to be able and prepared to defend it.