Off the keyboard of RE
Discuss this article at the Doomsteading Table inside the Diner
One of the Big Questions faced by Doomers is what Paradigm is best to pursue once you have grasped that Industrial Civilization is undergoing its Final Collapse Phase? Do you try to Shelter-in-Place, or do you try to Bugout to a more Remote Location? If you do Bugout, what sort of challenges might you face?
Diner Water Weasel brought up some of these questions inside the Diner a few days ago, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to look at the Bugout paradigm, and the difficulties you can face trying to run a Remote Doomstead on the Security Level.
First, Water Weasel’s post regarding the Doomstead his Dad has set up in Missouri. My initial response follows, then I will elaborate some for this article after that.
Regarding Doomsteads, I have a question for all y’all. My father lives in suburban Columbia, Missouri but also has 100 acres of mostly woods about a 20 minute drive away. He sort of shares this vision of bugging out, but his plan is to just go to his place in the woods and hunker down. Problem is, he hasn’t really prepared to do so at all. The property has a nice house, and a pond/small lake, but not really any food, water, fuel, garden, firewood or anything. He’s on good terms with the neighbors (e.g., lets them hunt his place if he’s not there), but he’s clearly not a local and has only owned the place for maybe 8 years.
So my question is, should I leave him to his fantasies, or should I try to convince him that A) he’d be better off building an alliance with his suburban neighbors and forgetting about bugging out, or B) if his plan is to bug out to the place in the woods, he needs to take it seriously and stock it properly BEFORE it’s needed.
I kind of lean toward option A. I worry about him (and his wife and potentially two daughters in their young twenties (my half sisters)) out there in the woods when a truckload of bad boys decide they want to stay there for a few days too. He’s ex-Navy, but no soldier (medical corp) and I’m not sure the women even know how to shoot.
So, should I try to convince him to bug in? What to do you think?
OK, back at the Cabin with a couple of cases of Writing Fuel.
I think your Dad has a decent situation with both of these, assuming he is debt free on them.
He doesn’t really have to pre-supply the doomstead with food, long as he has a trailer for his Bugout Machine. Even a cheap 15′ flatbed trailer will do.
He should get 3-4 55 gallon drums to put long lasting dried foods in, rice and dried legumes and beef jerky in vacuum sealed bags. Also spare Ammo, a spare Gun and spare tools in each drum. He can keep these in the Garage in his Town Home until TSHTF and its looking real bad.
He definitely should NOT head to the Doomstead with just himself and the Women Folk. There should be a Plan with all his close friends and relatives to converge on the Doomstead when TSHTF. Minimum I would say would be 4 Adult Males, better 6 to 10 in this group.
When the Bugout Day comes, the first thing is to Bury all but one of the 55 gal drums in locations around the property marked off with a GPS, and also with “Pirate Maps” on a MicroSD memory card and also on hard copy also buried in watertight containers at easily found locations.
He should also stock up on Seeds for Wild Edible Plants to establish colonies of these plants around the property the first spring after TSHTF.
Round the Clock Watch should be set up, and all the Windows on Ground Level should have Wood Shutters Constructed from 2x4s and old Phone Books should be saved to pad the inside of these shutters in real bad situations. Phone Books are quite bullet proof to all but very high powered rifles. There should be slots in the shutters to shoot from and clear Fire lines 360 around the Doomstead. It would be good to have at least one Big Dog trained to bark as soon as he smells or hears anything.
He is probably better off in town until things REALLY get bad, but when partially bad he should start to make regular trips to the Doomstead to get with the Locals around there to establish a Doom Community. People will obviously be talking once this gets rolling, and if they know he is well prepped and planned and has others with GUNS on his property, it is unlikely his Doomstead will be attacked first. If he also gets into a Mutual Protection Group with his closest neighbors, this will increase Security exponentially.
In the MPG, each Doomsteader has either FRS Walkie Talkies or CB or Marine VHF Radios, each with an assigned Channel. If somebody’s doomstead is under attack from Zombies, other members of the MPG are Honor Bound to go to that Doomers Aid, ride in like the Cavalry so to speak. Regular exercises should be practiced, Shooting Blinds set up, etc. If everybody has at least one well trained Dog, this also will help to flush out any Zombies on foot skulking around the Doomstead under attack. Some High Tech Gear is nice if you can afford it, Light Amplified or Infrared Night Scopes and so forth.
With this sort of plan, the only danger is from the Police/National Guard/Military who will have bigger well organized and well armed groups. Hopefully you can cut a deal with such Rogue Militias if/when they show up.
If you are going the Doomstead route out in the mid-range Boonies, you are very vulnerable once the Police protection scheme breaks down and you can’t just call 911 for help. I only favor mid-range Doomsteads with a decent size group of people to Protect & Defend the Doomstead. Going to such a place with just yourself wife and kids is asking for a Home Invasion and all the horrible outcomes that can come from that.
In setting up Doomsteads, most folks don’t really think through the great depth of the Security Problem once the State and its Protection Mechanisms for Private Property go into Failure Mode. If you HAVE something somebody else WANTS, like FOOD for instance, they are not likely to show all that much respect for the piece of paper from a defunct Goobermint that shows you “own” a piece of property. People who advocate for “Anarcho-Capitalism” and a Stateless Society with non-existent Goobermint live in a fantay world, such a society really cannot exist at all while ALSO maintaining Private Property. To begin with, “money” has to have agreed upon valuations, which it really cannot have in absence of Goobermints. That however is somewhat off-topic and tangential to this article, which is basically focused on the security issues you have once the general Social structures of Police and Law break down in your Neighborhood.
Because of all the issues with Protecting & Defending a Doomstead, its not one of my “Favored Paradigms” for negotiating the spin down. Doomsteads essentially extend out the Ownership Paradigm over a plot of land, so once you set one of these places up you get HUGE liabilities in terms of Protecting & Defending it. If you can assemble up enough like minded people who can all GET ALONG well enough to make such a Mini-Community work, more power to you, but the fact is of course such small, insular communities all have their own sets of issues, which often do not end well. Nasty Example Extraordinaire there would be the Doomer Community Jim Jones set up in “Jonestown” in Nicaragua of course.
Another fairly popular paradigm amongst Doomers is the Sailboat paradim. This is the one Dmitri Orlov is following for the most part. The Sail paradigm has the advantage of Mobility and no Ownership Obligations over a plot of Land (Taxes), but the Security Problems are HORRENDOUS. Once moored in any location, if you are not actually on board such boats are very vulnerable to Theft, not just of what you hve aboard but the whole BOAT itself. Anybody can break a few locks, hoist the sails and head for Tristan da Cunha in your boat if you are ashore drinking Retsina at the local Greek Taverna. You can’t secure these vessels, no way, no how. On the open sea, you are vulnerable to power boats that still GOT some gas to ooerate and can move around a whole lot faster than you can. You ALSO cannot actually STORE all that much on a sailboat of typical 35-45′ range and still have room to LIVE on the boat. Maybe 6 months worth if you jam up all the lockers with dried foods in Vaccum Sealed bags, but that is about the best you can do there. If you don’t have a Vacant Pitcairn Island Destination on your charts, you are gonna get screwed about anywhere you go with your boat full-o-preps. make port ANWHERE,, “Customs” Officials will board the boat and confiscate your Guns & Ammo, while asking for a “docking fee” of any Gold you got aboard the vessel. If you can hold onto the Food you got aboard you will be lucky if the locals are hurting for food.
Anyhow, for these reasons I tend to be against trying to Doomstead overall as an Individual or small Family Group, either with the Fixed Doomstead or the mobile type like the Sailboat, although that one is slightly preferable since it can in theory be moved from one already gone bad location to another slightly less bad. It also provides you the means to GTFO of Dodge free of Traffic Jams or the need for Gas.
The Solution to the Security Problem in both cases is the same,in the case of a fixed Doomstead as mentioned it is “staffing” the Doomstead with enough people to make an adequate defense, and the parallel idea with the Sail Paradigm is to work in Flotillas of several boats, 10-20 of them would be a decent number to work with there. When docked or moored, members of the flotilla keep watch on other members boats while they are off getting supplies and so forth. When out at Sea, you are much less vulnerable to Pirates even in Power Boats by the virtue of Numbers. Unlikely at least to begin with you will have large Pirate floatillas organized up. The problem still exists of being set upon by Customs Authorities in Populated Ports, but here only 2 or 3 of the boats go and make port while the rest stay offshore. You divest of your Guns and Gold and so forth to the offshore boats, then sail in with some Trade Goods and attempt to Cut a Deal with the “Authorities”. A risky proposition since they might decide to just shoot you and take your boat, but if they perceive that you have some friends with MORE stuff to trade, then you can convince them it is better to be FRIENDS and leave you alive than shoot you for your boat.
The scenarios I paint here may seem “far out” Wild West “Shoot ’em Up” and far off into the future here in the Land of Good & Plenty, and they may be so. However, if you project out a general failure of the Monetary System and centralized control of Goobermints, then really Somalia provides the Canary in the Coal Mine for that one. Pirates there are not just taking out Yachties, they are taking out Super Tankers. Home Invasions are already fairly common, and they sure won;’ be any LESS common in a Monetary System Failure. Whatever paradigm you choose to follow on the Doomsteading Level, you have to take seriously the Security Issues and how to deal with them. You sure won’t be able to rely on Da Goobermint or the Police to rescue you, they may in fact be your most dangerous enemies.