Getting Out of Dodge: The Survival Retreat



(Admin’s note:  We’ve been following Gaye Levy of for quite some time now.  We love the effort she puts in to finding free prepping information to share with her readers, as well as the approach to common-sense prepping.  This particular article popped up in our news feed this morning and we thought it worth share.  [And yes, we contacted her with information about Utah Safe Haven, lol.])

There comes a time when every prepper takes a look at what they have done, what they are currently doing, and what they plan to do in the future.  Sometimes, they retrench and rethink past preps and improve on what they have done and especially what they have learned skill-wise.  Sometimes they take a break because let’s face it, we all need balance in our lives.  And then there is the most difficult part which is planning for future preps, if any.

I am very good about asking questions about prepping goals and readers excel at answering.  Today I want to turn the tables and share a major preparedness goal that looms on my personal horizon.  This is not so much that I expect you to follow suit, but more that it is such a huge goal that you may find the inspiration to set long term goals yourself.

Fair warning.  This is not a typical blog post for this site, but one that needs to be written and shared with my readers.

Getting Out of Dodge

There is an old song made popular by Kenny Rogers titled The Gambler.  There is a passage in the song that says “the secret to survivin’ is knowin’ what to throw away and knowin’ what to keep”.  Those are important words and although taken out of context, something I have considered when taking a look at my own preps.

The world has changed tremendously since I started prepping in 2010 and it has become time to re-evaluate one of my primary pillars of survival, shelter.  Is my home safe?  Is it protected? If there is a major disruptive event, will I be able to carry on while making good use of my preps?

Sadly, my answer has become no.  There are many reasons because at first blush, this island location is off shore, difficult to get to, and abundant in natural resources, most notably in the form of water and trees for wood and biomass.  On the other hand, the cost of living is high, and during the summer months, the population doubles with the influx of tourists.

Tourists are not prepared.  Should a disruptive event (earthquake, cyber attack, EMP, you name it) occur during summer, this island in the middle of nowhere will be as chaotic as the urban core in a large city.  Folks will be stranded and because we are off-shore, will not even be able to walk out.

Looming large is also the strategic location near the international border and close to the entrance to Puget Sound.  With certain types of events, what is to prevent our government from stepping in and taking over our island for strategic military reasons?  It could happen.

I am planning to get out of dodge.

The Survival Retreat: Is It Time?

This leads me to the goal: finding a survival retreat that offers as least some of the sustainability and security that I seek.

Here is my bucket list.

  • Minimum of 1/3 acre and preferably more.
  • Sunny space for a garden. Existing fruit trees a bonus.
  • Trees in the general vicinity to provide wood and biomass for heating and cooking.
  • Local source of water such as streams, ponds, or lakes.  Bonus if a well can be dug.
  • Abundant wildlife for hunting as a food source.
  • Favorable tax environment.
  • Sufficient storage space for a two year food supply.
  • Gun-friendly.
  • Zoning that allows for water catchment systems and auxiliary fuel/propane tanks.
  • History that shows area is relatively free from wild fires and floods.
  • Moderate climate 20F low to 90F high.
  • Proximity to health care within a 20 mile radius.
  • Very good to excellent cell phone service.
  • Availability of high speed internet (for as long as it lasts).
  • Peace, quiet, and no tourist activity.

This list has been in the making for a couple of months and is still a work in progress.  Selling my home comes first.

The Challenges

This sort of move does not come without challenges.  Selling a home stuffed with ten years of accumulation is a lot of work and, in an area such as ours, can take some time.

Moving is also hard work and we are not as young as we used to be.  And then there are the preps.  Food, gear, and water storage will be moved right along side our household goods.  The logistics promise to be a nightmare but how could I not (move them, that is)?

This will all be happening while I continue to blog and continue to keep up on my skills.  Will I even have time to sleep?

The Final Word

Is this type of move to a survival retreat for everyone?  Of course not.  There are family, job, health, and financial considerations that may need to be met.  I am fortunate to be debt free with a home that, when sold, will allow me to find a mountain retreat with plenty of water, trees, and the space and sunshine to grow a bountiful garden.  Will I find everything I want?  Probably not, but I am going to give it my best shot.

Let me close for now with some additional lyrics from “The Gambler”.

“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em.  Know when to fold ’em.
Know when to walk away and know when to run.”

At the end of the day, we all do the best we can.  Although we make mistakes along the way, being a resilient species allows us to recover and move on. Wish me luck as I embark upon this new adventure.  And thank you for listening.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!