I recently found your site and thank you for the reams of useful information.
I'm a "Prepper" and have been for a while. I live in Alaska, a few miles outside of Wasilla. I thought I might share how some of my preps up here are the same and different .
First of all I agree with you on food. However, how I go about it is a little different. First of all I count on catching between 300 and 400 pounds of salmon every summer, which really isn't hard to do once you learn how to work the salmon returns. I smoke about 50% of this catch and freeze the other half for consumption throughout the year until the next summers salmon run. Then each fall I rely on harvesting one Moose, which gives me anywhere from 500-600 pounds of red meat. I also hunt small game throughout the winter. In addition on our few acres I keep a flock of laying hens, 2 dairy goats, and fairly large garden with green house where we grow our own fresh vegetables that are mostly canned for use until next growing season. We also collect wild blue berries and raspberries which we turn into preserves. Beyond what I hunt/gather/grow we store up much like you do with normal store bought items. I do work full time as a professional in Industrial Safety, however I feel I could comfortably feed my family a whole year if necessary without "store bought" products.
Now being here in Alaska I don't plan at all for "Bugging Out". There's nowhere really practical to go from here, except deep into the subarctic wilderness or flying to the Lower 48, driving through the Canada would entail all kinds of problems in a worst case scenario. Even if my home is destroyed, my plan is to stay on the land in my camper/tents and rebuild. So as you might assume I put a lot of thought, work and money in prepping my home. For water I'm on a well, I have arranged for my electric well pump to be quickly connected to gas generator for short term water needs. For a worst case scenario I have a manual "Arctic" pump which would require going outside to fill a bucket; but I know I will always be able to get water.
As you might imagine heating the house comes next in priority. For this I've diversified as best I can. I have a boiler that works on either home heating oil or wood. In addition I have installed 2 modern wood stoves that on their own are capable of heating my house comfortably with outside temps down to -50 degrees F, and both have cooking surfaces. In addition I have kerosene space heaters for emergency use and a cache of stored 1k kerosene. Now the big problem for me is putting away enough firewood each year as I can easily go through 10 cords. Purchasing firewood doesn't make much sense to me as the costs per btu is comparable to oil/propane/natural gas. So I go about it the old fashioned way.........with a chainsaw, and a power log splitter. With the proper power tools and a long bed work truck it really isn't as time consuming as one might think to put away that much wood and there's essentially an unlimited supply up here.
For defense I'm well stocked with all types of guns, more than I need but fewer than I want. I've been stocking ammo and reloading supplies since the 1994 Clinton Ban. I can go a looooooooooong time without needing ammo.
For transportation I've also diversified: I have an economy car and a 4x4 truck for everyday use. In addition I have a four wheeler (atv), a snow machine , 2 horses, skis, snow shoes, mountain bikes and a canoe with outboard motor. Come hell or high water I'm getting around at least up here in a 200-300 mile radius.
My house isn't paid for, but my Mortgage is fixed, I have a military retirement, and skills to drum up enough money to at least pay the mortgage. I 've put away $$$ including Gold and Silver. If the US Dollar crashes far enough I might be able to pay off my mortgage for a few pieces of gold or silver.
Anyways I figure up here in Alaska if there's a US Dollar collapse a bunch of folks up here will return to the Lower 48. Firstly most people up here come for jobs somehow related to Oil, Tourism, Mining or Fishing. About half the population in Alaska live in Anchorage and Anchorage is highly dependent on these industries, I figure at least 3 of the 4 are going to be severely impacted. Most of these Anchorage folks live just like folks in Wichita, Tuscon or any other city and it's expensive up here now due to the fact that just about everything except fish, moose, wood, gold and oil needs to be shipped in. Once they loose their jobs up here they'll go back to where ever their families are from as this could be a hard place for an Environmentalist "city fella" thousands of miles from his family to survive in should the SHTF. My guess is there will be plane loads of these folks leaving behind almost everything they have in Alaska to get the hell out, probably not good for home values but what do I care as I'm not looking to sell. Because of this mass migration back to the L48, I'm not as concerned about long term crime, rioting etc. I figure those of use "fools" who are committed to Alaska have the same values and will make a go at it, perhaps in a semi-isolated, semi-barter free market economy.
Let me know what you think.
Sounds like a terrific place to live in, congratulations!
Your food preps sound good too, and I like the way in which you have a balanced setup with some animals and an orchard, but still allowing you to keep a fulltime job.
Mountains around Wasilla, Alaska
Going entirely into the “live off the land, escape the modern world” thing never works out as expected.
Guess it’s like everything else in life: Escaping society is no different than evading other problems in life, instead of accepting them and dealing with them.
My wife loves gardening so I see a nice garden in our future as well.
My mother in law had a small but productive garden, several hens and other small animals in her tiny backyard. She tells me they had so many eggs she would give them away for free to the neighbors. (I would have loved it if she had told me she was selling some as well :) ).
She also used to breed German Shepherds as a hobby. She sold those mostly, also gave some away to people that really wanted them but couldn’t afford them.
About bugging out, I don’t think its something you should discard completely as plan B.
“Bugging out” sounds very commando like, E&E through the snow wearing you BOB and covered in cammo, and needing to go on foot is a possibility, but most often its far less dramatic and a plane/car will do nicely.
Having a bag or kit ready to go is important, but there’s much more to it than that.
Staying in contact with relatives/close friends could provide you with a plan B. A roof over your head, a place to live in if something unexpected happens.
Here it would be important to relocate some of your gear, at least a small part.
Too many times we hear of good folk that lost everything to a fire, flood or robbery. You know, not putting all the eggs in the same basket deal.
It’s great that you diversified on all the important aspects.
Woods stoves are great, and I’d love to have a heating system that works both with fuel or natural gas and wood.
The woods cooking stove are also very nice, used often here, mostly in farm houses.
You can cook, heat up a small home and even do the plumbing to use it as a water heater.
My grandfather along with my parents used to have a small house in Mar del Plata (CapnRick, in Constitucion, about 4 blocks from the beach). Not much to brag about, a small lot, and they built most of the house themselves. But it was comfortable and back then there were still many vacant lots, “baldios”, full of pine trees. We had a great time.
Anyway, there was the fireplace, and we also had a woodstove in the kitchen, similar to this one:
Vogelzang 200,000 BTU Cast Iron Pot Belly Stove
It’s not like the cooking wood stove my friend has but I remember my mom would put the kettle on top to boil water (even though we had a regular oven and burners ) or warming it up a bit of drinking mate.
Wood Cooking Stove
The exhaust pipe would go up to the roof and through the kid’s bedroom where my brothers and I slept. It heated up the room nicely.
It was so much more efficient than the fireplace. A waste of money compared to that little wood stove.
Anyway, sounds like you have great place up there.
Say, don’t you have some extra space for a couple with two kids? (just kidding :-) )
Congratulations man, sounds beautiful.