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Friday, February 4, 2011

Retreat in Canada

Hi Ferfal,
Been reading your blog for the last week or so, and ordered your book. Just wanted to say thanks for the great info, and a much needed adjustment in my take on things.

We moved to 'the bush' four years ago from a city near Toronto Canada, to 32 acres and a small house that needed much work. We wanted to be mortgage free, near clean water, ect. I've built a 30x12 greenhouse attached to the house, and it heats the place nicely in spring and fall. We keep a dozen chickens, and give eggs to a few select friends. The nearest towns are 40mins drive in either direction. Peak oil/economic turmoil, was the fear that sparked such a radical change in lifestyle.

You are absolutely right about the difficulties of living so far from cities that offer work. We've watched fuel prices climb nervously since moving here. Many of the local people leave much to be desired, alcoholism, drug abuse, and general laziness are rampant among many of the people my age. Scammers and liars scraping by mostly. I'm 40. Those that aren't relying on government assistance to survive, are generally on the religious side. Everyone knows your business, and general affluence.. and many times I've felt as though we were being cased when new people came to visit.

In the city, as a younger man I was very anti gun. I now own a .22lr semi, 12ga pump, and 30-06 bolt action hunting rifle. I absolutely love the shooting sports, and wish laws in Canada made it easier to get involved with pistol shooting. I also enjoy the compound bow very much. Unfortunately the locals know I own weapons as its hard to hide the sound, even in a rural area known for hunting. Although you can't beat having your shooting range right outside your back door.

We heat with wood, and one year I even split all of our wood by hand. Even with a power splitter, going through a tandem load of logs is very hard work indeed. Add the danger of dropping your own trees in the bush alone, and it quickly becomes a gut check moment more often than I care to recall. However, I've not found a better form of exercise than getting good with an axe.

I love your info about being a gray man, and must admit that is my greatest failure. I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve and wish to tell people just how bad the future might be. I just can't believe so many don't see it, and just don't want to hear. I must learn to emulate someone more like yourself.

I've been considering your info regarding security, and wonder how the people who install the shatter proofing films, window bars, and security lighting, fare as a business? Locksmiths? There are many high value cottages near us, that I know are already big targets to thieves as we hear all the time of break ins. As more of them get fed up, I wonder if someone who provides these basic security services, as opposed to the big companies who have monitored intrusion systems.. would be able to make some extra cash.

sorry so long, but I could talk your ear off I’m sure...
again thanks for the great info, and I wish you and yours all the best.
Rich


Hi Rich, thanks for your email and sorry for the delay in replying. I’m blessed to do what I like for a living but it also means that between research, book writing, blogging, setting up the new website where I’ll be moving the blog, learning wordpress, answering email, training, like minded buddies that want to go shooting, and a hundred other things time seems to vanish in thin air.
You’ve noticed the fuel problem. That gets more complicated when fuel prices keep going up. In the long run somewhat effective public transportation will be in high demand. Being closer to the city saves on gas, maybe you can just take the bike to work if the distance is short enough and that saves lots of money. Yet again, another reason why people tend to move towards the cities during complicated times rather than move out.
About sharing your beliefs with others, telling people about the bad times to come will often raise an eyebrow or two. Besides, its not good for you either. While tougher times will probably come in the future in general, that doesn’t mean that it will be your personal situation. You´re living in a place you like, you´re doing things your way in what I bet is a beautiful place, but if you tell yourself the future will be worse that exactly how you´ll perceive it even if objectively speaking yours is a position most would envy.
Indeed there’s a market there and I’m sure you’d do nicely if you offer a good service and know how to sell it. People here often go straight for burglar bars. With higher end homes they prefer to pay for esthetically nicer bars that fit the houses’s design, either more modern lines or classic, people appreciate when the burglar bars don´t ruin the looks of their house.
Some are even disguised as shades of some sort, the wide side is placed vertically, stops some of the sun and at the same time the visible area of the bar itself is smaller, the wider side of the rectangle cross section being placed vertically. You should look around and ask to see if people are interested in films. A simple demonstration of how well it works would help convince a few people. Maybe burglar bars are a bit of a taboo and they´d feel more comfortable with film. Definitely something to look into to make some money.
Take care and thanks for your email.

FerFAL

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rich, you are for the most part living my former Plan "C", which I have completely scrapped because of the lack of cultural self-reliance and responsibility in the area, as my one of my older brothers has discovered upon moving to Michigan's rural Upper Peninsula, which for most of my life was Plan "B", also now scrapped. So, for right now we will remain where we are, having no Plan "B" (U.P.) or "C" (Sudbury).
Eric in Michigan

j said...

My wife's family is originally from the absolute sticks. According to the census, there are only 5,000 people in the entire county and about 100 leave every year.

The last time we were there, I asked grandma how the area was doing with the recession going on. She said recessions do not affect the county since everyone there is on government assistance and as long as the checks kept coming nothing was different.

I then realized that the county only had three kinds of people. The old timers who were dying off, the young like my wife who fled as soon as they turned 18 so they could make something of themselves, and the absolute trash left behind that laid around all day leaching off the government.

After talking to grandma and reading Ferfal's book I decided that bugging out to grandma's house when SHTF only meant that I would become the biggest "mark" in an entire county.

russell1200 said...

The countryside is being depopulated worldwide.

In the United States and Canada it is not as obvious because we started the shift into the cities so long ago that the recent influx into the towns and cities is not as obvious. You can county by county maps of population changes for a lot of states. What you will generally see is a loss in more outlying areas and an increase in the more urban areas.

This one will let you put in any state, and then you can sort the columns by population growth (rather than the default alphabetical). If you want a good indicator state, try North Carolina where the population is in general growing. Just realize that there are multiple pages of results.

http://www.epodunk.com/top10/countyPop/coPop33.html

In general, and only in general, I would look very closely at counties that are loosing population. They will probably be were you can get the best land deals, but you would want to look very closely to make sure you aren't trapping yourself in some little hell-hole section of the county.

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