One of the many hot topics today in the world of survival is the aspects of creating a cache and developing a location you can bug out to when the going gets gone. I’ve already posted on the lowly cache in Your Survival Cache back in December, and I am planning on going into the issue in more depth as well. But while I heartily recommend that you develop a survival homestead right where you live, it may not always be possible to shelter in place for the long haul. For instance, if you happen to live in a place subject to excessive fallout from a nuclear attack, you certainly won’t be hanging around for long.
So what do we do in a situation where you need to leave your safe and snug survival homestead with all of its supplies and equipment? You simply roll out plan two and escape to your retreat number two. This sort of location should not be a cookie cutter of your current home, or planned home, but it should be an adequate enough place to allow you to survive in relative safety and comfort.
So what do you want to be on the lookout for when you get around to finding or developing your hidey hole in the boonies? First of all, you hidey hole doesn’t actually have to be found out in the way-back woods and mountains. It merely needs to be a location that provides several necessities. The primary need in this case will be safety or security. If it gets to the point where you’ve had to abandon all of your carefully assembled supplies and long term storage food you’ll know that you are now on the run and you’d rather not be found. The alternative if it gets to this point is to surrender yourself to the FEMA camps for interment, or as they call it, relocation for your safety and well being.
You could conceivably create a hidey hole in the middle of Manhattan, although I seriously discourage the thought of doing so. An office in a closed down or abandoned high rise or perhaps an abandoned industrial facility are a couple of potential locations. There are some problems extant with this plan, so be careful as you go. The primary reason for a secondary retreat, as I said, would be security. You’ll need to make sure you have an excellent range of view for incoming unfriendlies. Then you’ll need at least one, preferably more secondary routes of egress for escape purposes when they do come for you. It would be nice to believe that you could stay safe and secure in an urban environment, but you can’t. Eventually someone will find you out, and come for you. It may be the government or it may be the Zombie looters, but you will be found out.
A better choice would be a rural location that is near clean water, and lots of foliage made up of edible wild foods. This location is best situated in an elevated location such as the side of a mountain. Stay off the top as the profile you create by living on a mountain top will be easily located by those who know what to look for. The southern or southwestern slopes are better for the exposure they provide to the sun, which will give you light and warmth. A bonus to living on the side of a mountain is that warm air rises, and along with it any odors that may be present. For instance, if a patrol has stopped or encamped below you, you will be able to smell the exhaust from the motors, as well as any cooking smells.
They may not have seen you as yet, and if this is so, you’ll be able to quietly vacate the premises and wait them out without danger. However, there are also some drawbacks to planting yourself on a mountainside. For one, any fires you make will give off readily seen smoke from great distances. Some of this can be alleviated by only making a fire in a rainstorm to keep the smoke low and diluted from the rainclouds. Another drawback is the fact that any artificial light you create will also stick out like a sore thumb. Whatever you construct for a shelter will need to be made so as to provide total obfuscation of any light source.
Place no windows in your shelter, and make sure that you have either an offset doorway, or else a double set of doors to prevent any release of artificial light. Smoking should also be limited for this reason. During the daytime isn’t such a problem, but the flick of a Bic in the dark hours of the night is a dead giveaway. I’ve read that during the Viet Nam war snipers from the Communist north would lie in wait for some idiot grunt to give in to his smoking habit for this reason.
You should be able to have a long field of view from your secondary, especially a view of any roadways that may be utilized by patrols. A low profile to whatever type of shelter you build will be an advantage. I would suggest you try to make your structure along the lines of the olden day’s logger cabins that could be found in the northern tier states such as Maine and Michigan. These were low cabins with a double entryway to keep the warmth in and the cold out.
This picture of an old northern Maine lumber camp should give you an idea of what to shoot for. Build as much as you can from immediately available, local building materials, and as a suggestion, try your hand at installing a bough roof covering to help camouflage your camp from the air. Also, don’t trim the trees away from your building. The limbs and foliage will help to hide your little camp. And remember that this is all a secondary retreat is, a camp. You may have to turn it into a long term retreat should whatever disaster befall you become a permanent situation, so bear that in mind as well. If that is the case I doubt as the security issues would be as great as the food and water issues.,
That being the case, this is where a close by water supply such as a spring or brook will come in handy. And part of your emergency preparedness planning should also include training yourself to recognize local foods by way of the wild plants you may find near your retreat. In the long term it would also be helpful if you were to learn how to take these food sources and learn how to cultivate them for recurring crops, year after year.
These are just a few tips on secondary retreat, there’s much more to come, so keep coming back and see what there is to see as we get ready to survive the coming times.