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Old 02-01-2015, 11:43 PM
Cassera Cassera is offline
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I would like to get some input from some fellow New Yorkers or anybody who is familiar with the area on which would be a better location to purchase a small cabin and land to use as a bug out location.

I live in NYC so I would love to choose the Catskills seeing as they are much closer to the city, but I am afraid of sacrificing quality for convenience. The Catskills are closer to NYC and is also a lot smaller compared to the Adirondacks so there will be many more people in a much more condensed area.

But at the same time, the adirondacks are much much further from NYC and I am afraid of choosing a BOL that is too far. The Adirondacks are much larger and are much further away from the big city so will be ideal for more solidarity. I believe the adirondacks are about a 6 hour drive from the city while the Catskills are about a 2 hour drive Roughly.

What is your input? (Besides telling me to move out of the city because due to employment that is not an option).

Which would you choose and why? And are there other locations north of the city (I have family about 60 miles north of NYC that are to be included in the bug out plan) that I don't know about.
Old 02-06-2015, 09:03 PM
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From my viewpoint the Catskills are another NYC borough. You need to make the judgment whether you're comfortable being a half tank of gas from Manhattan. Examine your escape plan from NYC and make adjustments accordingly. If you already have family in the area, they could watch over your BOL when you're not there. I don't see the Catskills as a viable BOL because the competition for resources in a SHTF scenario.
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Old 02-06-2015, 09:08 PM
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Spent a lot of time in NW catskill area and the Adrks YOU will have access to more resources in the Adrks. The Catskills are not very isolated
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Old 02-06-2015, 10:22 PM
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If you can make it to the Catskills, you can make it to the daks. If there's serious SHTF, your problem will be getting out of metro NY, not as much once you're upstate. As long as you don't intend to use the major highways. You weren't thinking you could just mosey across the GWB and find your way up to 87 were you?

In a perfect world, you'd have access to either a light plane or boat. If rich, you take off from any number of airports around NYC. Ignore any no fly rules. No one's going to bother you much if you're LEAVING the area anyway. Land at a small field up north where you keep a car or on your own land. Or boat up the Hudson past Albany and pick up your stored car at some boat put in up there. If these ideas are just way too out there for you then maybe at least store your car outside NYC and get to it by whatever means you can and start your journey from there. Might be easier than trying to just drive out of NYC when the only way out of town might be rail or ferry/boat.

In any case, daks are much better BOL than Catskills, by far. Remember, Albany is a bit of a pit as well. And these folks could go north or south. But Adirondaks are a bit more sparse. No lights on secondary roads and super dark and scary on dark nights. At least to city dwellers. Somewhat more sparse and rugged. Better.
Old 02-06-2015, 11:13 PM
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Thank you for the input. I live in the bronx and I have family that lives about 40 miles north, then more family that lives 30 miles north of there. My plan was to hike it on foot to my mother's house the 40 miles. Then from there we can access my father's house 30 miles north of there via vehicle or hike it if necessary. Then from there it should be a bit easier traveling via vehicle.
I am 6'0" 200 lbs and in fairly good shape. This spring/summer my wife and I are going to go hiking a lot, I have some pretty neat trails picked out going from easy to hard progressively and eventually I will be hiking with my BOB to test it.

My wife and I have a 1 1/2 year old son, so bringing him would be a great challenge. My wife is 120 lbs and 5'2" so she would have to carry him seeing as the BOB is going to weigh 35 lbs tops). Figuring that out would be a GREAT challenge that I would love to also take suggestions on.
Old 02-07-2015, 07:55 AM
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I'd say head up the Bronx River Parkway up to the Taconic, that gets you out of the real urban areas and gives you some wiggle room. You could modify a jogging stroller so it could carry your son and most of your wife's gear, or perhaps most of your gear and let her to continue to carry a pack. Getting out of the city will be the biggest challenge, but at least you're not on Manhattan or Long Island, eliminating the water bottlenecks. As an alternative, an inflatable boat with a small outboard would get you out of the most urban areas relatively quickly. Go with the tide and get as far north as you can, then continue on foot. Once you've settled on a plan, it would be a good idea to follow the route at least once, so you don't get any surprises when you're doing the real thing under the worst conditions.
Old 02-07-2015, 08:47 AM
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Yup. You're ahead of the game by not needing to get out of Manhattan. If really on foot, something like one of those rough tire jogger / strollers maybe makes sense. Carrying kid and that much gear that far will be a challenge. But at the same time, you have to assume you'll have no idea what the weather will be. Might be a tough call. That is, maybe the stroller won't work, but maybe it would allow you to carry more useful gear for inclement conditions. Of course, on that route, there will be places to take shelter.

If your family is on east side of river, obviously you'll be headed straight up, which may make more sense anyway. That is, probably easier to cross river the more north you get. Though I'd say avoid Newburgh / Beacon Bridge as the city of Newburgh is a hole and will be a problem. If things are really so bad that everyone is on foot and you're going to have to hoof this, remember there's also a scenic walking bridge near Poughkeepsie.

By the way, long before shtf if you're setting up your place, the Adirondacks should only be a couple more hours north than Catskills; at least the southern regions. Probably also want to avoid Lake George area or anything too close to 87. So many lakes and streams. Probably better to be upstream of a lake as lakes will be popular and all you want is secure water source that's as clean as possible.
Old 02-23-2015, 01:15 PM
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you should contact MacBestus. He is on the forum he teaches prepping in both Catskills and Adirondaks. He responds to emails. When asked this question at a workshop I was at he stated he stated he prefered to be out of the watershed in the Catskills in Delaware county. No dealing with the watershed or the apa. Also Delaware freely gives carry permits. There is established rural economy that is open to barter and ease of getting to from the city. If you have to hike, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie and Kingston are easy to avoid. Going to the Adirondaks will add days to your trip and you have few ways to avoid Schenectady, Albany, reselear, troy area when trying to cross the river unless you take a verrrry long detour. He explains it better than I ever could. I think he hiked it one time.
Old 07-05-2015, 06:36 PM
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I live in the Albany area and I seek a BOL where I can set up a camp and live with my Patriot group and camp followers; our original intention was to escape our town and ruck it to behind the Helderberg since its local and we know the roads. I've driven to some decently remote places that, if we dig in and stash our preps, we could live in year-round quietly. Only problem is proximity to Albany and the hordes that will go with the shtf. Ive also thought of Dacks, in a dugout shelter somewhere. Nothing glamorous, just a quiet, secluded place where I could eventually live full-time. I want nothing of the city, I don't fit in anywhere in Liberal Society and according to Cuomo himself I have "no place in the State of New York." I have practically no cash, and I can't bring myself to leave. From my AO to the Dacks is a few hours even by car but the Helderberg is tempting. Any advice?
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Old 07-06-2015, 06:17 AM
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There are remote areas in both the Catskills and Adirondacks where you can set up. While winter in the Catskills is no holiday, the Adirondacks are far more severe and lasts longer. Albany, Troy, Poughkeepsie, and Newburgh will implode and most likely Kingston as well. The key will be getting out of and through those areas into the rural regions. People are far less likely to tolerate any foolish behavior there but they are also suspicious of newcomers. So, pick a spot now and start to meet the locals to become less of an outsider. Even if it is only on weekends. If everything goes down the drain there will be a flurry of activity until gas supplies are gone. At that point everything will be on foot and the odds will be against large scale successful migrations into rural areas.
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Old 08-02-2015, 07:16 PM
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Biggest problem with maintaining a second residence in the Catskills - or any home in a cold. wet climate - is that unattended houses take a beating from the elements, and during the winter (if you are not using the place) they do not have the drying effect of the heating system within. You are also looking at problems due to lenient or non-existent construction standards when many of these places were built.

My house on the border of Delaware and Otsego Counties (living here full-time after retirement) was a part time residence for wealthy a--h---- from the City when I moved here with my family shortly after 9/11 (from Long Island). Mind you, this is a relatively modern house (built 1970s) that was described as 'mint condition' in the real estate guide - not a moldy cabin or an old rotting Victorian.

In that time, I have replaced EVERY major thing in the house - new roof due to water backing up (unattended house = clogged gutters), repairs to the foundation (due to dampness/ice cracking the blocks), both new bathrooms ripped down to the 2x4s (dampness causing mold) and a new septic (the system was under-spec when it was new 40 years ago). I have replaced all the wiring I could reach - removed miles of cheap abraded Romex and upgraded to commercial grade Metal Shielded. The list goes on and on. Looking back at the condition of this house at the time of the closing, the place was an upscale dump. Now it shines inside and out. But it was years of hard work

If you are going to buy in the Catskills - from a building selection point of view - look for a spot that is sunny, and up on a hill. We have Biblical floods up here and carpenter ants (caused by damp wood) the size of your thumb. Be self reliant with most home improvement skills - be prepared to be a carpenter, electrician, plumber, etc.

And head right for the TREATED LUMBER aisle when you hit the Home Depot in Oneonta.

The winters are longer here, and that is to be taken seriously in terms of accessibility from downstate.

I took a van full of Guard soldiers to do SAR after Sandy, and the return trip (that was November) was fine up RT 17 until Roscoe (that's the entry point to the area for most people) but right in front of the Roscoe Diner the roads were so icy it's as if they were covered with vaseline. Scariest night of my life driving up Cat Hollow and past Bear Spring.

Have a good car - preferably an SUV with good tires, keep the gas tank full, have a fresh, NEW spare tire on the same exact type of rim as the running tires, and know how to access the spare. Keep a mechanic's grade tire-plugger kit with several plugs in case of a flat (most tires do not go completely flat that fast)and a manual air pump. Know how to access the spare (I said that - it's important)

The rest stops on the Thruway have their own generators, and pump gas during blackouts (that brings you to exit 19 in Kingston and RT 28) As an alternate, Route 17 is no-man's land past Middletown/Monticello with only crappy places to stop along the way.

You will have to work out some kind of security for the extended periods you are not there - there are knucklehead youth throughout this area that have radar for down-stater's houses and cabins. No idea what they are doing there, (but the name Walter White comes to mind.)

Don't leave guns/ammo/other valuables in the place, but a JOBOX with a chain saw/home repair tools/water pump etc bolted to the floor would be a smart investment. There are security companies that specialize in part-time residences in the area. There is virtually no police presence in the Catskills except for the State Police on the major highways, and both local and college police departments in Delhi and Oneonta. If you have a problem, call the nearest Fire Department (they also run the ambulances).

The hospitals around here pretty much suck, in some of the local hospitals after 5:00 pm I think the maintenance guy may have a CPR card if it's during the week. On weekends they move the ER sign to point to the band-aid aisle at Walgreens.

Best of luck.
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Old 08-02-2015, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassera View Post
I would like to get some input from some fellow New Yorkers or anybody who is familiar with the area on which would be a better location to purchase a small cabin and land to use as a bug out location.
I would say the Catskills. First you could use it more often for vacations because you are closer. Second, you are more likely to be able to get to it if the SHTF. Third, you could build underground facilities or other defenses if you are worried about people getting to you.
Old 05-04-2016, 04:43 PM
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Have you thought about using mountain bikes with small tow behind trailers? It could make the trip faster of course being more mobile in a city setting can make you a bigger target so you may want to initially beat feet out of Metro area and have bikes staged on outskirts waiting for you.
Old 04-26-2017, 04:30 PM
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I live in the lower Catskills.....works for us. Winters are long enough as it is. Have been to the daks many many times over the 42 yrs I've lived in NY. Beautiful up there, but the winters and the road conditions in winter are too much. We have enough armed like minded people here to circle the wagons, so to speak, and look out for each other.
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Old 06-07-2017, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FirstSergeant View Post
Biggest problem with maintaining a second residence in the Catskills - or any home in a cold. wet climate - is that unattended houses take a beating from the elements, and during the winter (if you are not using the place) they do not have the drying effect of the heating system within. You are also looking at problems due to lenient or non-existent construction standards when many of these places were built.

My house on the border of Delaware and Otsego Counties (living here full-time after retirement) was a part time residence for wealthy a--h---- from the City when I moved here with my family shortly after 9/11 (from Long Island). Mind you, this is a relatively modern house (built 1970s) that was described as 'mint condition' in the real estate guide - not a moldy cabin or an old rotting Victorian.

In that time, I have replaced EVERY major thing in the house - new roof due to water backing up (unattended house = clogged gutters), repairs to the foundation (due to dampness/ice cracking the blocks), both new bathrooms ripped down to the 2x4s (dampness causing mold) and a new septic (the system was under-spec when it was new 40 years ago). I have replaced all the wiring I could reach - removed miles of cheap abraded Romex and upgraded to commercial grade Metal Shielded. The list goes on and on. Looking back at the condition of this house at the time of the closing, the place was an upscale dump. Now it shines inside and out. But it was years of hard work

If you are going to buy in the Catskills - from a building selection point of view - look for a spot that is sunny, and up on a hill. We have Biblical floods up here and carpenter ants (caused by damp wood) the size of your thumb. Be self reliant with most home improvement skills - be prepared to be a carpenter, electrician, plumber, etc.

And head right for the TREATED LUMBER aisle when you hit the Home Depot in Oneonta.

The winters are longer here, and that is to be taken seriously in terms of accessibility from downstate.

I took a van full of Guard soldiers to do SAR after Sandy, and the return trip (that was November) was fine up RT 17 until Roscoe (that's the entry point to the area for most people) but right in front of the Roscoe Diner the roads were so icy it's as if they were covered with vaseline. Scariest night of my life driving up Cat Hollow and past Bear Spring.

Have a good car - preferably an SUV with good tires, keep the gas tank full, have a fresh, NEW spare tire on the same exact type of rim as the running tires, and know how to access the spare. Keep a mechanic's grade tire-plugger kit with several plugs in case of a flat (most tires do not go completely flat that fast)and a manual air pump. Know how to access the spare (I said that - it's important)

The rest stops on the Thruway have their own generators, and pump gas during blackouts (that brings you to exit 19 in Kingston and RT 28) As an alternate, Route 17 is no-man's land past Middletown/Monticello with only crappy places to stop along the way.

You will have to work out some kind of security for the extended periods you are not there - there are knucklehead youth throughout this area that have radar for down-stater's houses and cabins. No idea what they are doing there, (but the name Walter White comes to mind.)

Don't leave guns/ammo/other valuables in the place, but a JOBOX with a chain saw/home repair tools/water pump etc bolted to the floor would be a smart investment. There are security companies that specialize in part-time residences in the area. There is virtually no police presence in the Catskills except for the State Police on the major highways, and both local and college police departments in Delhi and Oneonta. If you have a problem, call the nearest Fire Department (they also run the ambulances).

The hospitals around here pretty much suck, in some of the local hospitals after 5:00 pm I think the maintenance guy may have a CPR card if it's during the week. On weekends they move the ER sign to point to the band-aid aisle at Walgreens.

Best of luck.

I know the area that the First Sgt. is writing about very well. His comments are spot on and he clearly knows the area intimately.
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Old 06-08-2017, 08:39 PM
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I haven't lived in NY for years, but have a weekend place on Cuba Lake in Allegheny Co. Also close to Tioga and Potter Co. PA worth checking out farming areas near Olean, Friendship, Salamanca, Cuba, NY.
Old 06-14-2017, 05:46 AM
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I don't think it is a close call. There is nothing remote about the Catskills. Go to the Adirondacks where there is far more opportunity.
Old 06-19-2017, 10:44 AM
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Default "There's more opportunity in the Adirondacks"

Opportunity, for what?

As my user name implies, I have been involved in a number of real world regional disaster situations and have debriefed dozens of soldiers who have met disaster victims face to face during the worst of times.

Most people do not leave disaster situations, instead, opting to stay put and await aid. Surprisingly, these are not always those on the periphery of the disaster. Many victims who are at the epicenter of the disaster can still be found in exactly the same location as they were pre-disaster.

Those that do 'bug out', are often not the survivalist types we all here claim to be, but more typically are families who, with an equal dose of logical pre-planning and outright panic, flee to the nearest functioning area. They are often very surprised to find life more or less getting on as normal. Hotel rooms may be more difficult to find, grocery stores somewhat busier, etc. but life goes on.

I have never met anyone who has gone as far as the Adirondacks.... not after 9/11, not after the blackout of 2003, not after Sandy. Sure, there were people who may have re-worked vacation plans, re-opened an Adirondack cabin, or extended their stay on Lake So-and So....

But I have met many people who grabbed hotel and motel rooms in the Catskills for a few days or a few weeks following 9/11 and Sandy.

The Adirondacks lacks the infrastructure to handle much unplanned travel. The cabins are mostly booked for the summer, and are largely shut down for the off seasons.

The Catskills, Hudson Valley, Leatherstocking regions all have chain hotels, grocery stores, hardware stores, car repair, banks, etc. The Adirondacks largely do not.

If you are talking about 'bugging out' to the wilderness, well, I am sorry, that's the stuff fantasies are made of. If it's summer, maybe, for a month or so*

During the fall/winter, I give you until the first twenty below night to rethink your plans. My home in the Catskills has oil AND electric baseboard heating, my neighbors seem to go through SUV-size piles of wood each night on those cold nights. No way a bugger-outer from down state is going to end up looking any different than Hatchet Jack by morning. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-OCKxSqTHw

*Considering you follow all applicable laws, stay on public lands, hunt only in season, and can stand your own smell after a week in the woods.

"It is a good rifle, and kilt the bear that kilt me...."
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:10 AM
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Western Greene county (Catskills) is pretty remote but can be brutal in Winter and

Summer brings 90 deg. F, and killer insect clouds, much like the Daks.

It's doable, like anything, but year round life is a tough go at either location.

Eastern Catskill / Hudson area has more of the two legged beasties to worry about than the Adks.

I've been commuting for 15 yrs from Nassau Long Isle. to the Catskills; you will want to have the ability to avoid the major routes North is SHTF;
buy yourself a good topographical map book so you are not dependent on GPS.

9/11 was my wake up call re: gridlock of southern NY metro area.

Old 06-19-2017, 12:05 PM
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Default Choosing a bugout location.....

The only logical way, in my opinion, to choose a 'bug out' location is to plan your bug out to be as similar to a recent pleasant travel experience as possible. In other words, you should stick with the familiar, something that evokes pleasant memories and gives you a sense of being in control of your choices.

Each year, particularly in summer, countless American families 'bug out' from their year round residences for a weekend, week, or several weeks at a time.

It's called vacation.

The only way to 'bug out' after SHTF, in my opinion, is to make the experience mirror a vacation as best as possible. In that way, you are driving familiar routes, utilizing a familiar infrastructure, and you have the advantage of being in a place you actually may like better than home, to keep spirits up, especially with children.

When bugging out, a family should plan to use the same vehicle, same luggage, same routes, same lodging, shopping, etc. as the most recent vacation. For example, when I lived downstate, our bug out plans included the same lodge we vacationed at in the Catskills. If that place was full, I had alternatives, all within the same area.

When I moved to the Catskills after retirement, I moved my family within 25 miles of where we used to vacation.

For a downstate NY/NJ prepper, this would much more likely include the Catskills than the Adirondacks, simply due to proximity. If you have an established support infrastructure in the Adirondacks, well then that's what you should utilize.

No one should pick a location they are unfamiliar with from how it looks on a map and choose it as a bug out location.

Certainly one should NOT choose a bug out location from comments on an anonymous website.

If you are serious about this, travel to the chosen area, explore main routes, back routes, resupply (gas, food, repairs) opportunities, learn weather patterns, flood areas, even go so far as to learn which locations are less likely to suffer from power outages.

And most of all, DO NOT plan on spending time outdoors overnight. That's a topic for later.
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