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Rouge Lemming
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Most of the abandon sawmills in my area wouldn't be good for a bug out location. One has the dry kiln still standing. Which would make a good shelter. Bad location its about 150ft from a major railway main line. Another one kiln and most foundations gone. Same problem within 300ft of a major railroad main line. Once you cut your lumber you have to get it to market. At that time rail transportation was the best option. Unless you could find one close to an abandon rail line such as the Rock Island which went bankrupt back in the early 1980's. Not much chance of it being off the beaten path. As for finding anything useful not around here. What wasn't scraped years ago was finished off by the high scrap prices a few years ago. Here is a picture of part of an old upright steam engine I managed to save from the scrapyard. It came from an old mill in south Arkansas that was being scraped a few years ago. I hope to restore it some day.
 

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Maybe as a rally location, or a site to bury a cache at, but never a BOL.

If you don't own it, you risk making yourself far more issues than needed. This is especially true depending on what manner of event occurs. Also, you never know if the current owner is already planning to use it as a get away, or if they use it as a hunting site or such.

The only possible purpose I would use such a place for post SHTF/TEOTWAWKI is as a source of possible resources like bricks and such for my own location elsewhere.

As to why so many burn down there is a simple answer to that; generations of teens using it as a place to get away from adults and party. That was the reason for the destruction of two separate places in two different towns I lived in during my youth.
 

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[96] wks to off-grid esc
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I agree with the consensus here that investing any infrastructure into a BOL location that is not owned outright is a bad idea, but if you take a step back and concider locations based solely on their potential WROL, existing sawmills will usually have a critical element beyond just water- they have the potential, and often residual infrastructure, for hydroelectric or mechanical mills. It is a fairly rare spot that allows for a flowing stream to be easily harnessed to do serious work, and identifying and recognizing these spots and their potential is worthwhile. Many of these still exist here in NM and southern CO, including many that were used instead as grain mills or ore mills, and many of those are still producing work.

I actually agree with the OPs point that we as preppers should at least keep these old mills in the back of our mind as a potential resource WROL. Also, I don't view proximity to a rail-road as a negative. That would very much become a positive after SHTF, just as it was in the 19th century. There's a good reason Warren Buffet bought and expanded the railroads, I think the Oracle of Omaha is a prepper. We don't view the railroads in the same way today that we did 100 years ago, with all the trucks on the interstate moving items at 8 miles to the $2 gallon, but there will come a day in America when rail is king again, and I try to plan my preps with that kind of (potential) future history in mind.
 

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I agree with Stay Off... BUT I also try to keep an idea in my head of abandoned structures that are out away from people. I know a few places that are really just holes in mountain. Wouldn't wanna live there, but I could squat a few days if I had to. Forester's shacks, line shacks etc. The only way I would try one of those is if I had to get away from disease or something for a couple of weeks. I've got my eye on a couple of places right now that are empty and for sale and are VERY remote. As much as I travel I just try to keep my eyes open for places I could make mine for a few days with a crowbar or bolt cutters. Just a place to hole up if I had to.
 
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