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I’m looking to eventually purchase land away from urban areas, partly for my own privacy, and partly as a long term prep. What I’m unsure of is striking a balance between being far enough away from population centers to be safe, but close enough to make commuting to work a reasonable option.

I have been thinking that 20-30 minutes away from major cities by car is a reasonable compromise, if anyone here has given this topic thought or, even better, has actually completed a move away from heavily urban areas, how far away did you choose to go?
 

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I’m looking to eventually purchase land away from urban areas, partly for my own privacy, and partly as a long term prep. What I’m unsure of is striking a balance between being far enough away from population centers to be safe, but close enough to make commuting to work a reasonable option.

I have been thinking that 20-30 minutes away from major cities by car is a reasonable compromise, if anyone here has given this topic thought or, even better, has actually completed a move away from heavily urban areas, how far away did you choose to go?
Yes, moved 60+ miles from my job.
Commute is anywhere from 1 to 3 hours. If you have to be there on time, forgetaboutit.
Unfortunately, 60 miles has turned out to be not nearly far enough away from the city, they're moving here and buying up all the nice land, raising our taxes, overloading the water and sewer and electric - which is going to cost us more. Half of the people moving here are named Karen... loudly demanding more Starbunks and Hole Foods...
If I were younger, and/or richer I'd move 200 - 300 miles away if I could.
 

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I agree with the thought that if someone from a major city can drive to your house with one tank of gas... you are too close to that city. Obviously, cars have different size gas tanks but, you know what it means. If people have to walk to get somewhere, they are far less likely to get there. Now, that means if you had to walk to get home... it would be more difficult for you also.

How you figure in smaller towns and such is up to you. Those people will be looking for things also.
 

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I’m looking to eventually purchase land away from urban areas, partly for my own privacy, and partly as a long term prep. What I’m unsure of is striking a balance between being far enough away from population centers to be safe, but close enough to make commuting to work a reasonable option.

I have been thinking that 20-30 minutes away from major cities by car is a reasonable compromise, if anyone here has given this topic thought or, even better, has actually completed a move away from heavily urban areas, how far away did you choose to go?
Most of the jobs I had in my life required at least a hours commute time each way since I prefer rural areas over urban. That is about what I would consider do-able. Get more than that and it starts to turn your days into drudgery of driving. The thing to remember is you need to look at time of commute as well as distance especially since some Rush hour traffic areas can take forever to get through. Also one other thing I encountered is a few employers will try to avoid hiring you if you have too big of a distance to travel. Small town employers can be quite prejudiced against those that do not live in town.
 

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If you’re going to live 20-30 minutes from a main city then I would be at least 10 miles from an interstate or other main route even if it means a 20-30 minute commute becomes 45+.

My state is blessed with not having big cities but there are several with 50K people. The potential “zombie hoards” may not be as large here but thats still bigger than I want to deal with. Distance from main roads provides some insulation from a plague of “zombie locusts“ eating everything in sight.
 

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I used to work at a US Navy base in Southern California know as NWC China Lake. This base is located in the Mohave desert, about 85 miles east of Bakersfield, and the terrain is very remote. But this region is also very active geologically, and completely dependent on weekly deliveries of food and fuel.

I considered buying land in the Southern Sierras that was even more remote, and commuting to work each day. I knew several families that lived near lake Isabela, but that area is not much better than the desert floor, and will be even more issolated after the next earthquake.

I decided to buy a small ranch in Eastern Oklahoma instead. Once I retired, I sold the house and bugged out of California.
 

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If you can commute to a major city….it’s too close.

I’m 30 miles from the next town, 60 miles from Walmart, and 90 miles from a major city. That’s just about right. But we still see lots of strangers on weekends, out at the reservoir, or trafficking in and out of Colorado….IYKWIM.
This is about right. I don't think someone who will be working for an extended time (~10 years or more) should live more than about 45-50 miles from work, wherever that is.

By the time I retire, I'll at least meet your distance criteria, maybe more.
 

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Don't look to be close to a major city. Commuting distance to a major city, means you live in the suburbs. Not good.

Start searching for jobs in cities that have a population between 10-50k, that are economic hubs remote out in the country. For instance.... Billings, MT, comes to mind. If you want warmer temps, head to Silver City, NM.

.............
 

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If your goal is to be away from cities, traffic and crowds then its a fairly simple formula.

If something is convenient, you're too close.

In our situation we are about 20 miles from town (not a city) but a small town. What most people would consider a "city" is about 60 miles away. Personally from my perspective its not really the mileage that is significant. Its the access that is more significant. If there are major interstates connecting your world with other areas the access for "outsiders" is fairly easy. Just keep in mind even if the world doesn't continue to melt down you will eventually need access to medical attention and items that you can't grow or make yourself so your proximity to these things is also important.

We live in a pretty rural area and have quite a store of our own supplies and a reasonable ability to generate our own food. However, some things are finite such as fuel, tools, parts and medical supplies. Its just a fact of life that there are things I can't reasonably make for myself such as tools, screws, bolts, nails, lubricants for equipment, parts (tires, belts, hoses), etc. I can graze some of my animals but not over winter so feed would be needed at some stage. We have a large water well (requires three phase electrical) but keeping that going without utilities would be difficult. Being 100% self sufficient would be nearly impossible, certainly I could barter food and other items for things I need but without a modern supply chain life would significantly change. I believe the further a person is from even minor population areas the tougher these tasks become even if the world just changes and doesn't melt down.

I'd always encourage people to pursue what is in their dream/adventure. From my experience there is more to the equation than just finding a remote location where a person can hide from society and build their homestead.

Stay safe & healthy
 

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I’m looking to eventually purchase land away from urban areas, partly for my own privacy, and partly as a long term prep. What I’m unsure of is striking a balance between being far enough away from population centers to be safe, but close enough to make commuting to work a reasonable option.
This is not a solvable problem, because if things continue as they have been, or get worse, the city will come to you. Even if you are somewhat further away than a reasonable commuting distance, they'll come.
The worst of 'em will come to loot, the rest will come to get away from the looters. Neither are good to have around.
 

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It's not a cut and dried thing honestly. It's an equation. Distance means safety usually but it means less access, higher gas, etc. Sometimes folks need to stay closer in due to medical needs or whatnot.

I'm realizing that myself honestly. I simply cannot do as rural as I was planning on with the current state of my health. Not because there is no medical, but because there is no medical CAPACITY in the area. Doctors are all full and will be full for years out which doesn't work with chronic illness. So I'm back to the drawing board again.
 

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This is not a solvable problem, because if things continue as they have been, or get worse, the city will come to you. Even if you are somewhat further away than a reasonable commuting distance, they'll come.
The worst of 'em will come to loot, the rest will come to get away from the looters. Neither are good to have around.
This is only a true statement if a person is planning only for a "mad max" scenario. The reality is that a complete breakdown of society to a "mad max" level of complete chaos and anarchy (while not completely impossible) is absolutely the fringe scenario and probably the least possible. While rough times are ahead and certainly bad things will occur in the world the sick, lame and lazy that currently fester in the metro areas in the United States and around the world are in the situation they are in because they are sick, lame and lazy not because they are resourceful and energetic. Certainly if the world as we all know it cratered today there are those in the metro areas that will pillage and destroy then move on but they are also lazy to a degree in the sense that they only have one concept of survival and that is thievery and violence.

From an anthropological perspective I would suggest that the majority of people that live in metro area live a much more solitude individual lifestyle. At the end of the day they are really only concerned about their own survival and existence. While in most (maybe not all) rural areas there is more tribal lifestyle. While some people in rural areas may not know all their neighbors they share a more common lifestyle and understanding of where they live. In a "mad max" scenario its plausible that a marauding horde could make its way to our area, its also extremely plausible they would only be successful for once or for a short period. Our area might be rural and low density but I have confidence that neighbor would support neighbor and our security would be secured.

Many people have survived much worse than what we are experiencing today with far less than many have now. As mentioned making a move to a rural homestead is a multifaceted and complex equation. There really is no one size fits all answer, its all about weighing personal requirements with the type of lifestyle desired.

Stay safe & healthy
 

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I think it's more about "location" and what that is like and what the city is like along with the surrounding area more than some arbitrary number of miles.
As far as being at least one gas tank away .... really?
I can go pretty freakin far on a tank of gas
The one tank of gas thing is odd. That will get me a 400 mile radius in a minivan. That gets me to Fort Morgan Co, Springfield Mo, Minneapolis Mn, or DeKalb IL just outside of Chicago.

I once took a rental car from Omaha to the Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma on a single tank of gas because it averaged 40 mpg.

The one tank thing makes little sense given current technology. Toss in some gas cans and you can get 600-800 miles.

What people who say that are hoping is that the highways will be jammed like in a hurricane. In a slow decline, that won't happen.

I chose live where people are all generally friendly no matter where they live; in a big city or small town. And where food is historically grown. If I moved 40 miles away, the people wouldn't really be much different.
 

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The one tank of gas thing is odd. That will get me a 400 mile radius in a minivan. That gets me to Fort Morgan Co, Springfield Mo, Minneapolis Mn, or DeKalb IL just outside of Chicago.

I once took a rental car from Omaha to the Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma on a single tank of gas because it averaged 40 mpg.

The one tank thing makes little sense given current technology. Toss in some gas cans and you can get 600-800 miles.

What people who say that are hoping is that the highways will be jammed like in a hurricane. In a slow decline, that won't happen.

I chose live where people are all generally friendly no matter whether they live; in a big city or small town. And where food is historically grown. If I moved 40 miles away, the people wouldn't really be much different.
I was recently in 3 different states on the same tank.
There is a lot to take into account on any given location.
I find it hard to paint with broad brushes.
There are certainly many places we don't want to be or near :)
 

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Yes, moved 60+ miles from my job.
Commute is anywhere from 1 to 3 hours. If you have to be there on time, forgetaboutit.
Unfortunately, 60 miles has turned out to be not nearly far enough away from the city, they're moving here and buying up all the nice land, raising our taxes, overloading the water and sewer and electric - which is going to cost us more. Half of the people moving here are named Karen... loudly demanding more Starbunks and Hole Foods...
If I were younger, and/or richer I'd move 200 - 300 miles away if I could.
Same here. It’s terrible.
 
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