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Surviving selling labor
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Has anyone on here considered group retreats? It seems like a good idea to group up with four or five families to purchase and prepare a retreat rather than going it alone. The division of labor and increased breadth of skills alone seem like "stability multipliers".
 

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Fixin to
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Hi,
Welcome to the boards, I'm new here as well. It sounds like a good idea to me. Of course, there would have to be alot of trust. I think most survivalists are loners. I still have much to learn, but it seems to me that there would be safety in numbers too.
 

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The problem isn't that it's a bad idea. Most people here agree that you need a group to make it long term. The problem is FINDING that group. If you're one of those lucky ones with lots of family nearby who are all on board, well, you've got your group built in! Others who have been at this for a while have found those of a similar mindset and have developed friendship and trust, an ideal base for a group. However, those of us just getting started, without the built-in family network, have to work a bit harder at it. It's still a good idea, but it's hard to trust your life (and the lives of your family) to a stranger. Yes, I feel an urgency to get in a group before it's too late and the SHTF, but am I so desperate that I'm ready to risk it all on a stranger? Tough decisions. Good luck to you in you decision-making process!
 

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Wife and I are in same place.
We're busy planning and prepping for ourselves, but we are convinced the only long term survival would be in groups or small communities.

North IL married couple, preppers, reasonably conservative. Our families are all asleep, sadly, so we're on our own.

We bring street smarts, common sense, outback survival experience, and out door cooking and food preservation skills as well as equipment to any group we may become part of.

We hope to find a group interested in starting and sharing a BOL and/or a small community to become a part of that includes preppers. We're currently shopping southern IL for land, homes, and communities - but as you all know - any wise prepper is a cautious one.
 

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Surviving selling labor
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Discussion Starter #7
I, unfortunately, chose to live in the city. A few years ago I bought a house in the city and have regretted it most of the time since. I grew up in the country. Earned my first few bucks topping corn, baling straw, righting fences, digging irrigation.

I'm an avid backpacker and have taken several long distance trips. I even packed the Shipwreck trail solo while I was in college ( Juneau, AK to Vancouver, BC. About 900mi). I used to teach at a Boy Scout camp, and even spent some time in the USMC. I'd actually like to spend some more time in The Corps, but life's complications have put that on hold for now at least. Despite all those survival related activities, I've only found two people who will give any serious thought to preparedness. One discusses it with me, but always ends our conversations with a shameful "I just don't have the time or money to do anything about it" comment. The other has a wife that just isn't on board so his preps have been limited to becoming proficient with a handgun, home gardening, and keeping a well stocked pantry.

I really want a retreat and want to take part in the build of one. I've cleared enough trails, and built enough camp shelters to be useful. My wife and I just make so little money it will take 20 years for us to be able to afford the land for a retreat all by ourselves. If I could get together a group of just four families like ours we could actually make a retreat happen.

I already know I can make it for weeks on the move, but my family won't. I've been in a refugee camp before. When SHTF I don't want my wife and little girl to end up anywhere near one.
 

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Has anyone on here considered group retreats? It seems like a good idea to group up with four or five families to purchase and prepare a retreat rather than going it alone. The division of labor and increased breadth of skills alone seem like "stability multipliers".
A group CAN be excellent. They can also be disasters for all concerned. Every member of the group has to be dedicated to the task; if Family A decides there's no need for them to work hard, the rest of the group will carry them, bad things will happen. You also all have to be on the same page; if Member B doesn't think security is that important a thing and doesn't take necessary precautions seriously, he's a danger to the whole group. And then there's discipline; if in Family C the wife is a valued member of the group but her husband is a disruptive influence, her kids refuse or are laggardly to do their chores, and her dog digs up the garden and chases livestock, there will have to be a way to force all these to toe the line or get out. Also, group flexibility is essential; if Member D is absolutely vital to the group but suddenly becomes too ill to do anything, dies, or loses his money or interest and no longer participates, you've got a problem. Group interactions can turn friends into the bitterest of enemies, rouse unmanageable passions, and blow the whole thing apart. And if you're dependant on the group for survival is the event of TSHTF, well, that's not a good thing...
 

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Problem is that every group needs a leader. Choosing that leader and following that leader is where the group may fracture. People who have not lived and worked together will find themselves butting heads over whose plan is the best. Or as someone else pointed out, when a couple decide they are incompatable and split, the other members take sides.

The family group has a stronger chance of survival because the structure is at least partly there. You are less likely to argue with your aunt Kay than with Mary from Pomona who is just looking for a group to survive with.

Not that you can't make it work, but you better have the framework in place and the command structure set before you are going to need it. Think Mayflower Compact.
 

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Super Gassy Moderator
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Problem is that every group needs a leader. Choosing that leader and following that leader is where the group may fracture. People who have not lived and worked together will find themselves butting heads over whose plan is the best. Or as someone else pointed out, when a couple decide they are incompatable and split, the other members take sides.
There are a bunch of different leadership models. A group needs to find what's going to work best for them and be the most natural. Our group was comprised of several people, myself included, that despise leaders and leadership, so we went to a split management model. It works great for us.

The thing that will ruin a group is personality conflicts. This is the downside to family groups. You take in family, period. But for groups not based on family, you really need to spend time with people under different circumstances to get an idea about what they're really made of and if they will be compatible with the group long term. It took us years.
 

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I, unfortunately, chose to live in the city. A few years ago I bought a house in the city and have regretted it most of the time since. I grew up in the country. Earned my first few bucks topping corn, baling straw, righting fences, digging irrigation.

I'm an avid backpacker and have taken several long distance trips. I even packed the Shipwreck trail solo while I was in college ( Juneau, AK to Vancouver, BC. About 900mi). I used to teach at a Boy Scout camp, and even spent some time in the USMC. I'd actually like to spend some more time in The Corps, but life's complications have put that on hold for now at least. Despite all those survival related activities, I've only found two people who will give any serious thought to preparedness. One discusses it with me, but always ends our conversations with a shameful "I just don't have the time or money to do anything about it" comment. The other has a wife that just isn't on board so his preps have been limited to becoming proficient with a handgun, home gardening, and keeping a well stocked pantry.

I really want a retreat and want to take part in the build of one. I've cleared enough trails, and built enough camp shelters to be useful. My wife and I just make so little money it will take 20 years for us to be able to afford the land for a retreat all by ourselves. If I could get together a group of just four families like ours we could actually make a retreat happen.

I already know I can make it for weeks on the move, but my family won't. I've been in a refugee camp before. When SHTF I don't want my wife and little girl to end up anywhere near one.
North east indiana here, and am having the same problems. My sister lives in north florida, we are thinking of maybe getting some land somewhere, maybe tenn or kentucky?

time is around 2 years, so lets hope we can find something. the community i am in is an ok area, 20 mins north of a 180k city, mostly rural out here, corn, pigs/etc. only problem is, the little town is not prepared to my knowledge, although i have made a blog and decided to pass out flyers to my fellow towns people to get them moving.
 

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Live Secret, Live Happy
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Has anyone on here considered group retreats? It seems like a good idea to group up with four or five families to purchase and prepare a retreat rather than going it alone. The division of labor and increased breadth of skills alone seem like "stability multipliers".
Yes, I have been thinking about this a lot. I know it sounds like a good deal to establish a group of like minded folks now, before the crisis hits. I know that the folks living in large cities would very much like to be a part of a group with a specific location to bug out to. You want to keep your job in the city and have some rural roots established for when a crisis hits.

Trouble is, why would anyone else want you in a group? Not that you are not an intelligent or productive person, but the fact is you still live and work in the city. You have not made the commitment to uproot your family and your life to some thing sustainable. So why would someone accept your commitment to support a survival group later?

I know what it means to be ties down to a specific job or location and this is going to sound terribly unfair, but you either need to commit to a lifestyle change with whatever time line and financial impact that entails, or you are not ready to commit to a group of people who would be dependent upon you.
 

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2REP 4e Compagnie
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Hoo boy. Yeah, finding a group is a very difficult task, and nearly as difficult (if not more so) than convincing family. Lucky for me my current F-in-law is at least partially on board and has seen the extent I've already gone through to prepare for the family for hard times. I helped them get their cabin on the Rim stocked and though Mom-in-law is Aunt Esther to my Fred Sanford she's a product of depression era parents herself. [Side note: I think her biggest gripe with me is that their daughter is 20+ years younger than me.]

As for groups, different ideologies, religious beliefs, race and political views can have a major negative effect on cohesiveness if you have many polar opposites. That will often lead to dissent among the group. I personally don't care for and won't tolerate bigotry among my teams at work, and won't do so for a survival group either. I don't care if you're a black lesbian puerto-rican jew or an asian muslim communist. If you have the right attitude and skill set you're welcome to apply. :) (But if you're more concerned with those values than the group, you're welcome to leave to) ;)

Some groups I've encountered in my lifetime have had extremist bents, whether it be religious, racial or politically motivated. I've seen *********** christian zealots and hippie commune types that just want to live "green" and feed the world and abhor violence. I've also seen just about everything in between.

As has been stated already, leadership is an issue and so is individual purchases of group property. If one family leaves the group, not only do others tend to take sides, but there is also the risk of non-preppers purchasing the property. There is only so much that can be done to prevent someone from making the purchase pre-SHTF. Having and maintaining a cohesive and cooperative group outside of a family unit can take years, and even then there is risk.

I touched on individual values shortly. I'll give another example now. When I was in the Legion we were forced in a way to put our individual bias behind us or lock it away for the common good. That included both teaching us the history and honor of the Legion, as well as having it beaten into us. When you sign up you are theirs for the contract duration (5 years minimum) and there is no one to complain to, no congressman to write to, if your corporal or sergeant beats you to a pulp because he doesn't like the way your boots are polished or the line of your shoulders as you stand at attention. It is harsh in a sense that makes R. Lee Earmy in Full Metal Jacket look like a pansy teaching flower arrangements. My point in stating that is that we had people from all over the globe in my units. We had Croats and Serbs, Arabs and Israelis, Brits and Germans, Asians and Africans. Whatever our religious or political beliefs going in, we came out as Legionnaires and dedicated to each other first and our religious/political beliefs second. I had no worries that if we went into Eastern Europe that the Serb and Croat members of the unit would turn on each other, nor did I worry in Africa that the Tutsi and Hutu members would turn on each other. We were of the Legion, we were Legionnaires and therefore we were family. I've seen similar cohesive relationships develop among various other militaries as well over the globe.

My point in that is a a veteran you might find better luck with other former military people. Additionally, be careful of compromise if the group is too extremist for your taste. In small scale natural disasters people have come together for mutual aid and have crossed political, racial, religious and economic boundaries to do so. That mutual aid, however, is quickly lost after the event is over, so don't count on it for long term either.

The online story/novel "Lights Out" gives a small overview on various different survival groups and the choices one man and his family make as to which type of group to join with during an EMP event. Overall it's a good story, but please understand that the main characters get unseasonably lucky in several events.

I have a few people whom I work with on a regular basis that I would gladly have with me in an SHTF situation. Some are retired and live near my properties, while others are hired hands. Not all know all of my preps but they know that I am prepared. Some are sure things for a major event while others I'm still feeling out before providing further information.

I wish you luck in your search and hope you can find or create a group that suits you.
 

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I think a group is a bad ideal in most situations. Granted, I have been alone all my life but people, however you look at it, are prone to drastic actions under pressure and stress. What if a member of the group, a long time friend, snaps and decides the food would last a long time for him and his family alone. Remember, each of the members has a gun in his hand to protect the retreat. If you don't want to be alone at this and want to be able to sleep at night, get a good guard dog, if the dog turns on you, have a stew. Always remember, the best tempered person and the most stable individual can snap under any kind of trauma situations. I prefer being alone at this!
 

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All in all a complicated subject.

I'm thinking after the SHTF and months have passed, little communities will start forming again no matter what brings TEOTWAWKI. People are social animals by nature, communities will return.

I guess I'd find more security sharing the load, power in numbers, all that. Pre-planning some sort of group venture, group BOL, or small town area with plenty of preppers certainly couldn't reduce your survival odds.

If you're convinced that absolutely no one can be trusted and completely unwilling to trust? You shouldn't be chatting online, you should already be hermitted away on some mountain top.

I'm a more trusting soul and hope to find friends that can share some trust and form a planned community before TSHTF.

Wouldn't you like to feel trust and be trusted enough to have a Plan B should your total isolationist plans fail?
 

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Super Gassy Moderator
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If you're convinced that absolutely no one can be trusted and completely unwilling to trust? You shouldn't be chatting online, you should already be hermitted away on some mountain top.
While I agreed with most of your post, I disagree with this part. I don't trust anyone ever until they have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that I can. What does that have to do with my being online? And who are you to tell me where and how I should live and where I should and shouldn't be chatting?
 

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While I agreed with most of your post, I disagree with this part. I don't trust anyone ever until they have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that I can. What does that have to do with my being online? And who are you to tell me where and how I should live and where I should and shouldn't be chatting?
It was meant to be figurative.
It was meant to make people think.
It was stated in a general sense as to not target any specific individuals.


Other posts in this thread and similar threads often come off as "you can't trust others, if you do you will fail"
My effort was to turn that logic around a bit. If someone is so distrusting of others why would they be on a forums community reading the ideas and opinions of a bunch people they believe won't survive anyways?
 
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