Retreat Rules – A Discussion

Anecdote: When it Turns Left
July 19, 2015
Citizen Close Combat
July 22, 2015

At the most recent Combat Team Tactics (CTT) Class  there were a couple of Alumni medical doctors. During discussion in breaks we got to chatting about retreats and communities. It turns out that each of these guys have nascent communities where they live, with land, farming, other medical personnel, access to medical treatment facilities for SHTF etc. In other words the perfect basis for sustainable communities with medical support.

I was jumping all over that declaring that this sort of community is something that should be protected, as in establish Citizen Unconventional Tactical Teams (CUTT’s)  with the accompanying families and support networks to move to and protect such a valuable resource. This of course led to discussions about how that would happen, and how to organize, and ensure everyone was pulling their weight, and didn’t show up with nothing etc.

Now, to be quite clear, we were not talking about the classic prepper situation of someone’s retreat being used by a group, who all coalesce there when the SHTF. This was more of a broader community idea with neighboring properties with spare living space such as barns and the ability to mutually support between neighboring farms, even perhaps including the local medical facility etc. This kind of idea is a balance between the required numbers to run an effective patrolling and defensive operation, as well as farming etc, while balancing against mouths to feed and the need to pull ones weight with work.

Sustainable community is what it is about.

One of these gentlemen emailed me with a link to a set of ‘retreat rules’ from Survivalblog. 

Rules Link HERE.

They are an interesting read, and this is the gist of the email response that I sent back to him:

Well here is the thing. Not to quibble specifically with his ‘list of lists’ and after a quick read, the thing that comes across to me is that anyone going to this retreat is entirely beholden to the owner. “I” will make this decision, or that decision etc. This is fair enough given that it is his property. But what about if there is a disagreement? 

IMO this is the great weakness of the whole prepper meme of all coalescing at someones house, or someones land. You have an instant chief. Ideally you want some group land and a group occupation, with some sort of ‘small council’ to run it. We all know that there needs to be a leader, particularly for emergencies, but that can still be achieved if there is a ‘tactical leader’ appointed.
There could also be a council leader, appointed, who can also be voted out if needed. Interestingly, I just watched a pirate show called ‘black sails’ where they elect the captain! That leads to some weaknesses, but it is also probably more realistic for a civilian prepper environment. 
This needs more exploration and possibly a blog post. I understand that, for you, you own your property an are thus in charge. You don’t want it voted off you! It is a definite thing that needs to be explored.
This perhaps illustrates one of the great weaknesses of these prepper retreat plans: to a great extent, whoever joins the group is beholden to whoever owns the retreat. Which is right, but doesn’t help them if they end up in a disagreement. This is also probably why most of these plans / groups break up over time as the natural human inclination to be an asshole gets in the way of pre-SHTF group cohesion.
Now, I’m not suggesting that we all have enough money to go and form groups to buy separate land, where we would build a community. That is simply not realistic. In many ways things are simpler where a group establishes some form of leadership and finds itself adrift in an SHTF situation, perhaps using an example such as the TV Series ‘The Walking Dead’ where they end up occupying a prison. Simply because it doesn’t belong to anyone so they are free to organize for the better of the group.
Of course, we don’t want to find ourselves adrift, and naturally our retreat is going to be our home unless we are forced out of it. If we take people in on the fly, or pre-planned, of course we want to retain control of our home. Why would we do it otherwise?
So what will happen is that these retreats will take on many flavors depending on the composition and dynamics between the owners and whoever else is on the group.
Regardless of whoever the original homeowner is, them simply being a dictator to the others would not work in the long run. Regardless of who owns the property, if the SHTF arrives then there needs to be a system in place for the actual running of the retreat and also a set of rules to establish ‘common law.’
Interestingly, I mentioned above that I have been watching the fictional TV Series ‘Black Sails’. Purely by chance with a ‘those who bought this bought that’ Amazon purchase. It is interesting with its take on how the ships are run. Totally unlike a military system such as in the Royal Navy at the time, with iron discipline and the lash. The show portrays a system with an elected captain and some interesting interplay between the crew. Many more ”discussions’ then you would expect on a Navy ship!
I find the portrayal to be a lot more like I would expect within a civilian force that has come together, trained, and is now operating together post-SHTF. In episode 6, which I have just seen, there is another interesting portrayal which goes to points I have made in my ‘Civilian Volunteer Teams: The Leadership Issue‘ post. The crew is engaged in battle aboard their ship. They have specific rules that cover the captain under such situations, separate from normal day to day operations where the crew has to be very much ‘persuaded’ (sold) on the course of action. In the scene, a crewman is questioning the captain’s battle plan, and is simply knocked out by the second in command, due to the situation being one of ‘battle.’ That goes back to my point about receiving black eyes because ‘you were talking when you should have been listening.’
No, I’m not suggesting fist fights, but I hope you get my point. There needs to be some sort of rules in any kind of retreat or crew / team. There needs to be a way of enforcing them, and there needs to be a way of appointing the right people to run operations, whether that be tactical, the kitchen, or the animals.
There needs to be a way of resolving the ‘property owner is in charge’ dilemma. Clearly they don’t want to end up kicked off their own retreat, but they may perhaps hand over the running of operations to others who may be better at it. One of the ways of dealing with this is to go to bigger community retreats, a conglomeration of land and farms, which reduces the issue in terms of single property owners, because they then become part of a bigger community, which can elect people to fill roles.
Because in the SHTF, it will be bigger protected and sustainable communities that have a better chance of survival – either because they are being established now, or will get established as a matter of necessity. Give the ‘rules’ and system of operation some deep thought now, before the stress of SHTF adds another layer of difficulty.



  1. Owl21 says:

    Having dealt with this exact problem on many occasions, the issue with land owners is more along the lines of the fact that the owner has a vested and monetary interest in “surviving,” and cannot necessarily see why someone else should be in charge when it was the owner who made retreat possible. So even allowing the possibility of having others vote the owner out of his/her vested interests in a non-starter.

    The only solution I have found for creating a survivalist community is a structured land ownership program. Using the “something for free has no value” line of thinking, the idea is for everyone involved to have a vested interest in the community. There MUST be a buy in.

    Even if the community is started with three families, and each paid a 1/3 buy in for the property and its infrastructure, they would create a structured buy-in for each subsequent family that would include the costs necessary to cover equal ownership in the property, increased infrastructure, and compensation to the other owners for their initial investments in the property. This is the only fair and equitable solution that I have found that allows everyone involved to retain “Rights” in the property.

    Because not everyone can get along, it is also necessary to create a set of by-laws for the property that prohibits any owner from selling their property share to anyone except existing property owners (share holders), for which there would be a written and lawful purchase schedule for such an event.

    It is probably also necessary to allow for one “representative” from each family to be on a council/board for the property. This allows each family to have a say in the management and use of the property, which is also fair.

    FWIW: an owner of a large property who wants it to become a retreat, could create such a system if so desired. He/she would need to be willing to relinquish some control in the interest of mutual aid survival, simply creating a buy-in (with lawful property interest) for new families and establishing by-laws and a council.

    • Max Velocity says:

      These are all good points, based on experience. Relevant to situations now where people are attempting to create retreats. There is also the situation to consider where people are only coalescing when the situation is upon them, SHTF has happened, and thus there is no scope for financial buy in. There has to be some other buy in. Hard work and participation?

      • Owl21 says:

        A “buy-in” can be whatever the owner/owners wish, be it monetary, skills, participation, etc., or any combination thereof. It seems that there are many, many more “poor” survivalists than wealthy ones, and potential solutions vary widely.

        Realistically, skills are typically the most sought after “buy-in” for retreats. ER doctors/nurses are usually the highest on the list followed by actual combat veteran NCOs with recent experience. Most retreat groups do not realize how many skilled people they really need: farmers, ranchers, artists, teachers, mechanics, etc, and tend to only focus on the high tier skills sets for recruitment.

        Regardless, when someone, or just a few families shell out $100k each for retreat property and infrastructure, it is difficult to rationalize allowing anyone (along with their family) to buy-in on skills and participation alone, which is why docs and combat vets will usually get an exception since they paid their dues elsewhere. At least, that is how it is viewed, right or wrong.

        Overall, the buy-in, regardless of how it is presented must have some pain associated with it so that both the buyer and seller feel that the trade is fair, and that the buyer is as committed as the sellers to the end cause.

        Case in point: If you, Max, were to use your skills and participation for your buy-in, with no monetary contribution, into an existing retreat with five existing families, for a 1/6th share for you and your family, and you had to train everyone one weekend per month, plus help with construction one weekend per month (or more), then you would see your contributions as value. However, because the other five families are effectively receiving your time and skills for FREE, your value, in their eyes might be diminished, because FREE HAS NO VALUE. It is not that what you are doing is actually free, but that is how it can be perceived to people who have used monetary means to acquire what they have.

        I know this because I have run into it more than once. However a retreat is created is usually how the later buy-ins will be forced to contribute. If hard work and diverse skills created among members created the retreat, then that will be the equitable buy-in for others, if money built it, then money is what they will want of others. Yes, it is a screwed up mentality, but that is how most people work.

  2. Ray says:

    Another thing this whole “meme” just leaves out is: What do you do with the preexisting farms and community that doesn’t want 500 uniformed strangers dropped on them , out of the blue. What none of these people even consider is that many of those “rural/isolated” places are community’s with wide ranging, hundreds of years old, blood ties that WILL NOT accept a small army of armed outsiders , who show up with little but guns, and hungry mouths. This whole “My little mountain kingdom” fantasy is going to end in a lot of dead outsiders. Let me clue you in to the OTHER side of this brain cramp. About 24 hours after convoys of “prepers” start down those mountain roads the ambushes WILL start. The attacks will be continuous 24/7/365. The locals will burn those barns and houses TO THE GROUND. Often before anyone gets to them. They MIGHT let a “Doc” settle among them, because they need him. BUT anyone who thinks that those same farmers will welcome 50 total strangers with guns, wives, kids ,dogs, and “city BS.” is DEEPLY deluded. My family has a farm in Eastern Kentucky. Its been in the family for 250 years. Its not for sale. The same can be said for the land for 25 miles in any direction. We do have a plan for squatters, preppers , “bug outs” and small retreat army’s. That plan mostly involves long range rifles a backhoe and quicklime. If The SHTF I hope all of you “retreat” guys are ready to start killing on day one, because we are. We don’t want you. We don’t need you. And the only way to steal what we have and control, is to kill us. Y’all live in a violent fantasy world, where you are your own hero’s. We in the mountains don’t see you that way at all. We see your “plan” for what it is; Armed invasion, by ” paramilitary’s” that MUST kill us (and plan too) in order to survive. We in the mountains are VERY slow to accept outsiders when they are distant kin. Y’all forcing your way in just won’t happen without starting a bloodbath.

    • Max Velocity says:



      No one is talking about armed invasion. We are talking about prepper retreats and the use of land that is already owned and lived on by people. We are talking about how to implement rules for communities. How to to integrate newcomers both now and post-SHTF.

      Just go read the article will you? READ IT.

      Did you see my post yesterday about locals helping me out in the woods? Your attitude will get you killed, because you will need to trade and ally with your neighbors, not give everyone the finger. You will need help sometime. You think you are something special simply because you happen to live somewhere rural? We all live somewhere rural, and have plans for SHTF.

      UGGGGHhh. It’s just the retreat sniper concept writ large.

    • Easy says:

      What in the fuck are you talking about??

      First, NO ONE that I know is going to become a marauder should the SHTF. That is why we train, and plan, and store.

      But a more important question: Are you really saying that you are just going to murder every man woman and child that happens to cross your property line? Have you even thought about how that sounds?

      Are you willing to live with that on your conscience?

      Sure, if someone is a threat, deal with that accordingly. But to lose your humanity and just start whacking people for the sake of your stuff is a shitty trade off, unless of course, you are a sociopath to begin with. Then I guess your approach makes perfect sense.

      • Ray says:

        Thank you for making my point for me with your rant. Your first reaction to my statement was to state : “You needed to be killed for the good of”. That is your FIRST reaction. Violence toward anyone that refuses to give way to your demands. Your basic fuck you attitude, is why we in the southern mountains have been forced to run off “survival communes” preppers, squatters, and the ultra-right ,the ultra left, hippies, religious nut jobs and every other stripe of goofball who had a “bug out” fantasy over the last 50 years. You don’t like the truth TOUGH SHIT. We in the mountains are sick to death of ALL of you. GO: and Take your sense of entitlement with you when you go. We don’t want your barb wire compounds , your hostility , your paramilitary camps, your dogs killing our livestock,. We are sick of you scaring the crap out of our children and our elders. We understand what you do not: The only way for you to carry out your “bug out” fantasy is to murder us and take what we have. The region is too poor to do anything else. I knew when I posted this challenge to your fantasy world that the personal attacks would fly. BUT. We are not going to sit still while you stupid assholes start killing us off to feed your children once your pickup load of food runs out, AND. IT. WILL. RUN. OUT. By definition a refugee is someone who “bugs out” to seek a “refuge”. WHEN they start starving they become “marauders”. You people with the “bugout/refuge” fantasy ARE the “golden hoard” of internet meme. AND Max. It won’t be one “retreat sniper” It WILL be 50000 armed, pissed off hillbilly familys fed up with decades of hostile survivalist fantasy bullshit. WE see this as an invasion by armed outsiders and we really don’t care what y’all think about that. We just want to be left alone to live in peace as we always have. We have lived here for more than 250 years. We are not coming down the hill to take yours , but by god y’all ain’t coming UP the hill to take ours. But please continue with the death rants and insults . That’s a how to win those “hearts and minds”. And remember to tell the deeply conservative, fundamentalist Christian, protestant , mostly Calvinist rural southern mountaineer about Oden and Vallhalla . That will win them over.

        • Max Velocity says:

          Simply more’WOW’

          It’s just so broke, and so wide of the mark of what we are doing here, it can’t really be fixed.

          Or just a troll?

        • Justin says:

          My question is what the hell are you doing on this site? You’re not looking to build community. You’re not seeking training. You keep talking that you have your stuff all figured out. So be it. Go sit in your hole and wait for the boogie man. We’ll keep training and building community.

        • Bearcreek says:

          The other thing, Ray, is that most “hill people” or whatever you want to call them, are not nearly so well prepared and armed as you claim yourself and your neighbors to be. My wife’s family is old time West Virginia hill folk. The genuine article, banjo’s, moonshine, huntin’, fishin’, gardening etc. The family has been there for a couple hundred years, long enough that there are a significant number of places in the area named after them. They would be valuable people to have as friend’s and allies in a SHTF situation.

          What they are generally lacking however, is any sort of weapons or tactics training beyond what is used for hunting. While some of the hunting experience can be somewhat useful, it does not, by any stretch of the imagination, compare to a group of well trained, even marginally equipped adversaries, especially considering that most of the “hill folk” often only stock enough ammo for the next deer season. In an SHTF situation, “old blood” folks like yourself and my wife’s family would do well to keep an open mind about “outsiders” with good training and experience coming into the area. Simply ambushing them in cold blood will often, at the very least, result in eliminating a valuable resource and could very possibly give justification for a well trained group to turn around and wipe you and your “pissed off hillbilly” friends off the map.

          Don’t lump all “survivalists” or “preppers” into the same bag just because of the actions of some freak groups from the past. We’ll try to extend the same courtesy and not lump you in with the “incestuous, toothless, ignoramus” image unless you earn it.

        • FormerSapper says:

          @Ray You are fucking certifiable, seriously. You have major reading comprehension problems if that is your takeaway from a post opening a debate on survival retreat hierarchy and politics.

          Get help, dickhead.

        • Bergmann says:

          You smell like rancid fear. I feel for anyone stuck with you once the hammer drops. You make some good points that would have made some great discussion but they’re negated by your mad ass rantings, threats and insults..

          I know you though. And you know ppl can see right into you. Its why you act like you’re acting.. You’re the lunatic that opens that airliner door at 35,000 ft because he thinks he cannot breathe. You’re the unhinged lunatic screaming for 20 minutes when the house is on fire and watches burning children jump from window because he cannot help himself to anything else..You’re the lunatic that losses his shit in the pitch black of darkness because he cannot control his thoughts.. You’re the twitchy guy in the group who keeps the safety off and his finger on the trigger destined to take off a buddies face. You’re the lunatic who thinks surrender and treachery will buy you favor and quarter..

          You see I understand that what you’re typing here is not what you’re really saying . You have a chip on your shoulder and its a piece of fear that weighs about 300 million tons and its crushing you. You’re a coward.

          Until you join the forum and discuss what you plan to do when the hammer drops and what you’re all about-you’re just another chicken shit malcontent on the internet. Nothing original or exclusive about you. Just another weak minded coward with a big mouth hiding behind a monitor because its how they have learned to transfer their infections nature. In real life no one will have you.. You’re not even fun to beat up on here. Its too easy.. Yup..Just run of the mill and boring, like the ones before you, and like the next one and the ones after that.


    • Bergmann says:

      Dear Odin, man.. Your attitude is disgusting. It smack of the angry filth borne from reckless fear. I suspect its symptom of an inability to rationally approach and grasp a simple concepts and an inability to formulate a 3 second thought to contribute to a discussion in a productive, coherent manner. Please realign your perspective/perception and more so-the delivery-before posting further. With that being said and your filthy attitude set aside, i think you are CORRECT. Its not just some myths we’ve seen on movies like “Southern Comfort” or “Next of Kin”, it really exists. You may be onto a inconvenient fact many have not considered but its doesn’t dismiss the wielding of your ugly attitude and border line threats. I hope you’re not the custodian of representation for your people..

      Having spent 3/4 of my life in the quad-state areas around the peoples in the rural mountainous areas of West Virgina, Virgina and parts of Maryland and South East Pennsylvania (and now experiencing it here in Alaska) i can tell you from experience that this local tribal mentality runs deep and thick in these areas and this is not the first i have heard this sort of rhetoric. The dynamics of the tribe is scary. Even when you think you’re in good with a tribe you’ll see cliques inside tribes and Its pretty unnerving to experience it as an outsider or adopted member sometimes. This tribal mentality is as thick and loyal as any big city gang protecting its block pre or post collapse and it should never be underestimated or dismissed as a bunch of fat cousin fuking red-necks toting deer rifles with their inability to pronounce English properly as being the measure of their worthiness or effectiveness as OPFOR. To further that when I lived in Austria and visited some small rural towns in the Alps I felt it there as well. Its pure human nature no matter where you are. Even in the wilder-ness a predators will take out other predators that enter its territory. What are we after ROL is taken away?? I makes you pay attention, or at least you should.

      I wouldn’t call it a “sniper retreat” mentality. Its a real threat that transcends the mediocrity of all that.. Rather it could be a serious thorn in the hand of ones plans that’s equal to any organized guerrilla campaign operating under a perceived occupation force on their home ground. Simply taking away the tribal mentality of territory and dealing with the battle over resources and you’re gonna have issues with locals if you cannot find a way to make it work face to face. Making strong and thorough ties before the hammer drops is recommended. Ingratiation is a good thing, but be strong about it. Weakness is just weakness and no one wants that around. Outsiders coming in post-collapse will not be taken well.

      The current campaign by the media and big brother to make folks think this antiquated tribal concept is a thing of the past and that modernization/globalization with the internet super highway and endless Tv propaganda has dismantles it is only an illusion for the greater part of it. Its even been vilified (insert the Confederate Flag)and commercialized in many respects-much the same way survivalist are vilified, marginalized and commercialized. It exists. Just as some are great folks and will help you out without a second thought, many miss the mark seeing that this knife can and will cut both ways when the lines of kin, blood and the tribes are crossed, especially with the resources of survival added to the problem. Blood is always thicker then water.


      • Max Velocity says:

        I don’t disagree. I wrote about this issue in Contact. It’s just both inappropriate for this topic, and generally uncalled for. Maybe illustrative of a problem however….

      • jwoop66 says:

        If you read about the original English settlement of this country you will find similarities to what Ray says.

        A lot of people like to believe the myth that the white man showed up, found the hue of the indigenous peoples displeasing, and then proceeded to slaughter them because of it; it’s what white folks do…..

        Truth is, the original settlers, for the the most part, had every intention of working with, and trading with the indigenous tribes. It usually worked out that way at first. Culture clashes are what ultimately caused problems. The first guys who settled Jamestown, VA brought a bunch of buttons and “jewelry” and trinkets to trade with the locals. Within weeks, they were attacked by the same locals. They then had to spend their time defending themselves. Up in New England, the settlers and the locals got along for the most part for a few decades. Eventually differences in culture produced increasing clashes, finally war. In the end, it didn’t work out well for the locals. We all know the outcome, if not the details.

        Wasn’t genocide, just a good old-fashioned culture clash.

        If you are going to form a prepper group, this should be considered. You need intel on the area. you need plans and contingency plans for it. You probably shouldn’t go into town alone like they would do in a movie. Small unit tactics, ultimately. Just like Max teaches, but with slight modifications might be needed. Maybe you’re all just carrying concealed, and not all kitted up? You still go as a group and maintain overwatch. Or have an overwatch group trailing you?

        All part of planning for the group, I guess. There is a lot that goes into planning, and I’m sure there is always something else you realize you need to think about.

        One thing I would say about the original subject of Max’s post is to avoid classic “communalism” any way you can. If the Mayflower folks couldn’t make it work – NONE OF US CAN. There needs to be a merit based system whenever possible. If you don’t know the story, google it.

        As far as backwoods badass, Think of the Indians, dude. Ask yourself if your group of locals can do what you are suggesting. I’ve lived in or visited both urban and rural from Vermont, and Upstate New York down to NC and Georgia. The whole backwoodsman thing is a myth mostly. I’ve met plenty hunters growing up in Long Island, New York who could shoot and kill just as good as their friends and cousins upstate, or in Vermont. Are you trained to fight folks who do train and work as a group?

        Also, you might need some of the stuff those “outsiders” have. Some sort of barter would probably be better for everyone.

    • Diz says:

      Dude you are seriously fucked up. I mean if you really feel that way, you should have the good sense to keep it to yourself. Since you feel compelled to spew your hatred to the world, here’s your response. Fuck you in the left ear. Fucking tools like you are the reason this world is so fucked up. Hope you get bit on the dick by a rattler while waiting in ambush.

    • Stinger says:

      I hope your land is comprised of flat fields and zero terrain features to give you 100% visibility of your 360 perimeter. OH, and you better have enough guys to cover that 360 perimeter visibility from wherever your outposts are 24/7/365. OH, and they better be damn good shots, because when the wrong group of guys comes looking for food and shelter, you better be damn sure you can take every single guy out before they get to you, because apparently you have zero training to deal with anything you can’t see in your deer scopes.

      My point? I have a brother with the same mindset as you, only he doesn’t even have a plan; just a deer rifle and shotgun. I’m concerned for him and his family, because he has no idea what risk he is taking by not having any training. If you want your family to survive, you need more than just a community of people who have been there for 250 years. You need more than deer rifles. Deer rifles won’t hold shit to a small group of well trained group of guys with ill intentions.

      And by the way, if you continue having the mentality you have and you get into a bind, those of us who have trained can’t come help you; we are trying to survive and fight off the other guys who are trained and have ill intentions. You are on your own.

      Also remember that it’s very possible that you will have to fight off actual military; UN forces and foreign enemies. Ever read Bracken’s books? Good luck taking out a battalion of North Koreans from your rooftop with scoped rifles when they are lobbing mortars into your precious Kentucky land. Not going to happen.

      Good luck man; keep dreaming.

  3. Baldrick says:

    Sourdough?? Is that you??

  4. BBQ'd says:

    I expect Bergmann is correct in his substantiation of Ray’s post and points. While it may not further the discussion which was first proposed it nevertheless is a FACT of life and some may perish if they do not make note of it.

    While my interest in this topic was peaked a few years back and in no small part due in part to Max’s books and posting my conclusions have been a bit more encompassing than just a couple of plots of land. For my two cents the biggest threat to family and property will remain government for the foreseeable future.

    Using that as a starting point the only answer appears to be a substantial relocation to an area, areas, or states. In that way and with enough transplants and participation, the area could eventually be under political control with all the pitfalls and benefits thereof. My wife and I are looking to move into a more liberty minded area ourselves. My beloved Dixie ain’t what it used to be.

    Once in political office those of like mindedness wield the power of the state and should then be able to hire and promote likeminded individuals. From sheriff to mayor and so on if attained then the area should be able to coalesce and further encourage other liberty, limited, government people to relocate and flourish.

    As some may be aware this is already taking place in some areas of the country and I would expect it to continue as our government moves further down the road of socialism and the police state. Better we hang together than separately.

    Easy? No. Essential? Most definitely.


  5. BBQ'd says:

    Oh and for those who have farms etc. left wondering how to handle those who show up on thier door step, the answer doesn’t have to be all encompassing. In other words the land owner doesn’t have to be displaced or “dethroned.”

    Rather than the all or nothing concept and if appropriate resources are available it may be worthwhile to let good ol’ capitalism take hold and have those folds “rent” property on which to live. Of course rents may be paid in labor, bullets, medicine, guard duty, gold, silver, etc. keeping the political aspects out of the survival discussion.

    Once that is established then the community can follow the example of the founders and form a local government for the same reasons, to protect life, property, and perform basic law enforcement against such things as theft, murder, and homosexual marriage. (It was a joke son.) In such a way people are paying their way, have representation, protection, and basically all the fundamentals for a sustainable community.

    Forgive me if this all appears to be obvious to many but I hope it at least furthers the discussion to a more fruitful avenue.


    • Bergmann says:

      This is gonna piss some folks off but o’well..

      I read the post at the link provided. This sort of list has been around for years and years in various forms. Its an unproven hypothesis that sounds good on paper and that makes ppl feel like they are doing something useful, much like a religious or political FB post being used as an emotional enema by the masses to expel their pent up madness, but in reality most ppl cannot decide on the most trivial of decisions. This list of rules is a waste of valuable time. This sort of list is IMO best left to and applied by individuals such as that girls who claimed to have an 80 house super survival group with hundreds of members because IMO that’s what it equals up to.

      To me its a moot point for most. 99.9% of people preparing dont have a real place to hold up (whether want to admit it or not)and they are really just buying goods and stores for the first Marauder band who shoots their way through the front door. Of that 99% preparing to sty put-maybe 1% have the realistic means and optimal variables working in their favor to hold out against the hammer dropping on society. How i see it is that for close to 100% of us no amount of gun and ammo. or toilet paper and beans will help in the grand crush a collapse will bring. Just look at history! People who stay put DIE. Refugees are called refugees for a reason. They are seeking refuge else where because the social infrastructure is all used up. I’m not even going into the savagery that breeds when a collapsing society INEVITABLY turns on itself for sustainment..

      If disorganized chaos is the worst case scenario, what will organized chaos bring people holding out in death holes? Pick your poison wisely. Both have variables of a pro and con nature-but equally they are a death sentence for the hole hiders in general. Its just the difference in taking a donkey ride or a Porsche ride to your final destination. IMO it wont be until well after the dust settles and attrition sets up the new social food chain that anyone will see anything close to a just and functioning society (excluding Marauder Overlords who will control territory and its inhabitants like tyrants and i wont be anywhere near that either)…

      I speak for me in my position. However I think if ppl were more honest about their own position more would think the same way. So many are adamantly hell bent on holding onto the illusion of preserving whats going to vanish. There is a time coming when discovering a deck of Uno cards or a piece of old fuzzy candy in an old drawer of an abandoned house will being more joy to a person then was once brought about by purchasing a new home, or first new car, or landing that awesome job you wanted that had a vacation package included. I will stay mobile and stay alive until the world shows me what i have to work with in terms of the rules for surviving after the hammer dropping. No one can speak for others but I’m of the belief that hold ups are coffins for most and too too too many ppl focus on beans and butter to try to hold onto a world that will no longer exist. You have just as much of a chance for success trying to survive in a home/hold out that’s in a valley where a major damn has burst.. For me I’m getting the fuk out and remaining as mobile as possible..

      On other note- if you’re interested in the how’s and why’s of selecting people for a survival group here is a very interesting movie. You can find in on NETFLIX. Its about selecting who you need and why and what happens when you let emotions dictate who lives and who dies. (if you’re expecting Road Warrior, Red Dawn, or Conan the Barbarian type excitement, you wont find it in this movie. Its a thinker and a bit dorky but I liked it)



      • Owl21 says:

        I think it is important to understand what “collapse” will or will not be once it arrives. If you are considering monetary collapse, we have plenty of historical references, some quite recent, to consider, and they have not indicated roving gangs of marauders to any significant extent. Argentina’s monetary collapse shows that gangs were small and hit soft targets with no manpower for defense. When confronted with unfavorable odds, they turned tail and ran if they were not wiped out.

        Zimbabwe, is a good example of government sanctioned gangs that had the numbers to overwhelm well organized farmers and land owners. But there was enough time and warning for the farmers to leave if they so wished. Most that died in place did so because they chose to stay against overwhelming odds (generally speaking.)

        However, what we do not find in history of monetary collapse are the Hollywood type scenarios or Rawlesian type societal collapse. In fact, I cannot find any historical evidence of societal collapse that occurred so suddenly that the people did not have time to escape if they so desired.

        The best defense is to have a retreat with like-minded friends and family (Mosby’s idea of a Clan), that can defend in place against Argentine style roving gangs, but also consider, train, and are prepared to GTFO should something more serious come to pass, which necessitates leaving the retreat temporarily or forever.

        Oddly enough, Max teaches CTT and Patrolling which are beneficial to survivalists at a retreat, and he also teaches MCT, which combined with the first two can be beneficial if the need to bug out arises.

        In my opinion, no group should be dead set on just one operational objective. They should be prepared to stay in place and defend as well as leave and live mobile until they can find a new place to settle should there be such a need, because almost every retreat group can be burned out by a determined enemy.

  6. Diomedes says:

    Strangely enough black sails is one of my favorite shows.

    Happy not to be in charge. As long as someone better is in charge happy to follow orders.

    Just want to survive and thrive.
    I can’t do it alone. I’ll keep the light on for anyone with good skills.

  7. Robert says:

    Doing this thing for almost 30 years now- not just reading about and posting “lists of lists” LOL there is a few worthwhile observations.

    1. VERY VERY FEW can afford to buy land in this. The “we will all buy land next to each other” or WORSE YET make a large land purchase and split it up deal is fantasy.

    Herein someone posts that their buddy they drink beer and eat pizza with that is in debt up to his neck is going to buy land with him. If you remotely think people are going to do that tell them upfront- “Write me a $2K check right now.” But we haven’t found land yet, so. Can they do it? Will they do it? These are people are supposedly going to trust enough to survive with, they should trust you with $2,000. That usually kills the discussion right there, either through lack of funds or non trust.

    2. After wasting a few years trying to do that with established friends that did train and prep together- not just some schmoes I met once on the net- and realizing that they COULD do this but just weren’t going to do it, I did it on my own. After that I invited them to make accomodations, pre-position supplies, etc. Basically that worked out to junky RV’s left to rot, small quantities of old rice and beans cluttering up storage space (they were abandoned).

    3. Rules are important but they can’t be stupid restrictive like in that blog post. However DO NOT EXPECT PEOPLE to use courtesy and common sense. I don’t care how long you’ve known them, how “great” of a guy they are, etc. You’ll just end up let down. Again, people I knew since childhood, people I trained with, people I still love and are family. Don’t give up because of it, just be ready for it.

    4. Their is always the disparity in a group when it comes to income. Had one friend that was lazy as all get out, but would write a check in a nanosecond for a new piece of gear (for himself). Another guy had a huge heart, worked hard but was really tight on cash. The two resented each other, usually not openly but I always heard about it.

    Be ready for that sort of thing, it WILL come up also.

    5. Yes ideally we would all live in a patriots only community wherein everyone got along. Five minutes into it however their would be squabbles about what is better MVT training or Tacticool Operators Skewl training. People are going to fight, squabble, hell I’ve seen so much of that in the patriot movement in the last 30 years…. LOL

    I’m not saying this can’t be done. But in almost three decades I’ve seen it actually work out once- and that was an already established 20 year group that was essentially 4-5 families that had grown together.

    Leadership is the key, however realistic expectations are a huge deal in this. Don’t assume just cause a guy is “so into” this that he won’t let you down. Quite the contrary the ones that are “on fire” today are usually burnt out in a short period of time.

    Look for a good match of ATTITUDE and CHARACTER. A monkey that paid attention could be taught to do half the stuff that needs to be done around a working survival retreat. But a monkey with a piss poor attitude is no good to anyone.

    A retreat is WORK, plain and simple, and few are truly prepared for that. Mountains of Mt. House is awesome and you should be able to feed your family for a long period of time, but the ability of the FAMILY to get out there and weed the garden and harvest, put in fence during a 105 degree day is more important.

  8. Anon-VA says:

    Firstly……Ray, you’re a fucking in-bred lunatic!

    Secondly, I am one of those retreat owners that has adopted what I consider a workable compromise. The 90% solution.

    A few years ago, I had to come to the conclusion that my own personal privacy would need the 90% compromise solution. By establishing a retreat, I would relinquish my private world to a very select “Band of hooligans” who offered a diverse skillset and shared the same mindset. Overcoming my desire for privacy was a moment of epiphany!

    What became overwhelmingly apparent was the need to provide security for our family and small farm. We also wanted to extend this concept to the community. This is where we encountered our toughest challenge and it remains so to date. Boots on the ground!

    Having attended MVT, we found our recruiting base. We now have a growing number of participants which will ultimately present the leadership role conundrum you touched upon.

    As the property/land owner, you’re damn right I have an invested interest. However, I also recognize that my role is not always that of a leader or expert in many roles that require expertise/experience. Roles will be delegated where appropriate. We defer to each individuals strengths and experience. This isn’t rocket science so long as ego’s are kept out of the mix. Militia kernels and other such self appointed egotistical wankers have no place here!

    Whether my wife & I have some type of veto vote remains to be seen. Afterall, it is our property and I’ll be damned if some “Survivor” type committee votes to extinguish our tikki torch. Not happening!The bickering of leadership is also a massive rabbit hole. Leadership requires delegation of duties and establishing trust. If your the comms guy, logistics guy, armorer, cook, farmer…..your hands will be full. A natural leader will naturally rise. They always do. Just make sure it’s the real deal and not some egotistical, agenda driven moron.

    Good luck with jointly owned retreat properties. Looks great on paper, but in reality, it’s an attorney’s dream for the endless source of revenue. Not to mention a significant investment.

    Finding key personnel, that are compatible, is the key. Leadership evolves.

    • Bergmann says:

      Yeah you have addressed some tough topics. I once asked someone what would they do if there were a mission at stake that required a precision weapon and the only weapon in the group that could make that required shot was owned by a guy who purchased it-pre-hammer drop- to impress his buddies at the range and he couldn’t hit the the air with it on a good day, but he will not give it up for anything but the weapon was needed to secure the existence and survival of the group, or as some would like to call it “the greater good..” What do you do? Take it from him in an act of forced requisition or how does that work?

      Some groups will get along better then others. Some will have serious personality clashes and other social issues. Many will not survive for reason not found outside the group but from internal problems..


  9. G.W.N.S. says:

    Regardless of the type or size of your particular group, the ultimate goal should be establishment of bigger protected and sustainable communities, as Max stated.

    The quicker this happens the better your chances will be IMHO.

    Some areas will be closer to this goal before any “Event” than others, something to consider if relocating Pre/post-Event.

    Working with and including established Locals will be required for success.

    If you are relocating or have done so already, becoming part of the community and not just that “Nut” in a bunker will make or break this effort.

    Get involved, volunteer, know your neighbors, we must be Ambassadors of goodwill.

    Even to that “grumpy neighbor!”

    As far as the “Southern Comfort” factor goes, remember it is a legitimate concern to be aware of.

    If you show up Post-Event and try to tell people what to do, it will probably be resisted regardless of it’s merit.

    People skills will be very important to deter this threat if possible. The last thing you want to be in is a FOB situation with no support.

    Are the rules of your Group/Team/Tribe compatible with your chosen Community?

    This is a big part of your IPB/IPC. Ignore this at your peril!

  10. Palmetto says:

    Like most any other man who had a healthy childhood, I’ve always enjoyed reading and learning about pirates. Everything I’d ever read confirms that they did elect their captains and each man took an equal share of the booty they pirated. If the captain didn’t perform in leading them on successful pirating expeditions then they were “fired” and a new captain elected. It was all about performance because each man had skin in the game.