Building a Survival Retreat on the Cheap

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The big problem with bugging out is having someplace to go. Bugging out, just to bug out, without a destination in mind is setting yourself up for a catastrophe. Where will you go? How will you keep yourself supplied? How will you stay safe? What will you use for shelter? How do you know that someone else won’t already be there?

While building a survival shelter won’t automatically answer all these questions, it can go a long way towards starting to answer them. Having your own survival retreat, prepared and stockpiled will help ensure that you can survive longer than your bug out bag will.

Of course, in a true bug out situation there’s always the possibility that someone else will find your survival retreat before you get there and try to take it over. So, you want to make sure that you bug out quickly if it looks like a bug out might be called for. But then, if you have a survival retreat, it usually makes more sense to bug out, rather than to bug in.

The big problem then, is finding an affordable survival retreat. Although we’d all like to buy a little cabin in the wood somewhere, sitting on 100 acres of pristine forest, few of us can actually afford it. For that reason, very few of us actually have a survival retreat at all. We have plans to bug out if we need to, but don’t have anywhere to go when we do.

What if I were to tell you that it’s possible to build a survival retreat for much less than you thought? It may not be that idealistic cabin in the woods, but it would be someplace you could go, if you had to leave your home.

To start with, you need some land. That’s enough to stop most people. But it is possible to buy land for cheap, if you look for what’s known as “junk land.” This is land that is not viable on the real estate market, because there is no market for it as commercial, industrial, retail or residential land. It’s usually a long way from the city, doesn’t have any services and is not close to water or any other usable natural resources. But it is affordable; like $1,000 per acre affordable.

The problem is finding such land. There are a couple of websites that have listings for it; but be careful, as much of the land on those websites really doesn’t qualify as junk land. Unless you happen to run across a plot of land with a “for sale by owner” sign on it, you might have to advertise to find land. That means you’ll get a lot of calls from real estate agents, wanting to sell you expensive land, but it should eventually land you a call from someone who has some cheap land they’d like to get rid of. Just make sure you have access to the land once you buy it.

One option to get a cabin on there would be to attempt to build something using all scavenged materials. That’s possible; but it would be real time consuming. Another option is to buy an old, used travel trailer and fix it up to make it usable. I’ve seen such trailers as cheap as $1,500.

You’re going to need more than just a trailer though; like storage for your stockpile, some sort of septic system and a means of generating electricity. The biggest problem will be water. Unless it rains a lot there and you can set up rainwater capture, you’re going to need to build a big cistern and fill it up, ensuring your family has water to drink in the event of a disaster.

While this may not seem as idealistic as that cabin in the woods, it’s a whole lot more affordable. It also has the advantage of not being all that attractive, so it probably won’t attract a lot of attention. While being alone like that has some security concerns associated with it, you’ll probably be in an area that people aren’t likely to find. Overall, it’s a good option for any of us to consider.