Survival Places For Living Safely and Productively

Living in survival places that are ideal for a lifestyle of self-reliance, productivity, and safety.

I have written about this topic a number of times. It’s always interesting to re-address it. Given what we have been through these past years, I would think that the survival realty business would be booming! High premiums are being paid for rural properties. More and more people are escaping the population dense regions around the nation.

Given my own rural location, maybe it’s time to sell my 30 acre homestead and cash in! (NOT). Okay, that was a joke.

So, lets talk about what makes for good survival places to live. Is there a perfect place? Maybe. But probably not. What makes any location better for survival is YOU and what YOU do with it. Adapt to it. Make it work.

With that said, I’m going to brainstorm some of the ideal attributes one might look for in a search for the perfect ‘survival place’…

Survival Places – Things To Think About

Where to start? I’m not exactly sure. We all have our own individual priorities and visions, right?

Income

I suppose a #1 would likely be earning an income. Even a homesteader needs some cash. If you’re retired, this may not be an issue. Otherwise, it likely is for you, your spouse. As you know, logically, rural jobs don’t pay as much. However this can be overcome depending on your lifestyle and skill sets.

The good thing is, more and more are able to work from home, given an internet connection. And with the rollout of Starlink (satellite constellation), high speed internet is more readily available in rural areas. FYI, that’s what I currently use, and how I am able to live where I do.

Freedom

Although here in the United States we are considered the only “free” country in the world… We all live under an illusion of freedom. However some survival places are more free than others. Freedom is tied with government and politics. All politics are local (as they say). However I personally would start with state government and whether or not it aligns at all with you.

Obviously there are some states which are horrendous when it comes to personal liberty. However you can make it work, given your chosen region which may be insulated to an extent from draconian overreach. However you will still be subject to state laws. We’ve all seen the tyranny. Any you don’t get freedom back without a fight. Just the way it is…

Better yet, start with a state that’s well known for its relative freedom. At least then you’re not starting out in a place that will only likely get worse in this regard. Ultimately, it’s about your own locale.

The People Living Around You

When considering any survival places, your day to day life will occasionally interact with the people around you. Your neighbors. Your town. The people and who they are. So, it’s best to try and understand this.

Generally speaking, locals will look upon outsiders and new people in town with suspicion. I’ve heard some real horror stories. Here are a few things to bear in mind.

You will never be a local. Not gonna happen. Accept it. But that’s okay. You CAN be accepted into a rural community with ease, if you do it right, you’re not a jerk, and you understand and mitigate their suspicions. You see, they will think you’re going to come in and want to change things. You’re from the big city (even if you’re from a medium size place). They’re concerned that your ideals will not jive with theirs. So, it’s up to you to prove otherwise.

Population Density

I sure have written about this one quite a few times. Why? Because in reference to survival places and one’s safety, it sure could be important. Here’s the thing… More population dense regions do have way more services. It’s nearly directly proportional. So, living rural there’s less in the way of services. So, there’s both good and bad here. Depends on what you’re looking for.

I live in a very small town / village. But, there’s a grocery store and hardware store (and other services) 10 minutes away in a bigger town of about 3,000. Depending which way I go, a nearest ‘big box’ store is about 30 minutes away in a town of about 6,000. The nearest city with 100,000 or more people is about 2 hours away. The nearest small hospital is 10 minutes away. Nearest high-end top-tier medical hospital is a 20 minute “life flight” helicopter ride, or an hour and 45 minute drive. So you see, it really depends what you’re looking for in this regard.

Among the many, here are a few related articles:

Survival Retreat Population Density

Safer Distance From USA City Hordes

Safe Distance From The City

Security

So that leads into security. Crime in general is often nearly directly proportional to population density. Though there are caveats. Almost without exception, rural communities are fairly safe. Also depends on the state’s stance on the 2nd Amendment, Castle Doctrine, etc..

In my state of New Hampshire (for example) a robber / burglar could be (legally) shot dead depending on circumstances. And they know that (most of them). So, given the high rate of gun ownership here, it’s quite a deterrent. So you see how your security can be somewhat tied to the state itself (it’s laws)?

How about a property that’s off the road and cannot be seen from the road or neighbors? That sounds pretty ideal (and much more difficult to find on the market if you’re looking for this kind of place). Again, maybe since mine fits the criteria, perhaps it’s time to cash out? (NOT)(grin).

Anyway, security during good times is not an especially high concern. However, when looking for survival places, it certainly is a very high concern for if and when SHTF! Things affect this such as geography and region. Population. The people there. Demographics. Politics.

Climate

Oh boy this can be a big one. The regions climate will directly affect your life and lifestyle. So be sure it’s right for you. I’ve been all over this country and have experienced the many climates and their pros and cons.

To an extent, just about anyone can adapt to a new climate. But adapt you must. You may be looking at a beautiful ideal rural getaway during the summer months. However it may become VERY different during the rest of the year! Research this.

The climate of your survival place will impact your ability to grow food there. To raise animals. To simply enjoy it there. So, you better think twice! Is it notoriously dry? Wet? Hot and humid summers? Wicked cold and long winters? Windy a lot? Etc.. Again, you can adapt and mitigate. But be sure that’s what you’re okay with.

Water

Since this is in the context of survival places, let me tell you this… Water is VERY important. Ideally, you want water on your property. Year round. I am fortunate enough to have a year-round spring which typically flows 7 – 10 gallons a minute. Maybe you’re looking for a place on a lake. If near a river, you better check if it’s prone to flooding!

Any other place without water on the property will require a reliance upon functioning external system(s). So just be aware of that. And plan for it. This may or may not be a deal breaker, depending on your ultimate concerns and goals.

Medical Facilities

We all would like to think we’re indestructible. However all it takes is a stupid accident and you’re off to the hospital, right? Well, is there one nearby or reasonably close by? Most rural communities have medical facilities ‘somewhere’ that’s essentially shared within the region. But it’s good to check on this. The older we get, the more we think about this too. It becomes increasingly important.

Taxes

As you know, you really don’t own your land. The government does. If you stop paying your taxes, they’ll eventually try and take it back. So, this is a very important consideration, depending on your income, assets, and/or ability to pay.

Some states, and regions within, have terribly high property taxes. Whereas other places can be very comparatively low. Much of this depends on the methods used by the state or region to collect revenue. One way or the other they’re going to get it.

For example my state of New Hampshire has pretty high property taxes. I certainly do not like that. But, there’s no income or sales tax. Depends what’s most important to you. Now that I’m semi-retired, income tax is not really a big deal for me. And I don’t buy lots of stuff for sales tax to have a big impact. However I am increasingly feeling the pain of high property taxes the older I get.

Years ago I wrote several articles about taxes. The data is somewhat outdated. Maybe I’ll update the data one day. However I suspect the general takeaways are still pretty close to the same.

State Income Tax Comparison

State Tax Burden

Lowest to Highest Taxes by State



In Summary

Listen, there are lots more things to consider. But this would turn into a book. So I’ll leave it at that for now :=)

It’s often easier to find reasons NOT to live somewhere. I do believe that there really is no perfect or best survival place to live. It comes down to what you can live with, and what your own priorities are. Everyone values risks and priorities differently, and these are often offset by other factors that may be important to you.

The process I would use to find a best place to live, would be to analyze first (using the internet to discover statistics, etc.). Then choose several possible areas of interest and go visit them. Often times ‘you will know it’ when it’s right. It will just feel right to you. Trust your instincts.

The best place to live is very difficult to identify from one person’s point of view because of the wide range of factors under consideration, that differ for everyone. There are all sorts of smart choices around the country that could be made. The key is to think about all the aspects, prioritize, and then go visit them!

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16 Comments

  1. I am amazed there are no comments. My area was just named the most expensive in the country taking over Los Angeles. Time to sell out and move.

    1. Well, let me be the second comment…

      Yes, The cost of living in any given area is pretty darn important. And there are many direct and indirect aspects to what comprises overall cost of living.

      I recall many years ago while living in a region with a high cost of living… While Mrs. J and I earned a high income there, lots of this is somewhat ‘relative’ in that it costs so much more there – for everything. Housing being the most impactful. And of course, taxes. I’m glad we got out.

  2. My choice, years ago, was to be close to the ocean and the food it provides.
    Mild climate. Can make do without heating costs.
    Good growing season.
    Reasonably close to healthcare facilities.
    Like minded neighbors for security.
    As time passes, I am well satisfied with my choice.

  3. Good article, having been a follower of your blog for years.
    I agree that there are good places, in some not so evident areas. I have finally achieved the no debt satisfaction, And have the short term preps at two years and long term food storage out to about 7.
    About two years ago we acquired 3 acres in an inland rural area. Raw land that we have cleared. Have had a well drilled that’s is artisan.
    Being in Florida we can grow food year round, still learning what to grow when. So we are now expanding our seed bank.
    Having planted a fruit grove, we will soon be receiving the fruits of our labor.
    I’m in the process of building a barn, and a new home.
    Then we can liquidate the current home and then move there.
    We already, are raising meat chickens , laying hens , have some dairy goats, wild pigs we get from farmers that trap them . Then we finish them out and process.
    I found that moving inland just 30 miles, in Florida. The social mind set is totally opposite of most of coastal population.
    And having social interaction between the farmers has expanded my contacts. Being a jack of all trades has helped tremendously!
    So as you stated, take some time to fit in. It also helped me that I was a farm kid when I grew up.

  4. We have been traveling to the states around us this year looking for a better place to retire and make it more of a self sustained homestead. We have found several places that we like and are watching for the right place to come available. Ken your list of things to consider are right on point. And now we are saving our money until this housing market flips and we have more to choose from at a better cost.

    1. I believe everyone should have this on mind with how the world is turning but too little do we talk about the fact that no matter where you are if things get bad those crowds and especially those looking to “take” will be finding any of these great spots with trouble as their goal. Your going to need people too so those that can’t afford land etc sure could be working on varied skill sets so they might have something worthwhile to offer. Can you sew, garden, cook, preserve, chop wood, build, repair, understand herbs and varied uses, tactical knowledge, etc. Study up people and have things and skill sets to bring to the table because you will need small communities to survive long term

  5. The wife and myself purchased our rural property about 30 years ago. We built a small house and live comfortably. We are 50 miles from the big city and have been watching it’s spread ever since. We are currently looking in other states for a new place to call home, one that doesn’t boast of the title “TAX-I-FORNIA”!

  6. As a follow-up to my statement above, “As you know, logically, rural jobs don’t pay as much. However this can be overcome depending on your lifestyle and skill sets.”

    Budget and Debt. These are HUGE factors in one’s life. Another reason I was able to move here was having achieved debt-free status. And, no loans, a moderate budget. So, if you’re serious, start looking at these things…

  7. Perhaps there is another “consideration” for the “list”.

    The education system in some places are full steam ahead to indoctrinate the youth with racism overtones, socialist doctrine, lost focus on true educational goals (reading, writing, math, history, …)

    Many areas have a Union controlled education system that can, and does take a portion of your property taxes without much oversight by the citizens – hard to look behind that curtain.

    1. Read a post on a community blog that a district in my area asked students to put their preferred pronouns on their name tags. The mother was beside herself. I suggested her junior high aged son write It and let them squirm. Perhaps a whole cadre of kids could do the same. It’s the adults that are losing their minds.

  8. I was in a flash flood in 1989, so I always keep that in mind when looking at property. Also, distance from railroads that carry hazardous materials. And maybe distance from fertilizer plants or other industries. I live 30 minutes away from 2 small towns.
    My main concern is a major Highway a few miles away. I suppose if an accident happened with a hazardous material tanker, it would affect me.
    I live in East texas, so taxes are affordable so far. I keep my ag exemption working for me. I recently changed over to wildlife management, I used to have a small cow/calf operation, but the feed costs were getting higher. I still run a few steers. I used to keep beehives, but it just got to be too hard for me, advancing age, so I sold them to younger friend who sells me honey cheap.
    Our house site 1/4 mile off the county road, on 23 acres. We keep our fences in good shape and front gate closed. Our soil is very depleted. I was told from old timers, cotton was planted here long ago. Now it is about half timber. But our garden patch and fruit trees are good and we keep working on it.
    Lots of people moving into our area, many from Dallas or California. I got a kick of seeing people plant palm trees! Hey, it’s their dream and I remember some dumb things I tried when I first moved here.
    I have tried to meet my neighbors and share produce or honey with them, so have become the OK neighbor. I was also helpful during the big snowstorm as I had water to share from my rainwater tanks.
    I love the country life and my spouse has come around as well, after seeing all the changes over the last 16 years.

  9. On thing I have noticed about state governments is that in states with diverse political views, things can change the further you get away from the state capital. I live in an area ~300 miles from the capital, and we are the polar opposite politically from that mess. That said, don’t write off a state because it is a blue or purple state. There may be many areas that are more to your liking hidden in the farther reaches of the state.

    1. Agreed. My County is as far from Denver politically as we can get….so, no worries there!

  10. When we sold “our mountain”….we downsized the house and the acreage….We moved to an area within 15 minutes of good medical, my work, reasonable shopping (grocery and feed store). It has taken some time to settle in, but we are happy here. I spent last summer building fencing for 1 acre and planting trees (now over 60 planted in two summers). We put in cherries, apples, peaches and pears, lots of Aspens and evergreens in the one acre area in an attempt to “tame” the winds and summer heat. The veggie garden is doing well this year, as are the lawn and flower beds. I am pleased.
    Our local gov is conservative and freedom minded. Taxes are manageable. neighbors like to mind their own business for the most part, and expect the same….but are ready to help in times of need. Seems pretty good so far. Keep living the lifestyle folks, more self sufficiency is always a good thing. Chickens and turkeys are easy to maintain, butcher and the eggs are great protein. we used to order them…now we are hatching our own….(4 out of 32 this morning with several eggs rocking and getting ready to peep! Lots of fun.

  11. Haven’t had the time but this thread is related to what I wanted to write a guest article on. We went through our “Snowmegadon” in TX earlier this year. Showed me I was primarily prepared for the HEAT. I lacked some areas to be better prepared for the COLD. Let’s just state I am rebuilding the fireplace situation and purchased a log splitter for the tractor. As much as I like my right arm looking like aHnorld. I do not want to be forced into splitting that much wood by hand again

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