USA States Map

UPDATE: Poll results are in: (Jump to results)

Many of us live a preparedness lifestyle to varying extents. Some casually, others more seriously.

What is a preparedness lifestyle? From small increments all the way to large effort, it’s basically a lifestyle that integrates:

– aspects of self sufficiency, self reliance
– general preparedness for systemic disruption
– aspiration towards freedom and independence

I could detail this lifestyle further. But you likely know what I mean…

So, here’s a question. Where might be the best states to live a preparedness lifestyle? How would you define criteria for this determination?

Must haves?
Nice to haves?

I’ll start with a few of my own thoughts off the top of my head…


Best Climate for Preparedness Lifestyle

The lifestyle will certainly involve growing food at a minimum. Not every place is favorable for this. Factors include natural soil conditions, length of growing season, and rainfall.

Cold climates (north in general) will have a much shorter growing season. Southern climates benefit greatly in this regard.

Desert and arid regions lack rainfall. Irrigation is a requirement there.

Blazing hot climates will have their own gardening issues.

The costs of living in colder climates is higher. Heating, and all the other material requirements that are necessary while living in a cold climate will add up.

Hot climates have their own issues too. Some places can get so hot that outdoor activities become limited. Hot and Humid is pretty darn awful, right? Like heat is needed up north during winter, air conditioning sure helps down south during summer!

We all adapt to our own climates. Those adaptations have their own issues. It’s just part of the equation.

Generally speaking, and logically, northern climates may not be ideal (although do-able). I currently live north and I can attest to the climate issues. But I do adapt. I’m used to it.


Population Density & Preparedness Lifestyle

Fact: The closer people live together, the more challenges there are.

Population density of a region is a big factor in my estimation. Mostly, the risk thereof is “if” there’s a “post collapse” to deal with. Other than that, lifestyle adapts.

Generally speaking, the nicer the climate, the more people who live there. Which begs the question, what is the perfect climate (no such thing)? I live way up northern NH. Not many people live up here comparatively. I like that (“elbow room”). However it’s cold a lot (always trade-off’s).

I drove across country awhile ago. One thing I noticed was that our nation is filled with vast seemingly open spaces dotted with regions of high population density. Yes, the East is generally highly populated. Some regions very much so. But there are regions that aren’t so bad.

Lots of the West in general is arid. The regions that are plush are mostly filled with lots of people (logically). But I know there are “sweet spots” out there.

The South seems to have its advantages. Some of it is heavily populated. Other areas not so much. But the heat?

Read more: Articles tagged with population density


Politics & Like Mindedness

Politics begins at the local level. Local is probably the most important thing to look at in this category. How many of the people there are of a similar mindset? Any? Some? Most? Due diligence required.

State politics certainly affects local living. Laws generated from the city regions will affect you regardless of where you live in the state (typical of any state). Some states are overly restrictive in some aspects that may be important to you and your preparedness lifestyle. Others, less so.

How does the state rank with constitutional freedoms? Is it an overly regulated state? What about 2nd Amendment rights? What about any of the other rights? These can be indicators…


Cost of Living

This is a big one. It can be cost prohibitive to live in certain areas. Some places very much so!

Typically (but not always) ‘jobs’ in the region will blend with the cost of living requirements for that area. But lets say you want to get more into homesteading and want to give up your 9-5 career and ‘go for it’ (maybe with part time work or a lesser career). It will be quite difficult without your ‘big bucks’ income to live in some regions…

Death and Taxes. They’re both a certainty. Some states have horrible fiscal responsibility and taxes are exceedingly high. Others, not so much. My current state of residence has no income tax or sales tax. But guess what? Property tax is high. The money has to come from somewhere… Dig into the tax burdens of a given state / region. There are lots of hidden taxes and fees too.


Risk Factors of the Region

Seems like no matter where you live there are some associated natural occurring disaster risks. But we’ve been dealing with them as a population and it’s just the way it is. It may be a factor though.

Tornado ally? Earthquakes? Hurricanes? You get the idea…

There are risks other than severe weather. Near a nuclear target? Nuclear power plants? Military base? Energy resources? Other?


Post Collapse Favorable?

I do not wish for “post collapse” conditions. No way. But I have done what I can to offset it should it happen. I need to do more, but I’m not obsessing over it. It’s just part of ongoing lifestyle.

With that said, you might consider the ramifications of where you live with regards to “if” such a thing were to happen.

This would include the availability of natural resources (and/or other resources) to assist in survivability. Population density risks, and other factors.

I’ve given you a few things to think about.

What are some of your criteria for “best states” to live a preparedness lifestyle?



Best States – Poll Results are in…

Which states do you feel might be ‘better’ for living a preparedness lifestyle? Even if you don’t live there…

From 2,993 votes cast,

Top 5 preferred states for preparedness

Note the Top-5 stood out from the rest.

1. Idaho
2. Tennessee
3. Montana
4. Texas
5. Wyoming

My own observations of the results:

Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming can be cold weather states with potentially shorter growing seasons. Though micro-climates certainly exist there and will depend on specific location. These states have been popular for the “Redoubt” movement.

Tennessee and Texas (and pretty much anywhere mid or south are more conducive to longer growing seasons. Though they both can get pretty hot and humid in the summer!

Of course there’s no perfect place. I lived in east Texas for a number of years (long ago). Don’t have much of an opinion about it one way or the other at this point.

I’ve also spent quite a few weeks (probably adding up to 2 months) in Tennessee over the years due to a previous career. Eastern TN is hilly/mountainous. Pretty nice there. Decent climate – but hot and muggy summers.

I don’t have experience in ID, MT, or WY. I do know that a part of Montana is a high nuclear target! Western MT bordering ID is mountainous, probably a beautiful place. But the extended cold? I currently live in northern NH so I’m used to it – but don’t like the short growing season. It’s all about adapting to your own geography.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the poll!

Best States for Preparedness

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