Northern Maine as a Survival Retreat Location

A guest post by Andrew

[This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win – First Prize a 10 Person Deluxe Family Survival Kit,  Second Prize an Herb Seed Bank or Third Prize a copy of Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat.  For complete rules and list of prizes see this post.]

Northern Maine has vast beauty, inner peace, and a plethora of natural resources. It may not be for everyone, but it is for us. My family and I are celebrating our 2nd year in this heavenly state. They don’t call it “vacation land” for nothing.

We transplanted ourselves from New Jersey two years ago in an attempt to give our children and ourselves a better life. Life in NJ was getting very dangerous and expensive every year and our family of five was taking a beating.

We were outside Philadelphia and the city trash was creeping far too close to our quiet suburban neighborhood multiple murders daily. Itdidn’t help that I worked as a Police Officer in one of the nations most violent cities. It was a job that took its toll on my family and myself.

Two years prior to moving to Maine we purchased our house up here and just used it as a vacation home. Soon after we realized it was time to make it our permanent residence after the economy took its first nosedive anddidn’t start to recover. Those desperate times caused people to do desperate things.

Our home in Maine is actually our “compound”. We boast two acres with wooded privacy. We currently have five buildings here along with our house, including a guest cottage, stand-alone garage, office building, and storage shed.

Once we moved here I started a mail order business selling tactical and survival gear. I ship worldwide and it allows for a nice outlet for obtaining my own supplies at discounted prices. A win-win.

I was also lucky enough to land another Law Enforcement job in a small nearby town. It’s like working in a Norman Rockwell painting. Th closest town being over 15 miles away still allows for privacy and the ability to be self-sustained in these ever-turbulent times.

On our homestead we have chickens now supplying more than enough eggs and as possible meat in the future. We have gardens during the warmer seasons, getting larger every year, and green house exposure during the wintertime to keep going with the natural edibles.

Our house has a well with a hand pump option. The type of natural well that most of the famous bottled Water Company’s get their aqua. LOL

We are currently set up with generators and I am presently working on my solar power set up to help further. This way, when living off the grid is the only option, we will be ready for the most part.

Certainly I do not have all the answers and I’m sure I’m leaving out a lot but you get the idea.

One complaint a lot of folks have about the northern east coast is the long cold winters. My family and I found them to not be bad at all. Survival is fine with winter green house gardening, plentiful wild game and a decent wood burning stove to keep warm.

Some other benefits of Maine as a survival retreat after the SHTF:

The state itself has a very low population, which extends the natural resources and adds additional security.

The closest “city” has a population of approx 35,000 and is well over 50 miles from us. Most of which is forest. In an end times scenario,most people will head south towards warmer climates and hopes of government assistance.

Our property is in proximity to over 22 lakes in a 20 mile radius. Fishing is abundant and water for drinking and bathing is available with no limits if needed. Two of those lakes are in walking distance of our home.

Hunting in this vast majority of forestland is huge with so many types of game to devour and an over abundance of them will hold their population for years in my opinion.

Trees in undisturbed abundance can supply an eternity with home heating wood.

Maine’s cooler climate helps wards off warmer weather diseases, and bacteria do live as long.

Canada is about an hour away. Depending on the situation this could come in handy.

A majority of homes up this way are seasonal or hunting cabins and/or vacation homes. Most of which have supplies readily stored. All in case scavenging is needed.

All in all, I believe we made the right choice and hope it all works out. I am in 100% survival mode now and could not be happier in life!

(M.D. Creekmore adds: the most researched and thought out book available on retreat location and “safe places”, is Joel Skousen’s book Strategic Relocation . This book covers every state with recommended retreat locations within that state.)

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. I could not agree with you more….
    As a Canadian presently living in Quebec but also lived in New Brunswick and on the Gaspe coast, Maine is the only state of the US which I would move to. People are very friendly, life is lived at a “life” pace (not at break-neck speed)…. To be blunt, it’s God Country without the bible-belt mentality 🙂
    Besides, who doesn’t like calling a “snow day” now and then, blaming the weather for a nice slow quite Wednesday or somesuch 🙂

    • templar knight says:

      What is a “bible-belt mentality”?

      • Tinfoil Hat says:

        Indeed, what is a “bible belt mentality”? If you mean the mentality that God put us on this Earth as stewards of his lands, that the ten commandments are not the ten suggestions, that we should conduct ourselves according to our beliefs and convictions even when it’s unpopular with others, then I don’t see what’s so terrible about a bible-belt mentality. What’s more, I’d bet my life that if you were around folks with a “bible belt mentality” when SHTF, you’d be much better off than if you were around folks that had an, oh, I dunno, “snooty obnoxious elitist Canadian” mentality. We wouldn’t let you starve, even if you deserved it. I’m not trying to flame, but you may want to choose your words more carefully in the future. Us dumb hicks with bible-belt mentalities don’t like being looked down upon.

        • Tinfoil,
          you did flame,
          we have Bible Belts in Canada as well, in Ontario, in Alberta especially.

          Please step back and relax a bit, thanks.
          We are mostly Relaxed up here actually, unless you are in one of the Big Cities.

          • Heck I live at the buckle of Ontario’s bible belt… 19 churches for 1,800 people! The only rush hour in town is when the services let in/out.

            But I suspect that Rachel is using a term that has a slightly more relaxed meaning up here in Canada. Bible belt up here tends to refer to small town/rural, white, anglo-saxon, conservative and Christian. It is used by big city people as they view themselves as cultured, sophisticated, multi-cultural/lingual, better educated, correctly employed, etc. Many of us choose to wear the Bible-belt label with humour as we recognize the source.

            I suspect that what she was trying to convey was that for big city people looking to escape, Maine and it people do not appear to be a scary back-woods, hick, ect. It is a view point that many summer people/cottagers/tourists have about areas where they go on vacation. As their interaction with the local population is superficial and usually service related, there is an assumption that an area is a gilded lily. And if she has spent much of her time on Hwy 1, around Camden, then a gilded lily is what she has seen.

            Personally, I’d more a whole lot further north than the coast… like the Moose River region.

          • Tinfoil Hat says:

            I’m sorry if I got a little overly hostile Rachel. I’m just really fed up with media outlets and politically correct officials acting as if Christians are the real threat in this country. I’ve done my tours in Iraq and afghanistan. Combat tours, convey duty, no REMF crap, and last I checked we weren’t there because some southern baptists decided to hijack some planes and fly em into buildings, or Pentecostals tried sending mailbombs to Chicago area Jewish Temples, or some catholic thought it’d be a good move to throw a bomb in his underwear and board a plane on Christmas. But to hear the Dear Leader and his folks talk, it’s Christians who’re the real danger to this world. Everyone else is just a misunderstood minority. But I digress. I overreacted and I hope you’ll accept my apology.

            • Canadians,
              were in Iraq some still are and are in Support
              were and are in Afghanistan
              in Nato operations
              Bosnia, Hertazonia, Somalia, Suddan, etc etc..

              You actually did not apologise, and I do not accept that feeble attempt, you still flamed

        • templar knight says:


          Truly, I don’t think Rachel intended any ill will at all, and she explained herself further down in the comments. I think the US media is the culprit here, as they seek to discredit Christians they report the very worst things they can find, and never give any credit for the good. To hear the media, the evil evangelicals are plotting an overthrown in an attempt to set up some sort of theocracy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yet this same bunch in the media are out there giving great press to the Muslims, who just incidentally DO want to set up a theocracy based on the Koran. We live in strange times, my friend.

        • bolillo_loco says:

          Good story. However, it’s obvious that due to the fact that I and others came here, that we’re not alone when considering remote areas like northern Maine. Moreover, if things get very bad, 13 other states all have a trail that runs through them, and all points north go directly through Maine. No matter how bad things get, many always survive, and many do make impossible journeys. Sure the Lion’s share may perish, but people always get through… I share your ideas and think that they’re great.

          “Bible Belt Mentality” is always relative, which means interpretation is on an individual level. What bible belt mentality means to me is a bunch of hypocritical anal retentive prudes where rape incest and all sorts of seedy things happen behind closed doors due to the ridiculous standards and repressed feelings that everybody has.

          In a world without law, I would rather find myself encamped with a bunch of heathens than religious zealots. Look back throughout history and check up on the church’s track record. Join a commune post SHTF, and find yourself burning at the cross, summarily executed, or what have you because the preacher’s wife looked at you, you didn’t pray during the mandatory all quite religious prayer service, or whatever ridiculous rules happen in religious encampments as a knee jerk reaction to, “Our world ended because God wiped out all the heathens and their sexually nefarious ways.”

          Why’d everybody jump on the Canuck? I saw nothing wrong with his post. How about we grow a little thicker skin, stop reading our own thoughts into other people’s writings, and just generally lighten up! It’s no wonder most of the world thinks that Americans are a land of prudes.

      • Mechanic in Illinois says:

        It’s where they poke out your eyes if they think you’ve seen something they view sinful like a naked woman when you’re under age. Then everyone gets baptized whether they need it or not.

        • That was really uncalled for. I have a bible-belt mentality and I wouldn’t poke out a child’s eyes or force you to get baptized. Must be a follower of DL.

        • Fatcat161 says:

          No, the Catholics baptize (sprinkle) everyone, us Southern Baptist only baptize those who accept Christ (ie: ask to be baptized).

    • Ahhh! -Take off, eh? You’re such a hoser.

      always wanted to use that.


    • Thanks Rachel!

  2. you would have thought living in a city would mean you have more raw materials to survive from, i guess in more wild environments you need to know what to look for to survive.

    • Thanks Paul but cities are overpopulated and dangerous in a SHTF situation. So no, it would not be best. Survival 101.

  3. Andrew,

    Thanks for the post. It’s always great to hear when someone takes the leap and moves out of the city to a (almost) self-sufficient homestead. I have one question: what kind of greenhouse do you have to grow stuff in the winter? I don’t think I could handle the cold. (We break out the winter jackets when temperatures drop below 65.)

    Did you build your greenhouse yourself? Is it heated? If so, how is it heated?

    • breadmomma says:

      good information on in ground greenhouse for year around growing by Elliot Coleman…he has really done a great job of it…he has several books out for those that are interested in growing…he is located on the Maine Coast as well…I have used his methods in Nebraska in the dead of winter…cold frames, double walled hoop houses worked great…using straw bales around plant areas, again with cold frames..insulates greens really well…we ate fabulous spinach, mache, lettuce, hardy winter type greens all winter long…
      doing same on the cool Oregon Coast…as long as the plants keep just above freezing, it is amazing what you can grow …give it a try…also root veggies just rock, carrots, beets, parnsips…yum yum

  4. Grew up in Vermont, so I know what you’re talking about. I think Maine might be a bit better than Vermont for survivalists, because VT has a large contingent of Flatlanders (sorry Mr. NJ) and leftists to make stupid laws. I think VT stands a bigger chance of getting overrun in a SHTF situation. Also you can set sail from Maine, so that’s one more escape route.

    Definitely stay away from southern Maine where all the tourists go. Although in the winter it might not matter where in Maine you are.

    • Thank Penny. I wanted to mention the fact that you could set sail from here but forgot. But yes, it is another pro of the area.

  5. And I also forgot: the town where I grew up, land used to be dirt cheap and now a modest home goes for upwards of a million bucks. Maine is probably still a lot cheaper.

    • We were so lucky when we bought the market was in our favor and the sellers wanted out since they had it on the market for years. All in all the cost of living in Maine compared to NJ is SO different. One of the main reasons we made the move. Especially with a family of five!

  6. Speaking of survival retreats, checkout this little house I came across sitting on 5 acres in Northern Maine for really cheap. You could build a little storage area and live there for a long time.

    • WOW. Little house indeed. I have a tent almost that big. OTOH, if it’s well insulated, then it’s probably cheap to heat & cool.

      • riverrider says:

        op, don’t knock it til you try it. while building our “big house” the dw and i lived in one about that size, only better done with bathroom and a kitchen area and a front deck for lounging. many are the days that we look at our little cabin in the woods and wish for that simple living again. no electric bills, no cable bills, no phone/bills…..

        • riverrider,
          Not knocking it, just amazed at how small. Growing up my parents had a cottage that was not much bigger. Room basically to sleep, cook, and shelter from bad weather. Otherwise as kids we were playing in the woods or down on the creek. Those were actually pretty simple days with nothing but a radio in the evenings.

    • Those little houses are great!!!!!

  7. Tom the Tinker says:

    Steven: Are you a fan…. or an agent? Only half kidding Sir This is a very nice ‘wake up’ post and the ‘tiny house’ thang MD has in mind is something I can afford. Southern Ohio though. Hilly turkey country. It looks and sounds as if I can… can do this for less than the cost of a new Jeep Wrangler…………

    • I’m a fan, and I own the website! Tiny houses make alot of sense.

      Here are a few reasons why they make sense that I wrote up. For a survivalist it makes perfect sense.

      • Steven,
        Most of the time I do not post the comments of people advertising their own site – I am posting this one only because I think it could give some of the Wolf Pack ideas that they could use in their own designs.

        • Sorry. My intention wasn’t self-promotion. I love your blog and read it daily!

          • Sorry,
            just love the pic with the Two Seats side by side!

            Might want to put a curtain around the smaller white one.

            I am also a fan of smaller housing options, with my new winter tent being 8×10, insulated as well.

            Being in Canada, you have to go a long way up from the Border to get land that cheap here! For you guys in the US, that is so far North, for us it is the highest population density areas. Go Figure!

          • Hey just read your blog and saw Tiny House Parking..

            I am a Tiny Houser as well 🙂
            Thanks, new name for myself, a Tiny Houser

      • Sorry, family of four with two active kids in a house that small would lead to DW strangling me. I do agree with some of your points though and will be trying to downsize our living space. It’s much easier here in the South as we can spend more time outside in a sun room or screened in porch.

      • Steven, The “10 reasons” are exactly why I’ve been pushing to get out of our current home and homestead. We have too much home and are paying insurance on square footage that we don’t even use. We live in the den and kitchen. We only sleep or swap out clothing in a bedroom — why have a dedicated area for these things when a bed can be Murphied into a wall when not being used?

        Teeny, tiny house……Our outdoor sheds and goat barn are larger than the tiny house, but it’s not a turn off. It’s practical! Look how pioneers lived in one room cabins. Americans eventually built small homes with divided rooms but it wasn’t until we swallowed-the-bait from the Industrial Revolution that gave us excess, then conned us into indebted slavery/endentured servitude.

        We learned quite a bit about the tiny home concept with our RV. We’ve used ours to take road trips that last a month at a time. Each time we return home to all that wasted space knowing we lived perfectly fine in our RV.

        I believe that tiny homes are going to be the way of the future for many who “get it”. That is, until the Feds jump in and create more and more regulations on minimum square footage…..

        • templar knight says:

          Lynn, I read an article yesterday where the governor of Maryland has decided to take over land planning in the entire state, and will withhold all state aid from counties who do not follow his Agenda 21 regulations. There will be no development allowed away from a corridor that is already established under his plan.

          No septic tanks will be approved, therefore no development can take place. I never thought I would see the day that a communist would rule a state by decree, prevent people from using their own property, and get away with it. I can’t believe this crap is constitutional, and that it hasn’t been challenged in court. IMHO, tar and feathers are in order.

          And in relation to this article, this is why the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states are not good states for retreats. Most of the governments in these states are liberal/leftist, and they have an agenda that is anti-gun, anti-individual and anti-private property. And now that the Agenda 21 Directive seems to be the next big thing, I would get myself and family out of these places now. Even if it did cost me financially. It’s just going to cost more later, as you won’t be able to sell your land because no development can take place on it.

          • templar knight says:

            Lynn, I found the article I read about the Agenda 21 push in Maryland and here is the link if you want to read it:


          • TK, The Commonwealth of Virginia has brought Agenda 21 here and it just makes me sick. It’s picking up steam and I can’t believe it hasn’t been challenged. How do guidelines and goals from the UN supercede the US Constitution? Like you said, why have their been no legal challenges on this?

          • One of the first things our new governor in Maine did was to cut off all funding for Agenda 21 related planning. I understand some of the committees are still in place on a volunteer basis (who is funding them?)
            But I LOVE northern Maine and wouldn’t mind at all moving a couple of hours north.

  8. Short term your wood and food supply might be o.k.

    But long term, the short growing season limits the amount of “energy” that the ecosystem can hold. Green houses help, but they do not increase the amount of available sunlight. Maine may seem underpopulated, but it is not by historical standards.

    • richard muszynski says:

      greetings. note if you move to the no name counties along the northern border here that there are no supermarkets. no big any
      kind of business. most anything you want you have to go to a big town like Skowhegan that has a wal marts and a hanaford market to get it. we get a lot of business here from those north of us who travel about 100 miles to go shopping. as for food. our northern counties are potato country. you can grow enough potato on a small amount of land to feed a big family year around. we get plenty of sun shine. just don’t get the long lazy summers of the south. besides our moose don’t care for the heat that much. but most plants that can handle a 90 day growing season do well here. other then melons that require warmer nights then we get. here if you can get manure and lime you can grow most anything. including tobacco if you want. taxes here are not draconian but then there are not many government services available nor wanted. where i live the county sheriff is responsible for one hell of a big chunk of the state and police or fire are not a phone call away. as is ambulance service or hospitals. here such things are where you find them. know to that a 2 wheel drive vehicle here is a summer ride. 4 wheel much to be preferred. and even those get stuck on occasion. as for fishing. most fishing is heavily regulated and the catch limits are so small that most people here don’t bother going fishing. like smelt you are only allowed a quart. game fish are very limited since the state wants to keep fish stocks high for tourists. if you try survival fishing here you will find we have more game wardens and homeland security wandering in the woods then you can imagine. and the fines for poaching are draconian and include confiscation of your firearms fishing gear and the vehicle you drove there to hunt or fish with. not a good idea to count on living off the wildlife here, even for a cop. another problem to note. no employment other then for police and we have very few of them spread around. many people here grow pot to try to pay their property taxes with, so DEA visits are not unknown way back in the woods. which does not make uniforms very welcome in most places. but a beautiful state and the ocean fishing is much better then the limited freshwater fishing and not as tightly regulated. Canada border might be close but is heavily guarded by homeland security and you need a pass port to enter or leave it. and in times of trouble they will close the border up tight.

      • Richard, what you think the laws are in Maine are very incorrect and fishing is HUGE in Maine. I am sorry you do not like Police. I do not agree with your pot crops but good luck with that. And I seriously doubt in a SHTF situation that there will be Game Wardens in the woods issuing summons. Same with the Canadian border. And my family and myself always go in and out of Canada without a passport. That was the whole point of the article. There are plenty of fish and fishing my way. You paint an unflattering picture of Maine that I just haven’t seen yet. Hope I don’t.

        • richard muszynski says:

          greetings. check the Maine fishing license rules and regulations. then repeat on how liberal they are. and i did not say i grew pot crops i said that many in maine did. being you are a police member i would doubt anyone would tell you that of course. strange that you can cross the border into Canada without a pass port. I assume you cross on one of the back roads since all main roads are covered by homeland security, which i am sure you have heard of. and you can go to Canada without a passport but you cannot return without one. and of course fishing is huge in Maine. for the tourists, which is what the state desires. for locals? not the same story. I am assuming that you mean only after the SHTF and there is absolutely no government controls in force and not now in the present. Have fun here. we always need fresh blood since so many leave here as soon as they can for the big cities. Bet you didn’t know that either. as for legal hunting, one white tail deer will not feed a family for long. even a moose only goes so far and while we have laws you have to enter and win the moose lottery to get a permit. legally, as you should know, one cannot live off the land here as long as the powers that be are in control. you can live on the land but not off it by hunting and fishing.

          • Richard,
            I am a Maine resident and I assure you that I constantly go over the border to Canada without a passport. Canada does not require a passport to cross into it by car. The US requires one to get in here… HOWEVER that is really for NON Citizens. I have crossed over multiple times and I somehow get back EACH time. I hand them my Maine State Drivers License. They run all my information and see that I am a legal US and Maine resident with a totally clean record and they always let me back in. They will not restrict a US Citizen from coming back into our country. They will however run everything they can on you and find out if you have any outstanding warrants, tickets anything they can grab you for, but I am not worried about that.
            Also, I do not travel by any backroads. I use large border crossing stations with real homeland security. I respect you trying to give people information, but lots of your information is wrong. It sounds like you are not happy with this state, but at least give people 100% accurate information if your going to give it out.

    • Russell I just do not understand your post, sorry…

      Canadians and before that Natives have lived in Northern Areas, specifically the Great White North, for 10000 years!

      There is shorter seasons here, yes, but the are intense seasons as well for growing. There are many many farms and setups that are about 400+ miles NORTH of this area of Maine.

      With the advent of Green Houses, underground houses with Sky lights and Combo Above and Below setups, with some work and innovation you can grow food all year round in Northern Canada as well as in Russia!

      In Sudburry, they have taken over 2 old mines and are growing all the food underground. The food prep and growing areas are about 600 + ft below ground. There are also innovations happening in the Far North, up in extreme cold areas to grow food all year round as well.

      Just some food for thought!

    • Rusell, not sure what your saying. Maine has so much forest land and trees for thousand of miles, so wood is best here. And Maine really does has a low population, (one of the lowest in US) and more so in Northern Maine. But thank you for the good point in ecosystem reference.

  9. Lake Lili says:

    Thanks for a terrific read. I spent my summers in Maine at camp as a kid and have returned several times since then. As long as you are well in land from the coast and from the tourists, one could build a really good life. I wouldn’t look across the boarder as a bolt hole though. Most of Canada’s population lives within 100 miles of the US boarder and you will have to work your way through the masses there too.

  10. I’ve been studying the islands off the coast of Maine myself. Northern part of the state is remote, a very SHTF viable state to bugout to

  11. Plant Lady says:

    Good for you – and your family! I am so glad some folks are seeing the light and getting out of the cities while they can. I get such a sick feeling in my gut when I read about people’s plans to bug out – somewhere – when they “have” to. I personally think the “have-to” time has come and gone. It sure would be easier for them to get out now, no matter the hardships, than to try to get out on foot with what little they can carry on their backs with the rest of the predatory horde later! And I am very afraid that folks have the idea that country land will be free for the taking when TSHTF. They are going to be so sorry when they finally come to the realization that someone owns all that land and will fight to the death to retain it, since it will be in use to keep their family alive. And as charitable as country folk are, when it comes down to keeping their own alive…well, charity will be a luxury they can’t afford. And even if folks get out now, it takes time (at least a couple years) to get a place set up for survival – gathering tools/equipment, preparing growing areas, getting livestock, cutting wood and getting it dry enough to burn safely (at least a year). Then it takes time to work out your new daily/montly/yearly routines…how to care for livestock, deciding how much of each food to grow and when, how to safely store it, etc. And it takes time to become “known” in the country. As an example…my husband and I moved years ago. The first weekend we went to the local dump and were talking to the dump guy. He welcomed us and told us he was also a newcomer…he had only lived in the area 40 years!!! I was so glad when we soon moved back to the area I grew up in…my family has been here for 8 generations and it sure makes a big difference!
    Great luck with your new place – sounds like you have a great plan and great location! We are in a similar location a bit west of you and I think we have the best chance of survival in the north…since any folks left will be heading to warmer climes or “out west”.

    • Thank you so much! Everyday is a new and relaxing adventure. I wonder why I didnt do this a long time ago.

  12. Yes, Maine is a great place to be. I’ve lived here in the western Maine mountains all of my life. Things have changed a lot in the last 25 years.
    A lot of folks brought their big city ideas with them when they moved here, and things have changed. I guess it’s the same most anywhere.
    We “natives” are passive, but we don’t like being pushed, or taken advantage of.
    As far as having a “bible belt mentality”, I’d say most natives lean more toward sort of a libertarian/rugged indivualist mentality. Although, I can’t say that about the natives that choose to live in our cities….They’re just plain odd…..;-)

    • Thanks for having us Scott and I promise to not bring any big cities ideas. That concern has been expressed to me several times since I moved here. Being an “outsider” in Maine does not go unnoticed. LOL

  13. A good read. Thanks for the info on an area I know little about. I lived in Alaska and know what can be raised in colder climates.

  14. Sorry, didn’t mean bible belt as in church/religious fanatics…. I meant good people, people who believe there is “something”, that doing good is always a good thing to do, that right is right and wrong is wrong (yes, there are gray zones, but…)… Do onto others kinda thing… 🙂

  15. templar knight says:

    Great post, Andrew, and you convinced me that Maine would be the best retreat location in the Northeast. However, there are large populations to the south, so one would want to move off the lines of egress(the interstates). And don’t think all the refugees would want to go south, there are many who are intelligent enough to know about the vacation homes in Maine. All empty and stocked-up for the taking.

    But all-in-all, I think you made a wise choice, and I congratulate you for your decision. It is not easy to strike out on your own when you have a family, and it’s not easy on them. But it looks like you’ve handled everything extremely well, Andrew. I take my hat off to you.

    • Thanks Templar! We are about 15 miles off of the interstate and you would need random luck to find us. I hope that if a herd does come north after SHTF they wouldn’t make it this far in winter time and in summer wouldn’t be able to navigate aimlessly through the forests. My theory anyway with my survival thinking. It’s always fun to plan out and think of what-if’s. LOL

      • richard muszynski says:

        greetings. i don’t believe any from the cities to the south here would be able to wander about the forests of the north. the mosquito’s and black flies would eat them alive. as would the total lack of cell phone availability or rest areas. I believe Maine has now something like 4 rest areas in the entire state. our rest rooms are a couple of feet off the road. same as the upper peninsula of Michigan. and here mosquito and black fly have to be experienced to believe. develop a use for either and one could make a fortune to envy. actually they are not that bad once you get over the idea of you need absolute protection from them. i rarely use insect repellents other then the hard hat and chain saw oil headgear in fly season, and after a few days of itching the bites no longer have any effects at all. you simply fail to note them at all.

  16. Chris Kingsbury says:

    WELCOME! My wife from the Philippines and I moved to ME a quarter of a century ago. The first ten years were the hardest for her in Winter.
    So, a warm welcome from the home city of Stephen King.

    • Chris, thank you! My family and I are cold weather people and so far LOVING the winters here! Hope for more to come!

  17. richard muszynski says:

    greetings. i would be careful on the relying on the neighbors vacation homes to loot if times got bad. people here tend to get very upset when someone robs them, even if they do wear a uniform. word to the wise. get your own supplies.

    • I read this entire post and I really don’t think he meant to ever loot any vacation homes in a normal situation. If you actually READ the article he is talking about ONLY in a SHTF situation. I think he is referring to a SHTF scenario once all supermarkets would be closed and by that point, I’d think everyone would all be fending for themselves in a survival way just trying to feed their families since they can’t buy food anymore. He also states how prepared he is and has his own supplies.

      • SrvivlSally says:

        I agree. He did say “AFTER” TSHF and that he is already living as such.

      • templar knight says:

        I don’t want to belabor the point, but a vacation home just might also be a bug-out location. I believe the author said he acquired his property as a vacation retreat before he decided to make it his full-time home. So time might be the factor here, as it might take a few days to a few weeks after the SHTF for someone to make their way to their vacation retreat/bug-out location.

        There is no reason for any of us who post here to have it in our plan to borrow from our neighbors. We know what is going to happen, and we have had time to prepare. Granted, there are exceptions, and I understand that in the worst-case scenario it would be better for someone to use the food rather than it be consumed by animals or spoil. However, I can just imagine how someone would feel when they arrived at their BOL and expected to find their food and supplies intact but found it all gone instead. Which is the best reason I know for someone who falls in this category to have someone trustworthy to store your supplies until you arrive. Or do like Andrew did, and move to your retreat right now.

    • Richard I in no way meant I would be “robbing” people and I’m sure everyone, everywhere would be upset if robbed. And please don’t imply that because I wear a uniform I can act inappropriately. If this is a SHTF situation, for example, and a FL resident cant get back up here to their vacation home and my family was starving, the canned goods or what-not would be a possible option. I am NOT a criminal of any kind. These are what-if scenarios and are treated as such. Also, I have a nice stock pile of supplies already so hopefully it would not get to that point.

      • richard muszynski says:

        greetings. sorry if i took it wrong. but one must admit that people in uniform are our main problem right now, especially here in Maine where we have a massive surplus of them of all kinds including police and DEA and BATFag and FBI as well as homeland security and now our armed game wardens. is like in Iraq. you have a uniform on and you automatically become the enemy regardless of any evidence for or against. what i meant was do not covet your neighbors goods, period, TSHTF or otherwise. one should remember that survival is to the most able to survive. not to the most willing to sacrifice someone elses survival for their own. note in Maine we pretty well take care of our own in times of need. and if the SHTF happens that it might not be permanent. in which case one can be arrested for doing things when things were bad that are punishable when things get better. sort of like do not shoot someone because one thinks they might be a threat some day that is only allowed to our government to do. and though i am not religious in a bible belt sense, even though i am a ordained minister, i do still strongly adhere to the 10 commandments. simply common sense it seems to me. Do unto others as you would have them do onto you. be part of the herd and not the carnivore feeding off it. as for uniforms, check the news reports on the Oakland Cal. police. a citizen does what the police there do and they face life in prison. Police get a promotion for such behavior.

        • Richard, Im not even going to touch this one. Your thoughts on Law Enforcement are misguided, incorrect and frightening.

        • Richard, Our #1 problem is decay. Moral decay and slow destruction of our US Constitution are destroying our Nation. If America remembered our God-given rights and adhered to our founding documents, much of the socialist nonsense and our over-reaching, enormous and corrupt government would not be in-our-business.

          Also, as for survival characteristics, imo, rational assessment ranks as one of the most important factors in one’s quest for survival. As an ordained minister, it might be worth remembering The Gospel according to
          St. Matthew 7.

  18. SrvivlSally says:

    I and a few people that I know would trade you places in a second. You surely are living the dream and it has grown on you. Your descriptions of and reasonings for moving to Maine make it all the more desirable. The perfect food source, the best of water sources not only in abundance but taste as well, and all of the rest that cannot always be found in all places. Survival would be ideal there and because I am accustomed to northern climates I would be at home. Thank you, Andrew.

  19. I used to live in Maine , The whole state is good for a BOL . When I first moved there ( Southern Maine ) one of the locals pointed to the state map and circled southern Maine and said ” this is Maine ” then to Northern Maine and said ” ..and this is Deliverance ” lol . Very sparsely populated state full of honest hard working resourceful people . They dont think of themselves an new englanders , just Mainers .

    • LOL. Northern Maine is not that bad. People are SO nice up here and helpful. Just like any part of the world you have your good and bad people. Up here, thankfully, they are mostly good. But there is definitely a lot of people up here who want “to be left alone”. I myself am guilty too of enjoying my privacy much like so many of this wolf pack. But southern Maine is very overcrowded and getting more crime ridden as we speak. Hope is stays down there. LOL

      • I hear ya but , Maine standards of crime and overcrowding is much different than in the west . Portland , your biggest city , isn’t even the size of Tucson . Unfortunately for you guys , your isolation has also made you ( police and state govt. ) very naive when it comes to foreign immigrants . Anybody immigrating from africa or latin america is undesirable . We already know this out west that they are by and large criminally minded . We need more europeans . Never understood why the government doesn’t understand that they need to look at the nation the person is from because they will most likely do the same thing here . Your right , I have been all over that state , and its all nice . Being from AZ , then moving to Maine then back to AZ , I did notice some things about everyday life there that in all fairness to the community should be pointed out , after all , we will never know when ( or if ) the SHTF and in the mean time , one has to live a life . Maine has insane taxation , its very backward so the infrastructure is a joke , outside the inter-states , Maine roads dont belong in the united states , as a resident you are forced to pay into Mainecare , which is the state run Obama care . Like most of the northeast , its laws are oppressive ( to a westerner ) . The article on freedom ranking by state is very interesting ( if MD could provide a link to it for me ) strangely enough , New Hampshire was rated #1 in overall freedom , most of the others in the top ten were western states . Not knocking the state , I loved the place and people while I was there , and for what your talking about in the article is absolutely correct .

  20. Alaska would be another one if you could hack the winters and darkness . I liked the 24 hr days in the summer . Like Andrew mentioned above for Maine , Alaskas hunting and fishing cant be beat . They are connected to Canada the same way Maine is , and if you learn to speak Russian , that opens up a whole new world there as well as many doors . They dont call it the last frontier for nothing ,if you wanted to disappear and never be discovered , wouldn’t be very hard .

  21. Southern Girl says:

    Maine is a beautiful state. We lived there for three years when my father was station at Portsmouth Naval Prison. Our backyard was right at the edge of the water, and I remember watching the ice float on the water. A little too cold for me, but still beautiful.

  22. Andrew, Loved your article and would like to congratulate you for getting the wisdom to take control of your situation. Getting out of an urban setting should be a #1 priority for all ‘urban dwellers’ at this time. This is more than obvious right now, yet most people are complacent with an armload of excuses.

    You and your family actively pursued a better life elsewhere and you are so blessed.

    • riverrider says:

      lynn, might have found my fallback:) i found 50 acre farmland for 20k! and other great/cheap places in the woods of maine.

      • Riverrider, find us a nice parcel, wouldya?? We love Maine!

        • riverrider says:

          lynn, go to and search by county(all), put in your price range(i put 50k). i got 7 pages of properties! cheap!!from 2 to 60 acres…. you will have to evaluate each one carefully tho. one promising place, when i zoomed out via google earth, was right next to a chemical plant. another was adjacent to a huge rail yard. most are just cheap beause they are a long way from town, fine with me. but alas, maine is almost as far as montana, thru zombie country the entire way. not a good retreat unless lived in. i’m beginning to think that its better to build an army here and hunker down. everywhere i want to go will still be flooded w/ zombies hoping to “survive in the wilderness”. we know how thats going to turn out. guess i’ll take my chances here. still would like to find a mountain stream to chill beside:)

    • Lynn, thank you. And yes, I have actually prompted more of my friends into moving out of NJ to seek better, safer living conditions for their families. They are not coming to Maine but they have the knowledge to make the right decision on location. Some have started the process. Someone has to be the first into the pool. LOL

  23. riverrider says:

    andrew, thanks for this article. may have saved my sanity, if its not already gone:) hey, what about the skeeters and blackflies up there, are they a problem? how deep are the normal wells, and are normal septic systems in use there? i did a search n found gobs of cheap land around aroostock county. do you know anything about this area? thanks again.

    • riverrider, Aroostook County is north of us and it is nice and secluded. Only problem when you further north is less businesses around and stuff like that. Where we are we have to drive approx 15 miles to the closest grocery store. We dont mind at all. The skeeters are as annoying as in NJ but the blackflies are a pain in the butt (no pun intended). Screens help combat them but the no-see-ums get right through the screen. Luckily both have a limited run on the area so its dealable. Not sure how deep normal wells are. I hear some are close and others are very deep. We use a septic system but I do not know what others have. Hope this helps.

    • richard muszynski says:

      greetings. aroostock county is one of our number counties and the potato capitol of Maine. lot of it being sold off now because of the total failure of the paper industry here and the paper corporations are dumping huge holdings of prime forest land. to be here though you need to be non crowd oriented and independent. note many places in our north are not part of the education system so no bus will pick your children up and haul them off to school. i believe we have one of the biggest by percentage amount of home schooled children in the nation. and note here if the property you get is not on a road recognized by the state that they will not plow it in the winter nor grade it in the summer. you have to take care of your own access or egress. get a snow mobile. I use one in the winter to get to where i leave my vehicle near a plowed road when i need to get to town, rather then try to keep open miles of 2 track road to your place. is hard to explain how much effort is needed to do that on your own. drive around here in the winter and you will see many pick up trucks with snow mobiles on the back of them. that is their way to get back home once they get back to where they leave their vehicle.

      • riverrider says:

        thanks guys! i’m a bit of a loner/ independent cuss. i think i could make it up there, wife not so much:) still might buy a spot to chillout over these hot southern summers.

  24. I have a way i’ve been stocking up on supplies cheaply. I travel a lot for work and they put me up in hotels about 15-20 nights a month. When I stay in a hotel I take the spare little soaps they leave me, I have a ziplock and I take the unused remains of the ones when I check out. Then I use them at the next hotel and I’m not wasting partials of anything theat they would just throw away. In an average month I end up with about 12-15 bars of soap, about the same in bottles of shampoo, conditioner and most hotels give free sewing repair kits now too, so I end up with 15-20 sewing kits and shoe shine clothes a month too.
    The shoe shine clothes are a soft cotton and are usually about 4-5″ on a side square. The sewing kits have a safety pin, a button, a needle and 5-6 colors of thread each with 4-5 feet of thread.

    They also usually give you a bag of regular and decaf cofee each night which I take home. I’m not a cofee drinker but I see those pouches as a good trade item.

    Some hotels have these little “drink” kits that include a napkin, a couple of tea bags, 2-3 sugar packets and a stir stick in a little sealed pouch. There is one hotel I stay at that gives you a little bottle of hand sanitizer when you check in and another that gives a little plastic green first aid kit with each stay; it only contains 6 bandages a safety pin and 2 iodine wipes but it’s still a free first aid kit and it fits in a pocket and it has enough spare space to put in some other supplies. Lastly some hotels give you a “vanity” kit which is a small sealed conatiner with 2 q-tips, 2 cotton balls and a 4″ long emery board. the sealed bag is in a huge cardboard box; but the bag is much smaller and takes up little space in a bug out bag.

    Another way I “stock up” from hotels is that several chains give points for staying in them, you can then use the points for free nights or for gift cards at various chains. I use my points for Cabelas cards and home depot cards. In an average year I end up with $150-300 in gift cards. The cabelas ones I use for ammo and the home depot ones for my stock pile of nails and small hand tools.

    The drink kits I keep some in each vehicle and some in each bug out bag. The shoe shine clothes are good for cleaning gun parts or in a pinch can be used for blowing your nose or tons of other uses.
    The first aid kits are obviously useful. The soap/shampoo/conditioner I can use or I can trade since it’s in small enough containers. The sewing kits are a great emergency unit and can be kept or traded as needed.

    In the last 4 years I stocked up a 2 year supply of shampoo for my whole family, hundreds of cofee packs, sewing kits, vanity kits and othe free supplies for trading or use. I’ve also used the points to add about $100 per year in ammo.

    So that is how i’m stocking up on the cheap.

    • I do the same thing ! I travel a lot because of my job and if its a short term job ( 2 weeks or less ) they put us up in a hotel , convenient ” free ” preps . After awhile , they stack up so much that you have to empty them out into a big container , the small empties can be used for other liquids for portable kits . looking forward to the North Carolina job coming up , lot of reb family history I’m going to check out while I’m there .
      Stars & Bars !

  25. Andrew, do you have a website for your tactical store?

  26. Ben, thank you for asking and thank you MD.

    Its a new site and Im trying to add items weekly.

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