The survival colony

This is a guest post by T.R.

[This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win a number of prizes including an 84 serving storage bucket of Wise Food Storage, 500 rounds of 9mm ammo, a NukAlert a copy of my book The Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat and a copy of my CD It’s The End Of The World As We Know It – And I Feel Fine . For complete rules and list of prizes see this post.]

As many of you know , in another article , one of our regular commenters suggested that we as survivalist/preppers create our own colony . That got some of us thinking . Myself included, as I have always thought that it would be so cool to either live in another less complicated time period or have the freedom of settling an undiscovered land with a clean slate and seeing the fruits of our labor grow and thrive with no interference from an external government . So here it is , I apologize in advance for errors and if I jump around a bit , when you really think about the mechanics of starting a colony , it gets complex fast .

Historically people have created colonies or tribes and settlements for many reasons , mostly for protection at first . That in my mind would drive survivalist and ” like-minded ” people to attempt this scenario . The idea of people like us creating a colony or settlement is both a good idea and practical .

The benefits of a very large group of people with widely varied self-sufficiency skills pooling their talent and working together in this manner would be far preferable to going it alone or with a small group . A large , well equipped and thought out settlement could not only be the best way to stay alive in a post collapse situation , but would also provide a ” life” and relative stability for what would most likely turn out to be a very long-term situation .

The importance of this can’t be understated when we are talking about raising a family post SHTF . As much as it makes sense and as beneficially practical a solution it may be , there are issues that will come up and MUST be thoroughly thought out before one shovel breaks dirt .

Building a civilization is not an easy task , what may start out as benevolent could turn into a tyranny very quickly. A long-term successful colony would have to be self-governing , have individual rights , a written in stone doctrine ( constitution of sorts ) as the foundation of law both for the protection of the settlement and the individual , and elected leadership .

So colonists , here is your task : find and procure land that has suitable and sufficient resources to sustain a large amount of people with the unavoidable expectation of growth ( from later refugees and children born from the original settlers ) suitable for farming and livestock with an adequate water supply , planning permanent housing for each colonist for a long stay ( tents don’t count we are talking real housing , lumber , brick , block , log cabin , mud brick adobe , whatever ) , planning defense around the settlement ( walls with a ditch in front of it historically are the best in long-term situations ) , and procuring enough supplies to see you through until the colony can get on its feet ( first harvest , etc. ) . Choosing what kind of animals need to be there ( are they food? or in a post SHTF world with no gas or spare parts , do you also need them for labor and transportation ? ) Daunting already isn’t it?

This is exactly what every serious settlement and colony that came before you had to accomplish . It can be done ! In today’s world this can be a problem on several levels . First it takes money , if a group of people pool together to buy land , problem solved . It was suggested by another regular poster that a “buy in ” for each perspective colonist be a solution for sharing the financial burden , each colonist buying their own plot that is theirs within the settlement .

This to me is both practical and fair and would perpetuate the concept of individual private property rights in a post SHTF world . That brings up yet another thing . The original ” investors , colonists , whatever that spent the cash in today’s world should not have any more or less rights over those that come later in a post SHTF world .

There is no place for elitism . Your constitution is what you live by at that point . The old world no longer exists . The British never figured this out and one of several reasons they lost almost every colony they ever had . Freedom or tyranny . One must be careful . Other things that need to happen are to know what the capabilities of every person are .

This will help determine what supplies to get , what skills the settlement is strong and weak in , and how you will go about doing things . The character of the initial settlers will be very important for a successful start , Background checks are not unreasonable , later that will be more difficult to determine post SHTF and you will want the core moral – ethical foundation of the settlement to be strong .

Leadership is another thing that will need to be decided . Colonists will need to be able to remove a bad or ineffective leader and/ or subordinates . Children will need a basic education , adults and adolescents will need to acquire skills , structure will need to be in place for that , Some colonists will have religious needs , that will need a structure .

Crime is another thing that will take place . Basic laws and the ability to enforce them will be needed as well as a structure for defending an accused person ( remember , if your even in a colony , you’re in for the long haul ) . what are you going to do with a criminal once convicted ?

Is the outside situation such ( total collapse with no more authorities ) that a death penalty becomes needed ? This brings me to another area that a settlement will have to face and decide how to handle . And that is admitting new colonists . Sooner or later the settlement will be discovered ( there is no hiding it ) and people come knocking .

A criteria will be needed for acceptance or denial , but once accepted are under the protection and penalties of the law and constitution as any other colonist . The laws , constitution , and eligibility for a colony can be anything that the colonists agree on . This could be a way to ” correct ” what people see as what is wrong in the present world and change it as a way of life , whatever that may be . There is no right or wrong here . This your land , your people , your way of life .

A post SHTF community has every right to determine the demographics , law , and governance it is going to live with as a way of life . There are many historical examples of successful and unsuccessful colonies and settlements and had planned to go into that but this is turning into a novel as it is 😉 I left out much but this is a start .There are pros and cons to this situation . In the end as in so much of life , it is what you make it . Choose wisely and with much care for you and your children’s future . Even in a post SHTF world , we still need to go on .

Image by Steve Jurvetson
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. STL Grandma says:

    Sorta sounds a lot like a big commune. Also, the LDS and the Branch Davidians come to mind. Our present government is not likely to let a bunch of self-sustaining armed farmers free from messing with. The ATF will be on it like flies on.. well.. you know.

    You could call it just “another small town” if you like but the minute you start writing constitutions or bills of rights or laws outside of the already existing laws and start inposing penalties for ‘lawlessness’, the US Gov will get into it.

    How to do it under the radar when you are talking .. how many people?

    • Lake Lili says:

      Interesting and yet that is just what home-owners associations do – they create laws of governance that are extra judicial and apply only to those who live within the HOA. The law, police and courts have tended to side with the HOAs saying that poeple agree to be bound by the rules and there for must abide.

    • Small towns have town councils that pass and enforce ordinances all of the time, and if you live in their jurisdiction, you must follow those laws. Obviously those laws would have to fall within the frame work of existing state and local laws for instance, you could not allow 12 year olds to drink alcohol, or establish your own death penalty statutes for ordinance violations like jaywalking, but small towns do get away with surprising latitude in what they can do.
      As for what makes a small town, you would have to check your state laws. Typically it is a combination of population and land area that meets some criteria. Once you have met the criteria and filed all of the proper paperwork, you incorporate as a town or village and then may pass your own rules, enforce them with your own police force, etc.
      Also, I’m not sure why the LDS come to mind, let alone being mentioned in the same sentence with the Branch Davidians. Although I am not an LDS member, I have friends who are, and hope that this relative comparison was unintentional.

      • As far as laws – you can have all the laws you want. There is no law against making laws. Home associations have laws that say “you can’t have a purple house”, clubs have laws, villages have laws. Any law you make that conflicts with state or federal law would be “over ridden”.

        • lone survivor says:

          I don’t know about this.
          1. unless you are planning on building a castle or a fort with a wall around it.
          2. Some people you just wouldn’t want living near you. I’ve lived in apartments and had some neighbors that were okay and others I thought should be locked up in the looney bin!
          3. Starting your own town or city? Say, didn’t that “cult” in Oregon do that years ago? I forgot the name of it. When you do this it’s gotten too big.
          4. Then there will be the people who like to sit around and drink liquor and/or smoke pot and take drugs like crystal meth, cocaine, etc.. And when they do, you can believe that they will suddenly get the idea that they should be in charge and not you. And if you say something they will want to fight you and kick your ass.
          5. Homeowners associations suck! i’ve lived in an area one time and the mentally unstable board of directors passed a “law” that you couldn’t park any type of pickup truck or van/minivan in the parking lot! WTF? Then they would have it towed away and “fine” you!
          6. There has been two accounts of government agents going to “communes”-ranches, one in Texas and one in New Mexico, that they raided because they “claimed” that the people were abusing children and/or using drugs or selling drugs. And they hauled everybody off to jail while they inspected these places and “planted” porn, drugs , guns, and whatever they wanted to justify raiding them!

      • STL Grandma says:

        I misspoke, OP.. I meant the pologimous folks who were busted down in Texas.. in their city/compound. Wish I was perfect, but I’m a long way from that. I was looking for examples of government interference with people’s rights.

    • No more than Jamestown except that is planned for and in case of no stability , total collapse . Instead of a king in England directing it , its self governing . In a total collapse , humans do this anyway for mutual protection . We are not talking hippies here 🙂

  2. button crazy says:

    It just might work. But it would take lots of planning. I will have to think about it for awhile before I could commit to something like this. I would have to meet all parties to be included before my final decision to join the group. Lots of things to think about.

  3. In theory it is a good idea, but do you actually think that people with no money would be equal to people with money?
    They are already doing this buy in thing all over the place. They are calling them Intentional Communities, Eco-Villages , Land Trusts etc.
    I looked into them in detail one time and it cost mucho dinero to buy into one. That fact right there makes them elitist and I would imagine it would make any survivlist community only availabe to someone with money and supplies.

    • actually one must remember , it was suggested that some land and structures be procured pre SHTF for a place that a group would go . After SHTF , in a total collapse , there is no government to object . It is in affect a city state . Legal immigrants right now have the same rights as born citizens have under the law and constitution . Thats what was meant by that . Historically many started with nothing and made good . As mentioned by another poster , creative ways of doing it can be done . Who says you have to tell anybody the truth about the actual plans ?

  4. riverrider says:

    tr, good job. very thought provoking. i think i would rather not get that deep into it. more like a neighborhood association or mutual assistance pact or the like. in my youth, thats what we called a community. every body got together for barnraising, getting in the crops , shared excess garden produce etc. if there was trouble we took care of it ourselves. laws/constitutions etc are routinely circumvented and perverted and frankly most of us have had enough of government in any form. we could still pool our resources and buy a larger plot to live on, with each their own plot to do as they pleased so long as it doesn’t infringe on anothers right to do as they please. after tshtf, we could seal off our AO and form our own rules then maybe. i like your premise, tho i think it would be too hard to accomplish these days. again, good post.

  5. STL Grandma had the same thought as me, but I don’t think it would be too difficult to start even now. It’s not uncommon for a small group of people to invest in a single purchase such as an airplane or acreage for hunting grounds so acquiring a commune of sorts isn’t too far of a stretch either. In fact, it makes an incredible amount of sense and I expect more people to start doing it even if SHTF doesn’t happen soon.

    For example, in a commune of ten families, each might want their own primary vehicle, but they can share the cost and use of other assets such as recreational vehicles, tools, kitchen and laundry facilities, etc. It might be a madhouse at times, but sharing assets could be an enjoyable benefit when family budgets are so tight these days.

    Honestly though, I’m not sure I could do it because I simply like periods of quiet solitude. I’m also pretty stubborn and don’t do well serving on committees. I would rather set and work towards my own goals and take credit for every success and failure rather than engage in never-ending communal debates and compromises involving shared projects, purchases, schedules, etc. Not to mention the drama when a family wants to join or leave the commune environment.

  6. Old as Dirt says:

    If you had a communal cook house to make meals the woman would kill each other in a week. There would always be some lazy person who would not want to do her or his share. And I would be darned if I would want some young thing telling me what to do.And would you divide up the money also. Sounds like socialism at its worse, or maybe a hint of communism.

    • My late mother-in-law always said a house wouldn’t hold two women.
      I don’t think any of us oldster’s want to be told what to do when we have the years on someone.
      I somehow think the hippies ruined the idea for me of communal living.
      I think the plan could work. But still we like our individual freedoms, our individual money, our individual housing, our individual everything.

    • Anonymous says:

      I do Renfaires and my “household” consists of eighteen to twenty young females (my daughter and her friends) their boyfriends of the moment and then three other couples. I am addressed as father for all. My lady is Mother. The other couples (some have children) are Aunts and Uncles. My girls are my “daughters” (don’t mess with my daughters) and the boys are nephews (till some boy marrys one – then he would be upgraded to Son).We have a couple of older members that are sometimes in the picture – they become grandpa or grandma (they are asked to do only what they can). Thats how we break it down. my 2 cents.

    • well if you read it again , its talking about a settlement born out of necessity . What government you choose to live by is up to the settlers . This is not communism anymore than jamestown , or plymouth was . Your alone in a hostile world post SHTF . They worked together to survive . Setting it up is more of an elaborate prep , especially if those who do it ( and you would most likely only do it ) if a group of families were absolutely convinced of pending collapse with no authorities . This is a scenario .

    • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

      The chinese symbol for “discontent” is two women under one roof….:-)

  7. MD,

    Do you ever have anyone have trouble with posting comments? I tried posting this many times and it just kept erasing it after hitting submit…

    Anyway, I like the idea of forming communities, but I agree that it would be very difficult. There is a breakaway civilization forming, and the powers that be wouldn’t let anyone form their own government. It would have to be completely under the radar. Otherwise US, and quite possibly UN troops would be all over it.

    • kathleen says:

      cmonkey– I had trouble posting a couple of times, too. Make sure your name and email are typed in the shaded boxes before you hit ‘submit’ and you shouldnt have any problems.

  8. I think this is a very good idea. The core idea is great. Needs a little tweaking, I understand that it is just an idea and a rough draft of sorts. It is basically what our fore fathers did just on a much smaller scale. Sadly what this country was founded on worked and still works if our government would just leave it alone and not have to over complicate it. Great post. I like the idea of a prepper colony.

  9. Lots to think about but pre-SHTF, no, I’m settled in nicely where I am and post-SHTF, I think the neighborhood/townspeople would be tasked with coming together. There wouldn’t be much choice.

    There are actually developments of these already, more along the lines of senior complexes, neighborhood associations and green living neighborhoods. I’m not much for adhering to any particular rules with regard to my home except the ones I make and while I choose to get involved with community activities in my town, it’s not dictated by others. I’m not much for communal living and working for the benefit of all should be a matter of choice and not decree. I dislike taking orders and feel that American society is simply overwhelmed with laws.

    I’ve read several fiction books, Crawford and Rawles, and wasn’t terribly impressed with the role of women in those stories. Maybe it was my imagination but I thought that Crawford, in Lights Out, portrayed women as being somewhat stupid and subserviant.

    My question is: in these groups of ‘like-minded people’ would women be given the role of cooker, cleaner, mender, baby maker and sitter with no voice as to governance model and structure?

    • I think that would be totaly dependant on whether or not the women there would allow such a thing to occure. Because if half the population of the commune decided to stop working the other half would have to listen to them. Although such messures would, in most cases, be unesisary. For why would you join a group of obviously sexist people if you enjoy your rights

      • ellis, I wouldn’t personally. I mentioned the reading material only as reference although I think this behavior among these groups could possibly be typical. It depends largely on the mind set of both the women and the men.
        There have been many discussions on various forums in which a number of women are against other women being self-supporting, or, if part of a family, having her own career and interests.

        My feeling is it would be a wise thing to do if more women assumed the tasks with which they may be unfamiliar in the event of her husband or partner not being available, incapacitated or God forbid, dead. My husband is totally on board with this and patiently instructs me whenever I request a lesson doing something he usually does. I’m slowly learning how to use power tools for example. Next up is the log splitter.
        I really have no particular fondness for using any tool but on whom can I rely in a worst case scenario?

        • Rawles is a Calvinist. They believe that women should be subservient to men. If they try to tell you otherwise don’t believe them. I know this will probably offend everyone on here but I grew up in a fundementalist Baptist househould and they were the same way.
          I can just see the men in a survivalist community cooking and doing the wash and tending the children. Ha Ha Ha.

          • Judith, I agree and to some degree we all grew up this way. It took years for women to achieve the most basic of rights. I’m not inclined to give them up based on my gender. As a citizen, veteran and income earner I’m entitled to make my own decisions.

            • Judith , Lynda ,
              It would be in interesting study ( if it hasn’t been done already ) to go through history and sects such as Calvinists , etc . and see how much of the negative views towards women were/are actually a product of underlying homosexuality . This should make you chuckle . What does Macho stand for ?
              Male Attempt to Conceal Homosexual Obsessions

          • Matt in Oklahoma says:

            @Judith “I can just see the men in a survivalist community cooking and doing the wash and tending the children. Ha Ha Ha.”
            WOW, really. Not all men lump into that catagory. Kindsa some reverse chauvanism/discrimination there.
            I can proudly say I cook, clean house and do mine and the kids laundry (hers has special needs so she does it) and I took the night shift anytime I was not deployed or on duty and take great pride in raising my children and caring for their needs. It has been the greatest accomplishment I will ever have. I even was the one who got my neice thru her first time peroiod around 12yrs old, didnt have a clue what to do and bought one of every kind at the store but was there, didnt make a big deal of it and left her unscarred mentally and happy and she cried some on me. Me and her both were dang proud of ourselves at the end of the day when we didnt have to call the women back from the shopping trip.
            Now that they are older I can’t wait to be a Grandfather who will always be an active part of their lives.
            As far as communtiy cooking, I was an Army cook for a period of time while I was in and fed over 1000 a meal with 6-10 Soldiers on shift so I will match my skills against anyone who is ready. After all post SHTF how hard can beans and rice be:) LOL
            I will readily admit I can never be as patient as most women/wives in the role of child care and giving love but don’t discount all of us as a knuckledragging cavemen either.

    • Its what people agree on , I seriously doubt that any ( American ) woman would accept that in todays world , pre or post SHTF . The colony would decide on how many or few laws it wants to live by , like I said , your starting from scratch with the chance to correct what was wrong with how things are now . How people in that case choose to do it is up to them .

    • STL Grandma says:

      Women’s lib will last all of 30 seconds after SHTF in a total apocolypse situation. I wish this weren’t so, but I truly believe that being relegated to our traditional roles will be the norm. And.. if there is conflict, that might be where the life-givers should be – protecting the next generation in the home, while the men are out guarding the peremeter.

      I could be crazy but history does bear this idea out. I can hope that I am crazy with this idea.. I wish I was wrong..

      • I am not, and never have been, a member of NOW or part of the women’s liberation movement. What choices I’ve made have always been my own. But I do recognize the ongoing struggle for women in terms of domestic violence, pay for the same work a man does and the realization that both men and women are human and not different species.
        My place in society is where I choose to make it and not subject to anyone else’s decree, especially in a post-SHTF world.
        I’ve never felt constrained by a “traditional” role and refuse to abide by it. I can, and have, done it all, both as a single parent(divorce) and as a married woman(now.)
        I’d rather be dead than to give up all that I have earned.

      • STL Grandma, Gender-based roles would probably become the norm but what, pray tell, would happen to all of the transgenders??? 😉

        • STL Grandma says:

          *chuckle* I guess they would have to work within the genders that they choose.. I hope they choose wisely.

    • This is a interesting subject to me, I would have a very hard time letting go of the ablity of having a voice in the process.

      My Mother came from a tradional large farming family of 13, and the male/female split was there to a point, however not nearly as strongly as in other families I have known, both sex’s were certainly taught cross over skills in what would have been tradional roles.

      My own parents raised myself and brothers the same way, we were all taught the same skills regardless of sex, it was just as common for me to be out working on the fencing with dad with brother in baking/canning with mom, they felt that what was important was that we have as wide of range of life skills as possable, including having us join the childrens gun club by the age of eight etc.

      I married a man who comes from a much more tradional family, who have some issues with the fact that I am not a “lady” in many ways in their minds but my Hubby does not mind, he has a job that can take him away for months at a time and he knows that I can hold the fort and thrive. In the arctic, most of the couples were without children and on very equal footing out at the camps etc.

      Having said that, when we moved down from the artic and got the farm, its been something of a surprise to us at how often we end up taking on more tradional roles, and I have seen it with my own friends on their farms, add in small little ones and like it or not, you will end up spending more time in the house, doing the cooking, canning etc, and if you are in the house, you might as well do the extra cleaning and laundry while waiting for the timers on things because its effective time use.

      This has been something that my girls night out Knitting Group have talked about a number of times, and I have to say that while I believe that we as women are capable of doing all jobs, that if you have to go back to a done by hand process, you will quickly see those roles splits come again.

      • farmgal, I married a man who also came from a “traditional” family and his mother once told me that I could be happy staying home and keeping house if I wanted to. I didn’t want to and couldn’t figure out why she’d say that after so many years of doing the same and whining all the way. Complaining to me, sotto voce, about being cold all the time and she couldn’t adjust the thermostat. When I told her to just turn it up she shushed me. They were quite well-to-do and could easily afford the expense of a few degrees of heat to keep her warm. Or when I took her shopping one day for some new clothes right after they went into assisted living. She needed his “approval” to buy some new items even after I offered to pay for them. Crazy stuff.
        She was aghast when I told them we did not co-mingle our finances(except for one joint account) but kept separate checking and savings accounts.

        • Linda

          wow, I could not stand that kind of nonsense, I will admit that Dh and I have a rule of talking to each other about things if they cost over a certain amount but the idea of having to ask if I can get new cloths or anything I consider a personal need is just not going to happen.

          His mother is in fact the other way, she feels I “should” have to work outside the home and farm.

          While a good amount of our finances are tied together, I have my own savings etc, we work hard to keep me in the picture now that I am full time at home on the farm, making sure a equal number of things are in my name only to keep the credit rating up etc.

          I have worked a number of jobs over the years, and made the choose to work on the farm, I have breeding programs on some of my critters that are quite successful, and I continue my education each year with updating course etc, Its part of the yearly budget and I know that my man thinks its just as important as me that I keep that up to date because life happens.

          I think Auntie Em Nailed it on the head, each member should have a say in community decisions be that in a family or in a larger group.

          • farmgirl, and I agree that our contributions should be based on merit and skill rather than chromosomal attributes.
            I can imagine me being assigned to daycare or the communal kitchen. I’d last about five minutes until someone threw me out. Then again, I’d make a lousy Wal Mart greeter, too. 😉

    • Auntie_Em says:

      Each adult should have a say or vote in community decisions. Male and female alike.
      As for everyone assuming traditional roles—it used to be that way because, centuries and eons ago it made the most sense. There were/are physical differences between men and women—generally men are larger boned, taller and have more muscle mass. This makes them better suited for certain kinds of tasks. Before the early 20th century, women tended the children because of nursing. Men can’t nurse, women can—and many children nursed until mom had the next baby—-like my great-grandma—babies were born about every two years.
      That being said, we have baby bottles now and nursing is not a matter of life and death. Many women born in the past 50 years tower over the size of average men from the 17th-19th centuries.

      I think in a post SHTF situation, tasks, duties etc could be chosen or assigned based upon talents and abilities. Some men and women (like me) are butter fingers/klutzes who should not do fine skilled hand work. But we are great at animal husbandry and gardening and etc. One’s place in the community should rest upon abilities and talents, not X and Y chromosomes.
      I am not now and was I ever a women’s libber. Ick. I figure common sense dictates that you should contribute in ways for which you are cut out to do so. If I became the cook in my post SHTF community, people would need a lot pepto bismol.

      • True that ,
        if they are smart about it , everybody will have a voice and share in the labor . Most small businesses I have ever worked in ,that doesn’t have a janitor , the employees are assigned a task on an assigned day to keep up with house keeping . Its the same tasks for everybody , just spread out over a month on keeping up with it . No , cleaning the shitter once a month isnt fun , but I use the shitter also . Nobody likes it , but at the same time they know its just their turn to do it and its nothing personal . No reason why this kind of thing wouldn’t happen in a settlement post SHTF .

    • templar knight says:

      Wow……great discussion. You folks got me to thinking, and I might be wrong, but historically the role of women has changed as society became more advanced. That’s one reason I don’t want to see a decline in Western Civilization, as it is the vehicle that has helped women gain control over their lives. When I look at the Middle East, and many parts of Africa, I notice that women do most of the every day grinding down kind of work. That is why the life span of women is short in these undeveloped areas. Truly, I don’t know what an economic collapse would bring to us, but my guess is that women would suffer the most. Why? Because they would be saddled with child rearing, along with all the other daily chores. Without access to birth control, unwanted pregnancies would likely skyrocket, not even counting the likely increase in sexual assaults. Add into the mix the more perilous aspects of childbirth in a SHTF situation, and things get even worse. For people like me and my wife, both of us on the back side of 40, I don’t see that much of a change in roles, but young women could be in for dramatic changes. Of course, preps could help alliviate some of these problems, so women should really be on board when it comes to prepping.

      • templar knight, an excellent comment. I grieve when I read of the hardships of women in third world countries and get really angry at how some women in this country are treated. I have a great appreciation for men who recognize this problem and am thankful to be married to one of them.

      • TK,
        I think you hit the nail right on the head. Women’s Liberation, or whatever you want to call it, was inevitable as technology became more ubiquitous in the home. A pioneer man spent from pre-dawn until post sundown behind a horse and plow, or a saw, or a splitting maul, or doing dozens of other chores. His wife was spending as much time and labor tending children, and a garden, and chickens, and a cow, and cooking from scratch after grinding the grain, to bake the bread from scratch. That bread was baked in a wood fired oven, in between doing laundry on a washboard. Housewife was a more than full time job that was only made a little easier as the children grew old enough to do some of the chores.
        Then enters technology. Packaged food, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, microwave ovens and a whole host of time and labor saving devices that did exactly that, saved the housewife both time and labor. All of a sudden the woman of the house could do all of her tasks in a rather leisurely 3 or 4 hours per day, and then eat bonbons and watch Oprah the rest of the day. Yea right, most women (like most men) would probably like the bonbons and TV for a week or two until they were bored to tears, and then something must change. This change was starting into the late 1930’s and then got a big kick in the pants during World War II, when the men went off to war and Rosie the Riveter found out that there was generally nothing that she couldn’t do. After the war came prosperous times, and although some women were content to stay home and be the mom, many who had proven themselves during the war were no longer satisfied and here we are today.
        I personally don’t think we can put that Genie back into the bottle, nor do I think we should try. Every person should be able to do whatever they can accomplish no matter their sex (NOT Gender, but that is another pet peeve for later). To paraphrase Martin Luther King, we should be more concerned with the content of their character, and their skills, because in the end, that is all that really counts.

      • There was an article on another site that addressed that issue but was too short . I think that would be a good post if some of the female commenters are up to the task . In the other article , they suggested birth control as a prep , and stocking it as you would anything else . Makes sense and would save a lot of heartache down the road if the SHTF does happen . They also suggested the yearly shot .

        • T.R., was this other site APN? Just curious, because there was a thread started about childbirth and a possible lack of adequate medical facilities/assistance.

          • No it was SC , but more articles about the subject would only help the situation . My great grandma was a midwife . In her day when most people got around by horse and buggy , she was a godsend to rural people . She delivered babies on homesteads and ranches and made regular visits for general health as she practiced holistic medicine as well . In some states a woman can still get a midwife certification . The more , the better if you believe in TSHTF .

  10. James from Iowa says:

    One question I’d have for such a colony/community/group/commune (whatever term they’d use) — by what means could someone voluntarily leave the settlement? I’ve read other ideas about forming such groups for post-shtf world. They always mention the importance of screening potential members, which is all well and good. But, how about a family that joins up and later on says ‘nah…this isn’t for us…we’re moving on’. What then?

    • You let them leave, wish ’em well…
      Before the apocalypse leaving is easy, after the apocalypse almost suicide.

    • then they just leave ………. simple as that . Pioneers did the same thing .

      • If the group functions with common sense , they wouldn’t want to try and force people that were discontent with the situation stirring up more problems in their own ranks than the settlement would already have , and would want them to leave . If people are that unhappy they will find a way to go anyway .

  11. Auntie_Em says:

    I would think that for many average, middle America preppers their post-SHTF community will be more of a group of extended family members and/or church members and/or long-time-friends that one has known for at least 5-10 years.
    M.D, you presented forth excellent ideas forth here, today. I think many could be able to take your ideas and put them to valuable use.

    On the other hand, a lot of preppers cannot—for whatever reason—move to rural property and start up a rural self-sufficient community. There are so many thousands of prepper families where the family income is tied to an urban job. Where life must go on, for now, in an urban or suburban location. That’s just the way it is. For families with kids—not everyone can homeschool—-and in some states they are trying to outlaw homeschooling. So some families still rely on private, charter or public schools which means living close enough to a town or city or suburb for the kids to get to and from shcool. Many would probably like to sell their urban/suburban property but with the real estate market the way it is —–just couldn’t sell their home. They are stuck for now in the city or suburbs….some have their homes “underwater”. I wish I could sell my home and buy rural acreage—but there are insurmountable reasons why I cannot.

    I think that urban and suburban preppers can develop close networks with likeminded folks who live within a reasonable geographical radius. But if it isn’t realtives (trusted and like-minded) or friends you KNOW you can trust with your life—it becomes a challenge. It takes a long time to get to know new acquaintances well enough to where you can smell a rat or detect a true loyal person.

    I think that successful groups of mutual support after TEOTWAKI will be small and built upon years of mutual friendship or kinship—not so much governmental in nature and not complex. Kind of a “pull your own weight and contribute or leave the group”. He/she who doesn’t contribute doesn’t eat. Of course, elderly, chronically ill, disabled, etc should be compassionately cared for. I guess I see it as, if you stick with people you already KNOW will treat you and your property with respect—–people you know you can trust with your life—then there won’t be a need to exert a quasi-governmental structure on the situation. I guess ideally, one’s mutual support group should be people that you KNOW can live with you on an honor system. That’s why to limit the group to those you truly know well.

    For those who never had the opportunity or ability or time to develop a large network of acquaintances (whether through work, church, community organizations, volunteer orgs, hobby groups etc.) then family and/or select group of long-time friends will end up being the mutual-support-survival group. Likely less than 3 dozen “members” for the average situation; and based upon the fact that you KNOW who the heck you are dealing with (because you have known them well for years.) Just my thoughts on the subject….based upon personal experiences.
    But I know that every situation will be different—and each person has to work within their own circumstances as they best see fit. Do what will work for you in your unique situation.

  12. You are probably unaware of it, but where you are sitting there are many survival groups. they are called families. And they have aligned themselves with other families for many, many, generations. Walk thur the any one of the family cemetraies and you will see a large group of same names as well as other names. In some communities where you live this survival grouping has gone on for two hundred years or more.
    My second cousin is the chief deputy, my granduncle a judge, my father and uncle taught school in the same mountain country for 40 years. My family is related to 20 or 30 other promient families by direct kin lines. The strongest ties are blood.I really don’t know how you can replace that with a self interest group.
    One other thing, any idea why the mountains where you live are not heavily populated? Because life is harsh and the work back breaking hard. I have lived without electricity and stood in a wash tub on Saturday night and taken a bath in front of a stove. I watched my school teacher dad split wood, haul water for the school from the spring, and then go home and do the same thing. Without modern tools the mountnains are cold and harsh and will kill you just for standing around looking stupid. It is not a place for a bunch of flatlanders without strong backs and determination.

    • Auntie_Em says:

      So right, Teacher. Isn’t that what our primitive ancestors did thousands of years ago—-small communities were based upon kinship groups. People related to each other by blood.

    • Families are the primary community.
      Don’t knock us flatlander’s. We are pretty handy sometimes. And most are not stupid enough to go somewhere where they know they are not able to get on with life. (I’m not talking about the tourist mentality)
      Those wash tubs are kinda handy ain’t they? Been looking to get one. Saturday nights come faster than one thinks.
      You have been lucky to already have the abilities that you have and the large family to lean on. I would envy you but it would not be to any advantage to me.
      But I would like to have a place not necessarily in a high altitude but one out of the city.
      But if you see a wrinkled old lady standing in hip deep snow with a stupid look on her face say hi to her, cause it is probably me.

  13. I have no idea how any of these plans can or will work. The possibilities and impossibilities are both great.
    As has been said the family group is one of the best options.

  14. I think that living like people did 400 years ago would be the most sustainable way to survive. Yes, I’m talking about the native American Indians – they lived here for thousands of years.

    The central theme is much the same as what you describe except: the homes were simple (Teepee) so that they could move with the food supply or move to avoid attack by other tribes.

    The elders were the decision makers – since they have lived this long (done something right) but, there was also “counsel”. The Indians did not have a large political system or a “caste” (lower/middle/upper income) system. You could be an elder if you can live long enough.

  15. An idea from the 70’s that pretty much didnt work then— the commune. Most of the communes failed because of the same reasons. A few people working to support everyone else, people not pulling their own weight. The concept might seem attractive, but will ultimately fail.

    • They also failed because of the guru they were following was a meat head dictator.
      They started to have kids and needed money so they had to go the route they were hip dipping against. The women started making quilts and selling them along side the road so Moonbeam and Sunshine had clothes. They entered the Free Enterprise system they so hated.
      Most of the hippies soon realized they had a college education and why should they live like that. They went home to Mom and Dad’s and cleaned up and got a job.
      Plus a lot of the hippies decided to enter politics to change the world sneaky snake and underhandedly, but only after making a bundle of money somewhere else so they could live a better lifestyle,with the intention of being able to screw yours and mine up.
      Nope the “70’s” commune was a disaster but the guy that didn’t work it was because he was sittin’ with a blue haze around him happier that a dog with a bone and in a world of his own.

  16. riverrider says:

    all, my idea was not a commune so much as a community. like the old days. amish and to some degree lds’s today. for instance, 116 acre plot is the same price here as 5 acres. why not get together on it, but each have our own place. yet, we don’t all need tractors or a particular empliment at the exact same time, so we each buy one piece and together we have the whole set. help each other with house/barn building etc so nobody pays labor. i buy genny, you buy gas etc. and we all watch each others backs. thats what i envisioned. justa dream to be sure, but it would be the untimate in common sense. just like why do 2 elderly folks live poor seperate when they cold live rich together? or youngins for that matter. we’ve gotten so damn independant, we don’t know how to live together any more. when i was young, the whole extended family lived on the same farm in seperate houses, having seperate lives until it came need to get together. of course there was sunday dinner, attendance mandatory:) take care all….

    • Even in the Amish and LDS communities you have someone running the show. You better believe it and if you don’t obey them you are shunned.
      You would end up buying the generator and the gas and then someone borrowing it and not bringing it back. Way of the world my friend. That is why most of us are loners.

  17. jaxhaus says:

    Howdy, friends.
    The idea of a group of LMI’s getting together and forming a “family”
    group where everyone shares the work to keep the group going, has been of interest to me for years. I have put on paper, the outline for such a group with a central meeting house/kitchen/dining facility and separate living cottages for each family or group of friends. Everyone would have to be of like mind in order for it to work though. I envision a small homestead-like plot where all meat, fruit and vegetables could
    be grown and shared equally. In a TEOTWAWKI situation, when there is no longer any law enforcement, the group should be able to protect themselves and one another. It would be difficult to set up and regulate such a unit but it could be done.

    • Encourager says:

      @Jaxhaus, great ideas. However, what would you do with those who won’t pull their own weight? I don’t mean those who physically couldn’t but those who won’t. It seems like any group I have belonged to, church comes readily to mind, the work is done by 10% (or less) of the people in the congregation; there are always those who like others to do the work. Even in the food co-op I recently joined, only a few show up to help unload the trucks, divide the food, take bulk items home to weigh and pack up, and these folks get burned out FAST. We have always joined the ‘workers’ and it sometimes irritates the heck out of me to do the work while the 90% sit on their respective bums, telling the workers how they are doing it all wrong… Never have figured out how to fix that; so how would you handle it on such a large scale? Very curious. Would love to know. Seriously.

      • Reply to Encourager: You bring up some excellent points which would have to be dealt with before they actually became a problem in any group, be it family, friends, etc. My idea on how to handle a person who refuses to pull his own weight would be to ban him/her from the group. This would only work if all others in the group work together and physically force out, if necessary, any person who will not cooperate and do his/her share of the work. Even a disabled person can usually be of assistance to the group in some way even though they might not be able to do the hard physical type chores. I firmly believe that the idea of a group living in harmony where EVERYONE does his/her part, will work. I also believe that every adult, male or female, should have equal say as to any regulations, laws, etc. that are agreed upon. However, some persons can cook and some simply cannot. Some can cut and split wood and some cannot. Some can teach, practice medicine, farm, etc., etc., etc.
        All should do what they do best, as to what will be best for the community. It can work but only if everyone will work together.


    • I looked into an Intentional Community just the one you envisioned. It cost 750,000 to buy a house on the land trust.
      It was set up like a town square. They had a communal dining area that people took turns cooking for everyone and also the equiptment that everyone could check out.
      If you wanted to leave the community you could only sell your house to someone that was approved by the board. Way too restrictive for me but might work for some. Like I said there is always someone running the show “and if you don’t like it you can always move”.

  18. Matt in Oklahoma says:

    Trust is going to be my largest issue with this. I can not see trusting anyone this much.
    There is a reason there are not already colonies everywhere. There are to many viewpoints, loss of freedoms, lack of trust, dislike of various things and people, laziness, back biting etc.
    Truth is this colony theory with it’s leadership, laws, constitution and rules doesn’t sound that much different or on a different path than where we are at right now.
    I can see where this would become possible post SHTF but how long would it hold together I wonder?

    • Matt, this is what I have been trying to say but I am not as articulate as you. Thank You.

    • Good question . Some colonies made it , some didnt . Combat tends to galvanize a group , and if ” outside the walls ” is a bad world , people tend to straighten up and take notice . Then again it could turn out as you described . Why didn’t all our troops desert Valley Forge and just go home instead of going through the misery ? Peer Pressure is one of the answers . Just a scenario .

    • Sorry, but I don’t even trust all my family members. Most of them think preppers are nut-cases, and I would not share any info with them or let them know about our stores, because they will undoubtedly become moochers and would not mind taking food out of my own family’s mouths.

      When I can’t trust my own family, I am certainly not going to trust people I barely know.

      BUT I am open to forming a neighborhood/small community peace officer patrol that has members patrolling the neighborhood to keep intruders and invaders out- but not making and enforcing rules within the community. No more tyrannical local governments for me.

      Beyond that, I am not a believer in communitarianism or communism. It has never worked to the advantage of the hardworking and the hard thinking.

  19. Muddy Fork says:

    Having been involved in a city planning commission and with several hunting clubs over the years, including one with a very nice lodge, barn, and property, I can assure you the social/personality issues would become a major problem. Regardless of the individual, everyone will tend to “fend for their own” even in the new community. The rules would have to be clear and concise. To give you an example, the bylaws for one hunting camp were well written and covered everything from game management quotas to expulsion, to what happens to your portion of the buy-in funds if you are divorced. FYI, in the case of divorce the spouse would have zero rights to any of the property and or the funds used for the buy-in. Yes, it has stood up in several court cases. There are numerous templates out there to use for such a venture but it will never survive with the wrong mix of families. EVERY family member must be on board so, good luck to those who try.

  20. I love my large family, I really do, but the greatest day of my life was when struck out on my own and became independent. We know we can rely on each other, and have done so, but I would prefer not to live in a multi-generational setting. As the youngest of 7 children I’ve come to enjoy being different than the rest and not content with the way they chose to live. They’ve come to respect that. Although a few of the older siblings had a modicum of common sense, the rest made poor choices and I suspect that if we were forced to be together for a long period of time there’d be a fracture.

  21. “JC July 27, 2011 at 1:50 PM
    An idea from the 70′s that pretty much didn’t work then— the commune.”

    I think JC has it right; the idea of one for all and all for one instead of group security allowing the individual to be free and prosper has killed more “communities” than any other idea tried since James Town. Familiar with the early pilgrims (?) that starved doing exactly the proposed community when individualism was subjugated to the group. The “commune” is a suicide pact in a SHTF post world and will always be although it may spontaneously form for a short time as a matter of survival until individualism rears its head in defiance of the group and its (usually) one strong leader that has beat out all others. Think feudalism.

    • Yes and No ,
      good points but in a total collapse , settlements will start poping up all over the place for initial protection . Feudalism is what the overall situation would be in the nation ( all nations ) However , the character of each settlement will be totally different . Just like the prepared and unprepared individual . Those that are unprepared will be forced to raid , those that are prepared will have advantage and still retain the structures of order , decency , ethics , and honor . A thought out a well planned settlement with enough people could live reasonably well , even in that environment ( notice I said live and not survive . The other people would be merely surviving , The people in the settlement would actually have a life ) Seriously , I found plans for a parrot rifle made out of steel pipes and hinges , etc. welded ( you do need welding skills ) Point is , this information is out there now and is easily made . A settlement with this kind of things could take out vehicles and people very easily in defense . Sounds far fetched ? why ? people do crazier things every day on their own . Your already stocking guns and ammo . Reloaders require bulk powder preps right now .Parrot rifles are breech loaders , easy to train people to operate . A solid shot from one will mangle a vehicle , and the rounds for canister shot are dirt simple to make . I dont have to tell you how horrific and effective canister shot was in the civil war . Most of the parts are easily found in a junk yard to make these things ( I would buy new pipe ) already . Think outside the box and planning are key to both group and individual survival . Somebody once told me , that in relation to human beings , if we can think of it , somebody somewhere has tried it or is doing it now .

  22. The idea of “starting with a clean slate”, yet requiring background checks, is…well-intentioned, but misinformed. I’m glad there is someone in my group who did time–it made him one of the most resourceful people I’ve known, and it has given him more actual “survival experience” than anyone else as a result. Some of the things he taught us, and situations he was presented with, carry serious benefits post-shtf. And all the members of our group know one another’s story in detail, and would trust our lives in the hands of any of the other members. Sometimes people it’s a simple matter of wrong place, wrong time or bad luck.

    As for governance, the primary thing our society lost on it’s way to hyper-litiguity was common sense. Find people with similar values, similar notions of common sense, and the majority of problems will cease to arise in the first place, let alone need resolution.

  23. As I read the original comment, the first thing that popped into my mind, as someone else also mentioned, was the Branch Dividians. It seems that anytime a group of like-minded individuals decides to form a self-sustaining community or commune for out-of-the-mainstream reasons, immediately they become targets for government scrutiny.

    It also seems to me that the type of community operations necessary would be different between pre-SHTF and post-SHTF. I assume that pre-SHTF, the community would seem more or less like a sect settlement such as the Amish or Mennonites have where they are somewhat separate from the mainstream community but still associate with them on a regular basis.

    Perhaps a post-SHTF settlement would require a set-up similar to medieval times when villages were surrounded by walls and moats to protect the inhabitants and their possessions from raids by other settlements. Post-SHTF living is going to be pretty primative, I assume, where you have to have your plan and acquisitions beforehand. I suspect that without our accustomed law and order, there is going to be a lot of vicitmization of isolated individuals at the hands of roaming bands of essentially robbers. Think what happened in New Orleans after Katrina when roaming armed gangs were looting and shooting, and organized neighborhoods blocked access to their areas and posted armed guards 24/7 to defend it from the gangs.

    Several years ago, I read about a group of Christians who had an idea of finding a place to resettle to with the intent of running for public office and essentially taking over town councils, etc. to try to re-establish traditional American culture in that area. The name of the group was Christian Exodus, and in checking Google, I see that they have a website called Apparently they have found a location in Montana where they are re-locating to. I also see that Rev. Chuck Baldwin who was the Constitution Party candidate for President of the U.S. in the 2008 election is part of the group. Perhaps we could get some ideas about how to bring a survivalist colony to fruition by studying what the Christian Exodus and similar groups have already done.

    • theres a guy named (spelling) bo gritze. i believe hes a radio talk show host and decorated nam vet. he ha a community of like minded individuals that he has started a community with.some are a bit hardcore to the point where they wont insure or register their cars. i think he was also accused of racism a while back. dont know much about him other than they featured him on a tv show a year ago.

      • i just got back from googlizing it. his name is bo gritz (rhymes with rights) he is/was associated with a community called almost heaven.the internet is an amazing thing!

      • Bctruck, I seem to recall that Bo Gritz was the specific individual that Randy Weaver (the suvivalist that the Feds attacked before the Branch Davidian boondoggle, and wounded his son and killed his wife while she was inside the house holding their baby) identified as the only person he would be willing to negotiate with regarding leaving his property.

        I believe you are correct about Bo Gritz also being a former Army officer who served heroically in Viet Nam.

        • dave,that is the guy. the atf killed his son and wife while she was standing on the porch unarmed holding an infant. his son was running away and was shot in the back. i know a little more about this than most people. ive met randy weaver on several occasions and spoke to him at length about his version of how it happened. its nothing like the official version. they tried to demonize him by calling him a racist and supremacist. he was niether. he was a seperatist only because of his religous beliefs. sadly,he is now a devout and outspoken athiest.anywho,i better move on. i cant think of anything nice to say about the ATF except someday they retire.

          • well we tried to set it right in 1861 😉

            stars and bars !

            • riverrider says:

              tr, yeah, theres a song by hank jr. that says “i bet ole abe didn’t know it’d turn out this way”. this is what happens when do-gooders get involved in something they know nothing about. and don’t get me started on “repairations”. keep the flag flying.

          • riverrider says:

            bc, bush 1 was about to roll the atf, dea, fed marshals, immigration,and secret service into the fbi, due to several factors but mostly duplication of effort, when they pulled off the randy weaver fiasco. they were looking to say” look at what we can do” so their little kingdom wouldn’t be absorbed into fbi. i can’t figure why that plan wasdropped. it was brought up again right before the branch davidian incident by slick willy, with the same result. if you hear them talking about it again, hide! these agencies while useful at one point, have built little kingdoms for themselves where they think they rule supreme and will do anything to preserve it and expand. they need to be broken up every so often. i would say absorbed into the fbi but that would make fbi HUGE and even more powerful. power corrupts.

        • Bo Gritz was, I believe, a field grade officer (maybe a Major or maybe a Lt. Colonel) in Special Forces in Viet Nam. After the war he worked for Hughes Aircraft in the El Segundo/Culver City area of California. He was involved, for awhile, in trying to organize para-military rescue missions into Viet Nam to rescue POWs who were believed to be held there.

  24. Florence Nightingale says:

    An example of a HOA or town effecting laws that are questionable is the case ofJulie Bass of Oakpark,Michigan who was given a ticket for growing a garden in her front lawn.The city says only suitable plant material is acceptable and Julie says her 5 raised bed gardens are suitable.She was facing a misdeameanor.trial,until charges were mysteriously dropped.Where I live,people dislike HOA so would a commune that sets up its ordinances be any different from what Julie faced???

    • They dropped those charges and when the media spotlight went dim,they assaulted her with charges for not registering her dogs. Bastards!!! I hate organizations that exist just to assault people with more and more rules to govern even the smallest details of our lives. I saw pictures of her raised bed gardens. They where beautiful. She shared veggies with her neighbors. No one complained. A code enforcement officer decided to make an example of her. She also said the only way anyone could see her dogs is to climb over her fence. Well my bloods boiling now. I’m gonna get a dew and chill.

      • lone survivor says:

        Codes enforcment go around cities writing out tickets to raise money to pay for all the politicians pet projects.
        I believe the “codes” people get a commission on each ticket that they write out! They love to go out and harass people.
        in my city, the “codes” people started giving out tickets to business owners flying flags outside their businesses saying that car drivers would see the flags and then crash their cars! WTF???
        When asked just what law they were breaking, the “codes” people couldn’t state one but gave them a ticket anyways! And told the business owners that if they didn’t pay the ticket, that a warrent for their arrest would bec issued and they would be arrested by the police! The small business owners should pack up and move to a different city where they would like to have small businesses open up and supply jobs and tax money.

  25. Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

    We could pool our money, or find a benevolent millionaire, and buy this town.

    My family and I can’t even get along, so as much as I like the people who post here I doubt we could get along or agree – especially during very stressful times.

    I am not ready to give up on this country yet, I think we should work together to save it from Marxists, the EPA, the Fed, and PETA. “United We Stand,” remember?

    Thanks, T.R., for the brain exercise.

  26. Judy(another one) says:

    One of the biggest issues I see is you get more than one person in a room and someone is jockeying for the ‘alpha’ position in the group, particularly the male of the species. This is not a put down of men, just a fact, because we are animals, it is genetics. Every watch dogs, cattle, chickens or even ants? There are ‘alphas’ in those groups. Which is where the fears of some of the women expressed here comes from. We as women know in most of the world and in certain groups in this country, women are not treated as equals and are abused because of it.

    The next problem is each and every one of us shares a common personality trait of being independent. None of us are ‘followers’, sheeple if you will. The nuts and bolts of peaceably living together would never be agreed upon. The only times that we might even come close to being of one mind, would be if someone were actually firing on us. Which, in my opinion, was one the downfalls of the Native Americans. Each Native American group or tribe was doing their own thing. They were not a united front against the European.

    The next issue, in my mind is the sociological fact that groups larger that 150 people don’t work well. 150 is about the outer-limits of what one individual can keep track of psychologically. Groups larger that 150 began to become ineffective at getting anything done (too many rules), the pecking system gets out of hand (elitism), and you develop haves and have-nots (conspicuous wealth and abject poverty). Which is why the Amish, I believe, maintain small groups and aboriginal groups the world over don’t get much larger than extended family groups, so when the in-fighting gets out of hand the group splits into smaller groups.

    Would I love to live in a community of individuals that shared my basic tenet ‘live-n-let-live’? You bet! Where there is no ‘us vs. them’? You bet! Where common sense and the school of hard knocks ruled? You bet! But, you and I know some group would always be there trying to impose their will upon the rest of us. Man! What a pessimist!

    • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

      Judy(another one), I think you pretty well hit the nail on the head, “None of us are followers”….
      I was in the US military for 21 years. That was difficult for me personally as quite a few of those years, I was “lead” by people I didnt particularly like/agree with. Today, I wouldnt do it, gotten stubborn in my (older) age. I’ve been involved with other types of group activities that involved “rules” or “laws” and it is frequently the “alphas” that make or break that group, but also what I call “nulls” that cause problems. The “nulls” are the ones that wont participate, that wont help out, that wont take any responsibilities. Too many nulls leave too much work for those that step up to the plate.
      If this community was limited to mutual self defense and law enforcement (of a VERY limited nature), perhaps education, then I could buy into this….does this sound like the U.S. of many years ago?

      • There is an old saying ” the best man for the job is the man that doesn’t want it ” thats how you keep ” alpha egomaniacs ” in check .Ya dont give em the power they want . Benedict Arnold was an alpha egomaniac ….. ended up despised and distrusted by both sides . Nulls are a hard situation to deal with . In a post SHTF situation , where there is legitimate necessity that they can clearly see , then they may step up to the plate for no other reason than they have to for their own best interest . Then again , its not a guarantee .

        • templar knight says:

          There is a scripture in the Bible that applies very well to the nulls,

          If you don’t work, you don’t eat.

          The vast majority of people, even the nulls, want to eat.

          • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

            T.R. and T.K. both good comments. I particularly like the “dont work, dont eat” scripture reference. Maybe we ought to institute that here in the U.S. I’ve seen it work in other countries, while it might not be the best food, it is food to survive on.

            • Yeah , Unless your one of these people that are already living on what they can grow and raise right now , our post SHTF diet isn’t going to be the best to begin with .

  27. SrvivlSally says:

    No comment.

  28. If in the US and the situation was not just TEOTWAWKI but WROL, a strict community such as the one laid out might stand a good chance for survival, maybe even thriving well. Of course, given the fact that the Federal Government is a multi-headed monster, WROL would not last long at all. So unless there were extreme catastrophic events, I personally find the concept too restrictive. I would also worry greatly about being a Federal target. Remember that The Force preceded The Dark Lord.

    If the colony scenario were to be played out in another country where WROL was established, or if the colony were established on an independent island, a colony might stand a higher chance for survival. But remember Jamestown….

    Like Riverrider explained, a community of like-minded individuals could jointly purchase land and could create their community. The large plot of land could legally be subdivided into separate parcels. No HOA need to be written as good neighbors and friends would obey The Golden Rule. Personal commitments to the land, lifestyle, and community would not need to be legislated if value systems and beliefs were shared. In this sense, I could become a “colonist” although this type of a colony development is really not much more than being a landowner, a friend and good neighbor.

    • K Fields says:

      Could you explain what WHOL is? I seem to have trouble keeping all the acronyms used here straight.

      • riverrider says:

        k, wrol is Without Rule Of Law, in other words without law enforcement and where people are behaving badly.

        • you talking about our border with Mexico ? lol

          • templar knight says:

            Exactly, or the Obama Administration. They seem to think they are above the law. ATF Fast and Furious is just one of many examples. These people in the Obama Administration are so corrupt they are making “Tricky Dicky” Nixon look honest.

  29. blindshooter says:

    I can’t see the the us of a .gov going away in my lifetime unless we have a game changing event like yellowstone or an emp attack and I think the odds are low for those types of events. I can see the feds losing power to the states in a severe depression just because Washington’s main power comes from the parsing out of the money extracted from us in the form of taxes. What happens when economic activity or hyperinflation gets us to the point the .fed can’t extract enough in taxes to keep power? I can see a lot of states that don’t depend on the fed teat so much will get tired of sending treasure to dc just to see it disappear down a rat hole. We are headed for change, I just don’t know if it will be slow or fast or maybe even violent.

    No matter how the big picture works out it will be good to have family and what I call “tribe”. If you don’t know your neighbors and have a network of friends that you can depend on, life might be hard even in good times much less if things really turn down. I hope to be useful to my “tribe” so they will look after me when the inevitable bad times come for us all.

    • Good point , I wonder if the Soviet government even had a clue it was caving in , it happened so fast . Things today move a lot faster than they did in the past , and sometimes with little warning . What will be the straw that breaks the camels back ? I have no idea .

      • TR,
        Post collapse documents from the Soviet Union’s show that they were aware of their problems but didn’t have the political will or the knowledge to do anything about it. From the time Ronald Reagan made his “Evil Empire” speech, they knew that things were no longer going to be status quo anymore. When Reagan walked away from the Reykjavík summit rather than take SDI off the table, they basically knew it was over. Although we often talked about the cold war and the arms race, the truth of the matter is that they were racing at about 80+% of their GDP in military spending, while we by comparison where merely walking at something like 8% of our GDP. They knew that if we raised our spending by even 50% they had no chance of keeping up. In the same time frame you had massive dissent in the satellite nations, and groups like solidarity in Poland, along with a Polish pope who was putting huge pressure on them. IIRC he actually discussed going to his native Poland, renouncing the papacy and joining the movement. The USSR was under assault from many directions both internally and externally, with the only good thing being that they finally just gave up (as in not shooting people when the wall finally fell) when they could have turned very nasty in the short run. How that applies to US, I don’t know; however, those in authority never relish relinquishing it. In the end though, we do outnumber them, have a military and police that are for the most part just normal people like us, and then there’s that pesky 2nd amendment. I think we still have a chance to come out of this relatively intact, but I also think it will be a really bumpy ride.

  30. Government can not be avoided.
    1. Families are the smallest forms of government. Power lies in physical and psyhcological strengths, financial, direct and indirect support and yes, even sex.
    2. Anytime three or more people get together to work out a common problem, that is an exercise in government.
    3. After the SHTF there will be no federal, state, county, city, township, government. All of thier laws will be null and void. If this is not true then clearly the S has not HTF.
    4 Government will develop as neighbors start to work together and eventually as trade develops. See number 2 above.
    5. Neighbors will eventually find each other and eventually work together for common causes in the rural communities, in what use to be cities, towns, etc.
    6. No socialist community, from the original colony at Plymouth, the 60’s hippy communes, or the Soviet Union, ever accomplished more then minimal survival, at best. One year to 70 years, they all fail.
    7. The framework for the most successful government in mankinds history is still there, We just have to return to it. Put it in modern english and move on. If you don’t understand it, read Glen Becks book, The Original Argument.
    8 Remember that we are always human and we are not perfect.
    9. Compromise when ever possible.
    10 When it is not possible, when it is B & W, right vs wrong, stand your ground and remember, what is right is usually the hardest choice.

    • as far as #6 goes, I suggest you check out the hutterite (anabaptists, like the amish and mennonites) colonies in the Canadian prairies. Internally communal and governed by a group of elders. Everything is held in common – livestock, gardens, workshops. They’ve existed for 400 years, and have been succesful in North America for 125.

      • Good Point about the hutterite’s, my folks and family always did a lot of trading or buying directly from them, my mother even went and lived with them for two weeks as a teenager as a program though school to experance a different culture.

        The really funny part of that story is that her an a few other girls from German background who had proved to fit in well and who had seemed to really like one of their young men, was asked if they would like to stay.. so my momma always teased us that if she had not already been dating my dad, that I could have been one.

        They have been doing very well in alberta/sask, the number of new colonies that are being started is impressive, its true they do share everything in common in regards to ownership but they do have their own homes, are given things that are their own to take home ( example, I was there once with my mom and we stayed for dinner, it was odd to have to sit with the ladies but after dinner everyone was picking up huge box’s of chocolates to take home to their own homes) and do have spending money etc.

        • I’ve always though that one of the reasons that they are so succesful is because they are internally communal. They don’t have to constantly compete against thier neighbours, just against the outside world. Course, I’ve never met any, cuz as far as I know, there aren’t any in Ontario and I’ve never been further west than Winnepeg

          • Correct, but they each have their own living space within the communtity itself, most I have seen would be considered row housing, eight or ten each apartments within the same building etc.

  31. worrisome says:

    “tis a difficult situation…. standing alone in a real bad situation probably wouldn’t work. No one person can stand guard 24/7, work to keep a garden going and defend themselves all the time. But, having to work with others does create alpha issues and responsibility issues and then there is always someone who either doesn’t do enough or thinks they are doing too much and whine…………..Hard to figure out……..

    • Yep ,
      thats the problem with humans , it will never be easy , it will never be perfect .

  32. alikaat says:

    Hi All-
    I’ve read all of your comments with great interest. I just found this blog this evening. I had no idea there were so many people out there who feel the way my friends and I do, who have independently come up with many of the same solutions to what we feel is coming to our once great country.
    A little background; we are all scientists or engineers affiliated with one or another of the local colleges, and we all have children that range in age from newborn to college-age. Some of our members have military service backgrounds, while at least one other has a less honorable past, but he is probably our most creative and resourceful member. We have all been close friends for many years, but the knowledge that we all felt the need to prepare ourselves and our children for a less stable future came gradually… yet we have all felt that way since long before any of us knew one another. Each of us can claim a passion for being able to build useful things or perform functions that mainstream society would call a lost art. Together we number only about a dozen adults and a few more than a dozen children, but we have all of the most necessary skills needed to maintain a civilization of at least the level maintained by our grandparents.
    But that would be in an EOTWAWKI situation. I don’t really believe this will be the case. More likely, one or the other of us will be called upon to fill in when the current status quo falters a bit in the coming years… if there is a food shortage, or our children need shoes or a warm coat, or medical care is unavailable. One of us has the ability to make sure we don’t go without… and as a result, will perhaps be in better shape to weather whatever is ahead than the public at large.
    It is interesting that each of us has chosen in our careers, paths that attempt to improve the lot of society. Some through improved engineering of some appliance so that it needs less power, or use of recycled materials to make solar arrays, or nursing in a low-income free clinic with many elderly, or chasing down the molecules responsible for certain diseases… we all desire to stave off what is coming, for as long as we can. None of us wants to see the suffering that will be rampant, or perhaps we just don’t want to feel so guilty when we see our children so healthy compared to others who were not so prepared as we all are…
    What my friends and I have built is nothing like a commune, but rather a network, or alliance of families. It is a community of like minds, and is not something that would ever attract governmental intervention or require laws. And it is our insurance and hope for a best chance for our childrens’ futures.

  33. overkill750 says:

    Back in the late 70’s I was introduced to survivalist mind-set and I am sorry to say that I drifted away from it somewhat. I still collected guns and skills that I hope will be useful to any community.
    But I think that we are all to independent to live together but I believe that we can use these social network to work together for our own good. But when I was young we would help our friends and friends of friends. We all did our own thing but we would talk. We would plan what we would plant so that we did not all plant the same stuff. That way we did not flood the local market and we could trade produce or labor. I think that it was a good method and we would trade our trades. Like if you are in construction, you trade a days work for a doctors visit. or a some eggs for a little help with rebuilding a motor.
    but working together we are all in better shape.

    • My grandparents ( and many people ) went through the great depression with the barter system . They had a self sustaining homestead ranch and would trade beef for what else they needed . Worked well , and there was even an understood ” barter currency trade value ” between the farmers and ranchers . When WW2 broke out and rationing started , they had more gas and could get tires easily as ranching was considered a vital industry .

  34. Have a look at:
    An interesting story about a post-apoc settlement.

  35. Stephen says:

    One thing we all must understand, is that in a post shtf world, the fedgov is not only not going to go away, but will in fact get worse. Much has been done to insure the survival of a standing government, and so its military as well.
    When you start considering a colony, with resources, and people. you must first consider that the larger you become, the more attention you will get. Moats, ditches, walls, elected government, farms, etc. become irresistable prey for whatever force governs the land as a whole.
    also consider this:
    If one person needs 1 pound of food per day to stay alive, 50 people will need 50 pounds per day. 350 pounds per week. 1500 pounds per month. See how quickly this adds up?
    thats not even considering water, or sanitation.
    All of this adds up to one very important fact, the logistics of creating a colony are staggering even for a small number of people, and will attract more attention than you want. As for me, and mine, it will be a few dugout cabins, in a remote area, arranged in a small defensive ring, quietly using few resources, and little, if any attention.

  36. I have not read all the comments yet, but I am surprised at the number of folks that see this as odd or strange yet it was exactly how our nation started. If you study the stories of the early colonies, the challenges they faced and solutions they found would likely be the same now-with different twists of course. Strategies for survival are all about cohesion 1) strong leadership (militaristic even) reference Capt John Smith and others -2) Strong morale code and common religious beliefs (not much room for differences – or else) 3) Self sacrifice in the name of the community – not individual liberty.. I am all for liberty, but folks tend to forget that it did not become possible until basic survival needs were met by working together in the group’s interest – community food stores, community service/designated jobs. Good subject. It shoudl provoke further reading of our beginnings as a way to learn to cope. Jamestown is a great start..Just had 400th anniversary.

  37. Here’s a link to an interesting 50 minute video titled “Without Rule of Law – Resurgence of Community” Seems appropriate here.

  38. templar knight says:

    MD, your blog has truly attacked some very intelligent people in the US and Canada, and other parts of the world as well. My gosh, I haven’t heard this much informed discourse in many a year. You should be congratulated. And some of you people should run for Congress.

    • we are not corrupt enough for congress .

      • maybe we just don’t have enough power yet. I”d bet a lot of politicians start out with good intentions, but once lobbyists and corporations start dangling big sacks of cash in front, if they’ll “just do us this little faour.” I’d like to think that I’d stand, but as the saying goes, I’m not a coward, I’ve just never been tested

        • templar knight says:

          I’ll bet you’re right. Most probably have the best of intentions, but they get to Washington, or Ottawa in your case, and change. Especially Washington, as it is a bizarre place. I think I’m strong in my convictions as well, Dash, but I haven’t been tested, either.

        • Thats the problem , the people dont have enough power . Get rid of the senate and put the American people in its place .

          • TR,
            You don’t have to get rid of the Senate, just repeal the 17th amendment, so Senators become representative of their states instead of their parties or their own interests. In 1913, we got the Federal Reserve, the 16th Amendment (Income tax), and the 17th Amendment (direct popular election of senators), none of which were accidental. Getting rid of the 17th would once again make senators pay attention to the interest of their states, since the state legislatures could simply recall them, regardless of campaign funding, etc. Although not the total solution, it would make a good start.

        • I don’t think it has to do with convictions as much as intentions. The founding fathers intended someone who was successful sacrificing a few years of their life to “serve” and wanting to desperately get back to their life. If you went with that intention you are pretty much incorruptible, like many of the new tea party freshmen have been demonstrating. Internally they have been offered committee assignments, campaign financing and the like, and have told the leadership to pound sand, because they are honoring the commitment that they made to their constituents, and if the constituents turn out to be fickle and un-elect them next time, then so be it.
          OTOH, if you look at congress and politics as a full time job and crave the money and the power, and like Rep. Anthony Weiner who was just recently forced to resign from congress have never had another career, then you will do what it takes to get and keep that power and to keep getting re-elected. Your intentions are to make this a career at all costs and will bring home the bacon to keep getting elected. Unfortunately many constituents who are just as selfish will keep electing you because of that bacon.
          In some ways we all must take some responsibility here.
          I for one think I could do a responsible job because you would have to drag me to DC, and as en engineer I see clear cut solutions and generally don’t tolerate the BS I see there; which means I would probably want to come home after the first week. In short, I like my life as it is, and “serving” would be a sacrifice. Perhaps in the end, that is the key. Service without some type of sacrifice becomes too often self serving.

      • ROFL! That is bumper sticker stuff!!

        “We The People are not corrupt enough for Congress.”

      • alikaat says:

        Nor are we as superficially squeaky-clean. Our souls may be a bit lighter, but that rarely survives the onslaught of power. Power corrupts.
        I don’t envy our statesmen and women. You’re right – it is probable that few of them go into public service intending to keep things the way they are. Most of the young ones go in because they have something they want to fight for. No one would ever choose to undergo the level of scrutiny and stress on themselves and their family if there was not some cause driving them. But the sheer inertia of the process, the enormous amount of resistance to any change knocks the wind out of their sails, renders them beaten men… and they become just another part of the problem rather than a part of the solution.
        The system is broken… good people become bad, well-intentioned become listless, and in the end, nothing really changes, no matter which party is in power or who is funding it. I think, rather than focus our attention on our representatives, we need to focus on ourselves and how we conduct our lives. Make small improvements, become a positive influence on those around us, islands in a sea of apathy and waste. If enough islands exist, perhaps we will eventually merge and become something greater. That is the definition of grassroots movement.

        • Im very Jeffersonian on certain subjects . I do believe that either revolution or another secession movement needs to happen to fix it at this point . I would have no problem and would actively participate in either .

          • I would also be in favor of trials for ” crimes against the people ” after it was all over as a message to future power brokers .

        • alikaat,
          I thinnk it really has more to to with character. If you have any, you will not last long in DC; If you last, you no longer have any.

  39. Southern Girl says:

    Greetings One and All. I’m new to this site but wanted to add to the talk. Right now our group is made of close family members. I’m very much for the voice of all members of the group to be heard. That the work is being done by the person with the most skill in that job. This being said; my daughter who is a very good shot, will still most likely be the one caring for the children. Why you say: because she would not hesitate to kill some who was trying to harm her children. But if she didn’t have children believe me she would up on the wall shooting right along with the rest of us. Also, I would like to be part of a bigger group of LMI for many reasons, the first and far most is that someday my grand children will grow up, who will they married if there is only close family members in your group… What good is it for you live if your family dies off because your children and grand children have no one for them. Something to think about.

  40. Aspiring Hermit says:

    Honestly, I think for any long term survival situation (we’re talking years here) a close knit, defensible community is going to be a must in almost every case. If you’re blessed with an area away from urban centers, or even large towns, then you could probably pull the solo family or two, but even then a few friendly houses within two-way distance isn’t a bad thing.

    The SHTF and there would be chaos unlike any of the unpreppared could imagine. 50,000 people who just realized there won’t be any more tractor trailers of food showing up at the grocery stores every morning? Not going to be a pretty site. Even if law enforcement can keep down a riot, robberies will sky rocket. But even with all that, I think a prepared family could stem the tide. A few loud shots and the mass of confused walking mouths will probably move on from your property.

    The big problem comes months to a year down the road. Numbers have dropped off alot, the sturdy and hard working have probably bargained their way on to farms, and the rest are SOL. As much as we don’t want to get too organized in fear of a tyrant, lots of others WILL organize and they almost certainly will have a tyrant (even if it’s posing as a new local government). The rest of the fodder will make up these ‘communities’ won’t want to work (just like they didn’t want to work before a collapse). The rabble that will have survived to this point are better at raiding than the cocky suburbanite who tries to rustle a few chickens and some squash out of your garden. A group of organized, armed, and ready killers will slowly but surely be able to pick of alot of the folks that don’t circle up, so to speak.

    Being able to share work loads and gaurd duty, plus get chores and building done more efficiently (ever try to bring in hay for the winter without a tractor to cut, bail and haul it?) will help you survive in more ways than one. Half a dozen or more families who’ve shown they are hardline and ready is definately not the soft target that these people look for.

    I think good people quickly get that you’ve gotta do what needs to be done, even if it’s not ideal. If I have to sacrifice a little elbow room for a good sense of sercurity for my family, then I’ll grin and bear it.

  41. riverrider says:

    all, whatever we do we must insure that at least one of us is a brewmaster. man cannot live by bread alone, he must have beer too.

  42. Personally I think as a deterrant to outsiders if a group was to be cooperative to each and every one in a survival / commune setting is that you would need to make your clan/crew/group as unwelcome to outsiders as possible once you had the criteria and the amount of people that could actually be purposeful/useful you would have to make it out that you were a leper colony or had the plauge. Most rules and self control are going out the window wtshtf, I think things are not gonna be very pretty. Look at your neighbors and elected officials the city you live in and think insanity x’s 10000000000. I wish everyone the best and hope we have done the best to survive a collapse tsunami.

  43. Also Pam says:

    Great article that has inspired much wise comment. Personally, I see many of the reasons that these type of communities might not work. But as many have pointed out, the dangers outside the group might require that we try to make it work. The more unstable overall conditions are, the more attractive or necessary these things will be to try. I agree with Templar Knight that older traditional models of gender roles are likely to be reinforced, especially if birth control is no longer available. Thank you all for my daily dose of food for thought.

  44. Sounds a little like tradeing an existing government for a new one of your own creation? What goes around, comes around.

  45. ‘Coupla things… geting a group together….for a long term situation…envision going on a safari for three months. Seeing the same faces day in and day out 24/7. Now imagine one finds out the group members hate each other. Egad!! Independence…I am one that is as stubborn as a mule..or so I have been told. No way am I going to live in a situation where cooperation is forced down t0 the n’th degree! I think the idea would work best if the members formed a loose association. Think of a group of folks that bought up some land, built thier properties up to what each wanted and became a “town” so to speak. There really would be no need to incorporate even. As for “Gov’t” interference…IF…the situation was truly a TEOTWAKI situation…there would be no gov’t. Maybe after a time one would resurface but after experiencing what happened…I doubt it would be anything like the mess we have now. Rules…..about the only one I could think of is where everyone aids in the defense of the group. This idea of a communal garden or farm is NOT going to get it. It didn’t work for the pilgrims after they tried it for awhile and it will not ever work….at least for long. Male and Female……again, it boils down to who can do what. AND….who wants to do what. If some wife wishes to be a blacksmith and can do the work….more power to her. If some husband wishes to do the house work…fine. No problem. Yes, I actually know of such a couple..they get along fine! One thing I feel is important….Personal privacy! Be that religion, way of living, whatever….It is that person’s or family’s choice! Not the communities!

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