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 .