Bayou Bugout

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on March 25, 2018

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Here on the Diner one of the subjects we often talk about are Bugout Locations to run to when SHTF Day comes to your neighborhood?  The number of good spots out there to try and avoid the worst aspects of the Collapse of Industrial Civilization shrinks by the day, and there are problems that exist with all of them in one form or another.

The most important qualities you want to look for in a Bugout Location are:

1- Low Population Density of Homo Saps

Reason for that is the fewer people currently around living in the neighborhood, the fewer potential Zombies that will be around to harass and threaten you in the aftermath of SHTFD arrives.  Also, the fewer Homo Saps there are to compete for what resources (read that FOOD) are available in the neighborhood the more that is available for YOU to exploit!

2- Remoteness from current High Population Zones

Even if your own neighborhood is relatively low in population density, if you are too close to a Big Shity where the Zombies can walk or bike to easily, you're not going to be much safer than living in suburbia.

3- Local Food availability.

This can be good cropland for farming, but growing crops and raising animals is going to be a magnet for Zombies.  Better is if you are in a location where there are wild food sources that can be hunted, fished and gathered up.

Related image 4-  Water Resource

With water, you can have either TOO LITTLE (droughts) or TOO MUCH (Floods).  Like with Goldilocks & Three Bears, finding a neighborhood where the amount of water available year round is JUST RIGHT gets tougher all the time.  Making it still tougher than that is that many areas alternate between drought and flood at different times of the year, or over different years.  Water is probably the most difficult thing to make a good plan for in choosing your Bugout Location.

5-  Mineral and Energy Resources

Depending on your location, you are going to need a variety of different resources besides just water and food.  You will need material to build shelters with, primrily Wood of course but other materials like Bamboo or Adobe bricks can be used too.  A good source of clay to make ceramics is helpful, and a source of iron ore to make metal tools, particularly axels, hunbs and shodding for wheels and horse shoes.  In the colder neighborhoods, you're going to need some heat source in the winter, which can be wood but if there is still Natural Gas around that burns cleaner.  You can of course make more gas using composting and a Methane Digester also.  Biochar and Wood Gas still another possibility.

Now, despite the fact that a whole lot of the planet has been ravaged already, there actually still ARE places that fit most of these criteria, but they can differ quite a bit in their qualities.  Here on the Diner, we have a few members who are located in fairly remote locations with low populations of Homo Sap, in the Tropical Rainforest of the Pacific Islands, in Canada and in Alaska.  They each have advantages and disadvantages.

In the Rainforest, you don't have to worry too much about heating, it rarely drops below freezing in that neighborhood.  However, with generally warming temperatures globally, unless this trend stops or reverses, such locations will be the first to go above wet bulb temperatures, and cooling the Homo Sap body will become ever more difficult.  No worries about Water availability, they get massive rain events on an almost daily basis.  However, the constant dampness and abundance of water brings with it many problems.  Mold is a problem indoors, and standing water provides breeding grounds for mosquitos which carry all sorts of nasty viruses with them. Malaria, Zika, etc. Then there are a variety of SNAKES like Pythons which can eat into your food supply of Chooks, along with your companion and helper animals, the Dogs and Cats.  They can even grow large enough to eat YOU if you don't dispatch them to the Great Beyond soon enough!

Image result for python eating human

The Great White North of Hoserville has it's own set of advantages and disadvantages.  It's relatively low in population, but not so low there isn't some BAU work available to keep on trucking in the industrial economy until SHTF Day arrives.  Because it's generally pretty cold, you don't have the mold, bugs and diseases you get in the Tropical Rainforest.  There still are good resources up there, but they do have problems now with wildfires and pollution in areas that have been fracked or tar sands extracted.  Areas away from major rivers and mountains and glaciers have depleting aquifers, just like the midwest of the FSoA.

Alaska where I am located also is not perfect and totally insulated from Collapse Dynamics.  Like Hoserville, it's cold so not much problem with bugs, mold or snakes.  Better water availability than most of Canada also, since there are mountains and glaciers everywhere.  Eventually the glaciers may melt off of course, but this will take quite some time if it does occur. Still great resource availability in Alaska in terms of energy and minerals, and the fishing and hunting remains great as well.  Downsides to the Last Great Frontier though are that in most of the state the soil is poor, there are only a few valleys with good soil for farming.  It's also a pretty tough climate to live in without the benefits of modern machinery, although it is possible.  The Inuit, Aleut, Knik, Tlingit and Athabascans proved this for 1000s of years.

Related image

Inuit Mushers circa 1920 who ran the Great Race of Mercy to deliver Diptheria Serum to Nome

And some Industrially raised Homo Saps still do it today running the Iditarod, the Last Great Race on Earth.

Image result for joar ulsom iditarod

Joar Leifseth Ulsom, a Norwegian, winner of the 2018 Iditarod

One neighborhood we do NOT have a Diner living in that might prove to be a good Collapse Survival Location is in the Bayous of Lousiana, and other swamps in other parts of the world.

Image result for canoe in the bayou Bayous are very low population zones for quite a few reasons.  First off, you can only really get around by boat, and it has to be a boat with a very shallow draft like a Canoe.  Second, they are hot, humid, sticky and uncomfortable places to live, although that is not so different from the tropical rainforest.  Also not different from the rainforest in that there are poisonous snakes around, and plenty of diseases carried around by mosquitoes.  Besides that though, you are in little danger from Zombies in such a neighborhood, there just isn't enough Long Pig living around there for Hannibal the Cannibal to come searching for a meal of Liver, Fava Beans and Chianti, even if he has a boat to do it with.  You also have plenty of water around, although for drinking and cooking purposes you'll need to distill it unless you catch it as rainwater.  Plenty of food sources around, endless frogs and fish breed in these places too so there are plenty of them around.  Big Game, you can go for the Alligators which also have excellent skin for making boots.  Just make sure you carry a Big Ass Knife and a .45 Cal Pistol and are ready to go Mano-a-Mano and ready to wrestle out of your weight class if taken by surprise.  The bigger ones come in around 500 lbs, and not even NFL Linemen are usually THAT big.  lol.  Hopefully though, you are wary enough to outwit them, they are not the brightest bulbs in the box.

You will probably need to build your McShack on stilts and build raised walkways around it so you can get around the place without having to jump in the canoe all the time, or if you are really well prepped with a techno gimmick, an Air Boat.  You can run it electric and keep it charged up with your Solar PV setup.  You're definitely going to need an off-grid electric system, those areas don't get wired up.

Image result for airboat in the swamp

An advantage of the Louisiana Bayou for Amerikans is you don't have to leave the country in order to get away from civilization and the possible worst effects of collapse, aka Zombies and rampant violence.  It's centrally located between the East and West Coast, so depending how many hours you will drive you can get there in 2-3 days.  For most of Flyover Country you can get there in under a day.  Also important if you are on a tight budget, buying property in a swamp is CHEAP!  So you can live BAU in say Missouri, but prep up your SHTF Day Bugout Location in the Bayou so it is ready for the day you have to GTFO of Dodge.

Otherwise inside the Lower 48 there really aren't many low population zones that have everything you need to survive and live with a lower energy footprint.  Some spots in the Rockies are OK, but living up IN the Mountains as opposed to just having them surrounding you as a barrier takes a lot of adaptation.  Not to say it can't be done of course, the Swiss did it and so did the Afghanis and the Mayans.

Image result for swiss mountain village

Image result for mayan terrace farming

If you are willing and able to go International, there are of course many more choices still possible, but for most people this isn't practical.  They need some way to make a living if they don't have a pension or investments, and if you move to a poor South American country for instance there's not any more opportunity for you to make a living than there is for the locals.  It would not for instance be a wise idea to move to Venezuela at the moment.  The main thing in any of these international moves though right now is $MONEY$.  You need some sort of portable income stream, for most ex-pats that means a pension.  For younger people particularly those with young children, making such a move is far more problematic.

Beyond that, you generally just do not FIT IN with the natives.  Even if you speak the language fairly well, it will be with a distinct accent.  You probably don't look much like them, to start with your skin is probably a different color.  Then you have the problem that there is a lot of submerged resentment by indigenous people for ex-pats from the colonial powers that move there.  They tolerate them because they bring money into the economy from their pensions, provide employment as Maids and Gardeners and eat at the local restaurants, but once they don't have working money any more to pay these folks, that pent up resentment will EXPLODE.

So overall, wherever you choose to make your collapse hole for SHTF Day, I think the best bet is to stay in a place you know and where you fit in well with the local population.  The most difficult part remains negotiating the time period between now while BAU is still working to some extent in the Western Countries and the post-SHTF Day scenario where JIT delivery has failed, there is no gas at the pumps, no food on the shelves and the lights do not go on when you flick the switch.  Straddling these two worlds is a tough thing to do.  A tough act to balance out.

Image result for straddling two worlds

One Response to Bayou Bugout

  • dolph says:

    It is an interesting conundrum.  Basically, we don't know where things will be good, and where they will be bad.  Very unpredictable.

    Personally I've gotten tired after following collapse for 8, 9 years now.  There's only so much you can do or follow.  You have to make a choice and stick with it.

    Here's a novel concept:  stay where you are!  Unless absolutely unlivable, just stay wherever you are and hunker down.

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