[font=Verdana]Hi, I'm new here. Right to the point....So if I wanted to move to another state or country where it would be easier to live off the grid, homestead and be survivalist. Where would that be? I've heard Costa Rica and Belize are ok...maybe... I would think the fair year round weather would be ideal. We wanted to move to the big island of Hawaii but we think if we ever had to get down to a survial situation that we would be at a disadvantage on an island. I just love the idea of year round gardens and a climate that will grow anything. I was told you can throw seeds on the ground and have a huge plant with little effort. I would love to chat about this with others. We would love fair weather...ie not snowing year round (I think too much cold makes the simple things much harder. I would love to be able to shop in open air markets. (think farmers markets or the great ones in 3rd would countries. I want the good ol meat markets around that sell all cuts of meats nobody loves in the US. We want it to be stable and safe. I don't need modern. Oh, and I have a love affair with coconuts....lol Anyone else want to chime in?[/font]
Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
Going overseas is generally NOT a good idea if you want to get off grid. As the "Gringo", you will stand out in a crowd, even if you are fluent in the language. Most countries will not allow a foreigner to just move in and stay. There are many hoops that you need to jump through just to stay there for more than a few weeks. As restrictive as you feel laws and regulations may be here, wait until you see some of them overseas!
I have lived on three continents, and enjoyed my experiences. But it can also be very trying. I have woken up to war, riots, military take overs, and seeing the buying power of my dollar shrink to nothing. Stability, and life as we know it changes once you cross that border.
Joined: Jun 21, 2009
Location: Northport, Wash.
I don't know if it can be said that there is any really "good" place to do what you want. It really boils down to where you want to live and be able to do what you want.
The point about being an outsider applies pretty much anywhere. Having moved around my home state of Washington a lot we have found that we are always considered an outsider wherever we went, it is pretty normal until people get to know you.
Personally, I don't think anywhere can be considered "good" anymore, all governments are intrusive, you have to ask permission to do anything, anywhere, and are penalized if you do not.
That being said, we have found that most rural areas have less of that sort of thing, mostly because government employees are too lazy to drive "way out here".
So, find a place where the seasons suit you, go there, and make friends with the locals, let them know you aren't there to change their world, and they will probably be friendly to you.
Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Location: North Central Michigan
you know there are some areas that are worse than others with unfriendly people..i remember friends of mine telling us how unfriendly the folks were in Texas and in Ky..in Texas it was cause people came down and took advantage of cheap land when oil companies pulled out..and in KY it was when the government took over a lot of people's land to build the national parks..kicking people off of their land and leaving them destitute.
Here in Michigan we don't have much government influence on our property, some areas are heavily zoned, but where we live there is NO ZONING at all..and they stay out of our business..
the more north you go in Michigan the less they bother you
Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Location: Vancouver Island
It depends on the person and their needs. I would start with where are you healthy? I could find land much cheaper than here in other parts of the country.... but I moved here because my nose doesn't bleed all the time here. Now that I have been here for 30 years... My Yf and kids are another part of the equation. I would say start where you are, even if you are living urban. Travel a bit.... by the slowest mode you can, walk for close places,bike a bit farther out... car for anything longer than that. If you have to fly it is probably too far away. You made the choice to live where you are already, there are probably some reasons that include climate for that. You need to be able to spend slow time where you might move to in order to understand if you love it or hate it.
Joined: Apr 19, 2011
Location: South Carolina Zone 8
There are two things to consider here.
1 How much experience have you had at living off the grid or at least living that way as much as possible. Anywhere you live including an apartment there are things you can do to be self sustaining, somewhat off the grid, and living a more natural earth friendly lifestyle. If the answer is you have done as much as the space/home you have now allows and are familiar with what it will take to support yourself then perhaps it is time to consider a move.
2. You need to move to a place where you can put in roots literally. You are going to have to grow things to eat and feed animals and one of the most overlooked by many is trees. Fruits and nuts not to mention various berries are important things to consider and they can take years to grow. As well certain trees provide forage for animals (goats are browsers and willow leaves have been used as feed for cows) as well as shade and overhead cover which many animals prefer. Before someone takes me to task I know you can live without these things just growing annual crops and livestock but there is living and living more happy. I don't know anyone who does not like fresh fruit and it can be a real pick me up and something to look forward to. Survival and homesteading is not only about substance living but comfortable happy living.
BTW I would never leave the country I live in much less area I live in (unless it was a city and I have never lived in one) because not only would you face the challenges mentioned in order to live in a foreign land but also you would lack essential local knowledge you hopefully have gained by living as off the grid as possible already.
The best place? Hard to say. The best place to start looking would be an area you know well. The area you grew up in, went to school, spent time in.
Off grid, the tools you will need will be pretty similar-water tanks, wood tools, garden tools. You can get these shipped in from anywhere to anywhere. If there's wood, you can probably fashion stuff yourself. Systems are not so important.
If you are going to homestead, knowing the area, what grows, what bugs will bite, where the snakes are, being able to not only speak with the locals but fit in as a member of the community offers a tremendous advantage. It takes time and effort to learn customs and social norms. If you don't have them figured out to the point they are second nature to you, you will be the freak down in the valley.
I'm sure Belize and Costa Rica are nice. I have no idea what grows there. If push comes to shove I can step out my door and feast on rattlesnake weed and swamp cabbage. I know when its time to plant potatoes here. I know when different types of weeds and wildflowers come into bloom.
While many of my friends have moved on, I know where they are. I know their folks are still around. There are people I've worked with, met casually, lived near, and whom I bump into now and then. Sure is a handy thing to know people, even slightly, from several years back.
Seed the Mind, Harvest Ideas.
I'll second some of the first responses in here. Start small, start trying to live off the grid where you are now... even if you're renting. It takes persistence, and you'll build up valuable knowledge and most importantly deprogram yourself from some our inherent, unconscious consumer treadmill habits. Living by the sun, the wind and what nature has to offer is sometimes a romantic fantasy for people. You can find remote land anywhere and even get away from codes. Dare I say on this public forum that I've found that in northerna cal? neighbors and locals are important. But even more important is to get the feel for the place and learn what's native, what the micro/nano-climate is, and other stuff...
First law of permaculture: observe Get started and start camping where you want to build. Do first and ask for forgiveness later is my motto.
some interesting points of view ... I've been living here for 51 years and I've always felt like a stranger! Its never felt like home, its cold, wet, miserable I do most of the things I want, but I too will be making a move to a different country when retirement comes along. Some folks just know when they're not at home ... my wife feels like myself, when we are in France, it feels like we've come home .... don't give up looking, you'll know when you get home, good luck.
Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Location: Vancouver Island
dolmen wrote: some interesting points of view ... I've been living here for 51 years and I've always felt like a stranger! Its never felt like home, its cold, wet, miserable I do most of the things I want, but I too will be making a move to a different country when retirement comes along. Some folks just know when they're not at home ... my wife feels like myself, when we are in France, it feels like we've come home .... don't give up looking, you'll know when you get home, good luck.
Great post. I like the idea of putting the "homestead" ahead of "survival". It is like the difference between sustaining and thriving. Finding where I am home and thriving there no matter the rest of the world... And doing it with less, less land for more food, less power for more light/heat/whatever, less work for more happiness. Even giving more with less income.... while tasting of the increase ourself.
Finding out where home is first sounds wonderful. I would like to be there before I retire as I believe personal relationships are important and take time to develop. It is one of the reasons I took a transfer out of a big urban area even at less pay... I don't think we are in our final spot as I would like more land (my Yf too) so we can grow more of our own food. However, I figure to stay in the same general community. I have no expectation of todays infrastructure lasting. I don't know what parts will still be here 10 or 20 years from now.... Internet is pretty fragile unless people start making their own community link like wireless mesh networks.... even then, it would not surprise me to see computers (which seem to have a limited lifetime) disappear.
Joined: Feb 09, 2010
Location: West Coast of Canada
christinb wrote: [font=Verdana]We wanted to move to the big island of Hawaii but we think if we ever had to get down to a survial situation that we would be at a disadvantage on an island.
I think the opposite. Given that one of the biggest concerns of survivalists is protection from the "zombie hordes", an island offers considerable protection. They can't take your stuff if they can't get there.
Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Location: Vancouver Island
KeithBC wrote: I think the opposite. Given that one of the biggest concerns of survivalists is protection from the "zombie hordes", an island offers considerable protection. They can't take your stuff if they can't get there.
Also, as things get bad, people tend to head for the bigger urban centers off the island where they can get jobs. This leaves the island with less desperate people to begin with... surviving only still sounds grim though. I want a home to thrive in. A smile on my face, food on the table and good friends to share these things with.
Well I just bought 100 acres in Nevada for 45k great price so look there might help lol
Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Location: Vancouver Island
I'm thinking if I wait a few years, I may be able to buy whole suburbs cheap from the bank... or from the city/county. Probably with enough left over to buy a machine to tear the houses down. Probably some of the best land around... discounting the house foot prints. I could start a used building supply business too.
What probably makes more sense... for the right person. is to look for lots that are not being used and farm them. I am thinking that my next door neighbour would be a great place to start. They show up once in a while but are gone most of the time. I am sure I could get a good dandelion root crop from the back yard... I already harvested the crab apples. Maybe I could grow trees for wood too. If the bank owned it... I think I would plant trees next to the house for coppice. Though I don't think that would happen around here as there are still lots of people who think this is a great area to retire to.
Joined: May 29, 2010
Location: Ava, Mo, USA, Earth
If you want to survive in really bad times, the first thing you need to do is get to know your neighbors. Nobody, nobody at all, can go it alone.
If getting to know the neighbors you have now does not sound good to you then doing what one posted suggested and buying a neighborhood from the banks or government might be a good place to start, but instead of tearing down the houses, sell or rent them to people who are looking for the same things in life. Communes don't work for most people, but a true community of like-minded individuals probably would.
Joined: Feb 22, 2010
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
Re: 'buying a neighborhood', check out the new "Urban Roots" documentary... it's happening in Detroit! And a great read is 'Farm City' by Novella Carpenter. Plus, what happens in a disaster? Community! See "A Paradise Built in Hell" by Solnit.
It's time to get positive about negative thinking -Art Donnelly
Sounds like you have a pretty romanticized ideal in your mind and I don't think you're likely to find it. However if you do... please share!!
Here are my thoughts:
You must stay in a country that respects personal property rights. Many do not. Joel Salatin's father had to leave his original homestead because of this. The US, despite all it's flaws, still respects private property rights better than most other countries.
Since the US is a collection of states, try to find one that goes along with your beliefs at a high level. For me, looking to move from NY, PA looks real good. Provided that I can find a country with lax zoning laws and low property taxes.
Don't discount sesonal weather, either. There's something very nice about have a few cool/cold months of the year. I'm not suggesting that you move to North Dakota, but VA gets some snow and is still a great place to live in many ways.
come to Bulgaria - land is really cheap, millions more trees than people, villages that need people, fantastic climate - +45 to -30 and 4 distinct seasons, lovely people, great traditions, sustainable energy is supported by the EU, you wont stand out as a 'gringo' - the Brits have already moved in - if your looking for somewhere to be post apocalypse/economic implosion/emp...whatever, this is the place to be. survivalist skills are what people do naturally here - you need to be prepared to survive -30 and you can go walking in the woods for days without seeing anyone. population of under 7million in a land the size of the UK! i've lived here for 5 years and i love it - have a look - www.stjamespark.biz good luck
Joined: Sep 29, 2009
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
according to wild food guru euell gibbons he finds more wild food in temperate climates than he does in the robinson crusoe island scenario.
Well, I can tell you this one isn't true. I can get fat walking through our forest. Here in Costa Rica I swear all trees naturalize if they are tropical. We have oranges, coconuts, papaya, bananas (the wild ones, very good if you can beat the monkeys to them), macadamias, chinese yam, camote (sweet potato), and I could go on, growing wild.
Growing the vegetables you are accustomed to might be more of a challenge, especially cole crops, unless you are in the mountains. But, grow what the locals grow, and you will never go hungry. After all, many of them live off the land.
Also, Costa Rica doesn't even have an army. They aren't aggressive, not compared to the people in the USA. They can be passive aggressive though.
I am not trying to get people to move to Costa Rica, but it has worked well for us.
Sustainable Plantations and Agroforestry in Costa Rica
Anyone have any comments on places to homestead in Oregon? We grew up in Iowa and Illinois but live in CA now and abso-freakin-lutely hate so much of what's going on here. We're also exploring Wyoming, Montana and the Dakotas.
T. Pierce wrote:not that i live there, but ive passed through a few times. and i know a number of folks from there........but they dont call west va, wild and wonderful for nothing.
Funny...but true. For a state in the middle of all the very populated eastern states, it has many areas of unpopulated and fertile land. It also has a very free, wild culture living here...we have retained much of our independence.
Joined: Nov 07, 2011
Location: NW Montana
I used to day dream about being totally unplugged and self sufficient myself--now I know better. Of course the answers to any of the questions you asked would be "it depends."
What criteria are you willing to accept? I particularly like NW Montana for the beauty, natural resources like timber and the thick presence of game. However, we are a LONG way from the nearest palm tree producing coconuts I would imagine. So the answer may not be propositional form, rather a series of clarifying questions.
I also want to echo previous posts by saying that there is no one place to arrive to and everything is going to click. This again goes back to the criteria question.
I particulary like Rawles on these points because he asks the right questions. I would recommend the following links in order:
-http://www.scribd.com/doc/2228687/Homesteading-for-3000 (not Rawles, but mentioned before on Permies.com)
I hope that you find your course of action. If for nothing else, homesteading revolves around food production, and permaculture is the right place to start.
I think that homesteading is possible in most places. I have spent 44 of my 49 years in California. The state has incredibly diverse landscape/climatic zones. You can choose desert, mountains, beaches or anything in between. You can buy 40 acres or nice land with trees and good soil within 1 1/2 hours of Los Angeles for $50,000. This is my goal as I seek to extricate myself from the rat race in the next few years
Edward Moore wrote:I think that homesteading is possible in most places. I have spent 44 of my 49 years in California. The state has incredibly diverse landscape/climatic zones. You can choose desert, mountains, beaches or anything in between. You can buy 40 acres or nice land with trees and good soil within 1 1/2 hours of Los Angeles for $50,000. This is my goal as I seek to extricate myself from the rat race in the next few years
Which county are you referring to? $50K for 40 tree-acres close to LA sounds almost impossible.
Joined: Oct 15, 2012
It can be had in Riverside, San Bernardino, Kern or even Los Angeles counties
We have a wonderful property for sale in costa rica. There are no legal restrictions on owning land in costa rica and we were greeted with open arms by everyone in the community. Only tragic family events have meant we have to leave and sell our tropical paradise. See this post for more details. We are selling it well below market value.
Costa Rica. Belize, perhaps. Panama, too. Great soil, nice people, less intrusive government. Yes, there is life outside of the US, for all of you writing in with your rabbity advice. Good, afodable healthcare, too.
subject: Where is the best place to Homestead & be a Survivalist