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brickintubesock

Mountains, or Plains?

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Not to betray my OpSec here, but I'm in a city with a higher population which also happens to be sandwiched between mountains, and plains.

 

I've chosen to, if possible, bug in during the first chaotic days or weeks of a disaster, as I believe that would be the best way to make use of my own skills and resources. I've also chosen several intermediate bug out locations in town that would make good temporary positions in case I have to leap frog my way out of town.

 

However, when it comes to leaving town, I'm not sure whether I should go with the plains or the mountains, and my applicable skills are about equal considering both types of terrain (I am doing my homework, though).

 

If it helps, I'll be traveling with four other people and eleven dogs, with each person carrying a seven-day BOB (dogs' resources not included), decent-MPG vehicles which are capable of light to intermediate off-road ability, and the prevailing skills of our group are: mechanic experience, firearms and improvised weapons experience, medical experience, and moderate farming and camping experience. The group does lack physical stamina (two Diabetics and my chubby self), as well as substantial long-term homesteading skills.

 

I would really appreciate any help with my indecisiveness. Thank you guys.

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This is a tough one. I lived in the mountains while going to college and I remember the growing seasons to be real short, and we often had hard freezes in early or late summer. If I lost my entire survival garden to frost... its a tough pill to swallow. You would have better concellment in the mountains and hunting would be better, I think. And this is a personal opinon, but I hate the cold. I haven't spent much time in the plains, only trips through them and one extended stay in OK. I know that the desert is usually off peoples bug out radar but if you know how to save rainwater and live (research how the Navajo people have lived and still live) the desert is an option as well. There maybe the possibliity of going south. Really, I suppose it depends on where the trouble is and go the opposite direction.

I know I wasnt much help, but it is my two cents.

DesertRat

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I'm with Desert on being a tough choice. the plains offer "flatter" terrain but can also be a drier enviroment. The mountains offer more rugged terrain, usually higher precipitation and the elevation has it's own difficulties (like the hard freezes mentioned). You can get gear set up to build small hoop houses to help protect against the freezes and offer a better long term gardening solution. Game will be more abundant at first probably in the mountains, but the increased harvests and hunting pressure will make hunting a serious chore during a long term event.

I also agree with Desert about studying the Native Americans for the local area. There are several reference materials available and look at their subsistence lifestyle; did they farm? Hunt and gather only? truly nomadic or semi permanent villages? what was the population (this will allow you to know how much the land will support)? To expand, the tribes that "farmed", i.e. Cherokee, Chippewa, etc, had higher populations than tribes that just foraged (hunting and gathering) as food was usually abundant to allow population growth. There are several factors I can only guess at, but you have taken the greatest step, planning and getting started. Since you have known "weaknesses", can one of your group start learning now? It can strengthen your preps before they are needed and can help in creating more detailed plans later or contingency plans if an event occurs.

Also, I would make one my primary (Plan A) then make the other contingent (Plan B) as Desert said and depending on where the event happens, you can go in the opposite direction. Also, there should be multiple plans for each locale. I hope I helped and not confused more...lol.

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I'd never thought about looking at native populations for clues - that's brilliant! As far as our weaknesses go, we are learning and improving. I'm a little chubby, so I've been working out more and mostly sticking to a realistic diet, and we're doing a good amount of homework. I agree fully on the ideas for back up plans for each scenario.

 

So far I'm planning possible, temporary "jump points" within my city, so in case I get stuck in the interior for a while, I might be a little better off. However, I'm starting to wonder if it's completely dumb to stay in the city for a long time if possible. I mean, every person I've talked to has the typical plan of, "load my truck with guns, go to the mountains/plains", so I'm wondering if the areas outside the city would just become a minefield of camps. I wouldn't want to walk into a situation like that. If possible, I'll try to Bug in during the first chaotic throwes of an event, so if there is a mass exodus of my town, I could see where it might good to stay respectfully in the city.

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Guest kevin

with the health issues id go plains. if your in poor shape the mountains will get you just as quick as the zombies.........and you can shoot the zombies, dont think that would work on the mountain. oh yea, id make the dogs carry their own grub.

Edited by kevin
is being over weight just extreme prepping?

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Lol I might very well go plains. I think I'll make a few plans for both, just in case, and when I have enough money to look at building my own BOL, I'll take a better look. In the meantime, I'm kinda' stuck with running to whatever the best places in these areas are.

 

I like to view my fatness as an "insurance plan".

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Nomadic seems to be the best, a summer camp and a winter camp.moving with the herds.

Wild herds and no one looking after them.Will the buffalo come back? wild cattle just like after the war between the states?

Edited by 101matt

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Guest kevin

lol, i understand about the weight, carried around an extra 60 pounds for years.......then i turned 42...decided i didnt want to be old and fat, couldnt do anything about the old, so...

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Depending which scenario happens, I think a lot of the wildlife would flourish, especially in the wooded and plains areas - once a good percent of our population is gone, nature will be all over what we leave behind. Even with a good amount of people hunting, some animal populations will still boom and spread. I think packs of feral dogs will become somewhat of a worry after a while as well - after their owners are gone, the dogs who can will escape from their homes and try to get food the old-fashioned way. My dogs are prettymuch all fat sissies as far as dogs go, but even the sweetest ones will attack intruders as if they were lunch, so I imagine it won't be too long before we've got a "Dingo ate your baby" problem here lol.

 

I am overweight, but I've noticed that I actually do better with endurance and strength things when compared to some of my more fit friends - I've never been very sedentary like many of them, so I guess that I have a good amount of muscle despite the fat lol. I don't see age as that big of a problem - my dad's in his late fifties and he's had a rough life, but he could easily hold his own against a lot of people my age. Personally, I believe that the more you use your body, the more you'll be able to. Hell, one of my good friends is 38 and he runs circles around me and everyone I know, because he grew up on a farm and has worked physical labor jobs about every day of his life.

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I think part of it also depends on what type of mountains. The Appalachians versus the Rockies, for example. The Appalachians aren't nearly as rugged as some other mountain ranges, so I wouldn't think twice about going there. As for the Rockies, Cascades, or similar ranges, I think I'd go plains myself FWIW.

 

However, that's a question best answered internally due to OPSEC.

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Lol. I think the plains might bet better as far as a BOL goes. Wherever I build one, I want it to be underground. Whereas the woods would be great for hiding a BOL, it would be hard to find enough clear space without roots which would mess things up after a while. Being nomadic sounds like a good idea, except that I wouldn't want to juggle two places like that. The more I think about it, the more it feels like I'll have to decide only after I get together the resources to build a BOL.

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the Cherokee Indian claimed 135,000 square miles of territory covering parts of eight states; North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia around the early 1500's. Their land had many topographies and they thrived in all of them. The tribe took advantage of the localities they found themselves in. They were mainly a society that had permanent structures. The Cherokee farmed gathered and hunted.

Seems to me that the ability to adapt to your environment would be a key factor. Generally speaking the food sources are more scarce in the mountains. The piedmont areas are probably the best of both plains and mountains.They offer more food and water resources.

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Small world, man - my friend is a Cherokee descendant and he was saying the same thing to me the other day. Crazy. What about valleys? I was thinking that a valley might be a bit more secluded, and there might be a lot of resources that end up in them, maybe streams or rivers.

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How about where the plains meet the mountains. Then you could take advantage of both terrains. Of course, I would make my BOL just at the military crest of the hill. This would give you a good vantage point. Hunting on the plains is tough with no real cover for stalking.

There is a reason that most of the animals in that region live in the mountains.....food, shelter and water. Learn from the animals.

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You know, you guys are right - where the mountains meet the plains would be a good idea. Also, since a lot of the towns in my state are also where the mountains meet the plains, if I need to scavenge any man-made resources, I'll be able to move in different directions, as opposed to just one.

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Small world, man - my friend is a Cherokee descendant and he was saying the same thing to me the other day. Crazy. What about valleys? I was thinking that a valley might be a bit more secluded, and there might be a lot of resources that end up in them, maybe streams or rivers.

 

yes indeed the valleys are rich in resources. The valleys are usually made by rain run off or a river/stream. The wildlife will seek the water. Plants are thicker in the area. Ability to defend a bol in the valley will be more challenging than some other locations. Over all not a bad idea. I could think of several places that would be less inviting. Cities, desert, coast line, any place near mexico, mountains above 5500 feet.

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God, I don't believe I'll ever get far enough from Mexico. The stuff they've got going on below the border is gonna' spill over here really bad soon, I think.

 

Yep thats another crisis to prep for. Our government seems to take a weak handed approach to the southern border. Cant take a chance to offend part of the voter base.

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Brick, you can also read Lewis and Clark's journals. They offer some insight in both enviroments and how things were before heavy population growth from the settlers. The land won't revert back to that "emptiness" immediately following an event, but can help you add some details into long range planning. Also, study the mountain men. They had to be self reliant and their situation could mimic yours after an event; i.e., need to defend a base camp from "hostiles" while foraging and hunting, altho you will have the benefit of gardening for food also if you choose to do so.

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Brick, you can also read Lewis and Clark's journals. They offer some insight in both enviroments and how things were before heavy population growth from the settlers. The land won't revert back to that "emptiness" immediately following an event, but can help you add some details into long range planning. Also, study the mountain men. They had to be self reliant and their situation could mimic yours after an event; i.e., need to defend a base camp from "hostiles" while foraging and hunting, altho you will have the benefit of gardening for food also if you choose to do so.

 

oh great you have to offer another book. Sounds great. I'm going to have to be 95 before i get all the books read that i want to before i die. Just added one more to the list. No truly, thanks, i will look into this as well.

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One key thing to take into account that I dont see anyone mention is the locations of nuclear power plants. Hopefully if a big disaster etc hits plant staff will have time to shut down their reactors safely. However, if they are not, you may have to deal with areas of radiation. So know where Nuke plants are and the fallout zones for them. The one nearest me is a little to the south, so my plan is in heading west because the fallout zone goes to the east with the prevailing winds.

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Awake, I have "Undaunted Courage" by Stephen Ambrose and it's a good read. I read another book many "winters" ago that utilized the jouranals also, but don't remember the author now.

I know how you feel on catching up reading. I been reading more lately because I'm limited on what I can do until I get back to a better "normal" condition. Trying to heal some more so I can push it in the woods this fall better.

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hey Reg5 hope you heal well. I have a 35 mile hike i am planning. Just need the wife to OK the trip.

 

Thanks. Sounds like a blast. I'm hoping to be able to heal enough for some of those; my cousin moves back to the area this year.

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