We live at a time when western societies are balanced on a razor’s edge. On the one side is the potential for a rapid explosion of technological wonders, resulting in longer and healthier lives with greater and greater opportunities to fulfill a wide range of goals. On the other side of the edge is a demographic nightmare, growing worse by the day, being made worse by inept and corrupt government policies — threatening to obliterate the promise of a better future for everyone.
People have been moving from the countryside to the cities for hundreds of years, since industrial times. Most opportunities for education and employment exist in or near cities, drawing many of the most ambitious and capable young people of each generation. But recent demographic trends lending to greater violence and decay in many cities of western societies is giving peace-loving people second thoughts. Things are even beginning to get rough in some of the better suburbs.
It is not surprising that many people who are living in cities-in-decay might begin to contemplate moving to areas of lower crime, with a less hectic pace of life, with cleaner air to breathe and darker night skies where one can actually see more than a few stars.
But there are significant obstacles to living in the countryside, besides the long commutes to work that some former city-dwellers must endure. For many young moderns, the difficulty in finding high speed internet is a deal-killer. For such people it is just as well that they do not make the attempt to move too far from densely populated areas.
More significant issues of self-reliance, involving clean water, sanitation, heating, year-round food availability, the ability to survive severe weather, and so on, can separate the wannabes from the prospering country dweller. Also consider the distance you may be putting between yourselves and people you care about.
These are not trivial questions when considering whether to pull up stakes and move further out, for most moderns.
Dangerous Children will have been trained to self-reliance like a hand to a glove, but we are only able to help develop but a few Dangerous Children with each generation. Most educated and intelligent city dwellers are going to have to take the time to learn what they need to know on their own time.
How does one go about learning? The best fonts of advice on smoothly transitioning away from city conveniences, is the wisdom of people who have already made the change. Much good advice is available on the internet at websites such as Countryfarm Lifestyles, and Backwoods Home. There are many other similarly helpful websites, many of them linked at Rural Revolution blog.
On the web, one step deeper into self-reliant topics will take you to the prepper and survival blogs. Here is a good link list for survival/prepper websites and blogs.
But by far your best bet for learning how to thrive in the countryside, is face to face personal relationships with those who are doing it well now. Check out different communities of interest, and talk to the people in town who sell vital supplies. Ask them about the demands of the climate, access to various goods and equipment, the quality of different services in the area. Explain your goals and ask who you should talk to. And be sure to talk to any accessible neighbors before you settle on a specific property.
Country folk sometimes have quieter, more reserved ways, and can sometimes be reticent when you are drawing out information. But a lot of country folk were once city folk, or spend a lot of time with city/suburban relatives. Television, videos, and the internet have also gone a long way toward reducing the traditional cultural differences between city and country. Depending on the area, country people can be more religious than urban dwellers, so respect any such differences if you plan to live there.
All of that aside, just as knowing your way around a city can be a life or death matter, so can knowing your way around the mountains, forests, deserts, rural coastlines, and other types of countryside. If you think you may be serious about moving, begin your preparation years ahead of time.
And don’t make your plans based merely on some conspiracy theory or another about the collapse and doom of civilisation. That may not happen for another thirty years. 😉
Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.
For those who want their children to be well prepared for whatever side of the razor we may end up on, consider Dangerous Child training.
Regardless, for yourself, it is never too late for a dangerous childhood.
But remember, while most country dwellers will have taken some of the above precautions — and will willingly assist their neighbors in need — the situation during a disaster in the city may be different. If you are a city prepper, don’t broadcast your “prepped” status. If a disaster lasts long enough, store shelves will be stripped clean, and the marauders will be looking for private stores to loot.
Your best safety is to be found within a community of like-minded, skilled, competent, and well-prepared persons.