OK, there has been a fair bit of discussion of gathering a tribe and having a retreat for everyone to get to in a SHTF, but the practical side of the retreat has been kind of glossed over. So here are some of my thoughts on the retreat. The first thing is you would need to buy the land for the retreat. If you think you are just going to all head to some DNR land and settle in I suspect you will arrive to find a few thousand other folks had the same idea. So you would need to decide what area you wanted to get land in and if it should be accessible for trade or secluded for security or some combination like say some kind of peninsula or whatever that would have limited access and thus be easily defensible but in a place decent for trade. Then you need to look at how many folks would be there and how much land it takes in that area to produce whats needed. For instance in some areas of the south west it takes as much as 20 or more acres to support a beef where in some areas of the Midwest as little as 2-4 acres will support a beef and plants like in a garden have similarly varied production depending on the area. So how much land do you need in the selected area to support the tribe and the animals they will eat along with gardens, fields and orchards (wild game will be hunted to the brink of non existence in short order once there are no stores). So now you have decided how much land and where but if its just left to go wild until TSHTF then by the time you need it nothing will be ready and any buildings will be dilapidated at best. If you are going to the extent of having the retreat arranged it should be ready to move in and start living, that means there needs to be live stock already there (trying to acquire it and get it established post SHTF isn't likely to work out well), have crops in during the growing season so that if SHTF toward the end of the growing season it would be to late to get anything in for that year, even in say August. All this means there needs to be someone there to take care of it as well as to assure there are not already squatters dug in by the time the tribe gets there and to establish relations with the locals, even the most remote locations have neighbors even if they are a mile or 2 away. So the tribe buys the land and sets it up in a trust so no one member can get a wild hair and sell it or whatever and so that there isn't a problem with the 'owner' being the one who doesn't make it there. My thoughts are that it would be best to then pick a member of the tribe or even a couple families from the tribe and have them move in on the land, buy live stock to set the place up and the materials for getting everything as it would need to be (i.e. trees for orchards, seed for gardens and crops, tools to work it as would be done post SHTF etc.) and possibly set the place up on solar, wind or other electric so that it is self supporting. The care takers would then live off the retreat much as the tribe would when/if the time came and the extra that was produced (the difference between what animals and crops they used as opposed to what the whole tribe would use) could be sold to pay taxes and provide for the extras for the care takers. This way the other members of the tribe could use the place as a 'vacation spot' or whatever in the mean time and also get a bit of a sense of what went into running things but the care takers would be accustomed to the daily life that would be needed post SHTF (with the exception of some of the security and such) and could help the rest of the tribe learn these things quicker and easier when they came. They would also have everything ready in case the whole tribe showed up so that it wouldn't take from a year (for the crops) to 10 years (like for the orchards) to get the place up to speed for feeding the tribe. They could also establish relations with the locals so that the rest of the tribe when they arrived could be 'with these guys' and not just a band of strangers that showed up (trust me this makes a lot of difference in rural areas, knowing locals especially homegrown folks who will vouch for you makes life a LOT easier even now and this would just be more so post SHTF) and keep the place secure from squatters, its a LOT easier to turn them away than to roust them after they have a chance to get settled and dug in. The care takers would have no expenses other than the taxes on the land and the 'extras' they wanted like phone and Internet and such (lets face it if the place wont support the care takers now there's no way it would support the whole tribe when needed) since the retreat would need to be self supporting for food, the tribe already bought the land, so they have no rent/mortgage payments, no grocery bills, and ideally no utilities since they would need to be created on the retreat if needed. So basically no bills and say 10 head of beef a year to sell at 1k or so each, a few gallons of milk a day to sell (average cow puts out at least 4 gallons a day) at say $1.50/gal, crops beyond whats needed to sell and so on (the stuff the tribe would be using if they were there and keep enough for one year in reserve) and before long they have virtually no bills and an income of say 20k/year with 1k or so in taxes being the primary bill from it. Now if SHTF all the tribe has to do is show up and pitch in on the running of things to ramp it up a bit and run security but its already running. What are some of the rest of you alls thoughts on this subject?