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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Survival retreat or homestead Checklist

The following may be a long post but it possibly covers about all people need to know about a survival retreat, with an excellent checklist. Anyone who is really interested in survival retreats will surely be interested in the following and comments, questions etc. are welcome >

A retreat is a place to go to Live, Not die. It's a place out of the mainstream of events that contains the means to survive without outside support.

As Ragnar Benson, author of "The Survival Retreat, A total Plan for retreat defense" wrote, "It is a matter of wisely identifying what you have available and turning it into something usable.... Fight If you must but try your utmost to orchestrate events so that confrontation is absolutely the remedy of last resort."

I wish Benson's books were online, for I would clip and post quite a bit from them. Ragnar Benson's books I believe, can still be bought through Paladin Press. His 3 best books about survival retreats are: "The Survival Retreat", "The Modern Survival Retreat" and "Living off the Land in the City or Country" Google them and learn If you are interested in extremely good survival retreat info.

"The Survival Retreat" is a 125 page book written in 1983. I would like to post a few sentences from that book for it is very important for everyone interested in retreats to know.

Quoted from Benson's "The Survival Retreat" >
" Retreats, for survivalists, are places that provide shelter from hostile people, elements and nuclear, biological and chemical agents. Under some circumstances a retreat could be both a summer home and a bunker, but for the average survivalist, that is fairly unlikely.

To a large extent, the concept of a defensible bunker and an NBC shelter is a contradiction in terms. A shelter must be a buttoned-up, closed-in place that will protect the inhabitants from a hostile environment.

A bunker is designed primarily to defend strategic locations from hostile intruders. Obviously one cannot defend his bunker if he has his head pulled down so far he doesn't know what is going on outside.

Happily the solution to this is not as contradictory as it might seem. Intruders will not become a problem if your retreat is well hidden, the approaches strong, and the entrance obscured.

Secondly, the time of the most intensive biological warfare will not be the time when unwanted visitors will come rambling up to your door.

If the collapse occurs as a result of economic failure and mob action is a threat, you will have to rely on the fact that mobs generally have no planned, coordinated goal. You must go out of your way to prevent your retreat from becoming a target.

Another phenomenon that is even more insidious is the concept of the collective shelter.
One of the first duties of a shelter manager, according to these publications, is to disarm
the arriving refugees. I sincerely trust that no true survivalist will ever fall into this trap."

Also from Benson's book "The Survival Retreat, A total Plan for Retreat Defense" >

The Defensible Retreat checklist

Once you have your retreat site picked out or even if you have a retreat, homestead, farm etc. then use a checklist to identify your priorities and establish a work plan and budget. Most of the following points must be answered with a Yes. If there are many answered No, then get to work upgrading your retreat or find another location. There is little fluff in the following list:

Check List

Yes or No


___ ___ Does the retreat provide protection from nuclear, biological and chemical threats?

___ ___ Is water available independent of any municipal supply or source?

___ ___ Do I know how I will preserve my food?

___ ___ Have I identified how I will heat and cook?

___ ___ Is it possible to safely store food, clothing, explosives, guns and ammunition at the retreat?

___ ___ Can the location be secured now before it is actually manned during the collapse?

___ ___ Does it have adequate facilities? Can all the people wash occasionally? Will the toilets work?

___ ___ Can the retreat be obscured and hidden now and after the fighting starts?

___ ___ Do any neighbors and friends outside of those who will use the retreat know of its existence?

___ ___ Have I devised a workable defense plan?

___ ___ Can the area be patrolled?

___ ___ Is the retreat actually defensible or am I just kidding myself?

___ ___ Can the approaches be mined and guarded?

___ ___ Do I have the proper equipment to guard them?

___ ___ Is the retreat in an area where I can raise a garden, scrounge and generally set up a viable existence after the collapse?

___ ___ Do I have a library in the retreat?

___ ___ Is the library good enough to provide the information needed after the collapse? If not, what books do I still need?

___ ___ What about medical supplies and information? Have I got that covered?

___ ___ Have I made plans to keep hordes of people from coming anywhere near my area? Such as blocking roads with trees, rocks, logs, dynamiting bridges etc?

___ ___ Have I evaluated my people and attempted to fit them into the various duties the best way possible?

___ ___ Am I psychologically equipped to defend my retreat? Can I or any of my group actually shoot intruders or raiders?

___ ___ Do I have a stock of barter goods? Are they properly stored?

___ ___ Do I know how everyone will get to the retreat, unless it is their permanent residence?


___ ___ Are the immediate approaches to my retreat such that they can be made impassable by booby traps or just plain physical means?

___ ___ Do I know how much time it will take to close the approaches and who will be in charge of this job?

___ ___ Do I have a battle plan that fits everyone into the defense structure? such as shooters, non-shooters, gun loaders, look-outs etc...

___ ___ Do I know the warning signs that will indicate that it is time to put my retreat plan into operation?

___ ___ Do I the correct guns and ammunition or have I been swept away by the armament gurus into believing that tons of hardware can replace the right amount of the proper equipment?

___ ___ Have I planned for retreat communications?

___ ___ Do I know what means and material the enemy at his disposal or even who the enemy is in a realistic sense?

___ ___ Have I put together a psychological plan to keep people away and discourage them if they do attack?

___ ___ Have I planned for special medical/dietary needs of the group?

___ ___ Am I skilled at using alternative means of transportation such as bicycles, motorcycles, atvs, trucks etc?

___ ___ Am I highly motivated?

___ ___ Do I know my home territory?

___ ___ Is the retreat adequately stocked with tools, utensils, barter items for use in the new economy?

___ ___ Do I know where to get the consumable items we will need such as light bulbs, oil, soap, toilet paper, salt, needles and thread?

___ ___ Are fires a danger. If so, what can I do to counter that threat? Such as have fire extinguishers, defensible space around buildings by cutting away brush, thick trees etc...

___ ___ Is blast a danger? Will my retreat withstand an explosion? ( such as a deep underground blast shelter/bunker with dirt, rocks, concrete etc. on top)

___ ___ Can I properly evaluate situations? Am I prone to hysteria or passivity?

___ ___ Do I have a continuing survival training program? even an exercise program to stay in shape?

___ ___ Have I studied other collapsed societies and how people are surviving?

___ ___ Have I made plans to survive heavy equipment such as tanks and helicopters, If that becomes necessary?

___ ___ Do I know how to use game, fish and wild plants in my area?

___ ___ Do I know how to garden in my area?


___ ___ Is it possible for attackers, raiders to sneak up on my retreat unseen or, more importantly, for them to detect my retreat without exposing themselves?

___ ___ Have I tried to look at defeating my retreat from the eyes of an enemy?

This should cover it all but survival is a personal matter. You have to work out the exact details of your plan."


MM Mike here again. Hope everyone likes the above list which should cover about everything. If anyone has something to add to that checklist please do. Hope it will be useful to some for it took me over 2 hours to type it all out. I would recommend buying "The Survival Retreat" as well as some of Ragnar Benson's other books also. They can be found at Paladin Press website. Google them If any are interested in obtaining some good books on survival retreats etc.

I know that the above list is mostly just for those who own some land, especially land in a very rural area. I did not add some questions about explosives. People can think of those themselves If they wish.

For the many who do Not own land and possibly never will, such as those in cities, in apartments etc. then hope you can take what you are able to and what you need from the above checklist. A survival retreat can be part of a farm, ranch, homestead, especially an off grid, self-sufficient homestead (which is pretty rare in the USA) or whatever one can imagine it to be. It is still possible to have a survival retreat even in an apartment. A good well stocked survival retreat is good to have but survival is also a state of mind and having the Will to Live, no matter what. Some of us will not give in no matter if society becomes a police state or if there is a complete societal and/or economic collapse. Unlike some who will try to be at ground zero so they will not have to survive to face whatever future may come, there are some who will at Least try to survive NO matter what happens. Suicide is not an option for we are true Survivalists!!

Pics of a retreat as one example > http://www.wilderness-survival.net/f...ead.php?t=9812

Maybe others have more pics or comments?
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