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HINDSIGHT: The Dream Retreat of a Venezuelan Collapse Survivor

• The Organic Prepper by Daisy Luther

My Dream Retreat

I am going now to use my creative writing skills, and dream a little bit, using the idea of having enough resources to be able to build a retreat with the features needed for a collapse like the one we went through.

Some basic aspects, like the kid's school, will have to be overlooked. The reason is pretty simple. Average preppers in the US could homeschool their kids. Our laws are different. Not too many authorities left for applying them, to be honest…but as the teachers of primary, secondary and college have left to prevent dying of hunger, it is pretty difficult to get a proper education for the kids.

This said, let us focus on the main aspects of a nice, safe, comfortable retreat.

Location

I grew up in a small town. There were mountains surrounding us and after a short 10 min. ride by car, there were flat, endless pastures with lots of farms and cattle. Rivers, woodland, and fertile plots everywhere. Therefore, I got used to the idea that those small, short mountains were home.

Under the current situation, where a former peaceful, and safe town is now surrounded by poor barrios with hundreds of thugs roaming around on small bikes, killing each other to control the territory, I don't consider it to be a safe option.

The dream retreat

A well-hidden retreat, without showing up too much, would be a good option. Some small farms nearby that produce milk, cheese, meat, poultry, and eggs. If it was surrounded by a good fence, covered with climbing vines with lots of thorns, over 1.80 meters and a couple of guard dogs, a large orchard could be maintained. With our fair weather, we could have fresh vegetables and fruit the entire year. A second artificial fencing is a need, and some inner ditch as a means to avoid unwanted access to the living quarters. These should be partially attached to a mountain, with some fortified rooms dug into the mountainside, and hidden doors to access to them, as a last resource.

A good inner garden inside the walled area for lots of square meters to cultivate medicinal and cooking herbs and spices, and tall walls made of cement and stone. The house itself would not need to be too big. Small is wise: easier to clean and keep neat. The storage area would be well hidden, underneath the main house, and ideally, it should be larger than the house. My plans are building an underground workshop, with the needed equipment for manufacturing some low tech defense tools (crossbow bolts?), repairing things, some basic maintenance,  you get the picture. Being underground and in the top or middle of a mountain, the noise shouldn´t catch the attention of someone roaming around.

Perhaps some readers could believe that going underground is an exaggeration. I must tell you that it is not. A single room cabin on top perhaps will be invaded once or even twice. No big deal if you want to keep your real facilities concealed. But wisely used as a diversion it could save the day.

That is why I like the idea of getting in a mountainside. It does not have to be a dark, cold, damp cave if we use the technology available with some ingenuity. It offers lots of possibilities to conceal entrances and trap doors, with foliage and planting some fast-growing weeds around. Some dead logs protruding from the ground, are perfect to conceal the air intakes or exhausts inside them. The taller, the better. The chimney effect is something that those who live in colder climates know better than I do.

However, expert advisory is suggested if you are building underground. Well-placed, thick steel beams have to be used if we choose this solution. I even believe that choosing the location with some care and building with cement and stone, there could be no need to dig the mountainside. Cement and stone walls could be concealed with climbing plants in a matter of a couple of months. Aluminum doors, hinged on top, to protect large, panoramic, ballistic glass windows covered with these plants and closed at night would provide a nice level of concealment. Opened during the day, and you will have a good amount of light and air. Of course, a green roof is included.

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