During the past two years we've been discussing possibilities and trying out alternatives with people we'd feel comfortable with when it came to physical self-defense, surviving deprivation and interrelating in a self-sustaining community. Our purpose here is to record the framework of ideas which has evolved as a result of our discussions and experiences. We want to provide a starting ground so you can do some detailed planning for how and where to locate yourself considering present and future hard times.
Many people fall into the trap of focusing on a particular relationship to society. Don't forget that this relationship is a means to facilitating your happiness in life and not an end in itself. Try to get outside the picture and observe it objectively. The traditional limiting alternatives are: trying to escape from this society, attempting to modify it or planning to build a better one. You don't have to accept package deals or limit your alternatives to inside or outside this society. And, you don't have to sacrifice your dreams in order to have a self sustaining lifestyle; on the contrary, having to depend on inefficient government services and accepting the irrational strings attached to them is the lifestyle which kills dreams. A rational person designs a lifestyle which provides maximal happiness, rejects those attributes of society which are detrimental, and then, with research and ingenuity, finds the place and means to make reality out of those dreams.
Forget obstacles and traditions for the moment and consider what you want most out of your time for living. Make a list of what you value most and set up priorities. Then look at the way you're living your life. Are you (and the people you love) living a lifestyle which provides prime time and energy for the things you want most? If not, perhaps one of the survival alternatives suggested here can provide the environment you need for your ideal lifestyle.
Each day you experience increasingly worse violations of your freedom to exist as a rational individual. Laws and regulations limit your choices and creative productivity at every turn. It does no good to save your hard-earned dollars—inflation eats away their value. There's no telling what shortages or what prices to expect, so you can't budget your income. Your investment of energy, time, and money to educate yourself for a chosen career might be a complete waste—unemployment lines are filled with college graduates. What has happened to the great American dream? Well, if you've been a voting, law-abiding taxpayer, then you've been sanctioning and paying for the government controls which have destroyed that dream, and destroyed your profit from your productivity. There is a point at which the values you can gain by complying with the government controls on your life aren't worth the constant emotional stress and the slow death of your self-esteem. Certainly, you have inner conflicts so long as you are supporting the system which is destroying your means to make a living. And, so long as you continue to support irrational, antilife politicians, you will be confronted with irrational, antilife alternatives. If you want to be free from conflicting values, you must provide yourself with a consistent environment where virtue is profitable and where violating individual rights is not profitable. The thinking and productive person cannot survive as such, without being assured of justice.
A common obstacle among our friends has been a hesitancy to take an action which has the appearance of lowering their material standard of living. Certainly you haven't lowered your standard of living by establishing a retreat and using it as a vacation spot for now, or by relocating your business to a less densely populated area where the local economy is freer and your profits are higher than before. Consider more carefully what your standard of living is. Think of the emotional and mental energy you waste every day in dealing with people who choose not to think. Meaningful communication with such people is not possible. Yet, to function in this society, you must constantly attempt to communicate. And, as this society becomes more rigidly controlled, you must compromise further and further away from functioning as a thinker and producer. Your self esteem and your profits are derived from the growth and success of your business (or—your life). Yet, whoever controls your business (life) owns your business (life). What you are creating and building is not your own so long as the government can legislate you out of business (life).
Don't assume you must lower your standard of living in order to become self-sufficient. It's your long term self-interest at stake, your long term standard of living which you should plan for. You may be pleasantly surprised when you get into the literature of self-sufficiency. There are many ways to provide yourself with more comforts, leisure time and intellectual stimulation than you have now! There is no need to buy all your supplies at once, or to have expensive equipment in order to begin implementing your plans.
FUTURE THREATS TO YOUR SURVIVAL
You need to know, as accurately as possible, what conditions to expect in order to make efficient and profitable preparations. There are several good sources of detailed information available on this subject in the list at the end of this article. We base much of our thinking about future conditions on Harry Browne's books and lectures. We agree that it's difficult to predict the timing and exact course of economic events, because each action the government takes changes the situation. But judging from precedent, whatever the government does the result will be more government controls and less freedom of action for you.
If the government were to stop expanding the money supply, there could be a 1930's-style depression with a stock market crash, bank failures, etc. In some areas the conditions could be worse than the last depression, with increased deprivation and violence in the cities due to the huge concentrations of people and the difficulty of getting food and fuel to them. Then, once the currency devalues to the level of its gold backing, there could be a gradual increase in production and eventually the beginning of a new inflationary cycle.
It's more likely, however, that the government will continue its present policy of expanding the money supply. This could soon lead to runaway inflation, with more drawn out and eventually even worse conditions than the above example. In the case of runaway inflation, the government might attempt to control increased crime by martial law, and shortages in food and fuel by confiscation and rationing (including your private store of gasoline and preserved food). The time could come when the value of dollars was dropping so rapidly that people couldn't exchange them for goods and services (i.e., a real monetary crisis). Without a means of trade, no food or fuel would be transported into the cities. At this point you could expect widespread confusion and panic, rioting by the starving populace, and a breakdown of all government and private services. If the government officials could find a way to pay a military force (a percentage of the loot?), they might attempt to force the productive people to supply necessities for the nonproducers. This could lead to civil war, and ultimately, destruction of the technology supporting our high standard of living.
There are at least two actions the government could take to avoid a monetary crisis. First, a declaration of war on the oil producing countries is possible. On this pretext, conscription and mobilization of defense industries might remove unemployment, and confiscation of food and fuel for redistribution could be accomplished without resistance. This would delay the economic collapse about as well as would a large short term loan with a final, bankrupting balloon payment!
Second, the government could substitute a hard or convertible currency for dollars. This might have a more suddenly devastating effect than a stock market crash, because the rate of exchange could wipe out the bulk of present monetary holdings. However, because of expected political disfavor from the voters, government officials probably wouldn't allow substitution of the currency until things were so bad that there was no choice. It's possible that both of the above actions would be used and it's possible that other actions will change the picture before or after the above actions are taken.
There's no accurate way to predict a timetable for the above events, but we can make some predictions of conditions to prepare for. Optimistically, you can expect: a period from 3 to 12 months during which physical security against widespread violence and starvation are major concerns; 1 to 5 years of a severe depression with violence limited by organized defense; and 6 to 15 years of a generally low standard of living.
We have grouped the survival alternatives according to emphasis on economy, security, or quality of life, in order to help you relate a survival alternative to your predictions for the future. For example, if you expect a relatively short term economic disruption, followed by business as usual, then an easily accomplished alternative emphasizing physical security would be the logical choice for you. In comparing the survival alternatives on the chart, we chose eight broad categories for evaluation and kept the attributes general so you could insert your personal alternatives into the chart. Each person has a unique context (unique values, abilities, skills, resources, etc.) which will make some alternatives more possible or more attractive than others. We will discuss specific examples of alternatives further to give you some idea of the thinking behind our choices. Keep in mind the possibility of combining parts of different alternatives in order to meet your needs.
An alternative which everyone can achieve is equipping a trailer or camper truck for a nomadic life. You could keep your camper or trailer in your back yard, stock it with preserved food and supplies as you could afford them, and be able to leave at a moment's notice. In general, this wouldn't offer the security or quality of life of the alternatives to follow. But, this could be a transitional alternative or a means of transportation to another alternative which, if time permits, you could afford. The preserved food, medical kit, gas drums, camping gear and library stored in your vehicle would be excellent investments no matter what the future brings.
Preserved food could be used as money for trading if you should find an isolated community you want to join. Or if you decided you could safely stay at your present home, you could use your supplies when shortages occurred and prices shot up. The major advantages here are the small amount of money needed, the many uses you can make of your survival stocks, and the fact that you can act now to provide for your future survival.
It would be helpful to make weekend trips, scouting for areas with abundant foods and practicing living off the land. Not only is this activity fun, but it provides vital feedback on what supplies and equipment you need most or must add, and what skills you must develop. For instance, you need to know what wild foods you can and cannot eat in your chosen area.
EMPHASIS ON SECURITY
Mexico's Baja California, prior to the peninsular highway, had many primitive, self-sufficient groups of people. The natives of Baja have no wealth to be confiscated. They make their living by a knowledge of fishing, food gathering and agriculture along the arid sea coast. They are free from strife over competition for food—what they need has always been and still is plentiful. The big advantage of a primitive culture is isolation from the violence of desperate people and politicians. We haven't been to Baja since the peninsular highway was completed, but in hard times it seems likely that many people from California would be attracted to the good fishing and easy life along the Baja coasts. Even now, however, if you could take with you the technology to obtain fresh water from the ocean (e.g., a solar still) and a small boat, you could live an isolated and healthy existence on one of the many islands in the Gulf of California. In general, the negative effects of a world-wide depression on a particular area would be a function of the degree of its dependence on industrialization. Where the people are self-sufficient as to life's basic needs, they will probably be cheerfully busy with life as usual while the rest of the world's population starves. In a sense, the world could be turned upside down, with the poorest, yet self sufficient peoples becoming relatively the richest, due to their knowledge of how to live off the land.
A vacation home could be your isolated land retreat. In the deserts, swamps or high country which provide isolation, the geography and usually the climate are extreme. There are ways to overcome most difficulties, and ingenuity in site selection helps. If you were to choose a spot near a usable coal mine in the Rocky Mountains (our example) you could overcome one of the worst problems of high altitudes—fuel for warmth. Plus, the mine could be used as an underground cache for your survival stocks. Water from snow melt is plentiful. If you want to grow food you will need greenhouses or you could use the more extensive technology of hydroponics. However, don't depend on hunting for meat. If you ask anyone in Colorado what he'd do in a food crisis, he and hundreds of thousands of others would answer: "Go back in the mountains and hunt." So either raise your own chickens and rabbits, or eat balanced vegetable proteins. To the degree that the site is isolated you avoid contact with desperate people. However, once you have invested in permanent improvements to a specific place, and you are depending on it for survival, you must have the means to protect your property. Defense, and life in general, is easier when there are several families involved. Lookout duty, child care, fuel gathering, etc., can be divided up, allowing everyone a higher standard of living. However, trying to coordinate a joint effort is always more difficult than doing what you have to for yourself. As a land owner you could lease part of your property to other families in exchange for services. The mountain landscape is soul-satisfying and provides recreating and a healthy environment. You could purchase or homestead your land now, build a cabin and enjoy it while you practice living in the area.
Ocean-based alternatives have some fundamental advantages over land sites for people with the necessary skills: easy mobility, easy isolation, easily obtained food and a relatively disease free environment. If large numbers of people took up their guns and tried to live off the land by hunting, gathering food, stealing livestock, etc., not only would they quickly deplete the available food, but in less than one year they would have destroyed the wildlife, the seed stock, the breeding stock and thus, the food producers, for many years to come. The ocean, in contrast, has a far larger supply of food and there are far less people with the skills and means necessary to harvest it. With a sailboat and an island base, you could enjoy the advantages of both ocean and land-based alternatives. For instance, you could purchase land on an island in the vicinity of Abaco, Bahamas, build a house and stockpile survival supplies there. The area is fantastically beautiful, both under and above water, with easy diving and fishing. The people of Abaco are capable of self-sufficiency and would make good neighbors (REASON, October 1974). If defense problems should arise, you could enlist local aid, move your base or abandon the area. There are hundreds of deserted islands and beaches in the Caribbean area. With a deep water sailboat, you could go anywhere in the world, or keep in contact with friends and relatives on shore. Anyone who lives on a sea coast could afford a sailboat now—just live aboard and make boat payments instead of rent or mortgage payments. If you obtained a commercial fishing license or chartered out your boat you could cut down on the cost by making it pay for itself (or operate at a loss and avoid taxes). Young children, however, could be a disadvantage for deep water sailing and live aboard conditions. They would require education, constant entertainment and vigilant looking after. And it would be essentially like living in a box with them. But, again, several families with several boats could provide a division of labor and thus, a higher standard of living.
All the alternatives emphasizing security share the disadvantage of a fairly low standard of living over the long term. Isolation from a community where a specialization of skills and highly developed technology is possible seriously limits the quality and quantity of goods and services available. Living close to the earth can be fun when you know you can always return to the variety, complexities and stimulation of a community or city. Also, you probably want to have some regular means of communicating with friends and relatives, or getting to them if they should need help. This brings us to the next alternatives, which emphasize the quality of life. These alternatives may provide you with less security over the long term and may require a larger investment of forethought and money, but you could invite more of the people you value to come with you since the living conditions wouldn't be so demanding.
ALTERNATIVES EMPHASIZING QUALITY OF LIFE
Several authors, including Harry Shultz, have written about immigration to other industrialized countries as an alternative—possibly preferable—to facing the future here in the United States. The countries to consider have many disadvantages for a libertarian, but it can be argued that they might endure a world wide economic depression in better shape than the United States.
For instance, South Africa has large gold resources and other natural advantages. It is a highly industrialized country which provides a high standard of living for a large percentage of its population. Some disadvantages to consider are the restrictions on civil liberties (e.g., apartheid, the ban on television) and the political disfavor the country has internationally. As other larger powers such as the United States and Russia become more and more desperate, they might declare war on the unpopular industrialized countries in order to confiscate their wealth. The existence of apartheid would make such actions easier to rationalize. With or without intentions of waging war, the U.S. might restrict travel to some countries in the near future. You should prepare ahead by getting your passport now, having your money for plane or boat fares in a safe place, and planning alternate means of travel. You must be sure that you meet your chosen country's criteria for immigration and employment. For instance, if you are not of North European ancestry or if you happen to have a dark complexion, your entry into South Africa, New Zealand and Australia might be restricted. Do some careful research before depending on this alternative.
A community of rational libertarians could achieve semi-isolation near a small farm-based Mormon town in Utah. This alternative has the major disadvantage of a large amount of advance planning and investment. Also, you would be somewhat visible and required to accept the restrictions and confiscations of desperate politicians from all levels of government (if they noticed you). Among the numerous advantages would be the possibility of a community where you could interrelate and exchange specialized skills with people who shared your values and sense of life. For most libertarians, this would be a substantial increase over their present quality of life, even now, before the major effects of a depression. By choosing a self-sufficient neighboring town, you have increased your economic security by broadening the base for exchange of goods and services. This would especially be an advantage while the libertarian community was small.
The last example is a politically isolated county full of rational libertarian communities. This could be achieved in a sparsely populated county of your own or a neighboring state. (We have discussed this plan at length with Victor Hedley, who introduced us to it and wants to implement it, given a sufficiently large number of libertarians willing to try it. Anyone seriously interested can contact Victor Hedley, 5050 S.W. 70th Avenue, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33314, for more information.) Since the legal and political mechanisms of this alternative work to best advantage when the political establishment is ignorant, we will at this time avoid many specifics in our description. Basically, all the local elected governmental offices would be filled by libertarians. This provides a buffer zone between you and the state and Federal powers.
The central mechanism of this alternative is to qualify a large number of libertarians to vote with absentee ballots in the local elections of a particular county. At this time, a person can legally vote in local elections by simply registering at the local court house. However, to avoid the possibility of a later court challenge to your right to vote, you would do better to hold title to some property in the county where you voted. If a judge were to disqualify a particular libertarian who voted, the judge could be' personally sued immediately by all the libertarians who voted in the election. The libertarians could represent themselves by filing standard forms prepared in advance at minimal expense. The judge would then have to answer all the suits individually at the various locations where they were filed, at his own expense. If 2000 libertarians had voted in a particular election, any subsequent legal challenges to a voter's qualifications would be made only with very good cause. If properly selected, the county could be incorporated and established as a free port in order to avoid taxes. There could be a county militia supported by the county armory to provide defense during the worst of the crisis. The Sheriff could deputize all the libertarians who could thus legally wear guns. A libertarian bank could be established, with just a state or Federal charter and not belong to the FDIC. The bank could function as a warehouse by holding your deposits in whatever form you choose (i.e., gold, foreign currency, etc.), and could issue Bearer Certificates of Deposit, for various popular denominations. These Bearer CD's might later be exchanged for goods and services. A Chamber of Free Commerce could be established to inform various industries of the advantages (tax and otherwise) of locating their businesses in the county. This survival alternative could provide a substantial increase in standard of living for those involved. Effectively unexercised, local political power could provide a tax haven for productive activity, a buffer from state and national political coercion, and a means of collecting restitution for state and Federal taxation. The specific mechanisms and potential advantages are too numerous to mention here. The major disadvantages are the amount of time and advance organization necessary and the risk of attack from the state and Federal powers due to the envy created by the emergence of a highly prosperous area in the midst of increasing squalor.
Any one of the suggested survival alternatives could be beneficial to the individuals involved, even if the economy is able to remain viable. As more and more libertarians are searching for better ways to live we are discovering more and more imaginative alternatives being successfully implemented. We know of some people in the cypress swamps of Florida right now, living quite comfortably—even luxuriously with swimming pool, electricity, etc.—while still being completely self-sufficient.
Most important, become as self-sufficient as possible and make sure any neighbors you select have done the same. Avoid situations where others expect to depend on you or where you must depend on others (if you're friendly enough to survive marriage, you might survive the close quarters of a sailboat). You may specialize, but try to learn or retain all the basic survival skills necessary for your chosen lifestyle. Provide yourself with alternatives for established services such as: water supply, education, police protection, and postal service. Begin a physical fitness program now. Your mind doesn't reason well when your body is exhausted, and poor judgment can be fatal in a critical situation. Physical fitness also plays an important role in personal defense. Knowledge of your limitations is vital when you must decide whether to fight or run. Japanese style karate (or other martial arts) could provide both fitness and self knowledge, and an aerobic exercise program could make a more consistently creative and productive person of you while providing the physical stamina necessary for handling emergencies.
Try to develop one or two skills to offer in trade for other services and goods. If you have only a few resources put aside, you will be confronted with the necessity of trading your skills much sooner than someone who has a larger survival stockpile. However, everyone will probably be engaged in trading skills and resources long before the general standard of living has returned to its present level.
Build a survival library. You may be in semi isolation for several years. Be prepared to provide your children with an education and yourself with intellectual stimulation. You can save yourself energy and hardship with books explaining simple technologies. We have included a list of sources for retreatist literature prepared by Don Doig. You can begin your research by sending for the book catalogs listed there.
You should set about to convert savings, capital goods and equity into gold, silver, preserved food and the equipment necessary for your survival lifestyle. These would be useful for trading during a crisis and as a means of rebuilding after the depression hits bottom.
Perhaps the most crucial consideration for survival is to achieve isolation from people not sharing your political philosophy. If you design a lifestyle which doesn't permit physical or political isolation, then you should try to achieve semi-isolation by lowering your visibility as a thinker and producer.
For your psychological well-being, it's very important that you act now. Each step toward self sufficiency releases you from some of the emotional tension of knowing you aren't prepared mentally or materially, and might not live through the next five years. It's part of your nature to act in your self-interest, and so long as you know critical times are coming and do nothing about it, you're living in constant inner conflict. Time may be getting very short. It's far better to be a year early than a week late.
Ben Baldwin is a native of California with degrees in Bacteriology (A.B.), Infections and Tropical Diseases (M.P.H.) and Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) from U.C.L.A. and U.C.D. He has practiced large and small animal medicine in Santa Cruz, CA, Portland, OR, Colorado Springs, CO, and currently Lake Worth, FL. His interests include: creating an ideal lifestyle with Maia and extended family, philosophy, skin diving, sailing, flying and hunting.
Maia Smith (nee Marion) is also a native of California with a degree in English, Speech and Biology (A.B.) from U.C.L.A. She trained in techniques for neurophysiological research at the Brain Research Institute, U.C.L.A. and the Center for Primate Biology at Davis. Currently, she is making her living recording clinical electroencephalographs in West Palm Beach, FL. Her interests include: study of human learning and consciousness, writing poetry and fiction, drawing portraits, painting, making music, skin diving, sailing and exploring the world with Ben, Beau (5) and Danika (3).
ACKNOWLEDGMENT: We want to thank Tom Snipes and Don Doig for their ideas in preparing this article.
SELF-SUFFICIENCY: SOURCES AND REFERENCES
Anyone who is interested in setting up a self-sufficient retreat is immediately confronted with the problem of where to get the essential information. Goods and services which are taken for granted in a technological society now have to be provided by the individual—but how? Fortunately a considerable literature on the subject exists, if you know where to look. This is an attempt to present enough basic source information to get prospective retreaters started. The general references are especially useful, but I have provided more specific references as well.
I have not personally read everything I have recommended, nor should this bibliography be considered complete.
The Updated Last Whole Earth Catalogue and The Whole Earth Epilog—These are good source books for references on just about any aspect of back-to-nature, survival and self-sufficiency technology.
Mother Earth News—This magazine offers detailed information in the form of articles on a wide variety of topics related to self-sufficiency. Highly recommended. How-to-do-it articles on homesteading, methane-generator building, organic gardening, animal husbandry, and much more. Back issues are available, and I recommend you get them all. (P.O. Box 70, Hendersonville, NC 28739. One year, six issues $8.00.)
Mother's Bookshelf—This is the book service for the Mother Earth News. It is an excellent source of books dealing with organic gardening, crafts, building (houses, boats, etc.), wild foods, survival, cooking, alternate energy sources, homesteading, animal husbandry. Ask for their catalogue. (P.O. Box 70, Hendersonville, NC 28739.)
HARRY BROWNE'S How You Can Profit from a Monetary Crisis—This is a book you should definitely read. Contains an analysis of why he thinks an economic collapse is imminent—and what you can do to protect yourself. Covers retreats. $2.25 at your local bookstore.
Libertarian financial forecasting newsletters can be quite useful in predicting trends and in offering advice. They also carry survival-retreat information.
The Inflation Survival Letter is particularly good at 26 issues for $30. (410 First Street, S.E., Washington, DC 20003.)
The International Harry Schultz Letter is also good, but expensive. $225 per year or $135 for 6 months! Make checks payable to: Financial and Economic Research Corp.—for deposit only and cross the checks diagonally through the center. (P.O. Box 1161 Basel 4002, Switzerland.)
A new newsletter is the Laissez-Faire Enclave Report, dealing with survival information. (P.O. Box H, Dover, PA 17315. $12.00 per year.)
Retreater's Bibliography—From Don and Barbie Stephens, this is an extensive libertarian oriented self sufficiency bibliography. Expensive but fairly complete. Published in 1970, it is somewhat out of date. 24 pages. (Order from Don and Barbie Stephens, P.O. Box 141, Glendale, CA 91209. $12.)
Foxfire and Foxfire Two—Good information on hog dressing, cabin building, spinning and weaving, etc., etc. Available in paperback. Check your bookstore.
Mother's General Store Catalogue #5—This is where you go to buy: cast iron wood-burning stoves, grain mills, pressure canners, milk pails, ice cream freezers, cider presses, old fashioned building supplies—like froes (for splitting shingles, staves, and clapboards), carpenter's adzes, and double bit axes—garden tools, livestock and poultry supplies and equipment. You can get washboards, boots, kerosene lamps, knives, sleeping bags and leatherworking tools. Plus lots more. (35¢ from Box 506, Flatrock, NC 28731.)
The Last Whole Earth Catalogue (updated) and The Whole Earth Epilog—These are indispensable starting points for anyone interested in self-sufficiency. They constitute an extensive source book for self-sufficiency tools and information. Farming and organic gardening, cooking, beekeeping, animal husbandry, power sources (solar energy, windmills, etc.), crafts—woodworking, leatherworking, weaving—arts, music, housebuilding, camping and survival supplies, sailing, boatbuilding. Tools, equipment, and supplies can be ordered directly from the manufacturers using the information and addresses given in the Catalogues. Some things can be ordered from the Catalogues. These Catalogues can generally be found in local bookstores. (If not, order from The Libertarian Review 422 First St., S.E. Washington, DC 20003. $5 and $4, respectively.)
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICES and the like are good sources of cheap (or free) information in the form of pamphlets. Check out your local State Agricultural Extension Service.
Canada Department of Agriculture
Ottawa, Canada KIA OC7
and ask for their publications list. Each individual can obtain a maximum of 10 different publications for free.
You can also write to:
Superintendent of Documents
U.S. Government Printing Office
Washington, DC 20402
GARDENING AND FARMING:
Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, ed. by J.I. Rodale and Staff. 1145 pages of essential information on just about any aspect of gardening. $12.95 from Mother's Bookshelf.
The Basic Book of Organic Gardening, ed. by Robert Rodale. $1.25 pb. Check your local bookstore. Also available from Mother's.
The Complete Book of Composting, J.I. Rodale and Staff. Rodale Press, Inc. Book Division, Emmaus, PA. 1007 pp. Price not known.
Organic Gardening and Farming Magazine, ed. R. Rodale, 33 East Minor St., Emmaus, PA 81049. One year $6.85.
FOOD PRESERVATION AND COOKING:
Putting Food By by Ruth Hertzberg, Beatrice Vaughn, and Janet Greene. Excellent coverage of home food preservation—drying, canning, smoking, pickling, root cellars. From Mother's. 370 pp. $4.50.
Ball Blue Book. Home canning methods. 50¢ Postpaid from Ball Corp., Muncie, IN 47302
Culinary Capers. Cooking with dehydrated survival foods. From Perma-Pac, Inc. #40 East 2430 South, Salt Lake City, UT. $3.00.
Home Food Dehydrating by Jay and Shirley Bills. P.O. Box 490, 55 East 300 South, Bountiful, UT. $3.95.
Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe. Useful information on combining nonmeat proteins for maximum utilization. Mother's, $1.25.
Edible Wild Plants by O. Medsger. $2.95, 383 pp. From Mother's.
The various books by Euell Gibbons are quite good. Stalking the Wild Asparagus, Stalking the Blue-Eyed Scallop, The Beachcomber's Handbook, Stalking the Healthful Herbs. Some, but not all, of these are available from Mother's. Check your local bookstore.
Survival With Style by Bradford Angier. From Libertarian Review, $2.45.
Bushcraft: A Serious Guide to Survival and Camping by R. Graves. 344 pp., pb. $3.95 from Mothers.
The Merck Manual 12th edition. Useful, but not intended for use in primitive conditions without medical supplies. $8.00 from The Whole Earth Catalogue, or any medical bookstore.
Being Your Own Wilderness Doctor by Dr. E. Russel Kodet and Bradford Angier. $1.50 + .25 postage from Simon & Schuster, 1 West 39 St., New York, NY 10018, or from The Whole Earth Catalogue.
WEAPONS AND SELF DEFENSE
The Adobe Hacienda (Route 3, Glendale, AZ 85301) and Paladin Press (Box 1307, Boulder, CO 80302) are good sources for books dealing with such topics as guerrilla warfare, weapons use and maintenance, and related topics. The Adobe Hacienda also carries wilderness survival books. Write for their free catalogues.
Check out a local gun shop for The Shooter's Bible by R. Koumjian and The Gun Digest, ed. by J.T. Amber. These are sources of information on civilian guns, ballistics, and accessories.
If you are thinking of purchasing a weapon, especially a pistol or revolver, I would suggest you try to buy it anonymously from a private individual. Not only are such weapons cheaper, they avoid the danger of legislative sanctioned confiscation, which you face if you own a handgun which is registered to you. Not only has direct control of handguns by confiscation been proposed more frequently lately, but there have been proposals to regulate handguns by prohibiting the interstate transportation of handgun ammunition. There are also indications that shortages of ammunition (especially handgun ammunition) are imminent. So I would recommend stocking up on ammunition for your weapons.
LAND ACQUISITION AND SETTING UP
Finding and Buying Your Place in the Country by Les Scher. Extensive source for legal and practical information—location, inspection, financing. Section on group co-ownership. Paperback $6.95, Mother's.
Five Acres and Independence by M.G. Kains. Small farm management. $2.50 from Mother's.
Farming in Canada. Canada Department of Agriculture. Pub. #1296.
Mother Earth News Handbook of Homemade Power. $1.95 from Mother's Bookshelf.
Direct Use of the Sun's Energy by Farrington Daniels. $1.95 + .25 postage from Ballantine Books, 201 E. 50th St., New York, NY 10022.
Practical Farm Buildings: A Text and Handbook by James S. Boyd. $7.95 from Mother's.
How to Build a Wood-frame House by L.O. Anderson. $3.00 from Mother's.
Building a Log Cabin in Alaska. Cooperative Extension Service, University of Alaska, College, AK 99701. Pamphlet P-50A. Ask for their list of publications.
Ocean Living, William Taylor, ed., Box 17463, Los Angeles, CA 90017. $1.00/10 issues.
Knight's Modern Seamanship, 14th Ed. $14.95 postpaid from Van Nostrand-Reinhold, 450 West 33rd St., New York, NY 10001 (or The Whole Earth Catalogue).
The Homesteader's Handbook to Raising Small Livestock by J.D. Belanger. $8.50 from Mother's.
Handbook of Livestock Equipment by E.M. Juergenson. $9.25 from Mother's.
The various Government Agricultural Services are good sources of material in this area.
Don Doig has a B.S. in Microbiology, and a B.S. in PreMedicine from Montana State University (1972), and is currently a predoctoral student in Physiology at the University of Miami, specializing in cellular aging. His interests include cooking, hunting, fishing, skin diving, and humanities study. He is currently chairman of the Libertarian Institute for a Free Economy in Miami, Florida.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Where to Go to Survive the Collapse".