Deciding to buy a homestead and use it as a place to bug out at is a good decision, but it’s one that must made carefully. There are many things that can go wrong.Most people are used to the urban lifestyle and take their conveniences for granted. When living on a homestead, many of the amenities that you’re accustomed to may not even be available. Gasp! There may be no internet! What will you do???
So, you must be prepared for living in a homestead which entails considerable inconvenience. This article will highlight 10 common mistakes made by many survivalists who decide to homestead.
1. Poor location
Choosing the location of your homestead will be the MOST IMPORTANT decision you make. You’ll need to choose very wisely. The homestead has to be a distance away from the city… and that the same time not too far away.
You want isolation, but it should not seem like you’re the only person on earth. No man is an island. So, you want to be able to reach the urban areas within an hour or so. Choose a location that’s remote and hidden, but not completely isolated.
2. Unclear reasons
You must understand why you’re getting a homestead. Choosing a homestead for survival reasons is very different from someone who is doing it to save the earth. The prepper wants to avoid people and threats. The ‘green person’ is trying to reduce his carbon footprint.
Decide what your reasons are and focus on them. If you’re only using your homestead as a secondary location to stay safe, don’t start planting carrots in the garden. There’s not going to be anyone there to tend to them.
3. Overdoing things
You want to have the essential supplies in your homestead to keep you comfortable and safe, but you don’t want to overdo things. Your homestead does not need cable TV or a swimming pool. It’s all about survival. Accept that there is going to be some loss of comfort and convenience when you live in a rural area.
4. Lack of maintenance
Since you’ll be living elsewhere, the homestead will be neglected if you do not make arrangements to maintain it. If you let the grass grow uncontrollably and neglect the house for years until it’s in a dilapidated state, should there be a crisis, your homestead may not be in a condition where you can live in. Drop by your homestead every so often and check that it’s in good shape and you may even wish to hire someone to trim the grass, etc.
5. Complacency and overestimating your skill
Living in a homestead requires some skills. If you run out of water, you’ll need to know where to procure it from and how to treat it. If you have no knowledge of this, you’ll be lost when you’re there.
The same applies to foraging or hunting for food… or starting a fire… or even keeping warm on a cold night. You must always build your skills proactively and not overestimate your capabilities.
6. No supplies
Store food, water, a first aid kit and other important items that you will need. Do not expect to bring all these with you when you’re evacuating your residential home. While you will bring several items with you, it’s always best to have extra stores ready and waiting for you at the homestead.
7. Not storing gas
Keep extra gas for your car at your homestead. You may wish to keep it in a smaller shelter away from the house and in a cool place. If you’re at the homestead and your car has very little gas or you’re running on fumes, you may be stranded in a rural location.
8. Unfamiliar of the surroundings
Familiarize yourself with your surroundings well. This will help you function better as a survivalist. You’ll know where to find water, what’s a good evacuation route, where the wildlife hangs out, where your closest neighbors are and much more. You’ll not get lost or be helpless in a strange place if you know your area well.
9. Not secure
Always burglar-proof your home. You can never be too safe. Use alarms, motion sensors, etc. Since you’ll be away most of the time, should any wanderer try to break into your home, it’ll be very difficult for them. You could also hire someone to check on the homestead every now and then to make sure everything is fine.
10. Not enough planning
Lastly, poor planning is the biggest mistake most homesteaders make. They either try to do too much, or they don’t do enough… or what they do is not what they’re supposed to do.
Research and plan well. This will give you the knowledge to approach homesteading in a logical manner and you will make wise decisions. Homesteading can be a very powerful experience that molds your character.
You’ll develop a new appreciation of life and discover what really matters. Even when there’s a crisis and the world seems to be falling apart, the magic of living in a rural area with only the necessities and nature will calm your soul and give you mental clarity. Appreciate it.
“I was a fool to sacrifice the power of living in securing the means of a life.” – William J Dawson