Who we care for, the resources available to us, and where we’re from can all make a vast difference in how we approach our preps.
Since we all have different circumstances and varying parameters to determine post-disaster success, there is no such thing as a perfect prep.
However, those who take the challenge of prepping in a rural environment experience perhaps the greatest risk-reward trade of anyone.
When in a rural environment, we lose access to a great deal of commodities that might make other areas more survivable, such as supply centers and the assistance of others.
We lose the ability to incorporate features into our preps such as a bug-out location when we have to care for the needs of livestock and crops.
And while we lose these abilities, the rural prepper gains a key strategic benefit: sustainability.
Here are a few ways that rural preppers can tackle the difficulties particular to their environment to make sure that their homestead weathers the worst that the world can offer. On more security ideas for readers from the Midwest, consider ADT in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Dealing with Security Threats
The security issues with living on a rural property can be something of a contradiction. While it may be common knowledge that rural areas enjoy a hugely reduced rate of crime compared to neighboring suburban and urban regions, there are a few caveats that can make rural life more challenging to stay secure than living in a crowded city.
First, while it’s true that there are fewer instances of reported crime, instances of violence and larceny are much more likely to go undetected in rural areas. Secondly, those in rural areas frequently lack the benefit of a neighborhood watch, which have a proven effectiveness in deterring crime and reporting it as it occurs. Finally, rural life mostly involves living in large, open expanses.
While crime is less likely to occur, the odds of successfully deterring home invaders is reduced significantly due to a wider space to cover with fewer means of detecting threats. The most effective way to account for this is by establishing a parameter with adequate fencing, which should be at least 6 feet high and unscalable to ward off people. Consider adding wire and other such defenses if allowable by local laws.
Finally, it can help to keep criminals away using what I term the “scarecrow” strategy. By maintaining a façade of surveillance even when you aren’t available, you can help deter criminals in a larger area.
- Spread out security equipment throughout the grounds, along with conspicuous signage indicating your security. Ideally, any security equipment should run with a back-up generator.
- Hook up sensors to activate floodlights and noise alarms – this can actually also help in keeping away threats such as coyotes, as well.
- And for an extra security bonus, you can’t go wrong with the old standby of a tough well-trained dog. Locating impending threats in the pitch dark of night is something that your trained dog can handle much more competently than an entire search party.
Caring for Your Livestock and Garden
When long-term prepping comes at play, resources such as luxury items come second to vital resources such as food. When it comes to a disaster situation, your livestock and garden might become far more tantalizing than any goods inside your home. There are some practices that can help defend these precious resources just as effectively as you might defend your goods indoors.
Before considering ways that you can defend your livestock from others, think first of ways to help them overcome the elements.
- Use electrified fencing or wire around all potential entry points to eliminate small pests and predators from accessing your livestock.
- Various garments and coverings can be equipped to avoid freezing and certain pests. Make sure any shelters for your livestock are well-maintained at all times.
- Avoid resorting to too much artificial feed, which can be nutritionally hazardous and result in heightened illness.
- Keeping a surplus of livestock first aid equipment is also a wise investment; for some ideas on what might be good to stock up on, check out this checklist.
Once their basic needs are met, the next threat you can meet is that of others who might steal or harm your livestock. A herding dog can serve as a natural guardian, but only goes so far when it comes to potentially armed invaders. However, they can serve as a helpful alarm for if anything does go awry.
Keeping a noise detector nearby livestock shelters to respond to barking and loud noises can be a helpful way to keep tabs on these areas, though must be precisely calibrated and placed to avoid excessive false alarms. Finally, firearms and a well-sealed parameter to limit access points on your property can be useful ways to turn your range into a fortress.
Much of these tips are applicable for keeping your garden safe as well, though extra caution should be taken to keep gardens out of reach from the parameter. Any resources reachable through your fencing will be more difficult to defend. Given that, livestock and crops placed near fences can more easily be stolen or harmed. While it can be labor intensive, it is worthwhile to push your parameter fencing several feet back if they come within several yards of these resources.
These are just a few ideas to help preppers in more out-of-reach areas handle the challenges of prepping for the worst. While it can take more effort and resources, you’ll be able to sustain a household much longer than someone in the suburbs relying on canned goods and the goodwill of their neighbors. It certainly isn’t the easy way to prep, but it’s one of the most effective ways if you follow the right practices.
What else do you think complicates rural prepping, and what would you recommend to overcome it?