This is the first post in a series I will write about selecting a retreat/bugout location.
Choosing your retreat/bugout location should not be a quick or easy decision. There are many factors to consider. You need to weigh the pros and cons of each property/location carefully. Some factors will automatically rule out that area as a viable option while others may turn out to be a force multiplier. Keep in mind, the chances of finding an absolutely perfect location is very low. There will almost always be at least one or more negatives that may cause you to want to search for another location.
Let's start with probably the most obvious factor to consider in your retreat location - geography and climate. What part of the US are you considering? Do you like the hot and dry climate of the southwest or the hot and humid climate of the southeast? Do you thrive in harsh winters or desert climates? Are you partial to the mountains or lowland areas? Personally, I love the winter. I hunt in the snow, go ice fishing often and enjoy skiing and snowboarding, but.....I am not talking about a vacation home. I am talking about a location I will move to and live at in a worse case scenario (ie grid down, civil unrest, etc...). It will not be easy to survive the winters in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California in a grid down situation. Or think about some of the harsh winters we have had in NJ. If you were lucky enough to have a wood burning stove, you would need to have a stockpile of about 9 cords of wood to make it through the winter. A harsher winter climate would almost guarantee smaller populations and less chance of hostile contact. It will also be easier to heat a home or structure than to cool down a home in a survival situation.
In most cases, living in a more mild climate will give you a longer growing season. Growing vegetables and fruit would be a beneficial addition to your diet and would give you the much needed fiber to aid your digestion, vitamins for health and carbohydrates for energy. Ideally, you would want at least a 150 day growing season. This is one option I would not discount for a long term survival situation.
Another important factor to consider in your retreat location is precipitation. Obviously, an area that gets more rain will be better for most crops you plant as opposed to a dry, hot climate. More rain usually means a higher humidity level, though. If you're worried about comfort level, hot weather accompanied by a humidity level over 80% will be a lot more difficult to deal with than the same temperature in the mountains or high deserts where the humidity levels are generally much lower. Humid climates are also breeding grounds for insects, mold and bacteria. With these things come greater chances for disease, infection and death.
Regardless of the factors I have gone over, I will tell you that I prefer the American southeast (but not a coastal state). For me, the negatives of added humidity are overshadowed by the positives of a mild winter, longer growing season and plentiful water for my own consumption and the watering of crops.
I will continue this discussion of selecting a retreat/bugout location at a later time.