Episode-1329- Thoughts on Remote Land, BOLs, etc.

A Pre Fab Mini Cabin at a BOL

A Pre Fab Mini Cabin at a BOL

A few of you guys have asked for a few shows that get a bit away from the homesteading/permaculture stuff and a bit deeper into some of the other more typical “survival topics” we have covered before.  Today we do the first of a few shows I have planned to answer that need.

Today we discuss remote land/home ownership and the unique advantages and challenges it represents.  Far to many see a BOL solely as a place for when the shit has really hit the fan, like TEOTWAWKI level stuff.  The reality is a BOL serves a variety of functions.

In our case we haven’t had a BOL since 2011 when we moved to Arkansas to a place that had been serving as such for about 6 years at that time.  After a shot stint up there of about two years, it was clear my wife’s heart was in Texas.  We decided to sell the remote property and use the gains to improve our new homestead in Texas.

Once again now I find myself scouring places like LandsOfTexas.com, LandWatch.com and UnitedCountry.com looking for that perfect get away property.  This time my goals are a bit different, yours may be more like my first property, the one I am looking for now or something entirely different.  The purpose of today’s show is to help you find the right property for your needs.  Further to decide if having such a property is even right for you at all.

Join Me Today to Discuss…

  • Why would you want a remote property
    • Fall back location
    • Recreation
    • Investment
  • What I think makes a property desirable
    • Water
    • Access
    • Structure
    • Distance
    • Grid
    • Near a Small Town
    • Secure
    • Good Neighbors
    • No Restrictions
  • Questions to ask yourself
    • Are there other things I really should do first
    • Can I really afford it
    • How often will I really use it
    • What do I most want out of it
  • Thoughts on “Teaming Up”
    • It can work, everyone just needs to be clear going in
    • Look for people with common goals and values
    • Define use and define guests very clearly
    • Decide between common ownership and defined areas going in
    • I would likely only do this if all parties could pay cash going in
    • There are many advantages to teaming up
  • Final thoughts on BOLs

Resources for today’s show…

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33 Responses to Episode-1329- Thoughts on Remote Land, BOLs, etc.

  1. autofabwelding

    Can’t wait to listen to today’s show. Can’t listen till after work. Just got my remote land/BOL last weekend!!! Deep in the hills and trees of middle TN.

  2. I used to live in AZ and we would hear reports all the time that a squirrel or other rodent was found with Bubonic Plague, it’s not that uncommon especially in the Flagstaff area.
    Thanks for all you do Jack!

  3. I am in the process of relocating my family from El Paso to DFW. The thought of buying land has been at the forefront of my mind since I got here. If I’m going to survive in this city, I’m going to have to have a place out of the city to get some peace and quiet and get out of the traffic.

    Question: Is it possible to find “deals” on rural acreage in the same way some people buy foreclosure homes? Foreclosures, tax liens, sheriff’s sales, etc. ?

    I am looking for land between the NE corner of Dallas leaving out on HWY 75 up into McAlester, OK. Somewhere in that 2 hour range.

    Thanks, if anyone has any knowledge on this.

    • Tim,
      i have seen nice parcels of land in OK in the areas you are looking for. There were listed in DFW craigslist ads. Also there were some cool properties by lake Taxoma NE of Gainsville NW of Sherman.

      • I found a place several years ago north of Antlers, OK. I live inside 635 in Dallas, and the trip door-to-door is 3 hours flat. Getting past McKinney takes me just about an hour with the construction. Nice and quiet, good roads – out 121 to Bonham and 82 over to Paris and then up. There is a good variety of property for sale and I am working on a food forest now up there.

      • Chuck –

        Would you be willing to give me a tour of your property some weekend? I’d be willing to run a shovel for a couple of days some weekend. I’d love to get up there and see your place.

  4. I’m just a few minutes into the main topic, but I have to say THANK YOU JACK! Thanks for a) talking about BOL’s, because one figures into my near future plans, and I needed to think it through, and you always help us do that, and b) THANKS for hitting some “true” survivalist topics like BOL’s.

    Not that permaculture isn’t a survival topic, but it’s good to cover other aspects of preparedness, too. Also, we had Steve Harris about radios recently, so that too was a little bit of a respite, and a return to “true” survival topics.

  5. Im in a situation where I dont have the means to purchase a BOL or really feel the need to do so. My recreation and investment is in my current living situation. Ive been thinking about how I would bugout if necessary without actually owning any property. Leaving my property would be an absolute last resort but nothing is out of the realm of possibility, its definitely an interesting topic to think about.

    • Maybe you could think more about the teaming idea. If you have a trusted friend that is in a position to buy a BOL, perhaps you could offer your services setting it up and maintaining it in exchange for being on the team. I’m planning on inviting some close friends to do that with me at my BIL – people who live in-city or who have exceptional skills but little capitol kinds of folks. It will still be mine, and I’ll maintain control of the whole thing, but it would be easier than bugging in alone with just my family.

  6. Good context on the age old topic of BOL. The suggestions on distance from the primary residence were outstanding, (being no more than 3 hours away). The idea the BOL should be near a small town with some infrastructure away from the interstate is sound advice. Jack also touched on having the BOL far enough away that it gets generally a different weather pattern. The minset of the BOL should be a place of recreation and be a place where the owner would get return on investment was common sense sound advice. Thanks Jack for addressing this traditional topic.

  7. TENTS: if you’re going to camp in a tent, I highly recommend a canvas “flex bow” tent. They’re very popular in the Rockies and hold up extremely well in high winds (check out Youtube videos). The canvas is much more durable than nylon [this is not a light weight backpacking tent, it's heavy duty and only for dropping off the back of a vehicle, not carrying in]. The “flex bow” or “spring bar” design utilizes an external frame, so there is no internal center poles to take up space inside the tent. It’s a much better improvement over a GP small military tent and can be put up by one person. I plan on camping in mine when I visit the Spirko homestead during a workshop.
    http://www.competitiveedgeproducts.com/detail.aspx?ID=1941

  8. yes it sure is possible to find deals on land. I had a co-worker that was also a real estate agent and I talked to him gave him my must haves. We found a place about 60 min from STL and 20 min to the nearest walmart. About another 60 min and I can be in a national forest for duck or deer or small game hunting. We found 5+ acres with a 2100 sqft house, barn, tuff shed sized chicken couple, private well and septic another two section out building that will house my fuel stills. We’re out past the pavement and have already meet the farmer next door who from my place I can’t even see his. We are not moved in yet a little bit of work to do on the place.

    • Sounds like you might be my neighbor! I too am 60min from STL. Good distance if you ask me. Close enough to go to a Cards game, far enough away to enjoy lower priced mortgages.

  9. Great show as usual Jack!

    Kinda weird how just not saying the word permaculture or taking about trees is enough to give the illusion that this isn’t a permaculture show.

    C’mon people, make the connection. The thinking applies to everything.

  10. I also always believed that the BOL has to be visited regularly, so that it’s perceived as used, and not forgotten, which might be a good reason to loot or vandalise the property.

    In my opinion it’d be best if one could go to work from there not only by car, but also using public transportation. In the scenario where oil is very expensive, and you still have to go to work as you can’t afford to live completely off-grid, it’d be a good choice.

  11. My wife & I broke out laughing when you talked about property 3 Hrs. away. We sold our 40 acres in Montana & bought 12.5 out here in Az. It’s a dead 3 Hrs. away from our house in Phoenix. It’s also in a farming community 1o mins. from a small town instead of a rough 40 miles away from town.
    FYI – I went with solar on my well even though the grid is there. It’s nice to be able to run the well off AC or DC just in case.
    Great Podcast.

  12. We’ve been talking about getting a BOL in Mississippi on and off since we’ve moved here. We really like it up there that’s for sure, and its certainly cheap enough. I can’t imagine at this point in my life doing much work, or spending a dollar on it though (for improvements).

    Luckily where we live is just far enough away that I don’t have extreme pressures to get a BOL.

    We would definitely be needing to get property where the wife would want to walk around and pick up things. It would certainly have to be a place that has rock outcrops as well….

  13. I’m all set here not only am I dug in like a tick I also have a 40 acre retreat to move into not to mention three of those 40 acre retreats in 100 miles
    I’m all set Son

  14. On the recreation and investment side..

    How about building the space so its self-sustaining financially?

    Short term cabin or camping rental.. and longer term, rental house(s) or deal with local farmer(s) (pasture, woodlot management, etc.)

    I’m not going to buy an OPSEC counter argument.. its outweighed IMO by increased property security (more eyes/visits). And any onsite supplies can be secured/hidden.. as you’re not going to be dealing with people you don’t know/trust anyway.

    • As an obvious addendum.. an established food forest 2-3 hours from your house, particularly if you’re living on a smaller in-town plot, is an obvious bonus.. how many different ways can you make your BOL an asset instead of an expense?

    • Think ‘business unit’.. not ‘vacation home’.

    • workshop site (rental or you teach)
      berry patches (the thorny, no work kind)
      nut trees (inoculated with truffle fungus)
      hardwood groves (search: sonicbloom + walnuts)
      shooting range (popups, shoot houses, etc. to make it worth renting)
      etc.

    • the ants shall inherit the earth

  15. Solid show. It helped ground some of my previous ideas. Far better to get a recreational property that will likely appreciate, and have some redeeming prepper features, rather than prepper paradise that I could never liquidate and my family has no desire to visit.

  16. I wish I could find an affordable prefab cabin. I’ve got a million and one uses for one or more and very few building skills.

    • Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a bug-out cabin (BOC) that could be transported down a winding foot path behind an ATV or UTV, and assembled in one or two days, in a remote location, leaving little or no trace of any activity, and with minimal damage to the environment?

      Ok, I’ve obviously been thinking about this for a while. Since episode 966, where Jack talked about how an entrance to your BOL should be set up so that it is not easily seen the by the causal passerby, this has been on my mind. Revisiting the subject has me excited once again.

      The place that I would like to put my bug-out cabin is in the Ozark mountains with lots of dense forest. An idea like this would make it conceivable to put my bug-out cabin anywhere on this property.

  17. I would like to thank you for the wide variety of topics that you cover.

    When you began to spend more and more time on permaculture, I too would get tired of of the subject. Then I began to see permaculture as a way to live instead of just a word, or a subject. Since then, I have been thinking of how it can apply to my Christian walk, my business, and everything in between. There’s a subject: Permaculture applied to Christianity.

    Anyway, it is nice to talk about buggin’ out.

    Keep it up Jack. Love what you’re doing.

    • Modern Survival

      Given I myself am not a Christian you will have to find someone else to cover that one. I could do it applied to “faith” in general but likely it wouldn’t sit well with most.

    • Scott Mann has done a series on Faith and Permaculture over at The Permaculture Podcast.

  18. GrizzlyAdams

    Thanks Jack for going back to some of the topics on the other end of the survival spectrum!

    GA

  19. Funny to hear this conversation. We recently bought that 10 acres with the house that really just needed a match. I am handy and will take it to the studs, Kill the creepy crawlies, and foam insulate it and go back with what I want.

    I have become very goal oriented. Needed to be close to work for me and the wife, Check. more than 5 acres, check. Water, has city and a well. Sewer, septic. Good public school. Little restrictions and good country type neighbors. And, needed to be paid off quickly. I hate debt, we will be back out in 5 years or less. Dave Ramsey financial program does work.

    I found once I wrote down my goals, talked them over with my wife and made them our goals, things happened fast. Paying off debt was a major reason we could buy that great deal that fell in our lap. Plus having the vision to see that it did help fulfill our goals, with a lot of work.

    Great show. I found this after watching Wranglerstar. Sound like our kind of people.