I did two video reviews of my new book “Bugging Out & Relocating”. I first did a longer video, going into more detail. I believe it turned out well and I made some points you may find interesting but then again its a 40 minute video so I did a shorter version as well.
Take care and enjoy your weekened!
I just got done reading yournew book. It is a worth sequel to your first book and I’ll likely post a review of it on my blog soon.
I live on the South Island in Christchurch. I’d like to offer some input on your book in relation to New Zealand. Feel free to post these comments, but please leave off my name for now.
As a background, I left the United States last December and relocated to New Zealand. The reasons are many and complex as you likely can relate. However I just didn’t like the overall direction of the United States and actually think the political situation is becoming less stable each year. My girlfriend is a Kiwi and I had been to the country and always liked it so I figured I’d give it a go.
Crime – Gangs are really not the issue that people think. Realize that crime in NZ is dramatically lower than most places in the U.S. for instance. The police here don’t even carry guns as a course of duty. So really most crime tends to get a lot of press because serious violent crime is just not common. With that said, there are some gangs usually involved with drugs, etc. If you are not involved with the drug trade chances of you running into gang problems are virtually nil, just like in the U.S. Random violent crime is not common but could happen from time to time if you are in the wrong place. You do have some problems with drunk teens in some places, but no worse than anywhere else on the planet. Overall, there are very few places in NZ that I’d be afraid to walk in at night. It’s a very safe country.
Culture – The culture of the South Island is very solid. After the big earthquake in 2011 in Christchurch for instance there was basically no looting, pillaging, etc. as some survivalists think would happen. The community came together and helped out. Buildings that were condemned after the quakes still had intact windows with shelves of inventory on them that nobody broke in to steal even a year after the fact. There were only some very small isolated issues and they were dealt with quickly and competently by the police.
I think what a lot of survivalists don’t recognize is that no man is an island. Living in a cabin in the woods does not mean you are safe, it may just mean you are easy to target. What you really want is to live in a community where everyone doesn’t turn into rabid predators at the first sign of trouble. In Christchurch we have that. In many American cities, you do not. The US culture in some places is very bad and this makes it a toxic mix in the event of serious trouble. I do not have that fear living in New Zealand. The culture here is not corrupt and very community minded.
Attitudes – Kiwis are very independent and don’t like hearing people whine. They have a saying here if you are whining: “Harden up!” This basically means stop complaining and get on with your job. Being somewhat isolated down here, they tend to be more self-reliant and not dependent on everyone else to keep things going. It’s a good attitude.
Electricity, Water and Food – Most electricity in NZ is renewable sources like hydro, wind, geothermal, etc. Water is plentiful. Agriculture is the major industry here so food is not a problem and it is all extremely high quality and tends to be organically produced. NZ exports a lot of food to China, Australia, US, and Europe. There is some oil production so in an emergency I believe there would be enough petrol supplies to keep critical industries running.
Immigration – NZ has tough immigration laws, but at the same time they don’t import a lot of poverty and crime like the U.S. which compounds the social problems. Immigration law violations are dealt with with deportation and banning of re-entry. Being surrounded by water makes it hard for troublemakers to enter the country and become a burden.
Healthcare – Like you said, it’s a mix of public and private insurance. The public side is pretty good, but if you want fast elective procedures you can get private insurance. It’s all very modern and competent service as you’d find in the U.S. Frankly, I think it’s better from what I’ve seen in terms of doctors and treatment.
Lawsuits – You can’t easily sue anyone in New Zealand. There is a national no fault insurance scheme and this makes the legal environment here much friendlier compared to the U.S., especially for starting and running a business. You don’t have to worry about petty lawsuits in the country as you do in America.
Firearms – Your section on firearms was pretty much spot on. Honestly, NZ probably has more lax firearms laws than some states in the US now. Hunting and sport shooting are very popular and many people own firearms. You can buy military style semi-autos with an A class license as long as they do not have a pistol grip and flash suppressor. Magazines would be limited to 7 rounds in that case. If you get the E class license you can basically buy any military style semi auto you want along with magazine. Suppressors here are also common and you can buy them over the counter. Lots of people hunt with suppressors for safety reasons. You can own pistols if you belong to a pistol club, but you must shoot a certain number of times a year to keep it current. Three gun competitions, IPSC, etc. are all done down here.
The basic gist of the gun laws are: 1) They want to make sure you aren’t a nut. 2) They want to make sure you aren’t a criminal. 3) They want to make sure you keep the firearms locked up against unauthorized access. Pretty much that’s it and I don’t have any real problems with their goals.
Hunting – Big game animals in NZ are all introduced species and considered pests. You can hunt here year round with no seasons and no limits in most cases. You can use firearms, bows, knives, bare hands, whatever. This is for deer, wapiti (elk), pigs, ducks, chamois, tahr, rabbits, possums, etc. World class hunting in many aspects.
South Island Cities – Nelson is a nice smaller city, but somewhat isolated up north. Christchurch did have an earthquake, but is rebuilding and is by far much bigger and closer to jobs, hospitals, universities, etc. if you need them. Dunedin is a nice smaller university town further south. Invercargill is a very small town at the southern tip of NZ and is also a nice small town if you want colder weather. Queenstown is a recreational area with world class skiing and summer activities. Many Australians come to Queenstown to ski.
North Island Cities – Auckland is a nice mid-size city. It has everything you’d expect to find in any city around the world along with world class sailing. I’ve not been to Wellington, but it is supposed to have a San Francisco vibe with the hills and winds. Some North Island cities tend to have higher rates of crime with larger Maori populations. But again, nothing like in the U.S.
Drugs – Meth (called P down here) tends to be the bad drug of choice in NZ and causes problems just as it does anywhere else. Underage drinking can be a problem, but again nothing worse than anywhere else.
Overall, I like NZ and feel the government isn’t at the extreme paranoia level of the U.S. Plus, being a small government, they don’t have the resources to go around causing trouble everywhere. And if they tried causing trouble, nobody would take them seriously because they don’t take themselves too seriously either. It’s a nice place to be.
Thanks again for the book, it was a great read.
Thank you so much for your kind words and for the information about New Zealand.
When I was about to publish my second book, “Bugging Out and Relocating”, I was afraid that it wouldn’t live up to the standards set by my first one “The Modern Survival Manual:Surviving the Economic Collapse”. My first book was a big success and people clearly liked it a lot, and I wondered how people would receive my second one, being a topic that requires more analytic thinking, more about making hard decisions rather than day to day urban survival like the first book. A friend asked me if that was a concern I had, and it was, but at the same time “Bugging Out and Relocating” is a book I had to write because its what I ultimately did to overcome the economic collapse of Argentina. Its information others can put to good use in a worst case scenario and it complimented the first book well. “The Modern Survival Manual” was about living after an economic collapse, dealing with high levels of street crime, inflation, corruption and failing infrastructure. “Bugging Out and Relocating” is about getting the hell out of the when you just can’t stay any more.
New Zealand is clearly a great place to live. It does have those limitations I mentioned in my opinion, mostly earthquakes and being geographically far from USA and Europe (although that could be an advantage as well), but other than that there’s really not a lot to complain about New Zealand. The gang crime, and the bullying and discrimination in some schools, those I mention not because I believe them to be deal breaking problem, but so as to keep them in mind when narrowing down exactly where to live and which schools to send your children to. Of course, the type of family and lifestyle will be different as well. A couple with no kids wont have the same concerns as one with a teenage son that will probably go out more and hang out with friends.
Its good to hear that New Zealand is working so well for you. Once you research the country in detail you can see why so many people like it so much. One of my best friends has been living in Auckland for a few years now, had a son not that long ago and he’s not going anywhere.
Regarding immigration, NZ would be a very good example of things done right. NZ needs immigrants, and what they do is make sure they get the right kind. They have schemes for young people that want to travel on holidays and work there for a year. Young, honest, hardworking people make for fantastic immigrants. They work, pay their fees and don’t get sick often like older people do. If someone, like my friend, has a good experience working in New Zealand, finds a job and choses to stay there, they can do that too. Its not about banning immigration, but having immigration laws that make it harder or impossible for the least desired immigrants, but makes it easier for the ones you want. Criminals would of course be banned from entry, older people will have to bring with them a significant amount of investment money after a certain age, or have highly desirable skills, while young workers without children have it a bit easier for the reasons mentioned before (they contribute, but don’t demand that much financially).
New Zealand has great climate, excellent gun laws, and most of all, its very safe and has very little corruption. The issue of corruption is important in my opinion. I lived surrounded by corruption most of my life and know for a fact it contaminates and ruins everything.
Thanks for your email. As you read already I think New Zealand is a top choice for relocating. Some relocating “experts” will say its too expensive… I’m not rich yet I know that as the saying goes, you pay for what you get. Its never as truthful as it is regarding the place you live. If anything, New Zealand is a great bargain in my opinion. You have arguably one of the best qualities of life in the entire world yet the cost of living, while not cheap, is very reasonable.
As time goes by, after living there for another year or two, you will probably find some things you don’t like that much, or maybe the ones you already knew of will bug you a bit more. That’s normal, the “honeymoon” period during the first year is pretty normal, but beyond that no place is perfect. New Zealand has a lot going for it.
Take care and good luck!
Extract: Smoke from a fire is seen near Moccasin Hill, Ore. Officials say a fast-growing wildfire in southern Oregon has destroyed homes and forced dozens of evacuations.
Fernando, an interesting thing happened recently in south Oregon, a conservative area with lots of “preppers”. Basically, a big wildfire hit a rural neighborhood well known in Klamath County for having lots of preppers and off-the-grid types. According to local media, people were forced to flee IMMEDIATELY ahead of flames twice as high as the
pine trees. Many lost everything, including preps. Miraculously, nobody died, but half of an area known variously as “Moccasin Hill” or “Klamath Falls Forest Estates #1″ was reduced to ash. Google “Moccasin Hill wildfire Klamath County Oregon” for more info, and be aware that local media often has limits on how many free articles you can read. Thought you’d like to know about it, especially considering the new release of your book about bugging out.
(also in Canada)
extract:Homes in West Kelowna are threatening by a wildfire that has grown to 400 hectares in size. (CBc)
Here is an example of a bug out for some, and certainly a readiness
test for 60,000 if the wildfires damage the electrical-transmission
Thanks for your email.
Here’s a link to the fires in Oregon
Indeed, that’s one of the points I try to explain in “Bugging Out and Relocating”: Sometimes you simply don’t get to choose. Sure, in my case it was a country falling apart after a large scale economic disaster, resulting in poverty and crime that changed the landscape of the country, bringing the standards of living below levels I considered acceptable. You could say that’s not the kind of thing that happens every day. But in the case of Oregon and Canada, wild fires do happen with certain frequency and common house fires even more so. What about foreclosures? What about not being able to pay rent? The simple truth is, no preparedness plan is complete without a strategy for when bugging in isn’t an option.
In the case of survivalists, preppers and their homes, just like anyone else, losing all your material belongings can be devastating. Bugging out of Argentina and having to leave most of our belongings behind forced us to reevaluate how much sentimental value we had placed on inanimate objects. I’ve reached the point where I can honestly leave everything behind, I don’t value “stuff” nearly as much as I used to. Sure, I have a few belongings that I like and wouldn’t want to part with, but I’ve learned to understand what’s really important. When it comes to preparedness it is true that certain supplies and gear are important assets. You can’t live without food, water and shelter. Then again, with the right skills (and I’m not talking about starting a fire with a bow drill here folks) supplies and gear can be replaced and bought again. Here’s where we revisit how important skills and mindset are compared to “stuff”. Also to be addressed, the importance of not putting all your eggs in one basket.
Even if you have a well set homestead, and as uncomfortable as it may be to even think about it, you must force yourself to do the mental exercise of going through what you would do it you lost it all, if it all went up in flames or you had to evacuate all of a sudden. If you think this way you soon start thinking about reallocating at least some of your supplies and assets, organizing in a different way, leaving a bag or a couple boxes with some family or friends somewhere else. This uncomfortable exercise is good, because it takes you out of your comfort zone, your idealized scenario where everything goes along as you desire, which is the opposite of what happens during real disasters.
Another point I try to focus on: You just can’t live in your Bug Out Location. If you think you do, then you don’t understand what bug out location means. By definition a BOL is a place other than where you currently reside, because its where you go when your current place of residence is no longer viable. Once you live there, as great and as wonderful as it may be, its no longer a BOL.
There are numerous possible situations that may force you out of your home. As discussed in previous posts, a fire can spread through an entire house in less than 60 seconds. With disasters such as those or earthquakes, mudslides or floods it may happen even faster. Because of this, you need to know exactly what you are doing depending on the time you have. What would you do if you leave with nothing but the clothes on your back and the loved ones you managed to pull out? what do you remove if you have just a couple minutes and what you take if you have an hour or more to load up a car before making a quick exit?
The following is a short extract from my book “Bugging Out and Relocating”, page 24
Bug Out Timing
It is important to plan ahead of time what to do when disaster strikes. Family members should know how to evacuate the house during an emergency, what to do if the main door cannot be opened or accessed and in what specific exterior location the family will be meeting once they make it outside. Clearly identify two emergency exits in each floor and make sure everyone in the house knows about them and how to access them. For such a purpose, you may need an Escape Ladder. Everyone should know exactly what to do when a family member raises the alarm and tells everyone to get out. This should be practiced at least once a year so that all family members know how to react during an evacuation. Depending on the nature of the disaster that is forcing you to bug out, you will have more or less time to gather emergency supplies.
The guideline below is an attempt to organize that which by its very own nature is chaotic and unpredictable. Still, it will give you a better idea of what your priorities are depending on how much time you believe you have. Never overestimate how much time you have. Material goods can be replaced and the difference between leaving one minute too early and one minute too late may be the difference between life and death. Keeping gear and kits well organized will help you get more of them out when every second counts. Remember to also consider how much time you may need to evacuate the disaster are if the event is not limited to your home and immediate surroundings. You may need to cover several miles before reaching safety and you don’t know what kind of delays you may encounter.
Gather all family members and exit the building as fast as possible. You leave with your lives and the clothes on your back. House fires and fast raising flood waters are good examples of such a case.
Once all family members have been accounted for and they have safely evacuated the building, grab the Bug Out Bag and Documents Bag. Grab the contents of your safe such as emergency cash, precious metals, jewelry and other family heirlooms. Most of the items kept in the safe should already be in the Documents Bag (see page 37) for quick removal. Examples of such a case are house fires, approaching wild fires, floods, terrorist attacks and nearby industrial accidents.
In this case there is enough time to grab your BOB and Documents Bag. You can also gather more gear and supplies such as food, firearms, water, camping gear and extra clothes. If prepared ahead of time and ready to roll, it is also possible to take your trailer or caravan and have a quick word or leave a note with a trusted neighbor. Time flies when dealing with an emergency and the hour will go by sooner than expected. How well you equipment has been stored and organized will determine how much of it you will be able to gather given the time that you have. Possible examples of such a situation are mandatory evacuation ahead of a storm, foreign invasion, violent uprising.
Punta del Este is very nice… and expensive.
Never having been to Uruguay … Where would be your top five choices
to relocate family ? Reasons may vary … but could you mention the
main reason for each of the five choices ?
Thank you for all your studies & shares !
Below is part of the Chapter on Uruguay from my new book “Bugging Out and Relocating”.
Uruguay is nice but it has two important disadvantages to keep in mind: 1)It is still South America. There’s still considerable crime, the infrastructure is still poor overall and even the most basic task that could get resolved over the phone in five minutes in USA or other developed nation may take waiting in line in some crowded office all day. 2)Uruguay is not as cheap as you would expect. Sure, some people there may live on 1000 USD a month or less, but then again those that live with that kind of money do so in poor homes, have no car and none of the luxuries you take for granted in USA. For middle or upper middle class quality of life, Uruguay will be more expensive than USA and most other developed nations.
Especially with a country like Uruguay, you want to be close to the capital . My advice would be to find a place within your budget close enough to Montevideo. In more developed countries cities can generally stand on their own. Not so in South America. In general, its in the capital where you get everything done, from running errands to finding somewhat reasonable prices.
Excerpt from the chapter on Uruguay from “Bugging Out and Relocation”:
Where to Live
Punta del Este is where the rich and famous gather in Uruguay. It’s as exclusive as it is expensive. Montevideo is the capital city and would be a good choice for younger people looking to work and study in Uruguay. Pocitos and Punta Carretas are favored by expats. Carrasco and Punta Gorda are good options too. These are some of the best neighborhoods in Montevideo.
A bit further away from Montevideo but still close enough for when you need anything and also popular among expats, Atlántida and La Floresta are good, affordable alternatives. If you are looking for a nice summer resort town, consider Piriápolis.
Rocha, in the department of Maldonado, is a good choice for those looking for a smaller town and a quiet lifestyle close to the beach. It is a bit further away from Montevideo going north along the Atlantic coast, yet close enough for when you need to visit the capital. Colonia del Sacramento is another great little town. It is located to the west of Montevideo and it is closer to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Ferry services to Buenos Aires city are available.