Sunday, June 8, 2014

Remote Property Skills You Need to Acquire...before you move there

My earlier article,“Want to Buy a Remote Property? Think Again or Think Ahead,” has attracted more readers and follow-up questions than almost any other (besides those about raising chickens).

Some readers have contacted my husband and me to ask for additional advice. One man said he wanted to buy 300 acres in Montana and asked what he should do first. When we asked what experience he had with some of the relevant skills and information below, his answer was virtually none of them. It was our letters to him (and others) that have resulted in this posting.

I decided to pose this as a questionnaire/checklist that you can use to develop a priority list, time line, and budget to acquire some additional skills, tools, and information before committing to a remote location. I hope it will help you be more effective and efficient than we were!  (Note:  Please let me know any other suggestions that should be included here). 

The content is organized in labeled sections followed by numbered questions and then notes from our experience.

If the answer to any question below is “no”, make an appointment, take a class, or start pumping iron.
  1. Do you exercise? Build upper body strength.
  1. Have you had a full physical exam recently? Get copies of your dental and health records. Ascertain any allergies (to elements in your target location, by going there at various times of year).
  2. Have you assembled a good medical supply kit, as recommended by your doctor or other sources for a remote location? Keep supplies both at your remote home and in your vehicle, in case you get stranded.
  3. Have you taken any recent Red Cross, Scout, FEMA, CDC or State courses in emergency and wilderness preparedness? Do you have relevant reference books? Do you know about the medicinal properties of plants on your property. 
Notes: Living on a remote property is physically demanding. We find that we use our back, shoulder, arm and core muscles more for projects on site, and our legs for hunting and hiking. Chainsaws, .30-06 rifles, and axes are all heavy and pull on your dominant side. Let's face it: many people age-out of a remote lifestyle when health or strength problems interfere. The better shape you are in, the longer you can do it and the more things you can do for yourself.