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200 miles from the nearest decent terrain for shtf survival? More like 400 miles, actually. Worst problem you can have, really, shortage of water,(along with 2 million others just as dumb as you are.. I could never see why anybody even stopped overnight in Phoenix to rest their horses, much less to build anything. Godforsaken country.
 

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There is a show on TV recently called "Survivorman". About a month ago, the gentleman hosting the show spent a week living in the Arizona desert. While not a real comfortable to spend a week, it can be done. As can survival in most of the world, providing you are willing to get off your lazy, inept, stupid ass and learn! Knowledge, flexibility and versatility can and will keep you alive. Being a 1 trick pony, will get you killed, quick.
 

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Does a smart survivivalist live in desert?

If he knows how to survive there he does.

Same thing with those of us who choose to hit the mountains if TSHTF.

Hostile terrain? Yep
Hard to survive in? Yep
Harder than what some consider "easy" terrain to survive in? Nope.

Why?

People WILL NOT flock to rough terrain. They'll stick to what they know. Urbanites will stay urbanites. Flatlanders will stay flatlanders.

I grew up in mountains, and know how to survive there better than in these swamps (although I'd give myself better odds than I'd give someone who's survival terrain of choice is the prison block). There's many advantages to mountainous, cold regions for surviving, not the least of which is that the population will be lower. People who DON'T know how to survive will be scraped off by the first winter. They'll either die or go elsewhere.

Same with the desert. Don't know how to survive in the desert? You're screwed. But if you do, there's several advantages to it.
 

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I was born and raised in the eastern Sierras, and point further east along the I40 corridor, and do not fear the desert, or the weather it holds. I know what I need to do to survive, and should not have as much competition as I would have in a more freindly clime. If you do not know how ot survive in different enviroments, then stay home, and learn or die lonely. The desert is not as barren as advertised, and will support life that works within the constraints put upon them, but will kill those who fight and fail to adapt.
 

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No matter where a survivalist wants to 'survive', they have HAVE to survive in places they didn't want to go. That's the whole point that gunkid misses. And that's why he dosn't know how to get out of a swamp, or read a map, or use a compass. He 'thinks' he will always be in the perfect easy to live place. Only a stupe thinks that.
 

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If a person can survive in an environment that is hostile to others than that saavy person has an ally in the desert, one that will keep the amateurs away.
 

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There is water here if you know where to look.

There is actually a river that runs through Phoenix, the Salt River. Though the Salt is dammed up, further upstream, there's still water in it in many places below the dam and lot above it. Go a ways into the mountains, there's enough water in the Salt that people do whitewater kayaking in it certain times of the year. There's also the Verde River not far to the north.

Phoenix was originally a farming community to support the mines up in Wickenburg. Then, after the Mollogon proved too tough to get over with a train track, the Gadsen Purchase was bought along with Tucson to bring the railroads through a southern route, and Phoenix became a major railhead for the mines, farms and ranches. They also moved the State Capitol there from Prescott.

With irrigation, the desert really blooms and you can get in 3 crops per year, depending upon what you are growing (they do a lot of plowing and crop dusting at night here in the summer).

There's small lakes, mostly man made, all over the valley. The valley is also criss-crossed by a vast and large canal network. There's also a zillion swimming pools here.

If you life outside of town the way I do you can just hop on a back road and take off if something happens. It's not that far to the mountains. Phoenix is actually near the edge of the desert, where it begins to get mountainous, which rapidly turns into a forest.

There are vast lakes, mostly man made, several of which are in the desert not for outside of town. These are big enough that they have permanent docks with motorboats and often sailboats on them. Technically, Arizona has more shoreline than California does.

You should see the size and amount of crawfish and fresh water clams you can find in some places, like below a dam.

To think that it's 400 miles to decent terrain shows a complete lack of knowledge of the local terrain. An hour north of Mesa (a Phoenix suburb) is Payson, which is a mile high in terrain that resembles a well treed area of Colorado. It's a thick Ponderosa and Pinon pine forest from there all of the way into New Mexico and up into Colorado.

Arizona's terrain varies so wildly, so fast, that within a 2 hour period I once drove from sunny, springtime weather in the desert, to a Seattle type rainy downpour and drizzle in the forest in Payson, to a blowing blizzard up on the Mollogon Rim.

Actually, if a person had horses or a wood gas burning vehicle, they could make it all of the way up into Montana and Canada, staying pretty much completely in the forest. But, that would require the use of a map, which would be a real pisser for some people. They would also need to bring a sleeping bag.

Some of us are only here for a while for the business opportunities. In the American Southwest, there is a financial triangle of LA-Phoenix-Las Vegas.

Now, some people live in prime survivalist country, like Durango, Colorado, but have probably only about .00000001% of the preparations of those of us living in the 'desert'.

But, all in all, a place like Durango isn't really where you make money, it's one of the places where people go after they make their money. Everyone else that's there relies upon these people in order to live, more often than not at minimum wage or just above.
 

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So, JD, in order to answer your question, "Does a smart survivalist live in the desert?"

Yes, he does.

Phoenix and Las Vegas are the two fastest growing large cities in the USA. LA is just plain huge. It's like a giant whale, hard to tell when it's gained a few extra pounds.

He starts a business, works his ass off in the Phoenix-LA-Vegas area, makes a bunch of money, buys a sailboat and docks it in San Diego (where a lot of people in Arizona keep their sailboats, not far away - read a map), makes more money, goes back to the ocean (lived in Hawaii before I lived here, man what a friggin contrast) and waves at you with a smirking grin on his face as he sails over the horizon and you're still stuck driving a 1975 Gremlin.

BTW, Hawaii is like Durango. It isn't really where you make money, it's one of the places where people go after they make their money. Everyone else that's there relies upon these people or the government in order to live, more often than not at minimum wage or just above.
 

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This thread only goies to show someone's lack of knowledge about the desert. Many people hear desert and think of a place almost devoid of animal life, with little plant life, and with even less or no water. In most instances, this view of the desert is absolutely incorrect. Mnay people have chosen the desert as their place to survive in their own personal SHTF situations. Water is accessible in copious amounts in many areas of deserts within the USA. Even when lots of it is not evident, it is there to be found by the knowledgeable. Water can be found above ground, and underground, and can be gotten from both areas. It can also be found in plants, and in food. As for food there is an abundance of food to be found in most US deserts in warmer months, and enough to be found in cooler months both plant and animal.

I do know one thing, if it came down to bare bones survival, I would be better able to survive in the desert than some would be able to survive in a well stocked hole in the ground.
 

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I think a lot of people also picture a desert being a talcum-powder type sand wasteland liek you find in the middle east. The High Desert of the American west is a completely different animal. I lived in NE NV for a spell (would lie to go back), and you'd be suprised at how much plant and animal life there is.
 

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Yes GunKid, because like Mike said, there's plenty of water, plenty of eddible plants, and plenty of game.

And everyone who thinks like you will leave and go someplace else.

There's plenty of forests, in addition to the desert.

For anyone that does live in az, a great addition to you kit is the Game and fish map of all the waterholes in the state....

:devil:
 

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Sonoran desert is actually one of the (if not THE) wettest desert ecosystem which also means it's among the most diverse species-wise. I love living here, love the weather, summer or winter. But... and it's a big BUT... without air conditioning it would really suck. Without water, it would be lethal.

The problem with the Salt River and other urban rivers is that jackasses use them for dumping grounds. Maricopa County is constantly removing waste from illegal dumping... everything to chlorinated oil to DDT, etc. so the water might not be the best to drink...

lots of groundwater wells, you just have to know which ones are polluted by underground storage tanks, industrial solvents, etc.

But again, deserts in the middle east make the Sonoran desert look like an oasis in comparison.
 

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I'd sure keep a motorcycle handy, and several off road routes checked out, two, if I had a family. Ain't no damned way I'd try to get out of Phoenix by road, or in daylight, if shtf. Your vehicle will be shot-up, for sure.
 

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Not if you take the back roads and leave ahead of time. Leave at 1am if it's a worry. Things won't happen like flipping a light switch.

You can't haul a family on a motorcycle, or even two. Cars and trucks actually have a much longer range and can haul the food and gear you'll need.

If there's someone out there that can shoot up a truck, they can even more easily shoot up a motorcycle. Can't ram barricade or fences on a motorcycle also. Motorcycles offer zero protection and they are difficult to operate when wounded. Trucks and cars can also drive better with a tire shot out than a motorcycle.

You have to understand that once outside of the Valley of the Sun area, you're in the boonies for the most part. Most of the population of this rather large state lives in this valley.

The population out here is so well armed that any would be bandit that thinks he's going into business with a roadblock/roadside ambush point simply will not live long.
 

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If the dipstick only has a single motorcycle, how is he going to carry his Mrs. and his kit? Maybe he is going to dump her? Does she know yet?
 

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Well, if the SHTF and you wanted to get away from people, wouldn't you GO someplace that was not attractive to everyone else as well? :)
 

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pretty good reading! mrostov shot this thread topic plumb full of holes on his first posting.

i'm thinking ol' boy[mister160] davis is getting a little envious of our quite comfortable climate about this time of year[ bleep ] ha!ha!ha!
i got back from montana earlier this week,and had to cross the sweetgrass creek[a stream, by my standards] nightly, and the brake drums/rotors would
be frozen/siezed tight in the morning, i saw more deer in 2 hours on the ranch
than i have seen in 10 years here in tucson, they were lousey thick up there.
the northern lights were coming on at night also!

but of ALL the ground tween here and there, there's no place like home[my desert, although, orderville/mt.carmel ut.'felt' 'good'?]
 
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