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Me and Anorak were talking last night and realized that although people are talking about starting communities, we didn't think that people really thought about what would be needed in such a scenario. So after giving it a bunch of thought, I figured I would point out a few things to would-be comunity builders/homesteaders.

From what I have seen and heard most people aren't reallt planning for long-term shtf. We talk about making a community but pretty soon things are going to run out, especially if you have a whole herd of people using/eating/borrowing them. If your community is near a city then you MIGHT be able to scavenge, although that puts you at so many risks I won't even mention them, and the likelyhood of items worth scavenging remaining will be slim, simply because the easy to take stuff will be gone already and the rest will be so well hid you won't fine it. Or there is the possibility that you will be chased while in the areas and won't find it anyway. So think on the following things guys.

1: Location; Your community needs to locate themselves in an area that has access to building materials, water, a source of food, and, perhaps most importantly, should be defensible. If you are building in an area where these things are hard to come by you will be in a world of hurt REAL fast.

2: Leadership; People will need leadership in times like these. Who will take the reins and make sure the community is operational? Who will keep track of supplies? Who will coordinate the defense of the community?
~One thing to keep in mind is that the leader's job is not to do everything, but to make sure that everybody is doing their job and has what they need to do it. They also need to settle disputes and pass judgement on any crimes that occur.

3: Defense: Post-shtf communities will have to defend what is theirs, including their lives. A militia will need to be established, with a chain of command so everyone knows who is calling the shots. There needs to be predetermined postions so everyone knows where they are supposed to be and what they are supposed to be doing.
~If people have a religous objection to violence that is ok, but they will still need to contribute and can do so by caring for the wounded and running ammunition to those who do fight. It is a community and everyone needs to contribute, if they don't then they need to be shown the gate.

4: Crafts: This is the most important part of setting up a community, and tbh should be taken into consideration RIGHT NOW!!! There are several portions to this, and I will not cover them all, just some of the most urgent ones. But every community needs to have a wide range of skills to draw upon, and for those who already have their communities this is something to sit down and think about.
~Farming: This will be the number one essential profession needed post-shtf. No matter the size of your community food is essential and small-scale farming will be what feeds you through each year. Hunting and fishing etc will help but at the level of tech that will probally be available post-shtf
farming is going to be the key of keeping you people fed. You won't have farm machinery (or at least not for long once fuel runs out or it breaks down) so everything will have to be done the old fashion way. With oxen and a plow. You will have to do everything by hand and what you don't have you will have to do without or make it yourself. Those interested in farming need to start learning older techniques and the sooner the better. In most communities I would say that at least 50% of people would need to be farmers to support their community and keep everyone fed.
~Blacksmithing: Arguably the second most important profession post-shtf. Almost anything that will be of help to use post-shtf will need to be made of metal. Farming implements, weapons, armor, logging equipment, food prep, almost everything will need to be made. Is there someone in your group that can do these things? Metal in all of it's many alloys will probally be readibly available post-shtf cause it is heavy and people will leave it behind. Most communities will only need 1 Blacksmith and maybe 5 apprentices of verying skill level to provide metal items for everyone.
~ Logging/Miller: These two professions both have to do with wood so I am bundling them together. While people think logging is easy, just cutting down trees, it's harder thanmost espect. Can you just go out with an axe and chop a tree down? Absolutely, but thats not very efficient. Most tree cutting is don't with a cross cut saw, with wedges used to keep the tree off the blade. Once the tree is down you have to cut the limbs off and once the tree narrows to a point where it is useless the topp has to be cut of (also refered to as topping). Loggers were typically charcoal makers as well. Millers will be the ones cutting the logs into section and boards, and they also will mill down your grain into flour. Typically I would say maybe 10% of your community would need to be engaged in this area
~ Weavers: Unless people want to run around naked weavers are going ot be needed. These are people who can shear a sheep, spin the wool into yarn, and create clothes and other items made of cloth including blankets and padding for armor. Trypically I would say maybe 10% of your community with this skill.
~Tanner: Someone who can make leather, from whatever skin is brought in. Leather has so many uses and usually a huge amount is used everyday. I'd say 10% for this profession as well.

These are not all crafts that would be needed, not by a long shot, but in my mind the ones that would be the most important. Nost of the other things needed for a community can be learned or taught fairly quickly. And one other thing to understand is how EVERYONE is depending on EVERYONE. This is a group effort. The farmers can't do what they do without the others, same for the blacksmiths and everyone else. If you want to be in a community you need to be ready to support it.
 

old_anorak

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Very, very good post. Don't forget that you are going to need people that can do the food prep and preservation. I learned most of what I know from just growing up in my family, we're just a bunch of odd folks that tend to like things done in the old manners. I learned a lot from doing historical re-enactments. I know a lot of people join those groups just to get their drunk on at rendezvous, but some of us actually learned all we could.

If you know how to do something that is needed, teach it to others, teach it to our kids, get them ready for what may well lie ahead.
 
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Very, very good post. Don't forget that you are going to need people that can do the food prep and preservation. I learned most of what I know from just growing up in my family, we're just a bunch of odd folks that tend to like things done in the old manners. I learned a lot from doing historical re-enactments. I know a lot of people join those groups just to get their drunk on at rendezvous, but some of us actually learned all we could.

If you know how to do something that is needed, teach it to others, teach it to our kids, get them ready for what may well lie ahead.
Your definately right there Anorak. Cooking on an open fire with a spit or in a dutch oven in the coals is WAY different than what most do these days. It's damn near an artform in and of itself.
 

old_anorak

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If the community is going to be somewhat permanent, then building an outdoor oven or horno would be a great asset to the people. Food can be cooked for a great deal of people at one time and only using a slightly larger amount of wood than a normal fire that an individual would use to cook over. This saves energy and fuel both since not every person would have to be tied to what was cooking, just one or two people to watch over things while the rest of the people can work on other tasks.
 
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You would think a community would be VERY permanent, simply because it's SO BLOODY HARD to move large numbers of people and all their stuff. Especially once fuel runs out for their vehicles. Not to mention if you have an area where you have all the essentials you would be mental to move.
 

old_anorak

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I would like to think it would stay permanent, but things can happen. Moving would have to be a last resort, in time, there might be satellite communities branching from the first one.
 

old_anorak

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Colt, do you have a large family? Are you including only the immediate members or others that will be of service?
 
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