I don’t see why we cannot include pre & post shtf off the grid information here. Some preparations can only go so far. It would not be practical to enclose our retreats within a fortress at this early stage.
We live in a forest that I purchased many years ago. It was necessary that an area be cleared for the construction of our house, & that a roadway be cleared to get into the forest. Fortunately & found a rock plateau on the side of the first valley on the west side saving me a lot of work clearing trees. I found an old late 19th century to early 20th century house sitting disused in a paddock not too far away. After considerable haddling I managed to talk the farmer down from $3000.00 to $300.00 for this house. I numbered all the pieces of this house & then pulled it apart & transported it piece by piece on a small trailer to our chosen house site & then rebuilt it. The early era windows were far too small, both for light & for housing regulations, so I fitted the windows I had taken out of the log cabin I have previously built up in the mountains above Guyra.
There are just 4 rooms in Elm Cottage, two bedrooms, kitchen & living room. We used a tin bath for bathing in front of the living room fire in winter, & I built an ash can log cabin style outhouse. The fire place I built in the fashion of a larger early 18th century fire place with a buggy axle in the large chimney from which I hung two chains with kettle hooks. On these we hung our large old kettles for boiling water for bathing & drinks. Cooking was also done on a small wood burning stove in a large chimney in the kitchen. Lighting was by fat lamps & candles. We grew our own food & I hunted for meat using my flintlock fusil which is less expensive to use than a modern firearm. I found an old small chest freezer discarded, & claimed this for use as an ice box in summer when we had anything that needed to be kept cool.
I found three damaged iron water tanks down at the tip. One of these I turned into an outside shower with a canvas shower bag on a pulley, & a wood heater for use in winter. The other two water tanks I placed on their sides & used for storing firewood. We lived in this manner for 20 years. Shortly before having a new much larger house built, we installed a 12 volt solar power system for running a car radio/cassette player & lighting.