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Old 01-06-2013, 06:46 AM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
6,939 posts, read 7,654,041 times
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Having hung around this forum for awhile, it has struck me that there are 2 types of folks here, and their differences are often the breeding grounds for some of the argumentative posts that I see. I'm not pro or agin either one, but I have noticed the difference. For the sake of argument, I will lump most suburbanites in with the "urban" camp. After all, if you get city water, natural gas, and trash pick-up in the 'burbs, you do have city amenities. Here are the differences that I see:

URBAN (and most suburban): Lives in an apartment or condo, maybe a single-family home but without much land (under an acre). Often depends on city water and sewer. Has to follow strict zoning and code requirements; may not even be able to keep a couple of hens. Gardening, if allowed or space available at all, usually must be kept in back and out of sight. Tree debris from storms must be cleared out right away. Virtually always on the grid (required by law). Dependent upon the supermarket for food, often the laundromat for laundry. Sends kids to city schools. Feels the government should be there to protect or help them. May or may not be happy to trade liberty for the $$$ of a city job, but does so anyway. Many urbanites do not own vehicles. Tends to like fashion and status. Guns cause alarm.

RURAL: Lives in whatever is available or affordable - camper, cabin, old farmhouse, made-over barn, even a metal shop building (I've just ordered one of these, by the way). Has room to do as much gardening and livestock-raising as there is chore time available. Usually on a well, or rainwater collection (or both). If remote enough, may be living off-grid or on a 12V DC system. Septic can be as simple as an outhouse. Downed trees are cut up for firewood. Will use propane rather than natgas. Hangs laundry out on the line to dry. If they're into home-schooling, they're rural, even if in the city. Prefers to keep the government as far away as possible; would rather depend on family and neighbors. Would never trade liberty for any amount of city job $$$, so income is usually lower. Usually own at least a pick-up truck, often multiple vehicles (ATV, sled, boat, trailer). Tends to "make do". Shotgun kept by the door.

You can live in one place, and have the "mentality" of the other, but people generally end up where they're comfortable. Which camp do you feel you are in? How does that affect your prepping or survival activities? Your level of self-sufficiency? Have you changed as you're gotten older? Comments?
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:51 AM
 
2,878 posts, read 3,698,897 times
Reputation: 3066
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nor'Eastah View Post
Having hung around this forum for awhile, it has struck me that there are 2 types of folks here, and their differences are often the breeding grounds for some of the argumentative posts that I see. I'm not pro or agin either one, but I have noticed the difference. For the sake of argument, I will lump most suburbanites in with the "urban" camp. After all, if you get city water, natural gas, and trash pick-up in the 'burbs, you do have city amenities. Here are the differences that I see:

URBAN (and most suburban): Lives in an apartment or condo, maybe a single-family home but without much land (under an acre). Often depends on city water and sewer. Has to follow strict zoning and code requirements; may not even be able to keep a couple of hens. Gardening, if allowed or space available at all, usually must be kept in back and out of sight. Tree debris from storms must be cleared out right away. Virtually always on the grid (required by law). Dependent upon the supermarket for food, often the laundromat for laundry. Sends kids to city schools. Feels the government should be there to protect or help them. May or may not be happy to trade liberty for the $$$ of a city job, but does so anyway. Many urbanites do not own vehicles. Tends to like fashion and status. Guns cause alarm.

RURAL: Lives in whatever is available or affordable - camper, cabin, old farmhouse, made-over barn, even a metal shop building (I've just ordered one of these, by the way). Has room to do as much gardening and livestock-raising as there is chore time available. Usually on a well, or rainwater collection (or both). If remote enough, may be living off-grid or on a 12V DC system. Septic can be as simple as an outhouse. Downed trees are cut up for firewood. Will use propane rather than natgas. Hangs laundry out on the line to dry. If they're into home-schooling, they're rural, even if in the city. Prefers to keep the government as far away as possible; would rather depend on family and neighbors. Would never trade liberty for any amount of city job $$$, so income is usually lower. Usually own at least a pick-up truck, often multiple vehicles (ATV, sled, boat, trailer). Tends to "make do". Shotgun kept by the door.

You can live in one place, and have the "mentality" of the other, but people generally end up where they're comfortable. Which camp do you feel you are in? How does that affect your prepping or survival activities? Your level of self-sufficiency? Have you changed as you're gotten older? Comments?
Nor: I think your division is too simple. There are a lot of "rural" towns that are within easy reach of cities, lots of retirement overrun rural towns, lots of gentrified rural towns, lots of bedroom communities that appear rural but are not and then again a lot of self-sufficient city folk who do things like window gardening (google it), carpooling, participating in community supported agriculture etc. Go to a place like Austin, tons of family owned small businesses, community gardens, farmer's markets etc. I think a lot of them Austinites have access to and eat locally grown foods that are healthier and better than the vast majority of rural folks do.

In fact, a lot of rural folks do not grow their own food, for example. I was in Ft Davis, TX a few months ago looking at some properties (it is a town of about 1,000 people close to Alpine which is the big town with 5,000 people and then NOTHING for a lot of miles around). The vast majority of folks shop for their groceries in Midland/Odessa at Walmart.

They may be rural and geographically isolated, loaded with ammo and guns and more difficult to reach but if push came to shove, they are near Big Bend and 99% of them would die without food and water if they were ever cut off from the world.

Cities tend to scale well, especially European style cities. They are densely populated and there are things like public transit to save fossil fuels etc. (if you live in NYC, you don't need a car - same with Austin, people within the city bicycle to work). There is some kind of a myth that just by being rural you are self sufficient (false), just because you have a few acres they are plowed and producing food for your whole family 24/7/365 (false, most rural folk don't know how to grow food and they won't - too good for that, better to have a job in town) and just because you are draining an aquifer through a well, you are somehow better and self-sufficient. Having a shotgun by the door? Come on. On which planet does that make you self-sufficient? Most rural places only see deer and the occasional fox or coyote. What's the shotgun for? I know quite a few folks in cities with a lot of handguns, some of them strapped to their bed in a special holster so that if someone comes in through the door, the gun is within easy reach.

Anyways, my $.02
OD
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:24 PM
 
Location: The Woods
16,454 posts, read 21,465,702 times
Reputation: 8410
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nor'Eastah View Post
Having hung around this forum for awhile, it has struck me that there are 2 types of folks here, and their differences are often the breeding grounds for some of the argumentative posts that I see. I'm not pro or agin either one, but I have noticed the difference. For the sake of argument, I will lump most suburbanites in with the "urban" camp. After all, if you get city water, natural gas, and trash pick-up in the 'burbs, you do have city amenities. Here are the differences that I see:

URBAN (and most suburban): Lives in an apartment or condo, maybe a single-family home but without much land (under an acre). Often depends on city water and sewer. Has to follow strict zoning and code requirements; may not even be able to keep a couple of hens. Gardening, if allowed or space available at all, usually must be kept in back and out of sight. Tree debris from storms must be cleared out right away. Virtually always on the grid (required by law). Dependent upon the supermarket for food, often the laundromat for laundry. Sends kids to city schools. Feels the government should be there to protect or help them. May or may not be happy to trade liberty for the $$$ of a city job, but does so anyway. Many urbanites do not own vehicles. Tends to like fashion and status. Guns cause alarm.

RURAL: Lives in whatever is available or affordable - camper, cabin, old farmhouse, made-over barn, even a metal shop building (I've just ordered one of these, by the way). Has room to do as much gardening and livestock-raising as there is chore time available. Usually on a well, or rainwater collection (or both). If remote enough, may be living off-grid or on a 12V DC system. Septic can be as simple as an outhouse. Downed trees are cut up for firewood. Will use propane rather than natgas. Hangs laundry out on the line to dry. If they're into home-schooling, they're rural, even if in the city. Prefers to keep the government as far away as possible; would rather depend on family and neighbors. Would never trade liberty for any amount of city job $$$, so income is usually lower. Usually own at least a pick-up truck, often multiple vehicles (ATV, sled, boat, trailer). Tends to "make do". Shotgun kept by the door.

You can live in one place, and have the "mentality" of the other, but people generally end up where they're comfortable. Which camp do you feel you are in? How does that affect your prepping or survival activities? Your level of self-sufficiency? Have you changed as you're gotten older? Comments?
It's a bit of an oversimplification but I do agree with the general idea of it. I have no use for the urban mindset myself.
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:40 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
9,457 posts, read 16,404,322 times
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I've lived in both, am equally happy with both, but in my experience the rural folks grow no more food than the urban ones do. Their main advantage is that they have the opportunity to do so. Also, in the rural area I lived in the wealthier folks were more fashion and status conscious than I ever was and it was obvious that at times they didn't know what to do with me b/c it was obvious that I'm educated but I didn't care about status any more than a "redneck," lol, and some took the fact that I didn't run right out and join the country club as a sign that I was low class and not quite bright.
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:07 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
20,998 posts, read 25,737,156 times
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Is that what it is like where you live? It is very strange. I don't think I will move to your neighborhood.

I'm way out in the country, have over 50 fruit trees, grow my own meat and eggs. I live in a 2500 square foot custom built house and I've got an MBA. My neighbors all hunt and fish. We all have guns and most of us also own hunting bows. Most of the neighbors have college degrees. There are some manufactured homes in my neighborhood, but a lot of nice frame built homes, too, and everybody has nice landscaping. We all heat with wood and keep our dogs confined on our own property with decent fences. Nobody for probably 100's of miles around lives in a camper, barn, or metal shed (except for the local horses and poultry). There are no rusting dead cars up on blocks anywhere to be found.

Only the people with jobs drive into town every day. Most of us drive into town once a month or so to stock up. Lots of the neighbors have solar electric but everybody is hooked up to the grid. I know how to live without electricity, but why should I when it is easily available? If the grid s down, I can live without it, but in the meantime, I really like my washer and dryer.

The school buses drive around picking up and delivering kids. I know one family out in the country that home schools and everyone else I know who home schools lives in town.

Different area, I guess. I'll keep mine, and you keep yours. OK?
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
6,939 posts, read 7,654,041 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
Is that what it is like where you live? It is very strange. I don't think I will move to your neighborhood.
It's like that everywhere...no more so here than where you are. I am talking about a mindset, not where someone actually lives. I'm suburban for the moment, but my mindset is rural, while DW's is more suburban. She'll get over it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
Different area, I guess. I'll keep mine, and you keep yours. OK?
See the above.
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:15 PM
 
2,878 posts, read 3,698,897 times
Reputation: 3066
Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
Is that what it is like where you live? It is very strange. I don't think I will move to your neighborhood.

I'm way out in the country, have over 50 fruit trees, grow my own meat and eggs. I live in a 2500 square foot custom built house and I've got an MBA. My neighbors all hunt and fish. We all have guns and most of us also own hunting bows. Most of the neighbors have college degrees. There are some manufactured homes in my neighborhood, but a lot of nice frame built homes, too, and everybody has nice landscaping. We all heat with wood and keep our dogs confined on our own property with decent fences. Nobody for probably 100's of miles around lives in a camper, barn, or metal shed (except for the local horses and poultry). There are no rusting dead cars up on blocks anywhere to be found.

Only the people with jobs drive into town every day. Most of us drive into town once a month or so to stock up. Lots of the neighbors have solar electric but everybody is hooked up to the grid. I know how to live without electricity, but why should I when it is easily available? If the grid s down, I can live without it, but in the meantime, I really like my washer and dryer.

The school buses drive around picking up and delivering kids. I know one family out in the country that home schools and everyone else I know who home schools lives in town.

Different area, I guess. I'll keep mine, and you keep yours. OK?
OK - where do you live?

There are quite a few counties in United States that match the definition of the 1890 frontier - less than two people per square mile. While large in size, these counties all together do not have a lot of people as percentage of the whole country. You could live in one of these but you would not be representative of a typical rural dweller today.

OD
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,836 posts, read 51,286,023 times
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That is a conceptual model of the two basic camps at each end of a long trail, but a lot of people do live in between, and a few live even further out. You were wise to limit the observation to folks in the forum, since that is a subgroup by itself. My neighbors don't have internet access, don't really care. Their viewpoints are different than many I see expressed here as well.

What folks who live in apartments may not fully realize (and I have lived in my share of apartments) is that in the country, a gun is a tool and a source of security that may not be needed in the city at all. I have a friend who is pretty anti-gun, but his personal world never puts him in a situation where one might be important. OTOH, when I was getting the mail a few days ago, there was a pack of large wilding dogs that were crossing onto my property. They saw me and turned, but having longer fangs then them made me much more secure. The country also has as much or more of a drug issue as cities, and police or sheriff presence may be miles away.

Both points of view, city and country, have validity in context. I wouldn't care as much about having a gun in a city where there were many neighbors and we all looked out for each other all the time. However, I've done city life. I've done suburban life. I like going out like I did tonight, to put Netflix DVDs in the mailbox, and not hear a sound, see the stars in all their glory, and smell fresh country air. I think a single car passed on the road in the ten minutes I was outside. I compare that with south Florida, where "boom boom" cars were regularly passing by at close quarters, and airplanes and police helicopters were flying overhead at all hours of the day and night, and the sky was sodium yellow after dusk.

We've had the flu for about ten days, and when a visitor was coming and asked what we needed, it was "well, we could use more tissues, and maybe some orange juice" but really didn't even need those and wouldn't for some time. Being in the country has increased our self-reliance and preparedness.

However, even though I like our situation, I can see the advantages many people would get living in a small town, or closer in to a large one.

When debating, the viewpoints expressed don't leave much room for subtleties, and the points tend to polarize. I think many of us are not as rigid in thought as the words in debate might make us seem.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:06 AM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,253 posts, read 3,949,899 times
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It's really hard to make comparisons - situations vary by what part of the US you live in, how much money you have at your disposal and everything else.

I've lived in a major city on Colorado's Front Range and I now live in a small town tucked away in one of the most isolated regions you could imagine.

In the city I had a garden since I could get water easily thru the city public utilities co - my rural area in the desert SW is too dry to grow anything, and I don't have irrigation rights - so no garden

In the city I zipped around on the busy streets in my little suburu - in my rural area I drive dirt roads through mud, snow, and dust in an old Toyota pick-up (4wd)

In the city I picked up work thru the classifieds in the paper - in my rural area, unemployment is now around 20% and I pick up work through my friends

In the city I hung out with a guy who had a guitar - in my rural area I hang out with a guy who has a guitar and a shotgun and two rifles

In the city I bought meat at the grocery - in my rural area my next door neighbors offer me venison and elk steaks

In the city it took me at least two hours to get away into the mountains - in my rural area I can be in the mountains in 20 minutes

The city had a bunch of bookstores - in my rural area there is one used bookshop and I get books on my Kindle or thru Amazon

In the city I NEVER ordered stuff thru the mail - in my rural area I shop online and get almost everything thru the mail

In the city I never knew who I might meet - in my rural area half the people I know show up at the dog park and the other half I run into walking down the street a block from where I live

In the city I hardly ever saw a Native American - in my rural area I'm usually the only non Navajo at the local laundramat
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:32 AM
 
Location: On the "Left Coast", somewhere in "the Land of Fruits & Nuts"
8,367 posts, read 8,267,829 times
Reputation: 5901
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nor'Eastah View Post
It's like that everywhere...no more so here than where you are. I am talking about a mindset, not where someone actually lives. I'm suburban for the moment, but my mindset is rural, while DW's is more suburban. She'll get over it.
See the above.
Right, ''mindset'', as in not based on reality, and just in your head. And frankly, I find that seems to characterize the ''difference'' between a lot of 'urban' and 'rural' folk more than anything... is that the rural types, generally being more isolated and not taking to 'people' all that well to begin with, more often also seem to have lotsa kooky, paranoid, and chip-on-the-shoulder attitudes and false assumptions... of which the OP is a great example.

While for all their faults, city folks still more or less know how to get along with each other.... black, white, gay, straight, atheist, religious, whatever... without always requiring acres of 'space' just to do it!
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