A lot of preppers and bushcraft enthusiasts have a hard time finding a place suitable to camp and practice their survival skills. A small patch of woodland to call your own is an ideal solution for most of us. However, before buying woodland, there are a few things you should really consider.
When you go to a conventional campsite, you will have a hard time practicing your survival skills, since even fire-lighting with unconventional methods is frown upon. Not to mention that if you try skinning a rabbit or a squirrel, you may face harsh comment at best and eviction at worst.
That is why buying woodland is perhaps one of the best actions you can do for your survival plans. You can do whatever you want on your piece of land and making a perfect campsite or testing your firearms, shouldn’t cause any problems. Even more, you can experiment setting traps and you can stay overnight anytime you want.
Buying woodland is a dream for some, but it shouldn’t be an impossible one. With a bit of planning and sometimes a bit of luck, this dream can become a wonderful reality. As you might have guessed, money is an important and necessary part of this deal. Even so, buying woodland is a sound investment and with interest rates being quite low, it is a nice way to enjoy your savings.
One of the great things about buying woodland is that the experience of owning a piece of land to call your own is much more life-enhancing that you imagine. Woodland owners usually go in for the long run, and they protect the land to pass it on to the next generation. Good maintenance and management are required to keep the health of the woodland.
Not to mention that woodland owners have an unending source of logs and timber, but also for the small and big game. Your children will learn to play in a new environment and develop skills that will prove useful in life.
Buying woodland is not a decision to be made lightly and you shouldn’t rush head first into it. There are many factors to consider, besides the cost of the land. Even the tree mix of broadleaf and conifer species can influence the price.
Things you should know before buying woodland:
Before buying woodland, you should make sure you have good access to the propriety since this is a critical aspect. Check out if you can drive a vehicle along a relatively well-maintained track to access your property. If you want to harvest timber, you will need vehicular access to haul the resources. Not to mention that if you plan on camping, you will save yourself the trouble of carrying lots of gear an items on foot. This can be really annoying on muddy tracks if you camp on a regular basis.
It is also important to establish how many access points the area has before buying woodland. If there’s only one access road, you will be able to check much better on occasional “visitors.” This is an important aspect if you plan to use the woodland as a bug out destination.
2. How about public rights of way
Buying woodland bisected by a public footpath or located on an evacuation route is not for those wanting true privacy. Some woodland owners don’t have any problems and don’t mind others crossing their land. However, if you want to stay hidden from others, this property might not be for you.
The good thing is that buying woodland in secluded areas is no problem in the United States. As long as you have the budget and the time or help to look for it, you can find the perfect woodland.
3. Shooting and sporting rights
A lot of people are buying woodland to practice various shooting drills. It’s an area ideal for setting up targets, traps and everything you can think of. However, there are states which may prevent sports shooting on the land. If that’s the case and you need to practice your shooting drills, you should research the laws in the area carefully before purchase.
4. Building rights
It is unlikely to obtain a building permit or planning permission, depending on the state in which you are buying woodland. However, many woodland owners build a log cabin or “shed” to store the necessary tools and supplies. To be on the safe side of the law, it’s better to consult the local authorities before you start building.
In some states, temporary shelters and structures are not frowned upon, but you have to prove it is not a permanent residence. On the other hand, in case of SHTF, you could build whatever structure you desire, since the law won’t be imposed anymore. A smart idea would be to store in your cabin or shed, all the materials and tools needed to build a permanent shelter.
Camping in your own wood and doing all sorts of activities throughout the year is the main reason why most people are buying woodland. It provides total freedom and it’s one of the joys of ownership. The problem is that some states allow camping for a limited time period. Although some local authorities are relaxed about this limit if no one is disturbed, it’s better to check what you are allowed to do on your land.
6. Legal checks before buying woodland
Before buying woodland, you should follow the same rules as for any other property purchase. It is better to use the services of a solicitor or legal advisor who will carry out the appropriate legal checks and searches. You’ll be surprised how many things you need to check. You could buy a large area of woodland, but you won’t own the water rights and so on. There are many issues that could restrict the usage of your land.
7. Flora and fauna
This is an important thing to check because it will help you discover what your woodland is incorporating. You may end up with a lot of people on your property every weekend.Shared tracks could be backed up with parked cars. Even neighboring woodland could be used for hunting and foraging and you will have unexpected visitors. Since you cannot enclose your part of woodland, it’s better to know what to expect and put some “private property” signs.
Checking on your local flora and fauna will come in handy if you someday be forced to live off the land. Many plants can save your life in an emergency situation. However, they can also put you in an early grave if not researched carefully. Without taking the time to practice plant identification, you will easily confuse the plants that can save your life with the ones that can have an adverse effect. You should start by learning which plants from your region will be of help during a survival scenario and which one you should avoid.
When hunger is becoming your mortal enemy, finding an animal in the wilderness is a true blessing. Each hunter knows that it is important to learn about the animals from the region. This helps you figure out which can be eaten and which will eat you. Every region has an ideal prey that is good for consumption. The trick is to learn which ones in your area are the easiest to find
8. Having insurance is a good idea
This is sometimes avoided, but woodland owners should invest in public liability insurance, just in case. Liability insurance is designed to offer specific protection against third-party insurance claims, i.e., payment is not typically made to the insured, but rather to someone suffering loss which is not a party to the insurance contract. In general, damage caused intentionally as well as contractual liability are not covered by the liability insurance policies
A last word
Buying woodland is one of the life’s greatest investments and adventures. Woodland owners build up a special relationship with the land and they become closer to nature. Besides offering many ways to relax and get away from the rat race, the woodland will also teach you how to survive. Try to visit a few woodlands, just to get a feel for the location and check if it’s suitable for you. There is a lot to learn about this topic and the search usually starts on the internet.