For many, the 2000s have so far been a series of civilization-almost-ended moments. Climate change, biodiversity loss, wars, pandemics… it’s been a rough couple of decades, no doubt about it. The inhabitants of Skåne found many different ways of coping with the uncertainty. Some formed strong networks, made contingency plans with neighbours, and joined the local disaster response unit. Others didn’t trust anyone outside their immediate circle of friends and family—or even anyone inside them, in some cases—so they stocked up on supplies and tools, and identified a location with plentiful freshwater and game to which they might flee if civilization really did collapse.
Over the years, many have had to pull the trigger on their escape plans. Ironically, many preppers ended up quite close to each other in a region just north of Hässleholm: it turns out that these staunch individualists had all read the same online forum thread on “Top 10 Survival Locations in Skåne”. While their intention was a reclusive retreat into the woods, their unplanned proximity to each other forced them to form relationships: hunting parties, bans on cameras/phones, protocols for trade, ersatz currencies, etc.
Since the end was supposedly near, few bothered to purchase land in the area, which means these communities have a rather tense relationship with the police. It doesn’t help matters that there are persistent rumours of illegal connections to the grid and thefts from nearby stores and pharmacies; the degree to which these communities are genuinely self-sufficient is an open question, though they label these stories with the epithet “fake news” (ask your granddad).
If you are curious what the off-grid lifestyle might entail, you might pay a visit to the larger settlement nicknamed “Porrarp Preppers Paradise”. It is one of the more approachable communities—no rifles will be pointed at you when you arrive—but don’t expect hospitality; you are responsible for your own survival in Porrarp. The only reason they let people in is the fee you pay at the gate, and the, ah, purchasing of herbal remedies which they may presume is your main reason for coming.
You will find instructions for how to get there below, but do keep in mind that the border, location, and size of the community are flexible, making it tricky to locate. If you want to get appreciation from the community and are blessed with excellent hunting skills, try to aim for deers and voles. These are considered trophy-kills, as they are host animals for borrelia-infected ticks, which have become a critical health problem since the development of resistant bacteria back in 2030 led to restrictions on antibiotics. You could become a local hero—or at least get your entrance fee refunded!
For related reasons, vaccines against the much-feared TBE are particularly valuable for bartering in this area, but it’s a risky business, as you never know whether your potential buyer would rather see you hung as an agent of the New World Order. Indeed, any trade with these outlaws presents some risk, whether from them, or from the forces of law and order outside. There are occasional raids on the camps, so if you hear three loud honks of an old car horn in a row—run for it!
How to get there (probably)
Get off the train in Vittsjö. Start walking southwest; as you exit the town, you’ll start seeing black Xs carved into trees along the road. Follow them; eventually, you will reach a clearing lined with storage boxes and a sign that reads “the end of the road”. Place all electronic devices in a box and deposit the visitors’ fee in the metal jar that hangs from the sign; you are now free to enter Porrarp Preppers Paradise! You can get your phone back when you leave.