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Friday, September 17, 2010

Survival Site Security - Obstacles and Early Warning received the following question,....."I have a small cabin about 2 miles on a dirt road, over two small hills from a state highway. The State Highway is mainly used for traffic between two towns, of a population of 70,000 and the other of a population of 18,000 and more of a resort town. As you get off the highway onto the dirt road accessing my cabin, and there is no nothing else on this road, you head towards my cabin where you would have to crest a small hill about 300 yards from my cabin, which would then be into my site. The area is forested with pine and smaller deciduous trees. I am debating on blocking (barricading) the dirt road, like felling some trees, to create a barrier to people driving to my cabin, but know that it may draw attention to our location. There will be five of us here initially, me, my wife, my 12 year old son, and another couple. Any ideas or suggestions?"

UrbanMan replies: I think I know where you are at. Just kidding. Sounds like you are not going to be on a major refugee route, although you may think it if tens of thousands of people start heading towards the smaller resort town.

You are right to consider not drawing attention to yourself with a barricade on the dirt road near the State Highway. I would be very careful to sterilize signs of driving off the highway onto your dirt road. Erase or sweep away the tire signs. The leaves from the deciduous trees may help hide any sign as well.

Near the highway, you can position some deadfall to make it look like the road has not been used and is impassable or at least hard to get through without a flat tire. You will need to make it look as natural as possible. Still, you need to be ready for some people who may be taking this road to get off the highway for safety. Best case is if gas is at a premium or even if they are walking, they may not walk the two miles to your cabin. It is probably necessary to sterilize signs of travel all the way to the cabin as well.

Speaking of flat tires,... spike sets are good anti-vehicle obstacles. There are three types:

Man Made commercial - we use these to stop vehicles we are pursing and you have probably seen these on TV. I don't know if they are available for purchase to the public. These are made with hollow, large sharpened needles (like hypodermic needles) to allow the air to rapidly escape a punctured tire.

Man Made Field expedient - these wooden boards with nails pounded through and as someone drives over they get a flat. Large 16 penny nails work well. You can even build hinged spike board that as a tire drives over it the weight bears on the hinge and drives the sides of the board up and projects nails into the lesser protected sidewall of the tire.

Natural Spikes - fabricating from all natural material such as branches, cut and sharpened smaller branches. The sharpened "spikes" are then rubbed with dirt to reduce their signature and make them appear old. The idea is to make it seem like it was a natural obstacle that caused the flat, otherwise these people, who may intend you harm, will be suspicious, more careful and ready for any other obstacles or booby traps, as well as your other defensive capabilities.

You can position deadfall and logs, making it seem natural and channelizing vehicle traffic into your anti-vehicle traps. A 30 to 36 inch length of 8 inch diameter log, or larger, can be buried so that only 12 to 16 inches are sticking out of the ground to create a obstacle to high center or rip out crank cases or damage half shafts as vehicle drive over them. These can be made to look like just stumps of trees that were cut down.

You can dig a ditch in the road making is impassable for a vehicle and have a covered and camouflaged bypass. This ditch could be effective if it is hard to see, like around a corner or bend in the road, and looks natural like it was created from water run off.

I know a gent who buried a series of extension cords in PVC piping from his house to a curve in his entrance road that he couldn't see his from his house, and placed a simple IR beam light unit so that when the beam is broken a buzzer rings at his house alerting him to approaching traffic.

And I know another guy who did a little more of a professional job wiring a pressure plate over a cattle guard and that when a vehicle's weight pressing the plate down it makes a connect, it either turned on a light or activated a buzzer at his house (can't remember which). I believe both these guys use 110/115 v power and do not know if they have made allowances to use batteries if/when the power infrastructure shuts down during a collapse.

Obstacles on avenues of approach (roads, trails and natural lines of drift) are good ideas, but more professional or trained adversaries will approach your site from covered and concealed routes. Ensure you manage these and have a plan if attackers occupy positions of advantage around your cabin.

For legal reason, I am not going to get into field expedient explosive booby traps or pre-placed charges. But it is a common technique to emplace command detonated explosives, usually devices that produce anti-personal fragmentation, where people will seek cover once a vehicle is well as emplace in dead zones where you cannot observe nor provide direct fire onto any potential attackers.

Anyway, I hope this gives you some ideas. Sounds like you found yourself a good Survival location - just work on mitigating the risks. Some additional resources would be any of the series of excellent (and cheap) books by Ragnar Benson on a wide range of related Survival Topics. The one's I find most useful are below:


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