Author Topic: Tactical Homesteading  (Read 12007 times)

Offline flippydidit

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Tactical Homesteading
« on: June 21, 2013, 11:50:36 PM »
I know it's been a while since I posted on a regular basis, but I wanted to give something back to our forum community.  It's a paper I wrote a couple months ago with ideas that I think will take the "home hardening" to the next level.  I hope you all like it and find that it spurs more thought and discussion.  Here it is:

http://pdfcast.org/pdf/tactical-homesteading
Nate
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Offline Bennington1776

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Re: Tactical Homesteading
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2013, 01:50:16 AM »
Great article, very informative.  I have several ideas now running through my head for my "retirement property".

Offline NCFreedom

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Re: Tactical Homesteading
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2013, 04:32:46 AM »
good, informative article
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Re: Tactical Homesteading
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2013, 04:02:10 PM »
Nate, you had me until you got to the stumps.  I can definately see me using these ideas.  Great work, keep it up.

We miss you man, check in more often.  ;)

Offline flippydidit

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Re: Tactical Homesteading
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2013, 09:50:49 PM »
Nate, you had me until you got to the stumps.  I can definately see me using these ideas.  Great work, keep it up.

We miss you man, check in more often.  ;)

Aww, you don't want to use your stumps?  Let me guess, that would take the fun out of blowing them sky high?  I will definitely check in more now that my internet is reliable.
Nate
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— Ragnar Danneskjöld, from Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)

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Re: Tactical Homesteading
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2013, 11:57:19 PM »
Aww, you don't want to use your stumps?  Let me guess, that would take the fun out of blowing them sky high?  I will definitely check in more now that my internet is reliable.

We love our tree's, we'll even sit in them for months so that you can't cut them down.  ;)

Offline Cedar

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Re: Tactical Homesteading
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2013, 09:32:12 AM »
We love our tree's, we'll even sit in them for months so that you can't cut them down.  ;)

I can just see you, the wife and the kids up a tree.

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Re: Tactical Homesteading
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2013, 10:16:36 AM »
I can just see you, the wife and the kids up a tree.

What?  You can't see me keeping loggers from feeding their families and expecting food banks to deliver me free food?. . .  You got me.  The closest I've come to sitting in a tree is waiting for an elk to feed underneath me.  Only to take pictures of course.  8)

Offline Fyrediver

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Re: Tactical Homesteading
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2013, 10:52:16 AM »
I've thought the same thing.  Using landscaping to create the illusion of normalcy whilst actually creating hardened areas and entry control points.  Raised flower beds, swales, prickly plantings, etc.  These features can be used to focus an intruder where you want them, rather than where they want to be.  I think that because it's not obvious it'll work. 

Offline flippydidit

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Re: Tactical Homesteading
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2013, 10:54:40 AM »
Cutting down trees to feed your family? Why? What's wrong with spotted owl? Heard it tastes like chicken....
Nate
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nelson96

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Re: Tactical Homesteading
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2013, 12:21:22 PM »
What's wrong with spotted owl? Heard it tastes like chicken....

 ::) Wouldn't know  8)

nelson96

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Re: Tactical Homesteading
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2013, 12:23:59 PM »
I love your ideas Nate, but what about the intruder being able to use your designs against you (ie hiding his approach)?

TBR

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Re: Tactical Homesteading
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2013, 01:12:02 PM »
I love your ideas Nate, but what about the intruder being able to use your designs against you (ie hiding his approach)?

This was exactly my dilemma when we decided to build in a rural area.  Too much property to adequately defend, lots of existing cover/concealment already bordering our property that we had no control over, and I didn't want to compound the problem by providing anyone cover behind barricades.    There was also a concern that the defenses might be recognizable from above too, especially when everybody has access to satellite images.

I don't have any infantry training, but decided in the unlikely event that I'd be making a stand at the homestead I'd give an attacking force exactly what they wanted - then make them pay for taking the bait.   Cover works both ways.   

Offline flippydidit

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Re: Tactical Homesteading
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2013, 01:25:08 PM »
As far as giving an advancing enemy cover?  Well, I'm a proponent of giving them "perceived choices".  Simply because a place looks like good cover does not make it ideal.  It's much easier to set up detection devices or "other" things at just a few locations than all over your property.  If the positions look good to the bad guys, they're more likely to congregate where you want them.  You can then detect them, take them out, pin them down, etc.

Humans are very intelligent animals.  But we're still animals when it comes to fight or flight.  Routes of least resistance are more likely to channelize us when we're forced to make quick decisions.  Keep that in mind when setting up obstacles, cover and positions.
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nelson96

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Re: Tactical Homesteading
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2013, 01:29:34 PM »
This was exactly my dilemma when we decided to build in a rural area.  Too much property to adequately defend, lots of existing cover/concealment already bordering our property that we had no control over, and I didn't want to compound the problem by providing anyone cover behind barricades.    There was also a concern that the defenses might be recognizable from above too, especially when everybody has access to satellite images.

I don't have any infantry training, but decided in the unlikely event that I'd be making a stand at the homestead I'd give an attacking force exactly what they wanted - then make them pay for taking the bait.   Cover works both ways.

It's not on purpose, because I do prefer privacy, but my property is pretty open.  I attribute that fact to me being the only property on my lane that hasn't had theft in the last 16 years (knocking on wood).  There are not too many ways to come in undetected and not too many places to hide if they get in.  I have a large barnyard between my house and the two barns and open fields beyond them.  I do like that if I hear something suspicious I can look from my house and see a good distance 360 degrees.  I have a light on one of my barns that automatically comes on at dusk and it does a good job of lighting the entire barnyard.  It doesn't hurt that I'm pretty good with a rifle (at distance) and shoot a lot on my property to remind those around me that I own guns. 

nelson96

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Re: Tactical Homesteading
« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2013, 01:32:15 PM »
As far as giving an advancing enemy cover?  Well, I'm a proponent of giving them "perceived choices".  Simply because a place looks like good cover does not make it ideal.  It's much easier to set up detection devices or "other" things at just a few locations than all over your property.  If the positions look good to the bad guys, they're more likely to congregate where you want them.  You can then detect them, take them out, pin them down, etc.

Humans are very intelligent animals.  But we're still animals when it comes to fight or flight.  Routes of least resistance are more likely to channelize us when we're forced to make quick decisions.  Keep that in mind when setting up obstacles, cover and positions.

I like that thought process, and any amount of effort to make things easier for an intruder to come in where you want them to is an advantage for you.  But, what if you have a large property? 

TBR

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Re: Tactical Homesteading
« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2013, 02:01:11 PM »
As far as giving an advancing enemy cover?  Well, I'm a proponent of giving them "perceived choices".  Simply because a place looks like good cover does not make it ideal.  It's much easier to set up detection devices or "other" things at just a few locations than all over your property.  If the positions look good to the bad guys, they're more likely to congregate where you want them.  You can then detect them, take them out, pin them down, etc.

Right, that's Plan A here - deception.  Your doc is good stuff, like I said I don't have any infantry training and this put a lot of great info in one place.

nelson96 - Have you considered the MURS motion sensors?  Good burglar alarms now, and great force multipliers later.  With a little tinkering you can attach a relay to activate whatever you desire when they're tripped.  Siren, spotlight, phone dialer, or "other" things.

Offline flippydidit

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Re: Tactical Homesteading
« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2013, 02:08:19 PM »
I like that thought process, and any amount of effort to make things easier for an intruder to come in where you want them to is an advantage for you.  But, what if you have a large property?
Awww, stop bragging!  ;)  Actually, the larger the property, the easier it is to obfuscate the enemy and their understanding of your layout.  With a smaller property it's much more difficult to make the enemy not see the channelizing or bottle-necking you are creating.  Larger properties can have more meandering areas and open "no man's land".  The "no man's land" doesn't have to be open either.  Since concealment is not cover, you can provide all the "concealment" you want.  Set up detection devices so that the bad guys aren't actually concealed, but give them the false sense that they are sneaky.

Just some ideas.
Nate
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Offline Hurricane

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Re: Tactical Homesteading
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2013, 06:54:18 PM »
In this context, it is interesting to read up on Iron Age hill forts.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hill_fort
Also just search for images of them. Lots of good reconstructions out there.

Not much good against artillery then or now, or planes or tanks, but effective against ground troops, if you have enough defenders. Those old-timers came up with some pretty complex designs.
Even as men wrecked upon a sand, that look to be
washed off the next tide.

nelson96

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Re: Tactical Homesteading
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2013, 09:31:16 PM »
Awww, stop bragging!  ;)  Actually, the larger the property, the easier it is to obfuscate the enemy and their understanding of your layout.  With a smaller property it's much more difficult to make the enemy not see the channelizing or bottle-necking you are creating.  Larger properties can have more meandering areas and open "no man's land".  The "no man's land" doesn't have to be open either.  Since concealment is not cover, you can provide all the "concealment" you want.  Set up detection devices so that the bad guys aren't actually concealed, but give them the false sense that they are sneaky.

Good points.

Offline Big_Al

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Re: Tactical Homesteading
« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2013, 09:06:04 AM »
Good advice.

All fighting is based on deception.  If your not a good liar, you won't be good at fighting. 

Canalizing a hostile threat through a series of thorny bushes 400-800 meters away.

Use S turn bushes that canalize.  Monitor those areas with MURs or early warning detection devices. 

The S turn bushes gives the threat a choice to make, either go left or right.  Realize like 90% of people will chose a right handed choice over a left handed choice.  Make the right handed choices a little easier for the threat to navigate, and make the left hand choices harder.  The "dumping off" point, or the Intervisibility line where you can clearly see the threat would be at the 400 meter mark.  In other words, the last right handed choice a threat makes through thorny bushes winds him up clearly in an open field, with no cover, and is designed in such a way he can't easily retreat.  The last right handed choice should also put the threat on a slightly lower elevation angle than the house.

example-set up thorny bushes in S shaped curves that offer a choice to a threat.  The left choice is a dead end through the bushes, the right choice a waste high bush.  The threat decides of the two choices to make that the right choice is easier, as all he has to do is jump over the waste high bush set in a puzzle of thorny bushes.  The whole time your MURs is going crazy.  You know where the waist high bush is set and begin scanning those areas.  Once the threat decides to deliberately jump over a waist high bush, he lands in a completely open area, with no cover nor concealment, exposing him to you across an open field.  When he jumps the bush, he lands on a much lower piece of terrain, hopefully injuring his ankle/foot whatever.  People are smart, so if you make it to obvious your canalizing, the threat will come from a different direction.  If you set up just enough deception, then at the point of breach (the waist high bush) you can put some items to really slow them down.

You can set your "keyhole" gardens near the house 3-5 seconds running from your door.  If threat gets to the keyhole gardens 3-5 seconds from your door, you have bigger problems and need to egress.  Part of every plan should be to get the heck out of dodge if a threat continues to come and you can't stop them.

I'm thinking like having a barking dog alarm that goes off if an intruder enters an area of my property.  It scares the intruder, and he will either a) run away b) run away regain composure and approach from a different angle c) ignore the barking dog alarm
a-ideal I don't have to do anything
b-more realistic if the threat is hard core and wants to hurt my family
c-if I see a guy coming from the direction of the barking dog alarm, I would have to immediately mitigate the threat.

combine the barking dog alarm in open areas that cost too much money to put bushes, and canalize the threat into the bush area.  At the point of breach in the bush area, have some nasty stuff to really slow them down.

Permaculture zones 1-4 and security zones 1-4 are the same principle.

A bug out property can do both, meaning you can have food, water, shelter, security, if the land is laid out properly. Dirt is cheap!  Again great article!
"you can do everything right and still fail, chance and the enemy get a vote"
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Teach an American to fish, he gets jealous that you knew something he did not, and calls in a drone strike and kills you and your family.

Offline Big_Al

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Re: Tactical Homesteading
« Reply #21 on: June 25, 2013, 09:36:09 AM »
 :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) warning signs "no trespassing" zone 4

 ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) tacti-cool permaculture ditches, apple trees, thorny bushes to keep vehicles and pesky deers out
zone 4

 :D :D :D :D :D :D   :D :D :D :D :D :D  S shaped bushes, breach point to canalize threat (waist high bush as a "right" choice)
                                       :D MURs monitors these areas
 :D :D :D :o :D :D :D :D :D
        :-[ :-[:-[ :-[ ownage at the point of breach waiting on the other side set on lower ground zone 3

                          400 meters open field than can be covered from the house with "stuff"

 :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* keyhole gardens with pretty flowers 3-5 seconds rush from your doors zone 2

 ::)  ::) ::) :'( solid steel doors with deadbolts, very hard to penetrate.  One door not so solid, easier to penetrate.  Another nasty on the other side of door that is easier to breach.  Cameras set up alarm zones with battery backup.  Non-lethals such as pepper spray.  zone 2

 :-X a room that is secure within the house, ballistic protection, fire protection, monitored, (and has an egress route not part of orginal house plan?).  Camera computer, fire extinguishers, chemical masks, water, food, medicine, energy, and lethal protection.  zone 1
"you can do everything right and still fail, chance and the enemy get a vote"
Old Afghan Proverb
Give an American a fish, he will return the favor by giving you multi million dollar contracts.
Teach an American to fish, he gets jealous that you knew something he did not, and calls in a drone strike and kills you and your family.

Offline Joe_Nobody

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Re: Tactical Homesteading
« Reply #22 on: June 26, 2013, 01:23:37 PM »
Nate:

Excellent piece, sir.

Having a little experience in the realm of prepper security myself (my book on the topic has sold over 100,000 copies to date), I thought your paper was spot-on.

It's good to see an infantryman realize that the average prepper isn't going to send Dear Old Aunt Helen (she's 84 years old ya know) out to man an LP in the middle of the night. My 14 year old daughter is not going to take her shift in the spider hole when desperates are known to be in the area. My family is not a rifle squad - and never will be.

I've written about a lot of different defensive measures that the average person can implement without harming the value of their real estate. After all, the zombie wars haven't started despite all of us prepping for it years ago.

Good defensive preps don't have to be expensive, and I thought your work did a good job pointing that out.

Landscaping, such as Bamboo, Blackthorn or other nasty's can actually spruce up a place while at the same time providing a security role.

Sandbags, one of my favorites, are cheap, stop bullets and can be used to put out fires. The best part is you don't have to fill them up until the SHTF. (Hint: Mother will be easier to live with if she doesn't have sandbags stacked in the living room.)

Again, nice post, sir. Salute.

Joe

Offline flippydidit

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Re: Tactical Homesteading
« Reply #23 on: June 26, 2013, 03:04:00 PM »
Joe,

I appreciate the approval.  I've been a fan of your work for a little while and enjoyed hearing you on the podcast.  Keep up the great work brother.
Nate
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"One of these centuries, the brutes, private or public, who believe that they can rule their betters by force, will learn the lesson of what happens when brute force encounters mind and force."
— Ragnar Danneskjöld, from Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)

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Re: Tactical Homesteading
« Reply #24 on: June 26, 2013, 03:50:45 PM »
If your conditions allow, the best plant I can think of to use as a natural barrier is Devils Club.  You would have to be pretty darn motivated [crazy] to want to go through a section of it.  As an added benefit, it's considered a medicinal plant too.

I've often read that it grows mostly in dense oldgrowth forests, but in my State, I've seen more of it grow in open areas than I have in dense forests.

Offline scoob

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Re: Tactical Homesteading
« Reply #25 on: June 26, 2013, 07:00:45 PM »
I wonder how many of us PM'd Joe about this thread?  ;)

Nice work Nate!  We're looking for a new home, and your post will help visualize the security aspects of the different properties we're checking out.

Offline dk1138

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Re: Tactical Homesteading
« Reply #26 on: June 27, 2013, 11:35:44 AM »
Very interesting and creative read.  I get a huge kick out these two "separate" worlds coming together.  Where else but TSP? :)

Re: the large property discussion... I'm wrestling with the opposite. 
We live on a 1.3 acre property.  Our hugel system (midway between woody beds and true 10-ft tall "Huge"-l-culture beds) is below our house, which is comparative high on the land and has lots of windows. 

One of the issues I've been turning around in my head for months has been how to further landscape to improve security.  It's an island and a very low-risk area *in general* (think unlocked doors for most houses), though there is a non-zero rate of daytime burglary.  If things did get dicier, I do wonder about defending 3 relatively soft doors with all the visibility...  The discussion on "channeling" is very helpful there.  Creating the sense of false cover to channel approaches to the house might be a great idea to limit the threat area.  Countering surveillance might be harder, but we do have dogs. ;)

If it ever came to the point of needing ballistic defense, I'd guess a hardened part of the house or, more inexpensively, one of your designs. 

Love the idea of the glow-tape.  Could definitely implement that with NVGs and IR sources as well (if you're inclined that way... I'd be more so on a really big rural property).  Might also consider plantings that create a lot of noise. 

Again, very cool.  Thanks for sharing this!
David
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Offline Big_Al

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Re: Tactical Homesteading
« Reply #27 on: June 27, 2013, 05:11:04 PM »
The other part of channeling is to set up the Shining Puzzle Bush crazy dead twins going to get ya is setting up the bushes so they only allow one person to negotiate them abreast.  This simply means making the passageways so narrow you only face one intruder at a time. 
"you can do everything right and still fail, chance and the enemy get a vote"
Old Afghan Proverb
Give an American a fish, he will return the favor by giving you multi million dollar contracts.
Teach an American to fish, he gets jealous that you knew something he did not, and calls in a drone strike and kills you and your family.

Offline Big_Al

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Re: Tactical Homesteading
« Reply #28 on: July 08, 2013, 04:58:18 PM »
A recommendation to funnel.

The tacti-cool berms and ditches should have what appears to be a collapsed section in the outer zone.  The threat sees the "washed away" area and decides to enter your property from that direction.  The washed out area then is linked by the S turn bushes. In other words, lure them in gently, creating the illusion that your property is easily breached.

Other ways to canalize

Park junk cars minus the engine blocks around your property.  Work these in conjunction with the bushes and keyhole gardens.  Cars provide no cover, a bummer for them.

Use plaster landscape rocks that look like the real mccoy.  Again no cover.

Use traditional fencing placed outside the zone that someone could reasonably throw a 5lb weight.  The idea is a layered fenced in area inside your yard, providing another layer of slowing them down. 

The ideas to canalize could go on and on.  Be creative in giving the threat the illusion they are safe behind whatever you place in the yard.
"you can do everything right and still fail, chance and the enemy get a vote"
Old Afghan Proverb
Give an American a fish, he will return the favor by giving you multi million dollar contracts.
Teach an American to fish, he gets jealous that you knew something he did not, and calls in a drone strike and kills you and your family.

Offline dk1138

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Re: Tactical Homesteading
« Reply #29 on: July 08, 2013, 05:15:36 PM »
...
Park junk cars minus the engine blocks around your property.  Work these in conjunction with the bushes and keyhole gardens.  Cars provide no cover, a bummer for them.

Use plaster landscape rocks that look like the real mccoy.  Again no cover.
...
You have a devious mind, my friend.  I like it. 

Interestingly, the junk cars idea could in itself be a relative social deterrent in the right areas. 

Brambles grow very easily where I live (western WA).  Esp. blackberries... That could offer some opportunity for channeling as well. 

D
"The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on."