A Green Beret’s Guide To Low-Budget-Home-Defense Techniques 102: “Defensive Positions”

by | Apr 3, 2015 | Green Beret's Guides, Headline News | 85 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    Jeremiah Johnson is a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne) and a graduate of the U.S. Army’s SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape).

    This article is a continuation of the home defense series from Jeremiah Johnson. You can read part 1 of this series here: A Green Beret’s Guide To Low-Budget Home-Defense Techniques 101: “Early-Warning Systems”



    We’re going to jump right into Part II of the “Low Budget Home Defense Techniques.”  You guys have submitted numerous comments regarding your individual needs for defensive positions that I intend to address in this article, as well as subsequent pieces.  Please be patient, as the requests were too numerous to address them all in this article, nor could an answer to every comment be provided.  I’ll do my best to cover as much ground as possible.

    I’m going to start with a few things I did in a MOUT/urban setting, as it seems a great deal of you guys are still in cities or large suburban metropolitan areas.  FreeSlave, this part’s for you.  If the construction of your house is not very sturdy, you can still fortify it both inside and out.  The use of sandbags inside and outside of the walls to window height and about 1 foot higher than where you’re sleeping might be considered.  You can cover over the exterior bags with some type of tarp that matches your house color to conceal them.

    In addition, I’m enclosing a diagram of steel racks with shelves that hold up to 350’ per shelf.  We picked up a boatload of them at Target; generally, the 18” x 48” x 72” will run about $40.  You can place 2 layers/rows of logs with a layer of sandbags/timber in between them.  You’ll have to gauge it by what you can get away with in your neighborhood.  If you can stack wood for a woodpile without hassles, it is a good way to go, as it is self-camouflaged with the true purpose hidden.

    Click Here To View Full Size Diagram


    Here’s some info. from FM 5-34, Engineer Field Data (Army), under Table 4 -1 “Material Thickness (cm/in) required to protect against direct and indirect fire,” here:


    Talon 1776, this part is for you.  For those who didn’t read, Talon brought up some excellent points about static fighting positions being deathtraps.  I wholeheartedly concur.  Your fortified position (as I stated earlier) is not impregnable and can be defeated.  Look at the Maginot Line at the advent of WWII and Von Schlieffen merely bypassed it.  Your castle needs to have a way for the king and his family to escape.  These defensive measures have their limits.  Also, an urban environment is completely different.  Before we bought our cabin, my wife and I lived in one of the most densely populated areas on the East Coast, and we lived in an apartment building.

    I gave the maintenance man $100 for him to dupe a utility room key for me and (with his permission) I turned it into a bomb shelter.  When we moved to Montana, I broke it down and returned the room to him exactly as I had found it.  File this one away: sometimes the best way to stay hidden is to hide in plain sight, right under their noses.  You’re going to have to feel your way around on this one: a little PR and a lot of OPSEC.  Where can you flee for an RP (rally point) if you have to leave the area?  Do you have a plan of action that takes into account numerous variables and scenarios (EMP, Bios, full-scale economic collapse, etc)?  Do you have gear pre-positioned to load up in the vehicles and rock and roll?

    No matter where you live, urban or rural, invest in a good New York lock to brace your front door: it buys you time at the bare minimum.  What are the weapons laws in your state?  You’ll have to weigh the variables (risk vs. reward).  I mention this with John Allen in mind: whether it’s our totalitarian government, mad-max marauders, or neighborhood homey-the-clown gangster wanna-be’s, I intend to fight.  My objective is center mass to the head.  Also, not everyone is able to go running all over the place carrying a 100-lb ruck.  Tailor your equipment and pace yourself accordingly, taking your physical limitations into account.

    Camouflage everything.  Sun-Tzu: “All warfare is based on deception.”  Don’t make it look as if you’re ready to roll out with a ton of supplies.  Make blackout curtains for your home; worst case scenario, use thick (6 mil or more) black plastic and affix it to the drywall with thumbtacks, keeping only candles lit in the house.

    Whatever NVG’s or laser sights you have, you need to double them.  Stick one on your weapon/keep it handy, and throw the other into a Faraday cage.  If it’s a non-EMP event, you’re ready to rock.  If an EMP cooks it, you have a backup that you can pull out of the cage when the pulse is minimized and the danger has passed.  Low tech is high tech compared to no tech.  Stick with the self-winding watches, the Lensatic tritium compasses: they’ll pay off later.  Don’t be so high-tech that you’re dependent on it and that EMP event bites you on “your fourth point-of-contact.”

    Strategically place all of your gear and practice finding it in the dark.  This is critical!  You want to be able to set in all of your defenses in the dark with no light!  Returning to our rural setting, it is important to have several hasty fighting positions where you can roam with a Motorola while your family is inside manning their assigned positions.  A one to two-person roving patrol is worth a lot to keep marauders from coming close to the house.

    A word on woodpiles:  don’t let them rise to over 3 ½ feet in height, and always keep them perpendicular to you and back from the house, so even if they low crawl you’ll always have then in enfilade (a line of ducks for you to harvest).  Somebody mentioned caltrops in one of the comments.  Absolutely.  Nails, stakes, wire…whatever it takes.  Use your imagination.  Genius mentioned pepper spray grenades.  Another hors d’oeuvre to use with that and for pennies on the dollar is a can of 22’-range-Raid hornet and wasp spray.  Friends of mine here in Montana have used it on Grizzly and Black bears in place of bear spray, which is quite pricey.

    Sector stakes: don’t leave home without ‘em…in place, that is.  Remember I mentioned how you need to walk your property and map out all of your crucial distances?  Now I exhort you to do two things:  1.  Create a sector sketch, and 2. Emplace sector stakes.  The sector sketch is merely a drawing that is composed of all your property’s terrain features and man-made structures with directions and distances noted down.  Roads and access points are taken into account.  Always have an arrow marking the direction of North on it.  Note key neighboring facilities and structures and potential problems/future structures you’ll need to clear (ex: Homey-the-clown’s crib/crack house on the corner of your block).  The sector stakes are vertical rods/sticks/whatever works that govern the left and right limits within a weapon’s assigned sector of fire.

    Also complementing the sector stakes are aiming stakes; these line your weapon up with a predetermined target/known point during limited visibility.  Sector stakes should be sturdy, well affixed, and long enough to keep the weapon inside of the sector when you move it side to side (traverse your position).  You should have an overall sector sketch to detail the entire property, but each fighting position also needs its own sector sketch with another copy retained by you in a safe place. When TSHTF and Cousin Richard is visiting the house, he needs to know where to point the Flintlock rifle; the sector sketch will help ensure your instructions to him are clear.

    Sector and aiming stakes take the guesswork out of where you’re traversing and searching with your weapon.  It’ll take some practice if you use a bipod on your rifle (which I recommend as a must-have), but with fog or nightfall, they’re lifesavers.  The sector sketch is equally important.  Cousin Richard just bought the farm, and here comes Cousin Ruth to take his place.  The sector sketch for the position needs to be clearly marked and decipherable at a glance.  A good idea would also be to laminate all of them; then you can use a grease pencil or a dry erase marker to add non-permanent notes when needed.  For further reading, refer to the 11-B/C/H/M Soldier’s Manual and Trainer’s Guide (the orange one with “Bulldozer” from Sgt. Rock’s Easy Company on the cover), STP 7-11BCHM14-SM-TG, Sept. 1988 Ed.

    Sandbag each Hasty Fighting Position (HFP) and/or each permanent position.  Two rows, waist high (minimum) as long as the tallest member of your household + 1 sandbag length.  If you’re on the second floor or higher, don’t forget to sandbag two layers on the floor under you (for rounds coming through the floor).  Make sure you’re set back (muzzle not protruding) from your window/firing port positions.  Also, watch your silhouetting!  If you can do it, fire around the sides of walls, sandbagged positions, vehicles, etc., not over them!  Success depends in MOUT (Military Operations on Urban Terrain) on picking targets and accurately engaging them while not exposing yourself to prolonged return fire.  Remember: if you can see him, he could see you!

    Another good reference for these defenses is STP 21-1-SMCT Soldier’s Manual of Common Tasks, sections on emplacing crew-served weapons and Individual Movement Techniques (IMT’s) in an urban environment.  We will cover them in greater detail in the offensive operations articles that are forthcoming.

    Let’s discuss a few things regarding firearms.  You should form pairs to partner, and your main rifle and pistol should be the same: then magazines and ammo are interchangeable.  Also, rotate your mags and keep them in even numbers (half empty and half full); change the ammo out to mags that have “rested,” in order to keep the spring tension at its strongest.  Reset your magazines every month to month and a half to rest those springs.  You should also have a weapon in every room of the house.  Have specialty mags ready and loaded, either with AP or +P (I love Buffalo Bore) rounds.  Don’t forget your tracers, and they need to be accessible and readily identifiable as such.

    Specialty weapons: have ‘em ready to use, accessible, clean, and serviceable.

    You want to walk your property very carefully and plan how you will force choke points and exposure points on someone approaching.  Deadfalls and Malayan man-catchers are extremely effective for stopping forward movement and pinning Tiny Tim akin to an insect until you deliver the Raid.  You’ll have to plan according to the concealment and camouflage available to you to safeguard your devices, as well as “Meddling Madge,” the neighbor, and her husband, “Benedict Arnold.”

    All of these potential informants, government lackeys, and establishment puppets such as “the Arnolds” need to be taken into consideration.  The best time to prep your defenses in an urban or suburban environment is nighttime or in the wee hours of the morning.  Don’t allow them to see anything for any reason.  Don’t let them see your supplies.  Don’t allow them to see even your garbage: practice opsec and shred and/or burn anything with your name or relevant information on it.

    Practice and train with your family: talk-through, walk-through, and follow-through with all of your plans.  As I mentioned in the first article, repetition promotes good follow-through and will help you develop and bond as a team.  We’re going to be covering a lot of offensive procedures and operations in upcoming articles.  For now the best starting point for you is to accurately assess your strong and weak points (regarding your property, home, and family’s ability to defend it).

    One final word: USE THIS SITE (www.SHTFplan.com)!  There is a ton of experience and knowledge waiting in the comments sections for you to tap into.  If you submit a question, someone is eventually going to see it and give you an answer.  I’m also going to try to carry that football; I plan on giving a full three to four hours, one day per week to respond to comments.  Good intel is where you find it, and what you make of it.  Additionally, we can mutually support one another in all of our endeavors and cut down on time spent for problem solving and research.  Hope you find some good uses for this information.  Have a great day.

    Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne).  Mr. Johnson is also a Gunsmith, a Certified Master Herbalist, a Montana Master Food Preserver, and a graduate of the U.S. Army’s SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape).  He lives in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with his wife and three cats. You can follow Jeremiah’s regular writings at SHTFplan.com.

    This article may be republished or excerpted with proper attribution to the author and a link to www.SHTFplan.com.

    Related Reading:

     A Green Beret’s Guide To Low-Budget Home-Defense Techniques 101: “Early-Warning Systems and Fortifications”

    Long-term Security and Defense

    Disarmed? How to Create DIY Self-Defense Tools With Items in Your Home

    Looter Defense Tactics

    Rapid Fire!: Tactics for High Threat, Protection and Combat Operations

    The Prepper’s Blueprint: Prepare for Any Disaster


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      1. For your reference below, on the “edits” to the Indiana law. Rienzi is a law professor, and associated with the highly credible Becket Fund. I realize people think this has to be all too tin foil hat-ish, but I assure you, photographer Elaine Huegenin in New Mexico, who was told by the activist NM Supreme Court that the price of her citizenship was having to affirm gay marriage over her right of conscience, the Sweet Cakes by Melissa couple in OR. – now fined around ¼ MILLION dollars, that baker in CO. who was sent to what amounts to a re-education camp, or dozens of others I could list here, don’t think so, from personal, iron-fisted Browshirt radical gay tactics. All of the above gladly served gays with other requests, just not re. supporting marriage.

        The goal from the radical homosexual Brownshirts is to ensure that it is their worldview uber alles. Those that think otherwise are akin, IMHO, to German Jews who in 1934 thought “surely it can’t get worse than this! After all, we are a civilized, educated nation!” We won’t have a Kristalnacht here – just a sanitized, legal/financial version of the exact same thing.

        And when you are done with the below, read Gay Group Demands Christian Churches Be SHUT DOWN for Opposing Same-Sex Marriage at http://toprightnews.com/gay-group-demands-christian-churches-be-shut-down-for-opposing-same-sex-marriage/ Perhaps at the moment, this story is just an in-your-face demand they don’t expect to be granted. Just give it a few years, then tell me what you think. I have personally listened to Irwin Lutzer, sr. pastor at Moody Bible Church, say that between these Brownshirt types and the Muslims, Christian, and even those who just desire traditional family values, are coming very close to being legally persecuted. I have also personally been in a peaceful meeting in Ottawa, ON. of concerned, conservative parents of elementary school kids who violently had their private meeting crashed by radical gays – and then watched the top Canadian TV news show LIE through their teeth about this as their lead story the next day. (I have an audio tape of the whole proceedings – not that truth matters to the PC types)
        I would quote Hitler resister Martin Niemoller here, about “first they came for the …. “ but a lot of you know this quote already, and the ones who don’t are probably part of the problem. We are at as critical of a stage for the survival of civility, integrity (Hillary wiping clean her email server, anyone? Something even Nixon dared not do), the rule of law, and the turning of America into Amerika.

        I am NOT saying “if you love freedom, America, etc.” pass this email on. I’m not that smart to write some “Braveheart”-style speech. But whatever you can do, however big or little, you must do it now, as the hour is already almost too late.

        As Charleton Heston once wrote: “Modern media fills the cultural airwaves with a mist of anesthesia, so that principles and values are slowly desensitized to the coming onslaught. The new culture arrives on the heels of this propaganda. It simply moves in and takes over, like slipping a fine new glove over a numbed hand. The outcome of the war is just as devastating, but without bombs bursting , twisted bodies to bury, or rubble to rebuild. A new class, a different culture, simply takes over.”

        Or, taking the words from the fascist/leftist hero Herbert Marcuse, who popularized the “repressive tolerance” theory of modern progressives. “Liberating tolerance would mean intolerance against movements from the right and toleration of movements from the left,” Marcuse pontificated. “Certain things cannot be said, certain ideas cannot be expressed, certain policies cannot be proposed.” To which I might add in the words of the radical left and gays, “Seig heil!”

        Cited from http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/04/02/professor-indiana-rfra-fix-could-send-christians-to-jail

        The greatly anticipated “fix” to the Indiana religious freedom law has been released by the Indiana legislative committee, and it is far worse than conservatives feared. According to law professor Mark Rienzi, the new fix will allow the state to prosecute Christians criminally for denying gay weddings their professional affirmation.

        Rienzi, of the Becket Fund and Catholic University School of Law and who was lead attorney in the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case that upheld a claim under the federal religious freedom law, said this would “criminalize religious objectors.” The “fix” maintains the religious liberty law in Indiana but says Christian business cannot use the law in declining to endorse a same-sex wedding. Christian business owners — florists, bakers, caterers and others — will now be forced to provide service for religious ceremonies that go against their “deeply held religious beliefs.” But the fix also says the law cannot establish a defense against not just civil actions but also “criminal prosecution.” The “fix” carves our exemptions but only for churches, minsters, and overtly religious organizations — not for Christians who run for-profit businesses.
        Social conservatives were quick to comment. Marriage expert Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation said, “…the proposed fix amounts to nothing less than a wholesale repel of the Indian Religious Freedom Restoration Act with respect to those who need religious liberty protections the most.”
        The Family Research Council issued a statement: “The new proposal guts the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and empowers the government to impose punishing fines on people for following their religious beliefs about marriage.” FRC president Tony Perkins said, “Religious freedom should not be held hostage to Big Business.” Much of the opposition to the Indian law came from major corporations who threatened economic retaliation for enacting the law.
        Activist Linda Harvey pointed a finger at LGBT activists. “This ‘fix’ is everything gay activists could want.” The “fix” must pass both legislative houses in Indiana and be signed by Governor Mike Pence, who has been suspected of entertaining presidential ambitions in 2016. At least one social conservative leader said yesterday this ends any hope he may have for 2016 and beyond.

      2. If you are against s single attacker or maybe two or so, you can probably defend yourself from a fixed position if they only have rifles and pistols to attack you with.

        If you’re up against a more professional group -military, police, banded deserters or renegades from either of those or even a Biker gang- with something larger such as a simple mortar or some flame warfare equipment, you’re best chance is to retreat and lay plans that will let you retake your property later.

        Don’t underestimate the value of a small stash of wood alcohol and vodka, properly applied you will have your property back in a day or two. A passive counter attack, so to speak.

        • My plan is denial,
          If i cant have it noby can,
          Click click WOOSHh

          • I got three valuable take-aways from this article. I plan on implementing them ASAP. We can pick and choose which info is of value to us, and I enjoyed this article. I personally look forward to future articles of this nature.

            • Dear Sixpack,

              I thank you for your kind words; I’m glad to help in any way I can. Believe me, I pay attention to your comments and learn from them, as well. Have a good day, and keep your powder dry!


              • I love your site and suggestions. I live in a wooded area, with lots of wildlife especially deer. How do I set up a low cost perimeter without having the animals trip it off walking into low lines or sensors?

        • Sharon, Thats a great idea thanks!. I also had the idea of sodium chlorate (weed killer) and jerkey lol 😉

      3. Thanks Jeremiah!!! This article is tremendously helpful. And encouraging too.

        Blessings to you on Good Friday. And Resurrection Sunday.

        • A great article with, I think, one exception: “Don’t forget your tracers, and they need to be accessible and readily identifiable as such.”

          Night vision/infrared scopes are the way to go and everyone should have a suppressor to boot; even if it is homemade.

          If you use tracers, you will know where your rounds are hitting; but the enemy will know where your rounds are coming from. Your position will be revealed and your enemy can maneuver to your flank and know exactly where to shoot, without using tracers.

          Not a good idea today. 🙁

          • DK –

            I think you completely missed a key word in the Title of this article “Low Budget”. Where does a civilian get ‘tracer rounds, and is it even legal?

            Suppressor – federal government gets involved if you obtain this kid of device, or you’re better off to know someone who can build them and able to stay off the radar. I’d rather not involve the Feds in my endeavors, same way with firearms or other devices that they deem to be “hazardous”.

            Night vision – is more affordable these days, but to many it may be not in their scope of budget – but necessary if one can get their hands on them.

            • A note on NV,,,
              No NV is just as good as cheap NV
              If it is ineffective it will do you no good,,,

            • Anyone, State laws varying, can legally own a silencer (or suppressor, as you wish) as long as you pay the $200.00 NFA tax to either transfer it to you from a legal manufacturer or to build one for yourself (ATF Form 1, also used to legally make your own short barreled (sawed off) shotgun or rifle).

              It’s no big deal to do it legally even if the paperwork takes a few months, so don’t start thinking about doing it illegally and end up in expensive legal trouble.

              FWIW, you cannot make one for sale or transfer to others unless you are a licensed manufacturer and it is illegal to own one you didn’t legally make yourself or buy that was originally made by a licensed manufacturer (meaning don’t have a “friend” do it for you even with the right forms paid for and approved and think you and he will get around the do it yourself aspect of that law).

              If you visit just about any outdoor range frequently you will probably run across someone using one, and you’ll find out they are not as quiet as you may think from the movies in rifle and large caliber pistols – they just make them hearing safe (which is an advantage in indoor defensive situations).

              FWIW, there is no restriction or law against a loudener, and those have a very definite advantage in some situations.

              • The poor mans silencer that requires no federal license and is legal in all 50 states, is a crossbow.

                You can take a deer, or other large game, even mount a night vision scope if you like. They even make LED powered bolts if you want tracer rounds!

          • DK.

            Tracers have their place. Can position one in the magazine to let you know you are about empty. Can be used as a source of ignition. Help to direct others on target to concentrate fire. Weigh the pros and cons before usage.

            • slingshot I always like to place a tracer as number 20 in my 30rd mag, and then always pause after the tracer. That way you know where you are in needing a reload plus the enemy also thinks you are making a reload and sticks their head up, so be ready. Trekker Out. Freemen Own Guns, Slaves Don’t!

              • MT.

                Good point.

              • “enemy also thinks you are making a reload and sticks their head up”

                A man after my own heart 🙂

            • Many good points guys, but are those A-10’s going to be coming in to support you or target you? I would suggest that even in all out Civil War the Rebels are not going to have air support.

              Tony, I don’t know if tracers are legal for civilians or if they are available to US. I don’t have any and I am not looking for them. If you read my post again you will notice that I do not think they are a good idea.

              While a tracer seated 20th in a 30 round clip might be a good idea in Nam, in a firefight with UN Thugs your shots should a) catch them by surprise, and b) eliminate the threat before you hit the 20th round before you scoot. If you are sticking around for a shootout, you will likely be out gunned.

              Folks if you cannot afford a suppressor you can make them from cheap and readily available materials you have on hand (do some research). At the very least network with Patriots and over time you will acquire one that is machine tooled or made on a 3-D printer. 🙂

              Just understand the consequences of possession without a permit. Of course if you are a Patriot and a Rebel taking up arms against a rogue NWO Administration and “push has come to shove”, possession of a suppressor without a permit would be the least of your concerns.

              Every team should have a sniper. Every sniper should have a suppressor. Pool your resources for the items I mentioned while you have the opportunity to acquire them.

              Engage your employees or be suppressed by them one Rule, Regulation or Permit at a time. 🙁

        • I can see this now the headlines read. “Paranoid Prepper Freeslave found dead in basement crushed by sandbags.” People don’t be stupid and pack sandbags on and house flooor 2 deep, the house floor joist’s cannot support that kind of weight from sandbags as the floor will give way and the house of paranoia will be crumblimg down. Wonder why the US lost every war since WW2? Chest thumping Idiots with medals and titles running the show. These morons will get you killed if you take their advice. When the shooting begins you should already have bugged out and long gone. WWTI

          • WWTI, just a short answer to your question about why the US has lost every war since WW2. “United Nations”!

            • By “every war since WW2”, do you mean all of those undeclared “regime changes”, corporate resource takeovers and just plain destabilization of non-threatening countries, for corporate benefit?

              Do you consider going in and kicking ass on a handful of barely armed goat herders and their wives, so that we could take over their opium fields, a “War”?

              • At long last. Someone who talks clear sense, how refreshing.

        • Dear FreeSlave,

          You’re welcome, and may the Living God bless you and your family in all things you do with health, safety, and happiness.

          Hope you didn’t mind my mentioning your name…you and the others were my source of motivation. Soon I’ll have a SHTF e-mail that you can write to me anytime you wish. Hope you wish!

          Have a great day, and I hope to hear from you soon.


      4. I have heard some talk of putting gravel in their walls as protection from gun fire, I doubt that this would be very practical, but as I mentioned in another comment, I saw in an email about ceramic pellets. I think it was a company called NIOA, I don’t know if this is available to the general public or if this is just for the military. Jeremiah maybe you could check this out and give us an opion on or some info on this product. Thanks for yourArticle. Trekker Out. Pray For Peace, Prepare For War!

        • 3-1/2 or 5-1/2 inches of small stones in your wall is going to do absolutely nothing for you but serve as a heat sink.

          Any round bigger than a .22LR will just push the stones out of the way. You can’t compact it hard enough without fine dirt added, nor will it’s own weight be enough to compact itself.

      5. JJ

        Good article. I prefer to Hide in plain site. Those specialty items, you have to time them, when to deploy. As for the sandbags. Plan to paint them the same color as the house with rollers. Screw that paint brush.
        As each weapon extracts the empty case, it is the ejector you may be concerned with. Some guns eject at right angles and some forward. Some over the top. Outside firing positions are fine but in an enclosed position you can get head and eye injuries. Helmet and goggles might be a plus. Also incoming fire has a way of splintering material made airborne. Glass from windows.

        Whatever the specialty devices or building defensive positions with sandbags. It all takes time and muscle and you have to figure the Right Time to unveil to all. Not too soon or too late.

        • Goggles,,,
          Even just the cheap rubber/plastic ones from hardware store are better than losing your vision.
          Gun fighting is nasty business.

        • Safety glasses became fashionable for US soldiers in the gulf, they loved the three pack that had a dark sunglass pair, a shooting glass anti glare set and a clear set for night. They were a bit more necessary there because of sand storms, but getting an eye put out by a stupid splinter will suck even more, especially if there’s no medical help!

        • Dear Slingshot,

          Thanks for the comments. You’re right on the specialty items and their timing, as well as the labor to emplace ’em. My take is use what time we have left and do it incrementally and a little at a time, as best you can.

          There’s no foolproof plan and none of them are perfect. I should have mentioned the K-pot and goggles. It’s hard at times, because I could easily turn a 2,000 word article into a book!

          Regarding incoming: for overhead cover, there’s a burster layer of rocks above your timbers. I learned this tip from (Ret) CSM “Pappy” Jones in the 18-C course. Always lay a layer of tin/sheet metal overtop of your burster layer. The magnetic influence of the metal will detonate the round of indirect fire before it enters the burster layer and help to shield you further.

          It’s great to share with you. Soon they’re going to give me a SHTF e-mail and we can communicate directly, if you wish.

          Have a good day; hope to hear from you again soon.


      6. One final word: USE THIS SITE

        JJ, we do, and many a different discussion goes on here.
        Great article…

        • And some comments by hateful ravingqueer lunatics as well,,,
          Happy easter Eppster

        • Dear Eppe,

          Thanks for the compliment. It means much to me, believe me. Have a good day!


      7. Having Gen 3 NV to fight at night and in the dark is more important than having red dots, ACOGs, lasers, rail lights, taclights, or even barter stuff but all those are nice to have too.

      8. Great articles, among some of the best I’ve read. A few thoughts, keep it low tech and non-lethal for now. Your neighbor may not be real happy if fluffy is impaled on your punji stakes. You can always add them later. How about a “fort” for the “kids” that is really an LP/ OP. Bags of rocks or garden soil from Lowes for that “home” project.
        Keep up the good work, new stuff for some, refresher course for us old timers.

      9. Things

        Sound. Shooting from an enclosed position. Ear plugs?

        Sandbag repair. Duct Tape.

        • I have several sets of amplified ear protectors scattered around the house, in the truck and in bags. They allow me to hear ambient noise better than without them and provide hearing protection. In a fire fight I would be able to hear movement in between shots.

          • Ishimo, I was going to add this to the list.

            There are electronic hearing enhanced ear protection that let’s you communicate in whispers, and protect your hearing if you must fire.

            A single shot, especially in an enclosed space can cause permanent hearing loss.

            I have two pair amplified electronic hearing protection that I use at the range. I’ve been shopping for another pair, but I really want them to have multiple microphones that allow you to easily detect direction of sound. And I want hearing like a dog! Anyone have any suggestions?

            Supper hearing has advantages that narrow field of view NV doesn’t have, and it’s useful 24 hours a day. Anyone pulling guard duty should have one. A solar panel and rechargeable batteries are a must.

      10. contact info?

        • Jim – I will email JJ with the email address you submitted with this comment. Hopefully he’ll be in touch in short order. Thanks!


      11. … and NOT in the leftist/fascist news today: Man asks MUSLIM bakeries to create gay wedding cake

        You know for a fact this will not be in the hypocrite, leftist news anytime soon. Or make that, at all. Shades of Walter “I don’t see no stinkin’, starving Kulaks in Stalin’s USSR” Duranty at the NY Times in the 1930s.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RgWIhYAtan4#t=28 ~ 5 min

        And still no word, either, from the Brownshirt, book-burning radical homosexuals about what will happen when the radical Muslims come marching into their gay bath houses in SF.

        It is, as their fellow leftist/fascist hero Herbert Marcuse wrote several decades back, “Liberating tolerance would mean intolerance against movements from the right and toleration of movements from the left. Certain things cannot be said, certain ideas cannot be expressed, certain policies cannot be proposed.”

      12. Which would you choose?

        Fox Hole.
        Slit Trench. Able to stand about armpit deep.
        Sandbagged position.

        • fox hole

        • foxhole.

      13. Excellent articles. One thing that brought to mind about home defense: area denial / herding. If faced with an unknown number of attackers prepositioning devices that “herd” them into a killing zone is another item of consideration.

        The “denial” part is where you’ve already prepositioned “devices” that make life absolutely miserable on those that would invade your homesite.

        Be well and keep prepping.

        • Cat Herder.

          Area and cover denial. Most will think of razor or barbed wire. Caldrops and ground pungy sticks. Best one by far I read was fish hooks on steel leaders. Strands placed into foliage. Combine that with rocks in tin can along a wire line for early warning.

          • Slingshot as you touched on, I personally think that for all practical porposes, the most useful and possibly the quickest to depoly would be Razor Wire. Most of us don’t lead our day to day life in a fortfied home. So buy a few rolls of Razor Wire and some Steel Fence Post, and maybe a post driver, and store them in the garage or shed until needed. You don’t need to be a professional fence builder to lay down a perimeter around your home with Razor Wire, just don’t get yourself tangled up in it. I have given it some thought on how far or close to the house it should be. Trekker Out. Freedom At Any Cost!

            • MtnTrek,

              Roger the razor wire deal, BUT if you’re like me, poor as a church-mouse, try this:

              everytime you go to the local “big box” store, like Lowes, Home-Depot, or such, at each exit door they have spools of that white braided twine/rope for tying down your lumber load. the “newer” stuff seems to work better–it’s more “springy” and “loopy.”

              grab bunches of it. you can lay the stuff down on the ground in big circular loops, and believe me, you’ll get your foot or ankle caught sooner than later!

              ask me how I know? had the stuff tossed on my basement floor, and when I amble around my preps, I was always getting “tripped up” by the stuff! even fell once.

              it’s a cheap-man’s “tanglefoot.” easily laid down, and easily taken back up. IT WORKS–especially if the attackers are running at you–no time to hop-skip-jump over the stuff!

        • Dear Cat Herder,

          Thanks for the compliments. I’m a bit of a “cat herder” myself, as we have 3 of them. Maybe I can run this by you. I was thinking about doing an article on the usefulness of cats in a survival situation. I have experienced it firsthand…unlike dogs, you have to be able to read them/their actions. Would you be interested in my write-up of something such as this? Let me know.

          Have a good day!


          • JJ, I have cats also. They are so useful as OPSEC since they hear and react to visitors before I hear the door knock. People have wondered how I knew they were there but cats don’t announce vocally. 🙂

            I had a cat that was so protective she would growl and pace to run off anyone she perceived was a bad guy. She was always right. Sorry she was lost to breast cancer.

        • This is really low tech but thorny rose bushes work well. I have one that’s a climber but not on a trellis (long HOA story *sigh*) that was there when I bought my house. Anyway, it remains guarding my front window. It throws out nice long thorny canes each year so it must be (judiciously) trimmed now and then. Left to do its thing for years, I imagine it would create a nasty wall to get through. I have a few other roses planted in dark corners. Some varieties bloom often through the summer adding some beauty as well. Some types have large hips that can be harvested in the fall (good source of vitamin C). Those thorns never go away though. hehehe It’s also worth trimming the canes so there is good ventilation. Good for the shrub and good to see through. 😉

      14. I could use some advice. Me: , patriot, 68 yrs. old, single, female, small easily accessible (am working on your suggestions) house on 20 acres in country, armed, mature fruit trees and bushes, food forest, etc…problem?? my 27 yrs. old grandson who has a big mouth. He never shuts up about what is going on here. I’ve asked (begged) him to shut up about what I and other family members have/do, but he has absolutely NO sense of OPSEC. He claims “no one” knows where I live or what I’ve got, but I know that is not true. Moving is out of the question for me…too old, place is well established for sustainability as far as food/water. Does anyone have any advice for me? Thanks

        • You and your family members get together and give him a blanket party. Then when done tell him to shut the fuck up.

          • Exactly right.

        • Change all of your locks! Don’t let him know. Feed him disinformation and make it appear you are getting out of prepping. LIE! DENY!

          It is easy to say beat the shit out of him, but the fact that you haven’t disowned him by now leads me to think you still love him and don’t want him hurt.

          But just like all the other contingencies you started prepping for, you need to have a plan to mitigate any damage he has done to your OPSEC.

          The next time he is arrested for anything, do not bail him out. The next time he needs money, don’t give him any. If his transportation is in the name of any involved family member, repo it. Have him be a witness to a draft of your new will that leaves him nothing. etc.

          The next time JJ or Mac post an article titled “Dealing with uncooperative relatives”, have him read the comments.

          • Dear Ben, (and Farmergranny above):

            Ben, that sounds as if it’s a good idea! An EXCELLENT idea, as it is truly needed! I promise you I will write up an article on just that: “Dealing with Uncooperative Relatives.”

            I hope you liked this last one. Soon I’ll be providing a SHTF e-mail and you’ll be able to reach me directly if you wish. Have a great day.


        • Be prepared to have to get rid of all the buddies he brings to the farm when the time comes.

          You don’t have to get rid of him, just his pals. For now, anyway.

      15. I wouldn’t discriminate the gays base on religion. I would tell them I don’t sell to fags take me to court if they want it’s gonna cost them lawyers. I have a lot of phobias Islam homo and a few others maybe I have a psychological condition. Oh well they gotta let me get help can’t prosecute a sick man. The best defense to protect your home would be a minigun they would be to busy running for their life to think about waging an attack on you.

      16. Green Beret, Thank you for your service.
        100 million U.S. people ver 1 million military???
        Does anyone remember Vietam???
        Americans do you have the BALLS????

        • Is “STUFF” worth dying for?

          • Define ‘stuff’.

            Does it include things such as home, family, community, food, and freedom?

            Or do you think this is about furniture and coffee makers?

            • Who on earth would consider people as being “stuff?”

      17. rock crib barriers , grenade sumps and fire water/ sand buckets

        he forgot to mention 2 ft deep grenade dump sumps in the fox holes floor sides are crucial / and full water buckets and sand buckets at your feet to extinguish fires and dump smoke / sound grenades into.

        * most grenades have only 2-3 seconds before they go off once thrown.

        * this same theory applies in a structure as well. create a sand bag grenade sump dump with a full bucket of water in the middle and a knee high sand bag reinforced corner fighting position strong point near your exterior port fighting position. ensure all sides offer 360 cover from fire. it will offer you protection from grenades, or if too hurt to fight or if building is breached.

        * interior rock crib barriers from the floor up to the interior window sills are better for protection from exterior weapons fire.

        • p.s. don’t forget the chicken wire fencing on the interior / exterior of the windows to give warning of intruders breaking in , stop Rocks , Bricks , Molotov Cocktails and Grenades coming through as well.

        • solus lupus

          Now we reached the wild side. Grenade sumps? Must be reading the same books. ;0) Although most NBC masks are only good against tear gas, they can keep you in the game. Buckets of water to extinguish CS canisters. Heavy set of gloves to place them in water because they are red hot. Fire extinguisher to put out fire from flash bangs. Goggles anyone.

          Thirty years ago I would not be thinking of all this shit. I do not like what the government is doing to this nation. Use the info if you see fit.

          • hello Slingshot … Respect.

            no ‘not reading the same books’ , well ;0) maybe some , i’m just a ex ground pounder grunt is all.

            this kind of stuff ‘base structure defense, ground combat and jungle warfare’ use to be my job 20 years ago.

            yep it sure is disappointing what has become of once free zog amerika. i am thankful i live where i do now. it’s home to the most heavily armed population in america.

            excellent point on having proper ‘gun gloves , fire extinguisher and gas mask’ at the ready.

      18. Mixing up wars here — Von Schlieffen did not go around the Maginot Line, he planned for going around earlier French fortifications (like Verdun) — and never actually did that as he died in 1913. It was Moltke who executed the plan in WW-I.
        Maginot did not become minister of war and start building his fortifications until the 1920’s, and Runstedtt, Manstein and Bock, assisted by others like Rommel, planned for and went around it.

      19. Like J. Johnson mentioned, a fortified position can be defeated. If not in a short amount of time then they’ll wait you out. The thing is I won’t want to be trapped inside my house. Its best to realize this and be prepared to fade away by one of many prepared avenues if the force that comes upon you is much larger than yours.

        • Wise words PO’s.

      20. Good read,good info for those of us without military training,every bit of info. can help and be modified for personal situations.I am glad to see some info. on not why things going to hell but info. that can help see you thru things going to hell!Mac,please keep up as long as they are willing for articles from folks like Jeremiah/Brandon ect.,these are the information folks can use.That said,for any new folks,feeling overwhelmed,here is a repeat of link,how to supply food for four for a year,ht tp://americanpreppersnetwork.com/2012/08/a-year-of-food-storage-for-300-for-a-family-of-four.html,space in http to avoid moderation,it is articles like these that we need,info. is like supplies,the smalls add up!

        • Dear Warchild Dammit!

          Thanks for your kind words. I’m going to do just what I’m doing…keep plugging at it, keep banging the keys…keep learning…yes, learning…from all of you, the readers and commentators.

          The momentum is what we have to keep going: with information, with supporting one another, and taking a stand. I value every word you contribute to these comments. You’re “spot on,” and it is a pleasure to serve you, Sir. Have a great day and hope to hear from you when my SHTF e-mail is up.


      21. Beehives placed in areas that someone would use as cover against you works well. Shoot the hive and their cover no long works for them. Plus the bees give you honey too. Natures natural teargas and its organic too!

        • Ha Haah. That’s brilliant, well done DD. LOL.

      22. I would recommend Ragnar Benson’s books for perusal and ideas. Check out his bio and list of books at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ragnar_Benson
        Personally, I like his Big Book of Homemade Weapons, but I haven’t had the time to read very many of his books yet.

      23. Rogers Rangers. Read up on their instructions. Timeless. Also The Art of War. With great planning, the government shouldn’t know where you are when the time comes. You should know where they are. You should know where the guy in charge is. The guy that told them to come for you. Now that’s real planning.

      24. I came up with a concept a few years back. IT IS ILLEGAL under Rule of Law. Having the components is NOT illegal.

        Fit 12 Gauge shells into 3/4th inch pipe. Drill hole in end caps and fill with small black powder igniter. Run wire from safe location to kill zone. Bury pipes at angle where enemy will be channeled through.

        When under attack, add power to circuit. Powder goes off and ignites 12 gauge. Kinda like a mini claymore.

        I’m sure there’s some refinement to it. Distance will be limited as the longer the cable, the more resistance. Probably a car battery will be needed for the amperage required. But the concept is to basically fire around corners.

        • GOT ‘38,000,000 Volt Hand Tazer’

          that’s called using your noodle!

          hey sd , i’ve a few similar go-boom device designs jotted down in my shtf bo book.

          might i suggest you use a wired-in to the circuit ‘38,000,000 Volt Hand Tazer’ as the manual igniter , it is the perfect addition to your shtf 007 bag of tricks.

          in theory it will work perfectly as the ignition trigger for your shotgun 12g party favor.

          • p.s. warning

            pls remember to properly insulate the interior components of said party favor to protect from friction and possible short circuit detonation, with dual thick plastic wrap / wax paper wrap insulation so it does not come in contact with the metal exterior an short circuit ‘GO BOOM’ prematurely.

            * also thoroughly remove all metal shavings and dust from the party favor prior to assembling with a file, grit paper wipe down, vacuum, and oil bath. this will also protect from a premature ejaculation.

            • Just use electric model rocket ignitors. They are cheap and at most hobby stores. Also a 12 volt battery is all they need 🙂

        • Dear Sierra Dave,

          Awesome setup on that. I have just posted one on Developing Local Intel I think you’ll like. Your description and concept are sound. Excellent comment. You have a good one.


      25. Solid basic info.
        Being a Nam vet, I’m fairly experienced in this, and am lucky enough to live in the woods…deep…
        It is my hope that our efforts will pay off very soon. If so, we might avoid most of what you are talking about.
        Thing is, when people get desperate, or freak out, they do not act right. Think in terms of no friends, etc. and one might be able to survive.
        Either way, be ready for people who believe they can or have the right to take what you have. No one can be trusted if there is a complete breakdown of society.
        Being really ready is a combination of physical and mental, only way to be sure is practice.

        • Dear Drake,

          Thank You, good Sir, for your service in Vietnam. My father and my uncle served there, too. I looked up to them and how they loved our country when I was a kid. They were my heroes then, and they are now.

          As are you.

          When I entered the U.S. Army, your generation taught mine how to run the woods,own the night, and live.

          I honor you and thank you.

          Respectfully Yours,


      26. Added my email, hope it helps.
        Check out Cosmic Voice show on Blog Talk…
        Wed. 8p, listen online or call in
        Is 3 Hrs…
        Last two Hrs are Q & A…

      27. Sandbags, shovel, wheelbarrow or dolly to transport bags from your dirt source, roll of clear plastic for after the glazing gets shot out like Selco says, roll of black plastic for blackout like JJ says, maybe a staple gun… big planters for cover… recharge batts from a small solar panel for the coms…

        and remember how to get to Madison Square Gardens…

        • Dear Gristle,

          All sound advice. One thing I found is it’s good to have fir strips/2″ x 1/2 ” to run around the edges of your plastic and either nail or screw them in. This way the edges don’t fray. You can staple the plastic in place, then cover the edges with the fir strips and tack them in with nails. Keeps the edges intact. I do it every year to close off my front porch (on a budget)during the winter, so I won’t have a foot of snow by my rocking chair! Have a good one!


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