Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Archived article- Retreat defense against vehicles

Archived article from my main site-

Retreat Defense against Vehicles copyright 2005 Robert Henry

Watching movies like "Mad Max" and "Warlords of the 21st Century" years ago got me to thinking how you would protect your retreat against attacks using vehicles.

A "hardened" vehicle getting into your retreat area would be a difficult thing to overcome with weapons accessible to civilians. Therefore, stopping access before the vehicle could get into the general retreat area ought to be the main concern.

If you have good size timber all around your retreat and a way to block your gate, you probably won't need this information. Large rocks can also be used as vehicular barriers, but could easily be used as cover for attackers as well.

If you have an open area outside your retreat perimeter, you'll need to install some type of obstacle to hold off vehicles. I've never been a fan of using material that would block your view of the area or that would give someone else cover, such as big boulders.

Looking around at a state park back in the early 90's, I noticed short lengths of telephone poles sunk in the ground at trail heads. I figured this was to stop someone from driving a truck down the trail.

Referencing some military manuals on fortifications, anti-tank defense, etc. I notice that one of the blocking materials mentioned was timbers.

I figured I could use cut pieces of telephone poles, sunk 4 feet in the ground and 2 1/2 to 3 feet out of the ground. I did some more research and put a few in the ground.

Not content with just "researching" an important subject, I tested them. I had no APC to use (my Bradley was in the shop that week) so I opted to use a 1984 Chevy truck, not an S10 mind you, but a big Chevy truck.

I used two "test" poles. One was part of an actual telephone pole 12-13" in size and the other was a "corner post" pole as sold by Farm/Feed stores for fencing, probably only 6-8" in size.

I warmed up the Chevy and went full bore on till I hit the telephone pole piece. Thankfully this old model Chevy did not have an airbag. The seatbelt hurt enough as it was. I was able to get up to 35MPH when I hit it. The truck came to a complete stop and the pole appeared completely undamaged. The truck however wasn't...

Not content with this, I tried using a backhoe and running both test poles with the bucket down, blade edge towards the pole. Again the telephone pole piece held. The "corner post" was cut off with the blade edge of the bucket. I did not get a chance to test the "corner post" with the truck, I can only assume it would not have passed the test.

Placed every six feet at least 10 feet in front of your fencing, these poles should protect you against vehicles ramming your fence.

The environazi's have mandated the removal of most of the older creosote treated telephone poles from many areas. Your local power or phone company should have a good supply of used poles they have pulled out of the ground. Often times a 30' used creosote pole will run $20.00 or less. Sometimes they are free for the taking.

You could even make a decorative wood fence out of these poles. A little better to look at every day than "dragon's teeth" type emplacements huh?

I would advise you to put these in now and not wait till TSHTF. However, there should be a ready inventory of utility poles available after TSHTF. Once you realize the emergency is going to be permanent (and your power has been off for an extended period of time), one of the best things you could do if you have a house or retreat that is somewhat secluded or hidden, would be to start cutting down the power poles leading to you. If I was a looter or scavenger, I'd be looking for power poles to figure where backwoods homes are located at.

Putting poles in the ground is definitely a little more realistic way to stop vehicles than putting dozens of wrecked cars around your perimeter, or digging a moat. Both of which would provide cover and concealment for intruders as well.

One thing I do not advise is to start dropping trees as roadblocks. On YOUR property it's one thing. Do it on a "public" road and expect outcry from any locals in the area. It works mainly as a delaying tactic anyways.

Another thing we do not want to do is to give some advantage when we are trying to keep people out. You always hear people talk about planting blackberry vines on your fencing to keep out people. 1. That ain't much of a barrier. Anyone who walks around in the woods regularly is used to getting stuck in brambles, having their hands cut on them, etc. 2. It also cuts down on what YOU can observe. A thick bramble bush provides some concealment. Intruders could conceal themselves on the other side of a thickly grown blackberry fence and you might not see them.

I prefer to have the area of the outter perimeter wire kept completely clear for no less than 10' inside the wire and 20' outside the wire. More where possible.

Does this mean that it will be easier to see IN as well? Of course. But I'm assuming you are smart enough to conceal your fighting positions and keep your exposed outside movement to a minimum during the day. Animals can be tended at night. You can even garden at night during full and nearly full moon phases. You don't want to expose yourself more than you have to during the day.

Much more to come on Retreat Defense. Stay tuned.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Archived article- Get Serious

Many of my regular readers at

have asked me to archive some of the older articles. To that end, we will be using this site to archive older articles from the SurvivalReport.net site.

Here is an "oldie but a goodie" from March 18, 2006

Get Serious- copyright 2006 Robert Henry

The following is an info-rant.

Years ago, I sat down with a notebook during a rainy weekend and started looking at the realities of most of the survival situations we may face in the future. Furthermore I wrote down preps for each scenario and looked at the logical outcomes of each scenario.

Running through pretty much the whole gamut, I noticed the same things popping up in possible preps for each one. In 99% of the situations I looked at two things kept popping up as the two best preps someone could make to better there chances of surviving each scenario.

Those two preps were- getting out of the cities and establishing a working survival retreat in the country, and being a member of a functioning survival group.

No single two preps go further to keep your family safe during a major disaster.

So why keep kidding yourself? Half way measures will not keep you alive. You are not going to be able to stay in the suburbs just outside of "Meltdown Metropolis" or "Hell Beach" and make it.

"My neighbors and I will ban together and defend our subdivision."

1. You don't REALLY know your neighbors that well. 99% of them are sheeple (if you live in suburbia. How well equipped are your neighbors? Two guys on in a subdivision armed with 12 guages are only going to be able to hold out for a small amount of time.
2. Your neighbors have no or very little preps. Holdout for a week during a hurricane, maybe. Hold out for MONTHS ON END during a full scale disaster, totally unlikely. Word will get around that you have preps and guess what, it's either open up a soup kitchen and feed your whole neighborhood or dissolve the whole idea of working together. NO ONE will want to defend your area if they know you have food and are not sharing it with them. Quite the contrary, expect to get whacked out for it. 90% of the time, your neighbors are not the good friends you think they are. Pull you out of a ditch, help you build a barn, maybe. Sit back and watch their children starve while they KNOW you have food and aren't sharing it with them? Never. No one would.
3. Expect and plan to be both the quartermaster and soup kitchen for the whole neighborhood. If you expect the situation to last six months, you had better plan to have six months food for everyone in your neighborhood, cause THEY WILL NOT. Better have extra weapons, ammunition and field gear for those who you think will help you "defend" your subdivision cause THEY WILL NOT.
4. How will you make it long term in your "subdivision?" Do you have areas adequate to grow food? Is the area defensible? Water supply?
5. Who's going to be in charge? Of course you THINK you will cause after all, your the man with the plan and the assualt rifle in hand. More likely than not it won't be the case. Expect to hear more than a few "why the he!! should we listen to you?" replies. Every soccer Mom and her daughter will have a better idea and a better way.

Now, let's look at what's LIKELY to happen with this little plan.

First, everyone will go along with your idea. Most will think the gubmint will be there to save them in really short order. About half of your neighbors don't like guns, so expect to hear about that. You will in no circumstances be able to trust them to do anything, repeat anything security related. If the situation does turn out to be relatively short term (a few months) or if FEMA comes in to relocate your neighborhood, these people will be the first to turn you in for having weapons also.

Don't kid yourself and think you will be the only family on the block that's well fed and no one will notice. That everyone will gladly sit in the dark while you run your air conditioning via your generator. Are they going to say "well honey, we should have not squandered our money and we should have made preps like this fellow did, oh well, let us go home and eat the seats out of our Escalade before we starve to death." No. If they have any type of weapon they will kill you for what you have. If they do not, they will stir up the entire neighborhood. You'll wake up to the sound of your windows being broke in and 50 people demanding you feed them. Don't kid yourself, it WILL happen.

You cannot be the one prepared person amongst hordes of system dependent people, it just will not work.

So, your plans absolutely HAVE to include either:
A. Bugging out to a pre-arranged safe area well away from large population centers before the disaster hits or
B. Moving there NOW and developing your retreat ahead of time. *BEST CHOICE*

You must immediately move to get away from the areas where the general population is massed in 99% of the possible scenarios.

All of the best thinking minds in the survivalism movement realized this and most acted upon it- Mel Tappan, Kurt Saxon, Bruce Clayton, etc. It's the logical conclusion.

Events of the last year (Katrina) show that you will NOT fare well near any population centers during a long term disaster. You might not even fare well during a short term disaster!

Serious preparations to bugout as the time nears or moving out of these areas now is the only solution to this problem. Don't kid yourself, or you'll die in your McMansion in the suburbs.

Rule #1 of survivalism- EVERYTHING can be replaced, life cannot. Preserve life at all costs.

On to the second part of my info rant-

A functioning survival group was the second part of my findings.

"No man is an island." I think we all figure this out in life. The Bible is full of wisdom regarding the value of good friends and people you can depend on. In a survival situation, even a short term situation like a hurricane, having others you can truly depend on is essential.

Having a group isn't easy. Is it work? Of course it is. You'll have personality issues, you'll have varying views on what's essential and what's luxuries, bottom line you are going to have some problems. I won't lie to you, it's not a cakewalk. Your gonna get discouraged. What is the alternative?

Sitting alone, for the umpteenth time at night, hearing gunfire in the distance. Having no way to check it out, do any recon or set an ambush cause you can't leave your retreat undefended. You take yet another Stacker and gulp down another Dr. Pepper in hopes of staying awake through the night. Your wife can watch in the morning while you catch a couple hours of sleep. You wonder how you are going to find the time to string up your razor wire, trim trees in your fields of fire, listen for intell on your radios and checkout the area, let alone how your going to be able to keep tending your animals and growing a garden. You'll be eating a lot of rice and beans for a long while, you won't have time to tend your garden, check your traps, etc. Let's just hope neither one of you get sick also. No single family, even if it's Mr. and Mrs. John J. Rambo has a good chance of defending a farm for a long period of time during ongoing social chaos, period.

"But I gotta dog and he's good."

Dogs are great, we have several, but I would never consider them GUARDS. Early warning? Possibly. Have them sitting next to you helping guard? No. No matter how much you love your dogs, if you plan to use them during a survival situation you have to start looking at them as being expendable. You want them a little further up from you, perhaps in an enclosed run. That way when they bark at something, they are not giving your immediate position away. Keep in mind that it's a catch 22 with their barking. There barking alerts you to a possible intruder but also covers some sound of the intruder getting in. This is why you never count dogs as good as human guards. Dogs also cannot react to intruders as human guards can.

Skill sets also need to be considered. No one individual usually posseses enough of the necessary skills. An individual may be an excellent shot at 600 meters but may be unable to grow a good tomato. Another may be an excellent medic but lack the necessary skills to shoot well.

Gathering people from different walks of life with different experiences often produces good ideas during brainstorming sessions. "Out of the box" problem solving comes about easier and quicker.

Have a working group also allows you to pool resources where possible. Very rarely will this work out with large purchases such as property, and I highly recommend people NOT to get into this type of situation no matter how well you know the others. But this can work out with small purchases of team equipment such as medical items, communications gear, etc. As my Mother used to always say when our family would all pitch in to get work done- "many hands make light work."

So if you truly want to survive in the long term, I think it's paramount that you get the notion into your noggin that you have to get away from the cities and that you have to be part of a functioning group. Anything less than this greatly diminishes your chances for long term survival. Call me a pessimist or whatever you will, the truth remains the truth.

Are you going to act on the truth or keep trying to kid yourself? RH