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Hardening Your Property

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:18 pm
by Homesteader
Much of defense is making yourself (or your property) a more difficult target than others in the area.

Someone who is in shape, keeps his/her head on a swivel, and carries themselves with confidence is much less likely to be mugged than someone who portrays the opposite.

The same is true with your property. Hardening your property is no guarantee that you'll be left alone, but it does make it a less-appealing target to petty criminals or potential food thievery.

A few things that could make your property a little harder that I have implemented on my own homestead:

1) No-climb wire. Called horse wire around here, it contains 2"x4" rectangular squares of woven wire, and it is impossible to climb. Very difficult and time-consuming to cut through, as well. Frequently seen around here with two strands of barbed wire above it, this makes a fairly difficult barrier to defeat. It's certainly possible, but it takes time and there's a much greater chance of being spotted.

2) Lighting. Motion-detecting lights are great for a lot of reasons, not least of which is causing a potential intruder to flee when a blast of light suddenly appears.

3) Dogs. Pretty self-explanatory!

4) High grade chains and locks on gates. Chain that can't be cut by manual bolt cutters is only moderately more expensive than a "typical" chain, and locks can be found with a rating of 8 or 9, which requires a hydraulic cutter to destroy. If you're securing your gate with a chain of this manner, and wrapping around something metal (my property has welded pipe fencing) then you're going to prevent vehicular entrance unless they're willing to destroy their bumper by driving through the gate. Get a good enough gate, and that's not an option either.

5) Speaking of gates and entrances, throw a motion-detecting light to oversee them, as well as be sure your bolts are inverted so a gate can't be lifted off.

6) Get to know your neighbors. You and your family have a limited amount of available eyeballs - add your neighbor's to the mix! This might be difficult if you live "way out in the sticks" like I do, but every little bit helps. Good neighbors can be amazing assets!

7) Know the most likely threats in your area. You can get Google Alerts to send you a daily email with whatever terms you choose. I have "XXXXXX County" as an alert, and get a daily email. Similar terms could be "My county crime" or "my city crime." These will give you a good feel for what's going on criminally in your area.

8) Pre-plan the defense of your property with your family. What happens if you hear someone breaking into your barn in the middle of the night? What's the average response time for the police? What's your best exit for situations on the north, south, east, or west of your property? What is your spouse or family to do in an emergency? These things require pre-planning, because you won't have time to logically plan these things out should something happen.

9) Know your defensive tools well. If that's a firearm (and it should be) know it well. Go shooting at least every couple of months. Even better, seek out a training facility and take some classes. Don't risk your life and your family's well being, especially in potentially devastating GSM circumstances, on a weapon that you are not intimately familiar with and used to.

None of these things will guarantee that you are able to successfully protect your family and homestead, but each one of them increase the odds in your favor. I am thinking long and hard about potential issues in this department as food will become more scarce, and small farms and homesteads that are growing food will become more targeted.

These are my tips, feel free to comment or add more below!

Re: Hardening Your Property

Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 3:32 pm
by Pyra
Excellent list of points, Homesteader.
Were I to add anything to your list, I'd just elaborate on #1 point you made. We have woodland behind us that "ravenous zombie hordes running pell mell through the dark moonlight" could use to storm the house from the rear. But that has changed for us over the last few years as we have been digging boulders/ rocks out of the ground to build structures. This means that the woodlands is now filled with ankle-breaking/ knee wrenching potholes, divets, and pits. Not only that, but the ground here is littered with smaller jagged rocks that jut from the surface, like "teeth of the earth". Anyone falling or stumbling in a hole and falling against those rocks will be broken by them. And since fall covered most of those with nice fluffy leaves, it is now a defensive thing.

That got me to thinking---what about those who have trails or paths of least resistance behind homes that ought not have traffic (except for YOUR OWN) and adding trip hazards and other obstacles?

Another great obstacle(s) are natural ones such as hedgewood trees, wild rose bush clusters, brambles, and cedar trees. Some might think to plant some hedgewood (Osage Orange) to block certain vantage points.

Re: Hardening Your Property

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:15 am
by Ice Age Prepper
Most all of your points will not stop determined raiders.

I started covering each of the points you made with counterpoints based on real world happenings. Then I thought, why bother, just search YT for South African farm attacks. You will learn how these murderous rape gangs plan and work an attack upon a homestead with security like you mentioned here.

Ice Age Prepper

Re: Hardening Your Property

Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:07 pm
by Farside
Something else worth considering is camouflaging your homestead. Most people think of visual camouflage like netting and strategically places vegetation.
But what about sound and smell camouflage?

For example, the sound of a generator, or the smell of smoke or engine exhaust is a dead giveaway. An effective muffler that utilizes water to filter exhaust gas and muffle exhaust noise is probably a good solution.

What about garbage and effluent smells? General farm "livestock" smells and sounds?

Re: Hardening Your Property

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 3:18 am
by terracore
"An effective muffler that utilizes water to filter exhaust gas and muffle exhaust noise is probably a good solution."

Another option to a huge/loud generator is to get a tiny/quiet inverter generator that isn't any louder than standard conversation. I have one that isn't much larger than an ammo can and it can power my entire homestead including a 1HP well pump and it literally sips gasoline. HOW do you ask?

Take your standard household "backup" or "emergency" generator rated for 6,000 watts. Loud. Smelly. Gas guzzling. But most of the time your home is only using a few hundred watts of power. It isn't until you turn on the microwave or the well pump kicks on that you need the type of power that generator puts out. Backup power is generally rated towards your peak energy consumption and generators loudly guzzle down the gas to deliver it. That's just stupid.

A better strategy is to use a pure sine wave inverter (2000-3000 watt is a good range for a whole house) with a small array of golf cart batteries and keep it charged up with a tiny quiet generator. A tiny inverter generator in the 800 watt range with an economy setting (burns gas at 400 watt consumption unless it needs to ramp up) can keep the batteries charged up and the inverter and batteries handle surges like running microwaves and well pumps. Its far more energy efficient AND QUIET to store some power at idling consumption and use it for surges (think of a plug in hybrid vehicle) than to burn a lot of gas in a loud generator running full throttle waiting for you to turn on a microwave that you may never turn on that evening. Generally you can cut your gas consumption to about 15% of what it would have been.

Of course, if you have some solar panels, you probably already know this because you would only be using the little generator when the sun isn't out.

Re: Hardening Your Property

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:08 pm
by Farside
Thinking this morning about border barriers. Since nothing screams "treasure can be found here" like a chain link fence topped with barbed wire I got to thinking about living alternatives.

Seabuckthorn immediately comes to mind. It's a Nitrogen fixing shrub that grows to about 10ft high. It produced very nutritious berries, grows into a dense bush shape all the way to the ground, and it is covered with hard needle type spikes about 2 inches long. When they go in, the tips often break off and the wound gets infected.

I'm using them to keep bears and deer out of orchards and gardens, as a wind break, and as a habitat for small critters.

In warmer climates, black locust is a candidate too and it has multiple uses.

Then there is alder. It's not thorny, but it forms such dense thickets that nobody in their right mind will try and push through.

This approach provides natural physical barriers that won't necessarily be recognised as artificial. You, see a thicket of alder, you move on by... nothing to see here.

Re: Hardening Your Property

Posted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:20 pm
by Farside
Handy for signalling and other things...

Re: Hardening Your Property

Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:07 pm
by Farside
Simple countermeasures in securing your property: