This is for the section Self Defence
Night time is your friend despite PIR and thermal imaging, CCTV, Radar, ultrasonics, and dogs.
I’m a night walker by choice,
but don’t worry, I’m not a vampire.
Ask any ex or serving mil and they’ll tell you “If you own the night you own the enemy!”
It was a skill I learned for game control, hunting, and was useful in and after the military.
So what’s this to do with prepping?
I look at the night as something that gives me a number of advantages.
- The ability to move around safely and covertly.
- If bugging out, night is good camouflage.
- It makes life easier for someone who is foraging.
- In defence it gives you the edge in ambush.
Simply put human night vision sucks.
Even better as it gets darker a number of things happen to the inexperienced.
People lose depth and colour perception. Psychologically that makes the inexperienced uneasy as they lose light and the night “closes” in on them.
Then, as the night drags on, their physiology slows down (typically between 02 to 04 h).
As a result reaction speed drops and the ability to problem solve or even keep focused on a task decreases.
For the trained, these are times of opportunity when facing a foe or foraging.
To be effective in the dark, people either need electronics to enhance their night vision or animals to be their eyes. If you know the limitations of that electronics and how animals operate, you should gain an advantage when foraging, moving around, or if you have to engage in combat.
A quick guide to night-time electronics (and defeats that work for me).
- Ultrasonics and area denial radar when used outside.
They both fill the area with ultrasound or microwaves.
When you walk into the beams you will cause an “echo” or a simple difference in the general scatter back of the equipment. It’s that difference that triggers the alarm.
So what about waving grass, bugs, moths, and birds?
Simple really, you have to set the alarm threshold to cope with spurious triggering.
OK lets increase the nuisance i.e. rats, rabbits, and cats.
The system installer is again forced to decrease the sensitivity
Defeat. Some say if you move slowly enough the spurious level setting will not be triggered. That’s not always practical.
So out comes the air weapon to disable or create nuisance triggering.
- Microwave. Note. You can include other light beam type devices
Unless the unit is capable of scanning from side to side, at best it is used as a barrier beam. Break the beam and it will trigger an alarm. I’ve come across these so many times when
poachingwhoops game controlling in PV, photovoltaic power farms aka solar parks and some security compounds.
Defeat? Know what upsets the security office the most?
False alarms. In the main the beams are set slightly above the height of small mammals or about 90 cm meters (2 to 3 feet). So you’ve got three options now.
Go under, or over, or generate some nuisance tripping.
- CCTV. Enhanced by IR or not.
It’s night vision capabilities may be fair but they are usually backed up with IR illuminators or security lighting. Most are capable of dealing with a degree of flaring light but if you can use a high power IR lamp, it can swamp them without giving your position away (except for someone with NV). Some computer backed systems take continuous ‘snap shots’ and compare one frame against the next. Any differences then trigger alarms and that would preclude the use of IR and laser swamping.
Defeat? I have known people to attack them with paint ball and lasers. It worked for them but I’ve not tried that myself. For me the best defeat is either a nice powerful air weapon or simply covering up. CCTV is used to detect an intruder, hopefully identify them, and track their movement until a security response arrives.
- Thermal (IR)
It’s looking for heat. The difference between ambient and target temperature.
Your problem is anything alive will usually be at a different temperature than the background and as such you can be detected. It’s usually totally passive and has a good range. Note, hotter usually comes out as lighter or red, colder is seen as darker or blue.
Defeat? Trying to mask your heat is largely ineffective without a really good anti-thermal blanket and you keeping still BUT generating lots of flaring heat can swamp these devices thus fire, and lots of it, works. The danger is that you will be seen by eye or as a darker “negative” heat. Still just think about the ease of torching a large area of grassland or a building and the chances of them picking out a slow-moving object in a background of flaring heat.
- Night vision.
From Gen 1 to full on Digital Gen 4 they just keep on getting better.
I’ve never progressed from Gen 1 although that’s good enough for hunting.
The main failing of a lot of night vision is it needs ambient light of some level so as standard a lot of NV has an IR illuminator as an integral part.
As a former game warden this was the undoing of a few bad guys as their illuminators showed up as bright beams through my NV. You just followed the beams back to the source and we used our rabbiting lamps (2 million candle power) to ruin their night through the flare (and eye burn) they experienced as we lit them up.
That’s a tip to aid your survival. Turn that illuminator off! Passive is always best.
Defeat? The more sophisticated systems can cope moderately well with flare yet all find it damn hard to cope with bright lights and fires. This is something a prepper can sometimes use to their advantage.
Usually triggers an alarm or turns on a light as you being a heat source that crosses its “fingered” field of view.
Defeat. If you can get above or behind them, putting a thick cardboard sheet or glass in front of the lens is usually enough to render it ineffective. It is claimed that you can “cook them” in a high ambient temperature and make them ineffective. I’ve never managed to achieve that. Personally I prefer to just shoot out the fresnel lens.
- Then you’ve got dogs and geese.
No batteries needed, these are a nightmare defence system against the prepper who is foraging or simply moving about.
They will alarm up on just about anything and with geese, they do it LOUDLY!
Only geese haven’t got teeth so they are usually there to alert a human response.
Dogs can be trained to investigate and attack without sound and (to put it bluntly) you would be really stupid to take one on.
Remember foraging 101 rule 1 is to do everything SAFELY.
Get in and out in one piece. There is always somewhere else.
Defeat? You’ve got few choices. Drug or kill the dog. As for the geese? Yummy!
- What about manned security aka guards.
- Why are you even considering taking on someone who could be armed?
- Even if you can “see them”, if they have radio or a contact schedule, how do you know what you do won’t bring up support?
- Foraging Rules clearly state “Safety first” and “There is always somewhere else”
A word about a national electrical grid down scenario.
Things become a lot easier for the prepper who has to forage.
Even the human element becomes easier to handle as a lot of commercial manned security cannot operate without power. Consider loss of fuel supplies (no power and the pumps don’t run). It is unlikely that commercial firms will operate for long. Especially if they aren’t paying their personnel OR the situation at home deteriorates. After all, who are you going to be more concerned about, your family or £7 per hour?
As for electronics? Battery backed up or not, once the battery’s run flat, the phone lines fail, and the alarm sounders fall quiet, even dedicated control rooms won’t be able to remotely power all their sites. In short, no power means hard wired non portable electronics count for nothing.
A security guard and control room nightmare!
A foragers tool for measuring response times and the level of that response.
So what happens?
Alarm systems, human, and animals will all react to a “trigger”.
Only what if the trigger keeps happening right through the night, randomly, without apparent cause?
With alarm systems they either turn them off as defective and put security in place (if available). With humans they soon get bored continuously searching for nothing and often just ignore or turn off the alarms citing equipment failure, and as for dogs?
You can work a dog for just so long before it learns that chasing nothing is boring.
Besides if the dog is backed up by a human, they will often remove the dog!
Nuisance tripping. A study of human nature.