Natural Measures for Homestead Defenses

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Even without an Apocalyptic, Dystopian SHTF Scenario, it is still relatively important to protect the Prepper Paradise and the Homestead from vermin and other intruders … of both the four-legged and two-legged varieties. While it is true that there is no perfect defense, and that if you build a better mousetrap, somebody will come along and build a better mouse, it is also true that thinking outside of the proverbial box and being a little creative will generally discourage all but the most determined of intruders. A select few of these measures are introduced in the article here, though feel free to contact the author and share your thoughts and ideas if you have anything to add. The focus of this article will look primarily at establishing a system of “natural” defenses for the Prepper homestead.


Fences are great to some degree, especially if they serve to keep livestock or certain pets within a given area, or just keeping bothersome neighbors out. Unfortunately, they are not generally going to do much to keep wildlife (of any variety) out as a general rule. This is especially true if the intruder is someone who knows what you have and has an earnest desire to relieve you of your stores and wares. The fence however, should be accompanied by some company as it were, and additional means for keeping the homesteader and the Prepper safe.


The fence should be accompanied by a rather deep ditch on one side, preferably outside of the actual property line unless watering is needed. Care should also be taken to know and understand any and all ramifications of the Endangered Species Act and the Wetlands Preservation as these laws can result in guys from the government showing up to steal your land … I mean to confiscate your land for the purpose of protecting the “wetlands” that you have built. The ditch should be wide enough to prevent the common person from jumping across easily, at least six or seven feet or around two meters in width. The sides of the ditch should be steeply angled and covered with flint, shale or other small, generally very sharp rocks in order to prevent anyone from climbing out without at least incurring minimal damage to themselves in the process. This however, in and of itself, will not keep most people out.


Some time will be needed to implement the next obstacle in your natural security barriers for the homestead property as you will need to do a little bit of gardening. The inside of the fence, on the actual homestead site, should be planted thick with hedgerows, bushes and/or small trees that produce an ample number of thorns. Berry bushes are the personal favorite of the author for around the house, but not always well suited for fence lines. Berry patches will have a tendency to attract both four-legged and two-legged varieties of predators, often providing them only with an added incentive to seek a means to get inside your well-constructed homestead defenses. The idea of this initial measure of defense is to dissuade such activities. Fortunately, there are a great many other plant options that produce large numbers of very persuasive … or dissuasive thorn growth as the case may be.


Once the thorn-bearing plants are well rooted and growing relatively well on their own, the ground surrounding them should be well mulched and gravel put into place. Again, this is an ideal location for small, sharp gravel that will not only crunch underfoot, alerting your outdoor dogs, but also serve to aid in the ability of any potential intruders for doing harm to themselves without any action on your part. Legend has it that there are people who can walk across flypaper so softly that the paper will never stick to their feet. While this may be true, I am going to go out on the proverbial limb here and state that it is fairly safe and reasonable to say that people with those levels of skills are not going to be trying to rob the local homestead any time soon. Again, this area of dense thorn growth and gravel should be kept a minimum of eight to ten feet or two and one-half to three meters across, densely grown and dissuasive in both appearance and any means to traverse across. In short, it should look and actually be very intimidating to the more casual intruder.


Obstacle growth similar in nature to the inner fence line can (and should?) be built alongside each and every building within the homestead, including both the thorns and gravel features . However, as I briefly noted previously, for the thorn growth around the homes and other facilities, I much prefer berry bushes. With a little bit of creative grafting a great many different varieties of berries can be grown around the homes, while at the same time maximizing the discomfort and pain of any would be intruders with the excessive numbers of thorns. Windows should be built slightly higher than they are in traditional urban population center construction.


My windows were generally placed at about shoulder height on my homestead, but this is only in part because of security. My bedroom also faced my thousand meter shooting range, (yeah … but my dad built it and liked meters better for some reason, so meters not yards) and such an ideal height had the added benefit of allowing me to plink off some rounds even on rainy days … from the comfort of my bedroom or library. The high windows however, will also prove to be an added barrier to potential intruders, forcing them to not only maneuver through the thorn patches, across more gravel surrounding the house, which will alert every dog, but then to have to climb up through the thorns to reach the base of the window before they can begin trying to get it open. Again, while this is not foolproof, it will keep all but the most dedicated and motivated predators out.


The vast numbers of berries, and likely some roses or other thorn-bearing plants around the house will also tend to draw a substantial number of smaller predators and beneficiaries in the form of flowers, trees, ants and even bees. A funny thing about bees, is that they are relatively easy to raise, almost easy to learn to get along with, and tend to bother a lot of people incredibly considering their limited size and potential for harm. Some people may want to keep a hive next to every structure, some may be more restrictive about where they place their bees, but bees are in fact, incredibly effective as a singular part of a larger security and defense perimeter for the homestead and the facilities on site. All it takes is for an unwary intruder to take a purposeful swipe at one or two of the bees, and they will likely find themselves beating feet back to your ditch if it has any water in it, just to get away from the swarm of bees now purposefully and determinedly focusing all of their attention on the intruder.


Some people tend to believe that the best defense is convincing people that there is nothing there at all to begin with, and this is a theory I tend to agree with decisively. While it may not be possible for every Prepper to build the majority of their homestead underground, there are other options for keeping the house on a homestead and any other buildings relatively obscure and difficult to see with a casual glance. The inclusion of climbing plants or vines at the base of the house can allow for the vines to grow up over the house, leaving doors and windows relatively free of debris, while at the same time providing a fairly decent level of camouflage for the rest of the house. It is not generally a good idea to allow the growth to extend over the roof too much, though a properly constructed house can be built with such a purpose in mind as well.


As more of a side note, the careful and proper selection of the plants should also provide food and other materials to the homestead owner or Prepper. With a little bit of creative grafting, the berry plants can be made to bring forth their bounty in a most colorful … and tasty fashion. Pancakes, cobblers, wines, brandy, dyes for cloth and a host of other benefits can be gained from their presence. Furthermore, some of the climbing plants will also produce fruits or other viable goods, even in the form of fiber that can be used to make cloth or ropes. The actual selection of plant species needs to be carefully considered, and may be best suited with local botanical or ecological experts, though a fair bit of research by the Prepper can also lead to the same conclusions if they are careful.


Dogs are a great means of Homestead and Prepper Defense, though far too many people want to get the Bavs, the Dobies, Staffordshire Terriers (aka Pit Bulls) or other large, “aggressive” breeds and often forget about the primary purpose of the dogs. Dogs are … or should be used for tracking and/or for warning the homestead owner of impending danger. They are not a means of security in and of themselves. Most Preppers and homesteaders are going to have large stores of goods on their property that will actively attract rodents in various forms. Cats will be a necessity and untrained dogs that eat all the cats will not help. Further, dogs are pack animals by nature and will need attention, so even if some dogs remain outside their entire life, they need to have some companionship, human or canine. Finally, there is something that people very often forget when living on the homestead or in their new Prepper Paradise.


Punters, ankle-biters or whatever you want to call those very irritating, small and obnoxious dogs are generally not considered as viable options for the rugged outdoor individual … but they should be. As was previously noted, the dogs should only be a single portion of the overall homestead security for the Prepper. One of the most vulnerable times for anyone is when they are sleeping, and a dog growling outside or even fighting, may not always be sufficient to rouse the heavy slumber of a person who has been working on the homestead all day. A little ankle-biter running around inside each and every house on the homestead however, will generally make enough of a racket when there is an intruder, to roust even the hardiest of sleepers from the deepest and most contented, dream-filled slumber.


I have to admit that it took me a long time to grow accustomed to having these annoying little balls of fur running around under foot, but on nights when the coyotes or wildcats came calling, I was very happy with their presence … and their ability to effectively sound the alarm. Whereas the larger dogs I kept, even the Australian Shepherd, tended to generally go into silent hunting mode with the presence of a large predator, the ankle biters would all go nuts and make so much noise, I do not doubt that there were times the predators left before I could make my way outside. While I do not see the day coming any time soon when there are Prepper gatherings and a bunch of guys sitting around showing off the new hairdo of their miniature poodles, the viability and purpose … not to mention the effective (and sometimes incessant) barking of the ankle-biter should never be overlooked.


Security, like an ecosystem, needs to be established using a systemic approach in order for it to be truly effective. The needs of the Prepper or Homesteader will vary depending on a number of variables that can not all be factored in here. However, with some careful planning and a non-traditional approach, fully safe and legal security measures can often be implemented to a sufficient degree that any intruders are most certainly not on your property by accident. There is no perfect security system, and ultimately, the most powerful security measure and the most powerful tool that any Prepper has is their mind and their ability to put everything together to adequately prepare for any possible scenario.



FacePalm Added Jan 7, 2019 - 12:02am
The rose-and-or-other thorn and berry bushes are also a good idea for urban settings, as well suburban, especially under the windows.  The trench/moat would not be a good option for mountain-dwellers unless they had power equipment or dynamite(or equivalent) to create them.  Fences, however, can be electrified semi-instantly upon feedback from a motion detector, though...
i read of a multi-millionaire who'd had his entire homestead - including garage - built in the Nevada desert such that he could park his transpo and go into a full-camouflaged underground home with no trouble.  Place looked - and for all purposes - was indeed uninhabited, probably the best defense of all against predators of the human jackal variety...unless they'd been assisted by, say, orbital tracking...
A guy i went to school with had a fantasy of sealing all doors and windows w/3/4" thick steel after a break-in, then lining up the computer-controlled Tesla coil to vaporize the intruder, leaving naught but ashes behind, maybe a grease spot...a robot vacuum to remove the ashes, as well...
Both the foregoing options would be compleatly out-of-reach for the typical cash-strapped homesteader, however.
The 1000-meter shootin' range sortof reminded me of the prep the Outlaw Josie Wales and companions prepared for the reception of the Redlegs, too, where he set up targets at various distances and had them practice shooting at each range.  Put a considerable dent in the approaching miscreants, however.
Today, RPG's would likely serve the same purpose, albeit with greater effectiveness - or lasers with a 1000' range or better, especially if an armored column was approaching.
Ward Tipton Added Jan 7, 2019 - 4:18am
My picture did not publish. :/ Posted the article but was still an hour or so early, and the site script saved it numerous times as a separate draft while I was doing other things. 
I actually did work on one property as a consultant wherein we discovered a large cave inside the lava rock cliff behind the house. While we did not build that one underground, his home was largely abandoned and he virtually lived inside a deep, lava rock cave, virtually invisible even to satellites given the heat retention of the rocks. In the event of SHTF, he had a drop trap on the door, to hide th entrance. 
RPGs are largely illegal, though you can purchase them from Numrich Arms ... though reloading the shells would be easy enough, I do not know enough about the weapons to make them operational. I would however, note that flamethrowers for burning the brush are very legal and should you wish to have a singular, more powerful unit that burned the surrounding brush from a fixed position, there is no law against that. 
Johnny Fever Added Jan 7, 2019 - 9:25am
I leave my house unlocked and don’t have a fence, dog or hedges with thorns. Lo and behold, I’ve never had a break in.  I figure all that stuff you have is like an invitation to burglars that something really good is in there.  Regardless, it sounds like the stress and expense of protecting your home makes living a normal life difficult for someone like yourself. 
Ward Tipton Added Jan 7, 2019 - 10:13am
Who said anything about stress? If you live in an area where that is possible, I am happy for you. Where I lived was where my family set their roots, but perhaps that is not the best life for you. Looking around at society today, I am very grateful not to be "normal" and as such, cannot ... and would not even want to imagine a "normal" life in society these days. We did indeed have lots of expensive toys and tools, and livestock and fields to protect as well ... something that did seem to be an invitation to those "normal" people I guess. 
FacePalm Added Jan 7, 2019 - 11:08am
"It is no measure of sanity to be well-adjusted to an insane world."
Fires are rare, but keeping charged fire extinguishers on-hand is a prudent measure.
Those who take steps to protect themselves and their families have less to worry about; those who provide secure storage for their foodstuffs and/or fuel for their generators have less to worry about during hurricanes or other natural disasters like tsunamis, earthquakes, or an EMP which takes out the power grid than those who do not.
Frankly, i've found it rather astounding how many people seem to plow blithely along, as if nothing will ever change, who do NOT prepare for the worst; such as these, imo, will be the first to join mobs or gangs and try to steal from those who DID prepare - but few of the prepared are going to take such an attempt kindly.
i've been interested in either "earthships" or underground dwellings for some time.  In fact, i've often been curious why so many who live in Texas/Oklahoma/Kansas/Arkansas - the typical "tornado alley" - do NOT build underground more often...or at least, indulge in the new dome-shaped sprayed concrete structures.
i remember reading about dwellings in Germany where - at the touch of a button - all doors and windows could swiftly be sealed against intrusion by means of steel plates with manual hydraulic backups in case of power failure. for example.
I've read that if one lives under more than 4' of earth, the temperature remains a constant 55 degrees year-round - much less trouble to heat the air an additional 10 degrees than trying to bring it up from, say 12 below 0 F, for example.
(for those unaware, earthships are constructed mainly of earth-filled old tires, stacked on 3 sides of the dwelling, with a glass-faced entrance area whose glass is tilted at a specific angle coordinated with latitude; in the Northern hemisphere, the sun in wintertime is much lower on the horizon, so you want to have the optimum angle for heat-retention during daylight hours, followed by (perhaps automatic) curtain-closing at dusk.  In summer, an overhang shades the front of the home so as to retain the cool, and the same curtains could be faced with reflective cloth.  In the event of danger, say from either attack or a hailstorm, the same kind of segmented metal door that protects businesses at malls or on city streets could readily be activated.  Those who have an interest could websearch "earthship taos new mexico")
Ward Tipton Added Jan 7, 2019 - 12:18pm
I have long been fascinated by the work of the Garbage Warrior and felt only a limited amount of regret at exactly how full on commercial he went when he required a sum of fifteen hundred dollars be paid to volunteer for him when he was here. However, there is no doubt that he has made some incredible strides in regards to housing, including a regular temperature year round even in the heart of winter, homes that provide sufficient produce for a family of four and even tropical gardens in the arid and often frigid deserts of New Mexico. 
That being said, while there is much to be learned from his work and designs if you can afford it these days, much of what he teaches is not viable on a large scale in third-world nations either. A tire here provides furniture, sandals and other uses and there is an entire sector who makes their living digging through the garbage piles. In fact, this caused some great consternation among my sociologists as we discussed how to provide them with continued opportunities if we could get the helioconverter technology implemented here to reduce the effective levels of stored waste to a statistical anomaly ... something we can do equally as well in the US though the regulatory agencies have shot us down despite zero emissions and useful, marketable by-products created from the waste processing. 
I love his architectural designs and his principles, but waste is actually a valuable resource and believe it or not, in much of the world, an important part of the sub-economic systems in place. 
Ward Tipton Added Jan 7, 2019 - 12:22pm
As for why they do not use those in tornado alley ... try getting a certificate of occupancy even if you can get the building permits. Michael Reynolds had to go into full bureaucracy battle mode to save the homes he built and get special licensing just to occupy some of the homes they built ... which is why he ultimately has to charge people ... even those seeking to donate time and energy to his cause. 
edinmountainview Added Jan 7, 2019 - 2:29pm
All good ideas.  Good to know if I ever do get to my small piece of property in NM to create my "Hobbit hole."
Semper Fi
opher goodwin Added Jan 7, 2019 - 2:59pm
Lol Ward - I think a cursory glance at the Maginot lines of yesterday and the ruined castles show that there is a flaw.
The real question is just who are the vermin?
Ward Tipton Added Jan 7, 2019 - 3:11pm
The flaw is building defenses that are easily identified as defenses. If people see a natural ditch and dense thorns, they are not likely to enter, just pass on by. I actually had scouts (or perhaps some other group of young men) and a military group ... though that was pretty bizarre in my mind, even given the nearby military base, camping on my property when I was there, never even knowing I was there. 
FacePalm Added Jan 7, 2019 - 5:03pm
Off-topic again, but do you recall the links posted to articles about thermal depolymerization?
i have a cousin who worked for Conoco as a chemical engineer; they sent him to school to become an attorney for them.  During a visit to my family over 20 years ago, now - and long before i'd heard of TP - i mentioned to him that if he wanted to make a great positive change, he'd find a way to turn garbage into saleable goods, and that in the future, i could see garbage dumps being mined.  Don't think he listened, he just took their money and shut up.
i've never heard of the garbage warrior, but maybe i'll websearch him or run his name through a youtube search window, see what turns up.  Am i correct in assuming that "Michael Reynolds" is the RL name of the aforementioned?  Never heard of "helioconverter" tech, either, but it sounds like a variant on solar power, so i'll check that out, as well.
Ward Tipton Added Jan 7, 2019 - 5:11pm
Michael Reynolds is indeed the Garbage Warrior and the developer of the Earth Ships you referred to. I actually have access to helioconverter technology that can reduce stored waste to a statistical non-existence ... very minute quantities, but getting it started is still expensive at this stage. About twenty million to build the first two units and the guy is paranoid about having his tech buried.
FacePalm Added Jan 7, 2019 - 6:46pm
Yeah, beneficial-to-humanity tech isn't exactly what the NWO/OWG satanist pedophile scum have in mind...
And 20 mil is a BIG investment; did he ever publish figures on when he expected one of the units to turn a profit?  Does he offer any guarantees or warranties?  Are there any plants extant today, whose owner/operators can be queried?
The thermal depolymerization guys exist and have at least 2 operational plants, one near the Butterball plant in Carthage, Missouri, and another, smaller plant in Philadelphia...and there are a lot of bullshit artists in the world.  i did eventually find the helioconverter website, but the questions i have weren't answered there; i suppose i can try the "contact" page, but suspect that the instant they figure out i'm never going to buy one, they'll have an immediate loss of interest in answering my questions.
Dave Volek Added Jan 7, 2019 - 8:57pm
Where you are, barking dog would be very useful.
I have a neighbor with a chihuahua. I'm pretty sure that dog would take my throat out (or at least try) if it wasn't leashed. Very dedicated to defending its territory and its master.
When I was in Slovakia in 1993, the most common defense against burglary was a barking dog. The owners often train their dog to bark all the time, by keeping the dog a little less than friendly.  I was working in a Slovak village, staying at the local hostel. Anybody walking the streets at night was barked at by all the dogs. Then the dogs would bark at each other. Some nights I didn't get much sleep.
White Hair'd Added Jan 8, 2019 - 11:03am
There are all sorts of "primitive survival skill" videos on YouTube. One can learn how to do everything from erecting hasty, temporary shelters and starting fires via many methods, to smelting iron and distilling seawater, all via low- tech "primitive" methods, using available local materials.
People literally walk into the wilderness with no tools, then find a suitable rock and start from there.
Seems to me, that learning how to make- do and not only live, but thrive in desperate circumstance, might be useful in any situation.
Ward Tipton Added Jan 8, 2019 - 3:24pm
"And 20 mil is a BIG investment; did he ever publish figures on when he expected one of the units to turn a profit?  Does he offer any guarantees or warranties?"
The machine will fully pay itself off in roughly two and one half years, and everything after that is profit ... problem is he wants to keep the profits and the carbon credits for himself, while selling the machines and service ... I have gotten two investors for him but he keeps changing the goal posts. The previous two generations of the tech are operational in Germany and Oz, but no plants have been set up with the third gen tech because he keeps changing the goalposts. 
Dave - From the article: "Punters, ankle-biters or whatever you want to call those very irritating, small and obnoxious dogs are generally not considered as viable options for the rugged outdoor individual … but they should be. As was previously noted, the dogs should only be a single portion of the overall homestead security for the Prepper."
Yeah, ankle biters and punters will rouse the dead. 
Luther Wu - I am doubting that much of youtube will be functional if it ever comes time for people to head out into the country en masse. Thus, I have made it my life to live outside of the system to the extent possible ... which has oddly enough, been made both easier and more difficult in my current scenario. 
Dino Manalis Added Jan 9, 2019 - 8:51am
 Exterminate those termites!
Ward Tipton Added Jan 9, 2019 - 9:13am
Not many termites in the desert to worry about ... where I am now ... plenty ... but working on rebuilding with concrete. 
White Hair'd Added Jan 9, 2019 - 10:06am
Ward said: "I am doubting that much of youtube will be functional if it ever comes time for people to head out into the country en masse."
That goes without saying. That's why exposure to such information now, would be good preparation for whatever happens.
White Hair'd Added Jan 9, 2019 - 10:15am
opher said: "I think a cursory glance at the Maginot lines of yesterday and the ruined castles show that there is a flaw.
The real question is just who are the vermin? "
Exactly. Who are the vermin? There was a discussion of this sort of thing on another forum, where one person was saying that his group was planning on blockading egress to big cities, to keep the criminals out of the country. It was pointed out to him that his plan would prevent food and aid from getting to desperate people, etc., but he would not relent, rationalizing their response to disaster.
Ward Tipton Added Jan 9, 2019 - 10:44am
Who are the vermin. 
In the here and now, only thieves and other criminals. In the event of a survival scenario actually coming to pass ... probably virtually anyone that has not prepared?