How to put together your own bug out bag perimeter alarm kit… or how to sleep better at night when the zombies are on the move.

by Alexander T

In my bug out bag, or my get home bag, since I keep it in my vehicle at all times, I keep a little perimeter alarm kit. The whole kit is relatively small, lightweight and fits in a MOLLE mag pouch. I feel this kit is necessary should the SHTF. I figure that if this happens, I might have to be able to get home all by myself, over a long distance, possibly on foot.

Well, what if I have to spend the night who knows where? Maybe in an abandoned building. Or in a makeshift campsite in a clump of trees. Or maybe an old tractor-trailer. And if I have to sleep, I wouldn’t want to wake up with who knows standing over me or all my stuff gone. My trusty firearm won’t do me any good if I’m sleeping. So I put together a little perimeter alarm kit with the following features in mind.

  1. To be able to put up an alarm around a campsite.
  2. To be able to alarm doors and windows in a building.
  3. To be able to lock or secure doors in a building. This includes single doors, double doors, and doors that swing outward.
  4. To be able to black out windows preventing people from seeing in.
    The following is what I keep in my kit.
  5. door/window alarms. You can get them on eBay, home centers or Dollar General. I got mine at Dollar General, by Bell & Howell, 7 for 10 bucks.
  6. homemade alarm bases. These are just 3 ½ X 3 ½ pieces of ¾ in plywood.

I drilled a hole in each edge to be able to put a tent-peg thru. This allows me to place the alarm on a tent-peg. I also drilled 4 slots, on the face, ¼ in from each edge. This allows me to use a strap, rope or bungee cord around a pole or tree. I also put 2 pieces of Velcro tape 3” long on the back, along with the mating strips on the back of the alarm. This is so I don’t have to pull off the adhesive one time use strip on the back of the alarm. With the Velcro, I can reuse the base indefinitely, or not use the base if I don’t need it.

Snare wire and fishing line. (different colors) I believe this needs no explanation.

Two locks and 3 ft sections of chain. To lock a door if I’m able to. The 3 ft chain sections allows me to lock a gate or fence, and also double doors

Four door stops (wedges). To jam in between the door and the frame at he top, and the floor at the bottom, in case I can’t lock them.

Six door hinge pins. I made my using the pins from BBQ grill top hinges. I ground off the head and cut them in half to ¾ “ long using a hacksaw. They’re thicker and stronger than nails. On outward swinging doors, I take out a screw from the top and bottom hinge and insert the pins. This prevents someone from taking out the long pin holding the hinge together, pulling the hinge apart and lifting the door off.

Small bag of eye screws and “L” hooks, and tent pegs. If I’m in a building, I screw these into the walls to string the fishing line or snare wire in a variety of configurations to alarm multiple doors and windows. The tent pegs are for a campsite perimeter.

Plastic sandwich bags. I put these over the alarms should it be wet or raining outside.

Roll of 32 gal black trash bags. Using duct tape, I tape these to windows so people can’t see in.

I also keep a roll of duct tape, rubber bands, a few bungee cords, and a small multi-tool in the kit.

With this little handy kit, if I have to make my way home or have to bug out, hopefully I be able to alarm my surrounding and give myself a warning before my stuff gets stolen or wake up with someone standing over me.

I’m sure that the Wolf Pack has a wealth of other great ideas for bug out security – please share those ideas with the rest of the pack in the comments section below…


  1. Simple Prepperr says:

    Good advice.

  2. Shades of Green says:

    Wow!! This is a really great post. I have been thinking about this type of security as I travel alone to visit my family in Florida all the time. I take my BOB and trusty SR9c but had only thought of fishing line for security. I do wish you had posted pictures for the actual alarms and bases and an example of the hinge pin in place because I tend to be a visual person when it comes to stuff like that but this is a really good informative article. Thanks .

  3. Thank you for the post. Maybe this is a dumb question, but are all MOLLE mag pouches the same?

    • Not necessarily, wide variety of styles and mag capacities. As others have stated, a picture…

      Molon Labe

  4. JP in MT says:

    I love these type of articles. The only problem is it adds more to my list of things I think I should have around. Some of my friends already think I’m the place to go when the store is out.

  5. ferndale says:

    really, really good post. i’ve thought about this before a bit, but this is a excellent start to finish plan.

  6. I think this is a good post to help initiate some discussion around alarms.
    IMHO the type of alarm used will be different based on your location and facility, where a tent-based alarm will be quite different from a home or building alarm.

    I would think that whatever alarm is used, you would not want a screaming horn or klaxon type, as everyone within earshot will be aware of the alarm going off and bring your location to focus; where a more subtle alarm does not announce your location as much.

    From a “bug out” perspective, I would suspect a tent, campsite, cave, or semi-permanent shelter would be the predominate type of setting, and here is where fishing line and snare wire with eye screws and tent pegs would be more appropriate. I will consider each of these as a ‘tent’ setting.

    I had read some other ideas around a tent setting alarm system where you set up either two or four segments of your alarm system so you get some notice as to the direction the intruder is coming from. With this scenario, a small ‘cat toy’ bell gets attached to the line for its respective perimeter segment, so you know the direction a threat is coming, and which direction needed to evade. Here, the lines are fed through eye screws in trees or brush and the bell is at your tent in its position respective to the quadrant it is attached.

    You need to determine how much alarm you need based on perimeter size and the length of line you have. The more line you have the larger the perimeter you can define. One issue is the visibility of fishing line or snare wire based on sunlight and reflection… so whatever you decide to set up, you need to figure out if a fishing line 10 inches above ground consistently is better than a diagonal stretch across a path…

    I am sure there are many more configurations to consider, and each will be specific to the current setting and only limited to your own imagination.

    • Instead of a klaxon type of alarm or cat bells, you guys gave me an idea of replacing the noise maker with a silver bullet type of sex toy vibrator, or salvaging the vibro thingie from an old cell phone. You could run a wire from your perimeter trip to a battery pack close to you. Stick the vibrator in your sock to wake you up. I’m in “mad inventor mode now. Thanks ;-)”

  7. Horse'sass says:

    I think this is a highly over looked area, even for the homestead. Let’s face it, you can not be on alert 24/7. The factor you need to mitigate this is adequate warning time.

    Simple things like hardening your window /door entrance points so that it takes someone 2 minutes to get through as opposed to a two second break through means you will have time to have focus all barrels, and regain full mental faculties after your deep sleep has been interrupted to greet the intruder.

    For now, anytime I am camping outdoors, would like to have a dual perimeter set up for redundancy.

  8. Great article, I will be traveling later this year to meet with my DM who lives in another state. We are going on a cruise. Looking forward to it but not sure about the timing, with everything that has been going on. I have been thinking about a GHB. I am also torn because my mom would be alone and would probably refuse to come with me, but the rest of my family is here and so are my preps. I pray that is not something that I wil have to face. I have been trying to talk her into moving closer to us.

  9. Like JP in MT, it is another good thing to add to our stash, when we have the money. If you can take pictures and add them to the site it would be appreciated. Like the others I am also a visual person.
    It was a great article, and not something I had thought about on travel safety since my dh and I usually together, but there are times I am by myself when he stays home and we live over 30++ miles from the nearest large town. Long hike home, and I keep and extra pair of walking shoes in the vehicle.

  10. Great post. I always think of diiferent ways to alarm a location if I would have to stay for a night or longer. There is a website that has some perimeter alarms here
    Haven’t tried any of them but I will definitely think about includeing the ideas from the post.

    • Nice Link

    • You may want to consider “party poppers”; much cheaper, not as loud, and smaller.
      Also if not recovered, no big investment lost.

    • have, use, and have modified the HV-5 12 ga. they use blanks BUT w/ a little mod. use shot. little claymores.(outer perimitor)
      also you can buy at the gun shows rocket flares with pull tabs with a few mods works great for inner perimitor

  11. Some state offices offer free gun locks which have an 8-12″ flexible steel cable as a shackle. They aren’t as strong as a chain, but are much lighter and easier to carry. Because they are flexible they can be used in both small and large applications, such as lashing an item to a pack, locking a door/gate, or securing a motorcycle wheel to a bike fork to prevent theft.

    There are a number of battery-operated products out there for deaf people which would be ideal for perimeter security. Many of those products involve a vibrating unit which is worn on the wrist like a watch, but they include everything from alarm clocks and door bell alerts to home intruder alarms. A wireless motion sensor could be set up in various places and when one of them is triggered a vibrating unit worn on your wrist would wake you up. This silent alert system won’t give away your location, but neither will it scare off your intruder so be careful when dealing with that situation.

  12. Great ideas! Pictures please, if possible.

  13. Pictures would be very helpful. Some things I am unfamiliar with are hard to visualize. However, this is a very interesting and useful post, even without pictures.

  14. Tom Arnold says:

    Like others said, pictures would help. If you can give some more details about the tent alarm it would help – seems like some details are missing. I can’t visualize what wooden blocks on tent spikes does for you. Some details about what you do with the fishing line – do you tie it to your wrist or something?

    Sorry for all the questions. I just can’t see it in my head.


  15. Centurion says:

    Excellent article. I’ve been working on something similar for a while and I hadn’t thought about blacking out windows.

    Also, consider Wireless Driveway Alarms (battery powered) available at Harbor Freight for $18/each.

    I painted mine a dusty brown using Testors model paint. Put a piece of black electrical tape over the red LED that lights up on the detector unit when it is activated, and no one will even know they triggered the alarm. The advertised range is 400 ft… but is actually closer to 200′. However, it monitors a HUGE area when properly placed. I’ve had my kids walk 20 ft from it and it still detects the motion. It includes an ON/OFF switch so you can leave the perimeter without it going off. So, once you secure the building, sit one of these outside to cover the approach and know well before anyone gets within 50 feet of the door.

  16. TinLizzy says:

    I do wish there were some pictures. This is a real insight for me but I can’t put it together in my head; can you please, please furnish some visuals?

  17. Okay, in a “tent setting” imagine your tent in the middle of a circle, square, rectangle or other shaped area. For explanation purposes, consider your “tent” is the center of the crosshairs in a target scope and visualize a N-S and E-W grid with your tent in the center.

    Now imagine ‘your tent’ has a rear opening facing North, and a front opening facing South and you want to have four sections defined as quadrants. Walking around your camp set the boundary lengths (50-100 feet) in each of the N, S, E, and W ends

    Place a stake at the West center of your tent, tying your line to the stake; take your line out to your West perimeter boundary and use eye-screws for line support along the way, keeping a consistent height and clear unobstructed path.

    Now at your West boundary, start moving clockwise towards the North boundary continuing to use eye-screws to support your line along the way to trees or branches, making judgment call to the height of the trip wire/line until you reach your North boundary point; from the North boundary point now go straight to the back entrance of the tent, and as you are looking out of the back door of the tent, place this line to the left of the entrance (looking out) and tie on a toy bell. You have now set your Northwest perimeter.

    Using the same stake at the West side of the tent, and using the same eye screws, bring a new section of line out to the West boundary, and once at the West boundary, now move counter-clockwise toward the South boundary point. Again using eye screws to support the line at various heights to suit the location and catch potential traffic. Once at the South boundary, take the line straight to the front door of the tent and tie off the end to the left front door as you look at the door from the outside and attach another toy bell. You now have completed your Southwest quadrant perimeter, and the entire West side of camp.

    Repeat the same steps above to the East side of your tent, using one stake at the East center of your tent used for both the Northeast quadrant and the Southeast quadrant. Each time you follow a straight line from the stake on the side to the outer boundary. At the East outer boundary continue the same section of your line in a counter-clockwise direction until you reach the same North boundary eye-screw used for the Northwest line, and again, straight back to the tent, this time placing the bell on the other side of the opening. And you have set your Northeast perimeter alarm.

    Again, follow the pattern for the Southeast quadrant, again using the same eye-screw at the South boundary and straight back to the front door of the tent, this time tying the bell to the opposite side of the opening.

    While you are in the tent, if you look to the front door, and the bell to the left (looking out) is ringing, the intruder is coming from the SE… if the bell on the right is ringing they are coming from the SW. Also, from inside looking out the North door, the bell on the left ringing means the approach is from the NW, the bell on the right, they are approaching from the NE.

    You could modify this to use only two sections of perimeter, which would only provide they were approaching from the left or the right, and This would be IMHO if I did not have as many eye screws or line to set up a full 4 quadrant perimeter.
    With 4 quadrant sections, the bells ring on the South (front door) means you can evade going out the North (rear door); if the bells ring on the North door, you can evade through the South door.

  18. Great post. I would replace the locks for the chain with quality carabiners thus eliminating the keys and they are quick to handle as well as being usefull for many other things.

    Molon Labe

  19. Great post, and Mike, tks for the step-by-step that cleared up a lot of questions. I never planned to have a BOB, since I planned to hunker down,, but what an eye opener about what to do if Im stranded elsewhere when SHTF and have to walk home. A weapon would be nice, but pepper spray would pack well and could stay unattended in Jeep

    • R-Me & Pack;
      If you want a spray that reaches farther towards a target use wasp spray, it will go up to 20 feet(or more). Pepper spray is for us close and personal.
      If you work in an office women should keep this handy somewhere on their desk for a grab & spray for the bad bugs that might attack.
      Just thought you would like to know.

  20. LyndaKay says:

    Alexander T, you sure have given a lot of us something to add to our list of preps, customizing the security for our own situation!. It was a very interesting post, as are many of the replies. Thanks all.

  21. I recall some of the early James Bond novels that he made wedges for the door from paper, or toilet paper. Might be a nice technique to know.

  22. Christopher de Vidal says:

    Please explain the hinge pins, I don’t understand that. If you get the cheap door alarms, buy extra and test them first. We had several fail. Got them at Dollar Tree; If yours doesn’t have any, you can order them from the website, shipped to a local store, for free.

  23. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    Keeping some cut wooden wedges out of 2x lumber would be handy to keep in your bag as well. Wedged into door jamb / threshold, they will cause the person opening to the door to use more force, warning the occupant of ‘impending company’.

  24. Good alarm for bears too! I have a good guard dog, so that’s my bell and whistle.

  25. If you have a fenced yard around your house, a couple of smallish barky dogs can sound the alarm day or night and they work even when the grid is down or after EMP. I have also seen rural homesteads where people kept Guinea fowl or geese as a natural form of alarm. Guinea fowl have the added bonus of liking to eat ticks if you live where Lyme disease is a problem. And geese will actually charge an intruder with an impressive display of hissing and wing flapping, but they may not be the best choice if you have small children visiting. By the way, if you have been considering getting a shipping container and converting it to a survival retreat, you may want to check out a company that sells turn-key, portable, one bedroom “apartments” made from shipping containers — just do a search for MODS International. I really want one of these, but have no place to put one.

  26. Alexander Turner says:

    After reading the comments to my article regarding my perimeter alarm kit, I sent in a couple of pics showing the alarm base with the alarm attached, and the other a pic of the hinge pins I use, and adfter I modify them. That was over a week ago, so I don;t know why they haven’t been put on the website yet.
    Alexander T

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