This guest post is by R Miller and entry in our non-fiction writing contest .
When emplacing barriers of any kind it is important to remember they will keep you in your area just as easily as they keep others out.
- How many layers (zones) of barriers do you want
- How much space in between barriers do you want
- Can you defend that much space
- Are their clear fields of fire in your last defensive zone
Is the purpose to guide someone around your area of operations/property or is it to block them from entering? People will generally take the path of least resistance in the woods.
Something to consider too is will your barriers keep large game out as well as in. Is that part of your overall food plan or would they be a bonus contingency as opportunity presents itself to hunt or trap.
There are several options to consider, two basic categories to think about, organic or man made barriers. Effective and simple are briars and other plants with thorns (locust tree, barberry), spikes or natural defenses such as poison Ivy, oak and sumac are also good items to consider for limiting access to your area. Immediate advantages are they are pretty much free plants, they are native to the area and are not obvious indicators of human presence or considered as part of a defense. I would suggest they would be used as part of the outside perimeter.
Making a hedgerow with plants of this type is another option. It signals human presence is the downside. Also it will conceal someone from you as well as it conceals you from them. Fall will change how this all looks but it will work just as effectively. Do not burn any plant that causes allergic reactions, the oils will float in the smoke and may cause skin blisters, eye irritation and if inhaled it is possible that it will cause lungs to blister, potentially someone may drown in their own fluids.
Felled trees can also work as barriers as well as cleared brush piled. The idea is not to make a fortress wall but to subtly cause people to move away from your area and keeping them from seeing what you have where you r shelter is or are what you are growing. The older the less obvious it will be.
Wooden rail fencing is another option along with building rock walls. They can offer both concealment and cover.
Man made barriers are usually some type of wire, plain wire, electrical wire, barbed wire, razor wire and tangle foot are the most common. These can be run in strands across post or trees, coils across the ground staked in place and stacked on top of each other. Heavy duty gloves or specialty gloves for razor wire, tangle foot and concertina are recommended. A small pair of bolt cutters is also recommended for ease of cutting.
Openings left can be used to guide people where you want them to go as well as your own ease of travel. Adding a gate is also an option. Generally large game will either jump fences or find a way around. If wild hogs are in your area they may break through the lower strands of wire.
Tube fencing, vinyl fencing, chain link, cinder blocks and even old cars have used to mark boundaries.
Going one step further and using animal tactics, you can dump human waste to discourage trespassing as well. Your water source must be taken into account if you resort to this method of marking your territory.
Trenching is another method to stop movement, over time they will gradually fill in with blown in leaves, dirt, water or all three. Standing water increases mosquitoes and disease potential.
Flowing water can be utilized as part of your defensive perimeter as well. Adding additional barriers increases the effectiveness.
The terrain and flora of your area will be the final word in what you can use for natural barriers.
This contest will end on June 5 2012 – prizes include:
Third Prize) Winner will receive copies of both of my books “31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness” and “Dirt-Cheap Survival Retreat: One Man’s Solution” and a Katadyn Siphon Water Filter courtesy of Mayflower Trading Company. A total prize value of $107.
Contest ends on June 5 2012.