Security is one of the most important aspects of survival. Once you are in a stable area with some resources, the next step in staying alive is protecting what you have. That means making sure you do not get sick, you can store what you have without risk of losing it, defend yourself, and protect what you have even when you cannot be there yourself to look after it.
One of the most important aspects of shelter is protection from the elements. That means having a very keen understanding of the types of weather your area faces. This can be complicated if the climate has changed significantly due to a disaster or fallout. But whatever the weather or however consistent or inconsistent it is, there are several things you need to do.
1. Keep the interior dry – The area inside of the shelter cannot get wet. When it rains, the floor should not be getting soggy, and there should not be leaks in the roof. Moisture will degrade the shelter, ruin perishable items, and increase the chances of illness, hypothermia, etc.
2. Insulate the area – When it is hot, your shelter should stay cool, and when it is freezing outside, the shelter should stay warm. The more regulated you can keep your shelter’s temperature, the more you can save on resources such as wood, water, and medicine. The less you have to scavenge the safer you will be. Desperation for resources leads to a limitation of time. With little time, preparation must be reduced. And if you are not prepared, then you have no way of knowing how safe you are.
3. Obscure the location – The less detectable you are the safer you are. There are a few exceptions to this. If you are seek aid or are hoping to be found for whatever reason, you should advertise your position to humans. Still though, you will want some form of emergency obscuring method incase you are not found by allies. Decrease visibility, cover tracks, conceal fires, disguise the smell of meat and other food.
In regards to protecting yourself, the best defense is a good offense. You cannot run from every problem. Hand to hand training is important, but you will need a weapon or several weapons because not every opponent will be within an arm’s distance. These will serve to protect you when your shelter is not enough. Think of the weapon as your personal security. It is your shelter in a way, even when you are far from your base camp. It allows you to hunt, protects you from predators, and gives you some peace of mind. It is important that your weapons meets certain requirements.
1. You are trained with it – Using a weapon that you do not understand puts you and everyone around you at risk. Firstly, you are not protecting anyone by using a weapon that you cannot effectively wield. Secondly, you may injure someone in your party or even yourself. You lower your security by using a weapon you are not trained with.
2. Renewability/ Reusability – Either you can fix it after extensive use, make more, or anything else that allows for continued use. This does not exclude firearms as a practical method of self defense, as long as you have some background in gunsmithing and the materials readily available to make more bullets. A weapon that cannot easily be prepared to use again will make you more reluctant to use it. It will also decrease your ability to train with it and educate others. You need to be able to use your weapon without a second thought.
A shelter protects you while you are in it. Personal protection is perfect for security when you are not in your shelter. But what protects your shelter while you are protecting yourself. That honor falls on locks. A lock needs to be many things, and defend against a variety of attacks. For that reason, it is also important that what the locks are attached to are strong as well.
If it is easier to break down a door and cut a chain, than it is to deal with the lock, then the lock will be ignored. Since you won’t have access to the best front door locks or to the most secure door, you need to think outside the box. If you need advice on locks or want a reliable place to make a purchase stop by a local locksmith shop, and talk to an expert. In terms of locks for wilderness survival there are a few things you want to look out for.
1. Weather resistance – Out in the wild, there is is quite a bit of dirt and grime. That builds up in a lock. This will cause all kinds of issues. The core can seize up so that it will not open no matter what you do. Other issues with the core can come from cold weather, or even a quick and severe fluctuation in the temperature. You need a lock that is meant to be used out in the elements. Preferably with a dust cover and keyhole cover. But a lock that cannot be taken apart will also work, as long as you clean it regularly.
2. Mobility – Padlocks are the best choice for wilderness survival. You want a lock that you can attach to almost anything, because you won’t always have the luxury of choice. It is also important that you can take your locks with you easily, both for bugging out initially, and for any kind of secondary bug out.
3. Solid construction – Most animals and even nefarious humans will simply try and break your lock. That is why it needs to be very sturdy. Hardened steel is your starting point. In some cases claims of hardened steel will only refer to a coating on the lock. For that reason it is always safer to go with something that advertises the use of polymers. Anything that says boron or ceramic inserts is often a safe bet.
4. Resistance to surreptitious entry – Attacks such as lock picking and lock bumping may become more widely used after a large scale disaster. People will get more used to trying to gain entry to shelter without damaging the security it offers. Make sure that your locks have security pins, restricted keyways, and other internal security measures.
By refocusing your efforts in these areas you will be as secure as you can be while living in the wild. Be safe in everything you do, and never compromise security for convenience.