HOW TO SECURE YOURSELF WHEN OPERATING IN A DANGEROUS AREA
Someone (on a gaming site) asked a question about how to better secure yourself and your camp at night. This is my reply and it is based on what I practice for myself.
There are some very simple and effective ways to better secure a camp that I have practiced in real life for a long time. (This assumes of course you’re either operating in dangerous area or an unfamiliar area, or both. Some of these are unnecessary in more secure areas.)
1. Watch relay. Depending on the size of the party you set your perimeter watches as far outside the camp as would assure both their effectiveness and their ability to properly communicate, with a single watch relay (inside the camp) to gather and process signals. The watch relay listens for signals from the perimeter watch and immediately alerts the others for possible incursion or ambush. He is already set for possible combat and he can far more easily assure that the entire camp is aroused if necessary.
2. Equip both your perimeter watch and your relay watch with simple, inexpensive devices that can immediately trigger reactions and predesignated signals, such as whistles and horns (in modern times it would be whistles, radios, birdcalls, etc.).
3. Have predesignated signals and calls. A horn can easily scare off a wolf. A combat whistle can be used not only to alert your team but to call formation signals.
4. Have combat set-points. Have areas that are well known where additional weapons or defensive devices are stored that can be reached easily and handily, such as (in this case), bows, projectiles, spears, knives, and shields
5. Have predesignated dig ins. Places that are defensible and secure that you prepare before first watch. Used in conjunction with your set-points. If necessary trap your dig-ins.
6. Have short watch and rotational periods so that your watch can be alert and refreshed constantly. Rest some during the day to make up for any sleep deficit incurred.
7. Develop pre-arranged combat formations specifically designed for night ambushes, as well as an ambush combat plan (who goes where, does what, and reacts in what way when).
8. Have prearranged codes for repositioning as needed, and have a retreat and escape and evasion route already planned and mapped prior to your first watch.
Most ambushes succeed to the extent they do because those being ambushed are not only taken off-guard but because those being ambushed have no specific reaction plan or set of contingency actions to take when they are ambushed.
Knocking off your march/movement/hike and preparing a mere hour earlier, digging in your positions, creating set-points, having prearranged combat plans in the case you are ambushed, having the proper set of signals and equipment, drilling and training for action, having a well practiced escape and evasion procedure, possessing a regrouping point, secured and secreted gear and weapon caches, all of those things are very simple and inexpensive methods of avoiding danger and of minimizing the risk of successful ambush while camped or while operating in unfamiliar terrain.
They don’t require any magic at all, or reliance upon risky techniques.
They just require preparation, practice, and coordination.
Also sometimes I do other things, like pitch camp in one location and sleep in another location. Or pitch camp near noise sources, (rivers, etc.) or in areas where there is only one chokepoint (an abandoned cave or ditch, etc.) There are all kinds of things you can do if you just prepare ahead of time and devote a little more time to scouting the area and pitching camp than just, “this looks like a nice spot.”
Nice spots are usually easy targets. Unprepared people are usually easy prey.
If you have techniques of your own you’d like to suggest then feel free to do so in the comments section.
Posted on October 5, 2014, in Battle/War, Combat Techniques, Commentary, Education/Training, Information, MY WRITINGS AND WORK, Non-Fiction, Real World, Uncategorized and tagged ambush, blog, camping, operations, preparation, security, writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.