This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I'll earn a small fee at no extra cost to you.*
First, the disaster will come. It will come like they always do. It may start slow and steady but eventually, it will reach a fever pitch. The destruction brought on by man or mother nature will ravage all that dares step in its path. The audible effects of the disaster will give way to visual awe when the damage is quantified.
Soon after the disaster, things will get rather quiet as people begin to take it all in. When the realization that everything they have learned to depend on is gone, there will be a hush across the land. This will be quickly followed by a screaming mass of desperation that will involve violence, looting, rape, and the most carnal and violent behaviors. But even that will die down eventually.
If you are still alive, you will find yourself in the silence of survival. You will find that breaking that silence and attracting the attention of the desperate masses could lead to another tragedy. We are going to discuss six methods that can give you away in a survival situation and how to mitigate them.
If you find yourself in an outdoor survival situation, you will eventually be heating and cooking with wood. Not everybody knows that the types of things you put on a fire dictate the type of smoke you’ll get. Stay away from green. Young saplings and green leaves will create billows of white smoke that will be easy to see from far away.
In fact, this is a great technique if you are looking to signal for rescue. Look for dry wood from old trees. This is your best bet when it comes to building a good fire.
Watch the video below on the Dakota fire pit. This is a method of building fire underground to cook with and heat your shelter. You want to build this type of fire pit by digging two holes in the ground and connecting the tunnels. The largest tunnel will be for your fire.
Also build your Dakota pit under a full tree branch. This will help disperse the smoke.
If you are fortunate enough to bag yourself some wild game in traps or by bow and arrow (assuming you want to be silent), you must be very careful about cooking. Many survivalists will tell you to smoke your meat to get the most shelf life out of it. When it comes to shelf life they would be right.
The problem is, after a few hours of smoke and delicious meaty aromas floating up into the air, you will probably have some visitors. You may even have some wildlife visitors as well.
The Dakota method mentioned above will help with the smell as well. Still, in an urban survival situation where cooking will attract hungry and desperate people, it would be in your best interest to cook and scatter. You shouldn’t loaf around and eat.
Don’t sleep where you have cooked. In the wild, this brings bears, but in urban survival, it will bring people.
Learn to cook in the ground. You can make charcoal by assembling a pile of wood and completely covering it in a mound of clay soil. After this, build a big fire all around the mound. The soil will protect the wood inside and the fire will create some great charcoal for you. Use this to cook in the ground.
The importance of being conscientious about sound is crucial. Sounds come from all types of movements and activities. You must remain quiet always and particularly in movements. Many people plan on carrying an AR15 or rifle of the type in a survival situation.
You must be very disciplined when you use that weapon and know what using it means. A gunshot will bring people.
Learn the basic principles of hand signals in movement. You will want to be able to move quickly and quietly without having to stop and discuss changes in direction. Another skillful use for hand signals is if you see someone before they see your group. You can signal a quick stop and cover with just a move of the hand.
Keep a silent or quiet weapon on your person along with your high-powered rifle. A crossbow or even a smaller .22 will generate a lot less sound than a big rifle. Another overlooked survival weapon is a good scoped air rifle.
Light discipline is a consideration whether you are bugging out or bugging in. Remember, the world will be darker than we have seen it. If we are experiencing a disaster that puts the power out for a long time, the world will be totally different at night.
The light pollution of buildings and street lights will be gone and you will be left with the cosmos above as your only light.
The human eye is trained to find light and particularly artificial light. If you have a home or a site that is lit in a world of darkness, you will have visitors. Of course, there are ways to combat this as well.
We call on the Dakota fire pit again to also conceal our fire. If you can create a perimeter of tall rocks or logs around your Dakota setup, you will be offering great coverage to your fire. Also plan on building camp around the fire and camp in denser areas as well.
Light discipline also involves traveling at night without the aid of artificial light. In the cooler months, this is a fantastic way to stay warm through cold nights. Sleep during the warmer days. This alleviates the need for a big camp fire in the middle of a dark night.
While traveling, you will want to mind your flashlights, headlamps and lanterns. Get yourself a reliable red light as they are much less noticeable at a distance.
In a community setting, you will want your overall condition to mimic that of the conditions around you. In other words, a fresh haircut, well fed, spirited neighbor may raise some eyebrows in a community without running water that has been bartering for food over the last month.
In our society, we are often looking for the guy who has it easier. He often becomes a villain as well, i.e. the rich are evil!
Be observant of those around you. Make sure you mimic their struggles to keep your preps a secret. Unfortunately, if you admit to having it, people are going to want some of it.
We love our dogs. They are loud and boisterous every time someone comes by the house. They are way cooler than any alarm system. The problem with dogs is that they are also instinctual. The reason we love them is because they read us better than any creature on the planet.
When you are on high alert, so are they. This comes from hanging out with us over millennia. They are going to bark when threatened. That is their go-to deterrent. They don’t care if a hail of bullets is what comes back in return.
The solution? Start training your dogs on terms like hush or silence. If your dog is not capable of keeping quiet in a bug out situation, you will have your location exposed all the time. Branches will fall, sticks will snap in the night, and you will be scared. This will make your pooch go crazy, in most cases. A simple command can take care of that.
White noise is another great method when dealing with dogs. When I want the babies to stay asleep, I put the television on for the dogs or they hear everything outside and get loud if something comes too close.
Setting up camp by rushing waters or waterfalls is a great way to muffle the perceived threats of your animal and keep them quiet through the night.
As you can see, it’s pretty easy to give ourselves away in a desperate world. If you take these six considerations and apply my recommendations, you will be a little more concealed. What other situations would expose you in an urban survival scenario? Leave your comments below.