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Protecting Your Camp While on the Go

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On June 22, 2018, Tristan B. was camping at Malibu Creek State Park, California when around 5 A.M. he was shot in the head and killed. He was asleep in his tent with his two daughters, ages 2 and 4, when he was shot. Authorities ruled the death a homicide and believe the murder could be related to three other shootings dating back to 2016.

According to detectives, they are unable to determine a motive for the shooting. The victim was described as a talented scientist and loving father with no known enemies. He had taken his two daughters to the popular Malibu State Park 25 miles from Los Angeles so that his wife could stay home and study for an exam.

He was an associate director at the pharmaceutical company Allergan, and had seven years experience in late-stage pharmaceutical drug product development.

Sadly, and for now, it sounds like this father was in the wrong place at the wrong time. While I’m sure his loved ones are grateful the two children weren’t harmed, the fact is that this gentleman had no warning of someone approaching his camp.

Obviously, when we’re camping, we are more vulnerable since we aren’t sleeping in the safety of our homes where we have some security barriers such as alarm systems and door locks. Since everyone is more exposed when camping, I want to cover some safety and security ideas you should consider, especially during a bug out situation.

Location. Staying in an established campground and camping in random areas while bugging out are going to be two totally different experiences. You will likely want to avoid an actual campground during a bug out situation since it will probably be overcrowded.

If you find a random place to camp, consider if the location has cell service and if your emergency radio works. You need to be able to monitor things while camping in case danger is headed your way. Next, think about how people could access the site. Is it surrounded by heavy brush? Is there only one way in? The less ways people can come into your camp the better.

More is better. Let’s say you have a family of four and are bugging out during a disaster. Depending on your bug out preparations you may be carrying one tent for the four of you or everyone could have their own tent. My point is, no matter how many people are in your group set up every tent that you have.

You want your group to appear as big as possible, which will deter criminals from harming you since they probably don’t know how many people are with you. Plus, try and actually have a large group if you can and hook-up with other like-minded families that you trust.

Early warning. I know there are sophisticated solar security systems you can set up while camping, but the thing is, this isn’t something most people will put in their bug out gear. Still, you should have some type of warning system to give you a heads up if someone enters camp.

One recommendation is basic fishing line with soda cans attached to the line. You can fill the soda cans with a few rocks to make some noise. You can also buy tripwires that fire off a blank shotgun shell, giving you ample warning if someone is approaching.

Guard on duty. If you are bugging out during an extremely intense situation, you need extra security measures in camp. For example, take turns with everyone in your group staying up and guarding the camp. Of course, the more people in the group the more guards I would have.

I would rotate every 4 hours, as you don’t want the folks guarding to get too bored and tired. Those watching guard should conduct routine patrols around the camp and when stopping, they should take a position at the highest point in the camp to provide them the best view of anyone approaching.

Plan an out. If you are bugging out, you are trying to move away from some danger or disaster. And, you always need to be prepared to get up and go with little notice even from your camp. While you’ve probably unpacked some of your gear you need to keep a bag ready to go at a moments notice.

In other words, if the immediate threat you are moving away from comes towards your camp you need to go. Before choosing your location to camp, consider your options as far as what direction(s) you can escape if something advances towards your camp.

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