Unfortunately, when we talk about FM and defense, we are probably going to wind up taking it up a notch to talk about guns and, of course, which guns are best for a WROL situation. Tons of articles abound about this topic, but suffice it to say I believe it is our duty to have a weapon or weapons and be people who are trained and proficient at using them effectively. Though the adage says “He who runs away will live to play another day,” that may not always be an option; if confrontation can be avoided and if use of deadly force is not necessary, then it should be perused at every opportunity. I believe that each person at a bugout or bugin location should be armed once they can be safely trained and that if possible a uniform attire presented for the people who would be seen in a negotiation situation.
As the head of the household or group of people hunkered down together, I feel that knowing about and how to use and care for guns is one of my key responsibilities. I also feel that in a group setting I should be surrounded by people who, when the chips are down, will have my back– people who would take a round for me just as I would for them. The Bible teaches us, “No greater gift can a man give than to lay down his life for a friend”, but I hope I can put up a strong resistance before this becomes necessary. I would much rather have the other guy dying for his friends than me dying for mine. Of course, that is why we are having this discussion in the first place.
One of more overlooked FM is to have body armor (BPV) for anyone who will go armed and is trying to defend their home or camp. It is quite unrealistic to not think someone we are shooting at will not shoot back. For about the price of a good pistol, a BPV is a great investment and a FM that is legal in most every state for a citizen to own at the time of this writing. There are various levels of protection for each type of materials used, from hardened steel or lighter products, like ceramic plates or Kevlar. I will not go into great detail here, but the better educated you become about them you become the better you will be able to decide what works for you and yours. Learning to move, defend, and evade while wearing your vest will take some getting used to. I will often wear my vest on days when I go to the outdoor, public gun range just to get used to it. I try not to go to the range on the weekends, just because of the higher volumes of novices at the public ranges, but if I do I will usually dawn my vest, due to the novice who may be in training and not understand barrel discipline.
Another FM that I recommend is a military-grade gas mask with the replaceable canisters. While they may not be popular or of a great help in a firefight, unless your attackers are using chemical or biological warfare, they may certainly be of great value in a mob setting where tear gas is used or in a nuclear event should you be caught out in the open. If possible have one available for all those in your home or group. Alternatives are few, but a dive mask or other airtight goggles and a chemical-proof, civilian respirator (the plastic cartridge type used for spray painting) will help, if nothing else is available to combat against tear gas, until a hasty retreat or wind change removes the exposure.
No discussion on FMs would be complete without mentioning trip wires/early warning alarms. Much has been written about these, and as long as there are no lethal devices attached to the warning signals, lights, noise makers, smoke bombs, or the like, they should pose no legal objections during times of peace or to local LE, should they come calling with a search warrant. I will not go into techniques here, as this is a summary article not a “how to” manual.
A sentry or guard equipped with spy glasses, telescopes, or binoculars are a great FM device and will alert you to activities in your vicinity long before your dog or trip wire will let you know there is something amiss in your general proximity. An even better form of optics for night time would be a Gen 1 or newer monocular or pair of night vision goggles for your perimeter defense after the sun goes down. Most of these items are rather portable and easy to carry or have in your defense or go bag. Most of the optics using gen 1 devices have become relatively affordable, especially those made in Russia or even in China. These do require batteries, but then again so does your flashlight red dot or laser for your weapons.
Another possible FM could be legal or “tolerated” fireworks. If you live in a rural setting, these may or may not be legal in your neck of the woods (rarely are fireworks allowed in the city limits). Any device you can have on hand with a controlled descent, fire ball (flare, parachute) is desirable, and the higher they go and the longer they stay illuminated, the better. These floating flares will give you an element of surprise as well as much needed illumination in large open areas that an aggressor force may be approaching from under the cover of darkness. Any form of flare gun with non-lethal pyro techniques, such as flares, smoke, bird banger (flash bang) would probably be legal to own and come in quite handy if your position was in jeopardy of being overrun. I recommend researching the 37MM flair launchers that are available on the market, as well as the legalities of owning them. (A word of caution should be used here in that anyone wearing or using most forms of night vision, at least the older generation devices, will be temporarily blinded by such illumination devices.) Tactical lighting or lasers may also be in order but are notorious for giving away your position, once you engage a target even inside of your home. I also recommend flash suppressors on all main long arms, should they be available. In some states sound suppressors are legal with the Proper ATF documentation and “Tax Stamp”; these are not legal in my state, so please research on your own. I have read that the sound of the report/blast is still present but can be greatly reduced by such devices.
When thinking about FM, it is very important to include additional means of personal, long range communications. If you are able to communicate with each member of your team in real time, this is always an advantage, as the field of engagement is always organic and changes by the moment. Hand-held, two-way radios are a huge help, but ear buds and miniature mics mounted on the label attached to our radio can be even more effective at allowing you full mobility as well as hands-free operations. These are topics for a complete article or even a book but are just mentioned here for the uninitiated.
While very controversial, due to the alarmist mature of the left-leaning masses, tactical gear, such as camo, bandoliers, tool belts, ammo belts, loadouts, packs, and pouches would be of great help, if your position is compromised and you had to defend it from intruders. Know your gear and practice with as much of it as you can at the gun range, BLM, public or private property, or even in the fields or woods where you hunt, during non-hunting seasons and where legal, of course. It is advisable not to do team tactics that could be viewed as a public threat or nuisance, so as not to alarm the locals. Also, try not to look too para-military, should you be observed. I have found that Mossy Oak is a lot less threatening than military style camo, when dressing for success in training for a tactical environment; it’s less scary. Bug repellent (Cat Nip preferred over Deet and is just as effective, according to recent studies by Iowa State University) and mosquito netting are great additions to summer maneuvers when deep in the woods. Training would be best if not accompanied by firearms or practiced with air-soft or paintball weapons, in order to keep the locals from believing they are being invaded by a fanatical group of terrorists. (Just a suggestion.) Even a walking stick and hiking in the woods in hunting gear during mushroom season (Midwest and eastern) are better than no training in outdoor settings at all. (Never venture in the woods during hunting season, unless you are wearing blaze orange, and even then I would find a better time to train due to possibly being mistaken for game.)
If practical, practice concealment, finding cover, group maneuvers, hand signals, radio codes, and have meetings with trusted, like-minded people who are not afraid to think out of the box. Invest in defensive, tactical training with all of your primary weapons of choice, and encourage family members, friends, or posse members to do likewise.
Additional items you may want to keep on hand that should be perfectly legal but of great value to have on your property are: barbed wire, empty sand bags, bags of pit run gravel stored in a shed, spare lumber, plywood, hardware, and the always-necessary hand tools to dig and plant a garden, even if you do not have a plot. (Most small arm fire is effectively stopped by a wall of 2 x 4’s , 1/2-inch plywood, filled with 3-1/2 inches of pit run gravel). Landscape timbers, stones, or even retaining wall blocks or pavers stacked outside of your home to come up to the midway or all possible shooting positions should the need arise.
I pray we never have to use legal Force Multipliers to protect our home or positions from raiders or marauders, but it is a good idea to practice maneuvers, communications, and to role play or run scenarios though your mind about what you would do in various locations and situations. Be alert and attentive, walk softly, blend in by being the gray man, or better yet be the gray “sheep dog” who is calm on the exterior but acutely alert and attentive to our surroundings at all times. Educate yourself in as many forms of FM as you can.
I hope I have spurred your imagination and not your ire, as I have just touched on a few of the many FMs that can be assembled using legal and available means of improving on your circumstances, should the time arise, if and when you are called upon to defend yourself, your group, or your love ones.