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It seems to me that if you are preparing your refuge you have two distinct ways to go.

1) Camouflage you place. You can go from making it look like there is nothing at all there, or make it appear to look like any other place that is possibly abandoned. It seems to me that some of the problems with going this route is that other groups might just wonder in looking for materials and supplies that they can salvage. Another problem will be that it will restrict your movements during the day, trying to grow any crops outside or trying to have any livestock. You also have the problem of burning any wood products which can be smelled from a long distance off. Even if you use another energy source for heating or cooking, if the temperature outside is cold the vapor from the warm air heating the cold air can be seen. It might require allot of the work and cooking be done at night. This still seems like a good option to me if you are a small family or an individual.

2) Intimidate. The castle/fort/firebase method. High fences/walls, observation towers, guards, reinforced buildings. To me the major setback in this is that everybody who sees this will know that there are supplies and materials there, and that the setup itself might be desirous for other groups to take over. Another possible setback to this type of setup is that you will need enough manpower to provide security 24/7 around the whole parameter. This seems like a good option to me if you have a fairly large group, say over 10 people.

I think that there is a third option that might be what most of us chose. That is the refuge that at first glance you either don't see it or it just looks like another abandoned location, but once you start to enter the location you find that it has strong and intimidating defenses. Hidden bunkers, the fences that appear to be old and decrepit are actually strong, traps and pits, reinforced buildings, and well armed and prepared defenders, none of which were apparent when first approaching the location.
 

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Not being seen is great but not likely.
Be an unattractive target. It should be clear nothing worth trying to take here.
Keep your stuff from view as much as possible by keeping people away.
Nothing wrong with showing a strong defense and a willingness to got o the offense.
Providing for security and human labor needed is why we have the size group we do.
 
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I think a combo of both are a good plan. Changing a houses colors to more earth tones and the use of camo netting can work if your home is in the wide open spaces. I have a friend that has started prepping after I gave him the book, "One Second After." His concern like in the book is that if the major highway that is about five miles away in open desert from his house becomes clogged with people escaping the cities. The house sits all alone in open space visible from the highway and is bright white. We painted parts of the house in a adobe desert colors and it really made the house look real nice so it made his wife happy too. We then hung desert camo netting down from the roof covering the white parts of the walls remaining. This is temporary and will only be deployed in a SHTF scenario but as a test we placed the netting and headed up onto the highway and it is amazing because the house could no longer be seen from the highway because it blended right in with the surrounding colors. This would most likely change as the lighting changes thru the day. We did this without taking away from the visible appeal of the home or reducing it's value.

I think the next has to be to strengthen and fortify your existing structure but unfortunately few homes are made with this in mind. I do believe that this can be done in a way to increase the value of the home as well as make it a safer place to live. I don't believe a home can be strengthened against a organized force or armor but your everyday crook with a crowbar is realistic. Start with the obvious, door frames, doors, and locks. Strengthen windows and add security lighting to the surrounding area. Remember lights on outside and lights off inside will give you a slight tactical advantage because you can see out and they can't see in.
 

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Since I plan on most probable Bug In situation, I have plan tom make my house look like it has already been looted. I have a couple of old TVs to throw out in the front yard, etc. I have been researching sensors to warn me of people coming onto to or near my property.
 

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The combination method seems to be the best option. If at all possible, avoid conflict, but if someone is insisting on taking what is yours, destroy their minds and bodies without mercy or remorse with a forward moving wall of hellfire and death.
 

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Depends on where you live, I want to look like every other house around. The unusual draws attention. Can't remember the movie, starred Charles Bronson, holed up in a cabin in the woods. Dug out under the cabin and used earth for barrier when they came after him. I know it was hollywood, but still a good idea.
 

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To me it depends where you live. In the city or suburbs, good luck with cammo. You'd be much better off with a stronghold.

In the country, I'd go with the cammo. Depending on how country, you can do so by simply letting your grass grow.
 

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The only fight you'll ever truly win is the one you were able to avoid. I would prefer they walked on by without ever knowing...but I would unleash a virtual shop of horrors on them should they find me.
 

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IMO you thinking "me against the world"

The point isn't to have a single defense plan on a single location but a community that is coordinated and ready.

The really able commando's will not last long, in my country there are too many armed citizens to allow tyranny, and the experienced raiders will quickly learn to avoid an organized defense.

I fear my government more than random marauders.
 

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Well I don't think I'll bother with either... I mean why try to hide or reinforce the current house that we just marauded over while we pick the bones clean?::redsnipe::

J/K...?
 

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To me hiding would seem more practical especially if marauders had military or up armored civilian vehicles. How many groups are prepared to take out a Striker?
 

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Will an RPG do that?
 

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My philosophy is that I don’t want to be seen. But once you have breached to a certain point I want you to realize you just stepped into hells fire and its going to rain down on you. Take another step and we will bring death to were your going to be…..
 
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To me hiding would seem more practical especially if marauders had military or up armored civilian vehicles. How many groups are prepared to take out a Striker?
These type of vehicles are taken out by third world soldier in Afghanistan making IEDs that don't have a fraction of the knowledge, skills, and material that would become available under a complete collapse.
I would bet the commercial industry has many time more explosives then the military even. From the ATF fact sheet (7.6 billion pounds of explosives were used in the U.S. in 2010).
 

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I go with the stealth approach backed by a lot of very nasty surprises. I used to play a lot of chess. I always preferred to play the black pieces. Because white starts the game, black tends to play defensively. I loved sitting back, watching white launch an attack only to realize that all of a sudden he was being swallowed up and there was nothing he could do to stop it. My approach to my personal defense is the same.
 

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This is an interesting idea, no matter how you look at the option, both have the possibilities for good and bad outcomes, with that being said why not go for both, camo your place, don't let it stand out to much, nothing like having an oasis in the middle of the desert, but keep it big and intimidating, especially if you plan to recruit more members to add to your force,

My land is my compound, at this point I couldn't keep people off but I can keep them from coming close to my home, our plan which has been discussed with specially selected people that my wife and I have decided on is to have people come to us, there will be work and everyone pulls there share, keep the attention off while you stabilize refuge but have the force in numbers to protect yourself if need be, but I wouldnt go looking for trouble asking for more people to come to my place, I know it seems like a winded answer but I hope I helped.
 

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This is an interesting idea, no matter how you look at the option, both have the possibilities for good and bad outcomes, with that being said why not go for both, camo your place, don't let it stand out to much, nothing like having an oasis in the middle of the desert, but keep it big and intimidating, especially if you plan to recruit more members to add to your force,

My land is my compound, at this point I couldn't keep people off but I can keep them from coming close to my home, our plan which has been discussed with specially selected people that my wife and I have decided on is to have people come to us, there will be work and everyone pulls there share, keep the attention off while you stabilize refuge but have the force in numbers to protect yourself if need be, but I wouldnt go looking for trouble asking for more people to come to my place, I know it seems like a winded answer but I hope I helped.
Also consider how an enemy may attack your location. Consider points of ingress and regress. And plan accordingly. If I were by myself and intent on taking a location for any reason these will be the things I will first consider. And if I can see people moving about I would set up at a distance and start picking them off. Lock the opposition down and test there reserve supplies. Consider how to camouflage your position and also hide your activities. Many don't seam to consider evidence they leave in plain view making an aggressor curious.
 
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