While many government authorities advise evacuating, in some situations it is vital to stay and protect that which you’ve worked so hard to build.
Before we jump into the spider hole discussion, follow these 4 simple steps, so you can have the best chance of avoiding the situation entirely. If you ever face some stranger breaking through your window, you know that those thugs are going to be in for a rough day.
The 4 Steps to Secure Your Perimeter When SHTF
Assess Your Weaknesses
Take a long look at everything that could possibly entice someone to target your property. Do you currently live near a bad neighborhood? Is your house relatively secluded? In a disaster scenario, many people will become emboldened by the lack of structure, though criminals will want to rob a soft target, not a house that appears like they mean business.
While it is possible that your location might have higher security than your neighbors, a looter will not care about a video camera if the government has collapsed. A guard dog offers a strong psychological protection against a trespasser, and this can be combined with warning signs to demonstrate your intent to defend. If it is clear that you will fight for yourself and property, most criminals will slink off to easier targets.
Eternal vigilance is an impossible task. The basic repetition of a routine will create compliancy and when everyone else is out of resources, they will come for you. It is important to have built defenses against intruders before they are needed. Drop bars, plexiglass, and panic rooms are great for those with money, but many people do not have the capital needed to turn their home into a fortress.
Plan for Contingencies
While you might have boarded up your windows and sealed your doors, it is important that your plan covers exactly what you will do if your home is breached. Don’t stop there, though. After your home is breached, it will likely be the best option to leave. Develop a strategic bug-out plan with multiple egress routes.
Spider Hole Tactics to Protect Against Looters
The United States Army’s Infantry school specializes in a specific subset of warfare called Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT also referred as Close Quarters Combat, CQC). These tactics guide how small units can effectively enter, clear, and neutralize any targets within a building.
By focusing on the critical danger areas outlined in MOUT training, it is possible to see the best places to develop a spider hole with the maximum destructive force against your enemy. Spider holes were heavily used during the Second World War by all belligerents in their quest to maintain strategic superiority.
Spider holes are used primarily for scouting and observation rather than extended combat. But of course this is for millitary purposes. When SHTF, there will be no “extended” battles between two looters and a concealed prepper with an AR-15.
How to make a spider hole
Spider holes usually require little effort due to their small size and minimal construction materials. Here are the basic steps of how to build your own spider hole:
- Find a tactical spot. Look for spots away from trees and bushes unless they don’t obstruct the view of the area you want to defend. I would personally build my SHTF spider hole in a position good for retreating if I’ll ever have to (retreat), or if I miss my first shots and my position is discovered. Anyway, even in that situation, looters tend to move to an easier target rather then picking on a dug in prepper.
- Then you dig a circular hole which would be just a bit larger than your body size. You can also go for a bigger hole if you want more space to store weapons and ammo or if you want to move around. To keep water out of the hole you should either dig it at the top of a hill (if that’s an acceptable spot, but in most cases it is not. See here why – no. #4), or place a small pallet at the bottom (most rainfalls won’t fill in more than a few inches of the hole).
- Next step is designing the lid. It should be made of a light, yet resistant material that can be easily camouflaged. Depending on the spider hole’s location, you can use a variety of elements such as native plants, grass, bushes, soil or rugs – the most important fact to consider here is to perfectly blend your spider hole with the surrounding landscape!
Once you have found where to place your spider hole, you will want to have two major elements for your position, cover and concealment. Cover is defined as obstacles that can stop a bullet. Concealment is the stuff that can hide you. It is important that your fortifications do not block your vantage of the fatal funnel, and do not trap you in the spot in case you are overrun. The latter is the reason why you should not hide in a closet.
Deliberately construct your spider hole to misdirect the enemies’ attention. Create a makeshift mannequin so that in the chaos, it might draw some rounds away from you. Try to break up your own silhouette, because the eye looks for shapes rather than details once it is in the fight or flight response.
Fatal Funnels & Engagement Zones
The most dangerous points of contact while fighting within a building are areas called, “fatal funnels.” These spaces restrict movement and force targets into a specific spot. The most common fatal funnel in any building is a doorway. Since a doorway offers the easiest avenue of approach for an intruder, it is possible to lead would-be looters to the specific door of your choosing. Make all of your home’s exits incredibly difficult to bypass, except for your intended fatal funnel. A smart criminal may realize this for the trap that it is, so try to find a way in which they will get caught before they realize what is going on. This often runs counter-intuitive to the deterrent method outlined above, because you want your adversary to underestimate your strength.
In order to inflict maximum casualties, the element of surprise will multiply your forces exponentially. Imagine the looters walking in through your front door, only to be constricted by a long hallway (even if your house opens naturally, move furniture to enlarge your fatal funnel) then you unleash a volley of lead from somewhere above.
Though doors are the most common danger areas in a house, MOUT teaches that stairways are the most lethal. The difference in elevation drastically reduces the perception of the incoming force and the stairway itself elongates the killing zone. If you wait until the enemy is halfway up the stairs, you have effectively trapped them in, since neutralizing your nearest threat will act as an obstacle for their future forward movement. Once they turn their backs, light ’em up.
Even though you will likely have the upper hand, you have to be prepared for anything that is thrown at you. In addition to having a primary engagement area, you should develop a secondary that is much more flexible depending on the situation. An example of this would be to set a spider hole somewhere within sight of the only stairway that leads up or downstairs. If someone breaks into your house in a location other than your fatal funnel, this can serve as a last ditch effort to eliminate the threat.