For the sake of this article, it is assumed that you would have a small unit of friends/family helping you guard a Prepper compound, home or complex of some sort. If you are by yourself or are limited on personnel then it is not likely that you would be out patrolling and leave the home or compound unprotected.
Survival is about making decisions based on the reality on the ground. You cannot be everywhere at once, so it would not be wise to try and protect/defend a large structure/compound with limited personnel. It may be better to abandon a larger target, as it were, for one that would be easier to defend.
Being able to identify targets is crucial, and this will be the most important part of guarding your perimeter at night, because if you cannot identify the bad guys then you lose. This means you need the ability to paint any target with light. Flares are one option along with handheld or weapon mounted lights. Lights mounted on poles that can be activated by someone in the compound or by guards using a remote control is another option. All options should be available.
Keep in mind using your handheld or weapon mounted light will give away your location, so use with caution and never remain in place after activating/deactivating any light source.
Next you have to be able to maintain a certain load out and then keep track of gear and equipment in the dark. Loaded magazines, rations, medical supplies, and communication devices must be within reach at all times. This requires organization and the proper pack. You will also have to perform all functions with the pack on your back. Setting the pack down to look for the nearest tree or bush means you may have to activate a light to find your pack again and thus give away your position. Light and noise discipline must be maintained at all times.
Practice carrying your pack around in the dark through heavy brush, across shallow waterways and so on. Practice removing and exchanging magazines in the dark, eating rations without light, and taking a bathroom break with the pack shouldered without light. Know where every piece of gear is located by feel.
Before you can patrol any perimeter effectively you need to have boundaries, in other words, how far to patrol in any one direction. Become as familiar as possible with the terrain. If “booby traps “or other personnel deterrents are activated make sure everyone knows where they are.
Carry a compass at all times. It is easy to get confused in the dark and being able to orientate yourself with a compass is important. You certainly do not want any friendly fire accidents so all roving and static guards must know where the compound is relative to their positions.
Whether in darkness or daylight everyone must be familiar with fields of fire, all cover, and concealment, key terrain features all obstacles and avenues of approach.
Guards must know their direction of fire when they engage the enemy so it is important that everyone carry range cards that depict all fields of fire for all positions. Roving guards of course could be anywhere along the perimeter once contact is made, but each guard should have a designated static position that they can take up if possible.
Roving guards and certain Listening Posts (LP’s) at night act as an early warning system. They must be positioned far enough out, so once a warning is given those in the compound have time to react.
Set up signals or codes so guards can warn the compound without breaking noise discipline. A simple code, for example, could be two keys of the microphone for all is well and three breaks for distress. Set up times when all posts are expected to check in. Do not use a single key break as a code, because of the chance of accidentally keying the microphone. Set up a code so guards do not have to speak except in extreme cases.
Roving guards will need all necessary materials and gear to sustain each guard independently of the compound. This means they need adequate ammunition, rations, water, medical supplies, and communications devices among other things.
Long Range Patrols can extend miles from the base camp and their main mission is typically intelligence gathering, and possible harassment of enemy units. Any person assigned to gather intelligence must be well trained in all manner of survival as well as demonstrating efficiency with any weapons they carry.
In reality you are always in a defensive position when you occupy any territory or structure and this typically puts you at a disadvantage unless you have overwhelming superiority as far as personnel and weaponry.
You need a bug-out plan whenever you occupy any space because if an overwhelming force attempts an offensive against your position, you need to be able to bug-out safely.
Recommended Load Outs For Roving Guards
- Rifle with 100 rounds of ammunition, pistol with 25 rounds of ammunition and all ammunition should be in magazines
- Filled two quart canteen additional filled canteen if space allows
- Plastic restraints (Zip Ties)
- Medical Kit
- Rations for 24 hours
- Communication device (s)
- Taser and Pepper spray
- Duct Tape for restraints and mouth gag
- Fixed Bladed Knife
- Folding Clip Knife
- Weapon mounted light and handheld light
- Extra batteries for lights and communication devices
- Non aerosol insect repellent if applicable
- Folding trowel tool to bury waste