Perimeter Options

If you start talking about weathering an upheaval, with a group of people in a particular location, you’ll eventually have to have a conversation about The Perimeter.  If one of your members has determined that barbed wire  security fence and cougars are the best option, you may have to have more than one conversation on the subject. Different situations require different perimeter security solutions.

Chain link or wood board – For those of us planning to shelter in place in a residential neighborhood, keeping a low profile could require sticking to something common.  They won’t give much in the way of cover or concealment, but they’ll slow down most Americans, as well as troublesome animals.

Thorny – Roses are a great choice for stopping power that doesn’t scream “I’m a Terrorist!” Rosa Rugosa is a great choice.  If you get a variety that naturalizes to your climate you can get a thick thorny hedge in a couple/few years.  If you really don’t care what the hedge looks like you can get some Holly or Berberis.  Like a good fence, prickly shrubs will repel animals too, as  long as there aren’t large gaps.

High ground – If your location has some  high ground, make sure you re properly taking advantage of it. Get a look out platform up there, if nothing else.  A shooting platform and communication back to the main house would be ideal.  I saw a setup this weekend that used multiple tree stands along the property line.

High tech – If you’ve got the money and tech savvy you can spring for some high tech security gear.  Laser perimeter “trip wires” that can trigger alarms and flood lights. Motion activated cameras with wireless feed back to a monitor. Night vision equipment.  You need to make sure you can install, maintain and fix  all of it though, because where are you going to find a technician after the SHTF?

Manpower – if you’ve got an abundance of responsible group members, you can set up a watch rotation. If there’s always someone alert and watching for trouble, invaders of all kinds can be quickly and calmly dealt with. Dogs or some other guard animal (donkey, peacocks, are there other good ones?) can be good to have around to help.

Has anyone had the perimeter conversation? Anyone using live fire or other lethal deterrents?  Better check your state laws regarding intruders and acceptable levels of violence against them.

If you’re doing something clever for your perimeter, let us know in  the comments, we’d love to hear about it.

– Calamity Jane

21 comments… add one
  • Ray June 12, 2012, 7:55 am

    Jane, If you live where you can keep birds(BIG’ UNs) think” gunni fowl” (spell?). ANYHING gets near ‘ em and they make a rackett that will wake the dead. Just know they’r LOUD! As for your fence; run a strnd of steched bobwire ’round the top ,then tie tin cans with rocks in ‘um to the top strand ,tie them every 2-3 feet. after TSHTF . Think of TANGLE FOOT wire inside AND outside the fence . ( look it up ) Oh! knock holes in those cans ta’ let the water out. LOTS and LOTS of pasive AND “other” things folks can do. Ya’ just gotta’ keep your head. Ray in Ky

  • The Duck June 12, 2012, 8:32 am

    We bought and have stored several rolls of barbed wire to fill gaps,
    Also planted pivet hedges (weather they get big enough in time is another matter), also have a stock of inexpensive driveway alarms that can be set out in blind spots, and some tripwire flares, but it is an ongoing part of preps

  • Ron June 12, 2012, 9:15 am

    I’ve done very well by cutting brush and small trees – full of limbs and thorns – and piling them up along the perimeter I want to keep people out of. If you make a pile that is six feet high and eight feet thick, it would be difficult for anyone to get through – even vehicles. In addition, it is noisy.

  • Spook45 June 12, 2012, 9:26 am

    Chain Link over wood board with solar electric fence unit. This combo will make it very difficult to breach without pain and hazard to the interloper. High ground is always good but tis better when it has cover on it.

  • zschell June 12, 2012, 9:30 am

    Llama’s make good guard animals. They can kick hard and have two claw-like hooves or nails on each foot. They are good as herd guarding animals as well (sheep/goats).

    • Calamity Jane June 13, 2012, 2:58 pm

      I’ve heard that about llama’s, but I had forgotten. Plus 10 points for the humor value.

  • Tim June 12, 2012, 9:59 am

    Don’t forget mildec. Consider making your place appear to be a less attractive target:

    1) throw some junk all over the lawn to make it appear already-ransacked.
    2) keep some of those ‘bio-hazard’ or ‘radon’ signs available for your windows.
    3) practice “darken ship” at night.

  • riverrider June 12, 2012, 11:30 am

    guinea fowl are GREAT watchdogs, eat bugs, and tasty too.just hope they don’t roost near your bedroom window…. we have chamberlain sensors all around, the window alarms on trip wire in likely avenues, barbed wire fenced perimeter with extra wire to add tanglefoot inside the perimeter where an intruder that scales the fence will land, ouch! have a seperate diesel supply for my backhoe for digging a trench across an open area to deny high speed approach. one weak link is a huge powerline on the north flank that i can’t legally block until post tshtf, so i’m working a plan on that side. maybe a dug in op/lp….one tip, the cheap 18 gage wire works really well when allowed to coil up like concertina wire, and wear very good gloves.

  • Singer June 12, 2012, 1:32 pm

    We used to raise geese. They are VERY noisy when disturbed and cannot be quieted with treats, like dogs can. The negative is that the entire neighborhood will know that you have edible animals! They are very good eating, they raise their own young better than most chicken breeds, and they keep the lawn mowed. Who is going to have gas for the lawn mower? They are great in an orchard because they won’t disturb the trees like other livestock can.

    If you locate their pens near an area where people might enter your property, you’ll know, night or day.

    Note: If you yell at them to be quiet, they just get louder. My father-in-law never figured that one out. Sigh……….

  • lee June 12, 2012, 4:25 pm

    map out your compound and have a dozer place burns where possible. and if it’s the end of the world cut your nabors large trees so they fall and encircle your compound .

  • Joseph June 12, 2012, 5:07 pm

    Living in town, I had to make the best of the situation granted to me in my yard. More specifically the rear yard. From the house to rear property line I have about 10 foot of fall (the yard is only 132 feet deep). So I built a series of retaining walls with a deck to make it look pleasant and neighborly. Planted some thorny hedges at the base of the retaining walls. And complete. I have an elevated yard next to the house atop a five foot timber wall, and a lower deck – still three feet above grade with a 40 inch tall rail – to serve as a means to provide security to my home. I’m going to add some fencing yet to the lower yard that incorporates an arbor that I can grow grapes on. Granted, it won’t stop a person that is determined but will slow them down enough so I can further address the situation was needed.

    • TiredOldGuy June 13, 2012, 11:42 pm

      Grapes are an excellent idea. I had a friend back in school (this is going way back), who had most of their brick walls covered in grape vines. At the time I never thought about why, other than that his father must have liked grapes. That was until there was a break-in.

      As there wasn’t much room between the house and the brick wall, it allowed my friend’s father to beat the intruders with a cricket bat (think flat baseball bat) without exposing himself to much danger.

      Theres a lot to be said about a brick fence topped with those… decorative spikes. For those that want to keep the neighbourly look.

  • Michael June 12, 2012, 5:50 pm

    Gooseberries have nice big thorns and make tasty jams and chutney’s.

  • john June 12, 2012, 7:57 pm

    I can’t post everything because so many socialists know where I live. But, I have been concentrating on clear views and started on my neighbor’s fence line too, with his permission. I hope to replace the current fence with an 8 foot high fence (legal limit) AND bury it a few feet under the ground surface like my neighbor did. Plus, he put up a wood fence.

    I am skipping the wood fence because I want to be able to see from my high position out past 100 yards. I will probably run chicken wire on the outside of it to make getting a foot hold harder and to deter animals.

    I am trying to open more of my yard up to sunlight so as to plant some kind of fruit yielding bush. We cut down a few dozen smaller trees and I used the occasion to teach my kids and the neighbors how to cut down trees and use saws.

    The next step is hard wired color cameras, I decided to skip wireless because I don’t want other people to see what I see, and they can’t be jammed as easily.

    I am starting to harden the house and I am going to start fabbing “storm” shutters. I am going either ceramic tile or metal roof, I haven’t decided yet. I just want to slow down rounds fired up into the sky a mile off so they don’t go through the roof and ceilings.

    On the neighbor front, another has started to clear their backyard and the one that cleared theirs last year, who I talked to about stock piling food, has planted a nice little root garden.

    Talked to another neighbor about how we have to stock pile rain water, just in case. I got him a cheap source ($75 for 275 gallon) of rain barrels and he is going to use them for storing city water instead.

    Convinced a neighbor to keep stuff off his back porch right near his back door so I have a clear view of his deck so I can defend his property from a higher vantage point with a .22LR without worrying about anything bouncing back into his house.

    All the neighbors have been taking down marginal or dangerous trees. My way of thinking is when SHTF the last thing you need is a roof or structure repair. I have been buying large tarps when cheap and trying to stockpile 4×8 OSB.

    Now all I have to do is change the GPS coordinates the Census took in case I make it on Obama’s kill list.

    • Tim June 13, 2012, 8:26 am

      “…in case I make it on Obama’s kill list.”

      “In case”?

      • john June 13, 2012, 10:23 am

        I might not be worth a complete drone.

  • Opsec June 13, 2012, 5:58 am

    Bougainvillea : They are thorny, woody vines growing anywhere from 1 to 12 meters tall, scrambling over other plants with their spiky thorns. The thorns are tipped with a black, waxy substance

    Don’t care what your wearing these will puncture.

    Other ideas: 1.) Find out which thorny plants, bushes and vines grow well in your area and can provide a measure of protection and privacy all year long, including the winter months.
    2.) Decide which areas of your home are the most vulnerable and plan accordingly.
    A.) You can guard walkways and entry areas with plants like Yucca and rose bushes to encourage people to stay on the path and not wander around in other areas you don’t wish them to enter. This can be done without being obvious as to their purpose.
    B.) Windows that are at ground level can also be areas of vulnerability when it comes to home security. Plants like Agave and hawthorns can reduce the chances of unwanted persons lurking about outside your windows.
    C.) Upper story windows can be protected with plants such as honey locust, prickly ash, and Osage orange. You get shade as well as protection. It is also a good idea not to have trees growing so close to your house that they offer easy access to roof areas or upper windows.
    D.) Your backyard can be protected through the use of thorny vines or climbing roses growing along fence lines. This will work to discourage those unwanted intruders who might like to climb. Your neighbors probably won’t think much of a berry vine growing on your fence but will notice a couple of strands of barb wire strung along the top real quick. Barb wire works great in a rural setting but doesn’t appeal to the neighbors in an urban setting.
    Determine which plants will give you the maximum protection and that are compatible with your current landscaping and climate. This will help you achieve the maximum security value possible for your home

  • irishdutchuncle June 14, 2012, 9:43 am

    you also need an inner perimeter: good window and door locks. (and use them!)

    a ten year old Philly girl was abducted from her bedroom and raped yesterday. there were no obvious signs of forced entry to the house.

    a few years ago, a female resident in my apartment building reported being raped here, in the stairwell. it happened in broad daylight. the guy may already have been lurking in the building, when i departed for work. the entry doors here have never been fixed, so they lock consistently. (before, or since the attack)

  • a2994721 June 28, 2012, 7:00 am

    I’ve said that least 2994721 times. SCK was here

  • Jim February 19, 2017, 8:02 pm

    Has anyone tried planting Knockout roses for perimeter security? I live in suburbia and have to maintain a four-foot height requirement in my front yard so the local code Commies don’t fine and/or take me to jail. I researched the Rosa Rugosa mentioned above by Calamity Jane but someone from a website who worked with the Rugosa said that those roses are not good for suburban yards based on their experience and are better suited for the country. They also don’t like being pruned which is what I’d have to do because of their height potential. Also, whatever rose or other thorny bush I use would have to tolerate salt air.

  • john-atlanta February 20, 2017, 12:16 am

    The thorny holly bushes will met most building codes, the spiny variety does well in sand, and I know from experience, it can be a painful experience just trimming them. The type they plant around here turns from a troublesome bush to a real tree in about 10 years if left alone.

    I use a gas or electric chainsaw as once they start getting big, hedge trimmers will not do. Plus, they do not get you as far away as you need to be. If you keep them trimmed 3-4 inches from the house, no one is squeezing between them and the wall, standing on or in them, forget that.

    Once the base gets about 2-3 inches thick, they will hang up many vehicles if you grow them 4 feet tall and 2-3 feet feet wide, as they are very hard to pull out of the ground at that point.

    They produce a huge amount of berries/fruit (poisonous for mammals as far as I know) so once they start flowering, you can get cheap plants without buying any. Or you can just offer to cut one down for the berries in the fall. The wood burns well.

    If you want to go fruit, something you can actually eat, blackberries and I -think- elderberries have some pretty vicious thorns. I am not sure there are any blueberries that will tolerate sandy conditions. The bonus about fruit is most building codes allow you to grow food to any height and you can buy miniature fruit trees with thorns. I think the last one I encountered was a lemon hybrid and it only grew about 15 feet tall, but, was densely packed with lemons.


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