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  1. #1

    Concealment of your home from the casual observer

    Some days like today offer unanticipated opportunities to learn. As it so happened, I went to Noblesville to pick up trees from another INGO member. They figure into my preparedness plan as well as my general everyday life plan. While driving, I was busy thinking about a number of similar dual-purpose plans both to enhance life as usual and also to prepare for a dystopian future, largely based on the notion that what most of us would consider TEOTWAWKI would be to people like the Amish merely SSDD. As it happened, the INGO member in question had other plans for the day and gave me his address, a description of the house and RV parked outside which he considered visible, and had also made mention of having the only house in a commercial area. Armed with this knowledge, it sounded to me like Ray Charles should be able to see the place. If only...

    Upon arrival to the area, the GPS pinned the spot as some inaccessible bottoms. I had already been looking given that I know better than to take GPS for holy writ. I passed back and forth several time. I got frustrated, very frustrated. I finally made one really low-speed pass at about 10 miles per hour and finally found the place. Why was it so difficult you ask? The house, driveway, and RV were all obscured by assorted cultivated vegetation of varying heights ranging from what appear to be tall ornamental grasses to trees. The house and surroundings were otherwise exactly as described. Upon finding it, I felt simultaneously stupid and relieved.

    Now, you are probably wondering what this has to do with survival, SHTF or anything that applies to anyone. I will share the things I took away from this experience:

    First, human nature is to see what your are expecting and not see it if it is not as you expect it. Applying diligence and attention to detail, I finally found what had been invisible to me. Lesson learned is to pay attention rather than visually skimming for what I expect to see and miss what is actually there in the process.

    Second, it speaks volumes about effective camouflage. I wouldn't have skipped a beat telling you that the farm where my grandparents lived, at the end of a quarter-mile long lane into the woods was for all practical purposes invisible from the road. I would not, however, have ever believed that the same effect could have been effectively carried out with a house that couldn't have been 50 feet from the road, but it was, and apparently without the intent of doing so.

    Third, it is not necessary to be in the middle of the woods to reduce the visibility of your home and/or other buildings or pieces of property from the perspective of the passer-by.

    No, I don't have a step-by-step paint by the numbers plan for hiding your house which stands right up against a busy road, but this does indeed demonstrate that between vegetation which serves to conceal and distraction from what amounts to visual noise around it, it can in fact be done.
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  2. #2
    Master Thor's Avatar
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    When we had our current home built we had it put basically in the center of property, a few acres, and oriented at 90 deg from the street instead of along the street. The terrain is so that we have a natural berm that surrounds us, we have let the borders go natural with trees, shrubs, and grasses; it has gotten quite thick (we don't live in a city limits so are not affected by those zoning ord.). It's taken a few years but during the summer the home is almost completely shielded from the street anywhere except up our drive way (60' long, looks at the garage door surrounded by lights and cameras), Many of our shrubs are inhospitable being naturally adorned with 3" spikes...I like to think of the issues the allies had with Norman hedge rows.
    Thor himself has spoken, mere mortals must make it so. - bradmedic04

  3. #3
    I would think bamboo would be really good here. I am not suggesting it be allowed to spread like wild fire as it can, but if you could easily keep some in a manner where it cannot spread, but could act as a fence and shield in addition to other stuff, it would be cool. It could also be useful for constructing stuff in a pinch.

    There was a survival podcast a while back where Jack describes growing a food hedge. He gave several bramble like options that grow food. I like that idea too, in that it actually produces stuff rather than just sits there.
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  4. #4
    Marksman IndyMike2112's Avatar
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    I live in the ghetto suburbs but I've often thought about this very thing if I ever get a place outside of the city. I've read of gangs of "undocumented citizens" that ride around looking for houses where the residents are seemingly not at home for the moment. They BS you about looking for work or some address if challenged and if not they strip the place bare for as much as their pickup can carry. Out of sight is WAY better, IMO.

    The food hedge is something to think about along with an assortment of fruit and nut trees.
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  5. #5
    Expert gunworks321's Avatar
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    This design you speak of was 25 years in the making and it was totally planned that way. My thinking at the time was "How do you hide an elephant in plain sight?" We inherited the property from my wife's parents and it had very little in concealment when we moved in. The first thing we noticed was the noise. Several road upgrades later it only got worse. When I finally got serious, decided that noise came first and along with that was camouflage. The two went together well and as everything has matured, worked out better than the planning. The flowers were my wife's idea, and they serve to draw the attention away from the structure and entrances as they are located along said busy highway, and because I intentionally chose tall flowering varieties, occupants in most vehicles won't see over them. it completely baffles delivery drivers and they actually go in by another road and have to run the mosquito gauntlet near the garden. You wont be able to stake out the property in day or night conditions (at least in Summer) as you will end up looking like a bad case of measles. Directly South of me is 40 acre swamp (city calls it a wetland) and I don't even think about entering (greenbrier and poison ivy along with some nasty thorny trees). There are also multiple hidden raspberry, blackberry and rose beds to complete the close in defense. Any further in and the four loud mouthed Bichons (they think they are Rottweilers) will automatically assume you are an intruder and they go for the ankles. Night time brings out the motion sensor floods on all sides and the hidden cameras go 24/7 as well. It ain't perfect, but the best I could do on a limited budget. We still have decent line of site from all of the upstairs windows and the ones on the lower floor are all triple pane crank open windows that only open about 12 inches on each side. Dead bolts on all exterior doors were added last. We can monitor the cameras from smart phone while away. Since it is not a neighborhood, you had better have a good reason to pull in the driveway. Like IndyDave said, we're not but 50 feet off the highway. Look around your homestead and plan accordingly. Not hard, but takes some thinking.
    Last edited by gunworks321; 6 Days Ago at 21:45.
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  6. #6
    Somewhat Purple-ish rhino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunworks321 View Post
    This design you speak of was 25 years in the making and it was totally planned that way. My thinking at the time was "How do you hide an elephant in plain sight?" We inherited the property from my wife's parents and it had very little in concealment when we moved in. The first thing we noticed was the noise. Several road upgrades later it only got worse. When I finally got serious, decided that noise came first and along with that was camouflage. The two went together well and as everything has matured, worked out better than the planning. The flowers were my wife's idea, and they serve to draw the attention away from the structure and entrances as they are located along said busy highway, and because I intentionally chose tall flowering varieties, occupants in most vehicles won't see over them. it completely baffles delivery drivers and they actually go in by another road and have to run the mosquito gauntlet near the garden. You wont be able to stake out the property in day or night conditions (at least in Summer) as you will end up looking like a bad case of measles. Directly South of me is 40 acre swamp (city calls it a wetland) and I don't even think about entering (greenbrier and poison ivy along with some nasty thorny trees). There are also multiple hidden raspberry, blackberry and rose beds to complete the close in defense. Any further in and the four loud mouthed Bichons (they think they are Rottweilers) will automatically assume you are an intruder and they go for the ankles. Night time brings out the motion sensor floods on all sides and the hidden cameras go 24/7 as well. It ain't perfect, but the best I could do on a limited budget. We still have decent line of site from all of the upstairs windows and the ones on the lower floor are all triple pane crank open windows that only open about 12 inches on each side. Dead bolts on all exterior doors were added last. We can monitor the cameras from smart phone while away. Since it is not a neighborhood, you had better have a good reason to pull in the driveway. Like IndyDave said, we're not but 50 feet off the highway. Look around your homestead and plan accordingly. Not hard, but takes some thinking.
    AWESOME! The planning and work it takes to hide a house that way is admirable!

    In the big picture, if you can prevent bad people from knowing your house is there, you've won most of the potential battles with thieves, burglars, and worse because they won't come to fruition. There does not exist a security and hardening system that can't eventually be defeated by determined people, but if they don't know it's there . . .



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  7. #7
    Grandmaster hoosierdoc's Avatar
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    https://www.ingunowners.com/forums/s...acy-hedge.html

    Miscanthus giganeteus

    I have 450' of it in my backyard. Completely blocks the view of my yard from the road. Grows about 13' and the part along the road is on a 2' mound parallel to the road.
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  8. #8
    Marksman
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    I have long wondered how to hide a driveway... I guess go parallel, slightly below grade, with the roadside edge hidden by plants?

    What about the winter, when things die/wither/drop?

  9. #9
    Expert gunworks321's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoosierkav View Post
    I have long wondered how to hide a driveway... I guess go parallel, slightly below grade, with the roadside edge hidden by plants?

    What about the winter, when things die/wither/drop?
    Use evergreens. Dwarf Alberta Spruce thicken nicely, but take a few years to get there. Otherwise snow plowed to the edges works for me (except last winter when I only plowed once).
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  10. #10
    Master Thor's Avatar
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    Year round is an issue...we're working on it.

    Thankfully, the winter is a more challenging environment for the bad guys too.

    Thor himself has spoken, mere mortals must make it so. - bradmedic04

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