Security Surveillance Measures at a Rural Retreat

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    • #96655
      Joe (G.W.N.S.)

        Mountain Mom (aka Gramma) brought up some thoughts regarding security surveillance. Thought it deserved it’s own Thread.


        living alone; rural and without close neighbors this topic has crossed my mind a few times. If for no other reason, than situational awareness that there is “someone” in the vicinity. Could be friend; could be foe but I need a way to gather that information at a distance. Wireless game cameras are one way, yes. I’m also wondering about a driveway alarm – as I am not able to see the end of my driveway through the trees. (A dog or two would also be good.)

        There are high dollar, very large cameras installed around the buildings. The computer monitoring however, no longer exists. I’m leaving them for the deterrent factor – even though it’s a ruse. Gives the opportunistic, low-IQ types pause. And that would be my main concern here. Idjit troublemakers.

        I have some local guys hunting my place, and randomly camping overnight as well. They’ve promised to give me the full tour, to get acquainted with the terrain and the woods… and to scout out where the problem spots are. I already know of one – several ridges over – and these aren’t what you would call motivated and capable adversaries unless you go to their location. But there may be a few things I can do if that situation changes.

        Just thinking out loud; suggestions welcome. Great topics, Joe.

        If you get the make model, number, etc… of those security cameras I may be able to come up with some low cost methods to utilize them beyond a visual deterrent.

        More thoughts later.

      • #96656
        D Close

          Having a thermal imaging capability would help compensate for a lack of patrolling manpower, perhaps? This gives you at least a few hundred yards of time for decision making. A good radio scanner would also help against certain types of threats. A network of neighbors who were part of an early warning net would provide real standoff capability. On the low tech end, use of obstacles to channel potential bad actors to more observable and defended avenues would require labor but helps limit the potential threat vectors. You could use bait to help identify threats away from your main location.

        • #96657

            We use seismic detectors (hard to find now) and MURS Dakota alert sensors among other things at our place. We get good detection of all sort of critters :)

          • #96658

              @lowdown3 A-ha! Those right there are exactly what I needed. You mentioned those some time ago and never could find what you were referring to. Thanks!

              Are there wireless game cameras with live video? Or other non-game specific options for this purpose?

            • #96659

                Some random Bubbas I was talking to recently about hunting were telling me they bought some wireless deer camera that sent pics to their email.

                Not exactly the ticket for a grid down type deal, unless you hook up a local internet type deal like Commsprepper and Joe were talking about recently.

              • #96660
                Joe (G.W.N.S.)

                  Get Dakota Alerts for the driveway, and you can place them anywhere you want. I have several all around the property. You could also put one in or around buildings for an alarm. Get the ones that use MURS frequencies. They also have and external antenna and have pretty good range.

                • #96661
                  Joe (G.W.N.S.)

                    As you can see there are plenty options.

                    The first thing that comes to mind when living alone (my situation as well) is advanced warning that something is wrong or out of place.

                    A dog or two would also be good.

                    I strongly believe in this option, as I type this there are five German Shepherds in the living room with me. It is truly amazing what they can detect.

                    I prefer two as the minimum.

                    I like GSD’s, but almost any dog has value even lap dogs. The herding background dogs have much of what is needed without anything beyond obedience training.

                    I am not familiar with your area, but if possible Fostering a dog can be an excellent way to determine if a dog is the right fit for you.

                    I rehabilitate dogs that are fearful (from abuse) and/or have been involved in bites. Be happy to answer any questions.

                    Motion lighting has uses, a few security cameras can be helpful, and as already stated various motion/vehicle detectors that help identify presence and location alert. Several of my cameras have remote pan/tilt/zoom and can be viewed/controlled by a device the size of a smartphone that can be carried with me on property. Infrared lighting can increase night time viewing ranges and do not have to collocated with camera.

                    Much can be improvised.

                  • #96662

                      I think dogs are a very good idea. Best alarm or security system around.

                    • #96663

                        So, what I did:

                        I have a RF driveway alarm. There is probably a delay of 30-60 seconds before I can see who is there and another few minutes before they drive up to the house. I can add receivers to this system for other buildings on the property. AND it’s possible to pick up/talk to some of the handheld radio channels. That system is backed up with a wide angle game camera to catch license plates and images of drivers.

                        Since I’ve added the 139 acres behind me, it’s likely that I’ll add another alarm transmitter to pick up anything coming from that area. It would be “zone 2”. Most people, even if on foot, will move to the road because on one side is a steep, tall cliff of tumbled rocks and boulders without much of a path through it… and the other side of the road is wet, with a stream year-round, with yet another steep hill across the creek. The existing ATV/UTV paths in that area are blocked with live brush and downed trees before they reach the property lines. Tough going for most people, unless they’re desperate and determined and prepared.

                        I think I’m going to use my knowledge of plants, rocks & downed trees, etc to create even more obstacles to deter the casual trespasser. Lots of painfully thorny things to plant to build a natural “wall”. On my side of said perimeter/no man’s land zone… I’ll be adding some “Do not enter – live fire” signs, similar to VTC’s… and I will be doing the shooting in the bottom, due to the natural berms on 3 sides.

                        I need some better binoculars (and night vision) unless I break out the telescope… I can easily SEE the ridge opposite me, which comprises most of my property behind the original 10 acres from the “farm” side ridge. Estimates are that from to there is less than 1000 yards, but more than 600. (And there’s plenty of good cover defending from that direction.)

                        My last contractors are on site, this week. They should finish up by the weekend. Then, I can get serious about defenses, surveillance and do some dog shopping. Unless I think up even more projects I can’t do by myself or my “trusted guys”.

                      • #96664
                        Joe (G.W.N.S.)

                          Gramma you have a sound plan IMHO.

                        • #96665

                            Your fencing, various “obstacles” even the trails and access points themselves can/should be used to your advantage in “steering” people the way you want them. Done correctly it’s very subtle and makes it seem like your going somewhere.

                          • #96666

                              I’m going to do a “boots on the ground” survey soon Robert. And that’s what I’ll be investigating/thinking about in the process. Can you get topo maps in enlarged detail? Sometimes, it takes multiple ways of looking at something before I “see” what I’m looking for.

                              I already make use of google earth and the county GIS maps.

                            • #96667

                                Can you get topo maps in enlarged detail?

                                I recently started looking for add on stuff to google earth and found this:
                       (requires active internet connection when using but free option)

                                I also found and have purchased a few maps from:
                                specifically this file that gives you most US area blocks to a link with the ability to buy the topo maps.

                                now I do not need internet to use them in google earth (for the maps I purchased of key areas)

                                other options outside google earth:
                       select your area and then you have many options for scale. (paper size selection will also impact how much area you end up with)
                                scale option range from:
                                1:10,000 Most Detail
                                1:50,000 Most Area

                                Note you could save the preview of the map and have them printed out or print them out or you can order through the site and add other options like having them laminated (lamination seems to run higher than taking them to the local office shop and getting them laminated in my area)

                                other sites have been linked here on the forum also, these two options has worked well for me so far and hope that helps.

                              • #96668

                                  Thanks Zeerf. Yeah, I’m looking for good quality paper maps. I’m becoming more & more of a Luddite when it comes to essential functional tools. (I worked in IT for 10 years.) I’m just finding too much complexity, increasing potential for glitches/failures these days.

                                  I learned to use a compass in grade school. (There’s a lot more to learn, granted.) But I function much better with a paper map, than any digital nav. (Google earth is useful for some quick looks at things. But I’m not risking my survival on it.)

                                • #96669

                                    The maps I have ordered online, I think it was, came printed on plasticized paper. Which is excellent for keeping in your pack or on your person.

                                  • #96670

                                      I’ve had the same experience as pixelman, very nice maps. The cool thing is you can set a specific spot as the center of the map so it’s fully customizable to your needs. Plus you can choose a variety of overlays.

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