American Survival Guide - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - By Larry Schwartz

Prac­tice covert camp­ing to in­crease your se­cu­rity.

You might ask me, “Why would you want to know about stealth camp­ing? I don’t want to add stress to my camp­ing trip. I want it to be a re­lax­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.” Well, will you be bug­ging out on foot to a lo­ca­tion more than one day’s walk away? Do you want to keep your bug-out re­treat’s lo­ca­tion a se­cret? Do you want to start in­te­grat­ing “gray man” con­cepts into your daily and long-term preps? If so, stealth camp­ing is some­thing you should be in­ter­ested in.

“Stealth camp­ing” is the act of find­ing, oc­cu­py­ing and then leav­ing a camp­ing spot without any­one see­ing you or know­ing you were there. It com­bines nor­mal camp­ing meth­ods, mil­i­tary tac­ti­cal move­ment, Leave-no-trace philoso­phies and ul­tra­light back­pack­ing tech­niques.

Let’s talk first about what to do when you are mov­ing from where you are to where you want to be at the end of the day. The main points to keep in mind are to pick routes that keep you from be­ing seen, that avoid mak­ing noise and don’t leave signs of your hav­ing been there. Some spe­cific tips in­clude:

Be quiet when you are mov­ing. That in­cludes not talk­ing and avoid­ing dry leaves and sticks that will snap. Stay­ing on hard sur­faces will also re­duce your risk of leav­ing tracks or other signs you have passed that way.

Avoid walk­ing in the bright sun­light if you can. Try to stay in the shad­ows to help hide your move­ment. This can be as easy as walk­ing along the side of the trail in­stead of in the mid­dle. Or, you can take the ini­tia­tive to step off the trail and walk in the woods. Just be sure to go at least 50 to 100 yards in so that any noise you make won’t be heard by any­one.

When mov­ing along a ridge, which is where road builders often put their roads, be sure to avoid “skylin­ing” your­self. This hap­pens when you walk along the high ground and peo­ple be­low you see you out­lined against the sky. Walk on hard ground to avoid leav­ing tracks.

Take an indi­rect route into your camp; don’t walk straight to it, but take a few doglegs to come into it from be­hind.

Don’t walk through high grasses or bushes, be­cause they will bend or have their leaves turned over, thereby leav­ing a sign of your pass­ing.


You should use all the ba­sic camp­site se­lec­tion rules you use when nor­mally camp­ing: Stay away from low ar­eas that might flood in heavy rains; don’t pick a place that will be wind­blown; find some­place flat (if you are not us­ing a ham­mock); and avoid ar­eas that have signs of an­i­mals us­ing it.

Right: If you need to make a fire in your stealth camp­site, the best type is the Dakota fire pit. Dig a U- or L-shaped hole that will work like a rocket stove to cre­ate a draft that fun­nels air into your fire, where it will help burn the fuel more ef­fi­ciently. This, in turn, will pro­duce less smoke. It also keeps the fire and its at­ten­dant light be­low ground level.

Above: If you want to blend in and not look like some­one who will be camp­ing overnight, dress in what you wear on a daily ba­sis and use a medium-sized pack that doesn’t look as if it has ev­ery­thing some­one would take on a week­end camp­ing trip.

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