After a society shattering event, many will evacuate the cities in their quest of getting to a safer place. But this doesn’t mean that all of them are prepared for this journey or that they have the best intentions at heart.

Some may be out and about because they know other people will be too, and plan to loot them. This is a valid possibility, as not all of our fellow Americans are prepared to face disasters.

This is why it is important that during your travel to you bug out location, to keep as low a profile as possible. One way to do this is by establishing a “dark camp” when you camp out for the night.

A “dark camp” is a camp that cannot be easily spotted unless someone is using state of the art surveillance technology, and even then they’ll need to look long and hard. To establish a proper “dark camp” you must ensure that 3 factors are taken care of: visibility, noise and odor.

  1. Camp visibility
  • Establish your camp off the beaten path in as a secluded place as you can find.
  • If possible find a location that offers plenty of overhead and is out of direct line of sight.
  • Set up you camp before sundown to take advantage of the light.
  • Place proper obfuscation, such as camouflage, in place before it gets dark and make sure you did it properly(an uncovered windshield may transform into a beacon in the moonlight).
  • Set the dimmer switches in your vehicles to the off position. This will eliminate escaping light if you need to open a door after dark.
  • Don’t use flashlights for signals as they can be spotted from far away. Use radios with headsets instead, but keep off popular. GMRS/FRS frequencies that can be monitored by others within range.
  • Finish cooking before it gets dark.
  • If you need to build a fire, dig a fire pit in order to keep the flames out of sight.

  1. Camp noise
  • Don’t tap tent pegs with hammers (unless rubber ones) or other metal materials. The noise can travel for miles
  • Keep the conversation to a minimal and use a normal tone
  • After you’re done cooking, put away all the pots and pans. You don’t want to stumble into them in the middle of the night.
  1. Camp odor
  • A truly dark camp won’t have any cooking involved. If that’s not possible use a Rocket Stove or an alcohol one to limit the smoke produced
  • In the morning begin cooking after daybreak

Being able to establish a true “dark camp” could make all the difference to your family’s survival in a truly disastrous situation, so be sure to practice these measures before it’s too late.

What other methods of maintaining a “dark camp” you know of? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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1 Comment

  1. When bugging out, you need to move as quickly as possible without bringing any attention to yourself. So your bug out bag needs to contain food that can be eaten without cooking and even while walking. Do not build a fire unless absolutely necessary. Example food items: Gorp, nuts, dried fruits, crunchy (non-melting) granola bars, hard candy, tootsie rolls, M&Ms, jerky, pemmican, and life raft rations. Avoid low density foods like baked goods. No canned goods, no MRPs, no foods that need cooked, warmed, re-hydrated, or require pots, can openers, or utensils. You need water, including water purification. Pack only the most minimal shelter (tube tent or piece of plastic) and some rope. Even if you are traveling by vehicle, it might beak down or get blocked, so you need to be able to travel as light as possible.

    If you are bugging out, you are going to someplace you believe to be safe which has the supplies you need to survive long term. Conversely, if you are heading into the woods with only what is on your back with no prepared destination, you require considerable skills, wilderness experience, and a full pack of carefully selected and tested gear. And you are probably still dead meat.

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