Skip to comments.Bracken: Night Fighting 101
Posted on 08/22/2012 4:49:46 PM PDT by dynachrome
So how do you become a self-taught deadly warrior of the night? You begin in the daytime. Lay out a walking path through your neighborhood Area of Operations, a path with plenty of transitions across all types of urban, suburban and rural terrain. Culverts, gullies, overgrown chain link fences, woods, meadows, railroad tracks, bridges, power line right-of-ways, abandoned commercial properties and fallow fields will be your classroom.
To begin, mark your route every twenty or thirty yards. Small torn rags stuck on fences and tree branches look fairly natural, and wont be noticed. Walk and crawl through thickets, under fences, over walls, through the doors and windows of closed factories or falling-down barns. Travel your path in daylight both ways, several times. If its summer where you are located, dress for bugs, thorns and mud, but stay inconspicuous.
Then come back after dark on a moonlit night. Your mind and memory will already know the route very well, but the darkness will swallow up much that was plainly visible by day, while revealing new folds and textures of light and shadow. Your rag markers will help you to stay on course. You can also blaze a temporary trail with a small bag of baking flour, leaving a white pile at intervals.
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May be of interest to your list.
Only one thing to add. Replace the bag of flour with colored aquarium gravel, (green, brown, blue.) Animals and insects will eat the flour, wind will disperse it or rain will wash it away, but gravel will hang in there and small amounts are not likely to be noticed of you aren’t looking for it.
To begin with - move the HE*L out of the city NOW. Then you’ll have a fighting chance of survival.
Play all the tied rags and piles of flour you want - if TSHTF, you are going to cross paths with others trying to get out too = others determined to survive - and that well might mean taking whatever YOU have.
Think of a big freighter going down - picture all the rats scurrying to escape...running over one another.
The city has ALWAYS been the place NOT to get caught in when the hammer comes down. It wont be just others trying to esacape and others looking to rob them, but the cities will go under immediate lock down and there will be curfews. Anyone caught skulking around after curfew is also the target of the law - or what will pass for law.
So if you DO manage to get out of the city - then what? Do you have friends where y ou are going? ARe you especting they should give y ou safe haven - and food? ARe you KNOWN where you are going? Strangers in small towns, villages, farm lands, are going to stick out like sore thumbs.
You will run out of food in 2-3 days. What then?
Better, maybe, to take all your prep time in getting out of the city BEFORE you think you need too - if things go bad in Nov., you may already be too late.
“To begin with - move the HE*L out of the city NOW”
One other bit of advice from a guy who lives in the country - you’d be perfectly welcome to play these games on my land, but PLEASE let me know ahead of time! The further out of town you go the more likely you are to run into folks for whom Officer Friendly is a distant fiction and who pretty much have to take care of strangers snooping and pooping in the trees by themselves. The last thing in the world I want to do is ventilate some kid with high-tech viz gear and a paintball rifle who happens to scare hell out of me in the dark.
I’m out of the city, but we still need to know every rock and tree and bend of the stream because we WILL have to fight marauders FROM the city. There are abandoned strip mines and a myriad of caves up here that will prove very handy in such cases.
This is incredibly good advice. Kudos to Travis McGee.
We have been pursuing a little harmless nocturnal archeological project for the past 3 years. Thats fancy talk for digging holes. We know the woods around our neighborhood like the back of our hands. We can now walk it in total darkness. We do carry small green LED lights for the darkest nights but we only use them intermitently.
Walking around in the dark is great for your morale. For one thing you stop being afraid of the dark. Its very empowering. You also develop very good night vision.
Yes you can and will encounter other beings in the woods at night. We have had encounters of the close kind with deer, coyotes, a pesky skunk, a weasel, bobcat and one night a bear. The Bear was a little unerving but we smelled him coming and heard him moving around. He was as anxious to avoid us as we were him. I’ll admit we did high step it back home that night. We do carry pepper spray and a machete. We decided early on a gun was probably a poor idea for that location. We also do not sneak through our neighbor’s yards, well except for Mom. LOL!
Bottom line if we had to we could jump my Mom’s fence (she lives across the street and yes we keep a piece of carpet to facilitate getting over) and disappear down into the 100 year flood plain and be gone.
One of the most interesting challenges is when someone says “global village” is to ask them to walk across their county, North to South then East to West. Counties are HUGE. They are also full of opportunities if following Matt’s advice. A person can get a sense that no one, no outsider, could ever defeat them instead of having the all too common idea that they are so small, the world so big, and they have no chance.
To this I can only add one bit: Get a good PVS-14 and learn how to use it. That includes utilization of both helmet and weapons mounts. Bring spare batteries. Learn how to operate 100% passively. And once in a while switch the thing off in the middle of your training session, adapt, and complete the exercise.
Here in swamp country, I would also advise insect repellent, a good machete and a sidearm in case you run into some of the, er, 'bigger critters', particularly during water crossings.
For later reading.
For later. Thanks for posting and Matt, thanks for writing it.
Yep, just getting past the basic hard-wired fear of the dark is a huge step. Kudos for nocturnal wanderings.
Swamps are great passive, natural land barriers to all but the hardiest and most knowledgeable.
Ya damn right, dem coonasses is second to nobody for sneaky at night.
Your point is well taken, I would say flour for short term and colored gravel for longer term. Rags or aluminum cans stuck in unlikely spots also make good “natural” markers. You have to study the trail just the one correct way to notice the markers are linked in a pattern.
Damn right, even a quarter moon is enough for night-adapted eyes. Unless it’s overcast and you move under thick cover. Then it’s pitch black.
Yes, by all means get quality NV when you can afford it, but don’t let the lack of it stop you from becoming a “natural” night fighter the old fashioned way.
Once you are, NODs, as available, will be a big help and force multiplier.
But don’t anybody make the mistake of buying a NOD and considering himself a night fighter, as in, “check that qual off my list, I have a NOD.” That would be very stupid, because night fighting has many many aspects, and amplified vision is just one.
(I am specifically NOT referring to you. As your posts make clear, you must get out and train in all terrain.)
Once heard it described as “blacker than a bat’s crotch at midnight”.
Correct on all counts. We are for all intents and purposes already ‘bugged out’. It meant a significant alteration of lifestyle and a reduction in income, but we’re making do. The one thing you can’t buy is time in community - time to get to know folks. Who you can trust, who you can’t. Who your friends are and who’s going have to be dealt with when the time comes.
Our biggest concern is water. We’re on a local community well, but there’s no plan to guard, fuel and defend the well head. Not good. And it’s getting way too late in the game.
Yes, they can see it too.
If your opponent has night vision, well you’ve just lit up the whole area for him.
One course at Storm Mountain includes making multi-hundred-yard shots at night on targets producing light akin to a cigarette. ...no NV.
Throw in the odd moose or two and you’ve got our neighborhood. It’s all 5 and 10 acre plots, with every other section set aside as BLM land.
We advise you steer clear of the moose critters. They have a temper.
That's a rog, LT. And I have the scratches and bug-bites to prove it! $;-)
That’s where the philosophy “Three on a match is bad luck” came from.
Twice when I was in my teens, I tried to sneak up on someone during the night.
Once, I saw several cops looking at my car. I was doing nothing wrong but didn’t really want to announce my presence until I got closer to see what they were up to.
I had not gotten very far when one of them told me to come on out which I did. No problem, as they were suspicious of where the car was parked and I had a good answer.
Anyway, I grew up in the woods hunting (often at night) from the time I was about 5 and thought, wrongly it turned out, that I could slip up on anyone.
The lesson I learned it if someone is concealed in a good spot you will very likely see someone moving around in the woods before they see you.
Am always interested in new perspectives and am a big fan of EFAD. Lest y’all think however that despite my guns and survivalism (this what we called it back in the 80s) I take myself too seriously, I must confess, proudly, that I and my ninja-obsessed brother perfected variations on all of these techniques, and many more, sans night-vision gear but avec tabi-boots, snorkels, Cooey .22 rifles, “110” photographic equipment and home-made compound-bow launched incendiaries, in some of the most devastatingly, radically, totally insane all night panty raids a certain girls-camp ever saw.
Day or night.
Even if they're looking for you and know you're there.
I was busting your balls about this very article.
I had a similar experience just about 40 years ago.
I was on the staff of a very large Summer Retreat. There was around 400 Summer Staffers, nearly all college students. There was a boys camp within half a mile from us. Now this boys camp hired almost nothing but college athletes as counselors. One Summer they had two guys who played on a national championship basketball team.
We also had a lot of good athletes and we had a rivalry with them which got pretty heated at times. They beat us pretty bad each time we played basketball. Not surprising since they probably could have beaten 90% of all major colleges.
In softball it was more even. The first game of the Summer we beat them, just barely. In the second game they had an umpire who was openly and blatantly cheating for them. It was so obvious that I thought they should have replaced him but instead they seemed to think it was funny. Of course we lost.
Later that night, I and another one of our players sneaked over to their camp. They had a beautiful totem pole right at the entrance. Well that was just too much for us to ignore. We sawed it down and very nearly got caught. They heard it break and next thing we knew there were cars driving around looking for us.
I might mention that we had around 300 girls on our staff and they might have had two or three working in the kitchen etc. For that reason they liked to hang around our campus and just naturally we didn’t appreciate it.
we don’t have many caves up here - but we got those long winters - which will discourage a lot of city folk - who will head south - because they don’t know any better...thank goodness ;o)
I have my own well for water - and it is a great comfort.
Also, in my area - there's a stream, a pond, a lake (or several) within 2-3 miles in any direction...and I have a little ‘brooklet’ running through my woods (don't need a whole lake ;o).
I have friend who knows every piece of water in the state, but has also dug himself his own fish pond for trout - and a ‘nursery’ for raising trout fry.
Just throw a line in the pond and bam, you got breakfast -
PVS-14 BTTT !
Sneaking around at night, setting up various scenarios of defense and offense,
What does one -hypothetically speaking- do to defeat the FLIR that is sure to be employed?
How much insulation is needed to thwart the heat signature?
Without ways to address this issue, one sneaking around at night may not be as stealthy as one wishes they were.
More so if Federalis vs urban yutes.
Definitely stuff I should be doing. Also the recommendation down-thread of goggles to protect the eyes - don’t wanna skip that.
Much appreciated are grey man techniques. One illustration by Travis in (I think it was) the first book of his trilogy was Rayna carrying a green T-shirt until she needed to use it as a makeshift balaclava - making the point that one can make do with everyday objects rather than being tac’d up and worthy of note to TPTB.
I put FLIR into the category of drones, surveillance satellites and other high-tech tools. Governments like to use their existence as a propaganda tool to make folks believe that escaping detection is not possible, so don’t even try. The truth is that all of these tech tools have limitations.
Unlike the film “Enemy of the State,” (and other Hollywood movies) satellites can’t be manuevered around like sports cars to hover over a city. That function would be taken by drones, but they are not in common use (yet). FLIR can’t see through glass, and heavy vegetation also hinders it. If you are in thick woods, your blurry heat signature could also be a deer or a large dog.
Once you are located by technical means, yes, it’s hard to escape. But keep in mind that at any time, 99.99% of your operating area will NOT be under such surveillance.
As far as hiding from FLIR, there are home-made ponchos incorporating a space blanket and fiberglass cloth. It blocks and diffuses the heat very effectively, or so I am told. The problem is knowing that you are under FLIR observation. You might take anti-FLIR methods (the poncho, getting into very thick cover, hiding under a barn roof etc) as soon as you detect the sound of a helicopter.
UAVs, you will never hear or see. They operate above visual and audible range.
On that theme, common dark blue jeans work well at night. No need to “suspiciously” wear cammies. A brown shirt and blue jeans will allow you to pass from “night fighter mode” to walking down the street under the lights with none the wiser. The t-shirt balaclava method also allows easy transitions, with no camo grease paint left in your ears to give you away.
Another great “tool” is a good boonie hat. Not only do they break up your outline, they protect your face and neck from thorns and ticks etc when you push through thick brush. You lower your head, and let the brim of the boonie hat protect your face and neck.
One of my tools is a pair of “Game Ears” that enhances my hearing. In regards to hiding from a FLIR one could have a bolt hole with some CO2 portable tanks that will fog the air with cold escaping gas, or have a hide with thermo insulated windows, thats two layered glass with an inert gas in the middle, or just a roof of 2” bluboard foam.
On a very funny movie episode of “Tremors” people were trying to hide from some flying nasties that used heat seeking organs to hunt with and they walked along with a mattress over their heads. Not a practice concept but it could work if tested is just a camo colored umbrella that has several layers of mylar space blanket and aluminized insulation bubble wrap sold at places like LOWES.
As far as clothing goes in darkness a dark gray is harder to see than all black. Also should a person have to fight in darkness such as in my neck of the woods in Alaska during the winter I would make some lightweight diversionary type of equipment, mostly just an inflatable figure with some attached chemical heat pouches such as used for heating your hands or toes, tape these to something that resembles a prone person in hiding, activate the heat packs around the chest and face and a drone or other device with a FLIR will look at that while you either achieve your objective or make a safe egress from the area.
If it comes down to trying to escape from airborne FLIR platforms that are circling your immediate area looking for you, you are probably screwed. The anti-IR poncho might be the best bet, since you could carry it and not hinder your mobility, then you could dive into thick cover and put it over yourself. But ifthey are already tracking your heat sig, forget it, game over. They will direct K-9s to your hiding place quickly. Or, if the ROE have changed, just shoot you from the helo with a burst of MG fire.