Training Day: 3 Tips to Gain Tactical Advantage during Martial Law

By Cherie

Chinese General Sun Tzu wrote in “The Art of War” that battles with your opponent are predetermined long before the action begins. Intelligent war tacticians only fight winnable battles, whereas the fool just shows up hoping to win based on naive confidence and arrogance. Victory is only attained by conquering the enemy before the battle begins.

Ad nauseum news coverage of Ebola and ISIS, along with recent currency deals between Russia and China not involving U.S. dollars, are surefire signs of imminent wartime conditions in America. Nouriel Roubini, an economics professor at NYU, tweeted from the World Economic Forum this past January that several speakers compared 2014 to 1914 when World War I broke out.

Once that ugly line of war is crossed, everyone will have a choice: succumb to the chaos and go quietly or fight for your liberty and freedom. So-called preppers already have an advantage over the average person. But your home must literally become your castle, and yourself a soldier, to survive martial law regardless of what triggers it.

Fortify the Perimeter

Those who live in rural areas with a lot of space between homes have an advantage over urban dwellers based solely on available space. But even people living in posh Scottsdale, Arizona or North Beverly Hills can make it extremely difficult and dangerous for anyone to get close to their home and family in a doomsday scenario.

Booby traps should not only slow down potential enemies, but also warn you of their presence. The longer you can keep the enemy (whether it’s burglars, zombies, or government mercenaries) outside your house, the more advantage you have. Loosely hang monofilament fishing line from tree branches around your home and attach evenly-spaced fishing hooks to them. Intruders prowling around your home won’t see them until they are entangled in the trap trying to remove hooks from their skin. This will give you a short window to the take necessary action against them.

Set up trip flares around the perimeter. When the enemy disturbs the line, the light from the flares will warn you of a breach in security. Another option is making unwelcome mats. Get a box of 4d nails and a rectangular pieces of plywood the size of a floor mat. Drive the nails through the wood and sharpen the tips. Turn the wood nail-side up, conceal it with grass and foliage, and place them outside windows and doors of your home. Five inches of nail is more than enough to penetrate any shoe and make the enemy regret the day they tried to enter your home.

One very important caveat to remember with booby traps: know where they are yourself. Draw a map and keep it somewhere that reminds you everyday (like the bathroom mirror).

Update Your Backpack

There may come a time when the castle has to be abandoned for whatever reason and you’ll have to venture out on foot. Every able-bodied family member should have their own pack updated with the essentials for survival.

Compass, insulating clothing (extra socks, long johns, etc.), full canteen, and waterproof matches should be in every pack. Sun protection includes sunscreen, sun glasses, and replacement lenses just in case. First Aid Kit, emergency food (like Saltine crackers), and knife round out the necessities.

One individual should carry a tent big enough for all family members to sleep in. Granted it may not be spacious or comfortable. The sole purpose of emergency shelter is to shield you from the elements so you can survive another day.

Improve Your Best Weapon

Once the enemy gets through the booby traps and you run out of ammunition for your firearms, the best weapon you have left is your body. Nobody knows exactly when civilization will disappear, so the time is now to start addressing your physical conditioning.

Eliminate soda pop (diet or otherwise), sugary drinks, and fast food from your diet immediately. Those who consume a lot of this stuff will see dramatic changes in their body within a month without doing much else. Stretch your hamstrings, shoulders, and calf muscles daily. These muscles all need maximum elasticity if you’re ever in hand-to-hand combat or scaling rugged terrain on foot. You don’t need full-blown martial arts classes, but know the vital striking points on the human body to quickly disable the enemy if the situation arises.

General Tzu likened preparation for battle to an engaged crossbow string. The energy to defeat the enemy is there, but you have to know the right time to release it. Keep all the aforementioned in mind when the SHTF to ensure your survival.

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10 thoughts on “Training Day: 3 Tips to Gain Tactical Advantage during Martial Law”

  1. This is an amazing series of prep articles designed to sharpen our plans for survival. I have collected food, survival gear, medical supplies, etc., but your articles are reminding me of what I need to do to freshen my preps and my skills. A feeling of lethargy sets in after we perceive we are “safe”. This lulls us into a false sense of security and your articles remind me that one must constantly update our safeguards and keep mentally and physically at our best to survive. Disasters strike when we are least expecting them. Thank you for the reminders and helpful suggestions. I am very grateful for all you do to share your knowledge and experience with us.

  2. We have shotgun shell trip wire alert noise makers and IR chemlight trip wires set up around our bulk fuel tanks and the like. The occasional deer or other animal that sets them off keeps everyone on their toes. The average fuel thief will not have NVG and the IR chemlight illuminates target areas quite well. Deep shadows behind buildings, woodpiles, and other areas conducive to covert night approach are also logical places for IR chemlight trips. In SHTF we would have continuous sniper overwatch and forgo the audible alerts. An aggressive trespasser with NVG seeing the unexpected IR illumination would likely reach the correct interpretation, depart quickly or become hog feed.

    Decades ago in a counterinsurgency team (that does sound old), I learned to set up an ambush in such a way as to leave an escape route to cover and concealment for the ambushed. Of course that easy way out was prepped with claymores. There are no unintended survivors to a well executed ambush. It is unlikely you will have access to claymores but the concept of using an ambush to funnel any survivors into yet another kill zone is time proven.

    When I was in Alaska I would come across seasonally occupied cabins with bear fences. The bear fence was made from 2×12 with nails sticking up. Bears soon learned that these were bad news. One might put such between bushes and windows up against the house. Starting a burglary or worse with mangled feet would not be a good thing.

    Great post.


  3. Most rural people, such as myself, have several dogs, which are good at locating trouble and notifying me right away. They wouldn’t be
    nearly as effective with nail holes in their feet. We do, however, use 12 gauge shotgun blanks attached to trip wires as alarms around outbuildings.

  4. Thanks for the vote of confidence Rourke.

    In these days, our first layer of alert is covert CCTV and battery powered PIR alerts on logical and easy egress points. We transplanted briers (which grow like wildfire with all of the rain here) to funnel traffic toward those egress points. The briers quickly form a thickly intertangled mat that is almost impossible to pass through and what’s more, they are not seasonal. We thought about planting raspberries along with the briers but were worried about the food becoming a draw during hard times. A lesser concern was the bears in this area that berries attract. A T post four wire barbed wire fence makes it easy to train the briers to grow in the desired location.

    Sam, we are now down to only five dogs on the mountain. Guinea fowl and geese are also quick to notice anything that does not belong.

    Information on the previously mentioned alerts may be found at: (we just substituted an IR chemlight for the visible light supplied with the alert).




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