Whether your BOL is a remote rural location or your home in the country one of the aspects of your BOL you will need to take into consideration is defense. Most of what I see and read of people’s opinions; many believe you should have a super secluded location hidden in the woodlands of the wilds. If you look back at the frontier days of the United States though people preferred places with a lot of view for some distance. What this article will discuss are the merits and drawbacks to both the secluded woodlands option and what I call the long view option.
Long View – If you look at many pictures and read about the homes that were built on the frontier when the United States was still not united many were surrounded by open land. They had very few if any trees or other obstructions. Some of this was caused by cutting down the trees for use, and others because there were not many trees to begin with, but all of them had that tactical advantage of sight. If you clear the land around your home for approximately 100 to 150 yards. This means that you should be able to see anyone coming long before they get there. This set up makes it easy to have a few people watching over the property from a central location as opposed to having many people strung out around a perimeter. This also allows for more planting of crops and areas for livestock if you have any.
On the flip side, this also means that you have a large clearing which is easier for someone to stumble into, and thus find your location. If there are any vantage points in the area a large cleared area will be easy to see. If you are dealing with a hostile force and they have ranged weapons they can snipe you from the tree line, but you can snipe back.
With the long view philosophy you have clear sight for many yards to see what is coming before it’s there. Along with a large area for crops and livestock to sustain you. The trade off is that you lack a certain amount of concealment from people, that you don’t want to find you.
Secluded Woodlands – The thinking along this path says that you are small in the woods and small to see or find. There is some wisdom in that, since the goal of most people is to avoid other people in a SHTF or complete failure of society situation. Because of the little disruption to the area your BOL may be harder to see from a vantage point and it will be harder for someone to stumble into. This also gives you one cleared path to monitor for people approaching, which is your drive.
With the secluded woodlands you will hopefully be harder to find, but you will have limited space for crops and livestock. Patrolling the area will be more labor intensive and allows people that finds your location to get really close before you know they are there. Processing firewood, which will be the main fuel for cooking and warmth for most, will be harder to collect.
As with so many things this is a choice of location that everyone will have to make. Maybe you live in a valley and feel safe enough to clear all the trees from it for fuel or construction. Maybe you think you will have the advantage of being concealed in the woodlands. Whatever choice you make you will have to contended with the downside of it and prepare for it.
Stay active, pay attention, and get prepared.