Tuesday, June 19, 2012

OPSEC Tip: How to Hide your Bugout Location

This is not our cabin but it is the closest I can get to
showing you how our back porch is built around a
mature tree until I can get a good pic myself.
Wifey and I have begun cleaning and prepping an old family cabin that has been unused for several years.  In fact, when we called to have the water and electric turned on for inspection, we were told deposits were needed as the services have not been on in over seven years.

One of THE coolest things I found out about this cabin was something I didn't even realize at first.  You see, I had Google mapped it and tried viewing the cabin from Google Earth to get an idea of what was in store for us.  I could see the neighbors just as plain as day but I couldn't see OUR cabin. Hmmm.

I mapped out the closest water source and saw tons of forest nearby (mostly pine and cedar).  I felt I had a good general feel for the area and looked forward to the three hour drive north of town.  We took the easiest route which no doubt would be the first to jam up should a catastophe strike.  Luckily, there are numerous alternate routes to get us to safety.  It just might take us a tad longer.

Upon our first arrival to the cabin, we did a complete walk-around.  Grandpa had built a frame around a single wide trailer from (I'm guessing) the 1970's.  He, as a Master Carpenter (degree'd from Arizona State), carefully crafted an additional room on the trailer and proceeded to build both a front and back deck. That's where I found the hidden treasure...on the back deck.

Trying to spare as many old pine trees as possible, grandpa decided to leave one particular large pine right where it grew.  Which happened to be right in the middle of the back deck he was building.  As he crafted the deck porch extending off the back of the framed trailer, he cut a large hole in the decking so that the boards encircled the large pine but hindered it's growth not one bit.

And therein lies the OPSEC tip: the huge canopy atop this old pine tree almost entirely covered our cabin (or atleast a good portion of it). The rest of the cabin was shrouded by the other trees on either side of the home.  Turns out, that is why I couldn't see the cabin from Google Earth.  This place has been there for 30+ years so I'm sure the all-watching Google satellite has passed over several times.

So if you want to keep your place hidden, consider building your trees into the design of your retreat and not just cutting them down to make room.


  1. Nice, very nice. My only consurn would not be opsec. that's covered. sorry. Brush Fires?? My dad cut down many trees on his place (mine soon) so when I look at G.E. its easy to find.

    When I get the place, I am going to have to replant many trees and work on hiding the place. #1 repainting the roof. (mobile home) or covering up some how.

  2. If you've got good coverage, it's probably not necessary, but if it's not 100% could you paint the top "evergreen green" ? Just to confuse the issue even more?

  3. @Matt & Rob You know, that does make sense. Now I see why so many cabins up there were painted green with white trim.

  4. Google Earth is not as good as the military satellites, so I don't think it would be very easy to hide. If you want hidden, go under ground. That even lowers your heat imprint. Me, I like wheels under my bug-out hideout. . .

  5. I think the tree popping into the deck makes for a very unique structure, almost like a tree house. It would be awesome to have a tree coming right out of the floor into my living room through the roof, but you can't have that safely/heathily. If thats a word. Good luck, and god bless.

    -Tony Salmeron


Don't you spam me...I'll just delete it!