Eyes Off: 7 Pieces of Gear For Counter-Surveillance
Questions from non-preppers:
Why bother practicing shooting a 2-inch group at 300 yards?
Why would I ever want to learn how to make a Dakota Fire Hole so that the light and smoke doesn’t give away our position?
Why would I need to be able to dress a wound while not causing further infection?
I’d say, the “why” is easy to explain: because we no longer have faith in our fearless leaders or in their broken systems. Even if it’s just because of their incompetence, ultimately, we really don’t want to depend on them any more than we absolutely have to.
Also, we’ve long considered the possibility that our benevolent leaders might not always be in power. Perhaps, they may one day be replaced by those who aren’t exactly fond of American liberty.
To which I shall exclaim, “Wolverines!”
If such a Red Dawn scenario takes place, then it’s important to understand one major principle: the ‘Reds’ can’t detain or kill what they can’t see. And if you’ve squared away your ability to stay invisible, then you’ve only made it harder for the new “authorities” to do their jobs.
Here are seven items that could make some Russian or North Korean intelligence officer wish for his home-stash of real vodka (or munbaeju), because Americans know how to play hide and seek!
1. Space Blanket or Tarp
Defeating thermal imaging tech is no easy task. In fact, if they really had a good idea of where you were, you’d probably be better off going mobile — aka: getting the heck out of dodge. The problem is the fact that we all radiate heat that’s about 97 degrees Fahrenheit, and this will light up like a flare in their sensors.
However, there is one method that has become known for its effectiveness. A space blanket is simply designed to reflect your body’s temperature back to its source, meaning that it will not allow your radiant heat to permeate the blanket membrane.
Though it’s important to know that the problem with this method is that your heat would eventually begin to leak — thereby showing up on the screen.
Defeating thermal imaging is a matter of:
How long your location is being watched,
The operator’s error in identifying a target,
And your ability to shield your body heat from their sensors for as long as possible.
The larger the reflective surface (space tarp), the longer it will take to eventually leak your heat. Wrap up under a wool blanket and you increase this amount of time. By the way, thermal imagining still doesn’t work well in rainy weather.
2. A-TACS Camouflage
I understand that this issue is hotly debated, but I just have to go with A-TACS camo on this one. (Sincerest apologies MultiCam fans).
Too many of our standardized military camo patterns — I’m looking at you, ACU — are used in desert, urban and wooded areas. There’s just no single camouflage that will do it all, which is why A-TACS has a couple variations that work extremely well per the operating environment.
Their pattern-within-pattern concept is stellar, because I’ve seen it work first hand. And the only reason why I even found that pair of boots is because I saw their outline in the snow 3 months later.
By the way, A-TACS is also NIR Compliant, which will give some Red officer a royal headache, trying to find you through an infrared optic.
3. 3D Camo Netting
This stuff has been employed as concealment for years, and it is still considered effective. Using 3D camo netting will allow you to keep your camp from being seen by prying eyes. Whether a threat is airborne or on land, it still works by breaking up a large object’s outline.
Also, it is well known that ghillie suits, worn by scout snipers, have the ability to confuse thermal imaging. Because ghillie suits are nothing but layers of randomly configured materials, body heat gets diffused, making it more difficult to identify the human outline. It is said that 3D camo netting could work in the same way as similarly configured coniferous trees are also rumored to break up a heat signature. Food for thought.
However, this is probably not an option if you’re hoofing it, as 3D camo netting tips the scales on the heavy side — making it a better option if you have wheels at your disposal.
4. Police/Fire/Military Transmission Scanner
One of the best ways to avoid detection is to hear what the Reds are saying over their own radio transmissions. That’s why I’d recommend getting your hands on a powerful scanner to do the job.
According to several manufacturers, these scanners can monitor police and military chatter.
However, keep in mind that the occupying military might use a frequency that can’t just be snatched out of the air from an Uniden Bearcat, but being able to monitor police, fire and aviation bands may still help you keep an eye on enemy movements.
Chances are, just about everyone would be talking about what the occupiers are up to.
5. IR Dazzler (LED IR Bulb)
“Dazzling” is a method used for blinding surveillance tech, and it works extremely well against IR cameras and optics.
This can easily be done by using high-powered infrared LED bulbs, and it’s rather easy to rig them onto just about anything — so long as you’ve got a battery pack with enough power to suit your particular application.
Below are just a couple rig ideas:
Add them to glasses to obscure facial features.
Install IR bulbs into a 200-lumen tactical flashlight.
Swap out the LED bulb in a headlamp.
If you think that your area is being painted in the dead of night, then here’s a way you can ditch the attackers.
Chances are, the Reds are coming your way are equipped with night vision. So, set your IR-rigged tactical flashlight on strobe and make a run for it. That puppy would be bright enough to provide a lovely blinding distraction and some concealment for your timely exit.
6. RF/GPS Sweeper
Worried about GPS tracking, RF-transmitting bugs, hidden cameras and even burner phones giving away your position?
This under-$25 option makes for a quick solution, allowing you to detect anything that’s emitting a radio signal. Especially if you think that you might be the focus of prying eyes and ears, these cheap devices would give you a way to identify and destroy those trackers.
Or, you could also stealthily affix them to enemy vehicles, and have the occupiers chasing their tails for a while. It would probably make them feel as if they were herding cats.
7. Mobile Signal Blocking Pouch
I would not consider it outside the realm of possibility if an occupying military forced the citizenry to distribute and carry mandatory RF and GPS trackers — just to keep tabs.
However, in the event that this happens — here’s an ingenious solution that’s already out on the consumer market.
Privacy device retailers are selling pouches that will block all signals that are emitted by smartphones. It basically comes from the “Edward Snowden School” of shielding your smartphone from surveillance. Except, instead of stashing your phone in the fridge, you can simply place it, or whatever is being used to track you, in a convenient little pouch.
The Underlying Principle of Keeping Their Eyes Off
Let’s face it, if a well-funded foreign military wanted to find you — they probably could. Once they pick up the slightest whiff of your scent, it won’t take long for them to single you out. But then again, that’s not a likely scenario for most of us.
If anything, you’re not going to be a major intelligence focus. Instead, your demographic, your belief system, your status or your patriotism might be a reason they’d try to find you. In that case, they’re now attempting to locate hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of Americans simultaneously.
If we catch on quickly, we could give them such an effectively executed nightmare game of “Where’s Waldo” that the occupiers would be packing for Pyongyang within months.
Then we’ll get back to enjoying our fireworks and listening to Alabama sing The Star-Spangled Banner at the ball game like the old days.
Come to think of it —
that song was written during an invasion from an overseas army. How appropriate.
About the Author: Adrienne
Adrienne is a freelance writer and designer eager to share what she learns about prepping and survival. Doomsday scenarios have always fascinated her, in addition to triggering her paranoid streak. See more of her work by checking out her design blog.