The prepper scout (reconnaissance)

The Prepper ” Scout”

Sooner rather than later when TSHTF you and your family will need to venture out to assess the damage, secure your property, salvage supplies, look for threats, gather intel etc.

This is Reconnaissance (to Recce UK and Aus, Recon US and Canada) its a French term to describe a combination of preliminary survey, survey, exploration, observation, investigation, examination, inspection, probe, scrutiny, scan;.

It is gathering intelligence, information, identifying possible threats, to locate allies, supplies etc and to see what everyone else is doing.

To safely Recce or Recon your area of operations its both prudent and wise to try and employ some sensible precautions and practice some skills. With this in mind below is a rough draft of some guildlines that hopefully will assist you in your mission.

These rules are NOT written in stone and to be used with considered judgement

RULE 1 The Prepper Scout is a Civilian not a Soldier.You are probably just one person, with a family to take care of and not some fictitious super soldier with the combat capabilities of 100 men, remember that fact and work within your ACTUAL not IMAGINED skill set.Your job is to venture forth to seek out what you need be it food, fuel, building supplies, medical kit, transport, or just to see how safe it is for your family.

When you have ventured forth your SOLE job is to carry out that selected mission and return home to your family unscathed and safe and UNDETECTED and not to accidently leave a trail back to your home that others can follow .

RULE 2 is ” Get out and back safely and undetected”RULE 3 is ” Leave no sign of you having passed by”

Watch where you walk and try not to leave noticable footprints or trampled grass to show your recently passed by.

RULE 4 is ” See all you can without being seen, Learn all you can without giving anything away”Use Binoculars or scopes to observe from afar. Look and listen to your environment and surroundings, Has surface dust been disturbed, has debris been recently moved, has foliage recently been cut, are those footprints recent, can you smell a recent cooking fire all are “tells” of recent activity.

RULE 5 is ” Shoot and Scoot”If by some misfortune you are located by unfriendly people, you should try to not get involved in a prolonged firefight, Your family needs you more than you need to feed your ego. Fire only enough to allow you to safely withdraw, remember that gun fire can also attract MORE people to the area.

RULE 6 is ” Watch and learn”If your passing through insecure or unfamiliar territory its always a good idea to lay up and observe the area for a while before moving on, You may detect possible ambushes or security threats, so BE PATIENT and OBSERVANT.

RULE 7 ” Go around, dont go through”If your objective lays beyond where others are based, it is better if and when possible to take a wide diversion to avoid endangering yourself.

RULE 8 ” Write it down, Make a note, Take a Photo”Along your route you may come across other useful materials, supplies , locations that may benefit your family later on, so make a note of what you come across.

RULE 9 ” if it looks to good to be true, it probably is (a trap)”After a major crisis few people are going to leave food, vehicles, fuel, weapons and supplies laying round, and most bridges, tunnels, streets etc that look WAY to accessible may be there to draw you in (ref rule 6)

RULE 10 ” Different routes out and Back”For your patrol do not use the same route out and back, keep pausing and LISTEN, if you are being follow they will make SOME noise.

Avoid roads and paths instead walk parallel to the road far enough away to avoid ambushes but to be able to follow the route. At your destination RULE 6 every time.

RULE 11 “Short broadcast then move”If you need to use your radio to communicate back home, Broadcast short and brief then MOVE, It is best if your home base station does NOT respond to prevent others triangulting your home location.

RULE 12 ” Get off the path before you rest”On longer trips you will obviously need to R & R, if the patrol has more than one person then One sleeps/cooks/eats the other goes on guard, then swap around.

If your on your own then get away from the path or trail, get under cover and ensure you have more than one escape. Make no cooking smoke / flames or strong smells and leave no rubbish.

RULE 13 ” Dress for the occasion”Wear clothing that matches as best possible the territory you are operating in EG Cammo in the Countryside, Tans and greys in the towns, and make sure NOTHING shines or rattles.Dont forget foul weather clothing if needed 


  • Comments (20)

    • 7

      A SHTF situation activates 1 or 2 terms: COGCON and DEFCON: Continuity of Government Condition, Defense Condition.  Terms are calibrated as situation required.

      Some US areas are already prepared for SHTF events.  A couple of these areas are the Navy Norfolk – metro Washington, D.C. corridor and the western section of US Gulf Coast with energency facilities like Strategic Petroleum Reserve.  

      Pre-SHTF could mean announcements to shelter in place.  There will be no private vehicle driving.  Will probably include All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs).  Private sector communications will probably stop during escalation.  If anything has any terrorist attributes, they will already have stopped communications of all types.   Electricity can be stopped concurrent with a mandatory evacuation requirement. USN has ability to stop private electric generators.

      These predetermined areas – not currently familiar with others – will be loaded with military, law enforcement officers, emergency responders, selected others. Already these corridors are monitored by aircraft and units afloat.

      I was in arty recon in Vietnam. 

      • 6

        Thank you for explaining that, Bob. I imagine it would work close to the same way on our side of the border, too.

        It would definitely make travel/recon a challenge.

      • 8

        Ubique, it’s about the same in Canada – and also in coordination with US emergency managers and responders when approprate.

        http://www.emsics.com/training/ics/canada-training/ This company’s link provides some info.

        FEMA also has 2 officials resident in the UK. 

        Much standardization going on.  

      • 4

        Bob, I imagine that this move toward standardization and coordination is a way to effectively control a panicked populace while responding to an attack or natural disaster. 

        A teacher who was ex-military taught me that in an attack or coup, communication is the first resource to be commandeered and cut off.

        Thank you for the link to the info. I have more reading to do.

      • 6

        The UK government is the same as the US in that sense, £70 million bunker in canada built in the 70s for the Royals and UK govt, A huge complex of bunkers and tunnels under London, A huge storage facility the size of a town inder box hill near Coresham in wilts etc etc, A tiny railway one own by the post offfice under London. Private air fields etc

      • 4

        Bill, that certainly sounds like preparedness on a massive scale.

      • 4

        The UK government has been digging tunnels under Corsham in wilts on and off since WW1 IIRC. Plus under Dover castle, and under York and Edinburgh. Much of London around Whitehall, Westminster has been hollowed out by decades of digging and tunnel building.  Two examples.

        (1) Apparently decades ago near the  either during WW2 or in the Cold war, the UK government decided to dig a new tube line under London. Anyhoo lets say they would need to excavate say 1.5 million cubic meters of earth for the project, for some reason over 2 million meters were removed. go figure.

        (2) Do a google for ICEBERG HOMES, nup not houses made from ice. its a massive trend that the very rich, very powerful and ruling elite have been doing. That is creating HUGE multi story underground  extentions to their homes in the poshest parts of London. Now when asked WHY, the reply is usually ” more living space” or ” cheaper than moving” (its not cheaper).

        Then when one investigates more these new sub terr developments have

        hidden exits

        hidden sub terr garages

        swimming pools but with huge potable water filter systems, not swimming water filters.

        Huge freezers they call ” wine rooms” powered by concealed PV arrays on the roof

        High security door and alarm systems

        Massive larders

        Back up gennies

        bunk rooms ( for staff)

        Archery / bowling lanes  ( yeah really)

        Anyhoo you get the idea, the rich and powerful not buying up islands or homesteads or moving into gated communities are burrowing like bunnies.


      • 5

        Box tunnel entrance by rail to the right of the mainline and an inside shot of the Burlington bunker as its called under Corsham.


      • 5

        That is quite the excavation. Have they dug it from stone? It looks very solid.

        Thank you for sharing the photos and info. Very interesting.

      • 2

        Limestone I think ?/

      • 4

        But note how crafty they were the main way in for the excavations was from that low profile out of site railway tunnel , millions of tons of rock moved and almost no one noticed for many years.

      • 7

        That’s super cool Bill. Gives a whole new meaning to an underground bunker. 

        If I ever made it big and was filthy rich, i’ve always wanted an underground indoor pool. I thought that would be neat.

      • 4

        Wow Bill! 500+ million cubic meters of earth as an overage is substantial. I wonder what else they were digging?

        I checked out the Iceberg Houses on line – another big Wow! I wonder how they keep the workers who built their homes from divulging the construction details? Perhaps they use security agreements? Still, I wouldn’t trust that piece of paper if things were really bad and of long duration.

        Their prepping forums must be something else.

      • 6
      • 5

        Thank you for the link. 

        How sad that they decomm’ed it – All that investment of labour and time to just forget it? They could have re-purposed it for other emergency use. What an absolute shame! 

    • 7

      Your prepper scout rules dovetail nicely with the in town/out of town scenario drills I do for the area I am in.

      From what happened to Mom’s family in WWII occupied Netherlands, I learned you never send the two oldest males from the family together to acquire provisions. A few pieces of firewood cost my oldest uncle 5 years in a forced labour camp. My grandfather was going to be shot, but grandmother’s persistent (and dangerous) intervention with a higher ranking officer saved his life.

      My grandmother and Mom both had to bicycle far into the countryside to find food as the war went on, so I know to source in advance a wider area than what I think I might require.

      Rule 2 – Her bicycle made a squeaking racket and was not conducive to stealth. Some 3-in-1 oil never hurts to have on hand.

      Rules 6 and 9 are good reminders that a person has to think like an assailant in order to avoid becoming prey.

      Rule 10 is a challenge in the local countryside due to massive tracts of open fields. There is very little tree cover. So I am thinking that Rule 13 would be critical in this case. I will have to source clothing that blends in with the wide open nature of the areas in which I would have to travel. How a person moves in that kind of open landscape would also be a factor. Is there a particular cadence to how one should walk or move to avoid detection?

      I have a Back Country Map Book and have identified the most likely routes or places I would have to go to source food or other supplies. By studying and understanding these rules, it will be possible to build a better chance of doing this more safely.

      Thank you for writing out these rules.

      • 9

        These are excellent rules for a combat situation.  however, there will be many times when emergencies are best handled with a less adversarial attitude.  I trained in CERT in our local community – Southern California=earthquake country where the general rule given is 1)care for yourself and others in the immediate vicinity, especially family members 2) reach out and search for others in need of help 3) as trained and equipped personnel arrive, assist in any way possible.

        I can see my CERT bag, supplied and ready from where I sit.  I have grabbed it once, along with my BOB, during a fire evacuation a few years ago..  No cammo or stealth clothing but clearly marked as CERT.  I intend to be a positive influence.  I might even share resources with someone in worse shape than me.

      • 8

        Excellent !  Thank you, Hikermore for correct and needed focus.

        A positive influence works.  Those who appear as a threat – as determined by those reporting what they perceive as a threat – are magnets for problems.

        Besides bags, national companies like ProPac.something, North Charleston, South Carolina carries a CERT load-bearing suspenders + pouches product.

        Yes, indeed, a positive influence and appearance to public is best.

      • 8

        Well said, Bob and thank you.

      • 5

        Thank you, hikermor for your balanced viewpoint. It is a reminder to us all that disasters lie upon a spectrum and the reactions to them rest there as well.

        Both my parents had PTSD as do I, all of us from severe trauma. I learned young that people could be predators and that my world could change in a heartbeat. This experience and the way I was raised has effected how I live and prepare.

        Even with many years of counselling on my journey to heal what I can, the physical effects remind me daily of what was survived. I view the world with hope, but wariness always hovers in the background. 

        Today you reminded me of the times where, I have intervened to help others, volunteered to serve my community and quietly shared my  resources with others in need. 

        You already are a positive influence, hikermor. You made a difference for me today and I thank you for it.