How Can You Keep Your Wilderness Retreat Safe From Human (And Animal) Intruders?

Posted on: 31 March 2016

If you've recently downsized your home or simplified your life by moving to a remote cabin in the wilderness, you may be excited at the prospect of living your life in peace, without interruptions from nosy neighbors or other intrusions of modern life. However, limited access to hospitals or police forces can put you at risk if you find yourself battling a human (or animal) intruder in or around your home. What can you do to monitor your property and protect yourself? Read on to learn more about the safety and security measures you'll want to take when living an isolated lifestyle in the wilderness.

Make your home unattractive to wildlife

One of the key steps in protecting yourself from bears, mountain lions, wolves, and other large prey that may live in your area is to keep from luring these animals near your home in the first place. Garbage and food scraps placed outdoors can serve as a siren song for hungry wildlife, and vulnerable entry points can allow bears and other crafty critters to enter your home. All household trash should be secured in a locked garage to prevent the smell from traveling and enticing potential predators. You may also want to reinforce your windows with strong aluminum cross bars that will prevent entry even if your window is broken. 

Placing natural deterrents like hot pepper powder around your home can also encourage hungry wildlife to head elsewhere. You can make your own pepper spray by mixing 1/2 cup of chopped red chili peppers with 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of dish soap in a blender. Apply this pepper spray to the trees and plants bordering your property line, being sure to remain upwind of your spray path to avoid inadvertent exposure. The dish soap should help the pepper mixture stick to your plants even through a light rain. Pepper spray won't harm any plants it touches but will irritate the skin and airways of animals attempting to cross this path, from large carnivores like bears to smaller pests like raccoons and rats. Human trespassers may also find themselves coughing and short of breath if attempting to enter your property from the neighboring land.

Invest in some trail cameras around the perimeter of your property

Knowing the kind of wildlife that frequents your area is key in protecting yourself -- and knowing whether a neighbor or potential miscreant is trespassing on your property can be important too. To these ends, you may want to purchase and mount several motion-activated trail cameras around the edges of your property or closer to your home. These cameras are activated and begin recording (or snapping photos) as soon as motion enters the camera's field of view. These cameras are designed to be sensitive and intelligent enough to capture even slow movement without turning on each time a tree branch falls or some leaves blow over the ground.

The photos or videos on your trail cameras should be saved to a removable hard drive located within the cameras. You can often view photos and videos on the camera itself or remove the hard drive and view and save this media on your computer. This ability to archive and store multimedia can come in handy if you need to provide information to police or other public officials following an incident at your home.

Look into placing infrared or motion-detection cameras around your home 

If you're interested in getting as much warning of an impending attack as possible, you may want to invest in a passive infrared sensor connected to a video camera mounted on the exterior of your home. These sensors operate by detecting infrared wavelengths -- the radiation emitting from every living being but invisible to the human eye. Having several sensors trained around your home and hooked up to a central thermal infrared camera can ensure you'll be made aware of any intruders approaching your home from all directions and can help you detect human (or animal) movement from a very far distance. 

Depending upon your location and distance from the nearest cellular tower, you may not have sufficient wireless or cellular service to operate this video camera remotely. However, if you do, you'll have the security of knowing your home is protected even when you're not there, by accessing your sensors and camera through a computer or smartphone from anywhere in the country.