This is where an invisible shelter can be useful. Constructed in a manner that hides them from prying eyes, these can provide you with a place to spend a night or two while you wait for the unrest to end. (h/t to AskAPrepper.com)
When bugging out, your shelter can be one of the easiest things to be spotted. It can be easily spotted against the horizon or a wooded background, especially as these often can be large. (Related: Is it time to bug out? Tips for deciding when to leave.)
If you don't properly hide your shelter, you could end up having looters storming your camp in a matter of minutes. With this in mind, you need to take note of several factors when making your shelter to make sure it remains undetected.
Having an invisible shelter on your property is a great option for when a band of looters wants to break into your home. It will allow you to quickly retreat into the shelter when such a situation arises. But take note that having an invisible shelter on your property will require an investment of time, energy and materials long before SHTF.
The first step to building an invisible shelter on your property is to walk around it and locate areas where you can build it. Once you've found a location for your shelter, you can disguise it as something as innocuous as a debris pile.
If you have the time, equipment and engineering know-how, you can also dig an underground shelter. Once you've done this, you can then hide the entrance to this under a common backyard item such as a doghouse.
If you live in the city, you may not have a lot of options for seeking shelter from looters. With this in mind, it is best to have possible shelter sites already located even before you find yourself in a situation where you need to leave your home.
The main problem you will face is that suitable locations may already be occupied either by the homeless or others like yourself.
When planning to build an invisible shelter in the city, walk around your neighborhood within a radius of a block or two, and look for spaces you can access with minimal difficulty that can house you and your family for a short period of time. Some examples include fenced-off mechanical areas and rooftops. Tunnels, overpasses and bridges can also provide shelter but will be popular options for other people as well.
Abandoned buildings are another option you should consider, and you should do your best to figure out which buildings in your area are vacant. If you live close to an industrial area, there's a good chance that you'll find many empty commercial buildings you can use for temporary shelter.
Take note that this option is not legal and should only be used in dire circumstances. In addition, should you find yourself needing to use an abandoned building, leave no trace that you were there and cause no damage.
The easiest and most effective means of building an invisible shelter is to do so in the wilderness or in an urban forest. Not only can the thick brush hide your shelter, it can also conceal entrances and emergency exits that you may need to use to get to and from your shelter.
When building a shelter in the brush, be sure to scout and familiarize yourself with possible locations beforehand so you know exactly where to go in case you need to evacuate your home in the wee hours of the morning. Look for areas with dense foliage that blocks the view of anyone passing by. Here, you can then clear a place out of sight from passers-by to pitch a simple low-profile tarp shelter without anyone being able to observe you.
At the same time, you can also cut entrances and escape routes through the brush, using the foliage to camouflage their entrances.
Before you need to bug out, make sure that each of your family members' bug-out bags has a shelter kit with a tarp, paracord and tent stakes. Remember that the tarp needs to be earth-toned or have a camouflage pattern to blend into the environment. (Related: Bug out survival planning: Prepping a bug-out bag in less than an hour.)
Having a shelter ready is important when you need to leave your home to avoid looters when SHTF. Just remember that, while it is possible to build a shelter and make it invisible without any preparation, it's much better to put in a bit of work beforehand to make it easier for you and your family to vanish from looters.
More importantly, remember that what makes you and your shelter truly invisible has more to do with what you do in and around your shelter than the actual shelter itself.
For more survival tips for when SHTF, visit Preparedness.news.