Urban Survival Tips: How To Establish An Observation Post

Posted on January 18 2017

Establishing An Observation Post

It’s a New Year and time to discuss neighborhood defense strategies. When the shit hits the proverbial fan, nefarious elements come out to play. The unprepared become the prey in an unstable, dynamic environment.  Take the time now to evaluate and analyze the neighborhood from a tactical perspective.

The first step in defense of your area of operations (AO) is to establish a perimeter. This perimeter has to include an Observation Post / Listening Post (LP/OP). The OP serves multiple purposes, from simple observation, to engaging hostiles attempting to probe and break the perimeter.

As expected, there are guidelines to follow when establishing an OP. First step is to select a site that provides observation of probable avenues of approach. Secondly, the OP must be within small arms range of the element and finally it must provide cover and concealment. In most instances, the optimal location for an OP is on or near the military crest of a hill. It’s also important to have concealed entry and exit routes.

observation post

When site selection is complete and the OP is established, the real work begins. Depending on the size and location, more than one position can be setup.  One might find it useful to have a designated marksman in one position providing overwatch while another person is tasked with observation. Additional personnel can provide perimeter security or engage with opposing forces.

Operating An Observation Post

Without proper equipment, the observation post is just a speed bump to hostile forces intent on raiding your neighborhood. Occupants of the OP require a variety of gear to get the job done. Choosing this equipment can be a daunting task thanks to all factors that must be considered. To make this selection easier, it’s best to start with the foundation and then add more as needed.

The items listed below were selected primary based on the need for convert low profile observation gear. This first line kit is easily concealed in normal everyday clothes. Additional gear includes trauma kit, usb charger, all stored in a small sling pack by 3V Gear.

1st Line Equipment:

1. Bic Lighter: http://amzn.to/2joDnol
2. Gerber Tactical Pen: http://amzn.to/2iK2UWR
3. Barska Monoculars: http://amzn.to/2iJU6R3
4. All Weather Notepad: http://amzn.to/2iK4bgA
5. First Aid Kit: http://amzn.to/2joBqbm
6. Streamlight Flashlight: http://amzn.to/2jozGig
7. Mechanix Gloves: http://amzn.to/2iJTxqn
8. SOG Flash II: http://amzn.to/2iSby9r

2nd Line Equipment:

1. 3V Gear Posse Sling Pack: http://amzn.to/2jxSrCH
2. Friendly Swede Keychain: http://amzn.to/2k4WwyH
3. Gerber Multi Tool: http://amzn.to/2joH4KN
4. Anker Astro Charger: http://amzn.to/2jy3z2j
5. Ez-Towels: http://amzn.to/2iJZOCB
6. Suunto Compass: http://amzn.to/2iK4uZ8
7. Paracord: http://amzn.to/2iCp3LD
9. Wetfire: http://amzn.to/2iJXmvE
10. Sillcock Key: http://amzn.to/2iK6Yq7
11. Water Purification Tabs: http://amzn.to/2iK1n3l
13. Trauma Kit: http://amzn.to/2iS9Nca
14. Baofeng Radio: http://amzn.to/2jA7ECB
15. Trashbags: http://amzn.to/2joHiBC


Depending on the mission, upgrades may be required. A long range spotting scope can replace the monoculars. A foam mat can provide comfort for long periods of sitting and night vision can enable 24/7 observation.

The observation post can be upgraded as well. Caching of food and water on site make sense as well as a supply of ammunition. Depending on the location, a perimeter alarm can be useful. Drones can provide another layer of observation and a HD camera can capture activity for future analysis. A range finder can be helpful when judging distance and vehicle ID cards help make documentation easy.

Overall, the Observation Post is what you make of it. It can be simple or layered in configuration. The OP can be very discreet and only serve as a post to gather intel. It can be used for observation and first line of defense. When establishing the OP, take into consideration the situation for which the OP will most likely be used. Will the OP be used in a post natural disaster Katrina style event or in a world with no rule of law? Determining the most likely environment will ensure that the OP is designed and setup to handle that specific scenario.

If you need more nitty gritty on how to establish and operate an Observation Post, check out this link that goes into more details.

Drop me a comment, let me know what you think and be sure to check out the links below!

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