Whether you just don’t like being around people while in the wild, or you have other reasons to avoid them, there are ways to keep your privacy while you are on the trail. Security in the wild is more about avoidance rather than active protection.
Pick your spot
Obviously if you are trying to stay hidden from others, you won’t be pitching your tent on a prominent point that can be seen for miles. It is much better to pick a spot in a thicket or even clear a spot in tall grass to set up your camp.
You will want to avoid bodies of water as much as possible. People (even if they aren’t looking for you) tend to follow trials or waterways. Stay away from both if you can. Another disadvantage of camping next to a babbling brook is all the babbling going on. You won’t be able to hear someone approaching your camp due to the sound of the running water.
Don’t stand out
Backpacking equipment while pretty decent for use in the wild really stinks in blending into nature. Bright colored clothing, packs, and tents are fine if you want a better chance of being found if you get lost. But if you are trying to drop out you will need to pick your equipment from a different source.
Hunting catalogs provide equipment similar to backpacking equipment but usually in more subdued colors, along with being more durable for the most part. Military surplus is the choice of many who want the best in cost, durability and usefulness.
Don’t sleep where you camp
Much like camping in bear country and setting up a second “kitchen camp” a distance from your main camp to avoid attracting bears to your sleeping area, you can set up a separate sleeping area away from your main camp that you use only for sleeping.
This will keep most signs of your presence at your main camp while you are awake, and if you have a hidden sleeping spot you can sleep soundly knowing no one is stalking you.
Building hidden fires
Smoke can be seen and smelled a long distance away, and light from a fire can be seen for miles. If you want to avoid others you need to overcome these two obstacles.
Smoke can be cut down considerably by burning only dry wood. The light of a fire can be contained if you have a shelter large enough to fully surround the fire. The other solution is to build a below ground fire in a Dakota fire hole or something similar.
This is a hole dug in the ground about the size of your head. You then dig a smaller sideways hole that connects the big hole to the surface. This allows air to feed the fire and keeps the flames below ground level. The airflow also helps the fire to burn hotter and it will give off less smoke as a result. (Related Making a Stealth Fire)
Staying secure in the wild is usually a matter of just avoiding trouble by avoiding as much human contact as possible.
Dennis Diaz is the Chief Editor of Survival Ready Blog and hor of the Prepper World Summit. He is passionate about learning and teaching survival and preparedness strategies. He is the author of the "The 12 Month Prepper & Survivalist Playbook" & Co-creator of many resources offered at Survival Ready Blog and The Bugout Network.
He doesn't consider himself an expert, but a facilitator and he works hard to provide a platform to those with valuable expertise to share their knowledge with as many people as possible.
He enjoys helping others prepare themselves for multiple dangerous scenarios, by coaching them on how develop their own customized survival & preparedness plans and develop their survival skills. He promotes the core concept of making preparedness and survival knowledge part of their daily lives.