DIY Perimeter Alarm To Protect Your Home&Camp

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Introduction It is doubtless that self-defense is of pure essence for survival, be it urban survival or struggling with nature in the wilderness. While having sufficient food supplies and drinking water cans, what also matters a lot is the equipment you apply. Proper survival gear and even camping tools can raise your survival chances manifold. Homesteaders, too, should care much about their safety and security while staying within their households.

Knowing how to make an improvised perimeter alarm system is very important if you value your property and safety. Such a low-tech perimeter alarm system will notify you in advance of the approach of intruders, and you will be able to take the necessary measures in time to protect yourself.

In this article, you will find different methods of creating an improvised alarm system that is suitable for both your house and camping tent’s protection. All options are very budget and easy to make, so everyone will be able to find something to their taste.

How Does Early Detection System Work?

How Does Early Detection System Work? For example, if you have to survive inside your house or you decide to set up camp in the middle of the forest, you will probably need to think about protecting your property and yourself in case of a sudden invasion of uninvited guests. Therefore, such warning system tools as a simple tripwire alarm or improvised motion detectors located on the ground near your house or camp are a great investment in the safety of you, your loved ones, and your shared food and supplies.

If the budget allows you, you can also combine improvised alarm systems with more high-tech ones to make your property’s protection more qualitative and reliable.

Trip Wire Alarms Types With Examples

Trip Wire Alarms Types With Examples To begin with, there are three basic types of tripwire alarms. You should choose which type is most convenient and suitable for you to purchase based on your needs.

1. Basic direct tripwire alarm

There are many variations of such a mechanism, but its essence lies in the fact that you place the string, fishing line, or cord in such a way that at the slightest movement, the alarm signal will be activated. For example, you can attach a fishing line to something that makes a loud noise. This way, if an intruder accidentally triggers the cord while sneaking into your home, you will hear about it immediately.

How to make an improvised air horn alarm?

Among the classic alarms, the air horn alarm is one of the most popular and easy to create.

In order to create the air horn alarm, you will need:

  • air horn
  • string, rope, or fishing line
  • short, sturdy stick
  • heavy flat rock

Step 1

Choose a suitable place to install the alarm system. It is better to choose an area with tall grass and trees that would reliably hide your trap from prying eyes.

Step 2

Place the air horn under the ground, firmly securing it so that the horn and button can emit a warning sound.

Step 3

Take a strong stick and tie one end of the string to it tight and the other end to a tree or other stable element.

Step 4

Install flat rock with the stick so that when the stick is pulled, the rock falls on the air horn and a beep will sound, alerting you about the invasion.

Step 5

Make sure that the rope or string is tightly stretched close to the ground through a path or other space where you can be broken into.

The design should look in such a way that when the string is touched, the stick falls on the stone and activates the air horn signal. You can be creative and arrange the alarm system according to your location.

For example, if you have set up camping, it makes sense to install a string around the entire perimeter of the territory occupied by you to protect it from all sides.

2. Laser or an infrared DIY perimeter alarm

If you are ready to spend some money, we advise you to think about buying a laser or infrared tripwire. This device works on the principle of physical signaling, but instead of a string or fishing line, an infrared or laser beam is used, which activates an alarm if it detects suspicious movement.

How to create it?

It is more difficult to make such a device than a simple tripwire alarm, but nevertheless, if you follow the instructions, you will definitely cope with it!

You need to prepare: a laser pointer, 555 Timer IC, switch, a printed circuit board, three AA batteries and a holder for them, two resistors, glue gun, heat shrink tubing, three-twelve volt buzzer, soldering gun, jumper wires, multimeter, CdS photoresistor.

Step 1

Check the resistance of the photoresistor by connecting a CdS photoresistor with a multimeter and then shining the laser pointer at it. The resistance that you get will indicate the resistors that you will need.

Step 2

Take a 555 timer IC and solder all the parts to the printed circuit board using an adhesive gun. To do this, you will need minimal knowledge of electronics, and that is why such an alarm system is not suitable for everyone.

Step 3

Install the laser pointer with glue and fix the button pressed with duct tape. Check the result.

3.Radiofrequency trip wire

This is a more complex version of the alarm system, which provides a wireless connection between the tripwire and the alarm that movement was detected. You can even carry this alarm with you because the signal radius is quite large, which is very convenient in many cases.

Despite the fact that the latest types of devices are quite high-tech and complex, you can limit yourself to a simple direct alarm signal – although it is quite simple, it has not lost its relevance and effectiveness for many years. So, if you want a basic, reliable trip, the classic alarm is just what you need to create and install.

You also should be aware of how to conceal your safety system – scroll to the bottom of the page, and you will find the relevant information.

Other Low Tech Perimeter Alarm Options

Other Low Tech Perimeter Alarm Options 1. Secure perimeter with cameras with sensor alert

Cameras With Sensor Alert

First of all, you need to look at your property and the surrounding area and assess where the places most susceptible to intruder penetration are located. Install trail cameras or streaming video cameras in these chokepoints, which will be able to transmit an image to your phone and detect movement that should not be there.

2. Install motion detectors

Motion Detectors These devices can transmit information about the detected movement to you or illuminate this chokepoint with a beam of light or fire up a floodlight. You better cover each danger point with a motion sensor alert, including space near windows.

3. Pets as a security measure

Pets As A Security Measure Dogs perfectly identify strangers and bark, notifying them of their approach. In addition, a large dog can scare an intruder, and he will change his mind to enter your home. They usually cover all the territory of your property, so it is a reliable and useful method. The good thing is that if the dog manages to scare strangers, you will not need to fight with them.

4. Use driveway alarms

Driveway Alarms

Driveway alarms are one of the easiest ways to find out about the approaching intruders beforehand.

Concealing Perimeter Alarm Systems

Concealing Perimeter Alarm Systems The main thing that you should remember when setting traps on your territory is that they should not be noticeable. Your main weapon is unpredictability, so follow my advice when installing an improvised security system:

  • Use the natural colors of the tools in order to disguise them under the surrounding terrain. For example, if you install a wire in the grass or near trees, let it be green or yellow-brown in order to merge with the grass and other vegetation.
  • Hide your cameras and traps in the grass, bushes, behind tree branches, and so on. In other words, use nature to disguise your perimeter alarm system and hide them from prying eyes.
  • Use instructions such as sound, color, and items to conceal your security means.
  • Set up multiple perimeter alarm system options to secure your home, camping, or a particular room. Don’t expect that one low-tech trip or even a quality video camera will provide you with 100 percent security and alert you to an intruder’s presence.


Conclusion Summing up, there are different types of tripwire alarms, and each of them has its own pros and cons. Thus, if you want to install a perimeter alarm system for the camping, classic anti-intruder techniques are likely to suit you more because the impact of rain, wind, or other atmospheric phenomena is not as dangerous for them as for electronics and low tech devices such as security video cameras, motion detectors, etc. So, search for a device that is the most suitable for your needs and requirements.

In the end, you can watch this video to find out about the noises you can use for your perimeter alarm.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do perimeter alarms work?

Yes, even the basic alarm system, which can be made from improvised materials, successfully copes with its main task – notification of the approach of uninvited guests. Some of them are very easy to do, such as the mousetrap or air horn alarms – all you will need is to find a stick, duct tape to attach details to each other, an appropriate tree, or other construction to install the device, drill bit. If you install it correctly, no one will be able to catch you by surprise by an unexpected appearance in your home or tent.

What is a perimeter burglar alarm?

A perimeter burglar alarm system is a network of electronic devices that work as a single mechanism to protect your property. This means that all your entry points (doors and windows) will be monitored by motion sensors and security cameras, as well as other risky areas inside and outside your home. The sensors monitor the penetration points and, when motion is detected, send an appropriate signal to the control panel, notifying their owners about the invasion of their territory.

What are perimeter alarms?

A perimeter alarm is a device that notifies you that movement has been noticed on the territory of your home. Thus, it warns you that you need to be ready to defend yourself, hide or call the police, depending on the scenario. For camping enthusiasts, such a system can serve as an excellent alert about the approach of wild animals that would like to eat their supplies.


A former USA Army sergeant and a highly educated survivalist and prepper with a degree and interest in Engineering and Electronics, Mike Millerson applies his extensive expertise in survivalism, homesteading, backpacking, hiking and hunting, spreading his deep knowledge about handling emergencies and prepping for them reasonably and effectively.




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