Guns and Gear

“Bunker” is Prepper for “Coffin”

By Cork Graham, Global Counter Terror Magazine

If one more prepper on the Discovery Channel DOOMSDAY BUNKERS and National Geographic DOOMSDAY PREPPERS lauds and pines on and on about bunkers, or speaks glowingly of a new bunker purchase and installation, I’m going to SCREAM!

What is it with this bunker mentality? Every bunker that I’ve seen makes a great root cellar, and a very roomy coffin. Doesn’t anyone recall that the actual use of a bunker has never done anything to prevent people getting at you? If anything they’ve made it easier to find and bury you…


Bunkers became very big during the 1930s, when France built a whole string of them between them and Germany, that made up the Maginot Line. The Nazis just went around it. Then Hitler himself lived in a bunker the last few months of his life…

Bunkering-in is probably one of the worst things that a large force can consider, much less a small one; and that’s exactly what a family of one or two people is—a small force. Ask anyone who dealt with bunkers during Vietnam and they’ll tell you how bad the tunnels were, like around Cu Chi. “That was some scary shit!” is most often the response. Then there were the other guys who used to get off on the rush of sliding around in the tunnels on their hands and knees, a flashlight in one hand, a 1911 loaded and cocked in the other, never knowing what was waiting behind a bend, or down a hole: venomous snakes, ambusher, explosives.

After a lull of interest based on a variety of very solid evidence that bunkers make great places to die, now suddenly bunkers seem to be the go-to choice for survivalists and preppers. How and why boggles the mind: let’s take a look at how easy it is to compromise a bunker.


Let’s start with air. Everyone needs oxygen. Except for a few air tanks that might keep you going for a few hours, you’ll need that air delivered through some type of snorkel system. Also, because of how small that snorkel is in relation to the room and the number of people you have in the bunker, the air could get stale rapidly. Also remember, what comes in must go out. That’s when the scout with a dog, and I don’t even mean a perfectly trained Marine scout dog, I mean a little Bichon that comes snooping around and smells your human scent going out the exhaust pipe: whatever attempts you made to camouflage the bunker will be for naught.

So what happens when they find your bunker? First, they’ll try to reason with you to come out. Now, if they just want the food that you’d stored in your bunker, they might just take it and let you go. If you’re lucky, they’ll let you go with at least some rations for a few days. Forget that they’ll let you go with even a .22 rabbit gun to fend for yourself. If you resist and hope that they’ll just think it’s too hard to get in, that they’ll just forget you and go on their merry way, forget it.

If they have a smoke grenade, or better yet, a CS teargas grenade, they’re going to drop it down one of your many pipes that your engineer rightly told you you’d need to survive down in that large, concrete and steel rat trap. Now you may have planned ahead, like so many preppers I see fashioning on TV the latest gas masks from Vietnam and WWII. You and your family will don those masks that if you haven’t practiced shooting with them, will make any fighting a lesson in futility. But, you’ll sit and wait for the air outtake to pull the gas or smoke out and fill the bunker with fresh air. You’ll just sit tight and huddle like a rabbit hutch in a hole. The guys upstairs will act more like a fox or wolverine that knows, just knows, that there’s got to be something really good down there: why else wouldn’t you just come up and surrender, after all?

This is when it starts to get nasty. If they have high explosive (HE) grenades, they’ll toss a few down one of the pipes. If your engineers have the knowledge and military experience, and therefore planned correctly, they will have planned for such an attack and included a sump to take the grenade and the blast. Or, they might have even included a pressure valve that would redirect the blast back up a redirection pipe. If they didn’t, you’ll be lucky to survive the experience with only completely burst eardrums, and possibly trauma to your lungs, sinuses, and brain.

You might be knocked so senseless that you may not even be able to respond to their orders to come out—though by then you will wish you could. You’ll hesitate, and they’ll become more enraged. That frustrated fox digging at the hole to get a rodent won’t have anything on those aggressors trying to get you out. Their emotions will be running at such a high level that they’ll no longer be as preoccupied with getting your supplies as they will be with just getting you out and putting you totally at their mercy for your taking up their time.

They might have brought some gasoline with them. Or, they might have just raided your vehicle you kept in the garage. They’ll pour a gallon of it down one of the pipes. They’ll give you one more warning—you’ll start getting light headed from the gasoline fumes. If you’re lucky, they’ll wait to see if you’ll actually answer: you haven’t said a word from the moment that they found you. If you’re not so lucky, they’ll just drop a match down the pipe. The following explosion and the flames, not to mention the fumes will turn you into what we euphemistically used to call a “Crispy Critter”.

Along those same lines, they might not give a damn who you are, or what you’ve got. All they want to be sure is that you’re a dead threat. They’ll take a note from the Marines on Iwo Jima, who had to deal with Imperial Japanese coming out of tunnels cut into the mountain. They’ll just bring up a bulldozer and bury your ass! Please pardon my frustration at what we’re seeing on TV: as I’ve said before, it’s going to get you killed, and just so someone can keep making metal containers—before it was shipping containers and pools, now it’s your heavily marketed Doomsday Bunker.