Boondocking or (Dispersed Camping) - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-30-2015, 06:58 AM   #1
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Boondocking or (Dispersed Camping)

Hi everyone. I have a sensitive topic to ask some of you. It concerns carrying a fire arm with you on camping trips. I am usually not a paranoid person. I have been very interested in camping in the wilderness away from hookups and noisy campgrounds. I love nature, hiking, and the joy of being at one with the natural world. I am single now and travel and camp alone most of the time. I have a lot of friends but not many willing to camp out in the boonies. I am not afraid of bears and other wild critters. I am just really not very interested in a re-make of the movie "Deliverance." I was harassed once by some hunters. After a friendly chat that ended without incident. I am not fond of traveling with a fire arm, and I don't want to live in fear. I do have a carry permit. Have any of you had any negative experiences? Maybe some good feedback may help me muster up the courage to carry my gun.


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Old 01-30-2015, 07:11 AM   #2
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We've traveled for 14 years almost 8 months a year and never had an experience where I needed a fire arm. Sometimes we carry one but it has never left our trailer and is locked well out of sight when we carry one.

One adder, even when we're camping among people that would keep us on our toes walking down a street we find that in a camping situation they are friendly and interested in us and our travels.

I served in a shelter for a few years as a chaperon. It opened for the night around 10 PM. When the homeless people came in the first thing they did was turn on the TV and watch the news. The first night I heard them comment on the violence reported on the news. One said that it made him afraid to say hello to people.

I slept peacefully that first night in the store front's curtained window knowing that the homeless had the same feelings as the 'homed' regular citizens. There;s always something to learn.
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Old 01-30-2015, 07:27 AM   #3
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First, a moderator note.
Please do not turn this into and argument or debate about whether you approve of carrying firearms, and whether it is appropriate or not to carry, while camping in our trailers. If there is an sign of disrespect of other members of this site, this thread will be shut down in a heartbeat. Discussions on firearms rarely are amicable.

On a personal note, I have only had great experiences while camping, finding that the folks out their are generally more friendly and accommodating than that of the general public. While I have been annoyed in a few circumstances, I have never feared anything in any of them. And, most of the camping we do is boondocking.

We do sometimes take some rifles along when camping at our rec land, mostly 22's for target shooting. Once the kids were old enough to hold a light one, they were educated in proper handling and shooting of them. Once they displayed constant proper behaviour, only then were they left unsupervised.
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Old 01-30-2015, 08:10 AM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback. I certainly hope that I don't start an argument. I will probably just decide to go camping without a fire arm or keep it locked away. I have camped for many years and made so many wonderful friends.

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Old 01-30-2015, 08:18 AM   #5
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Thanks for asking the question. I'm in same single situation and once retired and have a trailer I'll have this same question on my mind.
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Old 01-30-2015, 08:41 AM   #6
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"Packing" for camp

As I said in my intro forum, and in have read in others as well, a lot of us are tent campers originally. I've never carried or felt the need to even though there is only mosquito netting between me and potential danger. A gun is a tool, and when I go hunting I'm happy to carry one. When I'm camping I'm more worried about keeping dry and warm. My thought too is that anyone wanting to do you harm would look for an opportunity where you would be defenseless anyway. If you lock your gun in your RV what protection is there when you are outside? Who wants to carry a holstered side arm during a peaceful outing?
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Old 01-30-2015, 08:51 AM   #7
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Joe, several months ago someone linked a two part article from an online magazine called "truck campers" or something along those lines. I would encourage you to either find the link here or do a google search for this online magazine. The article was written by an retired national park ranger and highway patrolman from CO I think. More importantly the gist of the article was directly aimed at your initial question about safety in the boonies and he goes into great detail regarding methods of protecting yourself.

What I found most interesting however was his preferred weapon of defense and it was not a gun. The author goes into the myriad of reasons why too and I think he makes some very valid points. Cutting to the chase his preferred weapon of defense are cans of bear spray worn on your hip holster.

To that I will add at least thus far we have never ran into any problems while camping be it boon docking, USFS, Nat Parks, State Parks etc etc and we have been doing this all over the country for many years. On a couple of occasions there have been some odd balls near us that did give us cause for caution and concern but turned out to be a non event.

I hope this helps.
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Old 01-30-2015, 08:55 AM   #8
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They are illegal to have in most areas where we camp, National Parks, State Parks, National Forest Campgrounds, etc even if you have a carry permit.
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Old 01-30-2015, 09:47 AM   #9
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I've traveled solo for 4 years & 56,000 miles, using both campgrounds & dispersed camping, and have not felt the need for a firearm to protect myself.
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Old 01-30-2015, 10:49 AM   #10
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I carry a pretty comprehensive first aid kit when camping, while I hope I never have to use any of the supplies for trauma injury they are there if needed. Feel a firearm fits in that same category.

The point about knowing the laws that apply in the area you are camping in or will be transporting a firearm through is a good one. Contact the relevant authorities don't take some forum posts as source of legal advice.

I know a fair number of hunters that will sometimes go hunting several states away, quick call to the state police in the states they are going through clears up requirements. Some require locked case, some simply cased and not loaded, some simply require it not be loaded and out of the drivers reach. Then there are states with open carry laws so as long as it is in plain sight it is legal.

Call to state or national park service can provide the same accurate information for those camping locations.

The approach I recommended to the grown kids for when they transport a firearm is in case, with lock on case, not loaded, ammo separate, and either disabled by removing cylinder, bolt etc. or with a secondary lock or cable tie through action. Disassembled and locked in a case in my opinion would get by most legal requirements for transport, with the cylinder or bolt removed and stored separate it is generally no longer a firearm.

In camp depends on location in my opinion, but having a loaded firearm inside ones camper (or not) seems like it is a private matter. No one else should even be aware of it. Leaving it out on the counter or other visible location is just inviting theft or conflict with those who may not share your comfort level with firearms. Don't talk politics or religion much around the campfire either. Get along better that way.
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Old 01-30-2015, 10:51 AM   #11
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I have had 2 experiences in the "boondocks" where I was glad I had a weapon. The first was years ago at 2AM there was some commotion in a group campsite with a group of friends. We were in small trailers or truck campers and several of us had firearms. What had happened is someone from the city had an argument with an individual and to teach him a "lesson" they beat the you know what out of him and dumped him in the boonies. His teeth were knocked out and he had some other serious facial injuries. Most likely this guy had some connections with organized crime. I think he borrowed some money and when he did not pay it back he was sent a reminder. He came to us seeking help. This was long before cell phones and we used a CB radio. It took 2 hours to get help. The injured party was no threat but the possibility his assailants would return was a concern. We were bird hunting and all of us had legal shotguns. I for one was much more comfortable because I had a weapon. The second experience was exactly a year ago when I was on my way to Quartzite. I had left home in the afternoon and stopped in Medford Oregon at a Walmart for some sleep. At about 1AM someone tried to open my trailer door. The door was locked and the metallic noise the latch made woke me. The dog growled and I heard footsteps running away. I went outside and the truck and trailer were fine. The next morning a neighbor in a fifth wheel came over and said someone had tried to open his door, then he saw them try to open my door. I was glad I had a weapon.

Neither of these situations involved campers. They were low life people who just happened to cross my path. Some remote BLM areas are beautiful but they also provide opportunities to use drugs, make drugs etc. Drug cartels, smugglers and illegals crossing the border on BLM land is a concern in the southwest.

I took a class about carrying a concealed weapon. The instructor was a Deputy Sherriff and one of the discussions was really interesting. It went like this. You are on the road and it's late night or early morning. You stop at a convenience store for a beverage and immediately notice a very frightened young girl behind the counter and a man holding a knife on the other side of the counter. You pull your weapon with the idea you will hold the person you assume is a robber at gunpoint until the police arrive. you reach for your cell phone with your other hand and dial 911. Unbeknown to you, there is another store employee in the back room and that person has already reported an armed robbery. The police arrive and see YOU holding a handgun. What is that police officer going to do? Good chance he will think you are the robber. Carrying a concealed weapon can put you in a dangerous situation in spite of the fact that you are the "good guy"

Laws regarding concealed weapons (carrying, transporting and storage ) vary from state to state and they change all the time. The NRA ILA website www.handgunlaw.us is the best source of information available.

Carrying a concealed weapon is a very serious responsibility. Classes are highly recommended.
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Old 01-30-2015, 10:56 AM   #12
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This is internet information so I would seek confirmation but the applicable state and local firearm laws apply inside the national parks since 2010. If it is legal possession or carry outside the park then it is legal inside the park.

Firearms Q and A - Appalachian National Scenic Trail (U.S. National Park Service)
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Old 01-30-2015, 11:04 AM   #13
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In case anyone is interested here is the link to the article referred to earlier. Hope it helps.

Personal Safety for Truck Campers

and

Personal Safety - Carrying Firearms and Non-Lethal Self-Defense Tools
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Old 01-30-2015, 11:42 AM   #14
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.... What I found most interesting however was his preferred weapon of defense and it was not a gun. The author goes into the myriad of reasons why too and I think he makes some very valid points. Cutting to the chase his preferred weapon of defense are cans of bear spray worn on your hip holster.
As former LEO I often have a firearm with me, never felt even a remote need to resort to it while camping. I also have bear spray, it's alot better for everyone to empty a can of pepper spray into someone's face than a .357 magnum. Hanging a bear spray on your hip appears less of a problem to others than a gun.
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