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Old 03-21-2006, 07:57 AM   #21
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Byron, you are a man and can't really relate to what we women are speaking about, not that men shouldn't alert too. It's not society scaring us, it's a fact of life that women are more vulernable.

I'm not afraid of my shadow, in fact in some cases I'm probably not as aware and concerned as I should be. If I was afraid of my shadow I'd be home on couch.
Joy,

I just can't believe "it's a woman thing". A third of my officers are women, and while I feel a concern for them, my concern is really unnecessary as they are just as competent in taking care of themselves as my male employees. Men and women who are elderly or infirm are always at risk as they can't defend themselves, but there is no reason for a normally healthy man or woman to be afraid if they make appropriate preparation and choices... and that's what this thread is about.

Being aware of your surroundings, choosing not to be a victim, and having a plan... THE three MOST important things in ensuring a good quality of life in tough times without being fearful. Whether or not an individual chooses to follow those guidelines may be a different issue; people choose every day not to do things that is of benefit to them... (not to participate in their own health care choices for example). But if you choose to be in charge of your own best interests, remain aware of your surroundings, and make good daily choices that keep you safe, you need not fear. A healthy concern goes a long way. You'll be fine.

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Old 03-21-2006, 09:04 AM   #22
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I've been following this with interest and really didn't think that I had much to add, but there a couple of things that I'd like to mention. These are just my thoughts and I think that a large part of being secure is feeling and acting just that way, so if it works for you ...

One of my concerns is women who have fictional male traveling companions. My thinking is that if I have things that indicate that a man is with me (like boots outside the door, etc) and no one ever sees him, then they might not become suspicious if they see a male around my camp or entering my trailer. When traveling in the real world, these trailers DO draw attention so that does provide a tad of security if those around you know what to expect. Although I do camp alone, there are times that my husband drops by when he's in the area. I let the campground host know when I register who he is and when he might be arriving.

Another thing is that I lock my door when I leave the campground. I know, they could easily get in, but if the door is damaged, then it's a sure sign for me not to enter.

While I don't advertise that I'm alone, neither do I try to hide it. I am a self sufficient female who's only companion is her 75 lb pup. I do miss him when he's not with me, but there are times he can't go. Because he is no longer my focus, I do find that I am a little more aware of my surroundings when he's not with me.

Also, a note to all of you kind gents who have repeatedly offered to help over the years: I didn't mean to be rude when I declined your offer of help nor was my declination a pride thing. It just a matter of if I'm going to do it, then I'm going to do it. Sure there may be times that I might seem a little awkward and I'm not beyond asking for help if I need it, but the more help I receive the less self sufficient and careful I will be. My husband had a hard time not helping me when I was hitching up to leave until he realized that his help was actually NOT helping.

I actually feel safer when I travel with my trailer behind me than when I travel alone and stay in hotels.

... one more thing. I have to admit that I was very leary in the beginning. The first night I was out, I was pretty afraid and asked myself just what I thought I was doing? Then it came to me: I was more secure there than any of the other places that I had traveled alone. I'm used to moving around in my little trailer's tight quarters and the intruder isn't.
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Old 03-21-2006, 05:31 PM   #23
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I always try not to look too spiffy when traveling. My intent is not to look shabby, but experienced and not worth much. A rig 20 to 25 years old is about right. Spare tire bald, but it holds air. Several nicks and stains, but nothing significant. No fancy bikes or kayaks, antennas or laptops.

I've never had anything very tense. The worst was when trying to get some sleep in a wide spot along a secondary road. A car pulled in beside me just inches away. Turned out to be a county trooper working radar. I was a pretty good blind. After the third 'hit' I moved my rig closer to the ditch so he couldn't squeeze in, and it was quiet after that.
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Old 03-21-2006, 06:22 PM   #24
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Byron, you are a man and can't really relate to what we women are speaking about, not that men shouldn't alert too. [b]It's not society scaring us, it's a fact of life that women are more vulernable.
I am a middle aged man living in an urban area. My bank is 10 blocks from my house. My favorite coffeehouse (Not Starbucks, but has WiFi) is 16 blocks away. I like to walk to each of these venues; because parking in the city is a pain, and because the exercize is good for me.

Three years ago, while walking home from an early winter evening's visit to both places, I was within 2 blocks of my house when I heard a strange clicking sound in my left ear. About the same instant that my brain processed this information, I experienced the most excruciating pain in my left temple, and my view of the world went completely black.

Then I heard a car engine rev up, and tires squeel, as the sound passed me on the left. Now having first-hand experience of what a 10 on my doctor's pain response survey feels like, I tried to make sense of the situation. I squinted out of my right eye, put my hand to my face, and brought it down covered in blood, plus a strange luminous green jelly liquid.

I tried to dial 911 on my cell phone, but the damn thing would not connect. I heard voices ahead of me on the sidewalk and shouted out: "Please call 911, I've been shot!"





Long story short, I had been attacked by some youths with a [b]paint-ball gun at point blank range. The police told me that there were a lot of copy-cat attacks ever since a group of kids had video taped themselves doing this, and it was shown on national television. They begged me to try to identify them, but I could not, and therefore was unable to prossecute.

I was totally blind in my left eye for approximately 36 hours. The paint-ball pellet had shattered and pieces of plastic gone into my left eye, permenently scratching my cornea.

3 days in bed, sitting up, [b]immobile, (to prevent my retina from detaching), then 3 weeks bed rest once my vision returned. 6 months of follow-up monitoring, and several different eye drops. $3000.00 of [b]out-of-pocket medical expences; (deductables and uncovered billings).

I am a middle aged [b]male, no less vulnerable than anyone else.
I still walk to the bank and my favorite coffee shop.
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Old 03-21-2006, 06:44 PM   #25
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Spare tire bald, but it holds air. Several nicks and stains, but nothing significant.
My wife says you describe me perfectly on the "spare tire," "bald," "nicks and stains" and "nothing significant" bits, but complains that I don't hold "air" so good any more. Of course, I always blame that on the dog.
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Old 03-21-2006, 08:32 PM   #26
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Circling the wagons has been the best security for travelers since the Oregon Trail days. I never stop unless there are other RVs, not even in a Wal-Mart parking lot.
So! You're assuming that all RVers are good guys and the bad guys aren't RVers. Interesting assumption.
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Old 03-22-2006, 07:18 AM   #27
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So! You're assuming that all RVers are good guys and the bad guys aren't RVers. Interesting assumption.
My personal idea on this is: Trust but verify.

IOW, I expect them to be, but I assume nothing. It all goes back to instinct.
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Old 03-22-2006, 07:30 AM   #28
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Bear spray???? Please explain. Thanks
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Old 03-22-2006, 09:50 AM   #29
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My personal idea on this is: Trust but verify.

IOW, I expect them to be, but I assume nothing. It all goes back to instinct.
Seems to me I saw a news article where drug dealers were using travel trailers. Maybe they were all wrong about that.
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Old 03-22-2006, 09:52 AM   #30
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Older travel trailers are commonly used as small meth labs, and the Waste is "Innocently" dumped at KOAs and other dump stations.

Mobile and stealthy. There are a couple private parks I know of in So. Oregon that were closed for a time to get the contamination cleaned up.
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Old 03-22-2006, 10:00 AM   #31
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Seems to me I saw a news article where drug dealers were using travel trailers. Maybe they were all wrong about that.
Not to be flippant, but they also shop in the same stores and drive on the same roads, but that doesn't mean that most of the people out there are ne'er do wells.

I never approach a fellow RVer, I always wait for them to approach me. My guess is that if they are using their RV for illegal uses, they really don't want to draw attention to themselves and will keep their distance from me.

My mother used to be concerned about me going out at night or traveling by myself. It's like I told her, I can worry myself to death and hibernate or I can use good judgement, be careful, have have a good time.

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Old 03-22-2006, 11:19 AM   #32
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Seems to me I saw a news article where drug dealers were using travel trailers. Maybe they were all wrong about that.
No Byron, you're right, they have been. But so have houses, cars, barns, corn cribs, open fields, garaged, motels, and old warehouses. You name it, it's been used. Frankly I'm much more concerned about getting a motel room with a meth lab next door. All clan labs are an explosion and fire waiting to happen.

You need to remember though, that there all kinds of wackos and wierdos plying our world, and Suz is right. They live in your neighborhood, shop at the same stores you do, and don't stand out much until something goes really, really wrong... the BTK killer in Wichita is a perfect example. Few people walk around with "Crook" stamped on their foreheads. Street and prison gang members can look scary, and they do it to intimidate. They're pretty easy to spot. Other folks who are just as dangerous blend right into the woodwork.

If you really want to read some scary stuff right here in the heartland, check this link out:

Southern Poverty Law Center: Intelligence Project

And then this attacking the organization above. In their zeal to discredit one another, both sides have perspectives that are really inflammatory stuff that drives violent and anarchist-prone folks. And those same folks all shop at Wal-Mart and HyVee with us.

Most of us live in a pretty insular world. Our perception of crime comes from being bombarded with stories of horrible crimes from around the world every day in the media. Unfortunately we tend to internalize each story and see them as a personal threat to us. How many folks went out and bought plastic for their windows and duct tape to hold it on a couple of years ago after Tom Ridge said it was a good idea? How many of us have actually had the need for it?

Once again, you can't jump at every shadow or you'd never get out of bed in the morning. You DO have to be alert to what's going on around you. Fortunately, criminal behavior among campers is generally related to alcohol consumption and its attendant problems. Stranger violence is very rare. Yes, generally the world can be a dangerous place, but if you just pay attention to what's going on around you, the odds of YOU being a victim of a stranger crime are pretty slim. Frankly, the statistics show, at least in the U.S., that you're "orders of magnitude" much more likely to be assaulted or killed by a spouse or family member than a stranger.

So, really folks, please keep this stuff in perspective.

Roger

On edit... PowerBall is over $100 million tonight... I think I need to buy a ticket...
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Old 03-22-2006, 11:57 AM   #33
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My Ex got bumped across the room in his home from a car going off the road. He was in bed at the time. The old man driving had a problem and drove across a field and through the side of the house, through the bathroom then to the bed. (I thought it was funny. He was/is my ex after all )
My way of saying even you're bed's not safe. Might as well get up and out.
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Old 03-22-2006, 05:27 PM   #34
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Precicsely, Roger.

The point of this thread was not to instill fear in everyone. It was to find out what (Here's that term) common sense practices or even little tricks folks use to better thier security, or even just give themselves the warm fuzzies while being out alone.

I certainly am not a scared rabbit and will continue to go out as I chose, when I chose. I will, however, take the precautions I think are helpful and necessary for me to be comfortable doing so, whether the danger is real, or just a remote possibilty.

Just like I do when I am at home.
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Old 03-22-2006, 05:51 PM   #35
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I'm not afraid of camping or hiking or backpacking. I've been doing all for well over thirty years. I've never been bothered while hiking or backpacking, but I have seen what the locals will do at woodland areas where they have vehicle access and an opportunity to create mischief. Two of the Appalachian Trail shelters I used as a kid in the north Georgia mountains had to be dismantled because they were too close to roads. Locals were driving up and harassing and threatening backpackers, and they were vandalizing the shelters. Also, we lived near Carters Reservoir when it was first filled, and the locals there would drive down to the then brand new facilities on the shore of the lake and destroy them--picnic tables, barbecues, rest rooms--whatever they could demolish. This problem ceased when the campgrounds were established with the presence of campground hosts.
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Old 03-22-2006, 06:13 PM   #36
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Bear spray is pepper spray in large cans that spray a long way. The idea is to spray a charging bear and move out of the way at a 90 degree angle and stand perfectly still. The bear will be extremely mad, temporarily blinded, and unable to smell you due to the pepper spray.

You must stand still because the bear can still hear and will chase you.
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Old 03-22-2006, 08:08 PM   #37
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We have a four d-cell Brinkman flashlight at the head of the bed. It weighs 2.8 pounds and makes a great club.
 
Old 03-25-2006, 10:19 AM   #38
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Bear spray???? Please explain. Thanks

Karalyn, check this site: Defense Devices.com

A number of people prefer a strong pepper spray over other types of defense stuff. Google is your friend for finding other websites. Also, check at your local hunting/fishing/sporting goods store. But remember, there is some real junk pepper spray available for sale...the type with such a weak solution of pepper it can be used as breath spray with no ill effects!
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Old 03-25-2006, 11:34 AM   #39
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When I use herbal breath spray, I prefer garlic.

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Old 03-25-2006, 11:40 AM   #40
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You'd also be amazed at how effective a spray bottle of ammonia is...

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