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Safety in the Backcountry.
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Do you feel safe
“Just seemed right to move this to it's own thread for some reason - away from the horrific incident in Georgia.
Just wondered if people feel safe when they head out to the backcountry?
My feeling is that we're safer there than just about anywhere else, and I've never really been too worried while in the middle of nowhere - but do others feel the same?
Should we all be carrying weapons and avoiding strangers, or at least hiking in a group?
last edited: 1/07/08 12:14:42 PM”
“I always feel safe. I tend to backpack with at least one other person, mainly to have someone to talk to at the end of the day more than anything else.”
“Hiking in a group is never a bad idea, but to answer your question -- other than trailheads and shelters close to trailheads, what serial killer is going to hike a 2000' climb to meet their prey?”
“The only times I have ever felt threatened was at the trailhead, where Billjoebob was drinking a 12er with his buds. That's about it. Once I'm on the trail, I have never felt uncomfortable really.”
“For all the talk about carrying guns or whatever - the incident in Georgia seemed to happen after he'd befriended her, with their dogs playing together. Is there anything carrying a gun would have done to protect her?”
“Well, would a bullet stop you”
Love this link I found..
“All activities, hiking, hunting, driving, sex, etc. have inherent risk and each of us must evaluate those risks and conduct ourselves accordingly. Since most people die in beds, going to bed at night must be VERY dangerous.”
“IMHO... with no application to anyone else... I would feel less safe with a firearm. Explanation was posted on the other thread before I realized this one was here.
I have had more close calls on my bicycle than I have in the woods. I am more concerned about my blood sugar crashing and being stuck out there by myself. Your mileage may vary.
last edited: 1/07/08 12:24:33 PM”
“It's likely that Meredith was struck from behind after being befriended by the sicko.
Having a gun would not likely have helped.”
“Well, would a bullet stop you”
Well it might if the attacker was kind enough to let me know in advance that he'd be attacking me.
The closest I've come to this was talking my way out of an incident in South Africa a long time ago. If I'd have had a gun I wouldn't have been here right now.”
“Saying one would feel less safe with a firearm, is like saying one would feel less thirsty with out water. Guns are a blessing, as is water to the thirsty
last edited: 1/07/08 12:26:21 PM”
“pitbull.. that you for avoiding my disclaimer and making a judgment on my knowledge of myself. I quit. This is stupid.”
“As many have said before, there needs to be some level of awareness of your surroundings. Sadly WAAAAY to many people in this day and time have lost that.
Regardless of where you are...stay aware of what it going on around you.”
“Well I was thinking, as I looked for some meaningful statistics on the subject.. that you have a better chance of getting killed by a bear or bit by a poisonous snake than being attacked while on the trail
last edited: 1/07/08 12:29:11 PM”
“I know that if you had a dog like mine, and a gun. You would feel safe, very unlikely that anyone would cause any harm to you. Do you want to feel safe, and be safe. Or do you just want to feel safe.”
“Although I tend to get a little freaked when I am in the woods alone, I can't imagine it is any more dangerous than going to walmart alone or the mall or anywhere else for that matter. People in a crowd don't necessarily pay attention to the person walking beside them or the one across the parking lot from them. I guess you would be more likely to be heard if you scream, but all in all, I still don't think its really any safer, even in a crowd of people.”
“The young woman was likely ambushed.
A weapon does no good in that case.”
“It's a recurring theme among gun banners like Y2. If they can show one situation that a gun would not have helped, then the entire notion of carrying is flawed.
Of course in reality a firearm is merely a tool. It may or may not be of help. There's obviously situations one might get into that were impossible to foresee, much less have any opportunity to do *anything* about it.
But there are situations where opportunity does present itself, and carrying can give a person a better chance of exploiting it.”
“If I'd have had a gun I wouldn't have been here right now.”
i said that before on the "gun" thread and of course got blasted as a gun controlist...i've long thought a gun in many instances would just aggravate the situation
my wife doesn't want me to solo so i don't out of respect of her but if i wasn't married i think i'd feel perfectly comfortable doing so”
last edited: 1/07/08 12:31:24 PM”
“Pitbull... about ME... ME... personal statement you are absolutely wrong.”
“Just for the record, my house is unlocked, my keys are in the car. I'm not trying to be stupid, nor am I trying to tempt fate.
If you want to get murdered, go where the murderers are. They are not 8 miles from any road.”
“you have a better chance of getting killed by a bear or bit by a poisonous snake than being attacked while on the trail
last edited: 1/07/08 3:29:11 PM”
exactly, at at least if it is a human you have a chance at reasoning with them”
“The only time I am concerned for my safety is when I hike solo. What if I fall down a ravine, break my leg, knock myself out and no one knows I am down there for a long time. Feral dogs worry me too. But I always tell someone where I am going and when I will be back and I try not to deviate from the plan.
In light of the most recent tragedy, I will be more careful around strangers and listen more carefully to that little voice in my head (yes, I hear voices) that says something is not quite right. I think I will be more diligent about getting a hiking partner too.”
“thrifty - you'll get to go through the same thought process when your kids get old enough to go with you. This does make me consider getting off trail to camp with them. The bad part is, you're going to want to camp on water, especially with a kids and trail frequently follow the water.”
Happiness Is A Warm Gun
“A paranoid attitude and a weapon and a mean dog might ensure safety as well as loneliness.
Sleeping in trees might ensure safety.”
“TD - my folks don't even know where the keys to their own house are. Their house probably hasn't been locked in over a decade.”
“So the next time I walk up to a group of girls trying to figure out how to put up their tent.. I need to plan on meeting my maker.
“Balance Muttley - you seem to be unable to find yours.
So what can yo do to be safe in the backcountry? What do you do to stay safe?
What should we do as 'men' shoud we avoid making contact with solo women in the backcountry for fear of spooking them?”
“I think experience will prove "ME" right, ramblinrev, thankfully we live in a country, where we can choose, and make these choices that we disagree on. But we are safer because of guns, not because of weather we like it or not.”
“I know 2 homes I am breaking into tonight”
“there needs to be some level of awareness of your surroundings. Sadly WAAAAY too many people in this day and time have lost that.
I believe that the problem is too much of a false awareness - that people falsely suspect the guy next to them on the bus, or the guy waiting in his car to be next at the ATM.
If I become injured in the backcountry, I want to know that the inhabitants of the campsite I stagger into in the middle of the night will help me - not shoot me.
If they are armed, they are expecting to use deadly force. It's simple psychology. It's called the self fufilling prophecy to be specific.
My stumbling into camp wrapped in my bloody TNF would in their sleepy eyes be a bear, or a hillbilly invasion sans banjo marching music, and they would shoot me.
last edited: 1/07/08 12:47:16 PM”
“Ladies and gents too for that matter. I posted the story about my wife on the other Thread. What was suggested to her and me I did not post there but it posted here. (man that sentence made no sense originally.)
Carry with you a key rings with the longest nastiest evil keys you can get your hands on. Clench the key ring in your fist allowing the keys to stick out from your fingers. Use the exposed to to slash the eyes first. The keys will not be taken away from you easily. Now I know the gun folk will scoff at this. But yes... as a semi-pacifist I feel better safer with this solution than with a firearm that could very well be takewn away from eme and used against me.
semi-pacifist = I believe in self defense providing it does not involve the death of another individual.
last edited: 1/07/08 12:46:16 PM”
“If you want non-lethal protection and don't want to go through a lot of training, pepper spray is the best for most, not a fistfull of keys.
Get good quality pepper spray, like Fox Labs. Practice a little. Keep it handy.
last edited: 1/07/08 12:49:51 PM”
“Just don't stand down wind of it....”
“Mutt I disagree I know many a cyclist who got caught in their own spray mist and ended up crashing. Admittedly, that was a cyclist. But I have heard the same story about encounters with bears. Yeah. if you can arrange yourself so the spray will blow away from you it may be fine. But when I am under distress I do not think that clearly nor is the option always viable.”
“Just hike and have a good time. The chance of being killed out hiking is pretty low (don't know how low) I suspect you're more likely to be killed driving your car.If you are killed by a nutcase, well #&%!$ happens.”
“If you're real concerned about wind, get the stream pattern. The point of it is to get a chance to run away. If it doesn't put a bad guy down or you wind up with some in the face, it should at least give you a chance.
Of course, nothing's perfect, but the point is pepper spray has a lot of real-world support behind it, particularly for the untrained.
last edited: 1/07/08 12:53:51 PM”
“The danger with any kind of attack is that you enrage the assailant instead of incapacitate them. Keys to eyes, properly wielded will at least fog their vision if not blind them. That will often give you the opportunity to run. Further, I did not make this up. It was suggested by defense consultants.
last edited: 1/07/08 12:55:52 PM”
“I now carry a weapon in the form of a staff. I call it The Storm. One end is lightning, the other is thunder. It's actually to protect the dogs in case of a coyote attack like I hear of occassionally.
I would also use it to fight a black bear if his charged turned out not to be a bluff, or a mountain lion, for that matter.
It's play dead all the way with a griz, though.
Of course after the recent Blood Mountain event, I'll be the suspiscious looking character as long as I'm toting that thing...”
“Who gives a flying fart if the assailant is "enraged"??? You're in a situation where you're in fear for your life and have to use a means to protect yourself. Who care if your assailant is a little more pissed off, he's still trying to hurt/kill you. It's not like your assailant is going to turn into the incredible hulk because you pepper sprayed his eyes.
Pepper spray has the advantage of range, and it's hard to block against. I don't think you made it up, rev, but there's a lot of not-so-good advice out there.
last edited: 1/07/08 12:59:26 PM”
“what ever floats your boat... this si stupid...”
“That's it, I am convinced. From here on out, I am carrying a street sweeper on every hike.
I suggest you poor dumb bastards don't be prowling around camp at night. If you have to piss, it better be in your tent in a piss bottle.”
“Don't take offense rev because someone can logically offer different advice.”
“I've been hiking and backpacking a number of years now; approx 85% had been solo. I am a female hiker also. I have carried a weapon perhaps 5% of the time.
I have sat in an old railroad tunnel with 12 illegal immigrants, at a distance, waiting out some border patrol helicopters ( this hike was an illegal one because on railroad property, and a major mexican national route), I don't speak much spanish and felt no threat whatsoever.
Same thing when I Jeep and hike off the El Camino Del Diablo near the border. Been there and done that solo too.
The closest I think I came to trouble was at a popular TH in Utah, had some nonhiking looking guys approach me wanting to "hike" with me to this place, as they did not know where it was. I said " No F&&^^ng way"---and looked them in the eye. I had a gun in my Jeep but didn't feel I needed it. If you act indecisive or spacy or weak; or too nice and friendly, unfortunately--- you are prey to some of these a$$holes out here. These guys might've been ok but you can never tell.
I would rather hike in non populated areas because if humans who mean someone harm don't know you are there it is hard to be attacked. I seek out "stealth" campsites just for that reason. I interact carefully when I meet someone on the trail---don't let them near my
personal space and I don't encourage them to hike with me if I do not feel 100% comfortable.
Other than that don't know what to do or say. Everyone's time will come, it sucks when its a violent death versus whatever.”
“I am wearing this getup on my next hike
“You all be safe, I am off with the dogs, hunting squirrels.”
“There is risk in anything, the most of which occurs when driving to the trailhead. I think common sense and due diligence is all a person can really do, and accept that sometimes stuff just happens.
Personally, I refuse to become paranoid or overly distrustful of strangers because of isolated incidents that have always occured in the history of mankind; it is no way to live and only leads to a diminished sense of humanity among everyone.
That having been said, I am generally very discriminating about whom I spend my time with; a person has to be very compelling for me to willingly spend time with them. Some haggard person out in the woods, or a preppy with too much cologne or perfume on isn't going to get much more than a nod from me.
last edited: 1/07/08 1:19:35 PM”
“"I am wearing this getup on my next hike."
What, a wig and dyed beard?”
“whatever Mutt... you can run around in your room pumping your fist in the air screaming I won I won... have fun....”
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