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Old 03-01-2012, 09:25 AM   #29
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.....and I humbly bow out of this thread. Hope all works well for you and travel safe.

I don't know all that much about firearms, I only ran the last sanctioned gun club on a NASA facility for 8 years (360+ members, zero incidences of firearms related injuries), NRA range safety officer certified, I'm a certified skeet instructor and I lived through Katrina. The last I mentioned because it's the only time I used a gun in self defense.
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:10 AM   #30
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Silverwoman, I think you figured out your own answer in post 10. Well done. Enjoy streamin!
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:12 AM   #31
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I agree with Alumaholic about proper training and attitude before purchasing a firearm for self defense. An I have echoed Clancy's advice to buy a baseball bat before a firearm. A dog needs more care than a firearm but will give you more love than a Smith and Wesson. Also they can keep you warm at night when it gets cold. A corgi might be a good try, as they are big enough to deal with a threat but smart and calm enough to travel well. At least the ones I have been around are like that. Even a pitbull is not a bad choice if you raise them from a puppy. They are very loyal when they bond, and are very defensive of their family. That being said, I am owned by a cat. Much easier to deal with as long as the litter is clean and the food dish is full. Hmm maybe a pet bobcat would be an idea....

When I do feel the need for a firearm, I have carried an ancient world war 1 Colt revolver or an 1890s Krag army rifle. I have lots of guns, but if I put them in the trailer, they do take up room that can be devoted to fishing rods and tackle.

Good Luck with your search.
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:30 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by silverwoman View Post
Thanks for all the great comments! I tend to be very nervous about a firearm & never wanted to own one so it's good to hear people who travel suggest it might not be needed. I don't really want a dog either but my son said I should have a dog & a gun if I were traveling alone. I think my street smarts & the advise from my friends here will keep me safe. Maybe some pepper spray would be good enough for self defense.
"Street smarts and pepper spray" are also good, but I agree with your son. A dog is a good companion in addition to being an early warning and some measure of protection. A gun is simply the strongest tool to defend yourself if the need arises. Definitely take a training class. A good class should allow you the opportunity to try out a variety of guns to see what suits you. If your life is important to you then ignore the whimpering hand wringers and do the right thing.
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:23 PM   #33
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Hardly a whimpering hand wringer, I grew up hunting with guns and I have many at home. But I'm smart enough to leave them at home when I travel.

The right thing is to forget about the gun.

doug k
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:34 PM   #34
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Take a concealed course and let your instructor know your concerns you need to know the laws in every state as to carrying a firearm . Consider what to do with your dog if you need to leave him in the trailer for a long time . Be Carefull out there . Les WBCCI #13183
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:57 PM   #35
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Thanks for all the great comments! I tend to be very nervous about a firearm & never wanted to own one so it's good to hear people who travel suggest it might not be needed. I don't really want a dog either but my son said I should have a dog & a gun if I were traveling alone. I think my street smarts & the advise from my friends here will keep me safe. Maybe some pepper spray would be good enough for self defense.
If you don't really want a dog, then don't get one. Dobies, as guard dogs, are programmed to love their people and want to be with them since guarding is impossible if you aren't there. If they grow up with regular absences from you and being left alone in a trailer, then Dobies are unlikely to be barkers when you leave.

Having said that, we were cat people and had no idea of getting a dog since we both worked and we lived in a condo. However, after finding a body 40' from our front door, we decided on either a gun or a dog (this was NOT in Idaho, BTW). Research showed that 1) a dog is safer (can't be turned against you) and 2) of the breeds big enough to help, healthy enough (no inbred problems), and clean in the house, Dobies were the answer, coldly and calculatedly. Having one changed all that calculation: we consider them to be kids in dog suits and losing one is so painful it hardly bears thinking about. So "not really wanting a dog" is a caution, rather than an automatic no, IMHO.

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Old 03-01-2012, 01:07 PM   #36
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We travel with a Doberman 70 lbs (female), Labradoodle 127 lbs(male) and a Newfoundland 135 lbs(female), and we have no issues ever. In fact people won't come near us and our pack. I do have to agree that a Doberman is a great protecter as well as a good companion. But, please do your home work on them before buying one. They need a strong owner and a lot of training, I also would recommend a female as males I have found to over protective with their female owners. All in all I think any dog is great for protection, but a Dobie would be my pick. Just seeing one stops most people from getting to close, unless invited by the owner.
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:19 PM   #37
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Wow! There were some great comments so far. Pros and cons - leaving me with some things I never considered like the heat inside a trailer and campground rules I had no experience with. If I ever decide to get a dog, a shelter would definitely be my choice to find a companion.

As far as gun ownership...boy, all that you need to know seems overwhelming to me in addition to my fear, as some mentioned, about having the gun turned on myself. So I think I'll just take that off my list of things I might need.

Since I am trying to early retire, being a single woman, a survivor of domestic violence, out in this insane world today ( which is just going to get more insane), I am not naive to what could happen...or the fact that I could be targeted more easily perhaps than a man or even a couple...I have definitive concerns about the way I want to live off grid at times & travel.

I'm giving up my comfortable home to live with as little money as possible, to have the freedom of not being tied to a mortgage and to see the US for the 1st time in my life and my trailer will be my home so this is a big life change for me.

A lot of thought is going into this new adventure & I really appreciate everything you have to say. Especially the experts on firearms who commented and reaffirmed many points like training & handling I've heard about. Thanks again for the willingness to help & the humor. I'll be sure to muddy up the boots to leave outside the door. I love that idea!
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:21 PM   #38
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Good advice from clancy (post #5), and Alumaholic (post #28). At a point in time several years ago, the thought of walking around with a gun in my pocket was a little out of my comfort zone. Eventually, though, having retired, as well as getting "out there" as a full-time RVer, I forced myself to go ahead and take the training. Now, in retrospect, I can tell you that obtaining a concealed handgun license was one of the nicest things I've ever done for myself, for various reasons. It is a privilege that I take very seriously, and after reading about your situation and concerns, silverwoman, I can't help but think that you'd benefit greatly, too.

See you at Tia Rosa sometime!
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:25 PM   #39
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You know, if you're nervous about security, rocks of just the right size make a pretty darned good deterrent. I carry around one or two in areas that scare me, but it is important to select just the right rocks. And some practice throwing so that you also limber up the shoulder muscles also helps.

Last time I was in a scary area was when I visited Bosque del Apache for a week and did several of the trails up into the foothills around there. There were several sightings of a mountain lion stalking other large prey in the area, so I was pretty watchful. I was, however, happy that I didn't see the lion and (therefore) didn't have to throw the rocks.


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Old 03-01-2012, 08:00 PM   #40
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Good advice from clancy (post #5), and Alumaholic (post #28). At a point in time several years ago, the thought of walking around with a gun in my pocket was a little out of my comfort zone. Eventually, though, having retired, as well as getting "out there" as a full-time RVer, I forced myself to go ahead and take the training. Now, in retrospect, I can tell you that obtaining a concealed handgun license was one of the nicest things I've ever done for myself, for various reasons. It is a privilege that I take very seriously, and after reading about your situation and concerns, silverwoman, I can't help but think that you'd benefit greatly, too.

See you at Tia Rosa sometime!
I don't know what you want exactly but look at a Smith & Wesson 648 or 642 hammerless featherweight 38 special 5 shot revolver. Safe, reliable, easy to learn on and small compact for small frame persons. I have some experience with both of these and have several friends that have them for home defense for their wives. Reloading is easy, maintenance is small, ammo for practice is cheap. And there is the key to gun ownership - know your weapon, use it often, get training.


Very good!! (As well as the one on trying many types, even if the snubbie isn't the choice).

Easy to use, easy to clean, easy to carry. Training.

And a dog, IMO, of around 35-lbs or more. Trailers are dimensionally smaller than houses or apartments, so dogs have some natural advantages in defense due to their height. And a certain size of dog is not what I'd want to meet in crawling through a broken window. Or that is coming out of a car door at me.

.
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:18 PM   #41
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Shotguns, 12 gauge or even a 20 gauge will be very effective. Just remember, if your pointing a gun at somebody, you better be prepared to be the first one to pull the trigger.
As far as dogs, it all depends on the dog, my golden retreiver has scared the crap out more people than than I can count. I think just the sound of a barking dog will scare a theif away most of the time.
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:42 PM   #42
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Attack Flamingo

We keep our attack flamingo around at all times. Seems to work. He likes to ride in the TV with his head out the window too. Silly bird....
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