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Old 03-01-2012, 09:21 PM   #43
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If you are genuinely that worried about your safety while camping, I'd suggest you stay home. A dog and/or gun isn't the answer. It doesn't matter what kind of dog, or what kind of gun. If you actually run through the scenarios where either of these could be useful... well, you'll have to really have a vivid imagination to dream up a situation where someone attacks you, and you are able to access a firearm in the middle of them overpowering you.

But, the passion for bullets is some kind of American phenomenon (I am Canadian, and a police officer). My wife frequently hits the road by herself, or another female friend, and they travel thousands of miles, mountain bike in remote areas, and have a great time...

I don't carry off-duty (again, lots of American cops seem to). My dog is a Golden Retriever, and she likes to chase a ball and swim... and if she travels with us, that is what we take her for... to chase the ball and swim. Often RVing with a dog is a PITA, as some parks have restrictive rules on dogs... even 'good' ones... and I understand that. Dog crap everywhere makes a park messy, as no one wants to stop and pick up their poo lest a mugger hiding behind a tree jump out and murder you while your gun is in the trailer and your dog is wiping its bum.

Get a dog for companionship if you want. Get a small can of bear-spray if you are worried about walking alone. I guarantee, if someone means to hurt you, you either won't have your gun, or won't be able to get at it quickly.

And... take Canada off your list of places to take your gun... no pistols allowed across the border.
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:36 PM   #44
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Here is my answer. Zara Spook, a Florida cur rescued from the Ft Pierce pound 9 years ago. She cleans up good but is a street fighter at heart. LOL!
http://www.airforums.com/attachments...r_dog-0125.jpg
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:49 PM   #45
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@hellsbay Zara Spook is precious - love her? name!

@Friday Staying home isn't an option & it's reassuring to know your wife & her friends travel a lot & never have any problems. I agree - it's unlikely to have firearm access when you need it.

I'm not that worried about traveling alone. This is just part of my research & I will be able to refer back to this information like an archive. There's so many things I need to learn so this saves me from taking notes or keeping track of the details or specifics on info I need.

Thanks to the comments here, I've decided against a firearm since there are other ( better for me ) options like bear spray. I never knew...

I always thought companionship was the reason for a dog but protection is a bonus.

If not for all of you, I might make a decision I would regret.

I will leave myself open to getting a dog. I'll see how I feel about that in a year or so. In the meantime - I have a trailer to renovate and a tow vehicle to buy so a lot of work to do before I can play.
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:09 PM   #46
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I'd suggest go find the training that feels like you're supposed to do, then get the tools that training says you need, and learn to be good with those tools as you might be with a typewriter or pen or baseball bat. Tell no one of your skills.
But some empty 30-06 brass and shot up sniper targets laying around wouldn't hurt.
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:18 AM   #47
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I don't really buy the premise behind having a bigger weapon. On a personal level, I feel a lot more confident using smarts to deal with, for instance, a potential shooter (and those smarts include simply not frequenting locations where instinct suggests the presence of such). On a less personal and more general level, this kind of thinking would seem to lead to spiraling escalation towards ever more armament. It's not worth the effort, and I can't afford it anyway.

Even with that, I'm not an anti-gun person. (I personally own a Win 94, an antique 20-ga shotgun, an antique 22 rifle, a decommissioned military 45 pistol, and a 1400fps air rifle.)


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Old 03-02-2012, 10:00 AM   #48
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Hey Silver, have you found the single women groups yet? I haven't, being busy with lots other stuff at the mo, but will eventually! I've been told they can really help you find out what it's like being a single woman out on the RV road, and people often take impromptu and planned trips together. Looking forward to meeting up with you on the road!

P. S. My sharp shooting uncle may be giving me some training but i havent decided yet if im ready to shoot someone even under threat. The bat is definitely on the shopping list until I figure that out.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:23 AM   #49
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But there is also another reason to carry a gun: It's a noise-maker. And for some occasions, that's just what's needed.

My elderly dad used to carry in his airplane the Win 94 that I now have. He figured that if he were to crash (likely in western Colorado), the rifle would provide him with one more way to signal his plight to the civil air patrol (of which he was a member).

Likewise, we bought the decommissioned military 45 from a semi-professional mountain climber, whose main climbs were in the high Andes. The pistol was, again, a noise maker in case of accident. But he decided after a number of trips that the 45 was just too heavy to carry along, so shed it in favor if a Russian 9mm, which was a lot lighter and just about as loud. We got it for ourselves after a somewhat nervous encounter with a mountain lion here in NM: Don't run, but make yourself big and mean-looking, and make a lot of noise. (I might have taken it along for the hikes down at Bosque del Apache after seeing the warning signs posted at the trail heads, but they kind of frown on firearms. But there were lots of good rocks down there anyway.)


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Old 03-02-2012, 10:36 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eubank
But there is also another reason to carry a gun: It's a noise-maker. And for some occasions, that's just what's needed.
And to think, we always just carried a whistle. And you know, they were lighter than guns in the pack....
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:43 AM   #51
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"But there is also another reason to carry a gun: It's a noise-maker. And for some occasions, that's just what's needed."

Lynn,

I have a pair of the perfect "noise makers"

Mattel Fanner 50's ca. 1959

Bob
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:07 AM   #52
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About 1/2 my travels are solo or with small children. My destinations tend to be more remote & 90% are outside of cellular range.

I have had formal training with long guns & handguns (tactical & concealed applications) and way more often then not all those "arms" stay home... Something has to protect the Mr. & the chickens while the girls are away!

Many good suggestions have already been made-baseball bat, pepper spray (I'm partial to bear spray & it has double duty where we like to travel), etc. One thing that I haven't seen on the list is basic personal defense training-clobbering a foam padded instructor for a day is good fun/therapy too. More then anything confidence & street smarts/situational awareness are your greatest defense!

One of the greatest perks of having an AS is that you aren't stuck anywhere. If you get the heebie geebies from a camp location or adjacent guest (& you will from time to time)... you simply meander on to the next campground, boondock forest spot, unplanned urban parking lot, etc. The forums & web are a great tool for researching destinations and regions - when in doubt avoid the Mexico illegal border crossing areas in AZ, NM, etc. & remote foothill towns where meth or marijuana cultivation are rampant (you'll know these areas when you hit them or read about avoiding them in advance!). It's hard to be low profile & not attract unwanted attention with that shiny UFO in tow, the trick is finding to good/safe attention (other awesome campers, park rangers & public safety folks will help watch your back!)

P.S. If you're considering carrying a gun for the noise/rescue factor-might I suggest a highly more reliable satellite rescue beacon/EPIRB available from places like REI or Amazon for ~$99.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:18 AM   #53
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Aspirations Nails It...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aspirations View Post

.... More then anything confidence & street smarts/situational awareness are your greatest defense!

One of the greatest perks of having an AS is that you aren't stuck anywhere. If you get the heebie geebies from a camp location or adjacent guest (& you will from time to time)... you simply meander on to the next campground, boondock forest spot, unplanned urban parking lot, etc. The forums & web are a great tool for researching destinations and regions - when in doubt avoid the Mexico illegal border crossing areas in AZ, NM, etc. & remote foothill towns where meth or marijuana cultivation are rampant (you'll know these areas when you hit them or read about avoiding them in advance!). ...
We teach in this order:
Be alert and aware of your surroundings
Avoid or leave dangerous surroundings
Escape if threatened (or if you get the heebie jeebies)
Defend with deadly force only if threatened with death or great bodily harm.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:38 AM   #54
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It's good and important to be safe. It's also important to remember that the odds are good everyone is not out to get you.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:42 AM   #55
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Thumbs up Interesting thread.

It seems that the gun (and dog) threads really bring out the strong opinions. I usually try to avoid commenting, but truly enjoy hearing the diversity of ideas about camping safety, weapons recommendations, and situational awareness. Occasionally, we're even treated to the unique international perspective of the American "passion for bullets". It's all good, and sometimes educational.

I suppose I can kind of relate to the topic because I spent over 25 years in state park law enforcement, and was a firearms/weapons instructor for over 20 of those years. I carried firearms on the job, and considered them a necessary tool for the type of clientele we dealt with, and the nature of the laws we enforced, ranging from fish and game, conservation, environmental, traffic, to criminal (drugs, alcohol, conduct, etc.) Some of our campgrounds were very rural, and some urban. We had coastal campgrounds where populations grew to the size of towns during the height of the season, with the same challenges.

One thing that surprised me a bit was the number of campers who were armed. The large majority of campers were carrying just for self defense, and very few of those caused any problems. We usually discovered most firearms while searching for evidence of other crimes. Nonetheless, under most circumstances, it was illegal in campgrounds, so my evidence locker was bulging with the exotic, to the mundane. We kept them all and used them for training purposes, such as breaking them down and making them safe after their discovery.

I've also done a lot of Airstreaming all over the United States and Canada. There were only a couple of times when I have been concerned about our safety, possibly because of my experience.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:57 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aspirations View Post
P.S. If you're considering carrying a gun for the noise/rescue factor-might I suggest a highly more reliable satellite rescue beacon/EPIRB available from places like REI or Amazon for ~$99.
Excellent suggestion if you're remote camping. When we pulled an Airstream from Anchorage to Seattle for a friend last fall, he sent us his "Spot" for the trip. He uses it for his desert travels in Southern California. The tracking ability is great, and we were able to backtrack, and see exactly where we had been, and even our traveling speed. It has two levels emergency buttons, and actually came in handy during a transmission failure.

http://www.findmespot.com/en/
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