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Old 09-23-2014, 01:36 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Panama Red View Post
No disrespect to SteveSueMac intended here, but...

Instead of the wasp spray, if you feel the need for non-lethal weapons, go ahead and buy some good OC spray. The wasp spray, while possibly effective, opens you up for all sorts of legal problems. Imagine when you're drug into court by some thug that just tried to rob you, for pain and suffering and loss of wages etc. that he incurred because you shot him in the face with a product that was designed to be a nerve agent on insects... His lawyer will present the MSDS on that wasp spray, showing all the chemicals in it that are harmful to people, and start grilling you on your knowledge of those same chemicals.

Go to your local police department, ask them what kind of pepper spray they'd recommend, and use it. Preferably, exactly what they use. That way when said thug drags you into court, your defense is, "My local law enforcement recommends this for use on bad guys..."

Read up on some Mas Ayoob. "In The Gravest Extreme", and "The Gun Digest Book of Concealed Carry". Mas has spent years studying the legal aftermath of self defense situations, and has been a professional witness in many trials. The guy really knows his stuff, and gives some great advice...

Just my .02 worth...

-Red
You are speaking of another country. We live in New Jersey and everything is illegal in NJ. The best advise for dealing with those that offer a threat is to get out of NJ.

A poor woman from Pa that has a carry permit came into NJ and when stopped by a trooper she admitted she was carrying and had a Pa permit. She has spent 45 days in jail so far and is facing a 3 year mandatory sentence
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Old 09-23-2014, 01:42 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
You are speaking of another country. We live in New Jersey and everything is illegal in NJ. The best advise for dealing with those that offer a threat is to get out of NJ.

A poor woman from Pa that has a carry permit came into NJ and when stopped by a trooper she admitted she was carrying and had a Pa permit. She has spent 45 days in jail so far and is facing a 3 year mandatory sentence
HowieE, the advice you gave about "getting out of New Jersey" is sound for many reasons having nothing to do with camping!!

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Old 09-23-2014, 01:46 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panama Red View Post
Instead of the wasp spray, if you feel the need for non-lethal weapons, go ahead and buy some good OC spray. The wasp spray, while possibly effective, opens you up for all sorts of legal problems. Imagine when you're drug into court by some thug that just tried to rob you, for pain and suffering and loss of wages etc. that he incurred because you shot him in the face with a product that was designed to be a nerve agent on insects... His lawyer will present the MSDS on that wasp spray, showing all the chemicals in it that are harmful to people, and start grilling you on your knowledge of those same chemicals.
That will vary by jurisdiction; some states have better sense than to allow criminals to sue for injuries they sustained while they were committing a crime.

If you have wasp spray in your pocket and you whip it out when confronted, there is likely to be a presumption that you planned to use it against an attacker, unless you're on the way home from the store where you bought it, and have the receipt to prove it. If it's inside your Airstream and you just happen to grab it up and use it against an attacker, it's a weapon of opportunity. You could concuss a person (or worse) by smacking them upside the head with a cast-iron skillet, too, but when you have reason to fear for your life, you (usually) can't be faulted for using whatever household devices fall to hand in order to defend yourself.

But your comment brings up a point… as campers, we're mobile, and we are limited by the laws of the state we happen to be in at the time. It's important to know the limits to your rights of self defense actually are, wherever you happen to go. Do your research before leaving home, and make up your own mind whether to bring a self-defense weapon that may not be legal everywhere you go.
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Old 09-23-2014, 02:05 PM   #18
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I was mugged ONCE, right outside my house. Moral? You tend to be tense and alert in strange situations, and at ease as you're walking to your own front door.

Weapons of any kind can be turned against you. NOISE, lights, cameras, (or even a big sign that says "this vehicle has video cameras and is monitored 24/7 by (fill in fake company name). are all pretty good .

A local robber being pursued by "dangerous pit bulls" got a head injury - when he slipped and fell in a steaming pile of "dangerous doo" while running. The judge fell off the bench laughing as he dismissed the criminal's complaint against the homeowner for not cleaning up his yard promptly enough.

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Old 09-23-2014, 02:06 PM   #19
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I was joking. But I think Protagonist made the best advice personally.

Having anything, and not being trained/prepared to use it is useless and will get you injured or worse, killed.

And besides, your wits are perhaps your greatest asset. Knowing how to deescalate or handle a situation is invaluable.

Not going into it, but there does seem to be a mentality of "I'm just going to whip out my big stick" and everything will be fine.

That's not always the best or appropriate course of action.

Situational awareness goes a long way.
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Old 09-23-2014, 02:08 PM   #20
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I see you are from NJ. Therefore the question. I'm joking, of course since I'm from NJ too. We have only experienced one camping situation that might rise to the occasion and it was more humorous than serious. I do carry pepper spray and keep it near my trailer door for that " just in case" moment that has never happened. It just makes me feel better. I do not carry a firearm but if traveling to Alaska I just might carry a shotgun with me. That trip involves a lot of wilderness camping and a shotgun IS allowed in Canada. I do have a concealed carry permit but just don't want to carry the darn thing.

After you've been out for awhile I think you will agree that unless you become real serious boondock campers you will have little to be concerned about. We do lock our door at night.

See ya on the road sometime.
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Old 09-23-2014, 02:09 PM   #21
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I was joking. But I think Protagonist made the best advice personally.
I knew that, but I still want to borrow a beer!
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Old 09-23-2014, 02:25 PM   #22
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I actually did have beer stolen from my cooler one night, which was better than the guy next to me, because his whole cooler was stolen, along with his surfboard...

Situational awareness would have saved me a few beers... Kids, beach, cooler full of beer. I should have seen it coming.

-Red, still looking for the Corona bandits...
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Old 09-23-2014, 02:51 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
Hi. One guy's opinion here...


1) I've yet to stay in a location where I've felt threatened. If it feels "squirrely", don't camp there.

2) while I've never felt threatened, I do lock my camper doors at night.

3) does your tow vehicle have an alarm? If so, have your tow vehicle key fob handy where you sleep. If needed, press the panic button. Instant security alarm.

4) for extra protection, have a can of wasp spray (the kind that shoots 20' out) handy where you sleep. If needed, deploy to intruder's face.

5) see 1 above

Happy, safe camping!
I think this was the best advice provided, so far. I recently attended Alumafandango, and there was a presentation given on this very topic. The one thing I got out of this presentation was to keep your key/alarm button and your cell phone next to your bed. Even with Verizon, about half the places we camp do not have cell service (National Forests and National Parks). However, not many people are going to hang around if you set off your car alarm during the night!

As far as the wasp spray goes, this was also recommended at Alumafandango. This is one I probably not use....for environmental/health reasons....but, if I did use this on someone, I would not be worried about the perp's recourse in a trial! After all, I would be using it if I was in fear for my life.

We always lock our tow vehicle and Airstream at night or when we are not there, and we lock down anything of real value (solar panel, Q grill, bicycles, kayak, etc) with a cable lock or stick smaller things inside the Airstream.

To be honest, I used to work as a State Park Ranger, and most crimes that occurred in the campground were crimes of opportunity. However, if I pulled in somewhere that I did not feel comfortable, I would skedaddle!!!
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Old 09-23-2014, 02:59 PM   #24
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One more thing.... At Alumafandango, a woman who camps alone most of the time told the group that she sets up an alarm system that consists of this unit that shoots an invisible beam between her awning arms (high enough that curious raccoons don't set it off), and it will alert her if someone gets close to her door. I kinda liked that one....then, the car alarm thing on your key fob comes into play, I would guess.
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Old 09-23-2014, 03:01 PM   #25
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Word to the wise, unless you wish to make your trailer uninhabitable for quite some time do not use fogging or cloud producing OC or Bear Spray inside.
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Old 09-23-2014, 03:02 PM   #26
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Pulled into a rest area in Tenn. one night and it had 2 cars of state troopers in it. Thought that might be a problem so I asked. One of the state custodians had murdered a fellow custodian the night before so we got police protection and went to bed.

I like the light beam idea.
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Old 09-23-2014, 03:31 PM   #27
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Fifty years of extensive travel and camping without a threat. Well, a six-year-old tried to grab my wallet once in Manila.

If a campsite doesn't look right to you, move on.
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Old 09-23-2014, 03:38 PM   #28
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Situational awareness is the term used in law enforcement ...
Bear spray for both two and four-legged threats ... more serious protection if you prefer ...
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