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Old 11-05-2019, 12:42 PM   #21
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+1 on the rarity that this occurs; yes, it happens, but considering the explosion of RVing in the past decade, it's a pretty rare event.

Not a big firearm person myself, as the though of my paranoid wife picking up a 12 gauge and blowing off my head coming out of the loo in the middle of the night, would be a much more likely outcome, than having a something else occur.

Wasp or hornet spray would be a good go too, as it sprays a long distance and will easily incapacitate a person enough to thwart an attack; coupled with a Border Terriers, which are the most amicable of the terrier breed, but God forbid you should mess with those it loves.

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Old 11-05-2019, 01:15 PM   #22
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As more information about this event becomes public we'll have a better idea of what may have occurred.

They may not have had any fighting chance depending on how they were victimized. The male was ex military and soldiers are usually pretty aware.

Although still rare, as RVers increase so will criminals who see them as a likely targets. And random crazy sociopaths have always existed and are increasing.

They have a very good picture of the couple (possible suspects) in the truck as it crossed the border.

Hardened criminals or desperate people can play a strong con game to befriend or confuse us.

Awareness is key. Look around. See who pulls in next to you. Be suspicious of anybody that walks up to you until you learned there is no need. Be nosy, watch what goes on in other campsites. Just to the point of not being oblivious. If someone knocks on your door feel free to talk to them through the door or at the window, nothing says you have to open the door. Have a plan or know that you can make one in an emergency. Don't give in until the end. Your car keys have an alarm use it if needed. Your phone can snap a photo or video to throw someone off. Dogs are excellent even if they just bark. Campsites are full of prospective weapons if needed. Weight distribution bars come to mind. Play crazy, babble incessantly, loose your mind. Anything to change the status quo. Throw them off their plan in any way you can. Bear spray, wasp spray any propellant you can grab. Kitchen knives, cast iron pans, coffee pots. Bargain with them if they like a mental power struggle. Be the most annoying victim you can possibly be so they move on.

Hopefully none of us have to encounter anything to this degree. Preparedness and the mental knowledge that it could happen is already part way to winning.
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Old 11-05-2019, 01:17 PM   #23
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Hi

We spent decades camping in tents. Whatever you want to say about camping in a trailer, a tent makes you more vulnerable to all sorts of pests, both human and animal. Other than the rain / snow, we never had a problem. We also never ran into anybody who had a problem at some point in their adventures. We did have a rental car broken into in a parking garage once, not quite sure how that figures in.

In our relatively small subdivision here in the sticks of PA, there have been multiple break-ins. None of them have resulted in any confrontations. I'm pretty sure if there *had* been a face to face, those breaking in would have come out second best .... it's that sort of place ...

My guess is that I'm way safer camping than answering the door here at home. I don't typically bring an AR-15 with me when the doorbell rings here at home....

If you are out and about, bear spray is a darn good idea. It's not just for bears, there are a *lot* of pests that may decide to bother you. A porcupine (or two) that decides your truck wires look like lunch is at least as big a threat 50 miles from nowhere / no cell coverage / nobody around as a lot of other things that get way more press.

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Old 11-05-2019, 01:29 PM   #24
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On the general topic of "tools of protection," I have had several friends who felt the threat of an attack of some kind was so great that they should carry a pistol in their vehicle everywhere they went. Not a one of them has had to defend themselves, but at least 4 of them have lost a pistol when someone broke into their unattended vehicle and made off with it. So now a petty burglar can be an armed robber...So please, if you are going to travel with a firearm, secure it when you are away so that it isn't just another item to steal.

On the topic of probabilities, I'll bet your are much more likely to get in a car accident of some kind than being murdered for your belongings. Driving is the most dangerous thing that any of us does, and driving is inherent in the RV lifestyle. Yes, there are crazy prison escapees out there who will murder you for the change in your pocket, and it will make the headlines if it happens, but you can't live your life in the fear that you are going to encounter that one whacko in the millions of sane folks out there. There is a tragic thread on these forums about a family who bought a piece of property in the country so they could take their trailer there and have family campouts, and one night, the family was first befriended by their next-door neighbor, and subsequently most of the family was murdered by the crazy devil.

I worked on a research ship that traveled some very remote parts of the world about 20 years ago. We didn't have real time internet, but we could get a once-a-day Reuter's news blast that summarized the global events on a single sheet of pepare. I must say that it was a pleasure to be blissfully unaware of all of the micro-tragedies of the world.

So apply the same vigilance when camping that you would driving down the road, and despite the crazy drivers, and the occasional psychopath, you will hopefully survive to camp again.

Good luck!
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Old 11-05-2019, 02:15 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by david.steed View Post
We live in a small Swiss village. Not one thing has been missing in this village for a few hundred years. Just want to share another perspective. Cheers.
Isnít it Switzerland that mandates maintaining a firearm in each home, or something like that?
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Old 11-05-2019, 02:36 PM   #26
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I have always thought about this. I live in NYC and purchasing a legal firearm is very difficult. I can by an illegal firearm in about 5 minutes. While I do carry an assortment of personal protective devices, a legal firearm, such as an ROTH XM2XI Integrated XRAIL Benelli M2, would be a superior option. I do have coupler, latch, and wheel boots, I remain not so protected. Weighing these facts has made my choice of camprounds limited to KOA's, and Military Campgrounds, and more populated campgrounds until I can better protect myself.
Good ole New York where criminals have firearms but law abiding people are not afforded that option.
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Old 11-05-2019, 02:36 PM   #27
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yes to wasp spray...

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Although I carry a firearm mostly for human predators, one of the other best self protection items is a can of wasp and hornet spray. It's easy to use, has very good range (25-30 ft) and will stop anyone if you spray them on the face. It's also legal, even in Canada, and readily available. It's also great to keep near your doors at home.
I second the wasp spray. You can 'paint' your target with it from 20'+ away. Press the button and spray away. Even with bad aim, you can hit the target before the can runs out. We always carry 2-3 cans with us. No questions ever asked about it at boarder crossings or camp grounds.

The Kimber Blaster mentioned earlier in the thread is very nice; and gives you 2 shots. Unfortunately, the Canadian Boarder Crossing crew did not like them, or the Bear spray that we had. Those led us to a long 'secondary inspection' that I'd rather not go thru again.

We also have two large dogs (90+ pounds) with a solid bark.

Our take is always common sense and the 'vibe'. Over the years, we left only two campgrounds; things just didn't seem right.

A clever tip I've heard from a solo female traveler is that she always leaves a muddy pair of size 14 boots outside her trailer along side of her shoes. She says it keeps away a lot of unwelcome visitors.
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Old 11-05-2019, 03:03 PM   #28
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Trik, really, you need a $3500, 26 round shotgun for protection? Let me know where you camp with the Zombie Appocalypse creatures. I thought Brooklyn was tough but ...
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Old 11-05-2019, 03:14 PM   #29
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Well 2 is 1, 1 is none maybe 26 will satisfy Murphy.
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Old 11-05-2019, 04:08 PM   #30
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About time

I am really glad to see the topic of self-protection make it to the blog. Figure out how you are going to protect yourself and your loved ones; be aware of local statutes concerning the use of force, deadly force and castle doctrine, wherever you may be. Avoid places where self protection is discouraged or prohibited. We do not travel to California, for instance. We don't need the potential for trouble from both sides of the law.
Keep the discussion going. I recently had a post taken down because I used the term AR-15. This is an appropriate discussion and needs to have as much detail as possible.
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Old 11-05-2019, 04:11 PM   #31
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There are three kinds of people in this world... sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs...you can chose which one you want to be...

As a retired career military veteran, I do not go anywhere in public without a concealed firearm... I have a concealed carry license and train every other month... fortunately, I have never had to use it in the last 25 years... but I have had to brandish it several times and was very glad to have had it...

A couple of other RV stories come to mind:

Traveling late one night, I was tired and stopped at a remote rest area in Northern NM... about two AM, someone was banging on my trailer door saying they needed to use my cellphone. I did not open the door...but offered to make a call for them. The man was insistent that he had to do it himself... it was only when I opened the door with my 9MM SIG clearly visible that he decided he did not need to use the phone so badly after all... I quickly got dressed and continued down the road after my two hour nap...now wide awake...

In another instance, I had pulled off I-8 at the Rt 84 exit to Maricopa AZ after a 2 hour pull from Yuma, AZ. The was an open dirt area to the right about a half mile off the exit on Rt. 84... it was dusk... I had been stopping at this spot for years on my way back from Kalifornia to stretch my legs and inspect the rig before the last hour long pull to homebase. That day I was running late as I usually stopped there about mid afternoon. When I got out of the truck, I made two HUGE mistakes... I left my pistol in the center console where it was handy when I was driving... and I left the German Shepard Dog in the truck cab as well... imagine my surprise when I got around to the rear of my rig to find two scruffy look characters in theirs 30s waiting for me... I had not noticed their beat up car under a nearby tree when I pulled off in the dusk... they asked me if I could spare any cash for gas... in my early 60s... I quickly did the math and whipped out a $20 bill asking if that would be helpful... fortunately it was and they left with nary as much as a thank you. I learned a HUGE lesson that day.

I could cite two other non-RV examples where I was also very glad to have a firearm at the ready, but you get the point. EVIL does exist in this country and you never know where and when the Wolves will show themselves. So...if I still did a lot of boon docking in the back country of the West as in my younger days, I would have a younger German Shepard and I would NEVER go outside my RV without my personal firearm on my person.

Sadly, some politicians want to limit your abilities to protect yourself (so I no longer camp in Kalifornia any more), but in most of the West, you still have the freedom of choice to make your own decisions. Good luck... stay safe...
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Old 11-05-2019, 05:28 PM   #32
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Lots of good responses. Know your surroundings.....we do that by walking about after we have set-up. We happen to be one of those who carry a personal firearm. It doesnít do any good in the TV once you are parked, so at least take it in the trailer. Donít open your door simply because someone knocks......tell them to step around to a window where you can see them......if you donít like what you see, let them know you are calling the police.

The South Padre incident is an aberration. It wonít stop me from going there any more than doing our Mexico caravan with 11 other Airstreamers early this year. Weíve been to Puerto Penasco as well, and the unfortunate mass graves found this week will not deter us in the future. The world, at least our part of it, is remarkably safe. Carry on!
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Old 11-05-2019, 05:37 PM   #33
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It is a very important topic and the discussion needs to continue so we can share advice, examples and remedies.

HOWEVER, if we post about weapons only or politics without adding anything else of value to the conversation it will get shut down.

Let's post safety solutions, hints, tips etc.

If your camping partner does not have a natural gut instinct it helps to run through scenarios with them to show them that even they can be proactive in a dangerous or uncomfortable situation.

The Spot GPS system is also a helpful way for family members to know where their loved ones are.

IPhone also has a friends feature which will allow a family member or loved one to see where you're located.
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Old 11-05-2019, 06:34 PM   #34
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We have to talk, boondocking and security

Okay, so how do you handle on knock on your Airstream door, particularly at night. The glass on the door is worthless for seeing who is there. I have the two small windows just to the left of the sink, but they offer a bad angle. Once you open the door, you are vulnerable to an attack. Answering the door with a 9mm in your hand is probably not the most neighborly move!
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Old 11-05-2019, 06:38 PM   #35
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We have to talk, boondocking and security

My door has a big window next to it in the dinette. Itís the one view window I canít open because the suicide door will shatter it if itís open and i pop the door open. I can also see the door from the curbside front Pano window.

I agree, the obscure window in the door is pretty much totally useless...if I get real enthusiastic I plan to change it out or add a door viewer peephole thingie below it or something.

Iím not real neighborly about knocks on the door late at night. 9mm is the least of what you may face if itís late at night and you look suspicious to me...
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Old 11-05-2019, 06:55 PM   #36
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Talk thru the door. There is nothing that says you need to open the door to be neighborly. Anyone who is expecting you to be neighborly at some unusual time of the night would actually respect the fact that you're being safety conscious versus neighborly. You could also shine a flashlight out and ask them to step back from the door so you can see who they are. You could tell them you're not dressed for visitors. Always volunteer to make calls for people if they say they need you to make a call never give them your phone. it would even be okay to say I'm not comfortable opening the door how can I help you. If you are camping with a partner that gives that person a chance to also get up maybe throw some other clothes on, roust the dog, get a phone in hand, a flashlight or an item of choice for protection.
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Old 11-05-2019, 07:00 PM   #37
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I have two Bowie knives and a good bat in my camper... have not used either of these hopefully never.
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Old 11-05-2019, 07:07 PM   #38
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I have two Bowie knives and a good bat in my camper... have not used either of these hopefully never.


I keep a nice three ĎDí cell Maglight close at hand in the TV and in the Airstream. You smack someone with that, they stay smacked...easier to swing than a baseball bat and totally legal to have handy.
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Old 11-05-2019, 07:37 PM   #39
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I have a small hatchet.

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Old 11-05-2019, 07:43 PM   #40
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Did you know you can use your cellphone to see around corners? or out windows? Just put that camera on and give it a try

A fire extinguisher makes for a good weapon when sprayed in the eyes of an unsuspecting bad guy. Then beat him upside the head with it when it's emptied out.

Ever wonder why cops carry those bright flashlights? Did you know they make 'em REAL BRIGHT, with strobe lights? And sharp pointed ends on 'em too boot, if you want.

Talking about fire extinguishers....hmmmmm, it's better to have one and not need it, than need one.....and not have it

Gettin' good and drunk in a remote spot with a couple you've just met probably ain't a good idea.

A good dog, preferably a larger dog, say a Shepherd, or Doberman, or Rotty, makes for some healthy persuasion at times. Even a smaller dog can serve as a great alarm, they'll cut loose if things aren't right.

Crimes of opportunity, of passion, premeditated. We're likely focused here on opportunity. Situational awareness is paramount. Walk with purpose. Know your surroundings. Watch people around you. Don't be on your phone all the time, use it when you're in a safe space.

Get one of those battery operated hand held sirens, they'd likely cause a perp to freak out.

"Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet"....Mad Dog Mattis

"The most important 6 inches on the battlefield is between your ears"....Mad Dog Mattis
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