Honda Element Owners Club banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't camped in many years but now that I have an Element, I'm going to give it a go again. One of my problems with camping in the past has always been feeling quite vulnerable -- lying in a tent in the wilderness with just a sheet of nylon between myself and various mammals, reptiles, insects and disturbed humans has never been conducive to a good night's sleep. Even sleeping in the relative security of the E sounds a bit daunting when you're off the beaten path and far away from help.

I know truly dangerous situations are very rare, but what sort of precautions do you all take -- if any?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,749 Posts
A good bear repellent pepper spray will fend off most predators. You could also pack a gun but most places prohibit them and you could always miss and hit a nearby camper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
In the 70's I used to do a lot of solo winter camping while steelhead fishing in the Tug Hill Plateau. In the NE about the only creature that is not afraid of a human is another human. As paranoid as it may seem I used to put a 357 under the pillow, an unsheathed knife within reach so that I could create an emergency exit through the back of the tent. Before I turned in I threw some extra wood on the fire. The best part (at least I thought so at the time) was I made a twenty foot early warning perimeter around my tent using fishing line stretched between trees, about waist high, with "party poppers" tied in the middle - looking back, it seems kinda foolish. Poor man's claymores. They make a infared "Camper's Motion Detector" that will chirp when triggered. It seems like any little critter would set it off - all night long. I would just end up shooting some innocent 'possum and wind up blowing a hole through a perfectly good tent. Now that am old and wise I just throw a log on the fire, have a stiff nightcap and get a good nights sleep - locked in the vehicle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,468 Posts
The best part (at least I thought so at the time) was I made a twenty foot early warning perimeter around my tent using fishing line stretched between trees, about waist high, with "party poppers" tied in the middle - looking back, it seems kinda foolish. Poor man's claymores.
My kiddo used to do this with string and our empty cans around the site.
He called it --protecting the perimeter--. I thought it was cute and it kept him busy. I had no idea at the time that he would end up in the Army:roll: I'm sure he has the best perimeters in Iraq right now;-)

Most campgrounds say no guns.
Carry pepper spray and we have DOGS!:)

Best Auto Insurance | Auto Protection Today | FREE Trade-In Quote
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
I do quite a bit of solo backpacking/camping and try my hardest to avoid designated campgrounds. The only thing I worry about is other people even though I've never had any problems. Most here will probably consider it excessive, but I carry 100% of the time when I'm out there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,971 Posts
Best advice I can offer is to keep a close look at your foodstuff. That alone will bring in more 'critters' than anything. Most scavenge around at night looking for a meal, and the scents of our 'fast foods' are often too tempting to resist.

You ever wake up to a tent full of skunks? For what it's worth, do not jerk the bag of potato chips out of one's mouth... :twisted: Having been a scoutmaster for several years I know from experience how that will put a damper on a weekend backpacking trip.

Anyway, small critter or large, the food is the major thing one needs to control. There was a bear attack just the day before yesterday up in Montana (Yellowstone) that cost a camper his life and several more with some amazing stories to tell - and scars to show. I don't know for certain but I would not be surprised to learn that improperly stored food would be the reason the bear(s) came around to begin with.

That said, I have to admit that the backpacking / camping trips I have been on over the years are far and above the most peaceful and relaxing times I have ever experienced. Go enjoy - just do it wisely.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,280 Posts
Let's break this down into "subsets".
First - Critter safety - Common sense be the rule here, Pack coolers and other food containers into bear boxes (where appropriate) into vehicle when unmonitored and leave no scraps around to attract the wee beasties. If you expect to deal with medium to large animals, buy a can of "Counter Assault" (as shown previously) Note: When using sprays, keep in mind prevailing wind directions and drift patterns, being blinded while running from Yogi is nobodies idea of fun.

Second - People - You'll normally never have to deal with anyone trying to attack you, however, should something like that occur, the aforementioned spray will slow them down as well. If you happen to be in a less humanitarian mindset, carry a knife. Not a Rambo monster blade, not a lock-blade, but a standard skinning knife. I'm not advocating ending someone's life, but, if it comes down to you or them, choose yourself as the survivor. Besides, wearing a good knife in the woods gives you many other advantages too, whittling to pass the time, it is an A+ first aid tool, cutting rope, meal prep, etc. It should be on your belt either way.

Third - Creepy Crawlies - Ants alone have the human race outnumbered about 150,000 to 1. There is no getting away from them. The new belt insect shields from Off! brand work good against the skeeters and other biters. other than that, you've not much to worry about.

Realistically, using a campground in our state parks is safer than walking through the L.A. basin. Just keep your situational awareness and don't hesitate to talk to the ranger about problems or troublesome individuals.

As for myself, I am licensed to carry and have never felt the need to when camping. My sidearm stays locked in its case in the car (it goes back on the belt when I get near the cities). I do wear my knife, a Ka-Bar skinning knife that sees more use in food prep and whittling than anything else. The camping community is generally composed of friendly people out to get away from the world, not bring trouble into the wild. That doesn't mean that I don't keep my wits about me, I still watch people who drink too much or who speak in angry tones, but that's merely common sense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Having just completed 2 months of solo camping in MT and WY, I felt much safer camping, even dispersed, than being on a city street. 100% of the campers I met were great people - all camping to enjoy the outdoors and see American's wonders. Didn't meet anyone selling meth, robbing hikers, holding up convenience stores, etc - all the things I'd worry about in a city. Don't think too many of that type go off to the woods in the first place.

Also noticed that the further away from places 40 foot RVs could reach, the nicer the people - because the RV'ers close their doors, turn on the heat or AC and TVs - might as well have stayed at home. Close to nature campers are outside - talking to their neighbors - getting the scoop on the next best place to camp.

Had bear spray - for bears. Heard local MT news say Park Service set up tents the next night at Soda Butte, where the sow grizzly killed the man from MI and attacked the other two tents. Sow came back the 2nd night and tore the tents up again - which is how the Park Service captured her. Didn't hear anything about improper food storage being the cause. Definitely feel safe in the hard sided E and;pretty sure a bear wouldn't bother to climb up to my level in the Ecamper - no food up there.

Go and have fun.

I haven't camped in many years but now that I have an Element, I'm going to give it a go again. One of my problems with camping in the past has always been feeling quite vulnerable -- lying in a tent in the wilderness with just a sheet of nylon between myself and various mammals, reptiles, insects and disturbed humans has never been conducive to a good night's sleep. Even sleeping in the relative security of the E sounds a bit daunting when you're off the beaten path and far away from help.

I know truly dangerous situations are very rare, but what sort of precautions do you all take -- if any?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
I haven't camped in many years but now that I have an Element, I'm going to give it a go again. One of my problems with camping in the past has always been feeling quite vulnerable -- lying in a tent in the wilderness with just a sheet of nylon between myself and various mammals, reptiles, insects and disturbed humans has never been conducive to a good night's sleep. Even sleeping in the relative security of the E sounds a bit daunting when you're off the beaten path and far away from help.

I know truly dangerous situations are very rare, but what sort of precautions do you all take -- if any?
Seriously, I bring a heater and a chopper (not recommended for campgrounds). Anything can happen but they help me feel pretty safe.
And "drunken ******* spray" is a good idea also.
Common sense can also be helpful in many situations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
I keep this within arms reach while sleeping. I keep the Element doors locked so if anything is going to get in it will be through the tent area. I have never had an issue but I like to be safer and not sorry. As far as food stores, I will not re-state what has already been said.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
377 Posts
I keep this within arms reach while sleeping. I keep the Element doors locked so if anything is going to get in it will be through the tent area. I have never had an issue but I like to be safer and not sorry. As far as food stores, I will not re-state what has already been said.

Do not bring a weapon to Kamp Klamath please.

Regards,
Greg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,234 Posts
One of my problems with camping in the past has always been feeling quite vulnerable -- lying in a tent in the wilderness with just a sheet of nylon between myself and various mammals, reptiles, insects and disturbed humans has never been conducive to a good night's sleep. Even sleeping in the relative security of the E sounds a bit daunting when you're off the beaten path and far away from help.
Holiday Inns were made for people like you.

I keep this within arms reach while sleeping. I keep the Element doors locked so if anything is going to get in it will be through the tent area. I have never had an issue but I like to be safer and not sorry. As far as food stores, I will not re-state what has already been said.

:lol:
But you're not paranoid...

(I leave my Glocks at home.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Considering the high-profile capture of escaped convicts in a campground in AZ, I can understand increased paranoia about camping. After camping our way through half this country in the last two weeks, I can say that you will definately find more cons and ex-cons on a Grayhound bus than in any given campground. That being said, I do have bear spray in the tent at night.

as for non-human animals, as long as you store all your food and garbage properly, you will not have problems.

We camped near yellowstone soon after the bear attacks. According to the Jackson, WY newspaper, the mama bear was unable to take care of her three cubs- they were severely undernourished and still had last winter's coats in july. The bear was not going after properly stored Snickers, she wanted big human meat. Very sad. But at least her three cubs are to go to a local MT zoo (they cannnot be released in the wild because of the possiblility they participated in the fatal attack).

To the OP, if you want some good re-introductory campgrounds in socal, let me know, we're a couple hours north of LA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts






You are in their Element. Common sense trumps gunpowder.

Regards,
Greg

I don't want this to turn into a "to carry or not to carry" discussion but I have been a police officer for 22 years and I carry one almost everywhere I go. I would hate to be somewhere that I would need it to protect me or another form death or serious injury and not be able to act. I have also seen circumstances where common sense does not trump gun power. I would rather have it and NEVER use it for anything then have that one time that I did not have it and something horrible happened to someone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Do not bring a weapon to Kamp Klamath please.

Regards,
Greg
Sorry, but I have it either with me or in my car at all times and there are a few circumstances where people were glad I did. No shots fired but it helped stop some bad stuff and put bad guys behind bars.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,214 Posts
I'm a card-carrying member of the NRA (it's in between the Costco and Geico cards) but don't want armed neighbors in the campgrounds I frequent (national and state parks) where the campsites are so close together. My teardrop trailer and tents aren't bullet-proof against accidental discharges or errant intentional shots. I hope campers with guns -- off-duty police or civilians -- keep them unloaded in camp. Shooting in these campgrounds on weekends would be like shooting in a crowded mall. Remote BLM or USFS camps or boondocking may be another story.

If someone feels they must carry, I certainly prefer they be a trained professional. But I feel safe enough in developed campgrounds with the patrolling federal law enforcement rangers and local police.

We don't need armed camp neighbors to be protected from black or brown bears. Yellowstone's crazed grizzly mama was an anomaly and not a threat at all in most places.

The mama black bear below and her two cubs hung out across from my campsite for two hours one morning this summer. I had no urge to be armed with anything but my camera. And the federal rangers didn't feel the need to draw weapons. If they felt these bears were a problem, they'd have fired rubber bullets or used a slingshot to run them off. I've been this close to dozens of black bears, many of them with cubs, in camp and while hiking. No problems.

In DC, where unlike campgrounds, vicious predators proliferate, I would like more gun freedom and armed neighbors with loaded weapons (I'm protected by brick walls here). DC police provide little piece of mind and are no or little protection when a real threat presents itself at home or on the street, because they usually aren't around when needed. I would like to have a police officer for a neighbor on my block. :)
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
I'm a card-carrying member of the NRA (it's in between the Costco and Geico cards) but don't want armed neighbors in the campgrounds I frequent (national and state parks) where the campsites are so close together. My teardrop trailer and tents aren't bullet-proof against accidental discharges or errant intentional shots. I hope campers with guns -- off-duty police or civilians -- keep them unloaded in camp. Shooting in these campgrounds on weekends would be like shooting in a crowded mall. Remote BLM or USFS camps or boondocking may be another story.

If someone feels they must carry, I certainly prefer they be a trained professional. But I feel safe enough in developed campgrounds with the patrolling federal law enforcement rangers and local police.

We don't need armed camp neighbors to be protected from black or brown bears. Yellowstone's crazed grizzly mama was an anomaly and not a threat at all in most places.

The mama black bear below and her two cubs hung out across from my campsite for two hours one morning this summer. I had no urge to be armed with anything but my camera. And the federal rangers didn't feel the need to draw weapons. If they felt these bears were a problem, they'd have fired rubber bullets or used a slingshot to run them off. I've been this close to dozens of black bears, many of them with cubs, in camp and while hiking. No problems.

In DC, where unlike campgrounds, vicious predators proliferate, I would like more gun freedom and armed neighbors with loaded weapons (I'm protected by brick walls here). DC police provide little piece of mind and are no or little protection when a real threat presents itself at home or on the street, because they usually aren't around when needed. I would like to have a police officer for a neighbor on my block. :)
I hear ya on the organized campgrounds....I guess I should have pointed out that 100% of the camping I do is out in the middle of nowhere. I don't camp in improved grounds, I go way out by myself and maybe a couple friends. I am extremely weapon conscience but I also realize that accidents happen. :grin:

My favorite weapon to hunt with is..............................my camera...I am not a hunter by the way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
377 Posts
I hear ya on the organized campgrounds....I guess I should have pointed out that 100% of the camping I do is out in the middle of nowhere. I don't camp in improved grounds, I go way out by myself and maybe a couple friends. I am extremely weapon conscience but I also realize that accidents happen. :grin:

My favorite weapon to hunt with is..............................my camera...I am not a hunter by the way.
If you are a solo camper like me and frequent the boonies, an extra chair or 2 around your campsite can give the illusion that you are not alone.

Regards,
Greg
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top