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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am thinking about going camping alone. Up until this time I have always met friends at the campground so I was not truely solo.
As most of you know I am female with 2 rather large dogs.
Are there any safty precautions i sould take. Any other women camp solo?
 

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I think the dogs will scare off any intruders, but if you're hurt in a camping accident being alone increases the risk.

Not like you're clumsy or anything.

...you ARE blonde though...
 

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I think a PM to HikerChick is in order........................
Take the dogs for sure though, and a bottle of Port
 

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I camped alone before the dogs and man, I'd LOVE to camp alone with or without them now,lol. Big can of bear spray hitched to your belt. While I know my dogs would protect me and mine, I feel like it's my job to protect them like family.

So I'd want to be able to level someone before they could hurt my pups. Best defense? Walk confidently, no headphones and keep alert. Watch for anyone walking by more than once and MOST of all trust your gut.

When I taught self defense there was never a time I didn't hear 'Well, I thought something was funny but..." and there the woman was after the fact. If you think it's funny, it's funny, period.

Watch out for what we call Rape Testing which is a guy who will ask questions that make you uneasy. The reason they do this is to see how insecure you are (a lot of women don't want to hurt the guys feeling or seem rude). If someone asks if you are alone, say no.

Emergency whistle or one of those little cans of scream, not a bad idea.

Let someone know when you are supposed to be back, if you hike, tell the ranger the trail and ask that they swing by at your estimated arrivel back to make sure you got there.

What I always do is when someone asks if my dogs are friendly, I simply say "No." no one needs to pet my dogs and even if they were all the time, that right there is enough to make most keep a distance. I tell women an easy thing to do, even if your dog is some leg hump happy Lab is when walking by anyone who makes you uncomfortable or it's dark, simply keep saying 'Easy, easy now.." to the dog as if any moment they are going to snap,lol.
 

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I don't do it so much anymore but I used to love my annual trip to the PA Grand Canyon. I'd usually head up a day or so earlier to fish before my friends showed up.
 

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Biggest thing to remember is maintain your situational awareness. Look for things that may be out of the ordinary. No need to be paranoid about it, but just keep your eyes open (helps avoid broken bones or evil people)
+100 on the ranger notifications. ESPECIALLY female rangers. They will be much more keen on keeping an eye out for you.
3 things I recommend everyone carries ALL the time: emergency whistle (carries MUCH further than a human voice and can be used in ANY emergency), knife (pocket or fixed blade, it can whittle a crutch, cut up that steak or fillet a bad guy), Bear Spray (Mountain Lion, Bear or 2 legged evil critters, helps to discourage them all)
 

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I have one of those whistle/compass combos. I can attest to that whistle being really freakin' loud. You want to use something that isn't a regular sound, but is associated with an SOS signal. ER whistles are different then your run of the mill PE types.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
i would never knownly put my dogs in a place were they need to protect me but Visable deterent is part of their job.
i need to get a whistle and I will check into the bear spray but most likely i would end up shooting myself.
I had not thought of tell the ranger were I am going because most of my hikes are in the under 5 mile range. but i will check with either the rangers or camp ground hosts.
 

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Oh, I don't think you would, I think sometimes people who don't own the dogs think that way,lol. Meanwhile the dog owner is hurling themselves between the dog and whatever,lol.

I expect my boys to do their job, which is protection, but what worries me about that is well, how that often pans out. That is why we sleep int eh E. If someone were to come in the campsite and night they'd get out of the tent, the guy would run and the dogs would do what they know how to do.

The world being as it is, they'd be penalized. So in my case the protecting them is more making sure they don't do what they know how to do unless it's really down to the wire, if that makes sense.

They are trained to pretty much stand and stare. So there's no mistaking intent, but with happy go lucky dogs it can help to play it up a bit.

Even a short hike, I'd give a head's up. The ranger's don't mind, it probably makes their job easier in the long run.

Where are you thinking about heading out to?

Not that I'm a stalker or anything...
 

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Dog Drool -- All campgrounds are not equal. It's one thing to camp solo in a campground surrounded by people. It's quite another to be alone in a sparsely populated, unpatrolled campground. Or a campground where the campsites are so private that you'd feel isolated.

With your dogs, no one can sneak up on you and no one in their right mind would want to take on those dogs. So you should feel very safe, anywhere. There is much easier prey than a woman with dogs.

I'd recommend a well-patrolled, large campground with open sites and with on-site camp hosts, such as at Shenandoah National Park (Big Meadows being my favorite and with a significant federal law enforcement presence) or one of the bigger Maryland state or Virginia state parks (call the park and ask what the law enforcement presence is).

I feel, and am in fact, much safer in just about any campground than at home in Washington, D.C.

To illustrate, a few years ago I was up before dawn and before getting out of my campsite I twisted my ankle, fell and lay there clutching it for several minutes. Before I got off the ground, a couple came running out of their RV with a frozen water bottle to put on my ankle. And they checked on me during the day to see how I was. I'd never even met these people before.

Such kindness has been the norm. I find camping is the closest I'll get to living in Mayberry with Aunt Bee and Opie. Scream in the city and could be no one will pay any attention. Scream in a campground and everyone will hear and come running.

Also, anything violent that happens in a national park will bring in the FBI. That alone is a deterrent.

Hiking alone is never optimal, simply because you could be injured in a fall. I've been immobilized twisting an ankle on an acorn on the sidewalk (a long history of torn ligaments - knee and ankles). But if you're going to then leave on your car seat the time and day you left, when you expect to be back and exactly what route you are taking. And do tell a Ranger and let them know you've left your departure and route information on your driver seat.

While a hike might be just 5 miles, I'd always be somewhat prepared to spend the night in the woods. With a twisted knee, 5 miles may as well be 50.

Tent Protection (or teardrop trailer, in my case):

Surefire flashlight (extremely bright, it will blind anyone at night)

Bear Spray (30-foot range)
http://www.rei.com/product/623173

LOUD whistle (check out the Fox-40)

Axe

Car key fob
(does yours have a panic button that sets off your car horn?)


Hiking Safety Gear (1 mile or 10, I won't hike in the woods without being prepared to spend the night):

Compass + map

Surefire flashlight
(and extra batteries)
http://www.llbean.com/webapp/wcs/st...oreId=1&catalogId=1&langId=-1&from=SR&feat=sr

a cheaper lighter flashlight option (this thing is a little larger than a quarter and just $10 -- one is on a lanyard with house key and Fox-40 whistle whenever I walk Gidget, even just down the block)http://www.essentialgear.com/store/p/117-eGear-PICO-LED-Zipper-Lite.html

Whistle
(on a lanyard, around your neck, tucked in your shirt)
http://www.rei.com/product/407254

LED headlamp (Petzl e-lite is my choice for lightweight and battery life)

Bear Spray
(holstered on backpack hip belt)
http://www.rei.com/product/623173

Hiking pole (traction and weapon)

AMK emergency bivvy
http://www.rei.com/product/750944

AMK Pocket Survival Pack
(the best light, compact kit)
http://www.rei.com/product/708135

First Aid kit

Matches and lighter (especially in fall and winter)

Knife (check out this survival knife below -- simple, cheap and sharp)
http://www.agrussell.com/product.asp?pn=CL-2380


You'll be safe. Truth is - statistically - women are in far, far more danger from men they know than strangers.

Cheers!


:)


 

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from a search and rescue guy

I've been on a couple of 'lost camper' S&R's.

1. Always tell someone where your going, and when you will be back.
Even if in a state/US park, find a ranger tell them.
Leave a not on dashboard saying when your leaving/when you will return and the route you plan to take.

2. cell phone aren't always connected, but 'don't leave home without it.'

3. dogs are more than companions.

4. always take even a small pack, just in case, couple energy bars, water, and a small 1st aid kit.

5. duh, compass, GPS etc. we've hunted for persons that were darn near within earshot, just walking in circles.

My dogs & I go into the forest every morning. My wife knows approximately where and when I'll return.

6. THINK THINK THINK!

AND HAVE FUN. nothing more tranquil then coming on doe and fawn early in morning.
 
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