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Jan LiteShoe
01-09-2008, 14:00
Some of the beloved, and "scruffy, older men" (their reference) on this site expressed concerns as to how they will now be perceived on the trail.
Good subject.

Clearly, the recent Emerson murders suggests one's sense of concern can be lulled.
I can see that, as a friendly-natured person, I'd likely have conversed and hiked along with GBH, and that is a chilling thought.

I don't know that anything Meredith could have done would have kept her safe, short of cutting off conversation with GBH in an almost rude fashion, and walking to another hiker for support. But she would have had to have felt a sense of unease first. It's likely she felt safe with the perp, since the two passed other hikers yet continued walking with their dogs, a friendly and social activity.

As women, what sort of actions, talk, looks, movements, whatever put you on edge? What would you prefer, in terms of feeling safe? What senses do you feel have kept you safe? What else?
Clearly, the recent Emerson murders suggests one's sense of concern can be lulled.

Gentlemen, perhaps you've sorted out already ways of allowing women to feel safe in your hiking presence. Speak your experiences.

I will commence, with the caveat that I expressed above - I don't have a clue. My feelings of safety could be dead wrong.

But "space" is one initial indicator I observe in a trail meeting.
I do not like to feel crowded. And I do not like to be shadowed by strangers.
And in response to a "ladies first" I will now reply, "no thanks, you lead."

As I said, it's not reliable, because a cunning sort will lull you.
But it's a start.

Jan LiteShoe
01-09-2008, 14:01
Probably "Trail Ettiquette" is a better title. Or...?

JAK
01-09-2008, 14:16
Until today I had never thought about changing my appearance to make women in particular more at ease, but it makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Even though I've been married several years I still resist my wife and daughter trying to tell me what to wear and how to cut my hair and shave and so forth, but perhaps there is something to it more than fashion. Perhaps just a small gesture here or there might be sufficient. It would be interesting to hear some suggestions from ladies as to what particular details might make a difference.

I think it is still largely behavioural measures that make people feel more at risk or more at ease, though appearances do make a huge diffference in how people judge you. Of course appearances can also be deceiving, and both behaviour and appearance can be highly subjective, and sometimes deliberately deceiptful. Some 'gentlemen' are not what they appear. But that is perhaps a subject for a different thread. I look forward to hearing some suggestions.

Just a Hiker
01-09-2008, 14:17
I think giving people "space" is important to making them feel at ease. I have camped with women, who at first seemed a bit nervous, but after giving them space and being respectful, they were okay. Also, not being overly interested in "their Hike" and not asking alot of personal questions helps as well.


Just Jim

JAK
01-09-2008, 14:26
That is good advice. Perhaps I should have said I would be interested in hearing some good advice from gentlemen also, as well as the ladies. The right 'distance' can be tricky sometimes, but in general good manners is always a good guide. Harder to find good examples of this today. Perhaps there was more the 'etiquite' in the old days than just getting along or ahead in society. It was neccessary for people to feel safe.

Almost There
01-09-2008, 14:34
I always wear my wedding ring...and not intentionally, but I talk about my wife quite a bit, maybe it makes ladies more comfortable, or at least I have never felt like I make women uneasy on the trail...guess I am just that great a guy!!!:D

Seriously though, my wife and mother both made the statement that ladies need to trust their first instincts, alot of young women will get a vibe but not wanting to judge will give benefit of doubt. As my lady said, "when alone better to be wrong about someone and safe than to end up in some dude's old well about to become a human coat." Yes, there is a reason I love her!

Gaiter
01-09-2008, 14:46
I like talking w/ everyone I meet, no matter what age, I give everyone a chance, which probably isn't the safest thing, but really what are the chances of something happening.
I aggree w/ you, jan, space is very important, my personal space bubble seems to be twice as large when i'm hiking.

i get nervous around others if i find out they have a gun, i really really don't like guns, typically i limit my conversation w/ them.

I did meet one person who made me very unconfortable, so i left, it was raining, the sun was barely lighting the sky and i was just waking up, when i heard someone walk up. The man who was obviously mentally handicapped came into the shelter, he was nearly soaked to the bone, and made your average thru-hiker smell good. His daypack had broken, so I offered to sew it together for him, I figured he seemed nice enough and I was going to be waiting for the rain to stop anyways. I started talking to him while fixing his daypack, and thats when he made me uncomfortable, he talked about his behavior problems (he said sometimes he acts like a little kid, sometimes a grown up, but sometimes he doesn't know what happens when he gets mad and becomes violent) and his mom dieing from cancer, he had taken a bus in the middle of the night and started hiking around 2am, doing 4miles (some was rough terrain), he was going to surprise his friend
I kept trying to change the subject to happier things, but his mood seemed more and more depressing, so I packed up and left, said I couldn't wait for the rain any longer. He was probably completely harmless, but i didn't want to be around if he snapped.

4eyedbuzzard
01-09-2008, 14:47
GMH looked like a lot of other older hikers you might meet. Some mention was made of his bad teeth, but that isn't all that uncommon at age 60. I know plenty of denture wearers, etc. Anyone on the trail for more than a weekend or so is likely to look pretty unkempt and even "scary" at times.

I'm usually talkative and social, and most people especially women are at ease around me. Usually I'll mention my wife and kids, where I'm from, where I've hiked from and where I'm going, etc. I'f I were a woman I think I'd be leery of a male that comments on appearance, or asks questions as to companions etc too quickly. I'd also be leery of someone who wanted to or kept on hiking along. Both of these will normally however prove to be complete misreads of innocent behavior.

All that said though, figuring out that someone has evil intent is probably near impossible. Much more likely is misreading innocent converstaion and behavior.

Tipi Walter
01-09-2008, 14:48
When I was younger and looked like Brad Pitt with a goatee:) , I easily talked to women everywhere I went and especially on hiking trails and while out backpacking.

In the last ten years and when I'm out backpacking, I am for the most part invisible to most women, or at least a non-cipher, and this has mostly to do with my age. My behavior now is to say hello and turn away when once I would strive to keep talking. Turning away is quick and final, and it gives the woman a chance to follow up if need be or to end it quick and let it go.

And it's all about perception, intuition and gut. Some people are more perceptive than others, a very helpful womanly trait when out hiking(and good for men, too).

The sad fact is, women are targets and have been since the beginning of human history. Men look at women with ulterior motives(natural biology), and some broken men look at women as fair game, a vulnerable victim in their broken agendas.

On the other hand, the backpacking community is a tight-knit group and a safe group. What backpacker is gonna hurt a hiking woman?? Road access and parking lots are places a woman should be vigilant, and when on the trail if a man(especially a man w/o a full backpack--just look at his gear), self-invites to follow along, beware.

The solution: If perception says run, run. Get back to your car and go home, quickly, or find other hikers and explain your situation. Dayhikers have it worse in some ways than backpackers since dayhikers must often turn back in their hike whereas a backpacker can make the miles and outwalk her stalker.

Anyway, just LOOK at the person, is he wearing hiking shoes? Does he have a daypack? Water bottles? Hiking stick? Determining this part is easy, what to do about it is the hard part.

rafe
01-09-2008, 14:48
I try to size up people. I'm comfortable with all kinds of hikers, particularly section hikers and thru-hikers. I'm always a bit more wary of people in the woods without packs -- even though the vast majority of those folks are fine too. True long-distance hikers are easy to identify, IMO.

I'm most wary of posers and/or men in camo -- folks with bulging packs who clearly haven't hiked very far. There are telltale signs -- gear that's clearly out-of-place, like large knives, metal canteens, certain types of boots, and the like. If I see someone with a totally absurd camp routine, I'll move on. I figure I'm probably not going to enjoy their company anyway, and we're not going to have much to talk about.

JAK
01-09-2008, 15:13
It's ironic in a way, but maybe not.
When you are on a 'date' you should ask about the other person not talk about yourself too much.
When you are not on a date, perhaps you shouldn't.

I think it always helps when there are others around. When you run into a woman alone I think you really have to make an extra effort to make them feal at ease, whatever that is. It like proper etiquite. What's proper? It's whatever makes your company feel at ease. Still gets complicated, sometimes you gotta let them sort that out. I've met some strange ladies also. I gave one a lift hitchhiking and I don't mind talking to some pretty strange people but when she started peeing in public right on the side of the highway I just had to drive away.

Frosty
01-09-2008, 15:45
i get nervous around others if i find out they have a gun, i really really don't like guns, typically i limit my conversation w/ them.I get nervous if I find out someone has a gun, also. I'm comfortable with guns and like them, but am distrustful of the mindset of the person who not only packs a gun on the AT, but lets others know he is packing. There's something not right there, and it is someone I avoid UNLESS I know them. Also, I would be less concerned about a woman who carried a gun than a guy. Sexist, maybe, but there you go. The truth in not always PC.

As far as Liteshoe's original question, I usually don't interact with women a whole lot differently than men on the trail. I pass the time, make jokes about the trail or water sources or food or whatever the topic du jour is. If a woman (or man) is open to conversation, it's easy for me to get into a conversation.

When a woman or man is standoffish or for whatever reason someone I would not have fun talking with, I don't try to converse with them.

I think most men (and women) are this way. Who wants to hang around someone uneasy or remote or whatever in your presence? A warning bell for me would be someone pushing conversation when you obviously want no part of it, especially if he is asking about your friends or itinerary.

But then, a smart stalker would have a goal and a purpose to make you comfortable in his presence, so he'd probably be seen as a lot more fun to hang around with than I would. Not that I'm all the much fun, anyway.

No easy answers. Someone said to follow your instincts, and that is an excellent idea.

Many times the advice is if uncomfortable with one man, to let other men know. This is a good idea, but pick you men carefully. Some men are quick to react (say it isn't so!) and unless you want to see a confrontation with someone defending "your honor," pick a guy you think will not go off and pick a fight, and explain this up front. Explaining up will also help ensure he won't mistake your sudden interest in him, and either shy away or become a nuisance himself.

Sorry for the long-winded reply.

Bolo
01-09-2008, 15:56
I think giving people "space" is important to making them feel at ease. I have camped with women, who at first seemed a bit nervous, but after giving them space and being respectful, they were okay. Also, not being overly interested in "their Hike" and not asking alot of personal questions helps as well.


Just Jim

Agreed. However, stalkers may give a person lots of "space" and then suddenly attack. Was there any indication that she was stalked, prior to having a conversation with him?

V8
01-09-2008, 16:00
Well, one thing that can help a little is having a high name recognition - I've been following WB and TrailJournals for a long time, and participating more and more on both as hiking departure time nears. It's likely that a good number of people's trail names will be familiar to me, and I to them, which reduces a little of the unknown factor.(It would help more if I'd been able to get to some rucks...!)

When people come wandering into a shelter, recognizing their names makes it quicker to develop conversation and some sense of safety. Of course not all people with trailnames on WB and TJ are necessarily "safe", but you know what I mean. It's taking the opposite approach from anonymity, but I think it will help more than harm.

There is so little that can be done to assure complete safety - much common sense strategy simply doesn't help much (ie, stay in daylight, walk with a dog, walk with another person). Guns and mace don't help if you can't get at them, and if they are readily available then they are easily used against you. And getting bad vibes is only helpful if you get them soon enough to do something about it. Painful truths.

rafe
01-09-2008, 16:19
V8 -- don't assume that a majority of hikers are members of Whiteblaze or have even heard of it. There's no basis for that assumption, and in fact it's entirely unwarranted and false.

Smile
01-09-2008, 16:21
Well, one thing that can help a little is having a high name recognition - I've been following WB and TrailJournals for a long time, and participating more and more on both as hiking departure time nears. It's likely that a good number of people's trail names will be familiar to me, and I to them, which reduces a little of the unknown factor.(It would help more if I'd been able to get to some rucks...!)

Terrapin, you're right about that. I've met lots of hikers who have never heard of WB.

Be careful here on line as well. There are those who will stop at nothing in an attempt to identify you.There are psychotics out there who think they are "web sleuths" who may attempt to identify you ( or someone they think is you), look up names similar to yours and such. I have dealt with this first hand, and it is unsettling that it can happen to any one of us here.

At this time, its good that these things are being discussed. What else are the ladies doing to protect themselves out there?

JAK
01-09-2008, 16:21
Also some Whiteblazers have never hiked the trail and could end up being real creeps.
I know I'm not a real creep. Just saying. :D

maxNcathy
01-09-2008, 16:32
Good points above..is he a real hiker!! smell,gear,distance hiked today, if really weird speed up the trail and go off trail out of sight in woods and camp.

I would tell my daughter..stay in a group of 4 or more of all ages, men and women at all times.

If alone and confronted with a sure maniac and attack seemed likely, I would try to get his/her mind on something that would strike a deep chord within...I might ask, " Tell me about all the people that were not nice to you as a kid." or " tell me about the best friend you ever had." or tell me about your mother or Grandmother.."

feed him all kinds of sympathy..a dog may not bite the hand that feeds it.

Fake a heart attack as a last resort...writhe and roll and scream in pain and stagger down the trail..........culateralligator.

Sandalwood

iesman69
01-09-2008, 16:34
Terrapin had a good idea when noticing a particular hiker's gear, or what they say their itinerary is. Also, when approaching any other hiker(male or female), I always try to make them aware of my presence and once in their presence, I try to maintain some space/distance as well.

While out last summer for a section hike thru GA, I leapfrogged a couple of days with a guy I referred to as Crazy Mitch. He wasn't your typical hiker-type, wearing army-issue combat boots, carrying a machete and large hunting knife, had no sleeping "system", and had little food. While I(and some others) thought him to be quite comical at times, at least on one occasion a fellow hiker and his girlfriend found him to be very irrational and irritating! What I thought of as humorous, another couple found creepy! Even tho he seemed harmless to me, I still kept my distance from him b/c there was that little something that made me think he may have been out of place.

That being said, vigilance is certainly the best policy; know your surroundings. Doesn't mean danger is around every corner, just means you're being cautious.

Lone Wolf
01-09-2008, 16:37
so profiling is OK on the trail

maxNcathy
01-09-2008, 16:38
Oh I forgot,

Ask fellow hikers if they have read the book, The Ordinary Adventurer by Jan Liteshoeee.

If they have not then be wary. lol

Cathy grabbed the book before I got a chance to read it, Jan.
She loves it and wants to hike The Long Trail some day.

Max

rafe
01-09-2008, 16:40
Oh I forgot,

Ask fellow hikers if they have read the book, The Ordinary Adventurer by Jan Liteshoeee.

If they have not then be wary.

Much as I love Jan's book, I presume this post is in jest.

V8
01-09-2008, 16:40
V8 -- don't assume that a majority of hikers are members of Whiteblaze or have even heard of it. There's no basis for that assumption, and in fact it's entirely unwarranted and false.

I don't assume that.

Bluebearee
01-09-2008, 16:42
http://www.adventurecycling.org/forums/viewmessages.cfm?Forum=6&Topic=2180

My boyfriend sent me this link last night from his cycling forum. Read the last post in the short thread. I realize this is British based, but I found it interesting. I think it begs the question "are women really more at risk than men" in general circumstances? Not just hiking, but everywhere. We all make this presumption, perhaps it isn't true.

I think back to my thru-hike and the creep who pulled over in his van on the Bear Mt road to ask me stupid questions only to get to the point of asking me the "real" question of his afternoon. I'm not going to repeat it here; it's crude. I declined vociferously and stormed up that road eager to get off it (the AT follows the actual road for a bit) and out of NY. If anyone is really curious about this incident, it's in my TJ around the middle of August that year. Now I wonder how far he would have taken his little scenario?

I have always relished the hitchhiking experience as part of a long distance hike, I am re-thinking that strategy. I've met some great people that way, some a bit sketchy but not scary, but also interesting. That's a shame. I know it's a risk, even near the Trail, but that may be one risk I'm no longer willing to take.

rafe
01-09-2008, 16:42
so profiling is OK on the trail

In the sense that I distance myself from folks I mistrust -- absolutely, unequivocally, yes.

warraghiyagey
01-09-2008, 16:47
In the sense that I distance myself from folks I mistrust -- absolutely, unequivocally, yes.
Yeah, being careful with oneself isn't quite the same as using a badge against someone. Very different concepts.

JAK
01-09-2008, 16:48
People are allowed to profile by whatever means for their own personal protection.
It is only when they cause undue harm to others that it is wrong.

I don't think terrapin is implying causing any harm, though it happens.

Just a Hiker
01-09-2008, 16:52
so profiling is OK on the trail


Unless a person is walking around with all the new fancy hiking gear, people are going to do just that. Happened to me alot until I was able to afford better gear. People took a look at my bookbag and old blanket and naturally assumed I was a weirdo living on the trail.......until they got to know me and realized I was serious about hiking the AT.


Just Jim

Lone Wolf
01-09-2008, 16:56
Ted Bundy was an "all-American" looking, clean-cut, handsome man. 30some women died cuz they trusted him. NEVER trust anyone cuz they look or don't look a certain way

JAK
01-09-2008, 17:04
I guess that's the point.
Trust your instincts, but use your head. Profiling is neither.

leeki pole
01-09-2008, 17:04
Common sense. Never hike with a stranger alone, never. Find a reason to break off contact, if you're alone (I left my water bottle at the last break stop, I left some gear in the shelter, etc.) if you feel uncomfortable. Most won't offer to walk back the way you came, but if they do, then take off. Use those hiking poles. I wouldn't ever let my girls hike without them.

I've got two daughters and we've had many talks about street smarts. Sadly, it's now become Trail smarts. If I encounter a girl on the trail, I'm like some of the other posters, I mention my wife and/or girls in conversation, and don't stay around long, and never stay in shelters. The wedding band is a good item as well. If the situation doesn't feel right, get the heck out, anyway you can is what I'm trying to say.

Bob S
01-09-2008, 17:22
I think giving people "space" is important to making them feel at ease. I have camped with women, who at first seemed a bit nervous, but after giving them space and being respectful, they were okay. Also, not being overly interested in "their Hike" and not asking alot of personal questions helps as well.


Just Jim


Thatís good advice. I find it very easy to talk to and interact with people not only when out hiking but also in my business life. I never gave a thought to the idea that asking hikerís questions would put a person at ill ease. I can see how a woman would be bothered by this. Itís a shame we have to worry about things like this, and curb out interaction. But with people like the guy that killed this hiker out there I guess itís good.

4eyedbuzzard
01-09-2008, 18:24
The so called "average" serial killer is an 18 to 32 year old white male operating alone. As this describes close to half the hiker population during thru-hike season, one could question all young white male hikers about their history of bedwetting, arson, animal abuse, etc. If they stick around to answer, you're probably in deep s***.

dixicritter
01-09-2008, 19:09
I can't really say what would make me feel safe on the trail alone, because I don't hike solo. I suppose I feel safe on the trail because I know I have my "safety net" with me.

That doesn't mean I haven't run across folks out there in passing that didn't sort of give me the creeps. I was really glad when they kept on moving.

I guess the best thing I can say is for ladies to be sure you always trust your instincts. Unfortunately I think we also always have to be on guard to a degree.

Sad what our world has come to really.

Jack Tarlin
01-09-2008, 19:21
Quick comment:

Guys, this is the Women's Forum. The safety/security issue, and recent events in Georgia, is being extensively discussed elsewhere.

As a courtesy, I suggest we leave this thread to the ladies, as was originally intended.

mudhead
01-09-2008, 19:22
so profiling is OK on the trail

Some guy has a machete strapped on, on any trail north of kudzu-land, I am keeping half an eyeball on him.

Just a Hiker
01-09-2008, 19:27
Quick comment:

Guys, this is the Women's Forum. The safety/security issue, and recent events in Georgia, is being extensively discussed elsewhere.

As a courtesy, I suggest we leave this thread to the ladies, as was originally intended.


Jan asked for men's (gentlemen's) experiences in her first post on this thread. I am nothing if not a gentleman!:)


Just Jim

dixicritter
01-09-2008, 19:43
Yes she did and that's fine too.

Let's also allow the ladies a chance to chime in though. So far it appears that Jan and I are the only ones who have had an opportunity. :)

gumball
01-09-2008, 19:50
I can't really say what would make me feel safe on the trail alone, because I don't hike solo. I suppose I feel safe on the trail because I know I have my "safety net" with me.

That doesn't mean I haven't run across folks out there in passing that didn't sort of give me the creeps. I was really glad when they kept on moving.

I guess the best thing I can say is for ladies to be sure you always trust your instincts. Unfortunately I think we also always have to be on guard to a degree.

Sad what our world has come to really.

I agree, wholeheartedly.

It doesn't take away my enjoyment from hiking that I have to be vigilant about my surroundings, perhaps even more so than ever--I am vigilant in the regular world too. I'm just as careful in a non-hiking situation, not to put myself in a compromising position (ie, I run alot--but I don't run alone in the dark, and I don't run alone in the daylight, with headphones on, b/c I want to hear what's around me.)

I do think you're right, trust your gut. Don't turn your back on a stranger. There's a reason we get uneasy in our guts--that should never be ignored.

Jack Tarlin
01-09-2008, 19:51
Dix is right, Jan did indeed ask for comments from guys, I regret the error.

dixicritter
01-09-2008, 19:53
It's ok Jack. No harm done. :)

Sly
01-09-2008, 20:41
Well, one thing that can help a little is having a high name recognition -

Of course, what am I worried about, everyone on the trails know who I am. Silly me! :sun

Marta
01-09-2008, 21:14
This is a tough question. Appearance is not really a good guide, since being freshly shaved, etc. doesn't mean much. Americans are pretty used to sizing people up by their economic class. It was funny when we lived in Russia (in the mid-90s) to have American tourists be fearful of ordinary Russians, who were shabbily dressed and looked rather like street people do in the US. Then the same clueless tourists would warm to mafia types, who had the ill-gotten means to buy spiffy clothing. So clothing and grooming is not really a good guide.

Someone mentioned the possession of weapons. That doesn't really work for me either. Some of the most entertaining fellows I've met while hiking are either former military buddies out for a section hike, who often haul around huge packs and big knives, or guys indulging in a few days of Jeremiah Johnson fantasy.

The only guy I met who really caused me some concern while I was thru-hiking was a guy pretending to be a hiker in Hanover. He was walking up and down the street, striking up conversations with hikers. (I noticed him while I was looking out the window while eating lunch in the Thai restaurant.) He was wearing freshly-pressed jeans and carrying an old pack with useless-looking gear on it. When I stepped back out on the street, he came up to me and said he was a hiker, then revealed complete ignorance of which way was north and which south on the AT. But he wanted to know which shelter I was going to, etc. I stepped into a store to get away from him. I was quite concerned when he got on the same bus I did, but he didn't get off when I did. At the motel, I spoke to the owner and asked him to be on the lookout for the strange fellow. I never saw him again.

In non-hiking situations I've had a couple of run-ins with weirdos. Enough to know that sometimes my antennae do start to twitch.

I don't think it's at all helpful to be fearful of everyone. Exuding fear seems to me to be a bad thing, and can possibly attract certain kinds of creeps. (I am not saying that this had anything to do with the current tragedy. It sounds as if GMH made an effort to get under her radar with the dog ploy.) In fact I think it can be helpful to talk to people because that uncovers things that don't add up.

One of the weirdos I had to deal with when I was younger (late 20s) was a neighbor about the age of my father. He kept stopping by during the day. I had known his wife for quite some time, well before we moved into that house, so he used that as a pretext for the visits. One day he stopped by while I was hanging out diapers. Completely out of context he said, "You have beautiful hair." I looked sharply at him, and didn't at all like what I saw in his eyes. Since I lived in a rural area, with no other houses in sight, I immediately got a couple of dogs as early warning radar, and took other measures to protect myself. I also informed some of the neighbors of what had happened...and was told then that this guy had made inappropriate advances towards most of the girls over the age of 10. I was above his normal target age, but hey, I did have great hair back then.

All this rambling leads to a lack of clear conclusions. I think the fact that I am quite tall for a woman has possibly made me feel a bit stronger and less helpless. (I do not kid myself, however, that I could physically beat down even the tiniest little Honduran man--5'2" tall--who works for my company.) I have worked a fair amount of developing a habit of command, which was useful as the mother of young children and teenagers, and is useful now at work. I am an oldest child, and an older sister, so it wasn't much of a stretch to enhance that natural bossiness.

I try not to camp near road crossings. I usually work the fact that I'm married and have grown-up kids, including two sons, fairly early into any conversation that might go in a direction I don't want it to.

Other than that, I just try to be realistic about the relative dangers of various activities. Last weekend a teenaged boy was found murdered on a path near where I work. I'm not going to stop going to work because of that.

So far I haven't been unlucky. And I really do think some of these things just come down to chance.

mixinmaster
01-09-2008, 21:27
I have found this to be, surprisingly, very true
......don't assume that a majority of hikers are members of Whiteblaze or have even heard of it. There's no basis for that assumption, and in fact it's entirely unwarranted and false.

RiverWarriorPJ
01-09-2008, 21:35
beloved, and "scruffy, older men" .. and normally a solo hiker......guess i fit the profile.....

Frosty
01-09-2008, 22:08
V8 -- don't assume that a majority of hikers are members of Whiteblaze or have even heard of it. There's no basis for that assumption, and in fact it's entirely unwarranted and false.Harsh response. Liteshoe did ask for peoples experiences and thoughts. Getting multiple views is a good thing for this thread, and should be encouraged.

Anyway, to the point, I've met a lot of folks on the trail whose trail names I recognized from WB and TJ, and V8's thoughts are right on: I felt a certain comfort level knowing a bit about the person and how they interact with others. It's a fact: some posters on WB would be more fun to be around than others.

Frosty
01-09-2008, 22:10
Of course, what am I worried about, everyone on the trails know who I am. To know you is to love you, Sly. You're a good man.

Erin
01-09-2008, 22:19
Before our section hike on the AT, one of my friends really tried to talk me into taking the gun. I didn't. I have in the midwest when it was really remote and just two or three of us. Mainly to feel safe while camping. Camping that was close to a road. Glad I did in Arkansas when there was r an escaped murderer running around the area, a fact we did not know until we got down there in the middle of nowhere to do a section of the OHT and ran into the huge road block and vehicle search. But I felt very safe on the AT. There were more people on it than I expected. And the scuffy guys who worry about being scary looking?
The nicest we met on the trail. OK, it is a little tough to be afraid of a guy in a skirt! While I met some characters, it seemed as if the thru hikers were looking after each other. I was impressed. Everyone, without exception, went out of their way to be helpful to us. I am going back. Remember, Ted Bundy,on of the most prolific serial killers, looked like clean cut boy next door, acted like it and fooled people for years.

rafe
01-09-2008, 22:24
Harsh response. Liteshoe did ask for peoples experiences and thoughts. Getting multiple views is a good thing for this thread, and should be encouraged.

Anyway, to the point, I've met a lot of folks on the trail whose trail names I recognized from WB and TJ, and V8's thoughts are right on: I felt a certain comfort level knowing a bit about the person and how they interact with others. It's a fact: some posters on WB would be more fun to be around than others.

It's a fact, Frosty. Sorry if it's harsh. Consider the total hiking population, compared with active WB members. The ratio is extreme.

I met zero WB'ers over the course of 600 miles and six weeks on this summer's section hike. But then again, I wasn't traveling with the herd.

Leaving aside those met at Rucks and Gatherings, I've personally met exactly three WB'ers on the trail. Two that I knew from '90, one that I met in '05. (Ie., all 3 meetings predated my own involvement with WB.)

Expecting folks to have "familiar" usernames from WB isn't going to cut it. If you regard all others as strangers, then you're going to have a very lonely hike.

kirbysf
01-09-2008, 22:40
Profiling is OK anytime if you are not trying to be PC.

dessertrat
01-09-2008, 22:48
There's a reason people have "spidey sense". It has evolved over thousands of years. Trust it.

Pokey2006
01-09-2008, 23:35
You can meet creeps/psycho killers anywhere. The thing that makes it scary on the trail, as opposed to the city, is that you can't just scream or knock on someone's door or run to the corner store for help. You're isolated, away from other people, most likely without cell phone coverage. I say give yourself an edge by carrying something you can use as a weapon -- not necessarily a gun, but pepperspray, perhaps? even a pen you can poke in someone's eye -- so you have a fighting chance to get away and seek help.

And don't tell strangers where you are headed, what your plans are or where you are camping for the night. Guys, STOP ASKING FEMALE HIKERS ABOUT THEIR PLANS! I've said this before, and had people jump all over me, but, really, it's just common sense. Let's consider that topic taboo on the trail, OK?

I hope to someday learn more about what transpired between Meredith and her killer on that trail. What did they talk about? What did he say to her? How did she respond? Maybe there are lessons in those conversations for all of us. Hopefully someday we'll know more about what happened, so we can keep it from ever happening again to another hiker.

1Pint
01-10-2008, 00:23
Common sense. Never hike with a stranger alone, never. Find a reason to break off contact, if you're alone (I left my water bottle at the last break stop, I left some gear in the shelter, etc.) if you feel uncomfortable. Most won't offer to walk back the way you came, but if they do, then take off. Use those hiking poles. I wouldn't ever let my girls hike without them.


I would hate to attempt a thru-hike with the idea of never hiking with a stranger! Everyone I met during my little section hike on the AT last summer was a stranger. A couple of us recognized each other's names from WB (hi Ewker, Creek Dancer, and Rebel with a Cause) but I routinely enjoyed sharing miles with complete and total strangers. My last day was probably the best. I spent 20 interesting miles with 1 guy that I happended to hit pace with early in the morning and I don't think we saw another hiker until we arrived at the shelter to find Two Weeks and Three Days already settled in. It was a great day and I'd have missed it if I'd not been open to hiking solo and then adjusting my day for hiking with a stranger.

As far as that gut feeling...
At a hiker event one time I was saying goodbyes to people and heading off to my car when a guy stated he wanted to be sure I got to my car safely. I got a bad vibe. I didn't know the guy at all and we hadn't gotten that "friend" click that is so comfortable. My car was quite a distance from the crowd, in the dark, and isolated. I flatly refused. He insisted. I, too insisted that he NOT. If he'd pursued it, I would have simply selected someone I felt okay with and asked him/her/them to accompany me, thereby ensuring my undesired company would disappear. His pushing forced me to do what nice people hate to do - be rude. But, I'd rather be rude and hurt someone's feelings than be subjected to gross behavior.

My take on the safety thing is this: sometimes, there's nothing a person could have done to have prevented the tragedy. Other times, when we're lucky enough to catch a sense of "uh oh, something's not right", we need to trust that feeling and respond - even if it hurts someone else's feelings or even if we have to be rude. And, if the person is a normal, decent person, hopefully they'll understand and forgive our rudeness when we later get to know them well enough to feel safe.

rafe
01-10-2008, 00:37
Great post, 1Pint. I guess the point I've been trying to make -- and that you seem to understand -- is that one can't possibly avoid all "strangers" on the trail. I love the feeling of trust and respect that's so common on the trail. That's one of the things that draws me to it. You get to a shelter or campsite or hostel and meet a raft of grungy mangy hikers that you've never met before -- and you engage them, as real human beings. Wonderful stuff.

Ok, I'm a hopelessly liberal kumbaya-singing tree-hugging dreamer. So sue me. :D

Gaiter
01-10-2008, 02:14
Anyway, just LOOK at the person, is he wearing hiking shoes? Does he have a daypack? Water bottles? Hiking stick? Determining this part is easy, what to do about it is the hard part.

Oh that was the other major part that tipped me off about that guy i wrote about in my previous post, he was wearing military boots, a very old child's size daypack (what you would expect on a middle schooler), sweats, some kinda jacket (wanna say denim, it wasn't something to wear in the rain), an old school metal canteen and two plastic hand held flashlights.

it wasn't his appearance that ultimately got me to hike in the rain, it was his behavior and what he was talking about

Jan LiteShoe
01-12-2008, 14:58
Posting this link here too, because I think it's a good one:

http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/news/article/2551/

maxNcathy
01-12-2008, 16:42
Any real hiker like you and me can tell a real hiker, whether he or she is out for a section hike or a thru hike attempt.

The most dangerous part of a hike is still getting from your home to the trail on the highways.

Let's be calm and enthusiastic about our upcoming hike and make an extra effort to make others welcome and at peace on the trail.Welcome those not in a group to join yours if he or she feels insecure and frightened to be out hiking alone.

kayak karl
01-12-2008, 17:27
i live in a rough town. i've had women try to set me up to be mugged. "Please walk with me i'm scared", "walk with me to broad and main i don't know the way"( we were on main). be on your guard! looks, instinct aren't worth a damn. know how to protect yourself, proper stance, where to but your back, where to have your hands and what to say and what not to say. attackers want a done-deal, if they don't see it, they move on to the next. its like the old saying "dont need to run faster then the bear, just faster then the others with you"

I look homeless; beard, work clothes. when i go to WAWA to see my daughter( she works there). we are always asked"is this man bothering you":) . i never get upset. they are just looking out for my little girl:)

rcli4
01-12-2008, 17:27
Let me start by saying, when I hike I look like the boogey man. I am large and my beard grows fast so in 2 days I look scruffy. The guys that have been saying they will "act" a certain way are making a mistake. Acting is a mistake. I am always just me. I think folks pick up on the act. Some folks might not like hiking with me but I think in short order they are not afraid of me. I generally talk to everyone on the trail. I don't think I scared them. I'm not very perceptive though. I had a gay guy hit on me and Liteshoe had to tell me what was happening :>))

Clyde

Appalachian Tater
01-12-2008, 17:55
Feeling safe and actually being safe are two completely different things and I doubt there is as much correlation between the two as you would like to imagine.

Obviously hiking with a dog is insufficient.

Dancer
01-12-2008, 18:38
I haven't told my mother that I was planning to thru this year. She called me last week very upset. She said that she as so glad that I had given up my plans to thru last year. she would be worried to death if I was out there by myself...

I don't know if I can do it now. Knowing that my family is scared to death for me would not make my hike fun. I know it is my life and all of that but putting my mother through 6 months of sleepless nights just isn't worth it.

I also have to admit... and I never thought I would say this, ever...I'm afraid to go alone now. It makes me sick to be afraid.

dixicritter
01-12-2008, 21:06
amazonwoman, you have to do what is best for you. If the time is right you will know it.

gungho
01-12-2008, 22:33
amazonwoman, you have to do what is best for you. If the time is right you will know it.
Dixie critter is right. From the perspective of someone who is going to have a loved one out there it will be tough for me to let her go. My wife is Roots,and she will be doing a section starting April 1st from springer to Fontana. But I do trust her instincts and good judgement and know her trail awareness has intensified since these tragic events have taken place. Your loved ones will always worry,no matter if your on the trail for 6 months or somewhere else. Something would be wrong if they didn't worry. Good luck with any decision you make:)

maxNcathy
01-12-2008, 23:10
I haven't told my mother that I was planning to thru this year. She called me last week very upset. She said that she as so glad that I had given up my plans to thru last year. she would be worried to death if I was out there by myself...

I don't know if I can do it now. Knowing that my family is scared to death for me would not make my hike fun. I know it is my life and all of that but putting my mother through 6 months of sleepless nights just isn't worth it.

I also have to admit... and I never thought I would say this, ever...I'm afraid to go alone now. It makes me sick to be afraid.

Hi AW

Like you, I would not want to go alone. But if you start in March or April you will easily find great hikers, every day and each minute if you wish, to hike with as a small and totally trustworthy group.

Last march 19th there were about 20 hikers camping around the Hawk mt shelter.I met people that first night that I really liked and hiked with the next 5 weeks until i returned home as planned.

I am sure your mother chose to do things in her life that her mother worried about.

Maybe you could hike for 2 months this year instead of 6 months.

If after a week you still feel frightened then get off the trail and come home.

Get in a group and phone home very often.

Jan LiteShoe
01-12-2008, 23:41
I also have to admit... and I never thought I would say this, ever...I'm afraid to go alone now. It makes me sick to be afraid.

I understand that sentiment, I really do. I have been unaccountably spooked by this incident. I am more aware, too.

However, I'm still walking in the lonely woods. Nature is too nourishing to me not to go.

Look at all the thousands that have walked from Georgia to Maine (or vice versa) without incident.
One way to look at it is, it's actually SAFER this year than last; there's one less psycho running around.

I feel for you and your dilemma.

Jan LiteShoe
01-12-2008, 23:57
Let me start by saying, when I hike I look like the boogey man. I am large and my beard grows fast so in 2 days I look scruffy. The guys that have been saying they will "act" a certain way are making a mistake. Acting is a mistake. I am always just me. I think folks pick up on the act. Some folks might not like hiking with me but I think in short order they are not afraid of me. I generally talk to everyone on the trail. I don't think I scared them. I'm not very perceptive though. I had a gay guy hit on me and Liteshoe had to tell me what was happening :>))

Clyde

I have to say that my confidence to set out alone on the AT came from the fact that I had the confidence-building experience of hiking the Long Trail with Clyde.

While I had hiked some short sections solo on the AT, none of them involved hitchhiking alone. That was my sticking point. I knew a longer hike with resupply would involve hitch-hiking.

I was very grateful to hike with Clyde. I learned a lot on that LT hike that set me up for success on the AT.

However, on the AT, I STILL almost never hitchiked alone (I could count the times on one hand, and didn't much like doing so). Usually the guys did look like "the boogey man" and were happy to buddy up with a woman to hitch a ride to town, as they felt a gal pal softened their image.
:sun

Consider buddying up with a friend at the start, if that's what it takes to feel comfortable. If the company and the stories are good, you'll also have lifelong friends.

Hoop
01-13-2008, 00:16
Older folks have the advantage of experience to guide them -- we've all encountered goofballs over the years, and it's kept the antennae tuned. But young folks generally don't expect the unexpected, and that's a key element that facilitates predatory behavior, no matter the location. "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin de Becker should be required reading for every young adult going out on their own.

Over Yonder
01-13-2008, 03:03
I had an experience somewhat similar to Amazonwomans recently. Although normally very supportive my father started talking about me not hiking or getting me a hand gun. I am very much opossed to this, but he says he wants me to be safe. I was surprised by this as I didn't think he had followed the Emerson case. I have tried to talk to him about this experience and how much it means to me, but this actually has made it hard for him to let me go.

Like many have said before I believe that I have a fairly strong feel for people. I tend to be able to read people who I know I feel comfortable around or the people I tend to keep my distince of. One reason I love hiking and this community is that people are for the most part friendly and we do tend to look out for one another.

I also feel that as life is unpredictable it is not possible to be 100% safe all the time. Walking out our front doors everyday or getting into our cars and driving to work are all risks. The woods make me feel safe in a crazy world. Safe enough that I feel the experience highly out weighs the limitless "what ifs."

I am not going to lie and say that what happened to Mereidith didn't make me re-examine my plans for my hike. But I do feel as though I trust myself and my fellow hiking community enough to be safe and make good decisions.

(sorry if this is a little off topic)

Shadowmoss
01-13-2008, 13:35
Reading this thread has made me realize that I'm still going to go out and hike alone. I am traveling for work and am staying in the Atlanta area. I planned originally to hike next weekend somewhere along the AT since I'm so close. After all the coverage of the murder I was second guessing my decision, although I did go ahead and bring my gear.

Last night I met Two Speed for dinner. I had never met him in person before, and made arrangements through PM's on this site. I was banking on the fact that he seems to be a somewhat well-known WB'er. I did give his phone number and name to my co-worker 'just in case'. When Two Speed drove up, I jumped into his truck, and for a moment thought 'hmmm, I just got into a truck with a man I don't know at all...'

Ok, so Two-Speed is weird :) but he is a hiker. And, I trusted my instincts and came out all right, and had a good time. But, I still was pondering what I want to do next weekend. As I said, while reading this thread I came to some inner understanding that it will be ok to go out alone in the woods again. Even if I do run into trouble at some point in the future, I refuse to let myself walk in fear.

Wise Old Owl
01-13-2008, 23:19
Some of the beloved, and "scruffy, older men" (their reference) on this site expressed concerns as to how they will now be perceived on the trail.
Good subject.

Gentlemen, perhaps you've sorted out already ways of allowing women to feel safe in your hiking presence. Speak your experiences.

I will commence, with the caveat that I expressed above - I don't have a clue. My feelings of safety could be dead wrong.

But "space" is one initial indicator I observe in a trail meeting.
I do not like to feel crowded. And I do not like to be shadowed by strangers.

And in response to a "ladies first" I will now reply, "no thanks, you lead."

But it's a start.


Jan Ė Do not be surprised, I think the older men donít have a clue either! I have been hiking for years by myself, and recently joined Tipiís Walters ďinvisibility to womenĒ. As a young man, most women commented about my resemblance to early photoís of Barry Manilow. Today itís Walter Mathau! from Dirty Old Men.

I am used to being misread on the trail for the last ten years. For me, I know itís not the equipment I wear, or the gear, or the hat. When I am alone on the trail itís the grey hair, and the fat. I feel like I have single handedly started the Womenís trail running movement! I say all that in jest, but in all honesty, I have been really been hurt by some peopleís reactions in the past. I keep forgetting to wear my ďNice GuyĒ button & T shirt every time I leave the house.

I agree with Just Jim, I say hello and give people space. I am just not that interesting and I donít get into deep discussions. I have never asked anyone for details in their hike. I am married, I have friends, & I do smile. I cannot help it if the wife and my friends do not find 15 milers on a weekend fun, they have been invited! I do leave a trip report before I leave, and have shown people how to use Google Earth to find me. Thatís all I can do. I have worked on the ďbeloved scruffy old man appearance and I like it, I am not trying to please others.

I have never read or posted in the womenís forum, but I did see this column in the Forum Front page and decided to add something helpful to your column. I have had terrific experiences with women in hiking clubs and on the trail in group settings. You really do have some wonderful things to talk about. I will forever be a ďnice guyĒ to all, but when on the trail by myself alone, if we bump into each other Ė Realize that we all cannot look as good as 45 year old Tom Cruise! A casual conversation is always welcome.

Mr. Clean
01-14-2008, 07:12
Another good thing to do if anyone is nervous about someone on the trail is to mention that your hiking partner should be here any minute, and then glance occasionally down the trail.

As a largish guy, I've made a few solo women nervous on the trail, and it seems if I tried to make them feel better, it only seemed to make things worse. I hate that the trail, and life in general, has come to this and that we can't go to the woods and escape from that crap, but I guess that these situations are here to stay and we have to learn ways to cope with these feelings of fear. Heck, I've even met guys that I was nervous of.

It just goes back to trusting your instincts. I would hate for any woman, or guy, to not hike because of recent events; in fact, it makes me angry, but this is what we have to deal with now.

Say, would pepper spray on your pack straps be effective in most situations?

weary
01-14-2008, 10:03
........."space" is one initial indicator I observe in a trail meeting.
I do not like to feel crowded. And I do not like to be shadowed by strangers.
And in response to a "ladies first" I will now reply, "no thanks, you lead."

As I said, it's not reliable, because a cunning sort will lull you.
But it's a start.
I had to smile a bit with at the "ladies first" comment. In '93 I hiked with a badly leaky heart valve. I have long legs and could keep up with most on the level and on down hills, but I tended to crawl on the uphills. One of the irritations of the trail was that every woman i met passed me on the upgrades.

I didn't sense that anyone was particularly afraid of me, but that is not something one can always be sure of.

I did meet a young male hiker at Delaware Water Gap who had gone to school with my daughter. While chatting about the various people we had met since Georgia, he said one 26-year-old woman had told him that I was the favorite person she had met on the trail, which surprised me a bit.

A single woman hiker fell in with me in North Carolina. She had been hiking with another woman who quit the trail after two weeks. We hiked mostly together until she quit at Harpers Ferry. She was nervous about hiking alone. I sensed she thought I was safe. I was never quite sure whether that was a compliment or not.

Weary

Appalachian Tater
01-14-2008, 10:39
It just goes back to trusting your instincts.

Meredith Emerson trusted her instincts.

She and Gary Hilton were walking together, having a pleasant talk, while their dogs, Ella and Dandy, played together. No doubt their conversation was routine, about the nice weather, and how well their dogs got along, and what they had for dinner the night before.

Apparently her instincts didn't tell her he would kill and decapitate her.

I don't believe there is much correlation between feeling safe and not being in danger.

rafe
01-14-2008, 10:50
Tater, it's a bit presumptuous to guess what went on between Meredith and GH, but your point is taken. Absolute safety is an impossible goal. Some of us might have been "taken in" by GH. Or maybe not. (Not pleasant to think about, but maybe instructive nonetheless.)

IMO, those who are arguing for "trust your instincts" seem to be saying: this is the best tool we've got... and the lack of 100%-certainty isn't going to keep us from doing what we love. GH is not the alpha and omega of evil.

-SEEKER-
01-14-2008, 13:09
Hope not to offend anyone but my experience has been that if someone is overly friendly (too talkative) gives out too much (what turns out to be false) info about themselves, etc. you should be on guard. Even here at home that is true. These have been the people that write bad checks and take off with your merchandise or run out the door with something they have tried on. In other words if they try too hard to become your friend BEWARE!

Cookerhiker
01-14-2008, 13:56
Some of the beloved, and "scruffy, older men" (their reference) on this site expressed concerns as to how they will now be perceived on the trail.
Good subject.........Gentlemen, perhaps you've sorted out already ways of allowing women to feel safe in your hiking presence. Speak your experiences.....

Good subject Jan. The one experience I had was when I showed up at a shelter at 6 PM in April in New England on a weeknight - not exactly prime hiking season - and found a woman there by herself. Normally slow thinking and clueless especially after a day's hike, I sized up the situation immediately and within the first 15 minutes mentioned that I had a family and talked about my daughters. And as I was doing this, I went about my business getting set up in the shelter, unpacking, getting out food & stove - all things to show I was a "normal" hiker. We hit it off and remain friends.

Other advice I would offer for guys - talk about trail stuff to the point of esoterica - terrain ("wasn't that descent a bitch - my knees are shot"), gear, aches & pains, the great view you just saw (or the one ahead), the green archway through the rhododendrons - anything to demonstrate you're a hiking junkie.

Bob S
01-14-2008, 20:26
Maybe this idea was already brought up, but what if a woman had a picture phone and any time she felt uncomfortable, you take a picture of the guy and tell him you just e-mailed / sent it to a family member. It’s not a really strong deterrence, but then no one wants to have a picture of yourself floating around (taken by your victim) and if he knows you sent it, he knows just taking the phone away will not get rid of the picture. I don’t think this guy that killed Meredith would have done so if he knew she sent a picture of him to her parents only one hour before he did it. There is a reason they attack away from people, they don’t want to be seen. The picture could convince him you would be a risk and he would move on.

Bob S
01-14-2008, 20:29
As for taking pictures of guys that are not out to get you. I would not be bothered by a woman taking my picture for her security. If a guy is bothered by it, too bad, get over it and understand why she would do it. .

Appalachian Tater
01-14-2008, 20:45
Maybe this idea was already brought up, but what if a woman had a picture phone and any time she felt uncomfortable, you take a picture of the guy and tell him you just e-mailed / sent it to a family member. Itís not a really strong deterrence, but then no one wants to have a picture of yourself floating around (taken by your victim) and if he knows you sent it, he knows just taking the phone away will not get rid of the picture. I donít think this guy that killed Meredith would have done so if he knew she sent a picture of him to her parents only one hour before he did it. There is a reason they attack away from people, they donít want to be seen. The picture could convince him you would be a risk and he would move on.


I have a feeling they wouldn't like it if every guy they met on the trail took their picture without permission. I don't like getting my picture taken and it sounds like a good way to get your cellphone smashed to me.

Landshark
01-14-2008, 22:23
Another good thing to do if anyone is nervous about someone on the trail is to mention that your hiking partner should be here any minute, and then glance occasionally down the trail.




When mentioning that you are waiting for someone or expecting to catch up to someone, give the other hikers "big guy"-sounding trail names. For example, you say, "Well, I'd better get moving, I don't want Brutus and Linebacker to beat me to the shelter."

My apologies to any hikers with those particular trailnames, btw.

pitdog
01-14-2008, 22:39
If this leads to profiling hikers,they won.

GGS2
01-14-2008, 23:20
If this leads to profiling hikers,they won.

Who profiling who? If you mean women profiling men, that's been going on for much longer than this thread. Women have had a grapevine and various personal methods for figuring us men out, and they get taught it at their mother's, aunt's and granny's knees, not to mention by their close personal friends and enemies. The problem has been around as long as we people have. Sad but true.

The difficult thing is that there's no fool proof method for ordinary people to size up strangers at a glance, or even after a casual conversation on a hike in the mountains one day. We get inklings, but we second guess them, because we aren't sure what is an intuition about the other guy, and what is a head job we are doing to ourselves. The plain fact is that all of us are neurotic to some degree (except LW of course), and because of that our judgement is cloudy. And, we don't know if the person in front of us is dangerous or just normally nutty. That's why this thread goes on and on.

It's serious and hard to resolve. For us men, it's not a personal problem, maybe, but it for sure is for all women. It's a real shame that it keeps many of them off the trail, as you could have noticed from several posts by women agonizing over the opinions and permissions of their parents and menfolks. But that's their decision, their personal problem.

The only way to make this problem go away is for a person to get a clear mind, and see what is before them, no doubts. Then they can make a rational decision about what to do with confidence and assurance of a good outcome. Easy to say, but very difficult to accomplish. And in the mean time, observe the golden rules for women: don't get trapped in a corner; don't trust anyone you're not sure of; if you don't like your situation, change it! Better safe than not.

There. End of rant.

Dancer
01-15-2008, 15:28
Maybe this idea was already brought up, but what if a woman had a picture phone and any time she felt uncomfortable, you take a picture of the guy and tell him you just e-mailed / sent it to a family member. Itís not a really strong deterrence, but then no one wants to have a picture of yourself floating around (taken by your victim) and if he knows you sent it, he knows just taking the phone away will not get rid of the picture. I donít think this guy that killed Meredith would have done so if he knew she sent a picture of him to her parents only one hour before he did it. There is a reason they attack away from people, they donít want to be seen. The picture could convince him you would be a risk and he would move on.


This probably wouldn't have detered Meredith's killer. Afterall people saw them hiking together, right? He had to know that he would be ID'd by fellow hikers. A random picture might not be any more or less incriminating.

Jan LiteShoe
01-15-2008, 20:42
If this leads to profiling hikers,they won.


Who profiling who?

I think that's a joke. A flip allusion to terrorists.

Bob S., I actually like your idea. I'd do it if I had a cell phone and got ultra-creepy vibes in the woods. Several reports of Hilton mentioned he'd ask women if they had a cell phone. You'd have to use all the resources at hand.