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  1. #21
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knocky View Post
    Self protection starts with mindset. Men, as well as women seem to be woefully unprepared for a sudden crisis. Adequate means of protection are available, and there is no legitimate reason these days, for anyone to suddenly realize that they are on the menus, with no ability to defend themselves.
    Well said, you have to have the mindset to do something you'd thought you'd never have to do. But a life threatening situation deserves a life threatening defense. And yes men are just as vulnerable. No matter what your line of defense practice, practice, practice.

  2. #22
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    And I have to say and I swear I'll go away. To all the female hikers like Blackcloud mentioned learn some form of self defense. Great workouts, self confidence etc... there's good videos on YouTube and books learn some stuff to, lets say equal the odds against a bigger stronger opponent. Than you can practice on your husbands and or kids...

  3. #23

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    Only 1 out of 4 rapes are reported to authorities. When I hiked the Shenandoah National Park section in 2016, my 19 year son went ahead of me and my other son. He got lost and his cell battery was dead. He hiked west, all the way out of the park using survival skills I taught him, 14 miles off trail through the wilderness before he found someone with a phone. He was beat up and bruised but OK. I was worried sick and still have nightmares about this. After we collected him, we stayed in a hotel in Waynesboro that night off trail. I am a very early riser, so I washed all of our clothes at 5 AM the next morning as my boys slept. While waiting for the laundry I told the front desk lady about my harrowing experience and how I was so afraid for 12 hours. She then told me her hotel had taken care of girls who had no money, who had come off the trial from hiking solo, after being beaten, robbed and raped, begging for them to put them in a room. She told me one such lady had come in that way the month before. She said the girl waited for her parents to arrive, pay the bill and take her home. The victim did not report it. She just wanted to go home and forget all about the AT. The night clerk also told me of another girl who had been tied up to four trees and gang raped and left to die, but survived after being found by other hikers. That girl also did not report the crime. She told me this happened every summer, not uncommon. I have studied crime incidents on the AT for years, as I almost always hike alone, which makes me a target. Virginia appears to be the most dangerous section of the entire trail, and Shenandoah National Park definitely stands out as the section where bad things are more likely to happen (close to such to large population centers). But..... crime is very low on the trail considering over 2 million people per year hike some section of it. Relative to any big city, the AT is a far safer place to be. However in terms of relative risk, the AT is head and shoulders a much more dangerous trail than any of the other national trails. This is not an opinion - the numbers are there for anyone who wants to dig into the data. But the data also shows some very useful tips. The statistics show that groups of three or more are never attacked. So hike with two buddies. Also, dogs are not a deterrent to an attacker. However, there is no information on crimes occurring in the presence of "dangerous, protective breeds of dogs", so I wouldn't rule out a big Doberman or German Shepard or Rottweiler as unable to provide some level of deterrence or protection (but that IS an opinion). Also, nearly all crimes occur at shelters that are within a mile or so of a road. Some shelters with easy access to roads are used as weekend party zones for the local BillyBob and Bubba set, as they can't carry a beer cooler that far. So NEVER camp at or near a shelter within a mile of any road - ever. I never stay at ANY shelters because shelters are full of field mice, and the typical field mice has on average, 140 ticks clinging to its skin, per the Wall Street Journal. More ticks means a greater probability of Lyme disease (and venomous snakes to eat the mice). I sleep in a hammock, off trail, with no fire, away from other people, in stealth mode. A properly set up hammock will keep you high and dry even in a howling thunder storm. Shelters leak, some really bad. I was an infantryman, 6 man long range patrols, in the Army, so I have no small amount of knowledge of how to disappear in the woods. I also am an expert with weapons and carry one, but I do not advocate this for anyone unless they are a combat veteran - someone who has been shot at and shot back better, not a pistol range warrior. In spite of all the male bravado and testosterone poisoning and fantasy heroics, nearly everyone with a gun will hesitate when the time comes to not hesitate, ending badly for the gun owner. Speed wins over accuracy. Even in the Army, green troops often freeze when encountering their first firefight. Bear spray is a better option than a pistol for most. Wasp spray is even better - the can squirts further, delivers a truckload of liquid, and the spray will immediately temporarily blind an assailant and permanently blind them if they don't get to an ER. There are no restrictions on wasp spray. I also set up an alarm system to wake me if a bear or person becomes too curious while I sleep. In short, I am careful. For all those folks who think they can rely on their "instincts" to protect them? That's pure rubbish. The FBI profile team says if they can't pick out serial killers from ordinary people, with all of their PhDs in criminal psychology and decades of experience, it's beyond ludicrous for you or anyone else to walk around thinking their instincts will protect them. Hogwash. All of Ted Bundy's victims went willingly with him. Criminals who are highly successful at their craft are really good at putting their victims at ease. They're good talkers and charming and pleasant. So, to summarize, here are my rules for any hiker, male or female: 1. hike with 3 or more people 2. avoid shelters close to roads, 3. don't let strangers get within 20 feet of you, 4. and if you are solo or two people, don't light a fire - disappear into the night. A fire can be seen for miles and miles at night, and for much further if you are up on a ridge. If someone saw you during the day, and wants to do you harm while you are asleep in camp, they will know exactly where you are by the light of your fire. Also, the national forests have lots of meth cooks hiding out and pot farms, so a fire might make them nervous enough to investigate the source. "Common sense is not that common" - get some and stay safe.
    Last edited by Ancient Diver; Yesterday at 00:44.

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