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#81853 - 10/27/07 05:53 PM scared now...
trippypaws Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/27/07
Posts: 4
Loc: PA, USA
I've always been a trail hiker/runner and have never had any real problems on outings. A friend of mine recently shared that she's been assaulted not once, but TWICE while long distance trail running. She didn't go into complete detail, but enough to completely freak me out. I've since rescued a large dog who has turned out to have the protective instincts of a wet dishrag so he's not much consolation. Now I plan a trip and then always change my mind at the last moment and stay home. My husband has no desire to accompany me on super long hikes that I love. I know I could go with some group, but being forced to be social sort of takes away from the solitude that is the whole draw for me to get out there in the first place. Are there any solo women hikers with the answer or some suggestions?

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#81854 - 10/27/07 06:38 PM Re: scared now... [Re: trippypaws]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Well, a very competent lady friend of mine also liked to go out for solo excursions. She casually mentioned to me that on one such trip in Grand Canyon, she carried, in utter and complete defiance of all sacred and holy NPS rules and regulations, a 38 Special revolver. This was specifically for a potential assault. Made sense to me then, and it still does now.

I suspect that the less traveled and more isolated the trail, the less this would be a problem, but it will be interesting to see what others say.

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#81855 - 10/27/07 06:55 PM Re: scared now... [Re: trippypaws]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
Look at general crime statistics for the area where you live.

Look at traffic accident statistics for the roads you use.

Now ask about crime on the trails you frequent.

I can almost guarantee that you're much more safe on the trail than you are driving to the trailhead.


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#81856 - 10/27/07 09:33 PM Re: scared now... [Re: oldranger]
kevonionia Offline
member

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 1322
Loc: Dallas, TX
I agree with Trailrunner (that you're safer on the trail than almost anywhere) and Old Ranger (but carry a .38 anyway just in case). But that's three responses from males now, and maybe we need someone actually IN the same situation as you to respond.

Interesting that YESTERDAY, in Miami of course, we had a young girl attacked by some guy and her little dog turned into the hero. So maybe get a companion for that big, lazy brute you've got and get a Jack Russell, my favorite dog-genre in the world.

Story about the girl and her JR is here.


Our former fosterdog Spike anihilating a coconut
-- imagine what she could do to an attacker's thigh --
or calf -- or ankle -- or a toe?
_________________________
- kevon

(avatar: raptor, Lake Dillon)


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#81857 - 10/28/07 09:22 AM Re: scared now... [Re: kevonionia]
trippypaws Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/27/07
Posts: 4
Loc: PA, USA
Thanks for all responses - It did occur to me to arm myself. I believe I can have a concealed permit in PA. Rethinking the dog aspect. Even though my humongous mutt goes skittering off at the mere insinuation of conflict or raised voice (probably from something in his pre-SPCA past), he is big and his pit bull half is quite obvious. Probably a good deterrent before the wimpiness would even need to be apparent. Another thing I thought of was to find the most chest-concealing crushing sports bra out there, shove all my hair up under a ballcap and walk like a dude. I just can't believe I'd ever be so chicken to go on a hike.

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#81858 - 10/28/07 09:40 AM Re: scared now... [Re: trippypaws]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
trippy paws
Why would you subject your pet to the dangers of protecting you? I hear this so much - my dog would protect me from a bear - how by giving up its life? I knew a guy whose dog saved him from a grizzly, dog died of course...

I've maybe seen one or two really pretty girls on the trail with their dogs (in wilderness) and they were friendly and every guy who came by stopped and said hi and offered any help or assistance. If you are uptight, wearing boys clothes and acting like men are gonna attack you, they will sense it. You won't have a good time. You'll be way too scared and uptight. Better would be to meet up with two guys and ask if you can hike/camp with them for safety. But be friendly to them as you may need their help.

If it bothers you that much, stay home. A gun will not help, it will only make things worse. Finally, do you know how to use a gun? And why concealed? If you're that uptight, cary in an exposed shoulder holster.

A wise person once said "Those people capable of hitting a running bear or lion in the ten ring already own their gun and are allready experts. If this does not describe you, do not carry a gun for selfdefense. There have been a lot of threads on the subject, our police/commando members ask - could you react correctly and pull the trigger in a combat situation?

Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#81859 - 10/28/07 10:16 AM Re: scared now... [Re: trippypaws]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
The question to ask is WHERE on the trail was your friend assaulted? Was it close to the/a trailhead or a million miles from nowhere? My guess is that it was probably close to a trailhead, as people bent on assaulting women aren't going to be waiting 10 miles down the trail on the off-chance that one is going to happen along. Also, what exactly was the nature of the 'assault'? Was she raped, or was she approached by someone who didn't actually touch her, but made lewd acts that made her uncomfortable (this has happened to me before)? Ask more about what happened before scaring yourself into a tizzy. And I agree with Jim... unless you're already an expert markswoman, a gun isn't going to help you. Learning how to stay rational when your instinct is to panic is by far a more important survival tool than a gun or pepper spray. You're already in a panic before you even go out - I can tell you right now a gun isn't going to calm your nerves if you get approached by someone who makes you uncomfortable.

Andrea
_________________________
YMMV. Viewer discretion is advised.

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#81860 - 10/28/07 10:48 AM Re: scared now... [Re: Jimshaw]
trippypaws Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/27/07
Posts: 4
Loc: PA, USA
I simply am attempting to brainstorm here and consider some suggestions that are offered. Again folks, just to be specific, I'm looking for some quick bits of advice and definitely not looking to bore anyone with a tome on my views on animals or experience with firearms. Hasn't anyone had the experience where someone you know is hurt or killed in an accident then you're a bit weirded out and extra careful for a while? I'm really new to forums in case you haven't noticed. Didn't realize it could get all funny...woo.

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#81861 - 10/28/07 11:11 AM Re: scared now... [Re: trippypaws]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
The problem is that there isn't a quick way to deal with your situation. You can't subjugate your sense of safety to a "tool" of any kind, whether it be a dog, a gun, or what have you. Fear is an irrational state. If something scares you, you have to understand what it is that frightens you and work your way through the process of how to respond rationally to the situation. Seriously... take a self defense class that not only teaches you how to react physically, but also how to react rationally and allows you to practice it. Simply telling yourself not to be afraid, or having stranges tell you that you have nothing to be afraid of, isn't going to work. External 'confidence' will only give you false bravado, but should something happen fear will be your first instinct. Once fear takes root it is extraodinarily difficult to overcome.

We all have very real fears that we've developed after a personal experience. I know I have an extreme fear of crowds after being in a crowd so dense I was moving down the street without my feet touching the ground. This happened in 1982, about the time there were a number of trampling deaths at concerts around the US, so I know that played into the fear I still have. I have not really dealt with this fear because it doesn't keep me from doing something I want to do. Fear is really primarily a problem when you allow it to dictate your actions, especially when the fear is based on something that didn't even happen to you. If I were to give in to all of my fears, believe me, I'd never get out of bed in the morning. Driving terrifies me (because I've been in several accidents where I was not the cause of the accident), so I learned how to become a defensive driver. Eating out terrifies me (because I have a health problem that limits what I can safely eat), but I'm learning that I CAN find safe food at 'unsafe' restaurants if I just pay more attention to what and how I order. These are examples of fears I've developed because of my personal experiences. OMG, if I stopped and thought about all the possible things that could happen to me on any given day... I know people who have been raped, I know people who have been assaulted... what I see on a daily basis in the ER should terrify anyone. You just can't give in to the fear. You can have a healthy respect that bad things can happen, but you've got to stop it at that or you will never break out of fear's grasp. Like I said before, the best way to deal with it is to identify what it is that really scares you, then do what you need to do to overcome the fear from within.

MNS
_________________________
YMMV. Viewer discretion is advised.

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#81862 - 10/28/07 11:16 AM Re: scared now... [Re: trippypaws]
Xelif Offline
member

Registered: 07/04/07
Posts: 241
Loc: Bay Area, California, USA
Regarding attitude:

In college I saw all kinds of scared girls walking across campus alone at night, chatting on their cell phones nervously with keys in their hands "ready to stab someone" in the words of a friend. I hated it, because inevitably I felt that I scared one or two just by being around. I'm a big tall guy, it was dark, they were obviously worried about "strangers at night" and that caused me to feel self conscious as all heck as I walked back from night classes.

I'd much rather that those girls had the confidence and knowledge to defend themselves and displayed it, rather than acting like scared defenseless victims just hoping nobody would bother them. Even if that just meant pepper spray, a little bit of judo (yes judo, a girlfriend did a half year of judo and she could toss me), or whatever does the trick. The worried attitude was apparent from across a parking lot. I agree with Jim, your attitude means a lot and it's usually apparent if you are walking around scared or walking around confident. It was a relief to see someone who smiled as we passed or didn't tense up if I walked faster than them.
_________________________
- John

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#81863 - 10/28/07 12:47 PM Re: scared now... [Re: Xelif]
leadfoot Offline
member

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 954
Loc: Virginia
Agreed. I carry a small can of pepper spray and not a gun. I know myself. I'd never be able to aim a gun and I really don't want to murder anyone...maime them and run is my style.

When I was out doing my solo this summer along the AT, I asked myself from time to time, what would I do if attacked? I have to say, I was a bit tired to fight back sometimes. I'm sure that would change to 'fight' mode, but the pepper spray would be enough for me to respond (and not react) and get a way, use my fixed blade knife if I had to. I also made sure I didn't camp near a road or where I saw beer bottles and litter.

Knowing self-defense and having confidence is such an advantage. Wearing my knife on my waist also sent a nice message.

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#81864 - 10/28/07 01:54 PM Re: scared now... [Re: midnightsun03]
trippypaws Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/27/07
Posts: 4
Loc: PA, USA
You're all right. I'm looking for a quick, "wonder solution" where there isn't one. Rest assured folks, you wouldn't have ever found me cowering down a trail gun drawn and shaking. I guess that's the one problem with forums - one is only left to make assumptions(sp?) when so little info is given and I've probably given off the total wrong perception. I understand confidence, the importance of preparedness and the advantage of self defense. I have four years of isshinryu behind me so the self defense knowlege is there. It's just something I'll have to get over on my own...Thanks for all your help...

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#81865 - 11/04/07 05:04 PM Re: scared now... [Re: trippypaws]
mockturtle Offline
member

Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 251
Loc: WA
I carry bear spray, anyway, every time I hike. It would be as effective on human attackers as on bears, I suppose. At least it would buy me some time. That said, those new titanium revolvers sound uselful [and ultralight!] <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Would I kill someone who was out to attack me? You betcha! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

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#81866 - 11/04/07 05:24 PM Re: scared now... [Re: mockturtle]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Mockturtle
All I can say is ya better kill em with the first round cause if you shoot twice its murder, and if you wound them you become forever tied to them. I'd almost rather be the one that gets shot... than deal with the legal system if I shot someone. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />

I was attacked by a huge german shepard while hiking in a leash only wilderness area trail. Dog lover that I am, I suddenly found that there was a .44 magnum in my hands and I was tracking this animal as he charged. Animals are pretty sensitive to beng in the sights and he froze about 8-10 feet away while I spoke to him real gentley. Finally his girl came around the corner and called him off and appologized. I mentioned that it was a leash only area and that was for the dogs good as well as the other wildlife, and I certainly did not want to shoot her dog, but what else can you do if he doesn't stop? I love my dog and would be crushed if someone shot her. I have to wonder about people who take their dog "to protect them". HOW? - by giving his life for their stupidity? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

I say that if you are carrying a weapon for self defense from humans you should seriously rethink your gameplan. Maybe you should stay in yer p'cup with the Easy Rider Rifle Rack. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/ooo.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />

Jim - who packs in mtn lion country - been challenged by one, had another walk up to my camp. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> I suppose I should mention that I am an expert marksman or I wouldn't bother to carry even in lion country cause the odds of hitting one are slim, much beter to jump up and down and scare it off.
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

Top
#81867 - 11/04/07 05:33 PM Re: scared now... [Re: Jimshaw]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
Quote:
All I can say is ya better kill em with the first round cause if you shoot twice its murder,

That is not really correct. You are permitted in most states to use deadly force under circumstances where any reasonable person would be in fear of their life. You are permitted to use whatever force is necessary to eliminate the threat to your life. If that requires one shot, fine; if it requires a whole magazine full, that is also fine. You might want to review the Oregon laws on use of deadly force; you will probably find that you have more options than you seem to think you do. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#81868 - 11/04/07 07:12 PM Re: scared now... [Re: Pika]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Pika
the following are quotes from the law firm of Swanson Thomas and Coon and are excerps of the complete document.: Regarding the lawful use of force in Oregon.
_______________________________
SELF-DEFENSE WITH LESS THAN DEADLY PHYSICAL FORCE

Oregon allows a person to use non-deadly physical force for self-defense or in defense of a third person from what the person reasonably believes is the "use, or imminent use, of unlawful physical force." The degree of physical force that may be used is limited to the degree of force believed reasonably necessary to rebuff or contain the other person; <snip>, the defense is unavailable unless the provocateur withdraws from the encounter and effectively communicates that withdrawal to the other person.

DEADLY PHYSICAL FORCE

"Deadly physical force" (defined as "force readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury") is only lawful when it is used against a person reasonably believed to be attempting to commit a felony involving the threatened or imminent use of physical force against a person, or to defend against a burglary in a dwelling. A dwelling is a place where someone lives and sleeps. Oregon law restricts the use of deadly physical force to situations where it is unavoidable and there is no reasonable way to escape the conflict, which is sometimes referred to as "the necessity rule."

RESISTING ARREST

However, if a police officer uses excessive force in making an arrest, then the citizen has a right to use physical force in self-defense, but not to resist the arrest itself. In other words, if police are using excessive force then a citizen is entitled to protect him or her self from harm, and this right of self-protection trumps a police officer's right to make the arrest of a non-resisting citizen.
_______________________________________
So you better be careful about shooting someone in Oregon. Killing in self defense is only ok in special circumstances.

However we have a right to defend ourselves from the police - not in Calfornia....

Oh and reread my comment - if you shoot twice and once was enough - its murder in Oregon and California.

Jim - don't be mislead. check your state gun laws
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

Top
#81869 - 11/05/07 05:40 AM Re: scared now... [Re: Jimshaw]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
Jim, I don't think that we really disagree. I think that the deadly force laws of Oregon are pretty much the same as those in most other states: First, a reasonable person can use deadly force in defense against an immediate threat to the lives of themselves or their family. Deadly force is not permitted simply in defense of property (except in New Mexico). A burglary with home occupants present is presumed to be an immediate threat in most states. Second, use of deadly force must cease when the threat no longer exists.

The statement you made that I was disagreeing with was this:
Quote:
All I can say is ya better kill em with the first round cause if you shoot twice its murder

Perhaps I am being nit-picky but to me that statement says that you only get one shot and if you miss with the first and then hit with a second, it is murder. That is not at all the case. To quote Oregon law:
Quote:
The degree of physical force that may be used is limited to the degree of force believed reasonably necessary to rebuff or contain the other person;

This does not limit the number of shots or the degree of force, it simply limits the force to that necessary to eliminate the threat. And, if you shoot twice and only one shot turns out to be necessary, I don't think a court would expect a person in such a situation to realize that at the time. In fact, most self-defense training emphasizes the use of the "double tap" where the shooter is trained to fire a quick, second follow-up shot and then to evaluate the situation before firing again. Police and civilians are both trained in this technique.
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#81870 - 11/05/07 03:10 PM Re: scared now... [Re: Pika]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
You guys should'nt get too worked up over any of this gun stuff; as we have a newbie with no gun experience on our hands, and certainly don't need to encourage HER to carry a gun on the trails because she's already decided she's too afraid to be on the trail alone. I certainly hope she does'nt abuse her dog(by ignoring it and leaving it in the yard) in the future due to it's 'lack of desire to protect her' <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#81871 - 11/06/07 02:26 PM Re: scared now... [Re: Jimshaw]
6brnorma Offline
member

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Arizona
Quote:
Mockturtle
All I can say is ya better kill em with the first round cause if you shoot twice its murder, and if you wound them you become forever tied to them. I'd almost rather be the one that gets shot... than deal with the legal system if I shot someone. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />

I was attacked by a huge german shepard while hiking in a leash only wilderness area trail. Dog lover that I am, I suddenly found that there was a .44 magnum in my hands and I was tracking this animal as he charged. Animals are pretty sensitive to beng in the sights and he froze about 8-10 feet away while I spoke to him real gentley. Finally his girl came around the corner and called him off and appologized. I mentioned that it was a leash only area and that was for the dogs good as well as the other wildlife, and I certainly did not want to shoot her dog, but what else can you do if he doesn't stop? I love my dog and would be crushed if someone shot her. I have to wonder about people who take their dog "to protect them". HOW? - by giving his life for their stupidity? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

I say that if you are carrying a weapon for self defense from humans you should seriously rethink your gameplan. Maybe you should stay in yer p'cup with the Easy Rider Rifle Rack. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/ooo.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />

Jim - who packs in mtn lion country - been challenged by one, had another walk up to my camp. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> I suppose I should mention that I am an expert marksman or I wouldn't bother to carry even in lion country cause the odds of hitting one are slim, much beter to jump up and down and scare it off.


Daaayum Jim...and all this time I thought you were one of these 'Peace Activist', tree huggin', dope smokin', birkenstock wearin', PETA people......I'm impressed! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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#81872 - 11/08/07 11:23 AM Re: scared now... [Re: 6brnorma]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Ya' Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#81873 - 11/08/07 02:05 PM Re: scared now... [Re: trippypaws]
whcobbs Offline
member

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 227
trippypaws--
Here's some very conventional advice from a mostly solo hiker. Do some group hikes for a while, talk out your concerns with whatever hiker friends you trust to discuss the matter, get very specific information from other recent hikers on planned solo routes. Your realistic fears and the spooky ones should sort out. Also, it took me sometime to realize that hiking poles have some utility as defensive weapons without raising "issues".
Walt

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#81874 - 11/08/07 04:30 PM Re: scared now... [Re: Earthling]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
I guess I musta got got carried away. Sorry guys.
I hope I'm nobodies worst nightmare...
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#81875 - 11/08/07 05:57 PM Re: scared now... [Re: Jimshaw]
6brnorma Offline
member

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Arizona
Nope....just found it humorous coming from you. You're normally that 'informative, laid back dude'.

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#81876 - 11/09/07 11:46 AM Re: scared now... [Re: 6brnorma]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Quote:
Nope....just found it humorous coming from you. You're normally that 'informative, laid back dude'.


Yeah, that's Jim.....the laidback Dude <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#81877 - 11/09/07 01:34 PM Re: scared now... [Re: Earthling]
6brnorma Offline
member

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Arizona
Well....there's no 'dripping with sarcasm' emocon on this site so I did the best I could. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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