Travel Security
Camping Safety Tips

Travel Security and Outdoor Safety means knowing that predators hunt for victims in urban, suburban, rural, and wilderness areas. Violent crime rates, per capita, are roughly the same everywhere – even in remote wilderness areas. After all, psychopathic predators like hunting for isolated human prey where very few, if any, witnesses or rescuers are nearby – and the wilderness is the ultimate hunter’s paradise.

84-year-old Irene Bryant and her husband, John, were hiking in Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina. She was murdered, he’s still missing. Outdoors enthusiasts assume that when they’re on public land that they’re immune from crime. Victims are always shocked. They never dreamed it would happen in the sanctuary of a forest, so they drop their guard – and any help is a long way off.

Terri Jentz and a friend on a bike tour were sleeping at a remote Oregon campsite when a man in a pickup truck drove into their tent and over the two women. He then attacked them with an axe, nearly killing them both. He drove away without a word. She wrote of it in her book, “Strange Piece of Paradise.”

The victims were found in their sleeping bags on the beach near Oakland CA, shot through the head. Julia Bechtold, a frequent visitor to the same spot, was shocked to realize that campers can get shot.

Hiker Meredith Emerson was murdered in the northeast Georgia mountains by outdoorsman Gary Hilton. Even David Foot, superintendent of Vogel State Park, is afraid now. The beauty of the wilderness hides the dangers.

U.S. National Park Service statistics from 2002-2007 show 63 homicides, 240 rapes, 309 robberies, 37 kidnappings, and 1,277 attacks. Many national park rangers now carry handguns and wear soft body armor.

Camping Safety Tips & Personal Safety Devices

• Get Bear pepper spray at Pepper Spray.

• Get Stash safes (diversion safes): ordinary cans (of bug spray or whatever) modified with hidden storage space.

• Keep your child near you with a GPS Child Locator.

• See Camping Safety & Hiking Safety FAQ.

By the way, remember that almost 50 percent of all Search and Rescue missions are for a hiker out for a short hike – and that 39 percent of those result in finding the hiker injured or dead. Be truly prepared on even the shortest of jaunts.


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