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Thread: Single Travel

  1. #21
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Single Travel

    Numerous tragedies or dicey rescues could be avoided if day hikers simply wore a belt pack containing a waterproof poncho or parka and a warm dry sweater, even on seemingly mild days. In dry areas, carry extra water. Memorize landmarks. I'm pretty well equipped for just about anything, since a big pack is involved if LF gear is being carried anyway. Don't put all your eggs in one basket : in other words, when entering a remote area, have a suitable paper map and not just a GPS or phone - those might disappoint you. And never underestimate the importance of sufficient footwear. I've encountered macho young runners way back on mtn trails where a simple twist of the ankle didn't allow them to keep up their body heat, a storm suddenly moved in, and they'd probably be dead if I hadn't come along with a spare coat in my pack. There are other simple life-saving rules, like get over any high passes or bare patches before lightning sets in. If the trees all around you show a history of lightning scars, that's not a good place to be. It's far easier to slip and drown in a stream than unexperienced people think. A bison herd isn't a petting zoo, because a bull is a bull. Headlamps are valuable, as are spare batteries.

  2. #22

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    San Joaquin Valley, California
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    Re: Single Travel

    A compass, matches (or Bic or magnesium fire starter ) and a sharp pocket knife are handy too!

    A compass will help you orient the map Drew mentions, so you can identify landmarks(OK you can figure this out with a wristwatch, but I figure you guys are into cell phones)
    Matches ease starting a warming (or signal) fire. Yeah, I know the Boy Scouts have other, slower ways.
    A knife can cut material and branches for a splinting, prep kindling for a fire, and help remove splinters.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  3. #23
    Drew Wiley
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    Sep 2008
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    Re: Single Travel

    A water filter if you're out for awhile and don't know the purity of local streams and lakes. In many remote areas the water can be purer than city or bottled water; in other places downstream from human activity, or where things like giardia can be spread by certain kinds of wildlife (especially beaver), you can get sick. Trekking poles are great for sparing wear and tear on the knees, and to help prevent slipping on slick ground. This list could go on and on. It just depends where one crosses the boundary from a dayhike to a multi-day backpack. Unfortunately, right now it's not fire I need. All the big surrounding fires are spoiling local air quality and keeping me from going out for a shoot. October again.

  4. #24

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    Sep 2014
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    North Dakota
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    973

    Re: Single Travel

    If you are worried about other people with bad intentions the Bear Spray makes sense. In some places it is illegal - but wasp or hornet spray can is not. Stuff shoots 15-30 feet and will really do a job on the eyes and deter most who would go after you.

    In cities some friends carry a non-leaking squirt gun(bright green pistol type) filled with Ammonia. Works well on muggers.

    Other than that most will never have problems.
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  5. #25
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    14,994

    Re: Single Travel

    Never carry a fake gun and sure don't pull one on a mugger, they are illegal too in many cities

    Some real guns are painted in pretty colors...

    Seen plenty of dead people in cities, from all kinds of weapons, including one punch

    De-escalate by being very calm and giving them whatever they want, except your life

    I always have $100 in small bills in my front pocket ready to carefully offer it or drop it in the wind for them to run after

    That said, in the 80's I was insured for $3K cash and was told to just give it away if needed, I was a salesman in one of the worst ghettos in Chicago. I needed the money to cash paychecks from my customers so they could pay me

    Nobody had credit or CC in that area

    Never attacked, but did have a few crazy moments that included insane, or homeless, or hookers, even police officers

    Staying very calm helps a lot, even in the woods

    One last thing, if someone asks you if you own or carry guns, never answer that question as either way it's foolish. If armed now they know and they may go to your home or worse, if you say no, that may be a lie also

    Keep your cards close...

    I have been shot at in the desert, chased down alleys, finding an accomplice at the other end...

    Still here
    wear mask or NOT

    is ???

  6. #26
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Single Travel

    I sure don't see any need for guns in Natl Parks (they're still illegal if loaded), or even in most Wilderness areas. Active grizzly or polar bear habitat might be the exception; but an ordinary handgun probably won't stop one of those. Danger from cougars has been vasty exaggerated. I never worry about them, though one should keep an eye on small children and pets, and learn some basics about how to react during an encounter. They live all around us here, silently in the woods, and even here in California where both people and mountain lions are abundant, the number of documented attacks on humans in all of recorded State history could be counted on your own fingers. Domestic dogs are far more dangerous statistically, so are people. But meth heads and similar lowlifes don't bother to get very far from the road seeking criminal opportunities; exercise is low on their priorities. The rare exceptions involving fugitives are well-publicized on the news. Four-wheeler or ATV country is a different subject; if someone looks and behaves stoned, stay away. Again, common sense. And in my experience, the biggest danger in Fall comes from drunken deer hunters. Most of them are too physically unfit or inebriated to get far from the road; but you do need to be cognizant of where they are active when choosing a campsite or photographic vantage point. Out of my many travels, I've had far more close calls from careless drivers on the highway than anything in the wilderness. In fact, I regard the first hour of crowded freeway as the most dangerous part of any trip. But in terms of wilderness travel, its extremely helpful to be mentored by somebody already experienced. For more casual activities or unanticipated weather hazards like flash flooding, just inquire in advance at the local Forest Service Station or Park Visitor Center. Same goes for unfamiliar back road conditions, especially dirt one; inquire locally first. Life is simply too short in the best of circumstances to worry about every hypothetical "what if". One needs to get out and enjoy the positive aspects.

  7. #27
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Single Travel

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie View Post
    If you are worried about other people with bad intentions the Bear Spray makes sense. In some places it is illegal - but wasp or hornet spray can is not. Stuff shoots 15-30 feet and will really do a job on the eyes and deter most who would go after you.

    In cities some friends carry a non-leaking squirt gun(bright green pistol type) filled with Ammonia. Works well on muggers.

    Other than that most will never have problems.
    What if you miss?

  8. #28

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    San Joaquin Valley, California
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    Re: Single Travel

    This is poor thread is wobbling on the borders of nihilism!
    Go and enjoy the National Parks, just don't do anything stupid like walking around with your eyes glued to a personal electronic device (which is a stupid thing to do anywhere you go!)
    Study the terrain, know the situation and prepare accordingly.
    Easy.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  9. #29
    Drew Wiley
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    Sep 2008
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    Re: Single Travel

    I saw a guy trip over a log and fall smack on his face due to staring at a GPS. He was looking for a particular lake, which was in fact visibly right in front of him. He darn near fell right into it. I considered it poetic justice because he had seen me, and had cussed me out for "desecrating the wilderness" by bringing a big wooden camera and tripod. I retorted after he got up from face-down in the muck, "Nice GPS; is that the model John Muir used? "

  10. #30
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
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    5,728

    Re: Single Travel

    I could not imagine a safer place to take photographs than the park near me. Maybe you have a different park. Ours has some baseball fields, gazebo and shelter for wedding parties and some hiking trails. No EtOH and it closes at dusk. The only tense encounter was about 12 years ago when a guy in a jogging suit asked with disgust if I were taking pictures of the parking lot with my 8x10 camera. So, Ok mister 'art critic' in your jogging suit; your opinion has been noted and will be filed in the appropriate circular container.

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