Backpack Bag – Avoid Violence On The Hiking Trail!

Backpack bag hikers know the peace they feel when they are one with Nature. New hikers are enjoying the sport every day, and undoubtedly start with a few trepidations. Have you ever worried about encountering a bear or rattle snake? Yes, these creatures can give us pause, but after educating ourselves, we learn to share the wilderness ad steer clear of them.  Should you also have to worry these days about human predators and having your life at risk while enjoying a tranquil hike?  How do we arm ourselves against encountering a random disturbed savage maniac?

No doubt you saw this article recently on the news;  https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/appalachian-trail-attacker-threatened-burn-hikers-alive-court-documents-say-n1005186

98% of all hikers are peace-loving people like you and me who have a connection with the outdoors. We thrive in nature and feel our best with the accomplishment of a good climb or trail walk, don’t we?  If you are reading this, you can no doubt relate. Our minds don’t go in the direction of danger beyond a wild animal or encounter with a patch of poison ivy.  Sadly, in our world today, I believe we need to redirect our thoughts to a more serious type of situation. The issue is trust.

A backpack bag trip is usually a form of get-away from a stressful environment, don’t you agree?  Hikers are a “community” of like-minded outdoor enthusiasts who have a love and respect for Mother Nature and each other. Yes, you may come across an occasional jerk who leaves trace and seems to be obnoxious and rude on the trail. These backpack hikers are plain annoying, but not considered a deadly threat.

Backpackers need to be prepared, so how can you prepare yourself for the possibility of a situation while on the wilderness trail or camping off trail?  A simple answer may be in safety awareness as one of your best lines of defense.  Crime can happen anywhere at any time. Your brain may be your strongest weapon. Always pay attention to your gut instinct about people you encounter whether at home, on the road or while hiking. The situations may be different but the plan of action remains the same. Don’t engage, speak to or challenge someone you meet on the trail until your doubts reassure you.

Hikers, you need to tune in not out!  Ear buds or cell phones can easily distract you, leaving you vulnerable to a dangerous encounter.  You could be approached from behind unknowingly.  You may miss seeing or hearing cues that could help you avoid a risky situation.  Being aware and alert helps protect you and other hikers from danger because you cannot hear an approaching threat or nearby victim if you’re drowning your eardrums in rock music. Besides, isn’t the whole purpose of nature to hear the sounds which are natural in the wild?  This makes good sense even for a potentially threatening wild animal.

Your backpack Bag can be a helpful hiding place.  While most hikers don’t purposely condone violence, I believe we all agree that protecting ourselves and families should be a priority.  There is much controversy currently regarding gun control. We may not all agree, but it is my personal opinion that a backpack with a CCW (concealed carry weapon) pocket with a firearm could potentially save a life.  It’s no different than hunting. You carry a gun to take down your prey for sport or food.  

If an animal in the environment threatens your life, you’d shoot it.  Certainly a human life is different, but if your life is on the line, what would you do?  Check state laws and never carry a firearm without a legal permit. Prevent accidental shootings by clear and concise experience and knowledge of your firearm. It should only be used in a life threatening situation and only when there are no other options.

Not all hiking strangers are good people. During a backpack bag excursion, as in a tourist situation, you should be wary of strangers.  Most are helpful like-minded comrades, but it’s best to err on the side of caution.  Here’s where your gut instincts come into play once again.  Anyone you meet on the trail, friendly or not, keep conversation at a minimum until you feel comfortable with him/her/them.  This is particularly important when you hike alone.  Make it known you have someone a short distance behind you even if you don’t.  The only one(s) you should share your hike itinerary with is your family and/or a park ranger. Don’t give specifics of your hiking plans on social media in real time because anyone can track you with simple clues.

Nature  hikers should not be robbed!  Your backpack bag should contain your ID and maybe some cash if the trail has a pop up store for provisions. Of course you should be cautious to protect your backpack and gear. Leave the jewelry at home. You will need to be aware of visible things in your car at the trailhead as well. You can protect yourself with common sense preventative measures.

More to the point, don't let the actions of criminals rob you of your enjoyment of hiking. You can't let fear dictate your pleasures in enjoying the great outdoors. There will always be crime no matter where you go, but by practicing awareness, you'll be fine. Implement a keen sense of awareness in your everyday travels, on and off the trail, you should be safe to follow your hiking path wherever your boots take you. Happy hiking!

 

 


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