Staying safe / spooky stories

Rachel821

New member
Hey everyone. I just purchased an ambulance which will be my fulltime home. I'm not naive enough to pretend like #vanlife on Instagram will be my reality so I've been looking into the more dangerous parts of the country so I know what to avoid. This has led to me to a topic I have always found fascinating; missing people in national parks. Its a subject that scares me to my core - the fact that there are hundreds of humans (many who are very experienced outdoors) who have disappeared without a trace.
Lots of scenarios that are unexplained and don't get enough coverage (probably because its sad/scary). But I wanted to open a dialogue with other adventures and hear 1. How do you guys stay safe in the wilderness and 2. Have you ever experienced anything strange that you couldn't quite explain?
 

NatersXJ6

Explorer
I’ve experienced plenty of strange things in various adventures. Most of them had perfectly reasonable explanations, although sometimes it is better just to accept the wonder and magic of the moment.

If you are into or getting into the topic, be sure to read Tom Mahood’s account of searching for the Death Valley Germans. He takes obsession to an impressive level.

There is also a great book out there called Death, Daring, and Disaster - Search and Rescue in the National Parks.

I’ve never been completely scared for my life, although on a few occasions I’ve been aware that I was in a high-risk situation and probably in for a long period of discomfort before I got back to “civilization”. Most of those were associated with remote vehicle crashes or breakdowns, occasionally with backcountry injuries, frequently with bad weather.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
These days it seems like you need to run a search on areas of interest and dig a little to make sure your not stepping into a locals hush hush we have problems out there kinda situation.
I remember when this happened. I went and looked at the location and all my years camping it just felt the type of spot that could have local problems. Too close to big population, too easy to access, yet remote enough for city folk looking to cause trouble to easily access. I have a similar area near my home, the stuff that goes down out there is not good, all us locals know. I wouldn’t chose to camp out there especially alone or small number of people.



Only spooky trip was animal related thankfully I have avoided troubled Human issues?
 

SDDiver5

Expedition Leader
Above all, use common sense and trust your gut.

Other ideas to keep yourself safe:
Hand gun
MMA Training
German Shepherd
SPOT


If all else fails, kick to the nuts, palm to the nose or fingernails in the eye.

Good luck, be safe!
 

4000lbsOfGoat

Well-known member
Too close to big population, too easy to access, yet remote enough for city folk looking to cause trouble to easily access.
^^^This. If you are anywhere near a major population center (within an hour or so), then what seems like "wilderness" may not be what you are expecting. In such a situation you're better off staying where there are other people around, e.g. an established campground. Even in the true wilderness, humans are generally the most dangerous thing you may run into.

Look for places to camp that are either totally obvious and well-traveled or completely hidden. Don't tell any random person you meet at the local bar where you're planning to camp. Keep an eye out while heading to camp to make sure you aren't being followed. Be ready to move at a moments notice if necessary (i.e. keep your keys handy at all times).

Don't go wandering around out of site of camp in an unfamiliar area.

As far as non-human threats in remote areas, make sure your presence is known and predators will generally steer clear. This is especially important if you're alone. I like to give an occasional "HEY BEARS! I'M OVER HERE" just so nothing stumbles upon me inadvertently, sometimes I even turn it into a little song :). It works on non-bear critters too. Just don't be too quiet all the time. Often the most dangerous animal is a startled animal.

I've never encountered anything particularly "strange" other than the odd sounds that always seem to happen in the woods. As mentioned above, the sounds of the woods certainly have some sort explanation but sometimes it's better to just let the forest have its' magic! "Did you hear that thing last night?" Yeah, what the heck was it? "I don't know but we seem to still be alive so I guess it's fine"!
 

rgallant

Adventurer
I think the common thread here is population, the more people the more likely to have an issue. Simple example Harrison lake here in BC it beautiful good forest service roads up both sides and plentiful camping both in camp sites and just of the side of the side road.

But I completely avoid it on long weekends and in the summer all the idiots from the Vancouver area congregate there, between walking drunks driving drunks in just plain idiots it is nowhere you want to be.

From my experience driving mostly solo, further out from civilization is always better. You meet better people and have a lot less problems.

As to being a single woman, if you are aware of your surroundings in an urban environment the same rules apply when you are away from civilization.

I tend to be quiet, too many years doing recon as my military trade, I make very little noise. So far it has not been an issue with bears or the one cougar as far as wildlife goes. And mostly I rarely see other people so not an issue.

Firearms are a tough call, having one will tend to stop the low level drunk idiot threat from becoming one. BUT if you need to draw it you absolutely have to be prepared to use it, if you can not wrap your mind around that do not bother.
The same with any sort of a martial art, you need to be mentally ready to serious injury to another person if not it is a wasted skill.

If you go for bear spray a big can carried on the hip is best, it has to be handy.

The down side to stopping a problem with force or implied force is you will need to move, not a couple of hours later, right then and move far 10 to 20 miles. A morons bruised ego is likely to stop what little common sense they have cold, letting the get even side take over.

But most misadventures in the wild are from animal predator's, accidents or getting lost at least in my neck of woods. And they are pretty rare really, if you read too much you terrify yourself to never going anywhere. For example I want to give you an idea of issues in the BC back country and when you search get every case in the province, most 99.8 % of which of which are in the cites. As best as I can tell there are maybe 10 to 15 cases a year in the entire province.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
Hey everyone. I just purchased an ambulance which will be my fulltime home. I'm not naive enough to pretend like #vanlife on Instagram will be my reality so I've been looking into the more dangerous parts of the country so I know what to avoid. This has led to me to a topic I have always found fascinating; missing people in national parks. Its a subject that scares me to my core - the fact that there are hundreds of humans (many who are very experienced outdoors) who have disappeared without a trace.
Lots of scenarios that are unexplained and don't get enough coverage (probably because its sad/scary). But I wanted to open a dialogue with other adventures and hear 1. How do you guys stay safe in the wilderness and 2. Have you ever experienced anything strange that you couldn't quite explain?
cool topic but you need to supply a few details, like do you live in India or ?????
And where might your voyages take you?
 

billiebob

Well-known member
I'll venture a lot of great people disappear simply by thinking a walk on a trail is safe. No one else is involved, just a simple slip on a remote trail and you die in a crevasse. And no one knows. Your vehicle and campsite are found next day or weeks later, makes no difference. The world does not even know who you were. No one realizes you are missing. And your body won't be found for 10 years.

Theories abound, she slipped on the trail and a massive search takes place. She was seen in a bar and the world is looking for an abductor. Flat out if you are looking for seclusion no one has a clue.

ps, I just realized, are you a voyeur just looking for crazy inspiration for a novel? or facebook blog or?????
I'm done here unless you tell us who this naive girl is.
 

AbleGuy

Officious Intermeddler
Welcome to the tribe and congrats on your decision to buy and kit out an adventure rig.

So, as to your inquiry...

Read up on the brutal history of the Highway of Tears in central B. C.

Here’s another good source for a collection of stories on your topic:

or sit back and enjoy this chilling read...

In general, learn and practice Situational Awareness and study up on how not to look like, or project yourself as, an enticingly helpless victim. Learn how to project strength and then make a practice of doing so around others. Basic predator vs. prey issues.

Also, if you’re traveling alone, be really choosy where/when you decide to get your mellow on since you’re completely letting your guard down then.

Always share your route and schedule with a trusted friend or family members and update them on any last moment changes. Someone should always know where you are/plan to be. Check in with the same folks when you’re pulling into camp at night.

Trust your gut feelings. If someone or some place or something is giving you creepy vibes, move quickly on elsewhere.
 
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rgallant

Adventurer
@AbleGuy reading about the "Hiway of Tears" and understanding all the underlying factors would require reading through 7 different RCMP investigations, countless committee hearings that have taken place over nearly 3 decades. But to put it in perspective the low count is 18 since the 1970's and the high around 50 (Unofficial) and men are not counted, for some unknown reason, hence the higher number. It includes deaths in Prince George and directly in the area of towns and in family homes. Even if you take the high count and double it, that it is 2 year - not a huge number by any means for an isolated poor area. There are a lot of politics and finger pointing around it so it gets really murky fast.

I had an interest in the events as I planned a multiday off road day trip through that area, I figure I should have some idea was was happening. Turned out very little given the the numbers above.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
Highway of Tears.

Only one story really struck home.

One winter day a car was pulled over as it entered the highway from an abandoned logging road. Typical RCMP questions, who are you, why are you here, OK thanks continue on, but the Cop drove up that road, followed the tracks and discovered a young female body.

So easy to get away with murder until someone cares and goes the extra mile.
 

Rachel821

New member
I'll venture a lot of great people disappear simply by thinking a walk on a trail is safe. No one else is involved, just a simple slip on a remote trail and you die in a crevasse. And no one knows. Your vehicle and campsite are found next day or weeks later, makes no difference. The world does not even know who you were. No one realizes you are missing. And your body won't be found for 10 years.

Theories abound, she slipped on the trail and a massive search takes place. She was seen in a bar and the world is looking for an abductor. Flat out if you are looking for seclusion no one has a clue.

ps, I just realized, are you a voyeur just looking for crazy inspiration for a novel? or facebook blog or?????
I'm done here unless you tell us who this naive girl is.

.......What kind of questions is that? lol I explained who I was in my post. I just purchased an ambulance that I will be living in fulltime.
 

Rachel821

New member
I grew up camping and I currently live in Phoenix so I am no stranger to the wilderness. I know, for at least my first year, I will be visiting family and such and after that will stick with BLM/camp sites where I wont be completely alone...at least until I get comfortable. What worries me is hiking alone (now after watching all the missing 411 movies :rolleyes:). I've considered a gun AND a german shepherd but it's shocking how many hunters have disappeared. Maybe a GPS tracking device lol.
 

Rachel821

New member
Answer to your second Q:

Yes

Care to tell? After the dozens of stories I've heard and a personal story myself - I don't rule out anything anymore. I'm very science driven but I also know that we don't have all of the answers when it comes to our strange world.
 

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