SAFETY IN THE OUTDOOR — refuse to be a crime victim

Posted on May 16th, 2011 by brian in How To...

“Experts agree the single most important step toward ensuring your personal safety is making the decision to refuse to be a victim. Criminals prefer easy targets. You stand a better chance of preventing a criminal attack if you make yourself difficult to prey upon. That means you must develop an overall personal safety strategy before you need it.”


Be awareof the possibility that you might be targeted for an attack. Those that think” it will never happen to me” may be the most vulnerable to an attack.

Be alert.The “street smarts” you’ve learned in the city will serve you well in the back country as well.

Don’t announce your travel intentions where others can overhear them — especially at trail heads and other locations where back country travelers might gather before a trip.

Don’t look or act like a victim. Pay attention to the activities of those around you.

Travel with others.There’s safety in numbers. Make sure you know the backgrounds of those that you travel with.

Choose your campsite carefully. Erect your tent away from others if you don’t feel comfortable camping with them — but not so far that you can’t be heard if you need help.

Avoid camping with those that use and abuse drugs or alcohol


Know the difference between social space, personal space and intimate space

– Don’t let any stranger enter your personal space. Keep them in your social space and beyond. An attacker who gets close can grab you. Your reaction time is significantly reduced when an attacker is close enough to grab you.

Have a plan.It’s too late to decide what to do as an attack is about to take place.

– When your personal space is violated, implemente your plan — don’t wait!

– Listen to your gut. If you don’t feel good about a situation there’s probably something wrong with it.


Leave the scene if the situation permits. Remember your equipment can be replaced– your life cannot!

Fight with every ounce of your strength when an attacker moves from social space to personal space. Kick, bite and scratch.

Use any available weapons, improvised or otherwise, to injure and discourage the attacker. Aim for the nose, eyes, Adam’s apple and groin.

Disablethe attacker if at all possible.


Most people who travel in the wilderness do not carry a weapon. The best defense is common sense. Traveling and camping carefully is usually all that is needed. If you feel the need for additional protection consider the following:

Many people now carry pepper spray. This incapacitating spray, made from the juice of chili peppers, disables an attacker without causing permanent harm.
If you decide to carry a pistol learn how and when to use it.
Enroll in a martial arts school and learn how to defend yourself against an attack.
Join a “Refuse to be a victim” course.
“Personal safety is not always convenient. You must consciously integrate the options you choose into everyday life until safety habits are formed. Remember, criminals prefer easy targets. The more difficult a target you present, the less likely you are to become a victim.”

This information is not intended to provide answers to all situations that may be encountered in the back country. Rather it is intended to provide guidance to back country users on how to minimize their chances of becoming a victim of an attack.

*NRA Refuse to be a victim seminar

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