Keeping Safe While Camping – Reposted from Facebook #CarandVanDweller Group

by Paul Robertson

There are many people who will rob or harm you in the wild. There are bears, cougars, boars, wolves, snakes, and gators that are hungry.

  1. Get a Concealed Weapons Permit (if required in your state) and carry a small pistol in your pocket at all times. A .22 will make enough noise to make someone run, but you will need a 9mm or .40 with a well-placed shot to kill a criminal or wild animal. Get trained and practice on a regular basis. This can also come in handy if attacked by a bear, wolf, snake, or cougar. A pistol will cost $150-$500.
  1. If you are on a low budget, you can get a scary looking pellet gun at Walmart for $20- $80.

This will not kill anyone but you could blind an attacker if you were good enough to shoot their eye. The hand cockers are fun to shoot, but may not scare a criminal away. I would go for a $50 CO2 model and keep in pocket.

  1. A $1 folding knife from Dollar Store.
  1. A $10 Pepper Spray on your key ring or in your pocket from Walmart.
  1. Several $1- $10 flashlights. I have one shaped like a billy club that is by my driver’s seat at all times ($24 Walmart). Lights in the eyes at night will confuse a criminal or animal. Go for the brightest ones.
  1. A $1 whistle on key chain or in pocket will confuse a criminal or animal.

7 A $15 compressed air horn on key chain or in pocket will confuse a criminal or animal. These can be found in the Walmart Boating department.

  1. Take a self-defense course or Judo. Sometimes it’s free in local communities.
  1. Use an ink pen or screwdriver. If you thrust into the neck or eye can slow down a criminal or animal.
  1. A double sock full of $10 worth of pennies or nickels (or a $10 hammer) can do some damage when swung to hit the head of a criminal or animal and the impact does not hurt you like hitting them with your fist.
  1. A $15 jogger’s alarm allows you to set off a loud noise.
  1. Many electronic remote key fobs have a panic button on them.
  1. A dog can be worth their weight in gold.
  1. A $15 Solar powered motion detection light for your home can sit on you dash or hood and may scare off a criminal or animal if you are in the woods.
  1. Put a Marine or Army sticker on your front and back bumpers. No one wants to pick a fight with a well-trained VET.
  1. A $330 Taser or $40-$120 Electric Shock Flashlight is a non-lethal way to stop an attacker.
  1. Know your environment and neighborhoods. There are parts of some towns I would not drive my vehicle through in broad daylight, let alone overnight. There are some places in the wilderness that are frequented by some people that may not be friendly.
  1. Park in a manner that won’t allow you to be blocked in by another vehicle. Be able to drive fast in forward or reverse to rapidly escape. Know your surroundings and escape routes. If you feel uncomfortable, listen to your gut. Lock up at night and have a designated place for your keys. While stealth is great, don’t park in a hidden place. Put gear away in the vehicle when not in use. Have defensive tools accessible.
  1. Bear Spray can be used on both 4 footed and 2 footed predators.

Remember, the average response time to a 911 call is 30 minutes or more.

The average response time of a pistol is 1400 feet per second. You can stop an attacker in less than 5 seconds.

The bottom line, you have to be able to protect and defend yourself when camping.

(Wasp Spray is only a defense against Wasps not attackers – google it)

Practice using all the above so you are comfortable, prepared, and are safe camping.

I am not paranoid but I also believe in being prepared. Google the following:

– 11 campers have been murdered on the Appellation Trail.

– A man was murdered in his tent with his 2 little girls watching and 10 other campers shot.

Whether you are in the woods or the city, there are still some crazy people in the world that will rob, rape or murder, regardless of the location.

It is better to have something, and not need it than to NEED SOMETHING and not have it.

I carry a can of Fix-a-Flat, spare tire, and fire extinguisher for the same reasons.



Happy Trails to YOU!

Paul Robertson

Car, Truck and Van Camping, Livin


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Cathy Harris is a #VanDweller living ‘The Good Life.’ Her blog website is She is also an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, Advice Columnist at, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert, Business and Love Coach and Self-Publishing Expert and the author of 26 non-fiction books at Her books cover topics such as family and community empowerment, health, youth and adult entrepreneurship, writing/publishing, workplace discrimination, whistleblowing, government, law enforcement, domestic and international traveling, politics, media, beauty, car buying and selling for women, aging/retirement – just to name a few. She offers seminars, workshops, and consultations at