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Old 03-06-2008, 08:19 AM   #11
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The original question was...

"What are you using to defend your SMB and where do you stash it?"

There has been mention of two types of devices, hand guns and bear spray. Both of these have their pros and cons, but does that cover what is being used out there?

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Old 03-06-2008, 08:35 AM   #12
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"What are you using to defend your SMB and where do you stash it?"
Basically two large labradogs. We stash them behind the bench seat in the EB-50, and try to carry them unloaded.
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:46 AM   #13
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I also keep a 6-D cell Maglite handy for close combat with any Monsters that get inside the van. Legal in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Useful for lighting things up too.
Tent camping for now. Dreaming up a new 4x4 SMB. Gas or Diesel?
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:57 AM   #14
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In a Locked Compartment behind the front seats.. when in travel mode. When camped out, it's in a place real handy (no kids) or in a holster.

Just a thought, what are the rules in possession of firearms when you cross the stateline and camping in the boonies?

California probably has the most restrictions so instead of carrying an arsnel of exotic firearms, its probably the basics..for defense.

Arizona and other states probably have a lot more choices compared to California as to what they can carry.. I think Florida is a right to carry state too.

Usually our group boonie trips are out to places where there is no one else and the final camp spot, definitely nobody else around.
When someone does come around, it might be the Ranger, if they see us or can get to us in the first place (4x4).
I've even had a Ranger phone home with a Sat phone, firearm serial#'s.. This was in BLM land in California.

If it's anyone else unexpected and they hang around, we move..

I'd recommend a shotgun for camp duty and for trekking out in the boonies close to camp, a tiny lightest Taurus Titanium 7 shot .357 Revolver with a laser grip, or other small light but powerful gun. .357 at least for bears and cats.. Basic Scare tactics using high beam lights for bears have worked. Never seen a big cat yet.. I think I'll be ready if it attacks.

Tried hiking with all the other popular 9mm, 45's and it's just to heavy.. Don't forget also a good stick, a good knife and small air horn also for trekking out in the boonies..

Anyone see that episode on Discovery where the Local Ranger in a Polar Bear rich region scares off Polar Bears near a local large trash dump with a shotgun with exploding shells? Won't kill it but it scares them away..

So, I heard that from the front seats back, the van is considered a home if you have the RVIA sticker, so are the home defense rules the same for "life threatning" intruders?

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Old 03-06-2008, 10:11 AM   #15
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Good info, Jeff and Ed.

Curious or hungry animals of all sizes should never be dealt with using weapons. Loud noises, commotion, and lights will always scare them off. Humans are the exception. There's too many of them, anyhow...!
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:02 AM   #16
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This is a well thought out and interesting topic. Thanks for very informative posts Jeff and NRL.

Currently, I do not carry anything out of the ordinary in our SMB. There are several items that can always be used for self defense if needed: axe, flashlight, knife. Obviously these are all rather limited in their use.

I do no own a gun although I have a reasonable amount of experience with them. I'm still not sure if I ever will for many different reasons. However, something I've always wondered is if there are any firearms & ammunition combinations available to the general public that can fire non-lethal rounds such as rubberized bullets. Does anyone know anything along these lines that would be effective?

I definitely need to reevaluate our means of self defense. Luckily in the many years I've been alive and camping I've never been in a situation where I've needed anything. However, I'm also smart enough to realize that it could change at any moment and I would like to be a bit more "equipped".
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:04 AM   #17
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In California, at least for cars in transit, the gun needs to be unloaded, and kept separate from the ammunition. Typically, one or the other needs to be locked up. Not sure how this changes for an RV. Camped, it depends on who's land you're on.

California doesn't have a Castle Doctrine on the books, which may or may not apply to RVs anyway, so make sure all the witnesses know you tried to get the person to leave before you open fire.

SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:12 AM   #18
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FWIW, my wife and I started carrying stun guns when we walk our dogs, even in our own neighborhood, due to loose dogs. We also carry the stun guns with us while camping.

At least for dogs, just the sound of the stun guns have been enough to scare them off.

SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:48 AM   #19
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LOL, just like OC spray, I'm always worried my labrador will 'explode' in our SMB too!

Herb, I've been a fan of Boyd's OODA loop for years and find it applicable to many life events, well outside it's original intended purpose. To answer your question, I was exposed to it in LEO training long ago.

For stashing valuables and/or a pistol, this is a good deal: ... id=2221464

I like the fact it doesn't require a key and can be bolted to the floor in a SMB.

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Old 03-06-2008, 12:06 PM   #20
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In response to the scaring away animals through loud noises etc. I have had two experiences in which this really wasn't the case. Once with a small bear that I nearly hit in the head with my truck door, and the other was the mountain lion.
The mountain lion actually jumped onto our campneighbors cot that he and his aussie shepard were sleeping on. It grabbed the dog by the head and tried to drag it away. The camp exploded in screams, yells,barking etc. One of the guys was bit on his forearm pretty good. The dog eventually got away from the cat when one of the guys hit it over the head with his now disassembled cot. The dog ran under their pop up camper and in the confusion they said that the cat must have thought the dog went into the camper because it then tried to enter the occupied camper. At this point the dog came out from under the camper and attacked the cat! What a champ! All this noise was deafining as we were camped in a spot called Echo Park. The cat and dog went at it and finally the cat ran towards us. It was covering ground at an amazing rate and even if I would have had a machine gun, I would'nt have been able to hit it. It turned away shy of our tent and disappeared.
Rosie, the aussie shepard suffered puncture wounds everywhere, especially her head & neck but was quite alive and well in the morning. What a weird experience it was. In was a smaller, junior male cat that was either very hungry or just tried to bite off more than he could chew.
PS sorry to hi-jack the thread.
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