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When I travel alone, I always carry a "fake" wallet with 10 or 20 euro worth of local currency and an old bankcard that's no longer valid. I have never been robbed but if they try, I'll give them my fake wallet and hope that's enough.
I'm afraid a bandit in a thirth world country knows more about knifes, guns and killing then I do so it's no use to try to beat them in their own expertise on their own ground.
FWIW - do not carry any weapon that you are not allowed to by the laws of the countries in which you plan to travel. Most governments seem to not allow their citizenry to carry firearms.
I, personally, do not fully trust any government that does not trust me.
But that's just me.
It seems, by the flavor of most replies to this thread, that the average user doesn't realize that the use of a firearm is a last resort, and carries with it a terrible responsibility.
I agree with Jkrijt. Good trick with the fake wallet. I dont have a 'fake' as such, just a wallet with the days money in. No more than I can afford to lose.
Although I think perhaps we should go easy on the 'kid'. He asked for advice after all. Maybe the current feeling of paranoia engendered by the governments of, lets face it, more than just the USA, is making many of us feel like we need more protection than we really do.
*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
Where does everyone get their info, by watching american films? If you have no knowledge of guns and can quote no statistics perhaps your opinion could be questioned. And remember be nice, travelling and posting.
"Anyhow, I don't believe in such protection, if you come to a situation of self defence, the last thing is to draw a gun or a knife. It will be your end for sure,they will always outnumber you. locals will be against you in kind of revenge,and you will not have the time and language to explain your side, and the authorities will be insulted that you took the law and hunt you as well.
My suggestion is to ride thinking of passive defence, do not enter alone to suspected areas. do not ride at night and ask other travelers on what is ahead."
I'm bored in Bogota on a wet day at the end of my trip, so I'll chuck my 20 peso obsolete coin into the ring.
Funny debate this one and a little one sided. I don't think the original poster deserves so much grief but I do like these types of question. Not had so much enjoyment since the guy asked about the pepper grinder.
I don't think I personally have ever come across a situation when I have travelled where I have ever thought it would be useful to have a weapon. A dark night in Nairobi walking back to the Upper Hills Campsite probably comes closest when a car started following me slowly up a hill. I turned round to confront the driver only to find it was a big local lady worried for my safety. She even gave me a lift up the hill. I would have looked a complete muppet if I had whipped out a gun and pointed it at her.
On the other hand I am not as naive to believe that very occasionally something very serious may occur. Unfortuantely it's not all peace and love out on the road. The girlfriend of a good friend was raped and he was beaten in an attack in the CAR. He quite fairly insists that if he had been carrying a gun then the incident would never have happened.
Maybe more relevant to teh original post, I read a book about an English guy who rode a Triumph RTW a few years ago (not Ted Simon). He allegedly took a gun from the US and hid it under the seat for the duration of his trip. He also allegedly got shot in the head in Colombia but was saved by his helmet. Seems the gun never did him much good there but he did not get caught at any border.
Anyway, my personal feeling is you have to respect the laws of the country you visit unless you want to be seen as an arrogant tosser. However you feel about guns they are not legal through central and South America.
If anyone really wants to travel with guns then you can join the army. Babylon is quite nice at this time of year I hear. The Euphrates has some fantastic swimming spots too.
As all the ride outs are booked up at the UK HU meeting, anyone on for the rifle range?
It's even stopped raining in Bogota so I better end this long winded reply.
[This message has been edited by mattpope (edited 15 June 2005).]
Location: After almost 2 years on the road back in Germany
HI, nice thread, I have to add my opinion.
we are now in Ecuador and never have had an experience where I should have needed a gun. Not in Mex, nor other central american countries. There are some travellers who need to go always into those parts of the countries where even the locals dont go. There are parts of San Jose, Costa Rica at night, where even a gun would not get u around the corner.
But beside the obvious dangerous places we have seen people smiling, waving but never angry. They are interested in your bike and yourself. We never had any trouble and I would rather talk myself out of strange situations than kill somebody....just imagine u do kill somebody who wants to steal your money or bike...u prob. do not have much fun hanging out in a prison down here.
take it easy, most people are just great and happy that their live switched from existence to living down here..
I think the fact he is America sorry from the US was fundemential to him asking the question.
It seems to me to be the only place on the planet with a reasonable democracy where a civilian can buy a weapon designed tto be used in battle.
these type of Guns are for the police and military not for the general public. I am married to a US Citizen and I find it incredible that i can be walking down the street and pass people who own and carry guns who are untrained unvetted civilians.
Is it acceptable in any other country? Would your country be ok with a forgiener walking around with a gun licenced or not? We would lock them up here thank God.
It’s incredible we are still arguing about this post. He ask if he can carry a pistol; Ok at least in Argentina no. And I’m happy with that. He could come from USA, Argentina, Africa, France or wherever he comes from. And if he wants to take a gun with him that’s Ok .he is free to do what he wants.
I’m part of the Buenos Aires community, and I’m not made any difference to help all the travelers.
But I’m not agreeing with guns. Because I’m not agree to kill people; so you are welcome to my country and Also to my house, but please take the gun out off my home. You are welcome guns not
And that’s all; if you want to carry a gun I would respect your way of life even when I’m not agreeing.
For me there is not more point of discussions. Anyone is free to do what he wants, and I’m talking about people not countries. He is a traveler not Bush.
1. Why not contact the diplomatic missions of the countries you wish to visit in your own country. Ask them if a foreigner is permitted a firearm.
2. At the border declare your firearm to customs or the police. Make arrangements that if they wish you not to take a firearm into their country, it be forwarded to the exit border post for your collection when you leave.
or 3 (my prefered choice). Leave the gun at home/ don't buy one for the trip in the first place.
OK, so at first I figured the best thing to do is to just never write
anything on this bulletin board again, because I'll always be referenced to as the guy who goes around
killing foreigners. But for whatever it's worth to you, here's some
background. I grew up outside of New Orleans, Louisiana during the
'70s in a household in which guns were an everyday part of life. We
hunted out our back door to save money on food, as did most of our
neighbors. When we went fishing, we would bring a pistol, so that if
the fish was big enough that it might break your line getting it into
the boat, you reel it in close enough, then shoot it, then lift it
into the boat. It was completely normal to walk into a 7-11 and the
guy standing in line in front of you has a gun on his hip. It was a
very rugged/ outdoor lifestyle. Whenever i go camping back home, I'll
bring a small pistol, just to sit around at dusk and shoot tin cans
off of a fence post. Killing anyone has never been a consideration.
Also, I realize that most Europeans never see guns at all, so when
they do it conjures up a thousand different scenes from American movies which
depict guns killing people. We had a guest bedroom in our house, and I
remember in the closet was a set of sheets and towels for the guests,
along with a revolver and holster for the house guests to use.
Now, please don't think I'm trying to tell you that i come from some
utopia where everyone carries a gun and no one is ever afraid, and
nothing bad ever happens. When I was 16 my best friend Ben was shot in
the chest and lost a lung and almost his life in a bar fight over a
quarter on a pool table. Fear and intimidation is what brought the
gun to the bar, and
pride is what shot Ben in the chest. Now i realize that had guns not
been so commonplace, it probably would have just been a black eye an
a few bruises.
The possibility of being held up or robbed wasn't a consideration when
i asked if people ever carry guns. The Federales have swindled me out
of more money than any crooks ever have. I just consider a pistol as a
piece of equipment when doing any serious trekking through wilderness.
I've gone camping for weeks on end up in the Rockies, and the back
country down in Louisiana, and have always brought a pistol with
me.When ever i've carried a gun for protection, it was from bears and
cougars rather than humans.
Anyhow, take it as you will. It was a question, an inquiry to find out
if it's something that is recommended or not. It was a solicitation
for advice, not your judgement..
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