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Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road Recent News, political or military events, which may affect trip plans or routes. Personal and vehicle security, tips and questions.
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  #31  
Old 21 Dec 2009
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The reason I kept thinking about the scenario after talking to the fellow HUBBer on the ferry was that apparently we had had some correspondence before his trip and he had taken some of my advice so I felt partly responsible in some way.

Not that he'd mentioned wild camping in Western Sahara.

I ought to stress again that I've never been at all concerned for my personal safety in Morocco in some 40 trips over 37 years. I've solo wild camped without problems and normally choose somewhere not too far from a village.

I bought the pepper spray on a whim whilst in Germany. I won't be taking it on my next trip to Morocco (Feb 2010) but if I head further south again I think it will find its way into my bags.
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  #32  
Old 22 Dec 2009
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As some have already said...pepper sprays are considered an offensive weapon and therefore illegal in many countries.
Anything can be used as a weapon , for instance 12 inch long steel tyre levers , and something i have used to scare away angry dogs is a can of wd-40 and a lighter.. used as a primitive flame thrower !
And remember...he who runs away lives to run away another day .Stuff can be replaced you cant .
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  #33  
Old 22 Dec 2009
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I feel the streets of UK cities at night are far more intimidating that 'downtown Morocco', for what its worth I have to agree with 'Caminando'
but if push comes to shove my favoured accessory would be a baseball bat, but then again, I feel even the theft of a tent peg would warrant a game of 'baseball'
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  #34  
Old 22 Dec 2009
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The thread about taking a gun to Mexico went bad when someone posted that he did take one and what a good idea it was to have. I and most people here know better than to take a gun any place out side of the US. It is poor advice to have a gun any place on a overland bike that is the problem most people had with it.

If you want talk about items that in theory can be used as a weapons that are of use to you day to day then I can add some.
WD-40 or almost any spray (hair spray chain oil)and a lighter, the lighter it self tossed in a fire(big boom may hurt yourself more than them), a walking cane, staff, stick, a chain, a long nail (bo shulken, not legal most places but most people will not know what one is), 80 proof booz and fire and the list can go on and on. Then there is pepper spray as stated or if you want pepper powder both will do the job but you can cook with powder, place in a small jar pull the lid and fling it in to the eyes hurts like a bugger.

But as far as personal safety that is a personal thing. I rather have all my stuff taken then wind up bleeding out in the desert. Hell I help the load up the stuff see if they let me have the bike and SD cards in my camera most of rest can be had at most any place. May not be as nice kit but I think I can make do. I amto old fat and slow to put up a long fight so the whole MA thing is out for me. Once you pull any thing you better be willing to run and give up your kit as you need ride away fast, hurt them so bad there going run away or kill them. My junk is gust not worth me taking a life. For me I gust go if some one gets some stuff so be it I hate it but not worth fretting about, and I have lost more things than has ever been taken from me (3 set of kit now).
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  #35  
Old 22 Dec 2009
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Nuclear belt

How about a nuclear belt made in Iran? That is a good device for anger bikers. It can keep your back tied when travelling gravel roads, but also if being robbed you can scream “Inschalahh” and send the thieves to their paradise in one bloody second. The bad side effect (or collateral damage) is that everything else in ten miles around (even you) will go to the same place. But for sure the f****g drunk robbers will learn the lesson. Do not bother any biker carrying a big belt!!

Seriously: the last thing I want when travelling is being robbed. But something worst is being in legal problems in that kind of countries we all love to ride. So even in the rare case I can smash, knock or stab the thieves to protect my small luggage, I will be more worried about a journey to the local dirty jail than loosing few possessions. I have been never in that kind of trouble because two reasons: First: Jesus loves me. Second: I am not stupid. I protect my self with common sense.

The worst situation I had was in Volvograd, Russia, with some drunk guys in a crappy hotel. They did not want to rob me, but they wanted a gang bang (sex in group) with me as a guest starring. I am not very good looking and I am also sure that proposal could be fantastic for other guys, but not for me. So I decided stop drinking vodka and leave the place in that right moment. They were shouting at me meanwhile I started my bike. “It is mistake. It is not what you are thinking!”. Probably not, but who in the Hells wants to give them an opportunity to drill your ass?

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  #36  
Old 22 Dec 2009
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Is wild camping in Western Sahara more risky than the rest of rural Morocco?

I'm planning to do the Assa to Smara piste as part of a route around Morocco next April / May and will be wild camping.

Not ever been in a situation where I needed to use a weapon, but I'm not sure I would want to hit someone hard enough so they would not get up.
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  #37  
Old 22 Dec 2009
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Hmm, one guy has been robbed.

To be honest I don’t see the problem. We don’t know anything about what he did prior to the robbery. Where did he camp? Who did he talk with? Did he use light after dark? Etc.

Let’s say that you manage to scare the guys away. What next?
The guys will probably return, maybe with some friends, maybe with weapons and I guess they will be angry…. There is nowhere to go because it’s dark and you can’t go anywhere without signalizing to the rest of the world where you are going.
If you get beaten up it might be impossible to drive, you are stranded.

I’ve spend a few days in an African prison and I think it’s far better to be robbed, you will probably get robbed in prison after all…
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  #38  
Old 22 Dec 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twenty4seven View Post
Is wild camping in Western Sahara more risky than the rest of rural Morocco?
I'd be interested to hear peoples takes on this. Me.....i don't think so (or at least, not from my experiences so far!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by twenty4seven View Post
I'm planning to do the Assa to Smara piste as part of a route around Morocco next April / May and will be wild camping.
Me too, i've got 5 weeks in Feb/March and wil be wild camping my way around Morocco and W Sahara. I wont be getting 'tooled up'

Quote:
Originally Posted by twenty4seven View Post
Not ever been in a situation where I needed to use a weapon, but I'm not sure I would want to hit someone hard enough so they would not get up.
+1
Maybe being 5 foot-not-very-much and built like a matchstick has something to do with it, but even if i was an 18 stone bruiser, i'd rather avoid a situation where i was going to seriously hurt someone.
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  #39  
Old 22 Dec 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niva Say Never View Post


Me too, i've got 5 weeks in Feb/March and wil be wild camping my way around Morocco and W Sahara. I wont be getting 'tooled up'
I will look out for your safe return then, any tips would be gratefully recieved I'm off on the 16th April.
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  #40  
Old 22 Dec 2009
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I'll let you know how i get on for sure
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  #41  
Old 22 Dec 2009
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Hi Tim congrats on the lard loss, my take on feeling unsafe is if you belive it is unsafe you will look like a potential victim, however it can make you more aware of your surroundings as well as paranoid.!

I have done both judo & karate for close to 30 years and know without doubt any confontation can be won with confidence to challenge the aggressors, I mean verbally or in body language, head up eye contact and hands where they can be seen, if they persist then let them have your stuff you can buy more if they want something else run away if you can.
Dignity is for the dead.!

weapons of all kinds need experience in use and are for very last resort eg if they are preventing you from leaving then club them and leave asap and get at least into the next district before stopping.

in my own situation I was wild camping in Senegal and was woken by soldiers checking out my stuff through the windows in my truck.
I was confronted by well dressed & equiped soldiers telling me i must give them this or that and then asking for .!.
I gave only my fiche and then got angry with them for being so rude, I asked lots of questions about who they were and why they were in my camp all without letting them answer, they drifted off after 15mins or so with only my fiche, i found that later as i traced my wheel marks back to the road.

Tim you know the score you been there and worn out the T shirt, but i do wonder when the crap happening in muri turns north west.

Phew...!
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  #42  
Old 22 Dec 2009
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I too felt perfectly safe wherever we went Morocco. The people could not have been friendlier, or more willing to help.
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  #43  
Old 23 Dec 2009
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If bikers look threatening enough to have been left alone (touch wood), I'm currently practising driving my 4*4 in my bike gear, with my lucky pants on of course. If I leave the heater fan on and my visor down that should push any pepperspray well away from me. I also have the Birdy Song poised for instant release on the stereo to stun and confuse any would be attacker.
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  #44  
Old 23 Dec 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Cullis View Post
I went on my megadiet this year I was built like a brick sh*t house and felt nobody would mess with me. But having lost 50kg in weight I now feel a bit more frail. Tim
Tim, I see that you've lost 50kg - think that I may have found them.....
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  #45  
Old 23 Dec 2009
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I legally own guns, including an automatic pistol. I think taking one on the bike is akin to carrying a couple of spare wheels on a bike. One might possibly be useful but for sure more trouble than it is worth.

Years ago ( early sixties) a friend and I were touring around Britain on our bikes. both 500's his a Velocette, mine a Triumph. We were not too far from Boscombe down in late evening with failing light not having found a suitable campsite when we rode past a small woods. We stopped and rode into the woods a little way then found a small clearing, and set up camp. I used the machete to rig something over the campfire which consisted of a primus. About 1-2 am we were awakened by a clanking sound coming closer and closer. My friend said to me "where's the machete".
"In my hand came my reply".
The clanking went away. In the morning it came back in the form of an old night watchman pushing his bike along a path in the woods, with his over loose chain clanking on the frame.
So much for "dark imaginings".
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