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  #91  
Old 29 Dec 2009
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Nice sumation Tim.

The martial arts thing...I really don't think it will do much good. No matter how big and bad ass you think you are, there is always someone else that can stomp you without breaking a sweat.

I've seen this a number of times in the military. A young soldier goes through the most basic of training, leaves feeling like a bad ass, acts aggressive towards the wrong person. Then gets his skull broke by a brawler.

Also, I don't get the hesitation to defend your property from a thief. 'He's less fortunate and I just can't see hurting a person over property that I can just rebuy'. WTF? It's the principle. Doesn't matter if it's a cup of coffee, stealing is stealing and should be treated as such.
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  #92  
Old 29 Dec 2009
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Defense

Just a quick note on weapons to look after yourselves, you dont need anything special, just look at what you are carrying with your personal kit, tent poles the hot water in the stove etc. Forget martial arts, if any take up Judo but this can take years to lean to be fluent which is what you need to be.
On a personal note if anyone turn up in the middle of knowhere in the dark i would expect the worse if they came with steath and i would not hesitate to put a lifetime of close interpersonel skills to use esp if my partner is with me.
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  #93  
Old 29 Dec 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Cullis View Post
We seem to have gone off on a tangent in the last 14 posts...

Gun arguments apart, it's an interesting set of responses ranging from
- hide the camp, don't show lights
- better to live another day and let them take things
- pepper spray is illegal in the UK
- learn martial arts
- hit them with something big and heavy

Only Caminando seemed to share my sense of frustration of watching people rob and stand idly by.

I do understand your sense of frustration. It is just that in a wrong situation there isn't a right response to make it good again. Most either make it worse or potentially worse.

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  #94  
Old 30 Dec 2009
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One more dimension to add to the debate:

What if you are travelling with a female companion (or indeed if you're a female travelling alone)?


Most people have expressed the belief that it's not worth starting a fight or risking killing somebody over mere possessions. But 'local lads up to no good' might have other things on their mind upon finding one their victims is female.


I did a lot of wild camping on a trip to Mongolia this year. The only country I think posed a real risk of me being attacked/robbed was Kazakhstan, and only after riding through once (wild camping all the way) I heard a lot of second hand scare stories of cyclists and motorcyclists being attacked. This made me a lot more edgy when heading through the country again and camping, but this time I had a girl with me as a pillion. The last night camping when I was particularly paranoid due to an earlier fear someone might have been following us, I thought fully for the first time about what might happen if someone did turn up in the middle of the night.

Car pulls up. Four drunken guys are in it. There's probably only one outcome and it's me getting a harsh beating, maybe stabbed, and her getting raped.


We carried on camping wild for the rest of the trip in Russia and Mongolia, however I felt very safe in those countries. I wouldn't hesitate to camp wild again in Kazakhstan or anywhere else with alcoholic and aggressive locals, on my own or with male companions. But I would have to think long and hard about camping with a female companion in such a place again, and I suspect I would not do it. I could live with losing some property or getting beaten up, but I'm not sure I could cope with being responsible for getting a woman raped.

And yes I am aware that women are capable of making their own choices and being responsible for them. But in this situation I would feel responsible and therefore I wouldn't want to do it. This is particularly true of the experience I'm reffering to as the whole wild camping adventuring mallarky was 'my world' that I'd brought the girl in question in to.

Like I said this fear was only in one country where I'd had first hand experience of the unprevoked aggression of locals, and of the widespread alcholism and problems arising from it. And heard several very relevant stories of travellers being attacked whilst camping.
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  #95  
Old 30 Dec 2009
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Defense

I agree with you on the female thing, i work hard and i am not the riches man around. I dont agree with the poor country folk thing. Stealing is stealing and i will protect my property at any level they want to escalate to esp if i have have female company with me. I have friends in S. Africa whom have had to deal with intruders in their own home by robbers they played it cool but on finding 2 teenage girls in the house it changed to something else with a very unfortuate outcome.

There are lots of things you can do, have give aways, hide docs and sims etc away from the camp but make it look plausable. But if it looks like getting violent and this is my thoughts only, get in hard put them down proper and get the hell out of there if possible over the border or district.

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  #96  
Old 30 Dec 2009
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One thing I also would like to add.

A lot of the discussion has centered around the option of being able to let the would be robbers 'get on with it' whilst standing by. I rather suspect that most people who might try and rob a motorcyclist camped up at night, are going to expect that person to try and defend their things and therefore going to act in a way that won't give them chance. IE They're going to hit first.

Just as you risk seriously injuring or even killing a camp intruder, they also risk doing the same to you, unintentionally or otherwise. I would rather the former than the latter. You may have to live with the consequences, but at least you'll live.


It seems to me that the best suggestion in this thread is from Tim himself: Cable ties. If you did get attacked and robbed whilst camped, but successfully defended yourself, then immobilising the attacker so you can escape and maybe even get across a border would be at the top of my priorities.
Don't some/most specialist police and military outfits use strong cable ties to secure the hands of captured terrorist suspects etc?
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  #97  
Old 30 Dec 2009
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yes cable ties would work, even teh thinner ones from garden centres, but if you have ever tried to cuff someone who doesnt want to be cuffed by yourself you will know that you have bugger all chance of getting cable ties on unless they are really out of it.

And again you might as well just kill them as putting restraints on someone in a remote part of any country is probably a death sentance unless you tell someone where to find them.

I guess there isnt really an answer to the ops question as every traveller has different abilities or thoughts on what self defence is and very few situations are the same.

So I still stand by the best form of protection is to use common sense and "dont be there" in the first place. And lets face it the odds are you are more likley to wake up in hospital on a friday night going out in any UK city than being attacked camping wild somewhere in Africa, but just with less sand in your underpants.
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  #98  
Old 30 Dec 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nath View Post
It seems to me that the best suggestion in this thread is from Tim himself: Cable ties. If you did get attacked and robbed whilst camped, but successfully defended yourself, then immobilising the attacker so you can escape and maybe even get across a border would be at the top of my priorities.
Don't some/most specialist police and military outfits use strong cable ties to secure the hands of captured terrorist suspects etc?

I'm sorry, I still think the cable ties are a really bad idea...successfully defending yourself and immobilizing the attacker enough to zip tie their arms are two completely different things. The fact that "specialist police and military outfits" use them is neither here nor there, because such units are (a) armed; and (b) trained units, and not lone, untrained, unarmed individuals. How can anyone really think this is a good idea?

And I presume you are only proposing to zip-tie arms and not legs; leaving someone tied hand and foot in the desert in a remote campsite could well be a death sentence. I have no problem with giving thieves a good thrashing, but this is something else altogether...

Last edited by motoreiter; 30 Dec 2009 at 14:23.
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  #99  
Old 30 Dec 2009
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A last quick note as this is just going around and around, this is from the hourses mouth and not hearsay, in remote parts of the world a GS1200A is something from mars and the person riding it has untold wealth and this make them a potental kidnap.

If you are ever in this situation or being lead off somewhere for further violation agianst your will, the time to act is in the first instance as the longer you leave it the more you become under their control. Always act at once before they can control the situation, make noise shout fire, move around make it difficult for them to control the situation.

But back in the real world and not the movies, if this was happening all to often we would never go out of our doors.

All have a great newyear and be safe.

Thefastone
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  #100  
Old 30 Dec 2009
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I have two types of cable ties permanently mounted to the frame of my bike
- 15 x standard sort (5mm wide by 38mm long)
- 6 x extremely heavy duty (13mm wide by 56mm long)

The heavy duty ones would probably support a broken subframe.

I'm pretty certain the standard ties would hold someone. You can of course join ties to increase length, you could also quickly work out a 'hobbling' mechanism so the would-be thieves could slowly depart. Two guys could become a three-legged race team.

I think Thefastone is right about acting early rather than letting things develop. I can't see me using a knife, blunt instruments are also potentially lethal and it's literally decades since I did Judo.

This is why I feel if I was ever in need of protection the pepper spray idea is still the best to carry as it's non-lethal, non-permanent, can be deployed without warning, and can continue to be used as a threat whilst you secure the would-be thieves.

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  #101  
Old 30 Dec 2009
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I have no experience with pepper-spray but I do have quite a lot experience with CS-gas.

When sprayed the most common reaction is to turn around and run. You have to be extremely lucky to get control over one attacker. Two are almost impossible.
As long as they manage to run away all you can do is to sit and wait and wonder if they return….
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  #102  
Old 7 Jan 2010
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I have to say that if I were to use a spray my very next reaction would be to get the hell out of therer as fast as possible (the packing regime would not be fully adhered to). The only issue with trying this in the Western Sahara is there is generally only one road with a limited option of North or South! Not exactly "getting lost in the crowd" territory.

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  #103  
Old 10 Jan 2010
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by bilimanjaro View Post
get ya sen one of those small fire extinquishers.
comes in handy for all sorts of things..
the uk police use em on drugs raids were the scumbags first form of defence is the pitbull.as some one else says out of site out of mind ..
do you have to set fire to the buggers first billy,or hit em with it.
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