I’ve been on the road for 10+ years now, do I FEEL safe? AM I SAFE? Short answer to BOTH: YES, read on…
Safety – both BEING safe and FEELING safe is IMPORTANT. Safety is a basic human need, its at the BASE of Maslow’s Hierarchy. We all need and require a feeling of safety to move up Maslow’s ladder towards self-actualization or achieving your potential. But enough of Maslow as my goal here is not to teach you about his theories. You can learn more about him and his pyramid by searching it online.
AS AN RV TRAVELER… AM I SAFE? Short answer YES. How can I state that so definitively in THESE times?
I’m aware of my surroundings
I am always aware of my surroundings. Having grown up in New Jersey, and having experienced a violent attack as a teenager in the Asbury Park ghetto, and spending more than my share of time in NYC in my youth, I am always aware of who is around me, approaching me and what their intent appears to be.
I suppose if you grew up in a rural area, this might be a skill you need to work on and refine, but in light of my background and life experiences, its second nature to me. Monitoring your surroundings goes a long way towards remaining safe. Of course, if you grew up in a rural area, you may have developed the same skill-set while hunting or even just hiking.
I carefully choose where I stay and where I choose to travel
I can relate to Bruce Springsteen’s line from the song Johnny 99 (Nebraska) “Down in the part of town where you hit a red light, you don’t stop.” As young as age 17, I traveled regularly through areas, near where I lived, that were just like that.
Traveling these days, in a new truck and nice fifth wheel, I’m aware that in certain places, I’d be an immediate target. Simply put, I avoid those areas! On the (now) rare occasion where I enter an urban area, if in doubt about where to travel, I inquire in advance.
In rural America, especially in the region I’ve made my “home” in recent years, I feel VERY safe almost everywhere. I travel in states where everyone is armed to the teeth, and as a result, people tend to be more polite here and crime is nearly non-existent. In the highly unlikely event a crazed gunman were to open up on innocent citizens here, his lifespan would most likely be measured in seconds – or fractions of a second! (WE are our own “first responders.”)
When it comes to campgrounds, I’m always aware of the way(s) in and out, and I survey who I’m being placed near when I’m assigned a campsite. I do the same when I dry camp “off grid” and again size up who and where my neighbors are, what I display outside, and what mode(s) of communication are available to me at that time.
There are additional refinements on where to camp or even where to sit when entering a coffee shop or diner, but fortunately, thus far, our society out here remains quite civil and I remain unconcerned 99.99% of the time I’m out and about.
Meet the Griswolds (or Neighbors in general!)
When you arrive in a campground and a new town, be social, be friendly. Introduce yourself to your neighbors. Learn a few things about them, and share some about you. Those connections will help you to understand if they’re “awake” (as you hopefully are in these most interesting times) and to form (however tentative) a bond if something were to happen. In short, there’s strength in numbers.
Plan to stay a little longer in a given location. Get to know people. Not only is it good socially, but it enhances safety and saves you money. In todays age of run-away inflation (thanks Brandon!), fuel costs and campground costs are WAY up. Staying longer (monthly) will save you money over nightly or weekly stays. Even on a rare nightly stay, I will do all of the above to minimize the chance of any problems.
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Self-Defense & training
I do carry weapons – and I’ve been trained, but if it were my choice, I’d have a dog as my first line of defense. Allergies however prohibit me from doing so. If you’re going to carry a weapon, be sure to invest in the training – often! Fortunately, most states now permit open-carry, and for those that don’t, I’d rather not be there anyway! Many small towns also have gun ranges or a gun club for practice.
Society out here is still intact enough that I don’t feel the need to have a weapon in arms reach of my bed or camper door, but if we ever get there, I’m ready, trained and prepared.
Settle in at night
I’ve learned, settle in shortly after sunset. This is a great strategy if for no other reason than the wildlife. Deer, elk, moose, antelope, and more are common. When a vehicle makes contact with any of these, the result is often not good for you or your vehicle! Further, as we live in a nation rife with drug and alcohol abuse, I’d rather not be on the road late at night. Further, many rv parks have their own socializing in the evening and if that’s your ‘thing’, you can select parks where the atmosphere is very social.
Be as self-sufficient as possible
Have “on hand” (in house) as much of what you need as possible. We are all subject to the “normalcy bias” – a condition where humans believe that “things have always been calm like this, so they will remain this way.” History tells us that is a false notion. Life over the majority of human history has been a difficult, risky proposition and the relative prosperity and peace in our nation over the past 80 years is truly an exception.
As a traveler, I maintain the food, water, medicines, and yes, protection I need to retain my existence as it has been for much of my life. The plandemic and subsequent instability in our nation in food and fuel prices confirm to me that things are not nearly as tranquil and stable as most wish we were. As a reader of my blogsite, I encourage you to do likewise and I remain available if message me to help you to prep for increased instability, which I believe is almost inevitable in our nation – particularly in urban areas.
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I’m referring to technology here! And… I’m not thinking of safety in this section in terms of human intruders, instead, I’m thinking of nature. Much of our nation is subject to severe weather throughout the Spring and Summer seasons. Severe thunderstorms can be accompanied by hail, straight line winds of 100+ mph, and/or tornadoes. Any of which can ruin your day!
Have a radar tool on your phone and know how to interpret it. I personally use “myradar” on my android phone. Its free and in the play store. Have a phone service (Verizon) that works (almost) everywhere. There may just be some evening if you’re between Casper, Wyoming and Harrisburg, Pa. where the ability to see the current radar echoes, interpret them, and then respond by relocating if necessary can save your life!
In closing, I hope I’ve offered some helpful thoughts here. If you like my content, please consider subscribing below to my newsletter to be advised of new posts and articles. Also, please DO leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.