Followed in Plain Sight
Feb 15, 2021 at 8:06 pm #3699699Monte MastersonBPL Member
@septimiusLocale: Changes Often
There has been at least a few occasions here on BPL when I’ve been scolded for pointing out the dangers of women hiking alone. The implication was that I was exaggerating and making the risks out to be greater than they really are. So when I read an article like this I’m a little surprised.
I totally agree with Herman E however, I don’t see how race has anything to do with it. Kind of seems like backpackinglight is trying hard to be inclusive by putting out a woke piece which attempts to highlight the social injustices taking place out on the trail. Oh the sexism and racism, etc, etc. Give me a break. Fact is that women have been in danger in isolated environments for thousands of years. Doesn’t matter what part of the world or what culture. It’s reality. We can talk about how men need to behave more like gentlemen until we’re blue in the face, but will it produce any change? No. A large percentage of men are pigs….worldwide!
Mace, self defense training, and a concealed .380 ACP with training and practice are real world protections against attacks. But the mace needs to be in your hand when coming upon someone questionable. I know it shouldn’t have to be that way, but living in a Disney fantasy world will only make it more likely that you’ll become a victim.
I’m a stealth camper because I don’t want anyone to know where I’m sleeping, which by the way is the time when you’re most vulnerable. But of course many people will imply you’re a paranoid nut job for wanting to be a stealth camper.Feb 15, 2021 at 8:29 pm #3699701
And then you got all huffy about gun rights. Have you seen the movie? I don’t want to live like that. What don’t you understand?
I do not agree that I have gotten huffy with you on any point; confused, yes, but even so, I have made an effort to politely ask you questions, understand your perspective, and analyze what you’ve said from my own perspective before responding. I’ve even attempted to keep things somewhat light-hearted; I’m not sure how that’s come across as huffy, but I apologize if you’ve gotten that impression.
To address your question: I have seen the movie…and it’s a hell of a film, in my opinion. Well-directed, well-acted, and eminently deserving of the cult status it has obtained. I also think that it’s a suspenseful crime drama that relies on a complete suspension of disbelief in order to work, because it is in no way a reflection of our society as a whole, which is both understood and accepted when we watch it. Thus, when you cited the “everybody’s got a gun” line, your comment seemed to be directed at the literal text of the line itself, and not the obviously-fictional setting of the film. Thereafter, I asked why you didn’t want to live in a situation where everyone had a gun, because it seems rather obvious that people simply owning guns does not create a criminally-populated nation of distrustful, paranoid murderers. Objectively, it seems that if more people legally secured the means to defend themselves in whatever way they felt comfortable, the number of violent crimes committed against those people would diminish.
Perhaps it’s easier if I replace the seemingly-hot-button “gun” word with another defensive device. Would you be uncomfortable in a world where everyone had pepper spray, or where everyone was a skilled practitioner of a martial art?* That’s not a rhetorical question: I would really like to know.
Thanks, by the way, for your time in answering, even though we seem to be somewhat at cross purposes.
*- Quentin, if you’re reading this, I want a co-author credit on the film.Feb 15, 2021 at 8:37 pm #3699702
I know it shouldn’t have to be that way, but living in a Disney fantasy world will only make it more likely that you’ll become a victim.
Wasn’t there a quote about mice trying to negotiate with owls? Something like “Mice regard the ways of owls as wrong; owls regard mice as dinner.”
I’m a stealth camper because I don’t want anyone to know where I’m sleeping, which by the way is the time when you’re most vulnerable. But of course many people will imply you’re a paranoid nut job for wanting to be a stealth camper.
Solid point about sleeping; that’s not one that I usually consider, since I’m a light sleeper…but I should really think about that.
I admittedly like a brightly-colored tent – there’s nothing better in a storm, except hotel room service – but you’ve got me rethinking it, now. A couple of my sketchier encounters have happened right after setting up camp for the night, when I was busy with dinner and absent-minded. I wonder if a duller tent would have made me less visible… 🤔Feb 15, 2021 at 9:26 pm #3699713matthew kModerator
Shilletha, thank you for sharing your story with us.Feb 16, 2021 at 12:03 am #3699736David GardnerBPL Member
@gearmakerLocale: Northern California
I prefer dark earth tones and camo tents/tarps for stealth, but to go off topic a bit, also because they are aesthetically unobtrusive and not bright garish colors that look unnatural and out of place in the wilderness.
And…you’ll probably think I’m paranoid…but ever since I started doing long solo treks I always carry at least one piece of brightly colored gear (according to the NHTSA the most visible is bright yellow with lime green panels), sometimes even just a 3′ square piece of fabric, in case I have to hit the PRB and the rescue helo needs to be able to spot my location.Feb 16, 2021 at 10:08 am #3699801marvin bargBPL Member
@grampa_kiltLocale: British Columbia
There are grains of truth in most of the comments to this article, but it seems to me that social media commenting has become an easy way to ignore the need to change ourselves. Tell the female hikers, my fellow male hikers, what changes you have or will make to “help make it as safe for Shillethal as it is for white males like me”. That quote is from Brad H whose comment was one of the few that spoke a deeper truth. GKFeb 16, 2021 at 10:31 am #3699805
And…you’ll probably think I’m paranoid…
That’s not paranoia, in my opinion; it doesn’t fit the definition of the word. I would call it simple prudence, and it seems like a very reasonable action. I’ll have to consider that, as well. Good tip.
Tell the female hikers, my fellow male hikers, what changes you have or will make to “help make it as safe for Shillethal as it is for white males like me”.
There is another side to that question: barring such institutions as representative government, why is it required of one specific subset of the population to enact changes on the behalf of any specific other? That sort of action can quickly turn into a dangerously double-edged sword.
Also, is the original question an open one, or rhetorical? Rather, does it anticipate one desired answer, or are individual and variable answers permissible? For example, could an acceptable answer be: “I’m willing to vote for all black females being issued a handgun, given a concealed carry permit, and given free training in how to use their handgun safely”..?
That quote is from Brad H whose comment was one of the few that spoke a deeper truth.
In what way? What makes this particular point deeper, in your opinion? Where do you consider the other viewpoints to have failed in their depth?Feb 16, 2021 at 12:22 pm #3699831KatttBPL Member
“why is it required of one specific subset of the population to enact changes on the behalf of any specific other?
I can’t speak to all the ways in which this is being called for but I find it belittling and a way to keep us in our place. It stems from the belief that we are not capable of shaping our own lives, our interactions and our relationships.
Just be decent. Most people on the trail are that or better.Feb 16, 2021 at 12:25 pm #3699833Feb 16, 2021 at 12:30 pm #3699834Feb 16, 2021 at 12:43 pm #3699839Link .BPL Member
Not about self defense but a good read She Colors Nature: Diversify the Outdoors .Feb 16, 2021 at 12:45 pm #3699841
That’s a good resource; I’m going to pass that along to several of my acquaintances. Thanks!Feb 16, 2021 at 1:20 pm #3699852Dave @ OwareBPL Member
@bivysack-comLocale: East Washington
“If he was however, intoxicated, that demonstrates unsafe behavior.”
“Not necessarily; that’s the basis behind legally-permissible amounts of alcohol in one’s system, among other things.”
I consider intoxication to mean beyond legally permissible amounts of alcohol. If someone is not legally safe to drive, carry a firearm or look after kids, they are not safe. If someone on the trail is visibly intoxicated, they are not safe to themselves or others. That guy doesn’t get a pass from me. If you are off to the woods to enjoy your whisky and pistols, don’t be anywhere near anyone else.
JS- “I don’t want to live in that world”
But parents still have to instruct their kids about how sometimes the world IS like that and what they need to do to stay safer. Denying someone the ability to keep themselves from harm because it doesn’t measure up to someone else ideal utopia is—.
Classic ways to stay safe when traveling include :
check the weather forecast, travel in groups, talk to the locals about safe methods and routes, carrying defensive weapons and survival gear, be aware of other people and surroundings, have plans and training for any emergency you can “what if?” brainstormFeb 16, 2021 at 1:26 pm #3699857
I consider intoxication to mean beyond legally permissible amounts of alcohol. If someone is not legally safe to drive, carry a firearm or look after kids, they are not safe. If someone on the trail is visibly intoxicated, they are not safe to themselves or others. That guy doesn’t get a pass from me.
Sounds reasonable, although I would clarify that in many states, any amount of alcohol in one’s system makes carrying a firearm illegal. But yeah, I personally agree with you on that definition.
If you are off to the woods to enjoy your whisky and pistols, don’t be anywhere near anyone else.
Or better yet, leave one of them alone while you enjoy the other.Feb 24, 2021 at 10:05 pm #3701325KarenBPL Member
Great article Shilletha, although some here have openly stated they would rather that you not tell your story; I’m glad you did. Share more, please, despite the mansplaining. This group needs to hear from you.
As to the comment “Why judge him like that?”- women get one chance to make that decision, and if it’s the wrong one… Yes, sometimes we have to be too quick to judge, in order to survive. No need to ever apologize for that.Feb 25, 2021 at 2:58 am #3701337Roger CaffinBPL Member
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Once I made my presence known, vehicle drove up within a few feet of my tent and threw a beer at me that almost hit me in the head. Zero cell service, limited escape routes.
I have had similar once. my wife and I AND baby were hitching back from a very ‘outback’ trip and ran out of daylight, so we camped in a clearing off the road. Late that night a ute with drunk teenage males turned up and put their headlights on our tent. We did not like that.
So I crawled out of the tent to say hello. I was wearing just my underpants at that stage, but I was holding a large heavy machete in my hand (days before UL you see). My wife thought I looked intimidating. . . .
They quickly left.
Women are not the only ones who can have problems.
CheersFeb 25, 2021 at 7:12 am #3701354
Great article Shilletha, although some here have openly stated they would rather that you not tell your story; I’m glad you did.
I’m having a lot of trouble finding these instances: can you please quote/cite them?
Share more, please, despite the mansplaining.
I’m also having trouble finding these instances. As I understand it, “mansplaining” is the act of a man condescendingly or patronizingly explaining something to a woman; I’ve seen a lot of men sharing or explaining the male perspective of both the article and the following commentary in both general and personal ways, but I haven’t seen anything that easily meets the criteria for “mansplaining.” Can you please direct me to these instances, as well?
As to the comment “Why judge him like that?”- women get one chance to make that decision, and if it’s the wrong one…
I do not understand why there is a division being made on the base of sex, here. Saying that “women get one chance to make that decision” is technically true, but it is also very misleading: men have the same minimal timeframe to make the same basic and vital decisions in moments of crisis. Furthermore, in some ways men see just as much risk as women, insofar as violent crime is concerned. As Roger just said:
Women are not the only ones who can have problems.
Although most of our research points towards a disproportionate female bias in sexual assaults, worldwide, men comprise nearly 79% of all homicide victims. Even in a comparatively safe place like the AT, the male/female murder bias is – if my memory serves – about 50/50. I mention this not to detract from the reality of sexual crimes being directed towards women, but rather to draw attention to the fact that the escalation of force knows but little of any distinctions between the sexes; usually, the only dividing line is the manner is which the violence is perpetrated.
Yes, sometimes we have to be too quick to judge, in order to survive. No need to ever apologize for that.
In general, I would agree that there is no necessity for a person to apologize for making reasonable decisions to ensure their own safety; I do not agree, however, that such permissions apply explicitly to women, and I would argue that an act of absolution based on sex is not only an act of discrimination, but prejudiced sexism. What are your thoughts on this point?Feb 25, 2021 at 11:40 am #3701387Dave @ OwareBPL Member
@bivysack-comLocale: East Washington
Camped in the Lander park between guide trips. It was a regular stop for the BikeCentenial riders to stay on their way across the country as well as dirt bag climbers on their way to the Winds. The locals on Friday would come to the park and drink beer and throw the empty bottles at the nearest tents. I always slept cowboy far in the back to avoid attracting the attention of the yahoos. One night I couldn’t sleep so I walked around the park and up to where the beer drinkers were hanging. They saw me, offered me a beer. Nothing personal I guess.
Also in Wyoming have been threatened with a big stick by a drunk when camping alongside the road with a dozen grade school kids. When my two buddies crawled out of their sleeping bags, the drunk’s partner got scared and pulled him back into the car and took off.
Was shot at near Cheyanne, camping on a backroad. A truck roared up on a rise and shined it’s headlights on us, then started shooting. We jumped into my pickup and took off.
Something about Wyoming people and a dislike for campers.Feb 25, 2021 at 12:29 pm #3701405Michael BBPL Member
Or maybe Wyoming just has a disproportionate number of angry drunks.Apr 5, 2021 at 8:20 am #3707728Caroline GouldBPL Member
Margaret Atwood > Quotes > Quotable Quote
“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.”
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