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Old 12-23-2011, 07:50 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by jzick View Post
For those advocating wasp spray use for self defense. DW and I took a self defense course for seniors (no guns) last year that covered things like startling or overpowering for a moment (long enough to escape or get help) a stronger, faster assailant. Another point was that the use of insecticides are strictly regulated by federal law. Use of the wasp spray for self defense could open up a real can of worms During the course the instructor said not to use wasp spray. He claimed that there had been no practical verification of its effectiveness. both from a federal sense and a liability sense.
What a Dingbat. I hope you didn't have to pay for the course. Too bad you couldn't have given him a little squirt of Wasp spray, you would have gotten INSTANT verification.

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Old 12-23-2011, 08:02 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by 450Donn View Post
Why not simply teach your children firearm safety and buy a gun?...My grand kids even at age 8 and 10 know about gun safety. Because their parents have taught them safety.
Originally Posted by Texas TC View Post
I would buy the gun, get some training and keep it in one of these new safes that uses your hand print as an unlocking mechanism.TxTC
To clarify a little further, my children are 6, 6, 3, and 1. I am not opposed to teaching children safe use of guns, especially at the ages of 8 and 10, but am not willing to take any kind of chance with 3 and 1 year olds. Maybe in a few years...

Originally Posted by Half Dimes View Post
The OP was very clear that he is looking for options other than guns.
Originally Posted by RJay View Post
The OP has specifically stated he does not want to consider, at least at this time, the use of guns for protection. Any mention of guns will be considered Off Topic and will be deleted.

Thanks for understanding.
Thanks guys, for getting my point. RJay, sorry for giving you more work this holiday weekend.

Originally Posted by tranquility View Post
Forget the Weapons! Particulary since you have no experience using them...
Originally Posted by BonesBarth View Post
If you are not willing to spend the time to get trained and well practiced in the use of firearms...
Never said I have no experience, just that I don't own any at the moment and am not willing to because of my children's ages...

Originally Posted by Cat320 View Post
Unless you practice a lot, a crossbow is very inaccurate.
Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
Plus it's really hard to get off a quick second bolt! And, if it passes clear through a man then it doesn't impart much kinetic energy (knock down power) into the target. Yes, it will leave a hole, but then how long will it take to incapacitate the perp?
Thanks for the info... Some things I hadn't considered. I always try to stay proficient in EVERYTHING I do, so I'm not too worried about that but didn't think about the reload time if the shot failed to stop the target...

Originally Posted by jzick View Post
How about a baseball bat?
HAHA. I like your thinking!! Only thing is, I'd rather not have to get within 3 feet of a raging javelina before I could stop it. Momentum is a [self edit]!!

Originally Posted by Half Dimes View Post
Long range hornet/wasp jet spray. Up to 27' range.
Originally Posted by ga traveler View Post
...started carrying easy off oven spray.
Originally Posted by Conquest102 View Post
I go with a tazer/stun gun 500,000 volt will drop you like a rock. Also carry mace on key ring.
Originally Posted by scenic route View Post
Bear spray might be another option for relatively 'up close and personal' interaction...Of course, kids can get into trouble with this stuff as well...
Originally Posted by DrScott View Post
...I'm sure there are other options of noxious stuff that sprays in a stream--brake parts cleaner for example--that could work too. All it takes is a little bit in the eyes to slow 'em down and make the 'tire checker' a better option...
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
...He grabbed his dry powder fire extinguisher.. IF you are choking on a face full of baking soda, kind of hard to be agressive. Gives the intended victim time to skedaddle...
All of these ideas are worthy of consideration. I just wonder how poisonous the wasp spray or bear spray are. I do have a can of wasp spray (and brake cleaner) in my outside storage. I'll have to remember that if/when the time comes to run off an undesireable.

Originally Posted by scenic route View Post
A very protective dog could be an option...
Not an option (Don't like dogs, though I understand others affections towards them) .

Originally Posted by jfran304 View Post
Try a cane/umbrella like these...
Originally Posted by jfran304 View Post
I personally carry a machete for chopping down the underbrush.
Yeah... No thanks, too much chance for a need to visit the hospital...(I can just see the kids playing 'swordfight' with these options).

Originally Posted by Freebird23 View Post
...A lot of the things discused you should be careful having them around young kids(Polson can kill as eazy as guns)
Originally Posted by Perry White View Post
Nothing is safe around children.
And that is the most important part of why I am happy to hear ALL OF YOUR ideas!!! Trying to protect the kids while keeping them safe is proving to be harder than it sounds...

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Old 12-23-2011, 08:22 PM   #31
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As Gray Ghost stated,you must handle each problem in special ways.I beleave a lot of what is a must is training.I onced tossed a small pack of fire ckackers at a very large dog and he almost ran over a tree getting away.A Hand held boat horn has worked in some cases.I f you don't know about snakes and how to handle them Please leave them along.As I said before training is a must for small kids in the woods.I spend all the time I can with my grand kids teaching them about wood and critters esp.people type critters.They know how to handle a gun,but just as inportent they (the 2 boys at least know how to hold and use knifes and macheete.They are learning about snakes (good guys or bad guys) I beleve training is as vital as what you use for protection,as what your choice of wepon is.If you can't hit something with a gun it will do you no good,same as bug spray on a snake.I saw a lot of good post on this ,use what you can leave the rest ,and good luck.
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:33 PM   #32
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Well, I grew up out here in the Mojave Desert, on and around an alflafa ranch. I have killed several rattlesnakes. You just made me realize this, and I must make another one.

Back in the day, we did this. Get a broom handle from the hardware store, some small eyelet screws, and bailing wire. Make a 'snake catcher'.

But now I will do this.
How To Catch A Snake : How To Make A Snake Catcher
It puts you away, and you can easily catch and control the snake by the head.

This is the fastest and safest way, and then you can put the snake in a pillow case, 5 gal pale(with lid of course), or ?? etc. Then relocate the snake far from your camp.

These work to.
Commercial Professional Rattlesnake Reptile Snake Catcher Stick

My dad was a land surveyor here for 30yrs. He always carried a flat shovel with the edge sharpened. He just cut the heads off, BAM !!

Rattlesnake made some good eats.

As for the other desert critters, like gila monsters, scorpions, spiders, etc, a shovel works just fine.

When hiking, I always carried a good staff with a 'fork'ed end. I would pin the snake to the ground, until everyone with me could get far away, then I let it go. After all, we were in its terrain.

We had a rule: If the rattler was 'on' the ranch, we killed it, if off the ranch, let it live.

NOT a pleasant experience when you: open the back door in the morning to a 6' diamond back. Or when they came into the house. Or when they were under your truck while you were getting in. Or in the hay bails while your getting one to feed the steers. You get my picture.

But I lived to have these great memories !!
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:17 PM   #33
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Never said I have no experience, just that I don't own any at the moment and am not willing to because of my children's ages...

After seeing my response quoted, it reads kinda snotty which was not my intent. I fully understand your reasoning here.

As far as the wasp spray is concerned, I can vouch for it being effective. I parked my MH in a lot this past summer. There was a basket case Georgieboy parked next to me that was more a wasp nest than a motorhome. There was a nest right in the driver's mirror near my entry door so I decided to blast it with some of that streaming spray. I started spraying from a distance and walked closer while I blasted...big mistake.

The spray hit something and came back and hit me in the face and not a lot either. I was lucky to have a cooler filled with water close by. I wear glasses but it still blinded me and I couldn't stop coughing. This was just from a small splash. You hit someone with a full stream and they will be down for the count. I think it was called Hot Shot, nasty stuff to wasps as well as humans.

Trust me, it works.
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:58 PM   #34
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May I suggest you carry on board an old fashion garden hoe. Works wonders on snakes, small animals and would-be thieves. No license or special training needed. Keep the sharp side down and out of the way of the kids.
Travel well, travel safe,
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Old 12-24-2011, 07:31 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by jzick View Post
For those advocating wasp spray use for self defense. DW and I took a self defense course for seniors (no guns) last year that covered things like startling or overpowering for a moment (long enough to escape or get help) a stronger, faster assailant. During the course the instructor said not to use wasp spray. He claimed that there had been no practical verification of its effectiveness. Another point was that the use of insecticides are strictly regulated by federal law. Use of the wasp spray for self defense could open up a real can of worms both from a federal sense and a liability sense.

I will agree that when desperate anything that works is the right thing but for us, wasp spray did not seem a wise thing to plan on using. I am certainly no expert and one of the things DW and I decided was that, unarmed, we were probably dead meat if confronted by a crazed 200 lb. young man. I cannot really argue pro or con, but I am just passing this along.
If I used a spray on a bad guy, I would be very upset, because I had put that can of oven cleaner in my wife's pocketbook to carry to our motorhome, to clean the oven. beng 71 years old ,I had forgotten about the spray and when I grabbed her pocketbook to give to the bad guy I just happened to see the can and I pulled it out and sprayed him. I was scared and didn't have time to think about the fact that it might be harmful to him. Thats my story and I will stick to it.
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Old 12-24-2011, 08:09 AM   #36
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In lieu of any meaningful self defense plan, discounting the most effective self defense tools, many times the best defense is to do what the assailent says to do. There is the chance that he just wants stuff, not to hurt anyone. Give him your wallet, hope for the best. Squirting him with fly spray, or watered down pepper spray products will most likely just make him angry and turn what would have been a simple robbery into something more dangerous.
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Old 12-24-2011, 08:26 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by DrivinMyHome View Post
I am currently staying in a mobile home community in Peoria AZ, but would like to do a bit of boondocking in some nearby BLM land when the weather warms up a bit (probably Late February through Mid-May). I have been thinking about the 'best' way to protect my family from small animals (snakes, javelina and coyotes come to mind) or deter possible riff-raff who may want to 'permanently borrow' my things. I will not consider firearms at the moment as I have four young children who might get a hold of a gun and harm themselves.

The best idea I have come up with is a crossbow. I have seen one that requires a 275lb draw which should be too much for my wife, let alone the kids! But, having never owned a crossbow (or gun for that matter), I don't know of the possible downsides to owning one. I would like to know if this is my best direction or is there a better way.

I know that there is a lot of experience on this forum and am anxious for any ideas to put me on the right path for safety, security and peace of mind.
He said above he" would not consider firearms at the moment" so he would if at last resort and so heres my suggestion hire some one to go with you that is comfortable dealing with security cause all security measures being suggested will have to have training for your kid's.
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Old 12-24-2011, 08:41 AM   #38
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A comment on the pepper spray devices.

Some years ago when these became popular some friends of mine tested them (Friends = Michigan State Police by the way,, Official test)

At least one of the "Assulaters" was, in fact, my Sgt... he was able to complete his attack on his pepper spray wielding victim (Who was either a trooper or sgt, forget which).

On the other hand I'm told of one of the other Sgt's in the department, who, off duty, was coming out of a restaurant.. 3 "Thug Uglies" attacked him.. When Lansing PD arrived to take the report and do the arrests said Sgt. was standing there, breathing easily, not even mussed up... and the 3 Thug Uglies were lying on the ground in SERIOUS pain.

Yes, the Sgt had a gun on him (Required by official orders) NO, he did not even consider using it.. Just used his hands and feet. that's all he needed.

What does he do for the dept.? Hand to Hand combat instructor at the academy.

The lansing police officers: (Snapping to attention) "And what would you like us to do with them? SIR!"
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Old 12-24-2011, 08:47 AM   #39
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You might as well just give into anybody that wants to harm or take your property because if you try to defend yourself, you are the perpatrator, not the victim anymore.
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Old 12-24-2011, 09:00 AM   #40
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We use this. It's an innocent looking flashlight but a major league taser/zapper that packs 1 million volts.

Cabela's: Zaplight™ Stun Gun

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Old 12-24-2011, 09:23 AM   #41
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To the OP,

It does not sound like the crossbow is getting much traction from three pages of responses. If you do not like firearms or dogs, I would go with the sprays. And remember part of the effectiveness is the surprise factor so don't hold the spray or the crossbow for five minutes pointed at the person as a deterrant. If you get it out and show it-- use it! A crossbow against a snake? That would be interesting.

I share those that suggest using 'savy' when camping and moving on to a 'feel safer' place if needed. I have camped all my life and not yet found anybody that tried to give me grief. Camp with friends that might make you feel safer. If you are not comfortable with normal desert animial or reptiles go camping with some folks that are and can help you and your family understand what is poisonous and what is not and how to deal with especially snakes. Bull and King snakes are actually beneficial and hate rattlesnakes so if you see one let them live. A bull snake and a rattle snake share similar features and mannerisms that could be confusing to perhaps an untrained person. Don't just go out there and start killing snakes. Most rattlesnakes avoid humans, just don't let you kids put their hands in bushes, rocks or where they cannot see where they are placing them. Common sense will carry you a long way in the desert. Carry lots of water and sun protection. If a thunderstrom is anywhere near, even thirty miles away, never camp in a dry wash.

Sometimes the best protection is to be savy, wary, and congizant of the possible issues where you are planning to camp. That goes a long way to enjoying a safe time.
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Old 12-24-2011, 10:53 AM   #42
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The best protection you can possibly have is Don't Do Something Stupid!

If you see a rattle snake don't step on it! It will quickly get out of your way. They are not going to chase you down and bite you! If you have the courage do what was suggested and move it to a non-residential area because they do a lot of good. To be protected from wildlife don't harass them!

[moderator edit]

I'm not saying don't own a weapon. I could care less what you do. However, I think it gives you a false sense of security and in most circumstances you'll end up worse off. We've been RV traveling for over 7 years now. Never had a threatening situation. Never even heard of anyone who was in a threatening situation while in their RV, and we spend two weeks to a month in the RV in Mexico every year!

If you are really afraid of the dark I think your best protection is a dog, any kind of dog. Unfortunately you'll have to protect the dog from wildlife, but they will chase away the human kind of intruders.

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