Forum
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...

Can women safely camp alone on a 14er?

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
User avatar
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:38 pm

Re: Can women safely camp alone on a 14er?

Postby Stereotype » Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:34 pm

lol, I guess it would be easy to misinterpret what I meant by "safety courses," but I meant I need to get some training on how to be safe with bears! :D

Sorry for starting a gun fight (pun also intended), but unless someone has a suggestion for renting guns for cheap and taking free gun classes it's not really applicable to my situation..... :-"
"I don't care what is written about me so long as it isn't true."

User avatar
Posts: 2327
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2006 7:36 pm
Location: Lakewood, CO

Re: Can women safely camp alone on a 14er?

Postby rijaca » Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:38 pm

An ice axe is more useful in the mountains than a gun. :-"
"Spent a little time on the mountain
Spent a little time on the hill"

User avatar
Posts: 7428
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 1:23 pm
Location: Colorado Springs

Re: Can women safely camp alone on a 14er?

Postby Jim Davies » Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:58 pm

rijaca wrote:An ice axe is more useful in the mountains than a gun. :-"

Probably weighs less, too.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of white blood cells.

User avatar
Posts: 512
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:07 pm
Location: Longmont

Re: Can women safely camp alone on a 14er?

Postby somethingrandom » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:12 pm

Stereotype wrote:Hi, I'm new here. I did a search and I didn't find anything on this subject, which either means it's incredibly obvious that it's safe or incredibly obvious that it isn't. I am not experienced, I have a lot to learn, and I am not trying to reach some of my climbing/hiking goals for a long time. The thing that I've been dreaming of doing (eventually) is to spend a few weeks in the mountains, alone. I'm originally from Miami, so the idea of being alone (as a woman) in a flimsy tent without a gun seems incredibly dangerous.

I have looked over some of the warnings about hiking alone in general, but those warnings all seem to be related to environmental safety issues. I'm more worried about escaped insane asylum inmates with hooks for hands and an addiction to human flesh. :oops:

Should I give up on this idea? I admit, I haven't searched for tent alarms or tent master locks, but I'm more interested in whether I'd need one in CO.


Yeah Id have a gun but thats cause I think every person should have a few.

As for safety, it is questionable everywhere now... Schools, movie theaters, churches, etc. but the mountains are safe. Sure there are nutty people/animals everywhere (all the more reason to have a gun with you).

I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes: "it is not for the hundreds of reasons we can think of, but the thousands that we cant". Protect yourself and enjoy the hell out of the amazing mountains CO has to offer.

P.s. Miami SUCKS and puts you in that mentality (I went to college there and was at no time in less danger than when I spent months in Juarez, it just isnt publicized in the US how shitty Miami is).
-Just as soon as you idiot proof something, some a**hole is just going to come along and make a better idiot.

-To Cessna: "November one, zero, four Lima Papa, wind 080 at 90 peak gusts 120, runway 35 cleared for takeoff"

To fellow controller: "Watch this sh!t"

-Whether climbing or flying, the single greatest thing to remember is that every ascent is optional, and if you feel like making another, your subsequent descent is mandatory.

User avatar
Posts: 107
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:26 pm
Location: Co.

Re: Can women safely camp alone on a 14er?

Postby sandy » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:38 pm

BillMiddlebrook wrote:
scalba123 wrote:
susanjoypaul wrote:Most def... and if you really want to ruffle some feathers, hike with a gun, a dog, a bible, and Paul Ryan. And don't forget to poop on the summit!

If you get any flack, just blame it all on Bill.


Just get yourself a man. You know a woman's life is empty without one. [I'm blaming Bill for this post.]

See, my family was right - everything IS my fault. I apologize in advance...


Yup, Bill's fault I camp and hike alone. :)

User avatar
Posts: 1544
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 6:33 pm
Location: Arvada, CO

Re: Can women safely camp alone on a 14er?

Postby coloradokevin » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:14 pm

Stereotype wrote:lol, I guess it would be easy to misinterpret what I meant by "safety courses," but I meant I need to get some training on how to be safe with bears! :D

Sorry for starting a gun fight (pun also intended), but unless someone has a suggestion for renting guns for cheap and taking free gun classes it's not really applicable to my situation..... :-"



Well, since shelling out money for a gun/ammo isn't in the cards for you at the moment, we can certainly put that issue to bed for the moment and move on to other ideas. Sometimes the gun vs no gun debate actually has very little to do with gun philosophy after all! Nevertheless, if you ever do acquire a gun there are lots of places where you can pick up some free training from time-to-time (local gun clubs, etc), though sometimes you have to be careful about who you consider to be an "instructor" (sometimes you get what you pay for in terms of quality). I keep throwing around the idea of getting a group together from this site to make a range day... it seems like there are quite a few people who are interested in shooting, but just haven't ever had the chance. Regardless, that's another tangent in this conversation I'll avoid for the time being.

Honestly, some of the advice you've already received in other responses is really worth considering. Where you place your camp will often determine if you'll even have the opportunity to encounter a criminal, even if they are running around out there. Since avoidance is always the best bet (a fight is a last resort), I'd consider taking these steps even if you were to later decide to arm yourself in some manner.

First, trailheads are areas that seem to have a higher concentration of crime, due mostly to the accessibility of these areas. Similarly, popular trails close to civilization will generally have more unsavory traffic than remote areas away from the crowds. Trails close to cities tend to attract more drunken partying and more crime than trailheads that are in very remote areas. I'd say that you're probably about as safe (from humans) as you could possibly be if you camp somewhere more than about 3 miles from a trailhead, and then set your tent up in a place that isn't very obvious to passing hikers (this often only involves going a minute or two away from the trail).

If you do encounter people that concern you on a hiking trip, consider some of these tactics:

1) Wear a wedding type ring (a single female hiking partner I know does this on her long solo trips).
2) Talk as if you aren't alone in the wilderness. Maybe your "husband/friends are up the stream scouting out some fishing locations".
3) Act confident. Make eye contact. Speak with authority. Don't appear to be a victim. Criminals, like predators in the wild, prey on those individuals that appear to be the easiest to overpower, and the least likely to mount an effective defense. Be sure of yourself outwardly, even when you have doubts about a situation (that's advice anyone can use, and it has saved my butt numerous times in encounters with violent psychopaths).



Back to the pepper spray idea, I just had to share this story from this evening. One of my shift partners (who sometimes climbs mountains with me) just called me with the following story of man vs wild, involving pepper spray. I'll quote this as best I can:


"Hey, man... You won't believe this $&@#. I was clearing this vacant house just now, and saw this raccoon in there. So, at first I'm thinking 'oh cool it's a raccoon'. Then this damn thing charges me. I didn't want to shoot it... I mean, I like animals and all, and I didn't want to have to explain that. So, I ran from this thing and it just chased me around in circles. I finally decided to try my pepper spray on it. It seemed to work, the raccoon ran in the other direction and kept running in circles. I just got out of there... man, my eyes are burning from that crap right now"


That's just hilarious. Hearing that story on the phone made me laugh so hard that I may have pulled a muscle. But, if you're ever worried about a raccoon attack, I think you'll be well-armed with bear spray :)

User avatar
Posts: 488
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2010 11:10 am
Location: Burton, OH

Re: Can women safely camp alone on a 14er?

Postby edhaman » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:16 pm

A good place to start for free courses is REI. They offer them regularly on all kinds of outdoor subjects.

Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:35 am

Re: Can women safely camp alone on a 14er?

Postby iquack08 » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:59 pm

Stereotype wrote:I meant I need to get some training on how to be safe with bears!


This is actually really simple. The black bears in Colorado (there are no grizzly bears in CO) are really a non-issue if you take proper care of your food. This means, hanging your food (and everything with a scent, including toothpaste, wrappers, trash, etc.) a good distance from camp and not keeping it in your tent. If you do this, your chances of encountering a bear are really low. Speaking from experience, it is not fun to have a late night visitor...

If you actually encounter a bear, just remember do not run - I would say in any situation. There are more tactics that are recommended, but I'll let you do the research.
Last edited by iquack08 on Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:35 am

Re: Can women safely camp alone on a 14er?

Postby iquack08 » Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:16 pm

Brian C wrote:I did find instances of hikers (here is one example) attempting to defend themselves with a gun against a bear to tragic ends.


I found this story a little hard to believe. A quick Google revealed the story as inaccurate. Just a FYI and not an attempt to step into the gun debate. :-#

User avatar
Posts: 470
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:14 am
Location: Colorado

Re: Can women safely camp alone on a 14er?

Postby Jesse M » Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:48 pm

Really? Really! :(

65 posts on this, wow! I am shocked the women of this site have let this go this long. Kinda makes me a sad panda.

EDIT: the answer is YES!!

User avatar
Posts: 325
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 12:13 pm
Location: Denver

Re: Can women safely camp alone on a 14er?

Postby mtn_hikin » Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:38 pm

coloradokevin wrote:
Stereotype wrote:lol, I guess it would be easy to misinterpret what I meant by "safety courses," but I meant I need to get some training on how to be safe with bears! :D

Sorry for starting a gun fight (pun also intended), but unless someone has a suggestion for renting guns for cheap and taking free gun classes it's not really applicable to my situation..... :-"



Well, since shelling out money for a gun/ammo isn't in the cards for you at the moment, we can certainly put that issue to bed for the moment and move on to other ideas. Sometimes the gun vs no gun debate actually has very little to do with gun philosophy after all! Nevertheless, if you ever do acquire a gun there are lots of places where you can pick up some free training from time-to-time (local gun clubs, etc), though sometimes you have to be careful about who you consider to be an "instructor" (sometimes you get what you pay for in terms of quality). I keep throwing around the idea of getting a group together from this site to make a range day... it seems like there are quite a few people who are interested in shooting, but just haven't ever had the chance. Regardless, that's another tangent in this conversation I'll avoid for the time being.

Honestly, some of the advice you've already received in other responses is really worth considering. Where you place your camp will often determine if you'll even have the opportunity to encounter a criminal, even if they are running around out there. Since avoidance is always the best bet (a fight is a last resort), I'd consider taking these steps even if you were to later decide to arm yourself in some manner.

First, trailheads are areas that seem to have a higher concentration of crime, due mostly to the accessibility of these areas. Similarly, popular trails close to civilization will generally have more unsavory traffic than remote areas away from the crowds. Trails close to cities tend to attract more drunken partying and more crime than trailheads that are in very remote areas. I'd say that you're probably about as safe (from humans) as you could possibly be if you camp somewhere more than about 3 miles from a trailhead, and then set your tent up in a place that isn't very obvious to passing hikers (this often only involves going a minute or two away from the trail).

If you do encounter people that concern you on a hiking trip, consider some of these tactics:

1) Wear a wedding type ring (a single female hiking partner I know does this on her long solo trips).
2) Talk as if you aren't alone in the wilderness. Maybe your "husband/friends are up the stream scouting out some fishing locations".
3) Act confident. Make eye contact. Speak with authority. Don't appear to be a victim. Criminals, like predators in the wild, prey on those individuals that appear to be the easiest to overpower, and the least likely to mount an effective defense. Be sure of yourself outwardly, even when you have doubts about a situation (that's advice anyone can use, and it has saved my butt numerous times in encounters with violent psychopaths).



Back to the pepper spray idea, I just had to share this story from this evening. One of my shift partners (who sometimes climbs mountains with me) just called me with the following story of man vs wild, involving pepper spray. I'll quote this as best I can:


"Hey, man... You won't believe this $&@#. I was clearing this vacant house just now, and saw this raccoon in there. So, at first I'm thinking 'oh cool it's a raccoon'. Then this damn thing charges me. I didn't want to shoot it... I mean, I like animals and all, and I didn't want to have to explain that. So, I ran from this thing and it just chased me around in circles. I finally decided to try my pepper spray on it. It seemed to work, the raccoon ran in the other direction and kept running in circles. I just got out of there... man, my eyes are burning from that crap right now"


That's just hilarious. Hearing that story on the phone made me laugh so hard that I may have pulled a muscle. But, if you're ever worried about a raccoon attack, I think you'll be well-armed with bear spray :)

LOL

User avatar
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:38 pm

Re: Can women safely camp alone on a 14er?

Postby Stereotype » Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:07 am

MntOwl wrote:Really? Really! :(

65 posts on this, wow! I am shocked the women of this site have let this go this long. Kinda makes me a sad panda.




You know that the "sad panda" was the "Sexual Harassment Panda?" :lol:

I think since it's not a topic that's been addressed, having multiple people broach every angle is useful for future city women (like me). I know I plan to go back to this thread later to remind myself of simple guidelines, and to remember to get those books! :wink:
"I don't care what is written about me so long as it isn't true."

PreviousNext

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests