Anything related to motorhoming not covered in any other forums.
 #87573  by kenchand
 Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:45 am
Hi
just asking a bit of advice on freedom camping. Just last weekend Rose-Maree and I were Freedom camping at the Nth Tora reserve on the South Wairarapa Coast. Great day and a great meal a bit of TV and off to bed. There were no house lights that we could see as it is very isolated. We were woken at midnight by our dog growling and on looking out the window there was a ute parked not 10 feet from us. we could see the silhouette of 2 guys sitting in the front smoking and drinking. Occasionally the inside light would come on and we could see them looking in our direction. It was quiet frightening and we felt very vulnerable way out there in the middle of nowhere.
After an hour they drove off without lights but we were unsure if they had actually gone. It was very disconcerting.
While sitting there wondering what we could have done better to protect ourselves we considered the following.
We had done the usual of being pointed in the right direction to drive off but we ruled this out as the track in the reserve is very rough with big pot holes and we had trouble getting in there in daylight. Getting ourselves stuck would not have helped. We had all doors locked and all our belongings in the van.

I am nearly 70 and confrontation is not really an option. We have only owned the camper for a few months and this is the first time we have felt threatened or unsafe and we have recently stayed in some pretty out of the way places up in the far North.

Any suggestions as we want to continue with freedom camping as we thoroughly enjoy it, but at the same time do not want to put ourselves in danger. BTW RM has suggested a taser, a Rotweiler and or a shotgun. :)

Look forward to any advice or suggestions.
 #87576  by jackthelad
 Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:31 am
An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure as they say. You have to way up the odds, understand what they are and simply have a plan. If the risks seem too high then you have to think about either not putting yourself into a situation you can't manage or pair up with others for mutually beneficial support and protection.
 #87602  by fiddlestiks
 Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:29 pm
Hi Ken & Rose-Marie, I have become quite safety conscious over the years and never camp by myself, while on the occassions I have found myself alone, I will move to another spot and have even parked in front of a police station. However I will also use my bus as a ram if necessary although the teenagers that attempted that, did move their cars when they could see I was serious. But ultimately I prefer to avoid trouble. Funny thing is I have never had any trouble from the ones that look 'bad', it has always been the clean looking rich kids in mummy's bmw that seem to think it is their job to drive out the 'hippy'!
 #87646  by Zukiwi
 Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:33 pm
I guess we all have our personal limits with what we're comfortable with and I respect each individually. For me, at 5 and a half foot, looking out to 70, crook back and an artificial hip, I have little concern. We most frequently stay in remote places away from phone coverage and are quite comfortable. It's what we're used to and we take some common-sense precautions. Like locking the door at night. I spent a working lifetime in law enforcement so have some training in dealing with personal safety issues (some of you will be thinking how many lifetimes has he had - but it's all true ;) ). But none of that's rocket science. I just wouldn't want to be the crim that forced my door at night or any other time.

Cheers
John
 #87647  by Alec
 Wed Feb 11, 2015 1:06 am
On the odd occasion that we have felt slightly uncomfortable we sit the fire extinguisher next to the bed, a blast from this would hopefully do the trick and you also have a heavy steel weapon, we also have a powerful LED torch with a strobe function, I'm told that this will disorientate a person in seconds, but have no proof of this.
In many years of caravanning in NZ and Australia, we have only once been seriously concerned, this was in a motorcamp at Atherton, North Queensland. when an Abbo. who had been drinking Methylated Spirits all day and went troppo at 2.30am threatening to shoot everyone.
 #87678  by Dave34m
 Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:11 pm
all I can say is if you bring out a weapon then be prepared to use it and use it properly, otherwise they will take it off you and use it on you. Think very seriously before you start waving around any weapon.

I like the strope light idea.
 #87685  by petercw
 Wed Feb 11, 2015 6:07 pm
I have to agree it's a problem, we try to hv 1 other camper staying close by, sometimes I feel I wish I had something "lead solid" but I leave that at home and trust my instincts to pick the right place.. too deserted is not safe on yr own..
Safe safe is my motto..
chrs
 #87694  by Zukiwi
 Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:12 pm
Wise words Dave. And of course I don't advocate anything else. Simply saying if it's a toss-up over my or Pat's life and safety, I don't think we'll be the losers. Funnily enough, I am instinctively a lover rather than a fighter.

Cheers
John
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