One of my favorite sayings is, “The best way to avoid trouble is don’t go where trouble hangs out”. So where does trouble hang out ? That’s where the little voice in the back of your head comes in. That nagging intuitive feeling that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
Modern society, more often then we like to admit, can be a pretty nasty place. Every day some innocent victim is placed in harms way, often by just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
What can you do to protect yourself from becoming the next statistic? The best solution to this serious threat to your personal safety is to pay attention to your surroundings. Often it’s those who mindlessly assume that everything will be just fine that find themselves scrambling to take cover, or worse, when all hell breaks loose.
Most van dwellers are singular individuals. Living a modest life, admittedly just outside of mainstream civilization. It’s the lone individual that can be an easy target when it comes to opportunistic crimes of violence.
A simple mistake like parking in a dark secluded urban setting and making just a little too much noise, or letting a little too much light emit from your portable dwelling, will have an affect similar to painting a nice big red target on the side of your van. I’m here, I’m alone and vulnerable, come and get me.
Think back to your home town, any city in any state. We all know, or at least remember, that one area, or section of the city, where the only people out after midnight were up to no good. Places where you drive through with your doors locked, and make sure you have enough gas to eliminate the need for stopping.
Often it’s just an eery feeling that something just isn’t right about a place. You may have already pulled up and parked for the night, gone to the trouble of settling in, when something just doesn’t feel comfortable about your surroundings.
Call it a sixth sense, intuition, or even paranoia. Personally I call it common sense. When a place gives you the willies and makes you anxious about your safety, even when you can’t exactly explain why, it’s time to leave.
It’s better by far to move on down the road to a well lit, even noisy by comparison, Walmart or truck stop than it is to ignore that gut feeling that you might be in peril where you are. Call it your survival instinct if you will. Don’t ignore that little voice when it whispers in your ear, it’s only trying to protect you.
The same can go for that secluded rural camp site miles away from any note worthy population. If the spot is littered with beer cans, and trash you can bet it’s a local party hangout. Nothing will ruin your night faster than a bunch of drunken rowdies trying to rattle your cage. You don’t want to be in a position where help is unlikely to find you when things go sour.
There’s no shame in running. This isn’t the time to get all macho. Bumper stickers shouting “Protected By Smith & Wesson” will only indicate there is a weapon to be gained by over powering you.
Long before trouble finds you, just quietly and quickly get out of Dodge.