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Old 11-04-2018, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,785 posts, read 4,838,667 times
Reputation: 19463

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Quote:
Originally Posted by turkeydance View Post
"...considered these issues and found solutions."

here are mine:
1. walking stick/cane/staff. currently, i use an old "headless" golf club with a crutch tip where the head used to be.
2. cell phone. my wife made me carry it all the time. better/cheaper than the "Life-Line" services. i call it her "leash".
3. whistle. little thing with a big noise. thankfully, i have never used it. tested it once. in the house. last time.
4. pepper spray and/or pistol. i have a concealed carry permit. i carry pepper spray where guns are not allowed.
5. flashlight. the phone light is nowhere near bright enough. i have actually used this to discourage an approach
This is probably the single most valuable thing ANYONE, senior or otherwise, can carry when walking in the woods or a trail. It will help in any circumstance when you need to summon help. It doesn't require batteries, or a cell signal, it will often scare a dog or predator, but more important than anything, it will summon help.
No one has to have a cell phone or anything else to hear your call. It also gives directional help to rescuers, because they can just go in the direction of the sound.

A 53 year old hiker recently died when she was hiking near here in the Smokey Mtns. She became separated from her daughter, and was lost for days. Searchers hunted everywhere, but her body was found less than a half mile from where she was last seen. If she'd only had a whistle to signal with, she would have been found within hours. I have a fanny pack that I always take hiking, and it takes very little space to take the bare essentials of survival. Number one on my list is a very loud whistle. I also take a lighter, a few fire starter sticks, a space blanket, a disposable poncho, a compass, a small first aid kit, a pocket knife or multitool, and my combo flashlight/stun gun. You never know when you might slip and break an ankle and need to survive until help can come. Cell phones often can't get a signal in the mountains. Three loud noises in a row is the universal call for help, three blasts on a whistle, three gun shots, three loud bangs on something, etc.
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Old 11-04-2018, 06:47 PM
 
11,268 posts, read 8,433,015 times
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I'm not sure this is on topic but your title reminded me of the group I was just introduced to - basically a running club. There are many in their 70s, one who recently did a 100 miler. One lady in her 80s who continues to run -participated in a run yesterday. They are all amazing, motivating, and nearly all are marathon runners. I'm in awe and hope, one day, I can keep up!
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Old 11-04-2018, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
8,401 posts, read 9,145,702 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highplainsrus View Post
Do you feel safe taking walks outside? Whether hiking, strolling through a park, or walking city streets, are you aware of the various possible dangers? Do you think about muggings, dangerous dogs, bad weather, accidental falls, or busy traffic?

As I approach my seventies, I think about these things more and more. I am trying to reason my way through them to sort out the most likely problems from the irrational concerns and setting up conditions to create safe activities in safe surroundings.

Example: I used to enjoy walking park trails in good weather to observe beautiful trees, flowers and other views in the fresh air. Lately, I have encountered many off-leash dogs and potentially hostile dog owners. I realize there are few safe ways to handle those events, since dogs and their owners have virtually the run of the outdoors with few real restraints. Now I feel forced into the stale surroundings of indoor mall walking or expensive indoor gyms and treadmills.

These and other health-related concerns could be the reason why it is easy for the elderly to become almost agoraphobic shut-ins. I am interested to see if others have considered these issues and found solutions.
Since I live in the forested area of eastern CA many of your concerns don’t apply. We have many older folks on the trails where I live. No issues with muggers, bad dogs or traffic. And quite frankly, dieing of a medical emergency on the trail beats the heck of living too long or dieing of cancer. Such is the mindset of a Christian.

With that said my iPhone is always with me whether in town or the woods
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Old 11-05-2018, 12:55 AM
 
Location: Cebu, Philippines
4,423 posts, read 1,676,659 times
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As people age, they become more susceptible to dangers, such as brittle bones, forgetfulness, failing eyeseght. But need not fear these things, only be mindful of them and more careful..


If you feel threatened by a dog, stoop over as if you are picking up a rock, and menactngly look as if you intend to throw it.
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Old 11-05-2018, 03:11 AM
 
Location: Eugene, Oregon
9,162 posts, read 3,007,855 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highplainsrus View Post
One other idea is that of getting my own monster brute dog to protect me on walks. Maybe that's one reason so many people have them - as a self defense weapon, in addition to companionship. I don't want the hassle of taking care of it nor the additional expenses of pet deposits and vet bills or time spent training or inevitable barking complaints. There is also the risk of the dog wrestling the leash out of my aged hand and attacking without my command. Dog owners seem to ignore those downsides, though.
Often when I run, I encounter a guy who's walking a large and aggressive mastiff. When that dog sees me, it goes crazy, barking, snarling and trying to break loose from its leash to attack me. So far, he's managed to hang on to it, but I predict that sooner or later, that dog is going to get him into big trouble. He seems to go in many different places, so it's hard to pick a place to run where I'll be sure to avoid him. The dog acts that way towards a lot of people and I'm surprised that he hasn't been reported as causing a serious safety threat.

I can't understand why people don't consider the liability they're causing for themselves, when they keep vicious dogs. On the several occasions when dogs have tried to attack me, I've ended it quickly with a hard kick to their chops. But a big stick would be much more effective, although I can't carry anything like that when I'm running. Those who carry pistols, thinking they will use them to protect themselves from dogs, are likely to find themselves in legal trouble, if they ever draw and fire them. If someone calls the police and bears false witness against them, they may be regarded as a threat by the cops and be treated harshly.

Once, when I was running down a street for the first time, a large dog came at me from a house across the street, where a colony of drug-addicts lived. I kicked it hard and it ran away, yelping. One of the deadbeats came out on the porch, threatening to call the police on me, for hurting his dog. I told him that the next time I came by, I would be carrying a baseball bat to deal with his dog. But I had enough sense to never run by there again.
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Old 11-05-2018, 06:12 AM
 
Location: high plains
496 posts, read 704,376 times
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Dog vs human incidents are not always clear-cut scenarios. Few of us are schooled in suitable responses to them. The dogs may be rabid and ignore rocks, sticks and kicks. Stun guns may or may not work on them. A firearm has to be drawn quickly and fired accurately. Pepper spray must be aimed accurately and may still be ineffective against rabies. Other times, the dogs may actually be friendly, but so eager to jump on us that we are knocked down before we can react. A dog's owner may be more dangerous than the dog, if the owner becomes enraged that his precious pet may be harmed. I've been the victim of all those scenarios and felt lucky to survive them, but they still haunt me, so I've become hyper-vigilant when any dogs are nearby. This may result in either over-reaction or under-reaction. A stun gun may be the best compromise, unless it were taken away from me and used against me.

Last edited by highplainsrus; 11-05-2018 at 06:36 AM..
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Old 11-05-2018, 06:25 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,785 posts, read 4,838,667 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highplainsrus View Post
Dog vs human incidents are not always clear-cut scenarios. Few of us are schooled in suitable responses to them. The dogs may be rabid and ignore rocks, sticks and kicks. Stun guns may or may not work on them. A firearm has to be drawn quickly and fired accurately. Other times, the dogs may actually be friendly, but so eager to jump on us that we are knocked down before we can react. A dog's owner may be more dangerous than the dog, if the owner becomes enraged that his precious pet may be harmed. I've been the victim of all those scenarios and felt lucky to survive them, but they still haunt me.
You were the victim of a rabid dog? It sounds like you are determined to be frightened and find that nothing will be able to protect you, so maybe stick to mall walking.
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Old 11-05-2018, 07:04 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,587 posts, read 17,574,904 times
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The best lines of defense for an older person are the best lines of defense for anyone.

Tell someone where you'll be/what your route is, and when you expect to be back. I always tell someone when I'm hiking (if it's in a lightly trafficked area) where I'm going and to expect to hear from me by dark.

Ensure you have proper shoes/clothes for the activity. I can't believe the amount of people I saw on steep or rocky ground in flip-flops, Crocs, etc. I was hiking in the DuPont National Forest in early September, and there was an older woman who was bleeding pretty well from her big toe. I'm guessing she stubbed it come down the trail. Stupid. If I'm hiking in very muddy conditions, I have a pair of water-resistant hiking boots. I use trail runners for normal conditions.

I always keep at least one fresh change of clothes in my Jeep at all times. If I'm going to be outdoors, I also take fresh socks/shoes/underwear. Getting wet in cold weather can be deadly. I lost my balance a couple of years ago in the snow along Lake Michigan. I was soaked and cold. I got back to the car, dried off, changed clothes and shoes, and went out to town like nothing happened.

If I'm hiking or biking in a place that is known to have bear activity, I carry bear spray. I always carry a knife when outdoors, and have scissors in the car at all times. I do not own a gun.
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Old 11-05-2018, 09:01 AM
 
5,436 posts, read 2,830,519 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highplainsrus View Post
Dog vs human incidents are not always clear-cut scenarios. Few of us are schooled in suitable responses to them. The dogs may be rabid and ignore rocks, sticks and kicks. Stun guns may or may not work on them. A firearm has to be drawn quickly and fired accurately. Pepper spray must be aimed accurately and may still be ineffective against rabies. Other times, the dogs may actually be friendly, but so eager to jump on us that we are knocked down before we can react. A dog's owner may be more dangerous than the dog, if the owner becomes enraged that his precious pet may be harmed. I've been the victim of all those scenarios and felt lucky to survive them, but they still haunt me, so I've become hyper-vigilant when any dogs are nearby. This may result in either over-reaction or under-reaction. A stun gun may be the best compromise, unless it were taken away from me and used against me.
I was bitten by dogs three times (once in my teens and twice as a young adult), chased and threatened countless times while cycling or walking, but those incidents did not change my feelings towards dogs. I still liked them, for the most part. There were enough well-behaved dogs to balance my perception.

But then my own two leashed dogs were mauled by two huge vicious unleashed dogs while a vacation dogsitter walked them near our home. Since then, I view any unknown dog as a potential danger at first sighting. The first time the dogs were healed enough to walk again, I carried a gun with me. Because I didn’t want to carry a gun as a longterm solution, I had a defensive tool made that could potentially kill an attacker. I carried that one for a long time. The attacking dogs both were euthanized (deemed dangerous after being surrendered to animal control and given several weeks and two chances each to pass the temperament test which obviously both failed). Unfortunately, there were still other loose, aggressive dogs in the area, so I always had something ready to use, just in case.

I don’t let dog worries stop me from going out. I do worry that the trend of people dubbing themselves rescuers and “giving sanctuary” to unadoptable dogs, especially the profusion of pit bulls, will result in more untrained, unrestrained dogs harming both humans and other animals. It’s all OK as long as the dogs are kept securely penned, but inevitably someone decides that the dog should be “socialized”, using unsuspecting general public as the guinea pigs.
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Old 11-05-2018, 03:37 PM
 
698 posts, read 207,768 times
Reputation: 1338
Quote:
Originally Posted by highplainsrus View Post
Dog vs human incidents are not always clear-cut scenarios. Few of us are schooled in suitable responses to them. The dogs may be rabid and ignore rocks, sticks and kicks. Stun guns may or may not work on them. A firearm has to be drawn quickly and fired accurately. Pepper spray must be aimed accurately and may still be ineffective against rabies. Other times, the dogs may actually be friendly, but so eager to jump on us that we are knocked down before we can react. A dog's owner may be more dangerous than the dog, if the owner becomes enraged that his precious pet may be harmed. I've been the victim of all those scenarios and felt lucky to survive them, but they still haunt me, so I've become hyper-vigilant when any dogs are nearby. This may result in either over-reaction or under-reaction. A stun gun may be the best compromise, unless it were taken away from me and used against me.
Make sure your dog is well trained when I come by riding my horse. Many dogs are not and will go after a horse. If my horse kills your dog, so be it, the onus is on the owner for not controlling their dog. If your dog spooks my horse and I fall off and get hurt I’ll sue you if I find you. Very tired of irresponsible dog owners who think they own the woods and trails.
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