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Would you go to the forest alone?


jonathan
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'Blair Witch' was the classic Forest horror movie.

However forests are fine, just one problem at this time of year. You might not be able to stand still for too long due to the midges.

I am thinking more along the lines of the movie "Shrooms". Stupid movie, like Blair Witch (still not sure what that was about).

Then again, Bambi was made in a forest.

I'd be happier setting up in a field full of cows then on a dark forest lay-by.

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The only thing likely to happen when out observing , at worst, would be an overly hungry animal sniffing out any food you had on you and making a grab for it - as happened today when I left a flapjack on a park bench for 5 mins - didn't see what took it , but it managed to grab and make off without me or other half noticing- and that was in the light! I'm still bitter too..... :)

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i have to go to my dark site i use for any proper astro work, i enjoy being there, in britain we are lucky that there are no dangerous animals, just fellow mankind, i hear any one approaching for a good way of so far i have had no trouble at all

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I suspect if you are asking the question, the answer will be no, it's probably not for you.

If you do it, I think it's important to make sure someone knows exactly where you are going, or where you are, send a link of your coordinates to someone at home if there is internet signal.

Otherwise, take someone with you, ideally another astronomer with their own kit so they are not too bored, and plenty of tea and grub :)

James

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very strange but i did my first actual stargazing session on my own last night,i say actual because i have tried twice before and bottled it left my gear in the car. but last night i thought sod it and went for it, good thing was the moon was at 1/4 so it wasnt completely dark, then the clouds rolled in after about an hour so i packed up, dont tell anyone but i was quite happy to go home. better to take some one with you though, im not bothered about conflict with any one, its the thought of them robbing me

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I go to dark places alone, Cannock Chase is a favourite.

My usual plan is to take my portable kit, which I can carry in a large bag on my back, and get as far away from the road as possible. I am working on the basis that trouble, if it were to arrive at all, will arrive in a car. If I get deep into the woods then, as long as I am quiet, no-one will know that I'm there. The animal noises can be a bit off-putting, you never know if that rustling noise is a hedgehog or a man-eating sabre-toothed badger.

I do use more accessible sites, like car parks and laybys, but only feel comfortable doing this in a small group. Even so, the only visitors I've had have been the odd smoker of funny fags and the boys in flourescent yellow.

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Before my dog went to doggy heaven we went walkies through the woods every night 365 days a year rain, hail, sleet and snow, and the occasional bit of sun.

Once it got dark we never met a soul, biggest danger was tripping over tree roots, just as well as if anything scarey had appeared she would have hidden behind me :)

Dave

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Countryside / Woods wouldn't worry me.

Using it in a town park would have me on edge far more.

Reminds me of when my brother used to fish overnight at some of the gravel pits near Canterbury.....

There was an asylum and when one of the residents managed to slip out a alarm went off , now at 2 in the morning fishing a deserted lake and you hear sounds...... !!!!

Or another lake where you can hear the animals at Howletts zoo kicking off ( apes , lions etc ) :)

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Like the other chap mentioned here years of night fishing in all manner of places have conditioned me to being out alone at night. Usually out fishing you have a few hundred pounds worth of equipment so astronomy is not much different. You can mugged in town and have your £500 phone taken far more easily. Never really had any problems or aggravation and you soon get used to the sounds of the night. It is well worth checking out an off beat spot and mapping it out and looking for the usual signs of potential issues. If anyone fishes for a club it is worth asking their permission to observe at their controlled sites, often gated and locked with few people around it could be worth the price of an annual ticket just for this.

I highly doubt anglers would object, in fact the two things go together quite well, I rarely catch fish so bung a bit of astronomy in and the night goes pretty quick!

"Study to be quiet" as Izaac Walton once said :cool:

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The only thing likely to happen when out observing , at worst, would be an overly hungry animal sniffing out any food you had on you and making a grab for it - as happened today when I left a flapjack on a park bench for 5 mins - didn't see what took it , but it managed to grab and make off without me or other half noticing- and that was in the light! I'm still bitter too..... :)

Penny to a pound the other half nicked it and pretended not ;)

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Like the other chap mentioned here years of night fishing in all manner of places have conditioned me to being out alone at night. Usually out fishing you have a few hundred pounds worth of equipment so astronomy is not much different. You can mugged in town and have your £500 phone taken far more easily. Never really had any problems or aggravation and you soon get used to the sounds of the night. It is well worth checking out an off beat spot and mapping it out and looking for the usual signs of potential issues. If anyone fishes for a club it is worth asking their permission to observe at their controlled sites, often gated and locked with few people around it could be worth the price of an annual ticket just for this.

I highly doubt anglers would object, in fact the two things go together quite well, I rarely catch fish so bung a bit of astronomy in and the night goes pretty quick!

"Study to be quiet" as Izaac Walton once said :cool:

reading your post, you will see why i choose nightfisher as my username, like you i found astro and fishing went together

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I am quite shocked at how many people here seem to fear spending time alone at night in the woods, where no-one else bothers to venture (defo none with a violent/criminal bent) yet I bet those same people are quite happy to walk through whatever city they live in during daylight hours - a far more dangerous prospect. 28 years of living and wandering the UK countryside at nighttime and I have never had aggro from anyone. 3 years living in a city and I was mugged at knifepoint several times, including twice in broad daylight.

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I am quite shocked at how many people here seem to fear spending time alone at night in the woods, where no-one else bothers to venture (defo none with a violent/criminal bent) yet I bet those same people are quite happy to walk through whatever city they live in during daylight hours - a far more dangerous prospect. 28 years of living and wandering the UK countryside at nighttime and I have never had aggro from anyone. 3 years living in a city and I was mugged at knifepoint several times, including twice in broad daylight.

very true
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HI All,

The rather elderly gentleman who introduced me to astronomy back in the 1970's had the answer to that (he's long dead now). He would walk down a rather remote farm track with two souvenirs he'd kept from WW1 - a hand grenade and a small revolver (fully loaded) - in his overcoat pockets. I'd hate to think how either would perform after over fifty years on his mantelpiece or wherever, but he never had cause to use them, and both were "safely disposed of" after his death.

Of course, if you want to arm yourself with something less lethal that would work against night attackers a photographic flash gun and steel toe-cap boots are pretty effective. It's pretty hard to mug someone if your photo-pigments have just been bleached and the victim (who thoughtfully closed his/her eyes) then puts their boot in the attackers accessory tray - and that way they get to experience astronomy too - they "see stars", learn all about "novae"....

This is beginning to sound like the joke that was around at the time of various riot and looting outbreaks in the UK: "The other day I saw a man (usually belonging to a particular ethnic group) walking down the street carrying a large wide screen TV. I hit him over the head and gave him a good kicking. I'd like to apologise to Curry's for beating up their delivery man...."

P

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