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Safety whilst observing


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Hello guys and gals

I've got a fairly large garden, with access to a lane at the bottom and side access to the garden as a wide lane down the side of the house. I often cut my observing sessions short because I get a little lonely out there and I'm always a bit uneasy about me being so 'on show.' I know this sounds a bit silly and childish, lol, but it really bothers me. Especially with the scope there too, I feel like a sitting duck, haha.

I was wondering, do any of you (particularly the girls) have any tips for making yourself feel secure whilst observing on your own? Kung-fu aside, what do you do to make yourself feel more confident when you're out there on your todd?

Amanda

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I'm regularly out on my own in deserted fields etc etc. The only time I've recently come across other people I was with my neighbour - we both slewed our scopes at the same time (he has a CG5-GT :) ) and flashed our spotlights at them - the loss of nightvision was well worth the sight of them diving into their cars and driving off at high speed.

I can't advise on how to be more safe really other than to point out that a) you can probably see better than anyone else as you'll be dark adapted :) they don't know that you're female - for all they know you're 6ft 2 tall and built like Arnie.

Not a big help but the odds are anyone else out there will be more scared of you :cool:

James

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6 D Cell Maglite... 495mm and 1417g of please go away.... Beloved of Policemen and Women the world over...

6D Cell

Useless for your night vision but a great "comforter"....

One halloween whilst observing alongside a mountain top "haunted" chapel much beloved of the boy racers wishing to impress their girlfriends by the macho approach to the graveyard .... i did wear werewolf gloves and a mask....

Peter....

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Thanks for your replies, the torch is actually a good idea... I heard a rustle in the bushes last night (it turned out to be a fox) and pointed my red light torch down there.... it doesn't actually do much good as a real torch, lol! That is a good point about the dark adaptation - hadn't really thought about it but I guess I'm in a better position than most, being able to see more.

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Why don't you (if possible) set three six feet fence panels ( an incomplete square) near to your house and observe behind them. That way all people will see is three fence panels and not you or your equipment.

However please remember the fear of something bad happening to you is often far worse than it actually happening.

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don't ask Helen she's not afraid of anything,she came and met me and Billy up a top of a mountain pitch black up Brecon moutain centre ,we will have another meet around september october your more than welcome to come...........kev

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Im sure your anxiety is far more real than the risk of attack.

You should take an attack alarm with you. The noise will make them run long before you need to use the torch a la Peter...

Thinking out of the box an electric fence might stop the intruder making a silent approach. The sort used for stock...not one running 2KV.

How does James know your 6ft 2"?

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I guess if my life really were in danger I would detach the scope from the mount and smack em in the face with it. I'd rather a damaged scope than risk something far worse.

Umm, I don't think any of this actually helps :cool:

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kev, sounds great :cool:

Bigwings, James actually lives in my shed, didn't you know? :)

Past few nights I've been thinking about how long it would take me to detach the counterweight and hurl it at possible intruder. Saying that, I'm probably making something out of nothing! Much more an issue if you are up a mountain I suppose. I'll get a torch though I think, even if just to confirm the next fox attack...

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Perhaps a POD type OBservatory would do the trick.

You could lock yourself in and nobody would know it was a woman in there.

If they tried to enter the dome then a bit of 4x2 would deal with the situation.

Impregnable...

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Does it project a beam into the sky like a GLP then enabling me to give them a guided tour of the heavens.... ? Or are you suggesting that it might be better employed to show them the error of their ways ? :cool:

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If you decide to shine a white light at a suspicious sound, be sure to leave your viewing eye closed. :cool:

You mentioned being 'on show'... how far, actually, are you from the lanes, and are you easily and clearly visible from them? Do the lanes curve in such a way as to allow sweeping headlights to flow across you, or is the area illuminated by some sort of light? If not, i doubt anyone even knows you're out there.

Is there a lot of foot traffic on the lanes at night.. people walking their dogs or just taking a nocturnal stroll? People here who walk at night always carry flashlights (torches) so they can see where they're going, and also to let vehicles see them. They're easy to spot and you can always turn off your red light till they pass by.

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It's really very out-of-character for me to make this suggestion, seeing as I personally don't 'do' dog ... but have you considered a canine companion? I say this because, one often sees ladies far more self-assured when out on their own in a remote place, if they have a dog for company.

Necessary criteria would be:

1. You're OK with dogs (I'm afraid I'm not)

2. Said pooch is very well behaved and quiet when alone with you. Don't want it jumping around and touching the equipment! Or running off chasing cats and waking the neighbourhood!

3. Trained as an alert 'watchdog' and ready to bark at strangers.

Actually, in our very laid-back French village, I frequently get 'visits' from neighbours' dogs, because French rural folk tend to just turn their pets out at night. Not usually any problem, but I'm a bit worried about a large siberian 'husky' type which one of the villagers has just acquired, and spends all its time nosing around and cr*pping in gardens...

Most of the time, however, when imaging, I hear a lot of rustling noises off from the surrounding bushes. I'm always a bit worried about an invasion of rats (both my wife and I have a morbid fear of rats) but I reckon it's usually cats, voles, fieldmice, that sort of thing.

Human intruders are virtually non-existent down those parts, except at the time of the village fete, when I've once or twice caught late revellers sneaking behind the hedge for a p**.... :cool:

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Just stick a fork in your pocket and use it to stab someone if they get too close, its not classed as an effensive weapon but it would really blumming hurt.........lol

Only jokin, try a really loud personal alarm.

Cheers

Neil

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I have a dog... he's a real softy though. He is a good boy when I'm out there, usually goes to sleep under the tripod (he has learnt to stay remarkably still...) or pads around the grass. In the spring he managed to find a hedgehog! If someone did come near the garden he would probably growl. He makes me feel a bit better, but, tbh, it's prob my worrying nature that is the worst!

Talitha, the lanes are fairly quiet. The side access at the side of the house has a gate, and my Dad has kindly fitted a chain on it, bless him, since I told him I feel a bit exposed. The lane at the bottom of the garden is an access lane to the garages, for my street and the houses that have their backs to us over the way. It's fairly quiet, and I can be seen if someone was to look through the gate. There's a lock on it... but I just feel exposed is all! I need to get to a starparty where there's lots of men to look after me, lol! me and Lulu can buddy up at SGL5.

Think I'll get one of those personal alarms :cool:

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Personal Alarm and a spray bottle of insect repellent... AKA street legal mace....

I was about to suggest the same....

Although i'd be tempted to have the dog with me as well...Other people don't know that he's a softie...:cool:

Just use common sence and you'll be ok...

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I took self-defense years ago.

If you are worried, a mobile phone in the pocket helps too - knowing that you can make a call if you need to. Have somebody's number to hand so that they can pop up in a few seconds - even if you have time for coded rings (like three rings)

Psychobilly's comment is spot on too, about the insect repellant. I was trained to use a house key and they can be pretty damaging!

If you feel so exposed, why not install a simple obs - people on this forum have already submitted some great plans and shed conversions.

What is the best form of self defense is awareness. Look around often if you are worried, and remember, if it is completely dark, no-one can really see you.

PLease don't let worries such as these ruin your observing experience. :cool:

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Just to clarify...

1) You're in your own garden

2) With a dog

3) The lanes are fairly quiet

4) Both gates are either chained or locked

TBH, most Amateurs would consider that an extremely secure site, Amanda. Relax and enjoy the views.. concentrate on what you can see instead of what might be able to see you. :cool:

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do any of you ... have any tips for making yourself feel secure whilst observing on your own?

Get to a really dark site, and don't show any lights. You can't be attacked if you're invisible.

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