Staying safe when traveling is something that crosses everyone’s mind. Keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe when on the road is a high priority.

There are many products, techniques and tools available to us, but the best defense against something bad happening is education. With the recent passing of two fellow RVers, Michelle Elaine Butler and James Lawrence Butler, it is now more important than ever to protect ourselves. Therefore, I would like to offer some suggestions on how to stay safe while traveling.

I know that there is no surefire way to prevent tragic events, but I can offer some advice that might bring you comfort. You can read about James and Elaine here and here.

I am a firm believer in the Second Amendment. If you are of sound mind and feel comfortable carrying a gun, then I recommend getting your concealed carry permit. By getting your license to carry, it is your duty to protect yourself and your loved ones.

If guns are not for you, there are other alternatives such as wasp spray, mace, etc. Please read up on your state or local laws regarding what is legal.

We live in a different era now. These are not the days our parents grew up in or even the days we grew up in. I remember camping as fun, relaxing and safe. Now I think of it as a battleground at times.

So, let’s try to be a little less in others’ business and more in our own. Obviously, if there is real trouble like someone beating their spouse or kids or stealing from your neighbor, then report it. Reporting criminal activity is smart way to fight crime and stay safe.

Traveling in numbers is a safe way to travel. We belong to several RV organizations, one being Passport America. Social media is well-known and used to stay in touch, plan trips and camp together. It can also be used for safety and emergencies.

For example, we were in the Florida Keys once, broke down and our fellow RVers came to the rescue. Another time, we arrived past dinner time and knew we had to set up camp before we could even think about dinner. Who was there for us? Our friends Chuck and Kris Ann. They prepared us sandwiches so we could fuel our bodies. By traveling with them, not only did I know we would be taken care of for minor needs, but if something big went down I knew they would have our backs.

What are some self-defense products you can use? Check out the Home Security Self-Defense Superstore. It offers weapons, pepper spray, tasers, stun guns, batons, police equipment, knives, bulletproof gear, tactical flashlights, metal detectors, gun accessories and self-defense for women. As a reminder, even though criminals do not abide by the law, we must.

Obviously, cellphones are a must when traveling, but walkie talkies or radios are recommended as good backups. We have been to many areas where cellphones did not work, but our walkie talkies did. We made sure each person in our camping party/family had a radio and knew how to use it well.

In sum, know your surroundings, report crime when you see it, carry a gun if you’re comfortable with it, purchase and use products that will help you stay safe, and rely safety in numbers. I know that being armed with a lot of tools may not work for every situation but the best thing you can do is use your gut instinct. Do not go to crime-ridden areas if you know it is a bad area.

Here are some very helpful links for staying safe: Gun Talk Media, 704 Tactical, and self-defense lessons for women traveling solo.