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#201054 - 04/27/10 02:34 AM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: Eugene]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
Loc: Washington, DC

Great points, Eugene. On my '69 Mustang I did oil changes, air filter, brake fluid, radiator, spark plugs and tires -- after tutorials by my father and grandfather. Kept a hammer in the trunk for when the tranny linkage would get stuck. It is empowering to have that familiarity with your vehicle.

But with the newer cars I have become a wuss and just take it into my mechanic. Fortunately it's a small shop and he lets me hang out in the garage when he has the cars up on the lift.

Next time I'll have a chat with him about the lug nuts and will in the meanwhile make a point to try loosening a few of them.




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#201060 - 04/27/10 09:58 AM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: Dagny]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2823
You may have found a decent garage then. Most places its not profitable to pay mechanics salary to do simple thngs so they hire lessor paid people to do those and those people will miss things.

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#201067 - 04/27/10 12:55 PM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: Eugene]
Russ Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4963
Loc: SOCAL
I too used to do the routine maintenance, but a local NAPA affiliate does good work and their mechanics are worth the money. The shop owner races and I doubt he'd keep a bad/incompetent mechanic on staff. They've seen me there often enough over that years that they don't get upset when they find me in the shop area.

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#201083 - 04/27/10 07:55 PM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: Russ]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
Loc: Washington, DC

On the matter of hygiene, this solar shower is on sale at REI and wouldn't take much room. I just ordered one since I was getting something else. Comes with a towel.

http://www.rei.com/product/800377


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#201086 - 04/27/10 09:13 PM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: Dagny]
rebwa Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/25/09
Posts: 295
Originally Posted By: Dagny

On the matter of hygiene, this solar shower is on sale at REI and wouldn't take much room. I just ordered one since I was getting something else. Comes with a towel.

http://www.rei.com/product/800377



That's a good buy Dagny. I've actually used mine a couple of times on overnight trail rides. I attached it to one of the tie rings on the horse trailer. They heat up fast on the hood of the vehicle.

This thread is reminding me to get a few things picked up too. I made a trip to Cabela's this am for the Katadyn Water Purifier tabs, ended up with another crate fan and a neat little Grundig radio.

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#201244 - 05/01/10 05:22 AM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: rebwa]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Getting into this late, due to my computer problems...

Shoes and good socks, absolutely. If you can't walk, much less run, you could be in real trouble. Extra socks make decent mittens, too.

If you carry a knit hat in winter, consider keeping a 12" circle of mylar emergency blanket material with it. It makes a world of difference when worn under the hat when the hat itself isn't enough.

Men and women's skeletons can be sexed by looking at the pelvis, they're that different. The correct type of bicycle seat is crucial.

If you have to go with cheap clothes, go with men's cheap clothes -- they're sturdier, better made, last longer. Just make sure they fit right.

Your dogs running loose away from you are not valuable as a protector. Untrained dogs are useless, too. Beware of men who approach and just about the first words out of their mouth is "Does the dog bite?" Your answer is ALWAYS 'Yes'.

Pepper spray is fine, but stream-type wasp spray is cheaper, easier to find, and does more damage to a perp. Also, any woman who is afraid or unwilling to really fight an attacker needs to lose that victim attitude. Sometimes, a woman going berserk with fury can be enough to scare a perp off.

Trust your instincts. A bad feeling is your subconscious waving red flags, so pay attention. Being nice, being polite isn't necessary. Window dressing is fine... like a used paper target with several holes near the bullseye and an empty holster on the front seat. Good-looking men can be psychos, too.

Krista, about the trunk safety latches: one of your neighbors has a car, so tell them what you want to do. NOW is better than too late. The ones I've seen are fairly obvious, but embedding it in their brain is better than talk. Some perps have older cars, which don't have the same handle-type releases, but they do have a release (if it isn't rusted). The release is right in the inside of the lump that is the lock unit, but it is often covered with the trunk lining fabric. Go to a wrecking yard and find a couple of older cars, take a small knife with you (a folder will do). Poke it through the fabric until you find the hole in the metal, about 5/8" or so in diameter. Cut an X in the fabric over the hole, and feel inside for a small metal bar about 1/8" thick and maybe 1/3" long. If you can get it to move, the trunk will unlock. Your daughters should be carrying small folders when they can. And a small flashlight, too. It's dark in there. If a stranger's car has a lug wrench in the trunk, a victim can use it to break out the tail light from the inside. The sight of a hand protruding from a taillight will produce 911 calls.

If you don't carry a lot of passengers in the back seat, consider making or adapting a sturdy backpack for the back of the front passenger seat. Cinch it down firmly so it doesn't become a lumpy projectile in a rollover accident, and have fasteners to keep the contents inside. I've only seen one of these and didn't get a really good look.

The best bottle for holding denatured alcohol (or the red bottle of HEET for treating water in gas tanks) for a small stove is a pint hair dye/peroxide bottle -- very, very sturdy. Check out a beauty supply shop (or a friend who doesn't use the one-shot hair dye packages). Add table salt, popcorn salt, or potassium chloride (no-sodium salt like Nu-Salt) to color the alcohol so you can see the flame.

Tire changing: When you have your tires rotated or have the studded ones changed, ask the guy to hand-tighten the lug nuts, then stand nearby and WATCH him do it. Tip him a few bucks -- it's worth it.

Carry a couple of cans of Fix-A-Flat in your car. If the puncture isn't too large, it's the quickest way to plug the leak, inflate the tire and get moving. Roll the wheel so the valve stem is down low, attach the tip of the can and hold it in position until the can is empty, then immediately start the car rolling so the goo will line the inside of the tire. Tire changing guys hate the stuff, so warn them when you take the tire in to be repaired. Get the tire properly fixed ASAP. A portable compressor is nice, but they're usually pretty slow.

If you have to drive on the rim, DRIVE ON THE D**NED RIM! They can be replaced, you can't.

If your car is second-hand, make sure the jack actually fits the car when the tire is flat. A 9" tall jack doesn't fit under an axle (or whatever) that is 7" from the ground. If you forgot to check this, try to find a chunk of wood or fallen fencepost, etc, and drive the flat tire up onto it to increase the distance from the ground. Don't forget to block the other wheels so they don't roll. Got flares?

A few feet of Reflectix insulation (buy it by the roll or by the foot) is cheap and a great thing to kneel on when the ground is muddy or frozen. It's also a great reflector and warm to sit on.

It's a sad thing, but beware of good samaritans.

Sue



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#201248 - 05/01/10 02:30 PM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: Susan]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
Loc: Washington, DC
So many great tips, Sue. The range and depth of your suggestions causes me to emphasize a basic requirement of preparation, something you are so adept at:

Imagine scenarios, really intently imagine them -- before they happen.

ETS members are ahead of that game or they wouldn't be here.

I've never been lost in the woods and certainly hope never to be lost. Yet I have imagined it so I could envision what I would need to have and do to survive, maintain some level of comfort and be found. Imagining it also is further incentive to prevent it from happening (carrying a map and compass) and mitigating the danger (not hiking alone, informing friends and family of the route, departure time and expected return time).

I'd bet that most if not all of the people I've hiked with over the years had given no thought to the possibility of something going wrong on the trail. That's why they marveled at the heft of my backpack (I'm typically the only one carrying First Aid, compass, etc)

I have been stranded in a car on the side of a busy highway with a narrow shoulder, so I know how scary it can be to have cars flying by at 80mph rocking your car with the wind they generate.

I haven't been stranded at night and have not been stranded in a car on a quiet backroad. There are important distinctions in those scenarios. Simply imagining it is so disturbing that I have multiple flashlights/headlamps, strobe and other flashing lights to alert oncoming motorists, as well as an array of survival gear in the car -- including water, jackets, sleeping bag and now thanks to Rebwa -- hiking boots and socks.

Those imagined scenarios are also why I keep an eye on car maintenance -- regular oil changes and other fluid checks, maintaining proper tire air pressure and adhering to the service requirements laid out in the car's owner's manual. Before a planned big roadtrip last year I consulted my mechanic and had the brake lines bled (I pull a teardrop trailer) and had a new heavy-duty battery installed (the original was nearing the end of its expected life).

Imagining the power going out in winter or summer, the water going out or being tainted (we had a city-wide cryptosporidium scare in the 1990s), sewer problems, transportation problems impeding restocking of grocery stores (such as during severe blizzards).

Women, in particular, have other dangers to imagine. I have been attacked walking home from work. I have not been attacked in my home. Imagining that is why I have many layers of security and defense. And a phone always within reach to call 911.

Next week I'm riding up to Niagara Falls with a friend (550 miles one way) to pick up her new puppy. We'll have two adult dogs with us (including my Gidget). We're taking my friend's Ford Flex. It's a plush ride compared to my Element. I'd just as soon put the mileage on her car but I'll miss the reassurance of having all the gear I keep in mine. So I'm making a list of what I should and reasonably can pack. Trying to imagine the potential scenarios of this trip.

I'm so accustomed to being prepared, it's hard to settle for less. But with her car, two adults and two dogs and a puppy -- there simply won't be enough room to carry what I usually carry.

And so ends a long rambling post.








Edited by Dagny (05/01/10 02:37 PM)

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#201250 - 05/01/10 03:06 PM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: Susan]
rebwa Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/25/09
Posts: 295
Originally Posted By: Susan


Your dogs running loose away from you are not valuable as a protector. Untrained dogs are useless, too. Beware of men who approach and just about the first words out of their mouth is "Does the dog bite?" Your answer is ALWAYS 'Yes'.





So true, and Iíll add that training your dog is an on going time consuming process. I highly recommend good working clubs or training groups for anyone even thinking of doing protection work. Some dogs will protect, otherís will not, IĎve seen many, even long-time dog owners, misread a dog actually showing fear rather than protective instincts. In todayís society a rock solid genetic temperament and rock solid obedience training is needed before even thinking about doing protection work. Having a dog with impeccable manners and obedience will make most potential trouble makers wonder just how much more that dog might really know!

What most dogs will do is give you advanced warning and that alone is valuable.

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#201251 - 05/01/10 03:10 PM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: Dagny]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Yes, being willing to anticipate problems can go a long way toward mitigating them. As has often been said here, it's not usually just a single problem that gets you into real trouble, but multiple problems at the same time, and the world-famous 'snowball effect'.

I hope you have a good trip. What kind of pup is your friend getting? Be sure to take towels, as many pups get carsick. When I got my last one, she thought the best place to ride was wedged between the back of my neck and the truck's rear window. Sixteen pounds of fluff, scrambling and barfing...

Sue

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#201256 - 05/01/10 04:30 PM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: Susan]
rebwa Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/25/09
Posts: 295
Have a great trip Dagny. Traveling with a friend and another adult dog gives you and Gidget additional security as thereĎs always safety in numbers. My main focus would be to have sufficient versatile clothing that is easy to layer as needed, appropriate footwear, (for me that would include my hiking boots and crocs to wear in the vehicle) water in a stainless container that could withstand using as a pot to boil water, some water purifier tabs, first aid supplies for human and canine, snacks for the people and sufficient food for the dogs if delayed for a day or two. Iíd also carry my usual whistle, knife, multi-tool, headlamp, light, cell with car charger, small fire-starting kit, signal mirror, cordage, duct tape, a couple emergency blankets or bivy's and tiny battery radio. Good maps are a must for me even with GPS.

With puppies I always toss in some extra towels, a full large roll of paper towels, a bottle of the pet clean-up spray and couple of heavy duty garbage bags to stuff and secure any soiled bedding or clothing as accidents do happen with the little tikes! When traveling with puppies I also avoid stopping at rest areas as too many dogs frequent those and thus too much risk for parvo. Last winter when we went to Oregon to pick Tara up, Rex went along but we didnít stop at rest areas even on the way down as if it got on his paws she could have been at risk.

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