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Top comments that mention products on r/vagabond:

u/SunsetRoute1970 · 2 pointsr/vagabond


The problem with carrying a firearm is that if you don't have the mentally tough attitude to use it, it's a greater danger to you than to an adversary.

I'm a life member of every gun rights organization I could find--NRA, GOA, JPFO, SAF, etc. I love firearms. But I don't think they are any security panacea. The person who wants to use a firearm as a deterrent against bad guys is far better off with a well-trained dog. I'm not saying you shouldn't own a firearm, but if you do buy one, you want to obtain very thorough training in how and when to use it.

Bad guys, speaking generally, are huge risk takers. Unless he perceives that you intend to kill him, he is going to be calculating his chances of getting close enough to you to try to disarm you. But he's not going to disarm a German Shepherd or some other breed commonly used as a guard dog. Dogs can sense your fear and the evil intentions of others, through body language, or body odor or something. I had a German Shepherd who was the sweetest dog. He loved everybody. But if he "alerted" on somebody, I was immediately convinced that whomever he alerted upon was up to no good.

You can't just assume a dog will protect you. They must be trained to do so. And once they're trained, you are responsible to control them, to care for them and to protect them. It's almost like having a child.

For a woman, having a trained personal protection dog is a huge defense asset. Most bad guys will avoid any place or any vehicle that contains a dog. (Nobody wants to get bit. Or shot. Or stabbed.)

The book in the link below was written by a former Air Force Security dog handler. It's an excellent book, and it tells step-by-step how to train a personal protection dog, up to every level, except to where the handler can order a dog to attack independently. He doesn't teach that, because once a dog has been trained to attack upon command it must spend the rest of its life in a secure kennel, and cannot be allowed to run free in a yard. The danger, to innocent passers-by, and to the dog, and to the owner, is too great to allow an attack dog to run free. But short of an "attack dog," a personal protection dog can live a normal dog's life.

Order the paperback. It's a lot cheaper.

What you want in a canine companion is a well-behaved, well-trained, affectionate dog who can also protect you from adversaries. But keep in mind, you cannot leave a dog alone in a vehicle very long, and never with the windows rolled up completely. Training a dog is largely a matter of behaving in an unemotional, controlled way yourself. If the dog isn't performing correctly, it's not his or her fault. It's YOUR fault. Dogs want to please you. So you must be endlessly patient and well-disciplined yourself in order to get the desired behavior from your dog. You must be absolutely consistent with your dog. You can't scold him for getting on the couch one time and allow it another time. If he can't get on the couch, it must be absolute. Commands must be given exactly the same way every time. "Sit" always means sit. "Stay" always means stay. And "Guard" always means "Scare the holy fuck out of this rapey bastard."

But the absolutely best defense tactic is to not be there in the first place. Don't go into situations where you might be attacked to start with.

u/ntdxc1878 · 3 pointsr/vagabond

While the popular opinion on this sub is to get a more experienced traveler to teach you, if you really do your research about it, I mean really be invested to reading up on the subject, as long as you're careful you can do it. I would suggest the book Freight Hopping in North America by Duffy LittleJohn. That book will teach you everything you need to know. I don't know how much time you have before you need to leave, but I would take some time to read that book and other things online if you aren't able to find someone to go with you. Either way, good luck on your travels, freight hopping is a beautiful thing!

edit: [book link] (

u/visionque · 3 pointsr/vagabond

Physical exercise is a mood elevator. Get into the best shape of your life by running, swimming, Tai Chi, Yoga, hiking and backpacking, surfing or dancing. Drink a lot more water, like a gallon a day. Some times chemicals in our environment and food affect use more than we realize. Water will flush this out and bring balance. Eat more fruit and vegetables. Try to reduce processed foods and meats in your diet until you become stable. Your thoughts are creating problems for you so take up meditation to learn to control that.

You need a support group. Larger organizations will have more programs, smaller groups may be easier to relate to.

Do not give up on yourself. Get up early and watch the sun rise. It will be different every day. Watch the sunset. Thank the universe for one more day. In some native cultures, sunrise and sunset are said to be the crack between the worlds of flesh and spirit. Communication is said to be more productive at these times. I have no proof of this. I only know I feel better when I do it.

u/DataPhreak · 2 pointsr/vagabond

/u/Travmhid gave some pretty good advice. Tarp and hammock isn't a bad rig. 3 season sleeping bag is a tough haul though, and a tarp + hammock is going to take up the same amount of space as a 2man if it's inside your pack.

If you're still making money, I highly recommend a Army Bivy Cover: They are pretty expensive, but you can sometimes find them at surplus stores for 30-40 bucks. Very light, smaller than a tarp, and they'll keep you dry. They have a condensation problem, but once you get used to them, they're great.

Bivy, sleeping pad, and wool blanket are what I used to use. The camping pads are good, but a little inflexible. Try to get egg crate foam instead. Being able to just roll everything up when you crawl out of bed, and your sleeping gear always being in a waterproof container is a major time saver. Plus you don't have to worry about creepy crawlies at night. (Less of an issue on the east coast than in the desert.) Hammocks are nice, but unless you have an underquilt they get really cold even on moderately warm nights. You'll also wake up to go to the bathroom less in the middle of the night.

Sleeping aside, you should really look at what's in your pack that you don't need. Hucksta posted his kit a while back, and it's pretty spartan. Remember, you'll be spending most of your time within walking distance of a city unless you're train hopping. You don't need a water filter, shit tons of rope, full kitchen set, etc. Rain gear, sleep system, multitool, few lighters, fork, can opener, basic first aid, sharpie, smartphone, flashlight, hygiene. Anything else is dead weight, or only provides comfort/convenience.

u/Encinitas0667 · 1 pointr/vagabond

X3. You will pay a big tax penalty if you pull money out of your 401k. It's tempting, I know, but you'll be screwing yourself if you do this.

You need to sock as much money as you can into retirement accounts and investments while you're young. Don't work "under the table" jobs, either. You need those Social Security taxes to be paid so when you hit age 64 you can draw Social Security. I know it seems like retirement is a million years away, but it's not. Social Security will send you an accounting of your benefits every year after about age 55. You want to check and make sure your employer is paying it correctly. I know somebody whose employer deducted all that shit from his check for years, but didn't pay the government. Then the employer and his whole family hauled ass to Costa Rica and burned all their employees for all their income tax money.

A good rule of thumb is "Invest one hour's pay out of every paycheck, every week." If you're getting paid $15 an hour, that would be $60 a month invested. At 7%, over fifty years (from ages 16 to 66) you would wind up with $332,069 at retirement.

Here, calculate it yourself.

There's a very good book about this, called "The Wealthy Barber."

u/KaBar2 · 3 pointsr/vagabond

The real problem with finding a mentor is finding one who is sufficiently knowledgeable and mature. There are a lot of people hopping trains, but many of them are not very knowledgeable about what's going on.

Start by buying and reading Duffy Littlejohn's book, Hopping Freight Trains in America, about four or five times. You can get it on Amazon for $13.85. Littlejohn sugar-coats trainhopping too much, IMHO, but the information in that book is extremely valuable. He's trying to sell books. Take that into account.

I met Littlejohn once, at the National Hobo Convention in Britt, Iowa. He is an attorney, but he is also a very experienced and accomplished train hopper. He knows what he's talking about.

u/thatjournalist · 1 pointr/vagabond

I learned everything I know about the riding the rails on my own, through research and some help from member of STP. You'll learn as you go, especially through your "mistakes" along the way. You might be able to find a road dog to teach you the ropes once you're on the road but you'll probably never find one online. With that said, always keep people at arms length.

A decent starting point is Hopping Freight Trains in America by Duffy Littlejohn. It helped me quite a bit but take it with a grain of salt. Railroad maps are easy to read and are invaluable on the road. A CCG is nice to have too if you can find one.

u/presology · 1 pointr/vagabond

Those are great things. Im dropping out of a masters program and im returning to me foraging hobbies.

You might like this book.

u/icouldbesurfing · 2 pointsr/vagabond

Not sure if this has been posted, but I found this book to be one of tremendous inspiration for my travels.

u/Silent_J · 1 pointr/vagabond

There's a book about the Hippie Trail called "Magic Bus" that is a good read if you are interested in the subject. The author follows parts of the old trail, but even he skips the most dangerous parts. Reading the book is definitely safer than trying to travel through Afghanistan.

u/fingers · 4 pointsr/vagabond

Could be a long post but here it goes:

My dad has been voluntarily homeless for more than 10 years (His words: My wife told me to fuck off and I've been doing that ever since.) He has been this way since he was 57 years old. He learned it from his father...who retired and then traveled until he died when he was 72.

My father started with a fifth wheel grandfather's camper and truck he inherited upon my grandfather's death. He used this book:

This was pre smart phones ... but he had a GPS.

Then he got tired of the fifth wheel and got a pop up slide in camper. He maintained a seasonal route where he made friends. Some really good friends...friends who have since settled down and now have a door yard for him to sleep in and an outlet for him to plug into.

He collected social security disability and now he collects social security and a pension.

His route is (was...he's now on dialysis and in one place) Slab City Salton Sea/Holtville CA from November until March. Then he'd move east to South Carolina to stay at Don's for a month. Then he'd move up to Virginia to stay on Bob's sister's farm. Then May he'd come to Connecticut then up to NY or Maine until September. Then he'd move back down to VA then to SC and then across to Cali. Some times he'd go to Yellowstone. He has the golden pass. Staying at National Parks was easy for him.

Now, I'm 43 and I've traveled over 70k miles these last 7 summers. I bought a copy of that book and got a homeless guy to come with me the first time. I paid his way for the security. I'm female and needed someone to keep an eye on things. We traveled by car and we tented, slept in ditches, in squats, etc.

Second year my now ex wife and I did the car and tent thing.

Third year my dad and I traveled in the dolphin. Some walmart parking, some boondogging. Some parks.

Fourth through seventh I've traveled with my new wife. We used but the first two summers we traveled mainly to places I've already been. It took time to learn things and ways and how much time it took to get to places.

u/thisisme106 · 2 pointsr/vagabond

Check out the book “The Anarchists Guide to Travel,” it has a ton of useful advice for preparing and what you should bring.

u/seanomenon · 1 pointr/vagabond

No advice, but there was a good recent book with the main character suddenly and unexpectedly on the run: Hit & Run by Lawrence Block.

Not fantasy, but the situation is tense and thrilling. You might be interested in reading it.

No idea how realistic this is, but I mentally picture your character with all his gear in jacket pockets, so he never has to put a pack down.

u/Psychafunkapus · 1 pointr/vagabond

Great read if you want to permanently give yourself the same feeling when in the woods that ‘Jaws’ gives you when swimming in the ocean...

Stalked by a Mountain Lion: Fear, Fact, And The Uncertain Future Of Cougars In America