Scary Stuff

Lots of folks like to romanticize life on the road. And why not? It’s the most American of tendencies. After all, the road is in our very DNA as a country, from our founding as a nation of immigrants to the nearly unbelievable treks of the westward pioneers; from the odyssey of the Great Depression-era Okies to the Great Migration during the two World Wars; from John Steinbeck’s Travels With Charley to Jack Kerouac’s On The Road.

But the truth is, there are some things that can make life on the road uncomfortable. And some events and conditions can get downright scary. These are decidedly not a frequent occurrence by any means, but they’re things you absolutely must be aware of if you’re even thinking about becoming a fulltime RVer. 

My goal here is to introduce you to these concepts and give you some solid, factual information for you to draw your own conclusions, as well as some tips and tools for finding a way to deal with them that you can live with.

I haven’t experienced all of the issues listed here, but I can say one thing, unequivocally, that applies to them all: Your three best weapons against becoming a victim of a scary circumstance, whether manmade or natural, are:

  1. Maintain Situational Awareness – Rather than being scared, be conscious and cognizant of what’s going on around you. More often than not, the element of surprise is what starts a negative spiral.
  2. Use Common Sense – Yes, though they are rare, scary things sometimes do happen. But if you use common sense in your response, rather than knee-jerk reacting to them, chances are you can arrest the downward spiral of any situation by either defusing it or removing yourself from it in a hurry.
  3. Be Prepared – Yep, your scoutmaster was right: Know the dangers of anywhere you go, know your tolerance for any sort of related risk, and give a reasonable amount of thought to making a plan in case things go sideways.

Generally, there are very few situations in which you are actually in danger while on the road, unless you have neglected to follow the above three directives. And remember that #2 includes not doing stupid things in the first place. I don’t know if there are any studies proving this out, but I strongly suspect that at least half of all tragedies were either entirely avoidable or wrongly handled to begin with.

  • Safety – Personal and Property
  • Injuries
  • Weather
  • Earthquakes, Volcanoes & Wildfires
  • Wild Animals