Do you do anything to keep yourself safe whilst walking alone in isolated areas?

(56 Posts)
Halfcharged Sat 22-Feb-20 18:05:54

There’s some beautiful walks around here but some are very isolated, mainly woodland. We’ve been going as a family at the weekends but I’d love to take pup alone on my days off during the week. It’s never crossed my mind that this could be dangerous but my lovely mum seems very worried about me if I’m walking alone.

Has this ever concerned you? Do you avoid certain walks? Carry any kind of self defence devise (I don’t know what-my mum suggested pepper spray 🙄).

I do always let DH know where I’m off too and I have my phone on me.

OP’s posts: |
Therollockingrogue Sat 22-Feb-20 18:08:30

I just don’t do it.
I’ve stumbled across too many intimidating men and just felt too vulnerable . Some places I love it, love to take forest walks alone and so on.
But not the uk. I’ve just had too many bad experiences. (And I’m very strong and able to defend myself but still)

Therollockingrogue Sat 22-Feb-20 18:09:00

I take a friend

CMOTDibbler Sat 22-Feb-20 18:11:57

I don't take any precautions, apart from having the dogs with me. Ddog1 would be no help, but ddog2 is very aware of people around me and on the one occasion he thought there was a threat (innocent runner coming fast out of a side trail) he was down and barking with all his teeth on display

LaurieSchafferIsAllBitterNow Sat 22-Feb-20 18:14:54

I just went, but our last two dogs were 7st GSDs with a hobby of personal protection for their mamma) so no worries.

I suppose it makes sense to let someone know when and where you are going, and when you expect to be back.

I do go out at night photographing though so am not your standard worrier about what ifs.

lazylinguist Sat 22-Feb-20 18:18:59

I walk alone with my dog often. I live in a fairly rural area with lots of space and fairly isolated spots. It honestly doesn't remotely occur to me to be worried. The likelihood of being attacked is minuscule compared with the chances of all kinds of other daily life risks which nobody seems to get so paranoid about. I always carry a phone, but tbh that's really in case I tsprain my ankle or something.

adaline Sat 22-Feb-20 18:21:56

I always walk my dog alone and often don't see a soul. It's never occurred to me to be worried, and my dog would bark loud enough to wake the dead if anyone dodgy was around grin

You're more likely to trip and sprain and ankle than you are to be attacked. I just make sure I always have my phone and some change on me in case I get injured and need to get a taxi or something.


Halfcharged Sat 22-Feb-20 18:22:39

I’m in rural Shropshire, I’ve never felt intimidated or scared on any walk but my mum has planted this seed.

Maybe I should stick to the better populated walks when I’m on my own.

I actually wouldn’t be able to defend myself, I’ve very petite, I’m not strong, I can’t run and I think my pup would just try to lick them to death!

OP’s posts: |
Whynosnowyet Sat 22-Feb-20 18:24:30

I take this...
Never felt worried.

MoaningMinniee Sat 22-Feb-20 18:24:37

I'm a professional dog walker, so usually have rather a lot of dogs, and in those circumstances I have always felt safe. However, occasionally I only have a couple of small ones. We are currently going through the spring season window and since we have a number of young bitches, there seems to be a constant stream of first seasons happening which mean of course quiet walks well away from bothersome male dogs. At least next year most of them will have been spayed!

One of my staff did have an unpleasant experience while out walking her own small, sweet natured dog, she encountered a flasher who was masturbating. This man was eventually caught and my colleague was one of the people who testified and helped ensure he was sent down.

My advice to lone female dog walkers would be:

Make sure your phone is fully charged and have it set up so you can take a photo really quickly.

If your dogs aren't the sort to scare a bad person off before he even tries, consider meeting up with a friend for walks.

Fishcakey Sat 22-Feb-20 18:25:08

The older I get the more I worry. I have had dogs I felt very safe with and never worried. The two I have now would offer me no protection so I do feel more vulnerable.

Frouby Sat 22-Feb-20 18:26:37

I feel the same OP.

We have the trans pennine trail at the back of us. I would love to use it more but it's just so quiet in the week. And a few miles away in a similar area there have been a few sex attacks so am a bit wary. I walk elsewhere in the week and will go for a good mooch at the weekends when there are more people around.

I think it's ok to listen to your gut.

Halfcharged Sat 22-Feb-20 18:32:27

Thanks for all the replies. I think I’ll stick to the walks I’m more comfortable with. They gets a little boring after a while but better to be safe.

OP’s posts: |
Parkandride Sat 22-Feb-20 18:33:53

I wouldnt go on certain routes alone, there's something about remote narrow tracks / roads that freak me out - I feel safer in fields and woods actually as they're less accesible to others. Might not make much sense.

Ddog is a decent size and not at all cute, I like to think he'd kick off but he might be distracted by rabbits

Could you carry a personal safety alarm? I'd trust your gut though

Halfcharged Sat 22-Feb-20 18:35:24

I have got a personal alarm from my jogging days so I’ll dust that off.

OP’s posts: |
StealthPolarBear Sat 22-Feb-20 18:38:48

I think I'm talking more urban than yiu but
- use my phone as little as possible
- look like I know where the hell I'm going even if I dont
- carry my keys in my fist if I do feel particularly threatened.

It doesn't put me off at all, I'll happily walk to my destination at any time of day or night

georgedawes Sat 22-Feb-20 18:49:32

I actually prefer the more remote areas than not, if you know what I mean? So for instance, unlikely to see a soul some places, but other well known 'beauty spots' do concern me sometimes.

Veterinari Sat 22-Feb-20 19:01:39

Never felt worried.
I think the trope of attachers lurking in bushes is a bit of a myth. More likely to get hit by a car/mugged in the city

maneandfeathers Sat 22-Feb-20 19:26:22

You need bigger dogs grin

Bargebill19 Sat 22-Feb-20 19:32:00

I took a fully charged phone. And let someone know where I was going. Some knowledge of self defence I feel is a must these days for women - you don’t need strength or height - it’s a skill set that needs to be learnt. I always took a big stick and wasn’t afraid to use it. When young my dogs wouldn’t have protected me, although with five of them, people may have thought differently. Only ever had one potential mugger - who left with several bags of waste dog poo and a flasher - who I just laughed at and he looked dumbfounded, then ran once I told the dogs to ‘go find the sausages’.

I miss owning dogs!

frostedviolets Sat 22-Feb-20 19:45:37

I have terrible, terrible anxiety, about just about everything!

There is one woodland here I sometimes walk in but it has very wide, clearly marked paths and is really busy so I feel safer.

I try to avoid ‘secluded’ walks in general.

Saucery Sat 22-Feb-20 19:52:59

I used to walk early-ish in the morning and the more remote paths than the urban ones for preference.
I saw the likelihood of a predatory man getting up early specifically to stalk and attack as akin to being struck by lightning i.e. quite a remote possibility, whereas walking populated routes through local ‘nature’ reserve near large housing estates was more of a risk.
I probably weighed up the risk all wrong, but it kept me confident! I knew who I was likely to see there too. One of them was a man exercising his professional guard dogs, for instance, so I figured that might put off any lurking perve.

villainousbroodmare Sat 22-Feb-20 20:23:04

I never worry and have a pretty non-lethal dog, but it has occurred to me that it might be worth getting a sticker or two for the car saying Beware the Rottweiler or something... just to possibly dissuade someone who would know you were out in woodland alone.

jinxpixie Sat 22-Feb-20 20:39:15

I have spent hours and hours in rural areas and always feel much safer in these locations than in the "popular" dog walking areas.

We meet noone and I really dont think "weird or dangerous" people would hike to the lonely places on the off chance of meeting someone.

I feel much more vulnerable in towns, cities,tubes than on my dog walks

Floribundance Sat 22-Feb-20 20:45:39

I did those kind of walks with my last dog and never worried. He would have killed anyone who looked at me funny. I wouldn’t do those walks alone with the dog I have now.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in