I can count the number of times I’ve sung in public on one hand. There was that time at Primary School when I first realised my vocal chords weren’t up to much. Then there was my own wedding when the chaplain was standing so close I couldn’t really get away with miming.
And then there was the bear incident in Yosemite.
It was our own fault really.
Despite good intentions, my friend Kayna and I had failed to set off early for our hike up Half Dome. In true student fashion, we hadn’t really contemplated that a late start inevitably meant finishing in the dark. We dawdled by the waterfalls and ate a leisurely lunch in the forest, before tackling the iron rung ladder to finish the job. Basking in the afternoon sun, we commented on how great it was being out here alone. Everyone else had headed back to camp long ago. Bliss.
It wasn’t until we were about half way down that we began to realise our folly. Our high spirits dwindled as the sky darkened and the shadows lengthened. There was just one thing on our minds now.
We’d read the warnings and knew the dangers, yet still a few more hours in bed had seemed more important. I remembered my parents recounting tales of backwoods camping in Sequoia National Park and the bear that came scuffling around their tent at night. The thought both awed and terrified me, but I hadn’t really heeded the warning. After all, it would never happen to me, right?
As we still had a few hours to go until we reached the valley floor, we decided to run for as long as we could still see the path. I can count the number of times I’ve run on one hand too! Soon however the forest became pitch black. There was just us, the trees and the bears. We hadn’t yet seen one but knew they were there. Absolutely terrified by now, we frantically tried to remember what to do should we be attacked. We didn’t have any bells or whistles, and not wanting to startle any bears we decided to sing. Loudly.
If that didn’t repel a bear than nothing would!
I put aside my embarrassment and for the next couple of hours we belted out ‘California Dreamin’ over and over again. I didn’t know the words to anything else. To be honest, it became apparent I didn’t really know these either.
We eventually made it down to camp, breathing sighs of relief and exhaustion as we reckoned we’d just been scared about nothing. Yet emerging from the trees we were met by one of the park rangers marching purposefully in our direction. He was armed with a gun and a huge Alsatian dog, and had a concerned look on his face.
You girls do know you’ve just been followed down the trail by a bear?!
It didn’t occur to me until years later that what we should have taken with us was a wearable security alarm, or warning siren.
The Robocopp Grenade
The lovely folks over at Robocopp recently sent me one of their Grenades to try out.
Nope, not the sort that blows big holes in things, but the latest wearable security alarm on the market. I was a bit dubious at first. Why would I need one of these? I’m not in the habit of being attacked.
Yet when I thought about it, the Robocopp Grenade is actually the perfect accompaniment to any travel arsenal.
Not only can it deter would-be attackers or burglars, it also signals to others that you need help if you’re lost or stranded. Or, perhaps more importantly for me, it repels aggressive animals. I’m not big on animals. Goldfish is as far as I’ve ever gone with pets – I once spent a day up a tree because I was scared of a dog! And don’t get me started on monkeys. Ubud Monkey Forest I’m looking at you!
Pepper or Bear spray has traditionally been used to deter unwanted beasties, but this is now seen as harmful to both animals and humans. Some research even indicates the chemicals in Bear Spray can actually attract them! Say what???
I’d use the Robocopp Grenade in the great outdoors too. I’m often out in the hills or kayaking on the lakes and whilst I’ve been fortunate to avoid major calamity so far, I’m sure the day will come when I genuinely need to attract help. We have whistles, but they’re not half as effective as the Robocopp wearable security alarm. And if I’m stranded on an icy mountainside with a broken leg, or clinging to a drifting canoe in the freezing water, I know which I’d prefer to have on me!
Just like a grenade, to activate the wearable security alarm (which is as loud as an ambulance at 120 decibels!) you simply pull out the pin! How cool is that? It carries on sounding for half an hour, unless you replace the pin to shut it up if help has arrived or you’ve pulled it out by accident.
Sorry neighbours and everyone in my street!
It’s small enough to unobtrusively put on a key chain or bag strap, and hardly weighs anything either (less than 1oz) so you don’t even notice it when you’re out and about. Even better it comes in blue, my favourite colour. Who says girls shouldn’t choose based on that alone! Batteries are included and last about a year depending on use, and can easily be changed.
I’ve never thought of myself as vulnerable, and have always had an over-inflated sense of my own strength (according to hubbie!). So until now I’ve never considered I’d be the proud owner of what was once simply known as a ‘rape alarm’. Yet when I think of all the times it would have come in useful on our travels, I realise I should have bought one years ago. Just think of all the pesky monkeys, rabid dogs and sweaty men I could have walked amongst without being afraid.
Now I wonder if it works with spiders…
Robocopp Grenade wearable security alarm GIVEAWAY
Being the caring person that I am I want to keep all my lovely readers safe on their travels. I’m thrilled that the Robocopp team have come up trumps and are offering a Robocopp Grenade wearable security alarm to give away to one lucky reader!
Giveaway closes at midnight on 30th November 2015.
Worldwide entries welcome.
It couldn’t be simpler. There are several ways to enter by doing as many of the following as you like via the Rafflecopter widget:
- Leave a comment on this post telling me where you would take your Robocopp Grenade.
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- Subscribe to the Robocopp Newsletter at the bottom of their website.
- Visit Conversant Traveller on Facebook.
- Visit Robocopp on Facebook.
- Share this article on Facebook.
- Share this giveaway on Twitter, for example:
#win a Wearable Security Alarm via @conv_traveller perfect for every travel arsenal http://bit.ly/1SxCsfp @R0B0C0PP #giveaway #competition
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Make sure you select your entries on the Rafflecopter widget to validate your entry!
The prize will be dispatched directly from Robocopp.
Open to a worldwide audience.
Terms and conditions
No purchase is necessary to enter or win. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. The item is a Robocopp Grenade wearable security alarm. The Grenade is not refundable or exchangeable for cash. This competition is open to a worldwide audience. The giveaway will run for 2 weeks and end at midnight on Monday 30th November 2015. The winner will be determined on or around the 30th November 2015 by a random drawing of eligible entries received. Your chances of winning are determined by the number of eligible entries. Winners must respond within a week of receiving the notification email, otherwise another winner will be chosen.
Thanks to Robocopp for providing a complimentary Grenade for me to review and also one for the giveaway. As always, words and opinions remain my own.