Have you ever felt unsafe in the pines?

JRogers71

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Jul 7, 2012
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About a month ago, I went hiking out around stafford forge with my lady. I hadn't been out there in years and there was an odd vibe, cracky looking young people in trucks with rebel flag stickers , people parked, walking in an and out of the woods who didn't seem like they were there out of love for the pine barrens. We walked around to the far side of the lake and out into the woods, beautiful but strange feeling, my lady said ,more than once, 'oh this is where you would leave a body'. I said, 'No no, that could never happen here'. When I came home and I found (some on NJPB) info about the hunter disapearing, the hispanic mans body being found in the vicinity shortly after and a handful of other unsettling stories including the girl whos body was found , I believe, out near atco in the last week.
I have been all over the pines for decades at all hours of the day and night and never felt the slightest unease and I don't want this to change. I was wondering if anyone wanted to weigh in with thier 2 cents. Thanks for reading.
 
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Boyd

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There are bad people all over the place unfortunately. But I feel much safer in the Pines than I do when walking the streets of Philadelphia or New York. I live in the pines, back off the road where there are only a few houses nearby. Statistically, it is just about the lowest crime area in NJ (there's and old thread about this somewhere). I was visiting friends in Europe a couple years ago and showed them my home on google satellite imagery. They were amazed that anyone would live in such a place, and expressed much concern over my safety. :)
 

Gibby

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Apr 4, 2011
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Interesting enough, the exact opposite always happens with me. I'm the person people are nervous around when they see me in the pines. I pop out of the oddest of places usually filthy, talking to myself with a camera and sling pack on my shoulder . I'm sure my first impression isn't a very good one.
 

bobpbx

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Oct 25, 2002
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Agree mostly with Boyd. I'll add something; stay clear of people you don't know. Being alone with them deep in the pines is not a time to find out their integrity. When I was about 16 or so I violated that rule twice and was burned twice. Once by a motorcycle gang and once by the law (detectives without uniforms on).
 
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smoke_jumper

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Interesting enough, the exact opposite always happens with me. I'm the person people are nervous around when they see me in the pines. I pop out of the oddest of places usually filthy, talking to myself with a camera and sling pack on my shoulder . I'm sure my first impression isn't a very good one.
That's true. A month or so ago we were on our way back from Batsto and a small SUV was heading in the opposite direction with out of state tags. I quickly pulled over to let them by. I waved as they started to go by. When they got next to us they rolled down their window and started to stop like they were going to ask something (mine were already down) I'm not sure if it was the fact that they rolled up their windows back up and floored it or the look of fear on their face but I think I scared them. My wife and looked at each other in amazement. I don't think we are that scary looking, especially with two young kids there too, but their imaginations probably got the best of them.
 
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smoke_jumper

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Agree mostly with Boyd. I'll add something; stay clear of people you don't know. Being alone with them deep in the pines is not a time to find out their integrity. When I was about 16 or so I violated that rule twice and was burned twice. Once by a motorcycle gang and once by the law (detectives without uniforms on).
That's some bad luck. Running into a motorcycle gang and undercover cops in the woods. I don't think I've seen either of them in my travels.:)
 
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Teegate

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I always try to avoid people I run into in the pines. I even hide in the woods and let them pass if I believe they have not noticed me. Sometimes they can't be avoided so I tell Jessica to stand far behind me and if alone I make sure my walking stick is firmly in my hand.
 
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Sue Gremlin

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Sep 13, 2005
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Twice--We once had a similar experience as you, JRogers, but I think it was because people thought we were hunting on their turf. (we were just geocaching).

Then a very drunk guy soaked me and nearly tipped me out of my kayak somewhere on the Wading River, apparently thinking it was hysterically funny. He just came after me as I turned a corner. Very startling to say the least. I thought my husband was going to murder him. Fortunately, I was able to hightail it away from him and he survived the wrath of Mr. Gremlin.
 
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NJChileHead

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Dec 22, 2011
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I keep every interaction short, pleasant, and in passing. Yes sir no sir and have a nice day now. I don't even stop walking if someone unknown addresses me.

Never let anyone engage you to the point where you can't walk away without having to look over your shoulder while doing so.

Sue Gremlin, that's very uncool that he did that. It was no different than putting his hands on you directly. I can see why your husband reacted that way.

Probably seems obtuse but this thread made me think of this scene from Boardwalk Empire:

 
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46er

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I feel less safe driving the GSP, probably because there is little I can do to protect myself other than not using it. In the pines there are things I can do to mitigate, as much as practical, any unnerving encounters, some are mentioned in this thread.
 
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rc911

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Apr 23, 2015
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The time that I was most uncomfortable was a few years ago. A couple of days after the fighter jet flying live fire exercises at Warren Grove ignited what turned out to be a 17000 acre fire, I drove down to investigate. I entered a network of sand trails at a pet cemetery kind of behind Lucilles Café in Warren Grove. Everything around me was charred black with small fires still smoldering. If you think you can get lost in the rich green pines, try it after a fire where there are very few points of reference. I had gps, a cell phone and ham radio. Still, I felt all alone and even worse, I was lost. I drove past a small pond with cars from the 1940's and 1950's half buried in sand surrounding the pond and my mind started racing and messing with me. As I continued driving, the trails got more and more narrow with not a single place to turn around. Eventually, what seemed like hours passed and I came across power lines parallel to the GSP where I shifted into 4wd low and climbed a steep berm onto the highway.
 
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bobpbx

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The time that I was most uncomfortable was a few years ago. A couple of days after the fighter jet flying live fire exercises at Warren Grove ignited what turned out to be a 17000 acre fire, I drove down to investigate. I entered a network of sand trails at a pet cemetery kind of behind Lucilles Café in Warren Grove. Everything around me was charred black with small fires still smoldering. If you think you can get lost in the rich green pines, try it after a fire where there are very few points of reference. I had gps, a cell phone and ham radio. Still, I felt all alone and even worse, I was lost. I drove past a small pond with cars from the 1940's and 1950's half buried in sand surrounding the pond and my mind started racing and messing with me. As I continued driving, the trails got more and more narrow with not a single place to turn around. Eventually, what seemed like hours passed and I came across power lines parallel to the GSP where I shifted into 4wd low and climbed a steep berm onto the highway.
Good story! Yes, being in a blackened area can be disconcerting.
 

1Jerseydevil

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Feb 14, 2009
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The time that I was most uncomfortable was a few years ago. A couple of days after the fighter jet flying live fire exercises at Warren Grove ignited what turned out to be a 17000 acre fire, I drove down to investigate. I entered a network of sand trails at a pet cemetery kind of behind Lucilles Café in Warren Grove. Everything around me was charred black with small fires still smoldering. If you think you can get lost in the rich green pines, try it after a fire where there are very few points of reference. I had gps, a cell phone and ham radio. Still, I felt all alone and even worse, I was lost. I drove past a small pond with cars from the 1940's and 1950's half buried in sand surrounding the pond and my mind started racing and messing with me. As I continued driving, the trails got more and more narrow with not a single place to turn around. Eventually, what seemed like hours passed and I came across power lines parallel to the GSP where I shifted into 4wd low and climbed a steep berm onto the highway.
I've never been lost, confused for a bit but not lost. LOL
Not making light of your plight, I'm familiar where you were, that pond is locally known as Chevy pond. Like many I also explored after the fire and found many trails, old roads and stolen, stripped trucks that were uncovered by the fire. Quite simply that area and in fact Wharton is just to small and riddled with roads to become truely lost even on foot. I don't carry a gps only a hunter's ball compass and only lately a cell phone, but many area's there is no cell coverage.
 

MikeBickerson

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Feb 8, 2004
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What, no "Jersey Devil in the middle of the night" stories? :jd:

I've never felt worried about people, but I've had an unleashed dog or two come around a corner thats made me jump. They always turn out friendly, but I would have liked to see them coming!

Like some of you, I think I worry people. The height and the beard don't help. I practice my friendly wave to try to keep them from panicking.