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KaBar

Hopping Safety Gear

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I don't know if this is an idea that anybody will find interesting or not. I talked with Big Bruno about it, and he thought it was pretty cool, so I thought I'd post it just to see.

Since trainhopping is a lot like motorcycle riding in terms of hazard (you are traveling 50-60 mph with nothing to stop you from sailing into the air if there's a crash) it seems logical that motorcycle crash equipment would be appropriate.

Like a helmet, for instance. Maybe a cool-looking "half-helmet" like bikers sometimes use. Definately not a white helmet, maybe black or gray or painted brown.

Like good, sturdy GLOVES, preferably leather. I wear trucker's gloves.

Like good, sturdy clothing. Blue jeans. Overalls. Heavy canvas construction trousers like Carhartts'. A good, warm jacket or coat, like a chore jacket or an Army field jacket. A warm sweatshirt hoody, maybe, in a darker color. Black T-shirts or black long-sleeved T-shirts. Dark colored flannel shirts, denim shirts. Clothes like that.

Like a good hat. I wear a baseball type "gimmee" cap. You get stuck out West in the desert with no hat, you'll be SORRY.

Like good, sturdy boots--work boots, military boots, steel-toed boots. Tennis shoes suck for hopping--no heel. The boot heel keeps your foot from slipping off a train ladder and (Eeewww!) into a train wheel.

How about SAFETY GOGGLES, to keep dirt and rust and shit out of your eyes? A few bandanas to wrap around your face to keep out smoke or dust or cold-ass wind?

Like a few Bic lighters and some matches.

And always, always, always carry plenty of water. Always means always. No exceptions.

Any comments? Additions? Complaints or objections?

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Sure sounds like a good idea to me, like the boy scout says, "be prepared". I just picked up a nice pair of boots today, all leather Carolina's, they cost me $5. If anyone is a size 13, email me, they have a nice ass pair Red Wing's for the same price, chip in 5 or ten for shipping and the time expense and you could have 'em. Act quick though, I forgot to move them back to the bottom of the stack.

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Guest NATO

i dont know if you can buy them, but my freinds dad is in the Royal Air Force and he got a shit load of army rashions for our camping trip. they were boil in the bag meals, but could be eaten cold. very compact you could probably get about 10 just in the pockets of you jackets, about a weeks good eatin!

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God bless the MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat). You can get those in the US. But there's none of your "tea" Nato. But they have orange drink & THE BEST crackers.

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when i went, i brought one of those long flashlights, partly incase i needed light at night, and partly as protections (those things are like batons).

 

some things i regretted not taking were

sunscreen,

something to sit on.

 

what i was really glad i had was a blanket.. the temperature change is a lot... esp w/ the wind.... also, a watch... when you're in the whole for awhile, not much else to do.

 

as far as hats.. i had one of those army boonie hats.. i love it.

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Originally posted by Vanity

when i went, i brought one of those long flashlights, partly incase i needed light at night, and partly as protections (those things are like batons).

 

just a note, as far as police are concerned, 4 battery and up maglites can be considered deadly weapons... that gives them a reason to search...:(

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They don't need a "reason" to search you, if you're hopping. If you encounter the cops while you're actually on a train, you are "busted." If you're on the street, they can search you if they believe you have anything dangerous to them on your person. If they want to go through your ruck, I would at least ask them if they have probable cause. In general, I heartily recommend NEVER carrying anything illegal on you or around you.

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now a helmet i coulda use at one time. i wouldnt have a scar above my temple. dam that scared me scraping my head on the rocks flipping, dust in my eyes next to the wheels going 30clicks. blood running down my head. i thought my brain was ozzing out. dont fuck around and wait for it to stop i'd say.

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oh and earplugs.

as for me, i prefer sneaks for the running advantage and easy slip off to let my stinky toes breathe. steel toe can get cold at night eh. how about sum good hiking boots with out the steel?

take mace instead of a club man, easier to handle and less luggage. i fucking hate havin a heavy bag.

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Originally posted by KaBar

They don't need a "reason" to search you, if you're hopping. If you encounter the cops while you're actually on a train, you are "busted."

 

yeah, if yer on the train yer screwed, but if yer not actually in the act of doing anything illegal cops need a lot of probable cause. most cops know this, but the few who ignore it can be taken to court, and charges will almost always be dropped. Actually, after 2 probable cause and profiling cases in my home town, i'm almost untouchable there, because cops realize i know what i'm talking about and are afraid i'll take them to court. granted tho, if yer frieghting you really shouldn't have anything illegal on you, but it can be someting as little as being under age and having booze in yer pack. If a cop wants to screw with you (and dirty train hoppers are a great target) he will, i just don't wanna make it any easier for them.

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You can beat the rap, but you can't beat the ride. That's the problem right there. Try to avoid thinking "The cops can't do this," or " the cops can't do that." It's what is called "magical thinking." The cops can do whatever the hell they please, and there's very damned little we can do about it. Once you've been arrested, hand-cuffed, they've gone through all your shit, you've been placed in a patrol car with the doors locked, what's to stop them from "finding" an illegal gun or knife, or "finding" a bag of pot or coke in your ruck? Answer: NOTHING. And there's not a damn thing you can do about it. TREAT THE COPS AND THE RAILROAD BULLS WITH RESPECT. Get rid of this "they can't tell me what to do" attitude. All it's going to do is encourage the cops to send you up to jail for about six months while you spend thousands of dollars trying to defend yourself. Young people in particular have a foolish attitude about people in positions of authority. If you do not come into contact with them, you won't have to worry about what they might or might not do. NEVER SKYLINE IN A RAIL YARD OR ON A TRAIN. HIDE. The idea is to come and go without leaving a trace, and without them ever knowing you have been there. "Don't shit where you eat."

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yeah, if yer on the train yer screwed, but if yer not actually in the act of doing anything illegal

 

Being on the train IS the illegal act!

 

TREAT THE COPS AND THE RAILROAD BULLS WITH RESPECT. Get rid of this "they can't tell me what to do" attitude

 

Well, like all things in life Id point out that not all rules are absolute. As far as the bull is concerned, I've never had the pleasure of dealing with one but the way I see it is, your tresspassing on train property, there's no way around it. Once yer initially stopped its soley in that bulls discretion to let you go, scare you a little, take you under a trestle and 'teach you a lesson' , or of course send you to jail. Bulls like any other person working, probably wishes they wern't. Its way more easier to tell you to get to stepping than arrest you, do all the paper work, and explain how people are getting in the yards in the first place. If caught I would try to be polite as peaches and maybe even tolerate thier disrespect. (That is of course if running isn't a viable option!) You have to understand however that some people pursue jobs of authority soley to stroke thier wounded egos. A little paper work is a small price to pay for some bulls/cops to get off on thier power trips. It doesn't matter how nice you are to these dickheads because thier on some whole other shit. If initial attempts to be cordial fail and the bull/cop is still on some disrespectful shit I would say stick up for your self. We all internet savy losers have a pretty good grasp of the law and it could be in your best interest to make that known. These personality types of bulls/cops thrive off of fear, thier like mental predators. If you challenge them, and asserting your dignity is to them 'challenging', then they will get extremely hostile. A hostile person however, is not the clear thinker like you or I and suddenly, we have the advantage. If a cop is making all sorts of outlandish threats concerning beatdowns and death penalty for tresspassing non-sense, all you do is once again explain to him you and your layer (we can bluff too) are familiar with the letter of the law as well as the system on filling grievances against those who brake them.

Theres about two options now, the cop/bull starts being more realistic about the situation because he knows you aren't being fooled, or he continues to run off at the mouth like a little kid who HAS to get the last word in. The latter is basicly harmless because he is just acting to save face.

Kabar always stresses RESPECT, and I wish everybody felt that way, not only respect others but DEMAND that you be treated with respect as well!

Let me know what you all think.

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Originally posted by Agent Uprise

1. Being on the train IS the illegal act!

 

2. If a cop is making all sorts of outlandish threats concerning beatdowns

 

3. Kabar always stresses RESPECT, and I wish everybody felt that way, not only respect others but DEMAND that you be treated with respect as well!

 

1. i was talking about in general life, or in particular to this thread, once you get to the place your going...

2. i've been on the recieving end of a cop beatdown on more than one occasion, so i don't consider these threats outlandish, and, i guess this is probably a bad thing, but when a cop starts making these threats i get defensive...

3. this is what i was trying to say before... it is absolutely neccessary to respect whoever is trying to talk to you, but the respect needs to be mutual, and if i have to be the one to tell them, then so be it.

 

yes, kabar, if a cop wants to fuck with you, he will. but i don't like to make it any easier for them. i've already screwed myself over from one end with tattoos (not that they're a regret, just a nuisanse at times), piercings,and scars. so most cops probably don't like me right off the bat. I don't wanna have other reasons for them to fuck with me, and i definately don't wanna give them a reason to. That includes mag-lites, booze, spare changing, i don't even drop cigarette butts in front of a cop, i put them out on my shoe and the butt goes in my pocket. basically what i was saying is that you should always keep your head up and on the look out. make sure your not doing anything that a cop could have a problem with, at least while they're watching. and yes, treat them with respect.

 

also kabar, i had another question for you... you said: "NEVER SKYLINE IN A RAIL YARD OR ON A TRAIN." are you against skylining even when you're out in the middle of nowhere? just curious...

 

thanx for reading all this if you got all the way through...

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vinyl junkie- I agree with all that you've said. I never even thought about the ciggarette thing but it makes sense, a cop would have every reason to search and harass you you for that, altho you couldnt be arrested unless if you city allows arrests for ordinance violations which most don't. I know in Los Angeles the cops there are notorious for using jay-walking as an excuse to fuck with people.

As far as getting harassed by cops on the streets, I always assert my rights and demand respect. Fuck all that "what are you trying to hide?" bullshit, I HATE HATE HATE, that shit. What am I hiding? Its called the FOURTH AMENDMENT, go get your own!!!!! My philosophy is that if we give up our rights and let the cops be assholes to us and get away with it then they just keep on doing it, and doing it. If you want to violate my rights, go ahead, you've got the guns and sticks and back-up of like a million other cops. Do whatever you want just dont you Dare think Im gonna take it sitting down!

As far as beat-downs by cops go, Im not saying they're always bluffing but they are like 99.99999999999% of the time. If a cops gonna stomp you he's not gonna sit there and talk about it, he's just gonna start swinging. Fuck it tho, that shit makes you stronger!

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hey agent uprise... thank you, i couldn't have said it better.

 

as fer cop fights, yes, they are bluffing most of the time, but one time of not bluffing is enough, and i don't take chances with it anymore... i work as a bouncer, and if i'm feeling legitimately threatened, i let them know- both that i'm feeling theatened, and that i'm a boucer... i haven't had a real problem like that since i started saying that.

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Tactical Error

 

Vinyl Junkie and Agent Uprise--Well, guys, I can't say you're wrong, because my opinion is just that--an opinion. I used to get hassled by the cops, about thirty years ago. I once even got a field expedient haircut from a notorious beat cop in Houston--with a Buck knife on the hood of his patrol car. Still and all, I stand by my advice. I'm not telling anybody to grovel, I'm just suggesting that treating the cops with respect may get you out of a ticket, or worse, a ride downtown. One thing most cops will definately not tolerate is any challenge to their authority. They are in authority, and that's that. The best way to deal with this is to simply avoid situations where you are likely to come into much contact with police officers of any kind. If you get detained by a cop, and then get a bad mouth, you may escalate a lecture and a warning ticket into an "Interfereing with Railroad Property" charge. And you might beat it in Court, but it will cost you big time in money and hassle. The cop will be smiling the whole time your lawyer is "winning" because he knows you are paying your lawyer $300 an hour to defend you. Plus a bail bondsman 10% of your bail. It this all worth it, just to feel good about cussing out a cop? Not to me. I'll just "yessir" and "nossir" my way down the road with my warning ticket in my hand. You guys have a perfect right to your opinions, of course, and I respect them.

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Re: Tactical Error

 

Originally posted by KaBar

I'm not telling anybody to grovel, I'm just suggesting that treating the cops with respect may get you out of a ticket, or worse, a ride downtown.

 

i really do agree with you kabar. i will kiss as much ass as possible for the most part. obviously i've had my run-ins, and i don't enjoy them. The time things change though, is when i am being harrassed, or threatened by them. Cops exist to stop this kind of stuff, not to encourage it. i will not tolerate a cop abusing his power. This goes for when it's directed at me or anyone else. but don't think i go searching them out either... my main tactic for dealing with the police is to avoid them like the plague, and when i do have to talk to them them it's hello officer, yes officer, i'm sorry officer... you're absolutely right, the last thing i want to do is end up in the back of a squad car.

 

-----------------------------

 

as for profiling cases and such, i've never needed a lawyer, in fact most times you can take it directly to the head of the police department, and, if said in a calm and respectful manner, then they'll usually listen to you, and actually do something about it... it seems the only thing cops really fear is their boss...

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Basiclly ditto what vinyl said. Im a very proud peson but I also like to consider myself an intelligent person. I got no problem with taking a little shit from a cop and biting my tongue if thats what it takes to get away w/out an arrest/ticket. Im just saying, once I've done the whole 'upright citiczen' song an dance and I still find myself in cuffs then thats when I stop being scared. I no longer have any reason to let the cops disrespect and I act accordingly.

You said be careful about challenging a cops authority and Id agree, cops have HUDGE complexes and power trips. The tricky thing is that different cops consider different things a 'challenge' to thier authority. Ive had cops get downright indignant because I calmly informed them Id be taking advantage of my 5th amendment right to remain silent. These cops clearly took this as a challenge but what am I to do? Im not giving up any rights reguardless of who gets offended or not. I dont know how many times I've had to hear "hey sarge we got a Jonny Cochrin right here".

I guess all Im saying is that Im not going to be guilted or intimidated out of my rights.

Are you feeling what Im saying Kabar?

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police are there to stop crime.

crime.

think about that. stop crime.

well cops are people. and there are such things as corrupt people. so with as many people as there are in the US, you know there will be corrupt cops. and you can even find a few good cops that will tell you this. so who is there to stop the crime of the crimestoppers?

judges get on a power trip just as much as cops, so you cant say judges.

our political system can be cosidered just as corrupt. so theres no where to take it. it all revolves around what you do at that moment.

only one time have i gone against what a cop said in his presence, and that had nothing to do with graffiti, but for a 12 year old kid skating in the street (me). (some woman didnt want me skating in front of her house so she called the cops and i told him that my parents pay taxes on this street and that if i wanted to skate on any part of it, then i could do so. otherwise id be skating on the big street out front and get hit by a car because some drunk driver that he could be arresting right now instead of screwing with some kid wasnt arrested, though... thats a little more grown up of what i said. but it was the same idea).

all the other times, ive cooperated and they were still assholes.

im not saying respect cant be mutual with a cop, but in my encounters, it hasnt been. my suggestion is to not give them the chance to give you shit.

get away. dont be seen, whatever it takes. as for bulls, they arent real cops are they? no so, fight them off and get the fuck out of there. if they do catch you after that, yea, they can beat you, but take their asses to court later for that. because they cant press charges of 'assaulting an officer', because they arent real cops.

if i get caught in a yard just walking through by a worker, ill come up with some excuse that some guys were chasing me and i had to run in here to get away and be nice and believeable in telling him that.

if i see a guy and run and get caught after that, ill say that i thought he was one of the guys chasing me.

 

i agree with everyone here.

kabar, because respect should be given.

and vynil, because respect should be mutual.

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loser, those cops were nice to us at the legal wall when the building owner didnt want us painting during the business hours. stupid ass could have atleast just come out and said something to us without calling the cops.

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I hear you, and I agree pretty much. One does what one can to improve a bad situation without completely humiliating oneself. Truthfully though, most cops, and virtually all bulls prefer to not have to arrest anybody. They get paid whether they make arrests or not, although there is an element of quota--if he doesn't write a few tickets, then he's not doing his job. The trick is to not be the guy he decides to make his quota on. It's a lot more satisfying to write a ticket on somebody who's giving him a ration of shit than somebody who is polite, apologetic and trying to be cooperative, that's all. Bad mouthing a cop is just foolish, I think.

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yea visual, they were nice in a sense.

i had forgotten about that.

their general attitude was still wrong.

yea, they were called on us because we were painting a wall, and then he says "what makes you think you can paint here?" in a snotty manner.

I said, "its a legal wall, we have permission from the owner to do so"

so then they went inside the gay store (for those wondering, there are 2 businesses there, and one is a store that sells gay male parrifanalia 'sp?' and was who called the cops on us)

so the police asked us not to paint till after the place closed and the guy left. and dude took his time locking up. and i had to be at a dinner later that night.

so it pissed me off.

hell, if im gonna have to wait till after dark to paint the LEGAL wall, i might as well go fuckin bomb the streets.

sorry, back to the topic.

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you are giving false info there again j. the cops asked us how we choose what walls to paint on. then we told them we get permission. dont make it out like they were giving us shit, they were pretty cool with us.

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Railroad Special Agents

 

Railroad police are technically called "Railroad Special Agents", I believe, and they are genuine police officers, although sometimes their attitude seems a little too much like a security guard at a mall for them to be genuine cops. Because of the unique situation with a railroad, where a company has thousands of miles worth of railroad right-of-way (private property just like your back yard, in effect) that extends through several states and/or cities, they employ special police officers whose authority extends to wherever the railroad goes, across state lines, etc. They can pursue a trespasser off of railroad property. If a criminal commits a crime out in town, and then runs and jumps on a freight train, or runs into the Yard to hide, the bulls can arrest him and charge him in the local court. I've never seen one, but I have heard that some yards actually have a one or two-man holding cell, where bulls can hold accused arrestees until they can be transported to the jail and then the county Court House for arraignment.

In short, bulls are regular cops, but like University campus police, they are employed by a railroad instead of a city or county. A lot of them are retired city cops, former Military Policemen, or former private security agents, like Pinkerton's or Burn's Security.

That doesn't mean they deserve any more or less respect than a regular city cop or a Sheriff's Deputy. They are just about the same as a Constable or a deputy Sheriff.

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