Carjacking in the remote wilderness
I must say that I'm already overly cautious about a lot of things (black bears, grizzlies, polar bears, cougars, lightning storms, floods, wildfires, etc.). But my #1 priority is TO NOT GET CARJACKED. Yes, I need my Jeep to earn a living. But I mainly don't want to find myself on foot, robbed, unarmed, and without any GPS / communication device. Driving a 4x4 vehicle for long distances on god forsaken trails exposes you to a lot of dangers and carjacking shouldn't be ignored.
I've never been carjacked. But I've found myself in disturbing situations. Like this one below (I invite you to watch the whole video with Subtitles ON).
Avoiding an ambush
Carjacking is a rare event in remote areas of Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Alberta, Oregon and Montana. The probability to be carjacked in Detroit is probably 50.000% higher compared to Fairbanks, Alaska. But it still exists. You may encounter yahoos or drunks who will attack you just for the kick of it. Or desperate guys who need gas, money, supplies and/or a vehicle. With no surveillance camera, low population density and extremely limited police presence, the remote wilderness is the perfect spot for carjackers. On my side, I strongly believe that the best strategy is to make it difficult for the carjackers.
Tips from a Lone Jeeper
*It's only my humble opinion based on my personal experience. I'm not an expert at anything. Or maybe I'm plain stupid (very possible). Follow my advice at your own risk.
1. Keep your distance : Scan the area where you're heading with your binoculars. Anything odd (smoke, parked vehicle, somebody on foot, a wandering dog, weird noise, etc.) should be considered suspicious. Buy a good pair of binoculars for off-road use like mine and take a closer look at anything you might spot. Criminals and yahoos usually make stupid mistakes that expose their presence like littering discarded coffee cups or beer cans along the trail. If you are vigilant, you will spot them before they spot you. And if it looks suspicious, try to not go.
2. Stop your vehicle (when followed) : If you are followed by suspicious guys, they might eventually try to make you stop. Or even bump you. And trying to flee on rocky logging roads or unmaintained trails is a very dangerous idea. So, it's to your advantage to stop because you can choose a spot where you CAN NOT BE BOXED in by two vehicles (or against an obstacle). Once you stopped, look like you are on duty and reporting their presence. Use your CB or satellite phone in a manner they can see you. If they stop too, ask them who they are. Act like a guy expecting coworkers or trail buddies to show up in three minutes. Intimidation might be your best option.
*This is my satellite phone. Years of experience have taught me something : suspicious guys are always worried when they see me using it. So, if you have one, use it (or fake it).
3. Stay in your vehicle (and don't show your hands) : Those guys will fake accidents, medical emergencies, trail repairs, etc. to make you stop and get you out of your vehicle. I would never recommend to anyone to get ready for a gunfight on the trail (old west style). But in the remote wilderness, most workers, prospectors, investors, and adventurers carry loaded firearms. That includes yourself (I personally carry a Marlin Trapper 1895 over my head and I make it visible). And those guys, they probably don't know who you are. You might be a sick, twisted, crazy cuckoo wheeling with two loaded (and chambered) Glocks .45 on his knees at all times. They have no idea, seriously. As long as you stay in your vehicle, you pose a threat to them for three reasons: 1) You could shoot them 2) You could run over them 3) You could flee at any time and report them.
4. Beware of man-made obstacles : Reverse out immediately. Put some distance between you and the obstacle. Inspect it closely (and the surroundings) with your binoculars before making the decision to remove it or to find another route. It could save your wheels one day.
5. You've been carjacked... no matter what : First, armed carjacking = 2 years of jail time (best case scenario). So, I bet that once the carjackers have your wallet, watch, phone, and vehicle, they won't stay for long. Don't expect them to perform a cavity search on you. So, you could probably hide a credit card in a pocket (easy if you wear tactical pants). On my side, I warmly recommend you to get a survival bracelet and wear it around your ankle (so the carjackers won't notice it). Don't forget that those guys will leave you alone and stranded in the wilderness. It's a miserable situation. But at least, you'll have a fire striker to build a fire, a LED light, a compass to navigate, and paracord to improvise a shelter.