In your case, you ventured out and there was no BG, so all was well. What if there was a BG who heard you coming and was able to attack you from ambush? Would you have been able to effectively defend yourself?
 In your friend's case, he had previously rigged his property to minimize any need to go out looking, and in fact didn't go out looking
I generally agree with the "one size doesn't fit all" approach. But in these sorts of situations, no matter what you may do, you must run smack into a Major Truth: if you go looking and there is in fact a BG, he has a tremendous tactical advantage and the likelihood of your getting hammered is substantial -- you will most likely lose.