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(Ice-axe)
Armed fires on 08/30/2011 07:37:54 MDT Print View

My buddy Sage and i ran into a Cowgirl in Montana. She was rounding up her cattle from horseback with one broken arm in a sling because :"There ain't nobody else to do it."
We noticed she had both bear load pepper spray AND a pistol on her hip.
When asked about it she replied: "The Bear spray is in case my horse and I get charged by a grizzly. The pistol is for my horse if i have to put it down and myself if i get injured to bad to make it."
She was totally serious.
That was the exact opposite attitude Sage and i expected to find from a rough, trail hardened Cowgirl outside of East Glacier Montana.
Personally I would carry a gun.. except that bullets are made out of lead Ya know.. Lead is heavy.
Instead i carry a toothbrush with a full length handle.
Never underestimate the power of a FULL size toothbrush!
.Grizzly bear defense system

Edited by Ice-axe on 08/30/2011 07:39:24 MDT.

Don Morris
(hikermor) - F
Solo Widerness security on 08/30/2011 07:41:33 MDT Print View

This is the most rational thread I have seen on this subject. A lot of people really get carried away when hashing this out. My friends usually cite studies that show that bear spray is actually more effective and safer than firearms, which do add to the weight. They also avoid irrigated wilderness gardens.

I am a longtime firearms user and backpacker. I have never felt the need to carry when in the woods. On the one time when I did confront weapon (a 45 auto pointed at my COM) carrying would not have done me any good, and might have gotten me killed. I had to talk my way out of the situation.

Fred Thorp
(BFThorp) - F
Fear... on 08/30/2011 08:09:44 MDT Print View

"The need to carry in the city or the wilderness just reaks of fear. I realize others see it different, but I see it as a sign of fear."

I have a spare tire and a rain coat in my vehicle. I'm not “afraid” of flats or rain. I’m around people that carry or are within arms reach of a firearm, 24/7. It’s not a fearful crowd. We don’t usually get to choose when bad things happen. Everyone has to make their own decisions, hopefully informed.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Fear, etc. on 08/30/2011 08:10:49 MDT Print View

Remember, a gun is MUCH less effective at keeping you safe against a brown bear than bear spray is...

adam spates
(adamspates) - F

Locale: southeast
hmmmm on 08/30/2011 08:19:42 MDT Print View

I wonder if the guys who recently got attacked in Yellowstone and Colorado while asleep in their tents wish they would have had a gun?

I'm not going to tell you wether or not you should carry in the wilderness. That's one of the great things about America....you have the choice(for the most part anyways).

But for your original posted question......

I would check ou the Ruger LCR. They just added .357mag to the line up this year. It is a very light double action only hammerless revolver. No hammers protruding to snag on the draw. No slide to deal with. Unlike semi autos you will not have a jam to clear and if there is a dead round just pull the trigger and it will move to the next round unlike Glocks and other semi autos where you have to operate the slide. The weight on the trigger is your safety. So it is a gun that is easy to draw and easy to shoot(just point and pull the trigger). It is extremy durable and lightweight for the type gun it is.

As for me....I have guns and love guns. But I neither carry a gun or bear spray in bear country or anytime on the trail. Will there be a day that I wish I had one or the other? A good Possibility. But I've lived a good life.

Mark Primack
(Bufa) - MLife

Locale: Cape Cod and Northern Newfoundland
Unnecessary on 08/30/2011 10:52:28 MDT Print View

I've been a senior manager of public and private land for most of the last thirty years and a ranger before that. I used to be active in national associations of land managers and rangers. I used to pay attention to the Crime in Parks reports and statistics. In all those years I cannot recall one report or a single incident where someone saved themselves from either a bear or human attack by carrying a hand gun. Not one.

Additionally, away from trailheads and big campgrounds there is an infintesimal prospect of danger. The number of violent crimes reported from the backcountry by all federal and state agencies in any year amounts to less than a handful of incidents out of millions of visitors. What violent crime does occur in state and national parks--again, mostly in big public campgrounds--occur between people who either know each other--typically drunken friends--or are family members.

The fact is that you are in far far more danger driving down the street to pick up a quart of milk than you are from an assault in the backcountry. Then again, facts have never gotten in the way of either paranoia or machismo--that's the nature of the male psyche.

PS:I've been handling guns and occasionally hunting since I was eight or nine years old, and spent much of my professional career working with armed enforcement officers, so I have no problem with guns per se. In the backcountry, they are just a weight and psychological burden. Better to carry a lawn chair!

Rodney OndaRock
(RodneyOndaRock) - F

Locale: Southern California
Times are changing on 08/30/2011 11:19:14 MDT Print View

http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_N_pot19.4912612.html

With budget cuts, the rangers are understaffed to monitor the pot farms in the national forest.

With the border inspections getting slightly more restrictive on drug smugglers, the pot farmers moved inside the border.

In the San Jacinto mountains NF, every year they are doing an aerial inspection and bust. but only enough budget for 1 raid per year at the end of the growing season.

Times are changing rapidly . For the past two decades, never had any problems, just the occasional off-leash out of control dog, broken beer bottles or teenage graffiti.

Smooth talking your way "Cheech and Chong style" with drug mafia is pointless. It's not personal, it's business. With a $35 Million operation, there are machine guns and shallow graves to keep YOU quiet.

As stated earlier, it's not fear, it's insurance and protection. I'm not seeking trouble, but I either give up stealth camping in the bush or I increase my protection insurance.

My main concern is when tent sleeping - most vulnerable to wild animals and humans attackers outside the tent. Bear spray is ineffective in this situation, because the person holding the spray can is inside the tent. If you are having difficulty understanding my point, pretend the solo UL tent is an elevator cab, and pretend the pepper spray is a very potent fart. People (and bears) outside the elevator are not affected by this skunk defense.

Chance favors the prepared mind.

Edited by RodneyOndaRock on 08/30/2011 11:31:00 MDT.

Fred Thorp
(BFThorp) - F
Legal carry.. on 08/30/2011 11:27:32 MDT Print View

"I used to pay attention to the Crime in Parks reports and statistics. In all those years I cannot recall one report or a single incident where someone saved themselves from either a bear or human attack by carrying a hand gun. Not one."

Given that the law only recently changed to allow carry in parks, and still only in some states, I wouldn't expect much different.

"Additionally, away from trailheads and big campgrounds there is an infintesimal prospect of danger."

Come down to the border and bring your lawn chair.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: Times are changing on 08/30/2011 11:52:26 MDT Print View

I always find it a little amusing that so many people assume they're going to turn into Steven Seagal in a threatening situation. I, for one, KNOW that I'm no Laura Croft. In the middle of the night when I'm half asleep, I can easily be stumped by my tent zipper, so deploying a weapon with any efficiency (or effectively) is really unlikely.

So, for me, my dog is a much more dependable weapon. He's a passive deterrent, has better hearing, bigger teeth and is a lot more coordinated in the middle of the night.

Edited by DetroitTigerFan on 08/30/2011 11:53:40 MDT.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Armed fires on 08/30/2011 11:56:06 MDT Print View

Matt, you are a man to be reckoned with. You are hereby awarded this thread and the Internets for one day.

Cheers,

Rick

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Times are changing on 08/30/2011 12:02:05 MDT Print View

With a $35 Million operation, there are machine guns and shallow graves to keep YOU quiet.

Confronted by someone with a machine gun, the *last* thing I'd do is start waving a handgun around. I doubt the pot farmers inside the border machine gun people into shallow graves too often anyway. It's bad for business.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
don't let the facts scare you. on 08/30/2011 13:07:56 MDT Print View

"The fact is that you are in far far more danger driving down the street to pick up a quart of milk than you are from an assault in the backcountry. Then again, facts have never gotten in the way of either paranoia or machismo--that's the nature of the male psyche."


+1

Mark Hudson
(vesteroid) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Sierras
thoughts on 08/30/2011 13:42:14 MDT Print View

I was watching the original karate kid with my son the other week. Mr Miagi said the best way to block a punch was to not be there when it landed.

I think if you or your friend are this concerned about their personal safety, perhaps you should just stay home.

I have to agree carrying a weapon is fear related, not prudence. You can always justify things by saying what if this happened, then I would be protected, but in reality that rarely happens, and even in the cases it does, the user is rarely able to protect themselves.

Police statistics point this out over and over again. Even with their level of training, they often fail in the line of fire. How many shows have you seen where trained experienced officers are unable to either get to their weapon, or miss their target.

I have seen reports where over 30 rounds were fired by police at a single target, and they all missed.

Fear, panic, and the rush of emotion that surely comes in that situation can not be trained for effectively by the average home user.

I really am not directing this at anyone, and in no way really fault anyone for their beliefs as I hope I am not faulted by mine, but I do sincerely believe most people simply take comfort in the fact they have a weapon, and the reality of it is, in a life threatening situation, more often than not they fail to defend themselves well.

Juston Taul
(Junction)

Locale: Atlanta, GA
Lambs on 08/30/2011 13:42:25 MDT Print View

Carrying = I'm afraid?

What a joke. I choose not to be a victim. I've carried daily for over 10 years and have never needed to use it. However, if I need it, I have it. I'm not afraid at all. Personally I blame crime on people who don't carry. "An armed society is polite society."

I don't always carry when I'm hiking, but when weight isn't an issue, I have it.

Anyone who relies on the police for protection and not themselves, are pretty ignorant in my opinion.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Times are changing on 08/30/2011 13:45:10 MDT Print View

@Rodney
That's why I really don't like tent camping anymore, even if someone else carries it in. Many years ago when I was just a young kid, camping out on some back road of Mendo NF, someone drove up and starting walking around our camp with out announcing who he was. I almost pointed a shotgun barrel right at his face, which would not have been good... (he was LEO) I noticed his truck before I saw him luckily. That has kind of scared me off from tent camping.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
UL guns on 08/30/2011 13:51:06 MDT Print View

That would have scare me away from carrying a gun. Statistically, you are more likely to kill yourself, a family member or friend that you are to kill a foe.

Frank Steele
(knarfster) - F

Locale: Arizona
Either you are a good shot or you are not. on 08/30/2011 13:51:41 MDT Print View

@ Mark "I have seen reports where over 30 rounds were fired by police at a single target, and they all missed."

I have shot at the range with several LEO who missed their targets when there was no stress.

You are either a good shot or you are not. if you are not then practice, if you are still a lousy shot then sucks to be you.

Rodney OndaRock
(RodneyOndaRock) - F

Locale: Southern California
Re: don't let the facts scare you. on 08/30/2011 13:55:57 MDT Print View

These are misleading comparisons about the danger of one option being greater of another.

That is only relevant if I was trying to decide to live the forest instead of live in the city. Discussing City security is irrelevant here. I still live in the city, and the occasional wilderness weekend outing.

it's like trying to compare which is worse for you, bacon cholesterol versus cigarettes. Irrelevant category comparison.

The main discussion of this thread is specifically asking those who:
1) are concerned about the wilderness security factors, and
2) are packing in the wilderness,
3) what is their BPL security gear of choice, close range almost point blank for bear, mountain lion, & drug mafia when stealth camping in the bush, and sleeping in a solo UL tent with limited visibility.

Some people:
a) don't carry any protection, but have a nice toothbrush.
b) carry only pepper spray only.
c) carry pepper spray and are packing.
d) carry a modified knife
e) carry a CCW
f) bring a dog for early warning.
g) all of the above.

Juston Taul
(Junction)

Locale: Atlanta, GA
Statistically on 08/30/2011 13:59:29 MDT Print View

If you guys are going to post things as FACTS then back it up. This thread is getting overran by people with diarrhea of the mouth.

Rodney OndaRock
(RodneyOndaRock) - F

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Times are changing on 08/30/2011 14:03:33 MDT Print View

@Rog Tallbloke (tallbloke)

"I doubt the pot farmers inside the border machine gun people into shallow graves too often anyway. It's bad for business."


You may be right about the machine guns. They * do * have them, according to the police after the raids, they always find them in camp, although the south of the border drug mafia prefers to use quiet machetes to dispose of their unexpected witnesses.

They regularly have severed heads on the side of the road in the Arizona Texas border area. You are right, those were not cut with bullets.