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Solo Wilderness Security
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Drew Jay

Locale: Central Coast
Bear spray on 07/22/2012 03:21:57 MDT Print View

Not sure if this has been mentioned, but using bear spray on a person is illegal in the state of CA and several other states, even in self defense. Pepper spray in excess of 2.5oz is prohibited - bear spray is only legal because it is registered as a pesticide.

Edited by drewjh on 07/22/2012 03:33:11 MDT.

Heath Pitts
(heathpitts) - F

Locale: Nashville
RE: Bear Spray on 07/22/2012 08:36:27 MDT Print View

I personally wouldn't care whether spraying bear spray on a person is legal or not if that's the only way that I had to defend myself. I would only hope that I wasn't the person that I sprayed :)

(livingontheroad) - M
spray on 07/22/2012 09:40:41 MDT Print View

Its not lethal, and someone that threatened you enough to warrant being sprayed certainly isnt going to "turn you in" . If that was my best means of defense at the moment, I wouldnt hesitate either.

R... ...
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: (...)
Re: Bear spray (Reply to Andrew Harris) on 07/22/2012 12:04:34 MDT Print View

A good valid point about the legality of the tools used for self-defense.

In the context of this thread:
self-defense against non-US citizens illegal pot farmers on federal public land, will likely not result in prosecution against the sprayer.

Having said that, there are bizarre lawsuits and the greedy lawyers that promote them.

Regardless of the tool of choice for self-defense, the defender should be very comfortable accepting the full consequences.

wiiawiwb wiiawiwb
(wiiawiwb) - F
Withdrawn on 07/22/2012 20:53:40 MDT Print View


Edited by wiiawiwb on 07/22/2012 20:59:59 MDT.

R... ...
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: (...)
Re: Re: Re: Times are changing (pot farmers in the National Forest) on 09/09/2012 15:57:05 MDT Print View

As I was saying...

Its a jungle out there. Be careful.

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Wilderness Security on 09/09/2012 20:29:40 MDT Print View

Since my earlier sarcastic post, the issue haunted me a bit and became food for thought. This summer's solo trek was in a very mountainous Wilderness Area where the Forest Service has abandoned many trails, and much of it has become inaccessible.
Not surprisingly, only two other people were seen during a six day period.
Not a bad place for an enterprising criminal to set up shop.
On the other hand, there was a raid some years ago on a MJ patch just a short distance behind my home in the National Forest. Evidently, planes can spot the plants, and law enforcement watched the location until the growers made a visit.
And I've also observed strange folk hanging around suspicious vegetation while hiking on the borders of Wilderness Areas.

So apparently, it can happen anywhere, especially in locations well removed from public trails. Not to mention the movie, "Deliverance," and how it still affects people. Since I frequent remote areas, I suppose the question really is whether to be armed should I come across such folk.

My own personal decision is NOT. Based on past experience, including a mugging with a razor blade held to my neck in the city, survival intact is more likely when the other guy(s) don't feel threatened, even if they are hyped on heroin, as they were. This is contrary to episodes about crazed killers seen frequently on crime shows on TV, but TV is not reality. But others feel differently, and it is not unusual to see people armed here in the White Mountains, and commonplace to see firearms with horsepackers in the Rockies. I just accept it as part of the era that I live in. If the incidence of harm to backpackers were considerable, the decision might be different.

As far as justifiable homicide involving self defense is concerned, it should be noted that the shooter usually has the burden to present evidence. As shown by the recent widely publicized case in Florida, innocence or guilt is often very unclear no matter what the law is in the particular state.

BTW, came up with two more super shooters, The Ungine and the AUG, the latter of which packs down enough to conceal in the foam in a camera case. The Ungine came from William Diehl in "Chameleon," and the AUG from one of David Stone's novels. It is illegal, of course, to possess them in the USA. There was also a great little 'zip-strip' gun used on an assassin by Werner in one of Len Deighton's novels that would fit the bill for backpacking light.

Ryan Waller
My Friends "Little Friend" on 09/12/2012 21:38:55 MDT Print View

So first off hi! I've been looking around here lately soaking in everything there is to learn.

I live in a part of the country that makes gun ownership and concealed carry very easy. Consider checking out the Springfeild XDS(45cal). I've been very happy with my service model XD9 and found it to be very reliable. I've had a chance to put about 200 rounds through the new XDS last week and loved every minute of it. Soon to pick one up I liked it so much! At 5+1 I look at it as a 6 shot revolver that is much more practical to reload. You can take 11 rounds of 45 ACP with you with only two of the small mags. Reloads take only seconds from a well though out concealed mag holster. I will soon be switching my hiking gun to this this as soon as I get my own and get some more familiarity with it.

Again, thank you everyone for providing such a large wealth of knowledge. I hope to contribute towards it in the future with my constant tinkering.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Bear spray on 09/12/2012 21:48:44 MDT Print View

Pepper spray in excess of 2.5oz is prohibited - bear spray is only legal because it is registered as a pesticide.

It took me a while to figure that out when ordering pepper spray online. The sites I tried merely said they could not ship a particular item to California.

Peter Evans
Canadian POV on 02/19/2013 20:49:33 MST Print View

The only place I would ever consider carrying a gun is in the high arctic (polar bears).

Canadian here, not dumping on USA, but... I don't want to travel in a country where so many people carry guns.
Honestly I think it's crazy. Yes, there are occasional gun incidents in some of the bigger cities (guns brought from the US).
But the amount of people getting shot in Canada is pretty low, and we have a pretty safe society.

I doubt I am the only person reluctant to go to the US because of the gun culture.

//EDIT: I'd like to clarify that my concern is not just for getting shot... guns can be used to intimidate and coerce.

Edited by NLslacker on 02/19/2013 20:51:51 MST.

Edward Jursek
( - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Solo security on 02/19/2013 21:41:55 MST Print View

I researched pack guns and settled on a Glock 10mm as the only reasonably affordable gun at a reasonable weight with enough stopping power for Grizzlies. The 10mm is a handful. I also researched bear spray, and I am convinced that spray is a much more effective deterrent for bears. As for 2 legged threats, I feel the risk is much, much smaller then other back country hazards like hypothermia, dehydration, or the drive to and from the trail head. For perspective, I often hike with a buddy who is a FBI agent and he does not take a gun along. He says the risk is way too small to justify the weight and trouble. For that matter, the cheese burger I had today is way more dangerous for me than my reliance on bear spray in the back country.

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
guns & BP on 02/19/2013 21:57:36 MST Print View

I've been backpacking in Colorado in the summers since the 1970s, and it was only in that decade, in the Weminuche wilderness near the Rincon, that I ran into a bunch of kids camped just above timber line shooting off firearms. As I climbed towards timber line, an occasional bullet zipped by. On reaching their camp site near the crest, I asked them why they were discharging firearms when they might kill somebody.
'Oh, we saw you coming," they replied. There was considerable liquor in evidence.

With the exception of that incident, I can't recall ever seeing firearms while backpacking in Colorado wilderness areas, unless worn by a ranger (usually not the case) or rifle sheathed on a horse ridden in an occasional horsepacking party.

So while I grant you firearms are more prevalent in the US generally, and that I do not hike after the hunting seasons begin in September, I nevertheless think you may be a little more apprehensive than you need to be. I've found the lightning storms to be a way bigger threat to safety.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Solo security on 02/19/2013 22:10:32 MST Print View

Honestly, I'm just worried about running into marijuana fields or meth labs and the people involved in them. You hear about a lot of criminal things happening in the California woods. Maybe it's just hype, but I do plan on getting a handgun safety permit and learning how to use a pistol in defense specifically for backpacking.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Solo security on 02/19/2013 22:46:56 MST Print View

"Honestly, I'm just worried about running into marijuana fields or meth labs and the people involved in them. You hear about a lot of criminal things happening in the California woods. Maybe it's just hype, but I do plan on getting a handgun safety permit and learning how to use a pistol in defense specifically for backpacking."

Carrying concealed is a crime without a CCW- which very few people in CA can get.

Carrying open and loaded...How often do you see people packing pistols while hiking in CA? Now you'll be the one out in the woods that other hikers see and think is the pot farmer...

If you're still determined, good luck even figuring out the legalities of where you can carry a pistol open, loaded, and legal in CA.

R... ...
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: (...)
Re: Re: Solo security on 02/19/2013 22:50:14 MST Print View

You are justified. The US Forest Service website tries not to make a big deal, but on a monthly basis they arrest illegal invaders from the Southern countries that farm drugs and dont care about the US gun free zones.

You picked a weird time to get into this, the recent news has created a mad shortage on inventory, and the few available are triple the cost.

I can recommend you rent different types at a gun range to practice, then you find the right fit and caliber and function for your need.

And if you decide to carry, in CA, you will most likely be carrying, loaded, concealed and illegal, but that is the price of safety insurance. Be sure to fully accept the legal, moral and punishment consequences.

Edited by RogerDodger on 02/19/2013 23:30:13 MST.

R... ...
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: (...)
And another Couple of attacks on 02/19/2013 23:17:43 MST Print View

Ritzy rich area of Orange County, low crime, until an illegal invader grabbed a solo woman hiker by the hair and tried to DRAG her into the bushes, she got away but caught her twice, until a good samaritan solo hiker luckily came up and freed her. Bad guys and predators lurk in the supposedly nice rich safe areas too.

Good luck with whatever you decide on.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Re: Solo security on 02/19/2013 23:40:17 MST Print View

To my knowledge, I can carry a pistol into a national forest or blm land. There shouldn't be an issue with that. State Parks or National parks are a no go.

I guess you could get into trouble if there is a "hunting only" rule for firearm carry. In that case, I could carry a hunting license and use that as a justified use. Rabbits are in season all year long, for example. But that shouldn't be an issue in the first place. I have wanted to try out some short range hunting with a pistol anyways.

I'm not some kind of paranoid gun nut. I wouldn't carry a firearm everywhere, probably not even most of the time, just if I felt the area and situation warranted it. I'm not going to bring a pistol into a high alpine wilderness area, that would just be silly.

Edited by justin_baker on 02/19/2013 23:40:52 MST.

Peter Evans
Re: And another Couple of attacks on 02/20/2013 00:14:42 MST Print View

Where do these people you are afraid of get their guns?


Where do Canadian criminal gangs get their guns?


The American gun problem is our problem too.

R... ...
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: (...)
[..] on 02/20/2013 00:15:31 MST Print View


Edited by RogerDodger on 09/25/2014 23:52:42 MDT.

R... ...
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: (...)
[..] on 02/20/2013 00:23:41 MST Print View


Edited by RogerDodger on 09/25/2014 23:53:19 MDT.