1) Thank you everyone for taking the time to provide feedback.
2) A hot topic draws many diverse points of view.
3) My friend's concern scenario is such: sleeping in a solo tent, stealth camp in the national forest, visibility is limited to a tent shadow at best. A bear, mountain lion or human attacks you while in the tiny tent.
That was the reasoning for "low accuracy is OK" because the situation might be shooting at the sudden tent intruder biting the camper's foot. distance range 5 ft ?
The other issue is with a shorter barrel, generally it's less weight, but at the trade off accuracy.
If a bear invades your tent and bites your foot, pepper spray will blind you just as much in a tight tent space.
As for the 2 legged attackers, a pepper spray can is not taken seriously as a deterrent, since some of those guys use it as a dinner condiment. Also, a can runs out of spray pressure in 30-45 secs, where as the stopping power is limited by your refill inventory.
The "packing" gear feedback I gathered from the posts:
Smith & Wesson 342PD, titanium
any caliber in the 40-45 area is fine
.44 Magnum revolver
Glock in .40, 10mm, or .45
glock in 9mm, .40 or .45 is enough gun
Generally impractical to carry while moving on the trail during the day, those encounters can be mitigated in a variety of ways. So during the trail walk, the toys would be in bag. It's the night/sleep when a person is most vulnerable.
I was surprised that the Glock was of interest for the outdoors, no one mentioned stun or taser guns. They prob would not be effective on fat and furry predators, 2 or 4 legged.
All laws, risks and liability considered, I was curious what BPL people were packing, with UL weight consideration vs effectiveness.
Thanks everyone for the feedback.