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Solo Wilderness Security
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Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Stress Shooting on 08/30/2011 14:08:34 MDT Print View

If you are going to carry for protection you should understand what stress shooting is and train for it. Without that training most could not hit a person sized target at ten feet. I have a friend that had a company that provided stress training services for the police. He said the difference was amazing. When he put trained police in a stressful situation against non-stressed opponents the police ALWAYS lost. And they were trained.

Know what will happen to you when attempting to shoot under stress. Otherwise you will make things worse for yourself.

BTW, I very strongly believe that we ALL have the inalienable right to protect ourselves (and loved ones) without relying on anyone else, should we choose to do so. And we have the right to "keep and bear arms" as a tool to be used for that protection.

Edited by Hitech on 08/30/2011 14:10:05 MDT.

Rodney OndaRock
(RodneyOndaRock) - F

Locale: Southern California
Re: Either you are a good shot or you are not. on 08/30/2011 14:13:53 MDT Print View

@ Frank Steele (knarfster)
"You are either a good shot or you are not."

The scenario discussed here is not shooting at a gun range or police hunting a fugitive that is evading bullets with the advice of Mr Myagi or doing the Neo Matrix move.

The attacker is close range. almost point blank. and the attacker is not running away. In the Norway situation as well as the NOLS attacks, the hungry bear was in the process of consuming the limb of the camper in the tent. Bear spray not a functional option, in a closed tent space. The Norway case, the rifle malfunctioned the first few rounds.

Edited by RodneyOndaRock on 08/30/2011 14:44:07 MDT.

Fred Thorp
(BFThorp) - F
Police training? on 08/30/2011 14:23:45 MDT Print View

"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."

"Even with their level of training" ??? Seriously? Most departments qualify for liability purposes. It couldn't be considered training. Statements like this really put my credibility meter in the red.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
statistical perspective on 08/30/2011 14:25:45 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.

Thanks for pointing this out. Driving is far more dangerous than a LOT of other things we worry about. It's a useful thing to remember if you're a nervous person. Sometimes I get anxious about flying...all I have to do is remember I was more at risk driving to the airport than I am on the plane. Problem solved.

Guns in the backcountry is an interesting theoretical discussion, but going by the numbers (as we like to do here) on both risk and weight, there's not enough justification for packing while 'packing.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Driving on 08/30/2011 14:53:37 MDT Print View

I moved from Ireland to Belgian 3 years ago and utterly shocked as to how the locals drive.

I have driven in the US 3 or 4 times (including a 1000 mile road trip) and find it a cakewalk compared to Belgium :-)

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: Solo Wilderness Security on 08/30/2011 15:37:02 MDT Print View

I have always wanted to see a paper and spreadsheet of various options for bear protection.

brainstorming here-

All inclusive ie. bear canisters and hangs, electric fences, firearms and spray.

Weights, cost, lifespan.

Footnotes on effectiveness, proper use, carry, laws, and gear recommendations for
hiking areas.


Just did a family backpack into Grizzly and Wolf country and also where a 5 year old
was snatched by a cougar last year. Found scat in the trail with wolf toe nails in it
(saved it and had it ID'ed by the USFS biologist). Something is eating wolves!

Being as this place is just a 2 day walk for a Griz from my house has got me to thinking.

Don't want to end up like this guy--

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
mountain lions on 08/30/2011 15:41:51 MDT Print View

I've often wondered why I've never seen them mentioned. Are they that much more reclusive than bears that an encounter is that much more rare?

Brian UL

Locale: New England
statistical perspective on 08/30/2011 15:44:33 MDT Print View

Lets just be real,
You are bound to get feminist barbs and macho "I don't need a gun" posturing when this subject comes up.
Its a fact of life that no matter how clever you are or how careful, what weapon you carry or how well trained you are, a determined person can victimize you.
The police carry because its effective for self defense, but they also play a confidence game knowing that the uniform signifys that there's s an army and a whole system to back them up.
I am all for responsible law abiding citizen carrying - its not my business. I just don't think its always the best strategy.
No matter what you do nothing is guaranteed. I would suggest:

- being prudent and avoiding suspicious people and situations
- study a martial art since its more likely you will be in a physical altercation than a gun battle and be willing to use violence without hesitation to make a quick escape.
- practice running or sprinting so you get away when you are out gunned.
- carry pepper spray for range and something like a retractable baton for close quarters. Remember to go for the eyes if a bear gets a hold of you.
You can tell Im bored when I respond to a gun thread.

Mark Hudson
(vesteroid) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Sierras
Re: Police training? on 08/30/2011 16:02:57 MDT Print View

@ fred

so fred, we are to believe that all the ccw persons in the us have equal or more training than the police?

You in my opinion prove my point, you say our police who have more training than the average ccw permitted person are not adept, then where does that leave the average ccw person.

You may be gods gift to shooting but to believe that any other are is what puts my credibility meter in the red.

Someone also posted they have carried for 10 years and not needed it, but were happy they had it just in case. I am 46 havent needed one in 46 years, and I suspect that the person who posted actually is older than 10 so in reality they havent needed it in 31 years or more (21 to buy a gun and 10 years of experience).

I personally believe this topic has no place on bpl.

how many triple crowners have carried weapons, or even bear spray. These guys and girls have spent more time hiking than most of us could even imagine, and I doubt very seriously any of them carried weapons on their triple crown hikes.

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
triple crown hazards on 08/30/2011 17:19:28 MDT Print View

Having not hiked a triple crown, are those trails known for pot grows, meth labs or
grizzly bears?

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
Pure fear driven by Television,movies and 24 hour news on 08/30/2011 18:33:02 MDT Print View

I have been around guns since I was very small boy my father use to hunt and shoot skeet in club contest. My first daisy buffalo bill BB gun at 7 years old to learn how to shoot. Learned how to shoot real gun a 22 rifle and 12 gauge shot gun at age 9 years old in company of my father. Hunted a lot in Deluz area of far north San Diego county my 22. caliber pellet gun.
Use to have BB gun wars with friends when we were bored by the san luis rey river with simple rules no face shots. My friend cheated they wore heavy jackets. So I would tear off sneak around rocks like a sniper shooting their unprotected hands to win.
I was a Untied States Air Force Munition Maintenance specialist , My jobs consisted of bombs ,missiles, ammunition for planes, human carried guns,Stored and deliver supplies to EOD.
I missed my marksman ship ribbon by one shot because they gave me M-16 with crooked barrel that I asked to be exchanged and the instructor said deal with it. I had to adjust the sight and still aim 6 inches over to get a bull eyes. That my gun experience
So I am no stranger to firearms.

Rodney On da hill is right Riverside county has 14.4 percent unemployment rate so people are seeking other ways to make money.Marijuana growers in rural north san diego county and south riverside county have been around since the early 70's. Meth labs have been around also in the rural areas and urban neighbor hoods. A gang shot up the police headquarters and set police cars on fire in Hemet,Ca. like something out of the movies and it is one of the gate way towns to Mt.San Jacinto wilderness areas.

News Media, television shows ,film: has polluted are society with so much crime and fear that everybody thinks their time is up crime is banging at their door to kill them. Some human minds can take only so much and become paranoid and go in to full bore survivalist mode stock pileing guns, ammunition,food, living in the back country and swearing to shoot any city folks{Zombies} that invade during a natural disaster. Read some of the survivalist boards if you want a really good laugh. I am surprised we have not reverted back to a bomb shelter in every yard mode yet of the 50's and 60's during the cold war era that are government and media scared us in to.

Now here my take why I don't carry a Gun in to urban or wilderness areas I have been in a lot of bad urban gang area street skateboarding and working. I came to conclusion in my life I don't need guns in my life period. If I can't talk or evade my way out of something my time is up.

I also feel if you do carry gun in to wilderness area stumble on to meth labs ,marijuana growers they will think you are threat and stealing their crop or law enforcement and they will shoot ask question later.IMHO

Edited by socal-nomad on 08/30/2011 18:39:21 MDT.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Pure fear driven by Television,movies and 24 hour news on 08/30/2011 20:06:30 MDT Print View

God, not this gun thing again.................

I'm with Terry just above me on this one

a b
Re: triple crown hazards on 08/30/2011 20:18:09 MDT Print View

I just finished my version of the Triple Crown on the Summer solstice this year.
By Far the single biggest threat/fear I had was Lightning. There is no escaping it sometimes. Places on the divide were exposed and the only option to get away would have meant climbing down a rocky cliff. I came to terms with that fear and only hunkered down on my sleeping pad when the lightning bolts came simultenously with with the clap of thunder.
There is no more visceral fear (for me at least) than being "hunted" across a moonscape of boulders by a massive thunderstorm the way only Montana makes them.
My second biggest fear was Hail (they make golf ball sized hail out on the divide) then ticks and mosquitos.
Bears do not even make my list.
From my experience of hiking from Mexico to Canada twice and from Georgia to Maine the wild life has no interest in a stinky thru hiker stealth camped away from water, CG's, roads, and towns.
The most unpredictable animal in the woods continues to be man.
You want an example: Five dirtbikers wearing pistols racing up the CDT behind you. Or automatic fire heard in the dead of night on the PCT in Washington state. Or beer bottles being flung from the window of moving cars along the road on the A.T.
Fortunately you wont see many of them anywhere off-trail, away from water, or out of town either.
I slept with my food, while stealth camped, through bear country on all three trails and been harassed by nothing more than a single packrat. And rat stole a sock and a chunk of my shoulder strap leaving my food entirely alone.
Go ahead and carry a bazooka if thats what you want to do.
You have that right.
Though you will be the only one.
Not a single long distance hiker I met on any trail was visibly armed with anything more than pepper spray or a tiny pocket knife.
The only difficulty you might have is mailing that gun home (and you will) or crossing an international border when the time comes.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Triple Crown on 08/30/2011 20:34:30 MDT Print View

Gratz on your route. Also good to hear the report of a pretty peaceful trail.

Eric Neumann
(eaneumann) - F

Locale: Vail Valley Colorado
Personal preference! on 08/30/2011 21:09:52 MDT Print View

It's all about what's comfortable. I personally carry bear spray as my first defense. But, I always have my Glock 23 and a fixed blade knife. In grizzly country I would want something bigger, but for where I'm at, it's the perfect size, weight, and durability. My 23 is my backpacking gun, not my daily carry.

For grizzly's, I would want a .44 mag or bigger. But I wouldn't carry anything that would interfere with me enjoying my time in the wilderness. I don't think the chances of something happening are very likely, but I wouldn't want to be that guy dead with a gun sitting at home.

Carrying a gun is all about personal preference. He asked for gun suggestions, not reason why he shouldn't carry : )

David T
(DaveT) - F
tonz o' gunz on 08/30/2011 21:55:48 MDT Print View

YAGT (yet another gun thread).

I guess part of the pushback on the gun thing is that this is not Everything And The Kitchen Sink Camperforum or Bang Goes The Gun Weekly, but Backpackinglight.

If you wanted to carry a 9 pound mountaineering tent to your weekend hike in Tennessee "just in case" you would probably get lots of discussion about why your risk assessment is completely wack. If you want to carry an ice axe to a desert mountain "in case of avalanche" people are gonna say that's nutty. If you carry a chainsaw as an "emergency fire making tool" you might get clowned.

Thus, when you carry a "heavy" firearm into the woods to be "prepared" for the statistically tiniest of circumstances, it seems silly to discuss on a Light/Ultralight Backpacking forum. It strikes me as odd when folks that strive hard to intelligently pare their packs down to face reasonable circumstances in the woods can't see the folly of needing a firearm to defend against a pack of rabid mountain lions chewing their leg through a tent or to engage in a running firefight against Mexican nationals with automatic weapons. On a different forum (e.g. about guns) it seems totally appropriate. On here, not at all.

Also, of course it's your right to carry it (when legally done so). The Constitution also says you can carry a 4 pound first aid kit, emergency flares, a ham radio, 20'x20' canvas tarp, 14 pound sledge, etc. just in case. I just started a thread over at Kitchensinkcamperforum if you want to discuss my 122 pound baseweight over there.

Anyway, proceed. (Gotta love the weekly gun thread.)

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
Help me with this one on 08/30/2011 22:13:30 MDT Print View

You are in a tent, its night a bear attacks, you have a gun, its dark, you cant see sh#t you just do what ? start shooting where you think the bear is? If its got your leg you could try shooting that direction. I hope to God you are solo. After getting sniffed at through a tent at lake elizebeth in glacier I came up with this idea. I keep my bear spray and my knife ready and where i know exactly where they are, like you do your gun. If a bear does attack I slice out of my beloved lightheart solo and spray out of the tent. If you have ever sprayed bear spray In a windless, light winded area or up wind you learn how nasty that stuff is to come in contact with, you gasp for air ,you can not breathe, you can not see well if at all. If you were unloading a canister of that outside the tent the bear would most likely get a good wiff and since it is not a situation where its protecting a cub it would likely drop you and leave. You are going to suffer some from your own spray but that would be my preference over likely at best wounding a bear and he can still breathe and see and is really pizzed off. There is a great arguement here for a tarp and quilt over a tent and sleeping bag but in my mind no arguement for a gun over spray.

Edited by mtmnmark on 08/30/2011 22:18:43 MDT.

Brian UL

Locale: New England
knowlege over gear on 08/30/2011 22:21:25 MDT Print View

I think the gun debate can be summed up with the idea that gear is no substitute for knowledge and experience.
While unfortunately violence can happen to anyone at anytime all you can do is be as street wise as you can and cross your fingers. No amount of firepower can make up for bad decisions and bad luck.
Im sure there are a few places where it may be prudent to carry but if you are in one of those places you probably will have knowledgeable and experienced rangers and law enforcement that can guide your decision making in the rare event that its needed.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Solo Wilderness Security on 08/30/2011 22:29:21 MDT Print View

"While unfortunately violence can happen to anyone at anytime all you can do is be as street wise as you can and cross your fingers. No amount of firepower can make up for bad decisions and bad luck."

Well said.

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Statistics on 08/30/2011 23:44:52 MDT Print View

Since this is BPL and we try to carry only things we will use, except for a first aid kit, what is the likely hood of using the tool in question? How many backpackers have been killed by wildlife, pot growers, or two legged predators while they are doing the "occasional wilderness weekend outing"? in SoCal or wherever it is you go? The question I always ask in this case is: Do you wear a helmet or any extra protection when driving your car? I'm just guessing but you're probably 1,000 times more likely to die in a car accident than on the trail from a predator of any kind. So why would you take extra precaution for the unlikely one but eschew the extra protection when it might actually save your life? 2715 people died in car accidents in California in 2010. How many died in the back country by predators of any kind in the same time period? 1? 2? 3?

In Colorado, where I live, there have been only a handful of people killed by bears or mountain lions in the 100+ years of recorded history. 474 died in car accidents last year. Worried about your safety, wear a helmet when driving.

I don't really care if people carry or not as long as they do it safely. A friend of mine was exploring some rock formations in a wilderness area about 4 years ago. When he came around one of them he found a guy pointing a hand gun at him. The guy said "Sorry, I thought you were a mountain lion." I don't think that guy was carrying safely.