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.380 on a ultralight backpacking/camping trip?
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Stephen Supertramp
(saglines) - F
.380 on a ultralight backpacking/camping trip? on 09/19/2011 09:04:13 MDT Print View

So, I am going on a long backpacking/camping trip. I am hoping to cover about 35 miles through rugged terrain, so every ounce matters. I was considering bringing my .380 for protection which weighs only 14 oz with a full magazine. My other option would be my 9mm which weighs 30 oz with a full magazine. (more weight than I like) Mind you, I used to take a buck knife as my only protection. I understand that the .380 will not stop a bear or other large animal, but neither will my 9mm. My hope is that a couple of warning shots into the ground will scare a bear off. (likely to only encounter black bears if at all) Because if it comes charging I know the 9mm, .380 and the Buck knife aren't going to stop it. I would also have the gun for protection against any undesirables or crazies (scarier than any animals) that I may encounter. Thoughts?

Andy Schill
(Aschill) - F
??? on 09/19/2011 09:09:14 MDT Print View

Why carry a pistol YOU KNOW will not even come close to stopping a bear? Especially when you state that's the intended purpose for the pistol. I wouldn't gamble my life on warning shots either.

Do yourself a favor and read up on how to handle bears in the back country and go grab some bear spray.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: .380 on a ultralight backpacking/camping trip? on 09/19/2011 09:19:43 MDT Print View

Ultralight bazooka is the only way to travel.

Stephan Doyle
Re: .380 on a ultralight backpacking/camping trip? on 09/19/2011 09:21:56 MDT Print View

Where are you going?

Black bears are not dangerous.

Usually suspicion of "crazies" is paranoia.

Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Re: .380 on a ultralight backpacking/camping trip? on 09/19/2011 09:40:29 MDT Print View


Please don't take offense to this but you don't know what you're doing in regards to personal protection. Taking a small caliber firearm to 'scare off' large animals with a few warning shots is a terrible idea and in truth won't work. The same goes for protection against people.

Bring bear spray if you're really worried about large animal and or 'crazies'. Learn how to use the bear spray and how to camp in bear country.

I for one think that you're being a bit paranoid as for the last eight years I've backpacked in areas with black bear, grizzly bear, timberwolf, and the occasional big cat and have never had an issue with any of them. Heck the only thing I've ever encountered that was remotely dangerous was a bull moose but he wasn't in rut and he didn't care what I was doing.

As for personal defense from other people; I have a great deal of personal experience and training on this topic. All I'm going to say it this; if you're worried about people hurting you where you backpack don't backpack there.

Casey Balza
(equals) - F
Crazies on 09/19/2011 10:02:41 MDT Print View

The best tactic against crazies crazier than the crazies....

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Crazies on 09/19/2011 11:10:28 MDT Print View

Yes, show the crazies you're nuts two.

Edited by jshann on 09/19/2011 11:23:05 MDT.

Edward Z
(Fuzz) - MLife

Locale: Sunny San Diego
Liberating on 09/19/2011 11:19:53 MDT Print View

As someone who carries a firearm professionally every day for the last 14 years, I can say that leaving it behind for the trail is immensely liberating. While necessary in society among other humans for saving lives, including yours truly... It is largely ineffective and squarely un-UL. It's important to separate your fears from one realm to the next. Entering into nature and it's animal element on educated terms and employing best practices is the true responsible solution. It's said often here that we pack our fears. So read up, hike awarely and in tune and enjoy being a tiny fleshy creature in the world of other fleshy creatures surrounded by unimaginable beauty. And watch out more crossing the street to your car on the way, it's much more likely to hurt you.

Edited by Fuzz on 09/19/2011 11:21:19 MDT.

Joseph Reeves

Locale: Southeast Alaska
bear spray on 09/19/2011 11:38:17 MDT Print View

Go with bear spray for backpacking, a side arm isn't effective. We do carry a shotgun on kayak trips to Admiralty Island (largest concentration of brown bears anywhere), but also have bear spray at the ready under the tarp.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Cardio on 09/19/2011 12:06:54 MDT Print View

Cardio...cardio...cardio. Hasn't failed me yet.

Jason Anderson
(Jason762) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Admiralty Island on 09/19/2011 12:11:34 MDT Print View

Even on Admiralty Island, I never saw a bear. Worked on a trail crew on the island for 3 months up at Young Lake.

Sounds to me like bears are your excuse to carry your firearm. Go ahead. My excuse is I'm afraid someone will break into the house while i'm on a backpacking trip and steal my G17 :P

Kier Selinsky
(Kieran) - F

Locale: Seattle, WA
Re: Liberating on 09/19/2011 12:30:35 MDT Print View

It's said often here that we pack our fears.
Well said.

If you must carry something, just carry bear spray. If you don't believe it'll work on crazies, try testing on self :)

Russ Porter

Locale: Anchorage
Do what you want on 09/19/2011 18:18:39 MDT Print View

My thoughts are do what you want. I like to carry Bear Spray, but if you feel better with a gun. Go for it...

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Liberating on 09/19/2011 18:22:12 MDT Print View

"It's said often here that we pack our fears.
Well said.

After a few days backpacking I fear my jockey shorts. But I still pack them. So I guess this is true!

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
first post on 09/19/2011 19:51:54 MDT Print View

what a first post! call me cynical, but somehow I have hard time believing this question is sincere

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: first post on 09/19/2011 19:54:36 MDT Print View

I am with you Mike. But time will tell.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
. on 09/19/2011 19:59:03 MDT Print View


Edited by kthompson on 09/24/2011 22:00:08 MDT.

Willie Evenstop
(redmonk) - F

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
.380 on a ultralight backpacking/camping trip? on 09/19/2011 20:07:37 MDT Print View

Don't be a wuss, bring a gun that can stop a bear.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: .380 on a ultralight backpacking/camping trip? on 09/19/2011 20:28:21 MDT Print View

It is the age old frontier standoff! Who will win?


Ninja Yogi Fighter

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: .380 on a ultralight backpacking/camping trip? on 09/19/2011 20:37:27 MDT Print View

I would go with a 105mm howitzer with beehive rounds.

Go big or go home.