Sep 19, 2011 at 8:04 am #1279509
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?Sep 19, 2011 at 8:09 am #1780798
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.Sep 19, 2011 at 8:19 am #1780801
Ultralight bazooka is the only way to travel.Sep 19, 2011 at 8:21 am #1780802
Where are you going?
Black bears are not dangerous.
Usually suspicion of "crazies" is paranoia.Sep 19, 2011 at 8:40 am #1780808
@chadnscLocale: Duluth, Minnesota
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.Sep 19, 2011 at 9:02 am #1780814
The best tactic against crazies is…..be crazier than the crazies….Sep 19, 2011 at 10:10 am #1780836
Yes, show the crazies you're nuts two.Sep 19, 2011 at 10:19 am #1780840
@fuzzLocale: Sunny San Diego
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.Sep 19, 2011 at 10:38 am #1780849
@umnakLocale: Southeast Alaska
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.Sep 19, 2011 at 11:06 am #1780862
Cardio…cardio…cardio. Hasn't failed me yet.Sep 19, 2011 at 11:11 am #1780864
@jason762Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
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 :PSep 19, 2011 at 11:30 am #1780871
@kieranLocale: Seattle, WA
It's said often here that we pack our fears.
If you must carry something, just carry bear spray. If you don't believe it'll work on crazies, try testing on self :)Sep 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm #1780990
My thoughts are do what you want. I like to carry Bear Spray, but if you feel better with a gun. Go for it…Sep 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm #1780993
"It's said often here that we pack our fears.
After a few days backpacking I fear my jockey shorts. But I still pack them. So I guess this is true!Sep 19, 2011 at 6:51 pm #1781016
what a first post! call me cynical, but somehow I have hard time believing this question is sincereSep 19, 2011 at 6:54 pm #1781017
@kat_pLocale: Pacific Coast
I am with you Mike. But time will tell.Sep 19, 2011 at 6:59 pm #1781021
.Sep 19, 2011 at 7:07 pm #1781022
@redmonkLocale: Greater California Ecosystem
Don't be a wuss, bring a gun that can stop a bear.Sep 19, 2011 at 7:28 pm #1781026
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
It is the age old frontier standoff! Who will win?Sep 19, 2011 at 7:37 pm #1781030
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
I would go with a 105mm howitzer with beehive rounds.
Go big or go home.
–B.G.–Sep 19, 2011 at 7:37 pm #1781031
I can't think of a .380 that weighs 14oz loaded. Quite frankly I would not enjoy maintaining the level of paranoia and readiness required to make use of it on the trail against human beings and think it would be of more use for ending your suffering than the bear in case of an animal attack.Sep 19, 2011 at 7:42 pm #1781033
I read it as more like thisSep 19, 2011 at 8:49 pm #1781059
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
ANDY!!!!! There's a BEAR!!!!
These, "I'm going to pack this to protect myself from bears" threads come up in outdoor forums all over. My conclusion is that if the OP is lucky, the bear will laugh itself silly, giving an opportunity for escape.
My wife and I were on a hike yesterday and I was telling her about the guy who had a spear to protect himself from bears. Same answer.
When we were newlyweds I was sorting out all our camping gear I came across her old aluminum cook kit and it had some odd dents in it. I asked her how that happened and she told of the bear on the Olympic National Park beaches who inspected her pack and chewed on the cook kit for a bit. I asked her what she did, and she said she watched from a LONG way off until the bear left. Good choice :)Sep 19, 2011 at 9:14 pm #1781065
"I can't think of a .380 that weighs 14oz loaded."
A Ruger LCP or Kel-tec loaded with 7 rounds of .380 ACP comes in at 11-12oz. A Kel-tec PF9, which also would not take down a good size bear, comes in at 18oz loaded.
RyanSep 19, 2011 at 9:22 pm #1781069
I never hurt anyone but being a crazy myself I would feel better if you left it at home. Bear spray has excellent results on me
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