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Old 07-02-2013, 09:23 AM   #31 (permalink)
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I'm much happier since I started carrying less. With some newly acquired gear, my base weight is going to be just a tick over 10lbs
I remember the first time I went backcountry camping my pack weighed 60 pounds. The 5 km hike in nearly killed me! lol

After that I went on a serious pack diet. I still bring probably too much, but last time I went in I was at 35 pounds including food for two people for three days. Makes a WORLD of difference. The hike was actually enjoyable instead of feeling like boot camp.

And we're not allowed to carry handguns in the bush in Canada (unless you get an ATC for working in the wilderness). Guess we're all going to die horrible deaths from animals?!?
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:53 AM   #32 (permalink)
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I do carry a 44 Magnum though (the S&W Airweight version). We've got big critters around here.
Guns and hiking? Might be really naive question, but is that necessary? No offense intended. (I life in a country where the most dangerous animals you meet hiking are umm... dunno... bees? The occasional bears and wolves brave enough to cross the border and dumb enough to get close to alpine sheep herds or a town are shot). Thus really interested. Trekking in Yukon or Alaska is one of the diffuse holiday trips I have in mind but husband refued cause of the "big critters". I thought he's overreacting but according to your post he's not...?
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:05 AM   #33 (permalink)
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You dont need the gun until you need it ..... moose are pretty mean. I have seen 4ipeople attacked by them(1 in town) and come pretty close to getting trampled twice. I have also come across 2 mtn lions and a bear. You never know what they are planning for you but id rather be prepared. I also weigh 280 lbs so 30I lbs feels like nothing to me. Im sure it feels like a ton for the 150lb dudes I see and usually pass on the trail.
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:08 AM   #34 (permalink)
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I dont carry anything biking other than water, multi tool and a spare tube. Typically im closer to town and can turn my bike downhill to get away from pretty much anything
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:24 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Guns and hiking? Might be really naive question, but is that necessary? No offense intended. (I life in a country where the most dangerous animals you meet hiking are umm... dunno... bees?
They live in the land of the free OF COURSE IT IS NECESSARY...

If i had the right to carry a gun i would take one everywhere, just because... Haha

And the most dangerous animal you are likely to meet is not a Bee over there, but an irate frenchman... And if you had a gun, they would surrender immediately... Haha
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:25 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Guns and hiking? Might be really naive question, but is that necessary?
No, it isn't. Plenty of people go hiking without a gun, and even without pepper spray. Avoiding negative wildlife encounters is mostly about using your brain and paying attention to your surroundings, and most people who carry protection will never need it. Of course, I've never needed the fire extinguisher under the kitchen sink, either. Or my avy beacon, for that matter. Personally I'd rather have it and hope I never need it. I know plenty of people who have had to shoot bears in self-defense, including my fiance's friend, who would have been killed this spring if he hadn't been carrying.

We haven't beaten our wilderness into submission yet, like many other parts of the developed world (and indeed most of Alaska isn't "developed" in the same way that Europe and the Lower-48 are). The primary concern is bears, both brown and black, both of which are very common here (even in town), but there is also the potential for negative encounters with moose, wolves, and other critters. Don't take that as a reason not to come here for a visit. In my opinion, the fact that this place is still wild is the reason you should come. Educate yourself about wildlife safety, and keep your brain with you at all times, and you will almost certainly be fine. Whether you carry a defensive weapon or not won't make a difference 99.9% of the time, but if you do want that extra margin of safety in case of an emergency, you can carry pepper spray, which is much easier and safer to deploy for people with little experience with guns.
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:01 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Guns and hiking? Might be really naive question, but is that necessary? No offense intended. (I life in a country where the most dangerous animals you meet hiking are umm... dunno... bees? The occasional bears and wolves brave enough to cross the border and dumb enough to get close to alpine sheep herds or a town are shot). Thus really interested. Trekking in Yukon or Alaska is one of the diffuse holiday trips I have in mind but husband refued cause of the "big critters". I thought he's overreacting but according to your post he's not...?
I guess I should have elaborated, part of my "essential" hiking/camping/backpacking gear is my .357 magnum revolver loaded with hardcast wadcutters. As tigre mentioned, guns are not necessary for these activities, but neither is a first aid kit. And just like a first aid kit, you hope you never need it, but on the off chance you do, it could literally save your life. However, a gun should never be a supplement for lack of wilderness training or common sense. Every possible effort should be made to avoid close encounters with dangerous wildlife regardless of if you are armed or not. You have to remember you are visiting the animal's home when you are in the wilderness. You are the intruder, and need to make every effort to stay out of their way. But if there is no possible way to get away from them, I'd much rather have a gun than a stick.

My opinion on the matter might be a little bias though, because I carry a concealed handgun on my person every day (where legally permitted). So carrying one into the wilderness is a no brainer to me, albeit in a larger calliber as wildlife is generally much more resilient than your average human. I hope I never need it, but I can cite you countless instances of people who didn't have one that really wished they did.
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:03 PM   #38 (permalink)
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I don't carry when I hike, even though I have a permit. For what it's worth though, there have been quite a few a incidents on the trail where people have been attacked by other crazy people. There's been a few reported murders and up near Brushy Mountain...really crazy people in those neck of the woods...I can see why people would carry for personal protection from people more-so than animals. Sure, we get the occasional black bear protecting her cubs, but nothing big like a grizzly. I'd be more concerned with the nutjobs on the trail than the wildlife though.
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:16 PM   #39 (permalink)
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I don't carry when I hike, even though I have a permit. For what it's worth though, there have been quite a few a incidents on the trail where people have been attacked by other crazy people. There's been a few reported murders and up near Brushy Mountain...really crazy people in those neck of the woods...I can see why people would carry for personal protection from people more-so than animals. Sure, we get the occasional black bear protecting her cubs, but nothing big like a grizzly. I'd be more concerned with the nutjobs on the trail than the wildlife though.
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:19 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Educate yourself about wildlife safety, and keep your brain with you at all times, and you will almost certainly be fine. Whether you carry a defensive weapon or not won't make a difference 99.9% of the time, but if you do want that extra margin of safety in case of an emergency, you can carry pepper spray, which is much easier and safer to deploy for people with little experience with guns.
Yeah I've got bear spray (not allowed to call it pepper spray in Canada or it's a prohibited weapon! ) but only carry it on long hikes. If we're just screwing around there's no need here.

We have cougars, moose, bears, etc.

The best defence for an animal encounter is to travel in a larger group (as long as they're not idiots). Walk, talk, make noise, make yourself known to all the animals in a large radius around you. Also probably not a good idea to hang a couple raw steaks on your pack. I carry lighter stuff like MREs, trail mix, etc. and am careful with the garbage and any scents that may waft around. Don't give the animals any reason to come near you, and they likely won't.
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