Solo camping in Alabama
I am doing my first solo (short-) hike and campout tonight. I carry a pistol and a knife. Am I just paranoid or is there a valid reason that I'm nervous about any sorts of predators?
I know there are coyotes, possibly mtn. lions and possibly black bears in northern Alabama. I'll be on the Locust Fork river in the Kimberly/Morris area on some family land.
Am I just being paranoid?
Also, what all sorts of predators are in central/northern alabama? Does anyone know for sure?
Rock on dude. Can't beat being prepared. I carry a pistol especialy if I have my kids with me. What are you packn? I have been carrying my glock 34 lately.
yes you are being paranoid. There is no need to carry a gun at all.
I'm no expert on Alabama wildlife, but I'd like to encourage you. Many animals feed at night, so there will likely be some out and about near your camp. They tend to be curious. One of the main things to do to prevent any problems is to make sure you don't leave any food or smellables anywhere near you. Many folks hang their food.
In the 30 or so years I've been soloing, I've had many animals come into my campsite at night (including bears), but without any food for them to get into, they just investigate then move on.
It takes a little getting used to being alone in the woods. You'll likely hear all kinds of critter activity in the woods around you. It's a bit unerving when something gets close though!
I have been camping at this place for about eight years, just never alone. I've been scared breathless once a couple of years ago when at about 3am something pressed its nose up against the side of the tent and moved it around, waking me up. I had a hi-point .45 next to me at the time but I was so scared that I could not move or even breath. I literally had to voluntarily breath.
Anyway, I'll be carrying a Taurus PT-99 (Taurus's Beretta 92 knock-off). I always always always have a pistol on me on a hike/campout unless I'm in a national forest where it's not allowed.
You are not being overly paranoid. It is a natural reaction to being out on ones own. When I was young I went out alone a lot just to enjoy the mental aspect of being alone. One knows perfectly well that there is probably no real danger at hand. But the brain refuses to accept this logic and instead. Goes into a hard wired self preservation mode. Whereby all your senses are heightened and your body is ready to start pumping adrenalin to kick you into the old fight or flight mechanism that our distant forebears evolved to stay alive. You will hear,smell and feel things your first few times out, that you never would notice in the company of someone else. Powerful stuff this self preservation thing is! Had some of my best times scared out of my wits! Where I live it is not so much natural predators that are dangerous. Instead packs of wild dogs or Coy dogs are the problem. After the second time I had wild dogs in camp I bought my first carry gun. Have carried one since. It is only wise to be prepared. A gentle word to the warning though. The first time I had to use it. I was so pumped on adrenaline and worked up. Kind of like Buck Fever on steroids! I almost shot myself!!! No joke! Dead Reckon
I solo ..... no firearm as I don't own one. Do what makes you feel safe.
I have my knife ...... and whistle on my hammock ridgeline. That will have to do if I am attacked.
One thing I do that helps me is play out and rehearse scenarios in my head.
You will be in greater danger driving to and from the trail head than being the victim of any wildlife in Alabama. No mtn lions in Alabama and probably not even in the easter US. The only confirmed bears in Alabama are in the Tennsaw Delta in South Alabama. But do whatever makes you feel comfortable.
If you are trained in the use of your firearm and know what you're doing then take it or leave it as you wish.
If you're just somebody that has a gun, PLEASE leave it at home.
This forum isn't the right place for a gun debate.
You aren't likely to encounter many predators that you should fear in N. Alabama. Feral pigs and the occasional coyote, mostly. Enjoy your trip.