Mountain Lions in Georgia? Strictly a myth. Like Bigfoot.
For me it is not worth the hassle or responsibility of owning a fire arm. I'd be afraid of shooting something by accident. Just to be clear, I am not apposed to those who wish to carry. When it's just me backpacking I don't worry about it much, but I have to say that when I bring my son on trips I think differently. I must admit I bought bear spray for a trip up in the Porkies. I told my wife that I could not live with myself if he was being attacked by something or someone and just stood by. I would without a doubt jump in no matter what the outcome would be. But to make sure we stay on topic here, we both hung great and slept like babies. Him in his Hennessey and me in a BB. I was very happy that he was not scared at all to sleep by himself.
Last edited by Oms; 03-21-2010 at 10:15.
I did my first solo last night. I had my tarp laid back until dark. It was a little unnerving to pull the tarp over the other side. I like to be able to see whats around me, or seemed to need that more being alone more than when I am with others. I was parked about 50 yards away and was a little worried about folks happening upon my truck in the persuit of solitude for partying or romantic intentions. Both are things young people do for the most part and young people do stupid things like smash windows of seemingly abandoned vehicles. This notion coupled with new sounds made for a restless night, atleast until the need to sleep took over. Then about 2am another force woke me. It was down to 42 degrees and I don't have an underquilt yet. I was wearing long johns top and bottom, campmor convertable pants, tshirt, heavy zipup hoodie, tobogan, and socks. I had my 40 degree bag using it like a top quilt. Things I would do different are taking a pad or underquilt, a small pillow, and probably my Phoenix 22 or CZ 52 for peace of mind. I'd probably get dropped so I don't have to worry about my truck. In the end none of my worries did me in but it was the cold that got me!!!
"He who makes a beast of himself, gets rid of the pain of being a man." Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
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FWIW, I'm a light sleeper and tend to focus in on all the strange sounds when I'm out. It keeps me from sleeping, so I usually wear earplugs for a restful night's slumber. Might make some people MORE nervous to have earplugs in, but I don't worry about it too much.
I don't think he's being paranoid at all. I usually set up a perimeter with snare wire and flash-bang grenades. My hammock suspension has a special mod that allows me to trip a wire which raises the hammock 16 feet into the air as well. I also try to find someone camping nearby so that I can cook my bacon next to their tent before returning to my camp. Better safe than sorry.
Actually, all I do is have a knife and a handgun suitable to stop whatever is the largest animal in the area. In Alaska, I carry a 44 magnum of a 454. In the southeast, I carry a Glock 29. In over 20 years of backpacking, I've only had to fire a gun once in self defense. In that case, I had a young male brown bear charging directly at me. In that instance, I had to hike 14 miles back to the ranger station to file a report of the incident where they deemed a "justified kill".
Paranoid. All we need is a buncha Nervous Nellies with weapons in the big bad scaredy woods.
"Had" to shoot is a euphemism for "chose" to shoot, by the way.
Rain Man, after the kill I was told by the rangers that the bear had a prior history and had mauled someone else. I dropped it with two shots. He fell less than ten feet from my toes. I did choose to shoot over being mauled or killed.
That's Alaska and a brown bear. a whole different world from what one might find along the AT.
Can you imagine the grief and waste avoided if that young lady had just had a decent weapon of some kind on the day she decided to hike alone in the Canadian wilds? For goodness sakes, slowly gnawed to death by a pack of coyotes while on a day hike, what a waste and needless tragedy. How often have I heard this during the last 40 years: "Coyotes are normally afraid of humans. This is a very irregular occurrence,". Let's just say quite a bit more than once! And as far as this young lady is concerned, who cares how rare it is?
BTW, Wisenber, you are only the 2nd person I have ever communicated with who had to kill a bear, during an attack. I guess, bottom line, you were glad you had a weapon.
Apparently, signature that I used from 2006 no longer tolerated so now deleted.
BillyBob58, I sure as heck did not relish the moment. I'd much rather watch them with binoculars. It actually made me mad that I was in that spot. I cooked at least 1/4 mile away from where I camped. I hung my food several hundred yards away. I scrubbed the crap out of my hands after I finished fishing and I was wearing a stupid bell. I even had a set of clothes that I cooked in.
I'm just truly grateful that I remained calm enough to hit him both times with a revolver. It was like an unwelcome reminder of my military days.