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  1. #1
    New Member foolhardy's Avatar
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    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?

  2. #2
    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.

  3. #3
    yes you are being paranoid. There is no need to carry a gun at all.
    'Classic.' A book which people praise and don't read. ― Mark Twain

    Who cares about showers, gourmet food, using flush toilets. Just keep on walking and being away from it all.

    There are times that the only way you can do something is to do it alone.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Perkolady's Avatar
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    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!

  5. #5
    New Member foolhardy's Avatar
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    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.

  6. #6
    MacEntyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by foolhardy View Post
    I always ...have a pistol ...unless I'm in a national forest where it's not allowed.
    It is allowed in Natl Forests, if it is allowed in that state. After Feb 22, the same became true in National Parks as well.

    BillyBob, you have puzzled me before with your posts on this topic, but I have come to understand what you are saying. It's not about the odds, although that is how some tend to think about firearms. We don't rationalize leaving the first aid kit at home because it's use is unlikely.
    "We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." - Ben Franklin
    www.MollyMacGear.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacEntyre View Post
    It is allowed in Natl Forests, if it is allowed in that state. After Feb 22, the same became true in National Parks as well.

    BillyBob, you have puzzled me before with your posts on this topic, but I have come to understand what you are saying. It's not about the odds, although that is how some tend to think about firearms. We don't rationalize leaving the first aid kit at home because it's use is unlikely.
    Thank you MacEntyre, very well said and finally a better explanation for my way of looking at it than I have been able to give myself! Really, it's not about the odds, not if some day it is you or your defenseless loved one. And excellent point there: in 30 plus years of back country expeditions, I personally have not needed the 1st aide kit, yet. (though a friend has once or twice) Am I paranoid to carry 1st aid?

    I really do not expect any trouble with man nor beast when in the woods. Face it, in all of these years I have never even seen a bear, much less been threatened by one. And once I was 30 continuous days in the northern Rockies without coming out of the woods. Realistically,my biggest threat was near death from body odor. But I really can't imagine any thing worse than being that mother at the swimming hole in TN, defenseless when that one in a million black bear decides to come in for dinner. Can you imagine? You just won the wrong kind of lottery, and there is nothing you can do to help you or your children except hope some one else shows up with a gun.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  8. #8
    MacEntyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    ...once I was 30 continuous days in the northern Rockies without coming out of the woods.
    Ran out of breadcrumbs?
    "We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." - Ben Franklin
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Dead Reckon's Avatar
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    Solo

    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

  10. #10
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    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.
    Shug
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