Many people ask me, men and women if I bring weapons with me when I hike solo. Hiking and backpacking have been growing in popularity. With each passing decade, more and more people are getting out into the great outdoors. For the first time in history, we are seeing our National Parks getting “loved to death” as they call it because of the increase in visitors.
With this growing popularity, many people who are starting out hiking, often get nervous about being in the woods alone and that’s understandable. I have been an avid hiker and backpacker for many years now and I still get scared. People get nervous thinking they are going to run into a serial killer or a bear or what ever it may be on the trail. At one point I let this bother me until I saw what the wilderness was really like.
Most people in the outdoors, hiking on the trail, are the friendliest people out there. They are happy, content, relaxed and are normal people just like you. Just wanting to escape reality for a while. The chances of getting mauled to death by a bear is one of the most uncommon ways to die. You have a much greater chance of dying in a car on your way to work. Lets just say for argument sake you even had a gun and you shot it at a bear to protect yourself. Chances are, you didn’t kill it and only pissed him off, and now you are going to get mauled by a bear rather than reacting to the situation in which you are suppose to and surviving. Same with a serial killer. You have a much greater chance of meeting a serial killer in a city as opposed to out in the middle of no where.
Unfortunately, there is danger everywhere in this world and anything can happen to you at any given time. So I get why you would think about bringing a gun with you while hiking. In some situations, it could save your life. I’m not here to say a gun is useless. I’m all for gun rights and I come from a family of hunters.
What I am saying is hiking is a peaceful sport, used by millions of people every day and 99 percent of the time, people are fine. This is probably one of the safest activities out there. But as far as statistics go, if you are talking about millions of people participating in an activity, something bad is bound to happen and when that one person gets hurt, everyone hears about it. But what you don’t hear is the millions of people that are hiking right now, and everyone is fine.
To answer your question, no, I do not bring a gun while hiking. But, I do believe you can still be prepared and protect yourself. I for instance always bring bear spray. Bear spray is effective on bears, a lot more than if you were to use a gun just for defensive purposes. Professional hunters often get killed hunting bear because you have such a small kill spot. Plus, bear spray is like pepper spray times 30. If a person is trying to hurt you, bear spray can do a lot of damage and it will give you time to run away. I also bring a knife with me just in case as well. So with bear spray and a knife, I feel pretty protected in the wild.
I hope this helps and stay safe out there! Thanks for reading.