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C0untZer0
June 7, 2011, 04:32 PM
I don't know anything about this - I know there are hikers/campers on this forum.

If you are allowed to OC in your state and in the park where you are hiking (I don't even know if Federal Park law might trump state carry law) but anyway - does anyone ever just carry a carbine or rifle on a sling when they're hiking. If not I wonder why not. It would seem the best way to carry and deploy a weapon if needed - as opposed to carrying a handun in holster.

I don't know the laws that govern this, that's why I'm asking.

Are there different laws for carry when hiking - like you can carry a handgun OC but carbines/rifles/shotguns are not allowed?

I just think for myself it would be easier to carry a carbine slung than carry a pistol in a holster.

Carrying them in a backpack seems to defeat the purpose.

BarryLee
June 7, 2011, 06:02 PM
When I hike in parks around Atlanta I usually carry a .380 in my pocket. I’m not too likely to run into any four legged predators bigger than a canine (dog, coyote, fox). Also, I feel the .380 is sufficient for any two legged predators I might come across.

I haven’t really decided what I might carry in the more untamed areas of the North Georgia Mountains. Also, I need to do a little more research to determine exactly what is allowed in various areas (State Park, National Park, National Forest, Wildlife Management Area). Obviously having one set of requirements would make way too much sense for the Guberment.

Rifleman1776
June 7, 2011, 06:35 PM
In Arkansas that is a problematic situation. Game laws prohibit firearms except during hunting season and it has to match the game in season. e.g. you can't take a 30-06 during squirrel season. When I hike or ATV during a proper season I'll wear my Ruger Single Six .22 with mag in it.
Can't help for folks who have a concealed carry permit, just don't know. Guessing it should be OK.

AK103K
June 7, 2011, 07:15 PM
You cant carry in federal "parks". In PA, you "normally" cant carry in state parks, although some allowances are made for hunting.


We've hiked and camped, and pretty much everywhere, most of our lives. We always just carried a concealed handgun, and did our best not to do something stupid at the wrong moment, and have never had any troubles. A handgun out of sight never causes alarm, open carrying or carrying long guns may, especially in areas where they are not permitted, or youre likely to encounter people who are no used to seeing them.

If you feel the need to have the gun, do what it takes to have the gun. If thats a problem, then dont.

Noreaster
June 7, 2011, 07:45 PM
The National Forest and Parks in NH allow you to carry firearms in accordance with State law. They also allow hunting.

Deja vu
June 7, 2011, 07:51 PM
when I am hiking in Idaho I carry one of my 357 magnum revolvers.

cracked91
June 7, 2011, 08:33 PM
I always OC while hiking and I go hiking once every 2 or 3 weeks.
I carry a 3" Ruger SP101 in a homemade leather pancake holster.

I wouldn't recommend slinging a long gun while hiking unless in a place like Alaska, etc where there is a decent chance you may encounter large aggressive animals. Especially on marked trails. You WILL feel the weight, and it will often make other hikers nervous.

I was out about 6 months ago on a fairly populated trail and I crossed the path of 2 gentleman. Both were in BDU pants, one had a glock in a thy holster and an AK slung across his back over his camelbak. The other had some very large 8" revolver in a shoulder holster. This kind of behavior only makes gun owners look like extremists. I just rolled my eyes and kept walking. Trail ninjas.

Often times I will pack my P22 with 200 rounds in addition to my .357.
The extra 2 lbs of weight is worth it for the BUG if something were to go wrong with the revolver, and also a gun that would fair much better for small game hunting in a survival situation.

X_shooter
June 7, 2011, 08:38 PM
You can usualy search the regs of the particular state regarding possession of firearms in their parks. National parks and preserves also have different regs. The laws changed in 2009 allowing them in national parks, but check your particular park to make sure. Some parks only permit guns on licensed "hunters". There are species in my state open year round. In that case I would wear orange and carry my hunting license which is alo my fishing license so it goes everywhere I go anyway.

If you just want to carry a weapon, the rifle on a sling is made to be carried. If you plan to use one when needed you might want to use a sidearm and holster concealed or not. You can also use a tactical pack that allows quick deployment and doubles as a day pack. I have a few Maxpeditions that conveniently conceal any of my pistols with easy access. A heavy duty rack pack would rule out that kind of approach. At that point a chest rig or belt holster would work better or even a pocket holster. It really depends on what you plan on doing with the firearm.

Fish_Scientist
June 7, 2011, 10:42 PM
When I'm hiking in nearby national forests, I carry a 4" .44 magnum Ruger Redhawk loaded with hard cast bullets. I also carry a large canister of bear spray. I worry less about two legged predators than large, hairy, carnivorous four legged predators, particularly during autumn.

Fish

Nnobby45
June 7, 2011, 10:50 PM
My P239 9mm works fine for when I'm flyfishing out in the river. Conceals well under waders.

It would be my carry gun if I were a hiker.

BikerRN
June 7, 2011, 11:22 PM
I carry a rifle when hiking and scouting for game before the season opens due to the illegal aliens, and also to take targets of opportunity that are in season.

As far as a handgun I will have one or three on my person hiking/scouting or not hiking. My actions are legal where I am, but they may not be where you are. Learn your laws and follow them. If you don't agree with your laws, follow them, but work to get them changed.

Biker

Scorpion8
June 7, 2011, 11:29 PM
In Alaska, open carry is allowed and is okay in all State parks. Federal parks I can't vouch for. But I often carry a Marlin 336 across the back if I am going to be using my hands a lot, making sidearm use less optimal. Also depends on the expected threat, 2-legged or 4-. Big bears take stout medicine.

C0untZer0
June 7, 2011, 11:32 PM
I realize from people's posts that there are so many "hiking" situations.

I was thinking more of remote areas, and my logic is - if I have to haul a firearm and I'm not limited to a handgun, I'd sling a carbine.

When something happens it usually happens so quickly and I think it's easier to bring a rifle / carbine to firing position from a sling than to draw a handgun from a holster.

Hiker 1
June 7, 2011, 11:35 PM
You can carry a concealed handgun and in some cases open carry in the national parks (buildings excluded) as log as you're in compliance with that state's carry laws. Typically this only applies to handguns as open long-gun carry would be illegal in most cases since hunting is not allowed in the national parks.

You have to check with your state on state park laws and national forest laws in your state, which defer back to the state. Here in Colorado, you can carry and shoot in the national forests (can't shoot in the parks, but you can carry) as long as you follow certain guidelines. Every state is different.

Scorpion8
June 7, 2011, 11:37 PM
Also realize that almost any carbine round whether .357, .44Mag, 45LC or .30-30 will hit harder and develop more velocity from a 18" carbine barrel than from a 4-6" handgun barrel. That may temper your decision in favor of the carbine, with a same-round handgun as a back-up.

Hiker 1
June 7, 2011, 11:38 PM
I just think for myself it would be easier to carry a carbine slung than carry a pistol in a holster.

Check out the Bianchi UM84I Universal Military Holster. You can buy a thumb-snap to replace the flap it comes with. It mounts very well to a backpack's belt and you can conceal it with a shirt. Fits most autos.

BlueTrain
June 8, 2011, 06:26 AM
In some places if you have a long gun, you are considered to be hunting. If it isn't hunting season, then you are poaching the king's deer. The whole thing is problematic. Firearms were originally banned from Shenandoah Park for exactly that reason: people were hunting illegally in the park.

All of the issues we have today concerning hunting, animals killing livestock, trespassing, and whatnot were issues 80 years ago. Nothing's ever really been settled except where either all the game is gone or all the people are gone.

Aliens don't really enter into the picture except where their spaceships cause grass fires.

Ronbert
June 8, 2011, 08:16 AM
Carrying a long gun instead of a pistol when you're not hunting or have reason to expect major trouble (such as combat) ?

This makes no sense to me. Outside of hunting season it would alarm most anyone I'd meet and is certainly far less convenient than the small gun secured inside a small pouch on my pack waistbelt.

I've carried a titanium .357 while hiking for many years now. I mostly expect I'd need it for arriving back at the car and finding thieves messing with my car.

insolentshrew
June 8, 2011, 08:40 AM
Call your park ranger to verify the laws, and within those laws what they recommend. It is also a good idea if you are hiking in an area where you might need a long gun for bears, bobcats, or other potentially dangerous animals - to check in with the ranger station to let them know where you are going to be hiking/duration, if you plan on camping, etc. Also check back in with them on the way out.

If you are going to be carrying while hiking, find out what you might be carrying for. Wolves/coyotes, etc. you can get by with a handgun no problem. Go into bear country and you want a long gun, if you carry a handgun in territory like that most rangers will scoff at anything less than a 44. I would also look into a large can of bear spray, will work on more than just bears obviously but in a stressful situation it can be more effective than the 1-3 shots you might get off against a charging animal due to having a continuous spray that you can sweep them with. I would also suggest wearing some sort of bell (cow bell type), can be found at some outdoors stores if you aren't familiar with them. Purpose being to make noise while you are hiking so you don't end up sneaking up on an animal and startling it, possibly resulting in an attack. Most animals, even large, don't attack just because they feel like it but you have either startled them, treaded upon their den and they are defending it, or possibly you have come between a mother and her babies accidentally. Makes noise when you hike, and most animals will get far away from you before you even have a chance to see them.

Carrying a long gun instead of a pistol when you're not hunting or have reason to expect major trouble (such as combat) ?

Certain animals can attack you for what appears to be no reason just as easily as a druggy looking to rob you. You don't carry expecting trouble, you carry in case trouble comes and finds you.

Ltriker
June 8, 2011, 09:10 AM
Any time I leave the house, I have some type of firearm with me. When I go into rural areas(and I do a lot), I usually have several.
Handgun concealed is the best bet, if legal for you,since out of sight=out of mind.


I often carry a rifle and a handgun in the country.

L_Killkenny
June 8, 2011, 11:18 AM
Hiking someplace is an elective. If it's so bad to hike there that you need a long gun, HIKE SOMEWHERE ELSE!

Long guns under no circumstances carry better than a handgun. You may thinks it's faster to unsling a long gun but if it's that easy to unsling it's more than likely not very secure either. A long gun across you back is slow slow to bring into action. The only place to carry a long gun out of the way is........you guessed it, across your back.

Over all it's a horrid idea in 99% of the U.S. Alaska MIGHT be the exception. If you still choose to go forward with this HORRID idea, only hike in areas allowing hunting, carry a hunting licence and a gun/ammo generally used for hunting what ever quarry might be in season. Almost all states have at least one animal in season throughout the year. Coyote is a good example in most states and it wouldn't hurt to invest in a $6 predator call to help plead your case when a game officer gives you the evil eye.

Did I mention that it's a HORRID idea?

LK

doofus47
June 8, 2011, 11:46 AM
Hiking uphill and down all day with a carbine would be crappy. I go hiking to enjoy myself. If I'm day hooffing it, I'll take the pistol on the belt anyday.
If I were in serious bear country, I would probably be hunting, not hiking, and I'd be toting the long rifle. Again--crappy to be going uphill and down all day with an asymmetric weight to deal with, but it's the price of entry

Thanks for the holster tip, Hiker 1.

cracked91
June 8, 2011, 12:27 PM
Long guns under no circumstances carry better than a handgun. You may thinks it's faster to unsling a long gun but if it's that easy to unsling it's more than likely not very secure either. A long gun across you back is slow slow to bring into action. The only place to carry a long gun out of the way is........you guessed it, across your back.

+1

Over all it's a horrid idea in 99% of the U.S. Alaska MIGHT be the exception. If you still choose to go forward with this HORRID idea, only hike in areas allowing hunting, carry a hunting licence and a gun/ammo generally used for hunting what ever quarry might be in season. Almost all states have at least one animal in season throughout the year. Coyote is a good example in most states and it wouldn't hurt to invest in a $6 predator call to help plead your case when a game officer gives you the evil eye.

Its not uncommon to see people in Alaska/some Canadian territories carrying long guns strictly for defense. I even knew a guy who lived in Alaska for 2 years and only had one gun for one reason: a .30-06 for when he went to cut his Christmas tree every year.

It mainly just comes down to weight, convenience, and practicality for me. Im not going to need or use a long gun.

BUT. . . Hiking is different than bushwacking, exploring, etc. I consider hiking traveling on known/marked trails, with a destination in mind, generally for several (8-50) miles. If I am just out exploring/scouting an area, and I probably won't go more than 3 miles away from my truck, I will occasionally sling a shotgun. The same applies if I am traveling an out-of-service/extremely seldom used trail. And I feel it every time.

Our desert and mountain pot gardens protected by armed guards do exist out here. And I have more than once encountered an individual in the backwoods I believed might have been affiliated with something similar. Though in the event that I did actually stumble across one, I am sure I would be spending more energy running than shooting. They also generally don't exist anywhere close commonly traveled trails or roads.

Neal_G.
June 8, 2011, 03:02 PM
"Trail ninjas."


Perfect name! Judging from the OP's other post about zombies that was quickly closed, I'd guess this is what we're talking about.:rolleyes:

C0untZer0
June 8, 2011, 03:09 PM
I don't think you've read all the posts in this thread Neal, otherwise you'd know that there is at least one person who responded in this thread that hikes with a longarm, and I wouldn't characterize him as a trail ninja.

C0untZer0
June 8, 2011, 03:24 PM
First of all, I'm not proposing that anyone hike with anything - I just posed a question.

If you are allowed to OC in your state and in the park where you are hiking [sic] does anyone ever just carry a carbine or rifle on a sling when they're hiking. [sic]
I just think for myself it would be easier to carry a carbine slung than carry a pistol in a holster.

As far as how difficult it is to haul a longarm versus a pistol, I've been on long marches with an M16 and not counting the FCL - it's not that bad to haul. I've also been on shorter marches with a .45

I also stated that there are different types of hiking - if you are passing a person on the trail every 2 minutes is that a situation where someone would pack a carbine? I wouldn't. Most other people wouldn't.

But I reject the suggestion that if you feel that you need a firearm to go hiking then you should hike in some other area - the same could be said for going to the Bank, the grocery store, or any activity. The logic that you seem to be proposing is if any situation might require a longarm - then you shouldn't be in that situation. So I reject that logic. A longarm is more useful than a handgun in many situations so if you're hiking and you're going to take a firearm, why not a rifle or a carbine?

I'm not going to only hike in areas where there is one ranger every 500 meters.

If someone can hike in beautiful country that just happens to have bear, wolves and or cougar and they can take a long a carbine, and the extra weight of a longarm doesn't bother them - then it might make sense in some situations

L_Killkenny
June 8, 2011, 04:24 PM
Well first off, if indeed you have packed an M16 and a .45 (how old are you anyhow?) than you would know that carrying a sidearm is way easier than carrying a 6-8lbs long gun. So considering that you think for myself it would be easier to carry a carbine slung than carry a pistol in a holster. I'm in high doubt that you have done either. And your thought that you shouldn't have to hike in a safer place because you can carry a gun is ludacris. Carrying a gun does not give you the ability to throw common sense out the window.

You wear a seat belt not so you can drive 100mph thru a residential neighborhood, you wear a seat belt in case things go wrong when even when you do the right thing at the right time in the right place.

Go back to your video game.

LK

Deaf Smith
June 8, 2011, 06:55 PM
Depends on where I hike.

In Sam Houston National Forrest? Well I pack a .357 with top loads, good knife, compass, water, first aid kit, etc....

Around the local park? Glock 26/27 or J .38.

Deaf

cracked91
June 8, 2011, 07:46 PM
Countzero,

I am not saying that there are not situations or areas where carrying a long gun would be a bad idea. Just don't overdo it. Don't look for a reason to take one if there is not one present. People who dress in full BDUs, sling an AR, and then populate normal family-friendly hiking trails and routes only make gun owners look like idiots and extremists. These are the people I would call trail ninjas. These kinds of negative interactions can have long lasting effects on people, something responsible gun owners really don't need in today's world.

As for how quickly the weapon could be brought to a ready position, at 10 yards I can draw and make a COM shot in about 2-3 seconds give or take. While I am much more natural with handgun than rifles, I know un-slinging and firing a rifle would take me 2x that amount of time.

I would not be caught dead in the Alaskan wilderness without a rifle. But generally in the lower 48, it is just not unnecessary, and for me personally, not nearly as comfortable.

If you do not have a pistol that is a good fit for hiking I would recommend getting one. Something .45, .357 or larger, in as small and lightweight of a package as you can handle. I am a revolver man all the way. I also didn't wanna spend $800. So I ended up narrowing my choice down to a Charter Arms Bulldog in .44spl, or a Ruger SP101 in .357. After handling both guns, I decided the extra weight was a fair trade for the superior durability and quality of the Ruger, as well as ammo cost and availability being much better.

Hiker 1
June 8, 2011, 10:53 PM
People who dress in full BDUs, sling an AR, and then populate normal family-friendly hiking trails and routes only make gun owners look like idiots and extremists. These are the people I would call trail ninjas.

These threads are better off when we stay away from hyperbole. C0untZer0 was asking about laws regarding carrying a long gun while hiking not what thigh-holster and tactical sling he needs.

I've never seen a trail ninja in my life and I've logged many a mile.

youngunz4life
June 8, 2011, 11:04 PM
my dad hikes many long trails. he is retired and has never owned a gun(unless you count the one in the attic from vietnam - sorry, don't know the story).

I wanted to buy him a firearm. I mean, we're talking pacific crest trail, appalachian trail, etc, etc here. I didn't want his a$@ getting eaten by a bear or some scorned woman panther that was having a bad week.

Besides the 'more difficult than other states' issue of where I grew up, I am pretty sure that the laws aren't in the hiker's favor. Correct me if I am wrong, and I know some laws have eased up lately which I am all for too.

cracked91
June 9, 2011, 03:25 AM
These threads are better off when we stay away from hyperbole. C0untZer0 was asking about laws regarding carrying a long gun while hiking not what thigh-holster and tactical sling he needs.

I've never seen a trail ninja in my life and I've logged many a mile.

AZ has apparently had an outbreak of them. The two I encountered a few months ago were the only ones I have seen, but I have heard stories from a few people, and have found myself trying to explain to some of the groups I hike with why idiots are allowed to have guns and why we should not have stricter laws. Maybe they are just having fun, maybe they have been playing too many video games. This is especially tough when you pass a barrel or saguaro cactus that has been shot 80 times.

But I do agree with you. I didn't mean to imply that Countzero was any of the above. I just wanted to boost the chance that anyone who views this thread on the forums or through a simple google search take those things into consideration.

Skans
June 9, 2011, 07:19 AM
I packed my .45 AMT Backup in a small waist pack on a 12 mile hike on the Chattooga river trail a couple of weeks ago. Bought the strap-on pack at Walmart that came with two water bottles (replaced one with a filter bottle). Gun and some food fit perfectly in the waist pack. Not the best rig for drawing from concealment quickly, but it worked well for hiking.

jhenry
June 9, 2011, 07:55 AM
Hiking and/or backpacking with a holstered weapon is a PITA, even more so with a slung long gun. I am excluding hunting here because of the differences in distance traveled and packs carried, as well as necessary equipment and purpose. True backpacking requires a chest holster if anything, to allow rapid access. Myself, I usually have a handgun in the top flap of my backpack. Always situated the same. I can reach up and snag it out fairly easily. Things other than small daypacks really interfere with any waist holster. Pocket carry works but is slower due to the constraints of the pack and weight considerations. A full size Glock rides essentially unnoticed up top.

As for trail Ninjas, I have seen them myself, as well as the evidence of their presence. Pinheads. Very rare in these parts though thankfully.

Ronbert
June 9, 2011, 07:59 AM
Since the original question started with "does anyone......" it would appear that the answer is predominantly - no. (at least the public answer)

Other- we had a guy all dressed in camo try to hold two 50-ish female hikers at knifepoint on a relatively remote trail about 2 years ago. They fought back with their hiking staffs and got away. The area was sealed off by deputies, a suspect was identified as he tried to exit the area thru a roadblock and the perp has been tried and put away.

Bringing a knife to a stick fight ain't too hot an idea.

How much better it would have been if one of the ladies had been carrying and just dispatched him then and there.

About 2 years earlier and 30 miles south a nutcase held a male and female he'd captured on a trail for a few hours. The female got away and went for help.

Stuff happens. But this sort of stuff doesn't seem to me to be rifle problems.

chewie146
June 9, 2011, 08:26 AM
I'm not much of a park hiker, but around the Natl Forest, where I do hunt, it's not uncommon for me to carry my .45-70 or my 12 gauge shotgun, depending on what I'm doing. They are more comfortable for me than the handgun on my hip tends to be. They are easier to hit with as well.

L_Killkenny
June 9, 2011, 09:20 AM
How much better it would have been if one of the ladies had been carrying and just dispatched him then and there.


For them this case turned the best it possibly could. They got away, the guy got arrested and is in jail. They don't have to live with the fact they killed someone and no legal or civil problems are coming there way. People who think killin is better worry the hell outta me. Not as easy as it sounds (hope I never have to find out) and your problems may only be beginning when you pull the trigger. Getting out of a situation without having to pull a trigger is ALWAYS the best option.

LK

Hiker 1
June 9, 2011, 09:26 AM
AZ has apparently had an outbreak of them

I suspect these guys aren't really hikers per se, but rather yahoos walking around looking for something to shoot, but agreed - those folks do not give off a good impression of gun owners in general.

GuyM9
June 9, 2011, 09:42 AM
LK,

Good posts, great common sense attitude. We need more like you.

Guy

Ronbert
June 9, 2011, 11:09 AM
For them this case turned the best it possibly could. They got away, the guy got arrested and is in jail. They don't have to live with the fact they killed someone and no legal or civil problems are coming there way. People who think killin is better worry the hell outta me. Not as easy as it sounds (hope I never have to find out) and your problems may only be beginning when you pull the trigger. Getting out of a situation without having to pull a trigger is ALWAYS the best option.


For them certainly.

For society, I disagree. Brady & co will claim that no one needs a gun because a hiking stick is completely adequate for self defense in all cases.

And the taxpayers are feeding and housing a wacko indefinitely.

BikerRN
June 9, 2011, 02:59 PM
Aliens don't really enter into the picture except where their spaceships cause grass fires.

They do when one attempts to hike in National Forest near the Mexican border.

Biker

brickeyee
June 10, 2011, 11:24 AM
does anyone ever just carry a carbine or rifle on a sling when they're hiking. If not I wonder why not.

Even in places that handguns are allowed, long guns are often prohibited under the hunting regulations out of season.

In National parks handguns now follow the state law the park is located in, but there are not a lot of concealed long gun permits anywhere.

doofus47
June 10, 2011, 12:49 PM
I read the original post to mean "If you can OC (i.e. laws AREN'T an issue) why wouldn't you tote a carbine?"

For me it's a multi-part question of weight/distance/caliber requirements/annoyance.

The two decision vectors on every hikers mind are:
1. Always carry less when walking more.
2. It's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

Self defense is part of that equation. If you feel that carrying a 7lb carbine is what you need to do, go for it.

brickeyee
June 10, 2011, 12:58 PM
I read the original post to mean "If you can OC (i.e. laws AREN'T an issue) why wouldn't you tote a carbine?"

If that is what the question is, a long gun falls under the hunting regulations.

There is NO hunting in National Parks, so no long gun carry.

The recent change for National Parks was for hand guns.

Many National Forests that have allowed concealed handguns do NOT allow long arms outside of hunting season except at approved ranges.

warrior poet
June 10, 2011, 01:03 PM
I will take my Remington Model 7 Mountain Lite in .308 whenever I head out into 'rough country.' I have hiked it up and down the Sierra Nevadas without a problem. Get a short rifle/ carbine with a good sling and cross-body carry it. You will hardly know it is there if you rig it right (ie it sits high and doesn't protrude out past your elbows) so it won't catch or drag.
Pistols are great... I love them... but they are not adequate for dangerous animals, nor do they usually mount optics to aid in identifying a hazard early. Avoiding Mrs. 'Protective of her Cubs' is a lot easier if you see her early. With a good scope, I don't need binos, either, so a compass can hang around my neck.

Stiofan
June 10, 2011, 01:22 PM
I carry my .41 mag in a crossdraw holster these days but I usually only go day fishing or hiking. Big bears and moose, need a bigger gun. :) Usually add bear spray while over in Montana or Wyoming, other than that a handgun is usually enough for anything in the lower 48 outside these areas.

For 35 years I hiked the Sierras and occasionally would pack my small Beretta 91a .22lr, but never had any problems with the bears or cats, and I came across many of them over the years. The .22 was just for 2 legged defense, being miles in the backcountry. Most backpackers though want as little weight with them as possible, I've known guys to cut off the handles on the their toothbrushes to save a tenth of an ounce. No way I'm shucking a rifle around with me all day, I do that enough during hunting season.

Skans
June 10, 2011, 02:40 PM
No way I'm shucking a rifle around with me all day, I do that enough during hunting season.

Amen!!

C0untZer0
June 10, 2011, 03:04 PM
Ya, I cut off the handles on my toothbrushes too, I also bought those tiny hotel-sized 1oz toothpaste tubes, and then I would empty half the toothpaste in it before going out, because if I was hauling a full tube it would eventually make my knees buckle.

ripnbst
June 10, 2011, 03:36 PM
"I've known guys to cut off the handles on the their toothbrushes to save a tenth of an ounce."

The guys you know are fools. Why wear a shirt? Why wear pants? I mean we are talking valuable ounces here.

Skans
June 10, 2011, 04:05 PM
To each his own...Some folks hike for a month at a time on the Appalachian Trail - size and weight matters.

BlackFeather
June 10, 2011, 05:04 PM
Honestly, bears or not, carry a long stick. Possibly pointy. I've been around all types of foresty areas and mountains and never had a reason to carry a gun. Sometimes I think people forget we evolved perfectly fine without guns. Or for the other guys, there were no guns in the Garden of Eden.

If you want to carry a gun, a carbine is likely to attract unneeded attention. If you're worried about people. If you don't have a pistol, bear spray.

jhenry
June 10, 2011, 05:56 PM
Every ounce or portion of an ounce counts. They add up. My pack, with extra clothes, with water and food, is now under 30 pounds good to go for a week. I can save some more weight as I replace some gear later. In warmer weather I can substitute a fleece bag for my sleeping bag and shave off 2 more pounds. I can use an ultra light weight tarp instead of my one man tent and shave another 2 pounds. I lost quite a bit of weight by using very light weight gear. Mock all you want. Any fool can go out there and be uncomfortable. It takes no experience to carry a heavy pack.

JerryM
June 10, 2011, 06:37 PM
There are instances of attacks by mountain lions, bears, and thugs. I carry a gun whenever I am hiking or camping.
I would submit that since the Garden of Eden there has been violence with whatever weapons were available. Remember Cain and Abel?

I am confident that most people who hike and camp will not need a weapon, but some have and are dead because they did not have one.

PS, This might be informative.
http://news.discovery.com/animals/black-bear-attacks-north-america-110511.html

Regards,
Jerry

BlueTrain
June 11, 2011, 05:14 AM
Cain and Abel were brothers. Would you carry a weapon because your brother was with you?

This subject comes up all the time in hiking circles and the responses are varied and usually strong. That is, from those who even think about it. Yet some writers (blogs) that I find very interesting are gun types who don't give carrying a gun a second thought, by which I mean they do carry. But they've never mentioned ever actually seeing a dangerous animal (wild or domestic) or person. And bless his heart, they've never mentioned wild dogs or feral cats. And for the record, he carried a .44 Redhawk, in addition to a rifle that had some kind of special treatment that he was proud of.

There is a minor problem here in that people who are interested in gun are as varied as the guns themselves. They have other interests, too, some related, some not. Hardly all gun nuts are hunters, nor survivalists. They (I really mean "we") are not necessarily worried about the end of the world, illegal immigrants, a government takeover of the country (??) or other things like that. They aren't all interested in 1911 pistols, real or copies, and of course, they don't all like guns with plastic parts. But some do like to hike and camp. Some care a little about other living things and don't really want to shoot holes in everything they can, living or inanimate, like road signs, no matter how much fun it is.

But I guess that was obvious all along.

AZ Hawk
June 11, 2011, 06:01 AM
I carry my Glock 23 on a thigh rig if I'm backpacking, as the backpack belt gets in the way.

I would never carry a long gun, as they weigh WAY too much. Every ounce counts when backpacking, not to mention the rifle is rather bulky.

MLeake
June 11, 2011, 11:50 AM
BlackFeather, we may have evolved perfectly well without guns, but humans also used to go into the wilds in numbers, more often than not. Hunter/gatherers almost always worked in groups; explorers who wandered around solo were considered either heroic, eccentric, or crazy, because that was a very good way not to survive, in days when predator counts were higher and the predators hadn't learned to be wary of individual humans.

sigxder
June 12, 2011, 02:02 AM
I cannot advise others what to do but I know allot of people when they are hiking, back packing, or camping carry guns. I usually have my G30 with me. Short story. Years ago the girl I was dating (who was very anti-gun) and I hiked back about a day and a half in the Cumberland Gap. Out of nowhere a guy that looked like Charles Manson (down to the nasty beard and he had an old green trench coat) appeared and had no camping gear at all. he started talking to us and it really set us on guard. We were literally out in the middle of nowhere.
He kept trying to find out where we were going to set up camp that night. Finally just told him to leave us alone. Night comes and we haven't said anything to each other about what happened. Lights out and everything goes dark. My girlfriend finally spoke up. She asked if I had my gun with me. I knew she'd be mad but I aid yes. She said good. That guy really creeped me out. I know over the years their have been a few women murdered on the Appalachian Trail. A few years back a guy was raping women in a park around here.
I wouldn't tell anyone to break the law. But when hiking, biking or whatever Mr. G30 is usually with me. Everyone has to make that choice themselves. But
their are allot of nasty things that come out at night in the woods. Two and four legged. I want something with me just in case.

BlueTrain
June 12, 2011, 06:50 AM
The two women who were murdered while camping along the A-trail were murdered in their sleep. There were some other shootings by a man who would approach someone but would only shoot, apparently, when the other person's back was turned. However, many of the people I've passed on the Applachian trail and other trails mostly in Shenandoah Park and nearby G.W. National Forest around Elizabeth Furnace fit the Charles Manson description, except for the trenchcoat. I've also passed lone women hikers.

Come to think of it, the only person I personally know who was murdered, was murdered in her sleep, too. But I also knew a man who disappeared while hiking on Mt. McKinley.

MLeake
June 12, 2011, 01:11 PM
BlueTrain, don't forget Meredith Emerson, murdered while hiking in Georgia. She wasn't asleep, and was with her dog. The man who killed her did so after first acting like a friendly stranger, and then assaulting and kidnapping her.

And he's suspected (or was he just convicted?) of killing an elderly couple he'd met, while they were hiking in the woods in Florida.

Apparently, he was yet another case of a bad dude who could fool a dog, too.

When I take a woods gun with me, it's normally in a caliber that will work on quadrupeds, but I figure the odds are higher it will still be used (if it ever is) against a biped.

BlueTrain
June 12, 2011, 02:58 PM
He may have been the person I was referring to.

Deaf Smith
June 12, 2011, 04:10 PM
Cain and Abel were brothers. Would you carry a weapon because your brother was with you?

But neither Cain nor Abel carried a weapon. A common ROCK was used and it was picked up from the ground.

Deaf

Doc Intrepid
June 12, 2011, 04:30 PM
Of potentially greater tactical significance is the fact that if you are hiking along in a forest carrying a long gun it is immediately obvious.

If I am a badguy, you are moving while I am quietly in position to ambush you and hold you at gunpoint. The long gun I can see I will tell you to place on the ground and move back 5-10 yards. Now I have my handgun AND your long gun (and you).

If I am a badguy and want to hold you at gunpoint and you have a concealed handgun that I do not know about, I think your chances are a bit better of engaging me at some point when my attention may be distracted.

Much depends on whether you're more concerned about dealing with human badguys or with animals (and animal encounters do happen, but extremely rarely relative to the number of people hiking in national forests each year).

YMMV.

Hiker 1
June 12, 2011, 10:52 PM
I've been around all types of foresty areas and mountains and never had a reason to carry a gun.

Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

HotShot.444
June 12, 2011, 11:26 PM
Truth doth offend some. Sometimes. Oh, BTW, my Bushm. Carbon-15, 7" weighs in at 6#, carrying a 10-rounder, stuffed hilt-up, against my back, beneath my pack. Also carry G-30, in thigh-holster plus 28-rd mags on off side. Re #62, very good logic, but as you(BG) scurry up to grab my tosed carbine, I draw my concealed BUG and riddle you skull-to-buttocks. .444

Hiker 1
June 12, 2011, 11:55 PM
This thread is getting nasty. Not exactly sure why.

jhenry
June 13, 2011, 07:50 AM
You carry a shorty AR beneath your pack, that is between you and the pack? And carry a Glock in a thigh holster with a spare 28 round mag? Do you hike much in Somalia or some other garden spot? Where are you doing this wilderness travel? What is the threat level, how long do you stay gone etc. I am curious now. Having logged many miles all over the place, and having humped just a crap load of gear and weapons over the years I am intrigued by this set up regarding purpose, comfort, distance and so forth. Thanks.

Skans
June 13, 2011, 08:03 AM
I've got a Carbon-15. It technically is a pistol. And, it is extremely light. Hmmm, it really wouldn't be a bad choice for a long hike. I'm going to have to keep that in mind.

Deja vu
June 13, 2011, 08:09 AM
Last time I went for a long hike I carried my Marlin Trapper 45/70... of course I happened to be hunting at the time.

Usually I carry a 357 magnum revolver.

Maxem0815
June 13, 2011, 08:24 AM
I just wonder if you hike in Florida and don't pack a firearm what the hell are you going to do against that Gator or rabid animal? If you hike in the mountains what about the puma that hunts you pointed stick aside a wounded predator is five times as dangerous then a healthy one. Me I like my legs and life so I carry.

Mace


Happiness is a belt fed weapon with lots of ammo

Capt Charlie
June 13, 2011, 12:44 PM
You carry a shorty AR beneath your pack, that is between you and the pack? And carry a Glock in a thigh holster with a spare 28 round mag? Do you hike much in Somalia or some other garden spot? Where are you doing this wilderness travel? What is the threat level, how long do you stay gone etc. I am curious now. Having logged many miles all over the place, and having humped just a crap load of gear and weapons over the years I am intrigued by this set up regarding purpose, comfort, distance and so forth. Thanks.

Well said. I suspect that there are some here that haven't backpacked serious country. I spent several years as a back country ranger at Grand Canyon NP. Believe me when I tell you, when preping for trail patrol, we counted ounces, not pounds... literally. About half way through the Thunder River Trail, you'll be cussing every unnecessary ounce in your pack.

Along the Kiabab Trail, I've seen just about everything you can imagine abandoned, Coleman lanterns, stoves, and even a cast iron skillet... really! :D

I carried a S&W mod. 10 snubbie and one speed strip, and there were times I would've traded ten of those for one Airweight, and swapped out those 158 grain rounds for 125 grain ;).

For casual hiking over easy ground, I can see one carrying a lightweight long gun, but in most places, it just isn't necessary.

Another thing: In national parks, most of the trouble from bad guys occurs at or near the trailheads. Most bad guys just won't put the effort into going into serious backcountry, and most serious backpackers you run into are good folk.

AK103K
June 13, 2011, 04:13 PM
Most bad guys just won't put the effort into going into serious backcountry....
But the PA Game Commission will. :rolleyes:

We parked at one of the trail heads on the AT after work one Friday night, and walked in a little over an hour til we set up camp for the night. The next morning, two DGP's came be-bopping into camp, called my wife by name, and wanted to know if we were "camping" (Youre not allowed to "camp" in the state game lands, which is where much of the AT passes through in PA.)

They got a bit of an attitude when I got annoyed and asked them if they seriously walked all that way just to ask that. Of course, they were "very" serious (arent they always), so we got a lecture and a written warning over it. You simply try to get away from all the trivial silliness and BS of exactly this sort of thing, and still they follow you just to hound you. :rolleyes:

Edward429451
June 13, 2011, 06:45 PM
What a hilarious thread, and to a perfectly reasonable question too. It is now, a scoffable behavior to carry a longarm in the wilds of America. Why, you must be a Trail ninja because you can grasp the need for a (gasp) long gun hiking around. Are you guys getting all this mis-information about how you can not have a long gun except during hunting seasons?! AM I in the last Republic State? In Colorado, you can have longarms in National Forest, but not in National Parks, note the distinction. You can hike all over armed to the teeth in National Forest...except during Hunting Season they do not want you to go plinking or small gaming with big game Rifles unless you have a Big Game tag for that season. That's reasonable.

Use your head. The National Parks are where Grandma and the kiddes go for vacation, so no guns there. But in the National Forest you most certainly can carry a longarm. So did the Feds have different rules for different States National Forest? You guys crack me up.

Hook686
June 14, 2011, 01:09 AM
Depends upon the jurisdiction I'm thinking. In California Coyote are in season yer around. If you have a hunting license, a Coyote call, are dressed like a hunter, talk like a hunter I suppose when stopped by local authority and questioned you might be ok. I do not think firearms are allowed in state parks, hunting in National Parks, nor game refuges, reserves and such. You also need be attune to specific forrests. For example typically I think it is no shooting within 100 yards of roads, buildings, or camp grounds. However the Yuba River camp ground has a 500 yards restriction.

If you are hunting, I don't see a problem, and you might be hiking in 10 miles to your hunting camp.

The problem I see with lugging a rifle around without a hunting license is you might get accused of poaching. Even if you get off, it will cost you, and aggrivate you. Whether one likes it, or not it seems the days of Daniel Boone are long gone and a citizen is going to get questioned by law enforcement if spotted carrying a firearm. It seems to be just the way of the world these days.

BlueTrain
June 14, 2011, 06:13 AM
I think I saw a reference to hunting deer out of season in The Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper. But I've read the book and don't remember such a reference. There was more scalp hunting than deer hunting if I recall. But that was written after Daniel Boone had died, so you may be right about how things are changing.

Nordeste
June 14, 2011, 08:49 AM
Interesting thread. Particularly to a man (me) who lives in a place where bears are not that big and are seldom seen, since they are endangered and protected species. Wolves, pretty much the same. Boars will avoid contact in most cases and our vipers are not venomous enough as to be a threat to an adult.

But I guess it's quite a different tale in the US. Mountain Lions ("Pumas" we call them here, I don't know if they are also called that way over there), bears, wolves bigger than ours, 5 ft rattlers, etc... I'd definitely carry some "artillery" on me.

Question is, what kind of caliber would you need to put down one of your bears?. My bet is no less than a .357 Magnum, so..would a Desert Eagle be the right choice? :p

BlueTrain
June 14, 2011, 09:47 AM
What sort of weapons do you suppose Stevenson and Modestine carried?

MLeake
June 14, 2011, 03:54 PM
Nordeste, our bears run a wide range of size.

Adult black bears can run as small as 150lbs in Florida (most animals in Florida are smaller than their other US counterparts, I'm not really sure why) to the record weight of around 800lbs in North Carolina. Most black bears are more like 300-400lbs, though, and can be found all over the US.

Brown bears and grizzly are bigger. I believe a good average for those is more in the 500-600lbs range.

Polar bears, though they are only likely to be found in a small part of one US state, can reach 1500lbs.

So, aside from the Florida bears, most US bears will require a round capable of penetrating a heavily muscled, heavy-boned creature, with a skull ideally shaped for deflecting bullets.

A round that combines good velocity with a bullet that is both heavy and constructed for penetration is the way to go.

Nordeste
June 14, 2011, 04:32 PM
MLeake, thank you. I've watched some Discovery and National Geographic Channel documentaries about bear attacks in the US and Canada. Browns, Grizzlies, may attack driven by their territorial instinct, but polar bear see you as prey (same happens in countries like Sweden, Finland, Norway) and people in those areas carry rifles. A fact that totally concurs with your explanations.

If it was me, with that in mind, I'd go for the biggest round possible.

PS: I think I'd wet my pants if I ever found a bear the size you say :eek::(... in the wild.

cracked91
June 14, 2011, 07:37 PM
I think their may have been misconceptions about the "trail ninja" label.

I define a trail ninja as one who totes a full size AR or AK (or similar weapon) + at least one sidearm, on a popular 3-5 mile roundtrip trail (as in the kind mom and dad take the kids to on a saturday) here in our national forest. These kinds are generally between 18 and 25 years old (not always, and I am in that age group, so noone get riled up). The kind who have more weight in ammo in their bags then water. You get the idea. (Though that description would be the absolute extreme)

Now someone who were to tote a Marlin 336 levergun on a 12 mile overnight/roundtrip that I could not see a legitimate use for unless it was their only gun, I would not call a trail ninja (just inexperienced).

I do not condemn those who may carry a long gun on or off trail that they may have a legitimate use for. Nor do I think it stupid. But anyone can play the hypothetical game long enough to load themselves up with a hundred pounds of stuff they "need".

As has already been stated. Anyone who has actually hiked 15-20 miles in day can very quickly see the gigantic flaw in carrying a long gun if you don't really need it.

langenc
June 14, 2011, 08:09 PM
In some places if you have a long gun, you are considered to be hunting. If it isn't hunting season, then you are poaching the king's deer. The whole thing is problematic. Firearms were originally banned from Shenandoah Park for exactly that reason: people were hunting illegally in the park. copiedfrom first page..


Typical knee jerk reaction. I often wondered why the same logic dont apply to the interstates-there are speeders so close em down and not allow speeding.

AZAK
June 14, 2011, 09:11 PM
Brown bears and grizzly are bigger. I believe a good average for those is more in the 500-600lbs range.

Brown bears seem to me to be a bit larger than that here; if we are talking adult bruins, more like 700-1,700 lbs. range.

"In Alaska and Canada, average weight can be 900 pounds for males."
http://arktofile.net/pages/bear_brown.html

Did you notice that "Northern" average is close to half a ton?

And the upper end is close to a full ton?

BlueTrain
June 15, 2011, 07:20 AM
Speeding is allowed?

No, it's not a knee jerk reaction. It is the law. But some places people who obey the law are considered to be fools or jerks. Or so it would seem.

TailGator
June 15, 2011, 08:55 AM
If I recall my taxonomy correctly, polar bears are so closely related to grizzlies that some zoologists consider them subspecies rather than fully separate species (although that is a minority opinion).

If they live up to their reputation for being extremely dangerous animals, apparently white does not always signify innocence and purity.

C0untZer0
June 15, 2011, 09:15 AM
A nice clip of a woman getting mauled by a polar bear at the zoo.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wGbCNDw-m0

The lesson here is that if you are going to go hiking close to the bear cages, bring your 10mm carbine with you.

MLeake
June 15, 2011, 10:57 AM
AZAK, I was going off an article about conflict between polar bears and grizzlies as the polar ice shifts.

The article indicated the polar bears were significantly larger, but the grizzlies were more numerous and sneakier.

An adult polar bear, according to the article, should easily kill an adult grizzly, but the adult grizzlies normally targeted immature polar bears.

Not sure how accurate the article was, and your numbers may well be closer.

In any case, the things are much larger than I'd want to deal with. Luckily for me, I don't live where they are. (Or unluckily, in a way, as Montana and Alaska are gorgeous... but then I'd have to buy a .460 or .500 S&W, etc)

AZAK
June 15, 2011, 01:22 PM
(Or unluckily, in a way, as Montana and Alaska are gorgeous... but then I'd have to buy a .460 or .500 S&W, etc)

I knew there was a reason that I lived in both places for over a decade each, aside from the fact that I can shoot 24 hours a day during the summer up here - no stars and all; and I still am up here!

Why don't you come North for a visit, then you would "have to" buy that big revolver!

Good reading on Alaska bears, Alaska Bear Tales by Larry Kaniut; shameless plug for a friend (actually his books make for good reading!)