Protection during back country travels

Tenkara is a great type of fishing for backpacking and securing a meal when out in the woods. This forum discusses backpacking in general and how it relates ot tenkara: fish recipes, favorite spots, ultra-light backpacking

Re: Protection during back country travels

Postby chorpie » Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:36 pm

macsociety wrote:With all the crazies in the world, do you all ever feel a bit timid packing out into the back country? Do you carry any form of protection from either man or animal?

Just curious what all your methods of protection are when camping out in mother nature far from other people that can offer help. Do you only pack in with multiple people or go on loaner trips also? Curious is all.


You being in Northern California, i'd assume you'll going somewhere in Yosemite, King's Canyon/Sequoia, or similar. I've been backpacking since high school and we've never come across someone that was threatening or mean while on the trail. Most people smile, say hi, and you might chat a little bit about where you've been and where you're heading on that trip.

In any case I always have a knife on me, whether it's an every day folder, or a fixed blade knife (I brought all the heft of a Ka-Bar/Becker BK-2 this last trip), it's handy for chores and you can always present it if you're being threatened. But I doubt that will ever happen.
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Re: Protection during back country travels

Postby easttennesseeflyfishing » Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:10 pm

Lot better chance of having human problems in town than backpacking for sure. I feel safer in the woods after dark than walking in town after dark. I do always carry some sort of protection where ever I go.

Kind of like the guy who had a carry permit and got pulled over by the highway patrol. He showed the officer his permit and explained he had two pistols on him another in the glove box a shotgun in the back seat and a AR15 rifle in the trunk. What are you scared of the officer ask him? He simply replyed "nothing".

It is better to have some sort of protection and not need it than need it and not have it.

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Re: Protection During Backcountry Travels

Postby Horn_Identity » Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:01 am

Last edited by Horn_Identity on Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Protection during back country travels

Postby jbenenson » Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:04 pm

CM_Stewart wrote:The other standard bear joke being that when in bear country you should always wear bells and carry pepper spray. But since black bears are very unlikely to give you any trouble, you should learn to tell the difference if you come across any bear sign. For example, black bear droppings will contain ground squirrel fur and smell like berries. Grizzly droppings will contain bells and smell like pepper spray.

Good one Chris! :lol: I haven't heard/read that one before.
I would like to have the modest contact with the nature in hope of continuing the beautiful streams forever

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Re: Protection during back country travels

Postby jbenenson » Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:27 pm

My biggest fear in the back country isn't humans or animals, it's me. To explain further...

I'm 68 and often in the back country alone. I'm afraid of what could happen to me if I had a serious accident or a major emergency such as a broken leg or heart attack, or was attacked by a bear or human (and survived)...

For that reason I always carry a SPOT personal rescue beacon with me and always have it within reach. At the push of a button I can get immediate Search and Rescue (SAR) assistance; my coordinates are also transmitted at the same time. If it's not severe -- say a sprained ankle or torqued knee -- I can push another button that sends a message to my wife that says "I need help but not SAR" (with coordinates). There's also an "OK" button that I send to my wife at the beginning and end of each trip (with coordinates).

All of this works by satellite transmission meaning virtually everywhere. There is also a new device called "SPOT connect" that does the same thing using your smart phone. Google "SPOT beacon" or go to the REI web site or store.

I wouldn't venture into the back country without it. => I mean it <=
I would like to have the modest contact with the nature in hope of continuing the beautiful streams forever

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Re: Protection during back country travels

Postby bpfrocket » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:37 pm

I'm kind of like you are, I fish alone a lot and worry sometimes about people knowing where I am. What make/model of beacon do you have? I like the fact that it's satellite based because I don't get cell reception on lots of streams I go to.

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Re: Protection during back country travels

Postby Paul Arnold » Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:17 am

Maybe someone already mentioned getting shot accidentally, but I always wear a blaze-orange vest over my fishing vest during big game season.

In a campground this summer, I spent some time with a native Alaskan. We talked bear, and he said that he was keen on referee whistles, that a sharp blast will stop a Griz in its tracks. He claimed that his knowledge of that is based on empirical evidence. Not only is the whistle's loud sound very ear catching, he said, but it is novel in the bear's experience.

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Re: Protection during back country travels

Postby Aaron Proffitt » Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:19 am

Bit of an old thread ,but like to respond anyway.

As a lawman, I am certainly not opposed to arming oneself for protection . I think that's an inherent and implied right.

But as I've aged , I've become somewhat resistant to arming myself in certain situations....such as when the last thing I wanna think about is work . A quiet trout stream is one of those places but as soon as I holster a sidearm I've already switched mindsets.* Find myself back in "cop" mode.

To remedy that, I've taken to having one of my Airedales along for company. The little goofballs are great companions, have a significant protective drive, and never really come out of "high alert" . They're fun to have along ,regardless. So anytime I start to head up to New Mexico or Colorado, Poncho and Willie get an invite.

* I have started hunting more with a handgun, simply to re-discover the joy of having a sidearm along for filling the pot along the way in the course of a walk.
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Re: Protection during back country travels

Postby Sawtooth » Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:37 pm

Just now catching up on some reading here. I carry while in the backcountry, and I'm in the backcountry a LOT. That means I'm carrying at the trailhead, where there's probably the highest likelihood that you'll be hassled. That also means I'm carrying when I'm WAY out there, where there's no law enforcement anywhere reasonably close and there are black bears about. I'd rather carry my whole lifetime and never need to use it than not carry and have even one situation when I really needed it. Carrying a firearm is no substitute for keeping a leave-no-trace camp, and I don't use it for such. However, I've bumped black bears at 30 yards while out on the trail or off-trail, away from camp. It always ended well, but I was also ready.
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Re: Protection during back country travels

Postby Anthony » Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:10 pm

I've never carried a gun when fishing - but here in PA though we have alot of black bears, I've never come across one while fishing.

However when fishing in Alaska this summer I had a close encounter with a female and cubs that left me a little shaken. I was fishing (alone) on a little island in the river and along comes the momma black bear and two cubs. They were walking along the bank and if they kept on as they were they were going to be about 20 ft or so from me.

They had no idea that I was there - so not wanting to suprise them I whistled. The cubs took off and the momma, who was about 40 feet away or so stopped dead and just stared at me. It felt like an eternity but it was probably only about 3 or 4 seconds. But it was enough time to imagine being mauled by a mad momma bear.

She then just walked off into the woods - needless to say I hustled back to the cabin.

If I go back to Alaska I'm going to definitely consider my options.
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