WhiteBlaze Pages 2022
A Complete Appalachian Trail Guidebook.
$5 for printable PDF, AVAILABLE NOW. $9 for interactive PDF(smartphone version)
Read more here WhiteBlaze Pages Store

Page 1 of 18 1 2 3 4 5 11 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 360

Thread: Self Defense?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-16-2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    32

    Default Self Defense?

    I was just wondering if anyone here carries any form of self defense from wildlife while on the AT? I completely understand that the chances of ever being attacked by anything are very low, but I am sure there are some who just feel more comfortable with some form of protection. From reading some of the posts on these forums, I have seen some mentions of bear deterrent spray. I personally carry a can of Guard Alaska, and I will admit that I just have it to make myself feel more comfortable - I know the chances of ever having to use it are almost non-existent. So, who else here carries some form of protection, and what do you carry? Also, has anyone ever encountered a situation where you actually had to use it?

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-15-2005
    Location
    White Mtns
    Age
    65
    Posts
    1,527

    Default

    Dave, leave the mace at home; it's no replacement for common sense.

    Wanna carry something useful?? DEET!
    Roland


  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-16-2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    32

    Default

    Hi Roland,

    Thanks for your input. I completely agree with you that it is no replacement for common sense, but it definitely makes me feel a whole lot more comfortable. Running from a bear, for example, is a very bad idea, since it could trigger a predatory response. However, I'd personally find it much easier to stand my ground against a bear if I knew I had some sort of "Plan B".

  4. #4
    Donating Member Cuffs's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-20-2005
    Location
    Right here.
    Posts
    3,277
    Images
    36

    Default

    Honestly, as a solo hikier, I am more worried about the humans that I may run across on any trail than any critter that is out there. 1/2 that fret comes from being in law enforcement for most of my adult life, and now working privately doing employment background checks.... there's a lot of freaks out there!! Half my fear is alleved by working with wild critters on a daily basis... I work with a wildlife rescue agency and foster several odds and ends at home...even skunks!
    I agree w/ Roland, take DEET! The skeeters in AL & FL can be mistake for mini F-16's!
    ~If you cant do it with one bullet, dont do it at all.
    ~Well behaved women rarely make history.

  5. #5
    Thru Hiker Wannabe timhines's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-18-2005
    Location
    Bryson City, NC
    Age
    44
    Posts
    168

    Default

    i've thought about carrying "Halt!" It's more for bikers to carry and use against dogs.

    If it makes you feel better knowing there is a plan B then I think it's worth it.

    With that said, I don't think that your average joe/jane from Big City, USA should carry this and be the most confident person in the woods. You seem to be realistic in what it can do for you.

  6. #6
    TOW's Avatar
    Join Date
    03-13-2005
    Location
    Damascus
    Age
    62
    Posts
    6,494
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    53

    Default

    it's not the animals that live in the woods that you need to worry about but occasionally the animals from our society show up out there and a can of mace might come in handy...........

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-24-2005
    Location
    Phoenix, Az
    Age
    70
    Posts
    361

    Default

    I have carried pepper spray for the 6 years I have been hiking on the AT and never had to pull it out of my pack. But I will still carry it this year. Better safe than sorry on some things.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-29-2003
    Location
    Sterling, VA
    Age
    50
    Posts
    6,961

    Default

    I carry firecrackers sometimes to scare off bears and dogs. The mace I carry is for people....

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    10-18-2004
    Location
    Auburndale, MA
    Posts
    537

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland
    Dave, leave the mace at home; it's no replacement for common sense.
    Sadly, common sense does not always allow us to avoid conflict. If only everyone ELSE on the trail had common sense too.

  10. #10
    Registered User general's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-21-2005
    Location
    mossy creek, ga
    Age
    47
    Posts
    908
    Images
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave568
    Hi Roland,

    Thanks for your input. I completely agree with you that it is no replacement for common sense, but it definitely makes me feel a whole lot more comfortable. Running from a bear, for example, is a very bad idea, since it could trigger a predatory response. However, I'd personally find it much easier to stand my ground against a bear if I knew I had some sort of "Plan B".
    dave, if you see a black bear, chances are, it will be running from you. people scare the hell out of black bears, because they usually hear gun fire shortly there after. any bear that was close enough to smell me couldn't get away fast enough. no need for the mace. you've got a better chance of accidently peppering yourself or someone else than the bear. most pepper spray has a range of 12 to 20 feet and that's it. no chance of being that close to a black bear unless you've slathered yourself in peanut butter and chocolate bars.
    don't like logging? try wiping with a pine cone.

  11. #11
    Registered User neo's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-16-2004
    Location
    nashville,tn
    Age
    64
    Posts
    4,177
    Images
    337

    Default

    if some try,s to rob me,they will be sorry for a very short time,thats a promise neo













  12. #12
    Registered User Scribe's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-26-2005
    Location
    Columbia, Missouri
    Age
    81
    Posts
    73
    Images
    1

    Default

    The most dangerous place I ever hiked was in Washington, DC. Mace is no protection against politicians - the most vicious life-form on this planet. (I use the term "life-form" in the same sense that zombies are life-forms).

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-29-2003
    Location
    Sterling, VA
    Age
    50
    Posts
    6,961

    Default

    That pepper-spray just makes you taste a little spicier....

  14. #14
    Registered User TN_Hiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    04-25-2005
    Location
    Kingston Springs, TN
    Age
    58
    Posts
    267

    Default

    That can of mace isn't going to do much good against the swarm of yellow jackets coming out of the nest you just walked across.

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-04-2004
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Age
    63
    Posts
    498

    Default

    I was just as happy to carry nothing. Less weight!

    No defense would have saved me from the mice eating my glasses and socks or the skunk from laying siege to my tent or even the fleas from once infesting my sleeping bag. The bearpole-climbing racoon was defeated by smearing the pole with neosporin gel. Those were the only time I was really bothered the whole thruhike.

  16. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-15-2005
    Location
    White Mtns
    Age
    65
    Posts
    1,527

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeHiker
    Sadly, common sense does not always allow us to avoid conflict. If only everyone ELSE on the trail had common sense too.
    Dave568 asked for advice about self-defense against wildlife, not people.
    Roland


  17. #17

    Default

    1. Mace, pepper, or other "bear sprays" are illegal in many areas. By
    carrying them, many folks break the law.

    2. They are almost never used.

    3. Most folks don't know how to use them properly, and frequently end up
    spraying themselves or others.

    4. If a large animal (like a charging bear) is really pissed off, your spray
    will accomplish nothing, even if you have time to reach and use it.

    5. The majority of folks on the A.T. don't feel that these items are
    necessary. The best defense against problems with animals in the
    backcountry is prudence and common sense.

  18. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-04-2004
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Age
    63
    Posts
    498

    Default

    {Hit by a large prudence, the bear was dazed and staggered backwards. Another, and the bear turned and high-tailed it to the land where common sense never goes!}

  19. #19

    Default

    Agree with Jack, 350 lbs of bear running 20mph is not going be be turned back by a little squirt when he's within 15 feet of closure. Actually it's probably going to be a "she" because this probably will only happen if you try to play with the cubs!

    Just take a buddy with you that you can beat in a 50 yd dash; then you only have to outrun him instead of the bear

  20. #20

    Default

    A hiking pole(s) or hiking staff, a loud voice, and a grapefruit sized rock (found alongside the trail) should be enough to deter most any animal. Chances are, it'll be a dog if anything chases after you. Happened to me in PA.

    No worries.
    'All my lies are always wishes" ~Jeff Tweedy~

Page 1 of 18 1 2 3 4 5 11 ... LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •