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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    Alligator - If you think the following is not in character with this thread, feel free to remove it. I just think it's somewhat relevant to the responsibilities and consequences of the options being discussed.


    I would recommend that anyone who carries a firearm for self defense on the trail read about the Harold Fish case. This is the report of the case and exoneration https://www.law.umich.edu/special/ex...px?caseid=4266 , and this is a more detailed report on the case and trial http://www.nbcnews.com/id/15199221/n.../#.XN_1G8hKiUk

    In a nutshell, in 2004 Harold Fish, a retired school teacher was hiking in Arizona. He came across Grant Kuenzli and Kuenzli's dogs at a trailhead/parking area. According to Fish, he fired a warning shot at the ground when Kuenzli's two unrestrained dogs charged at him. Kuenzli, who had a history of some mental and behavioral issues, then ran towards Fish threatening him. Kuenzli was unarmed. Fish shot him in self-defense. The time from the dogs charging to Fish shooting Kuenzli was approximately 10 seconds total. Fish then rendered aid to Kuenzli, flagged down a car at a nearby road (no phone service), and cooperated with police. There were no direct eyewitnesses other than Fish and the dead man who had attacked him. The Sheriff's deputy investigating the incident considered the shooting justified. Th prosecutor, however, disagreed and brought murder charges against Fish. There was conflicting testimony from both sides regarding Kuenzli's past mental health history and behavior, and the trial judge excluded a lot of defense evidence regarding Kuenzli's past. Fish was convicted of 2nd degree murder, spent over three years in prison, and racked up some $700K in legal fees. The conviction was eventually overturned on appeal and he was exonerated 5 years later in 2009, when the appeals court ruled the trial judge had errored in jury instruction and in excluding evidence about Kuenzli's prior behavioral issues. Fish died in 2012, leaving his family still heavily in debt.

    I own guns and have a concealed carry permit. But as I posted on page one of this thread, carrying and securing a gun 24/7 over the course of a long hike isn't easy nor convenient. Even if you choose to carry a gun on the trail, if you and those with you can run away from an attack, do so. You only "stand your ground" when other options aren't available. Actually using a gun in self-defense leads to lots of severe consequences - legal, financial, emotional, etc. Whatever you were doing, like hiking, is now over for the foreseeable future. Without any delay, you have a legal duty to report the incident to police and emergency medical services, and render first aid to the person you shot if safe to do so. Use of deadly force standards vary in different states. Police will obviously question you. DO NOT make statements regarding your mental state or perception of the attack nor your level/degree of fear at the time. The ONLY safe thing you can say to police after an incident where you shot someone is, "I was/we were attacked. I shot to stop the attack. I would like to speak to my attorney before further questioning." And the ONLY person you can safely talk to about the incident is your attorney.

    And at least some of this holds true for any physical defensive actions you take against an attacker that injures or kills them, even if you fought him/her off with trekking poles, pepper spray, a knife, a stick, or even if you were unarmed. While I believe police and the court system are generally on the side of people protecting themselves, sometimes what we say without being careful can result in adverse legal (and financial) consequences.
    How true this is the laws are flawed and twisted at times. I had a instructor one time got out of a bad relationship and his ex sent 3 big guys over to take care of him , well he put 2 of them in the hospital and he got charged for excessive force.... ***......

  2. #102
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    A couple of posters have now opined that a collapsed hiking pole is an effective self-defense weapon. I would caution anyone from thinking themselves able to fend off an armed or even unarmed attacker with a lightweight pole. Being struck with an aluminum pole whose overall weight is measured in ounces would have absolutely no effect on a determined attacker. Even a direct, unblocked strike to the head would do nothing more than cause the attacker's eyes to instinctively and momentarily blink. Maybe, in the hands of a strong person, you could break skin or cause a bump to the head.

    If you find yourself in a potential hand to hand fight in the woods, you would be far better off shucking your pack and poles and picking up a decent sized rock in each hand.
    Be Prepared

  3. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCloud View Post
    A couple of posters have now opined that a collapsed hiking pole is an effective self-defense weapon. I would caution anyone from thinking themselves able to fend off an armed or even unarmed attacker with a lightweight pole. Being struck with an aluminum pole whose overall weight is measured in ounces would have absolutely no effect on a determined attacker. Even a direct, unblocked strike to the head would do nothing more than cause the attacker's eyes to instinctively and momentarily blink. Maybe, in the hands of a strong person, you could break skin or cause a bump to the head.

    If you find yourself in a potential hand to hand fight in the woods, you would be far better off shucking your pack and poles and picking up a decent sized rock in each hand.
    I will respectfully disagree. My trekking poles are not the utra light weight version, weighting in at 10.7 oz each. My asp ( a pocket carry 12 inch) is 8.9 oz. Not only does the trekking pole out weigh my asp it gives me 10 inches more reach. An asp/batons police carry range 13-20 oz. A police officer striking somebody in the head can be considered using deadly force. A quick search of some lighter carbon fiber poles come in at 8.1 oz each. Not a whole lot lighter than my 12 inch asp but i do not know how well they would hold up to impact. Training is key. With any weapon, including hands or a gun you must know how to us it.

  4. #104
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    I respectfully disagree as well, if you have a good softball size rock and distance but still have to be a good aim. One of the other options with a rock is in hand but you're talking close encounter. I think a good stick or trekking pole is a very good option, not only when collapsed using as a small club and remember soft targets if you can much more affective than just a whack on the head. You can also jab with it. Then you can use your trekking pole extended as spear type weapon as stated before 2 handed bring back following through and really as long as it doesn't it rib or bone its most likely going trough a human body. A good way to practice would be to use cardboard boxes like a water heater box to could draw a body on it and practice spear type attacks cardboard similar to human skin . Or maybe a watermelon hanging from a branch.. you can also use 2 handed a throat attack break wind pipe.

  5. #105
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    And if you got his eyes to momentarily blink then that's your opportunity for your next move, and you certainly can stop an attack momentarily from a deadly weapon with your backpack .. I don't claim to be no master at **** , I just don't wanna see any of my trail brothers or sisters get hurt anymore.......

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCloud View Post
    A couple of posters have now opined that a collapsed hiking pole is an effective self-defense weapon. I would caution anyone from thinking themselves able to fend off an armed or even unarmed attacker with a lightweight pole. Being struck with an aluminum pole whose overall weight is measured in ounces would have absolutely no effect on a determined attacker. Even a direct, unblocked strike to the head would do nothing more than cause the attacker's eyes to instinctively and momentarily blink. Maybe, in the hands of a strong person, you could break skin or cause a bump to the head.

    If you find yourself in a potential hand to hand fight in the woods, you would be far better off shucking your pack and poles and picking up a decent sized rock in each hand.
    I'd agree for the average person, a treking pole is better than nothing...but not a likely successful tool.
    But for a person practicing Jodo....well let's just say an expert could probably disarm an attacker and take them out pretty quickly.

  7. #107
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    Well, I should add that most cops no longer employ their collapsable batons b/c they have no faith in their effectiveness. Criminals just aren't scared of collapsable batons. Most plain clothes detectives don't even carry them anymore. The wooden batons were a whole other story. LAPD, and a few other agencies, still carry wooden batons. When was the last time you saw a video on TV of an officer whacking away at a person w/ a baton?

    As for the rocks in hand, I did not mean for tossing but for direct strikes.
    Be Prepared

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCloud View Post
    Well, I should add that most cops no longer employ their collapsable batons b/c they have no faith in their effectiveness. Criminals just aren't scared of collapsable batons. Most plain clothes detectives don't even carry them anymore. The wooden batons were a whole other story. LAPD, and a few other agencies, still carry wooden batons. When was the last time you saw a video on TV of an officer whacking away at a person w/ a baton?

    As for the rocks in hand, I did not mean for tossing but for direct strikes.
    Yea, a lot of that has to do with how close you have to get for a baton to be effective. Using a baton now a days is usually to force compliance when the arrested individual is already partially subdued. Going toe to toe with a baton or trekking pole against someone larger or also equipped with a lethal weapon is very risky. Make do with what's available though I suppose.

  9. #109
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    I'm trying to put on a self defense seminar for hikers at the atc... in Harper's ferry . This free seminar would include attacks, defense, using your surroundings etc.. my instructor would be on hand and maybe a couple cop friends. We would cover the basics that anybody could utilize.. all questions all demonstrations it would be top notch professional. I made the call, waiting for laurie p... to call me back.. just my way of giving back

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    And if we do this I'm gonna suggest filming it and putting on this site as well, as to help more people with confidence

  11. #111
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    Having read through all the self-defense suggestions, if I ever meet up with a psycho killer in the woods, I'm sticking with the Usain Bolt method to start.

  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    Having read through all the self-defense suggestions, if I ever meet up with a psycho killer in the woods, I'm sticking with the Usain Bolt method to start.
    Absolutely.

    The problem is when one meets up with psycho who has not turned into a killer yet.

    I have no idea (zero, zilch nada) of how everything played out over the weeks that proceeded the most recent murder, but I wonder about that — and how I would have changed my plans (or not) under the circumstances.

    Easy to say I would have done everything possible to put many miles between myself and the threat if it kept repeatedly presenting itself (that was the case for some hikers, yes?), but hard to do when you are king of the Trail.

    Especially when everyone “knows” that the chance of violence on the AT is infinitesimally small (like when the ATC puts each tragedy into the context of 3 million visitors a year, rather than recognizing the list of victims has now grown to include 7 thru hikers.)

  13. #113

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    Having read through all the self-defense suggestions, if I ever meet up with a psycho killer in the woods, I'm sticking with the Usain Bolt method to start.
    oy

    Gee,I'm so ignorant I had to Google the Usain Bolt method.I'm so slow that it would mean I would just die exhausted.

  14. #114
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    I too had to Google it, I thought it was some kinda crazy weapon or wild gun from Usain.

  15. #115
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    Sorry for the undefined reference to the world's fastest human. But, the reality is that separation and putting/maintaining distance between you and an attacker is probably the most important thing even if you have a weapon of some sort. Moving away (and yeah, running like hell if you can) either removes you from the threat or buys you time to respond. Every second you gain counts in situations like these.

  16. #116

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    Trekking poles may not provide disarming capabilities for the average person, but they can provide just enough distraction to engage the feet that can put distance between someone and a threat surprisingly fast.

  17. #117
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    A posted self-defense blog on the ATC site could be very useful and appreciated; if the ATC let's you so post it. Could also post here.
    Be Prepared

  18. #118
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    And I appreciate that idea, thank you.

  19. #119

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    Pepper spray is small and compact. you could strap it onto your shoulder strap for quick access. I don't carry it but I do have a knife on me

  20. #120
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    Instead of a gun, I’ve started carrying condoms on the trail. I realized that they’re equally effective since I’ll never have any possible use for either and at least the condoms are lighter.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

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