It really pisses me off when people tell women to carry weapons -- if you don't intend to develop the skill to use it properly and accurately, LEAVE IT ALONE. That goes for bear spray, which would be something to take into brown bear/grizzly areas. If you can't use a weapon properly even when you are in adrenalin mode, it's more dangerous than not having one at all.
Well, I certainly agree that no one should use a gun unless they've been trained properly. I have been trained properly and take the responsibility seriously. If you've never been the victim of assault (human or animal), then you cannot advise someone not to protect themselves in a way that makes them feel safe.
Where were you assaulted?
Real wilderness would be the last place I would ever worry about other people. Meanwhile, I live in a city where assault happens all over the place... I know where the real danger is. You can't tell me anything I don't already know about that kind of trauma, since I've lived with it AND it's my job to help others deal with it on a daily basis.
As long as it's yours and you know how to use it, whatever you carry is absolutely fine -- I don't waste the weight on things I know won't be used, but far be it from me to deny anyone their comfort zone.
Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth. Walt Whitman
You can't tell me anything I don't already know about that kind of trauma, since I've lived with it AND it's my job to help others deal with it on a daily basis.
Ok. I felt that your response was that of someone who hadn't been assaulted and in my opinion, a person should protect themselves in any manner they find peace with.
That's the key. It's a HYOH thing, and if you are trained and it makes the difference for you about soloing, then take it. I think the objection is to so many non-hikers seeing it as such a dangerous activity (and always for the wrong reasons; they never ask if you have good rain gear!). And I can't even say much about the weight. Many here would consider my journal and Nook (which weigh about a pound taken together) a ridiculous extra weight, but I won't leave home without them--and especially if I were going solo!
Post by stealthytomato on Aug 25, 2016 7:20:34 GMT -8
I am a beginner solo hiker. So far I am not going into the wilderness alone until I know my skill is up to it. I am sticking to more populated areas and bringing my dog because I am worried about the people, not the wildlife.
My husband keeps asking me to take my handgun (I know how to use it) but that is not something I feel comfortable with in the settings I'm hiking in right now. I am not always the best reading peoples' intentions but my dog is.
I always tell my husband exactly what I'm doing and leave a map of the area open on my computer (he is often half asleep when i leave).
The only this that would really blow it for me is if my dog turns out to be a lousy camper! Like barking at every noise or charging through the tent walls.
So far I am not going into the wilderness alone until I know my skill is up to it. I am sticking to more populated areas and bringing my dog because I am worried about the people, not the wildlife.
When I started soloing, I stuck to familiar areas, and even when I got more confident, I mostly avoided going off trail, on the grounds that if I hurt myself on a trail, I'd get help soon. It was a matter of finding a balance between places with enough people around to feel secure, and few enough people around to enjoy it. Fortunately, that's not all that hard in the Cascades.
For that worry, which is the right one, my advice is as above in this thread: get away from roads and trailheads. Areas with lots of visitors add a certain level of security, but places where fewer people go are highly unlikely to attract human predators. It's a little hard to imagine someone who wants to attack a person driving to a distant trailhead and then hiking 4 or 5 miles in hopes of finding a lone female. (Apropos of that, it's those lonely trailheads that always worried me the most, since some thieves like to visit them to break into cars, and I don't imagine they'd take kindly to interruption).