Mountain lions, bears, feral pigs, coyotes, and two-legged predators…all of these and more present potential threats to those who venture out into the wilderness. That’s why many hikers choose to carry the means to protect themselves when they’re out where dialing 911 won’t do you much good.
Is that Wild Bill Hickock or Jeremy from accounting? It’s hard to tell. And that scares me far more than any grizzly bear or random hiker I’m likely to encounter. Anonymous recreationists carrying guns should scare you, too.
I’m not anti-gun, nor am I a city-dwelling ideologue. I’ve lived in Montana for nearly 20 years, and I own guns. The only time I carry one into the woods, however, is to hunt. To kill game. That’s what they’re built to do.
I’ve been an outdoor writer and editor for nearly as long, covering everything from skiing and climbing to hunting and fishing. I own a backcountry guide service and operate exclusively in grizzly country, including some of the most bear-dense parts of Yellowstone. I’ve had dozens of grizzly encounters, run-ins with polar bears on Arctic ski expeditions, and more than a few awkward conversations with disturbed individuals over the years—all sans sidearm and no worse for wear. Some of these experiences were scary, but I’ve never pulled the trigger on my bear spray (much less a pistol), and every one of those encounters made me a better outdoorsman.
– Drew Pogge in You Don’t Need to Hike with a Gun
For most people, pepper spray is a better option. https://t.co/f3G8bduIKC
— Outside Magazine (@outsidemagazine) May 15, 2019