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What do you carry when you actually hike?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Macchina, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. kgpcr

    kgpcr Member

    May 30, 2007
    In Minnesota i carry my .40 M&P or my .357 7shot snub. In Alaska its my Ruger Alaskan .454
  2. Ehtereon11B

    Ehtereon11B internet infantryman

    Aug 20, 2012
    All about preference. I shocked the crap out of some hikers when I hiked up Mt Washington in NH when I told them that I was carrying a LIGHT load that weighed 92 pounds. That was with the 12ga. To make it even better I told them that I started hiking in Southwestern Maine along the White Mountain range.
  3. highpower

    highpower Active Member

    Aug 5, 2011
    Reno NV
    I carry my old four screw M29. First two shots are snake shot and the rest are rather stout 240 gr lead SWC handloads. I carry it in this Bianchi 5BH high ride holster.

  4. Torian

    Torian Active Member

    Feb 10, 2013
    An extra pound or two is nothing when it comes to having the peace of mind knowing I'm packing maximum firepower in the event of a confrontation (large predator).

    I'm used to carrying around 40 pounds of extra weight anyways, so the gun is not really an issue. If a pound or two is breaking the bank for some of our hikers, they might want to spend a few weeks on a treadmill at the gym before heading out on the trail :)

    Nothing wrong with getting a good workout! You aren't going to fall over from exhaustion carrying a Super redhawk instead of a GP 100.
  5. jim243

    jim243 Participating Member

    Sep 11, 2009
    While less weight when backbacking is good, it is not so good for personal defense while camping or backpacking. A lightweight pistol or revolver does not have sufficient power to provide the protection you will want if faced with a life threating situation.

    It is better to shed a few pounds of equipment to carry a sufficient caliber handgun for your personal protection. Most hikers and campers I know of carry at least a 357 Mag if not a 44 Mag GP-100. The short 2 1/2 inch guns are useless for anything than you are already in trouble and near death use. Bears, cats (mt lions), wolves all run a lot faster than you or me and will attack without warning. Anything less than a 4 inch barrel and perferably a 6 or 6 1/2 inch barrel will not give you rhe sighting to take down an attacker.

    What you carry is your choice, just make it one that will actually work in an emergency.

  6. Thursday45

    Thursday45 New Member

    Feb 8, 2013
    Last couple years I've carried a Glock 20 loaded with Double Tap 200gr hard cast rounds. I just picked up a Taurus Ultralite 44 mag and if it shoots reliably I will start carrying that since I'm in grizz country. I'm still skeptical of it being so light weight and it holding up but so far so good.
  7. Mainsail

    Mainsail Senior Member

    Dec 16, 2005
    The term 'camping' is a giveaway; we're not talking about the same thing. Camping is pretending to be homeless for a night or two, usually within sight of the car or truck that brought you there. Backpacking is where you travel many miles over rough terrain to spend the night in some scenic spot carrying everything you'll need on your back.

    Most (~90% or more) of the hikers and backpackers I know don't carry any means of self protection larger than a folding pocket knife. Of the few that do carry protection, most carry bear spray (~9%), and only a very few carry a handgun of any type.

    It's not a war zone. Incidents where a firearm of any type would be useful are extremely rare. The time you spend at the trailhead is probably the most dangerous. We have thousands of hikers and backpackers here crawling over the terrain every month of the year, and I can remember only one incident where a firearm might have been helpful; a mountain goat attack.

    Statistically speaking a firearm is unnecessary. Some of us carry one for several possible threats, all of which we know are very unlikely. For the places we frequent, your suggestion of "shedding a few ponds of equipment" is unrealistic. We carry only necessary survival gear, necessary food, and a few luxuries (camera, sleeping pad, fishing gear, etc.). Since hypothermia and falls kill and injure far more people than the wildlife, we prioritize our gear for those threats.

    I'd much rather hike farther over rougher terrain to get away from the yahoos, and to do that my gear has to be lightweight.



    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
  8. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    Jan 16, 2012
    Wet Oregon
    I'd a rammed that goat with my wheelbarrow.
  9. 303tom

    303tom member

    Jul 16, 2011
    My Blackhawk in .327 Fed. Mag................
  10. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Mentor

    Feb 12, 2011
    A cabin in the woods, on the way to nothing.

    I hike a lot, but it is always day hiking (usually 10-16 miles in a day, then I go home). I don't really back pack, yet. So consider when you look at my answer.

    If I'll be hiking in grizzly or moose country, I carry my S&W 460V. It has a 5" bbl, balances great for me, and will stop anything, with proper ammo and shot placement. It is a 4 lb gun though, so for back packing you may hate it. I carry it cross draw on the hip and wear suspenders under my outer shirt to help keep the pants up.

    I do not live in a place with bear of any kind though, so my need to carry that gun is reserved to when I travel to bear country.

    What I do have a lot of in my back yard are mountain lions. And I mean a lot. The quota for this years hunting season here is 100 cats I believe. So, my typical carry gun is my 3" Ruger SP101 in .357 magnum in a Simply Rugged belt holster. I also frequently carry my Springfield XDs with 8 rounds in the gun. I carry that in a Hidden Hybrid Holster, or in a kydex belt holster. Both guns are plenty to stop a cat or a crazy person.

    If I am going to a place that I know has a high lion population, I carry my 1911 or FNP-45, depending on my mood.

    You have to think about what the possible threat is. If I was in grizz country, and backpacking a lot of miles for several days, and weight was a real concern, I'd maybe be looking at a S&W air weight 44 mag, or maybe one of those PC 629's with the short bbl. If weight was a real issue for me for days, I'd probably consider a GLOCK in 10mm, even though I hate GLOCKS.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
  11. Dnaltrop

    Dnaltrop Participating Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Portland, Oregon
    Statistically, yes... a firearm isn't needed. But our trailhead parking lots here are littered with smashed windows, and attacks of varying severity aren't that uncommon.


    "A Vancouver father was convicted this evening, in part on his son's testimony, of robbing and severely beating a skier last February near Washougal.

    A Skamania County jury took less than two hours to find Michael David Collins, 34, guilty of attempted murder and first-degree robbery.

    His son, Teven Collins, 17, testified that, at his father's direction, he struck skier Robert Tracey once with a large stick and used a rope to drag him into some bushes. He also took Tracey's vehicle keys and backpack.

    Teven Collins also testified his father struck Tracey several times with the club.

    "He said he could never give an explanation of why he did it, other than he was doing this with his father, who has been essentially grooming him for a period of time, telling him how he had to earn his bones or body count,"

    Even people not hiking, just stopped for a rest in the general vicinity.


    "Troopers said Edwin Jones, 39, told them he was stopped at a viewpoint on Interstate 84 near Corbett due to traffic when he was approached by two men at about 12:30 a.m. Jones is from Nebraska.

    Police said Jones told them the men asked him for money and cigarettes.

    When he refused, one of the men, described as a white male, pulled a knife and injured Jones on his hand, lower arm and stomach, police said in a press release."

    I'm used to the weight, but I'd consider anything you were willing to carry at that point to be appropriate.
  12. bannockburn

    bannockburn Elder

    Apr 24, 2007
    When I used to go hiking I carried my Beretta Model 70S in .22LR. It's relatively lightweight, has been 100% reliable with any ammo I have put through it, and very accurate with its crisp trigger and adjustable sights.
  13. Elm Creek Smith

    Elm Creek Smith Active Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    In the olden days when I went backpacking I carried an M16A2 with seven 30-round magazines and an M1911A1 with three 7-round magazines.

    These days I carry my S&W Model 37 with Buffalo Bore standard pressure ammo with two speed strips. uploadfromtaptalk1362506664958.jpg

    Sent from my XT907 using Tapatalk 2
  14. k_dawg

    k_dawg Active Member

    Sep 11, 2005
    Statistically speaking, a woman need not fear rape.

    That is why they have whistles and callboxes.

    I carry when ever I am. Civilized society or deep in the woods.
  15. Indifferent

    Indifferent Member

    Mar 16, 2008
    642 in pocket with Hornady Critical Defense loads. (Biggest threat is 2 legged predators)
  16. Teachu2

    Teachu2 Senior Member

    Jan 17, 2012
    Keene, CA
    Where, pray tell, have you found civilized society?
  17. 481

    481 Participating Member

    Feb 22, 2009
    Just my Glock 17 loaded with 147 gr XTPs. The only real threat(s) I am likely to encounter are two-legged.
  18. Deputy25

    Deputy25 New Member

    Dec 8, 2004
    Pennsylvania, USA
    I generally carry my duty pistol, a Glock 31.
  19. David E

    David E Mentor

    Aug 3, 2008
    You guys carrying semi-autos, do you carry spare mags? If so, how many?
  20. Macchina

    Macchina Active Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    This post is word-for-word why I made this thread, I agree that many people are confusing camping with backpacking (hence the "really" emphasis in the title). Awesome pics!

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