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Day Hiking in Northwest/Southwest Michigan

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Fiv3r, May 5, 2019.

  1. WheelGunMan

    WheelGunMan Member

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    I almost forgot! The time that you're coming is toward the end of black fly season. They're mean little buggers. Make sure you have a strong Deet based insect repellent.
     
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  2. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Truth is, you are more likely to run into that meth head than an aggressive bear.

    The Manistee has long been a favored dumping area for bodies.....also where Charles Prins fled to after shooting and wounding two sheriffs deputies where I grew up....one of which was a family friend.

    But it is a big area and most of the more fringe society people stay away from the marked trails.

    Who would of thought MI was so similar to WI?

    The bugs have apparently gotten worse in the ten years since I have lived there.

    I would bring the Sig.
     
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  3. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    I pretty much figured I wasn't going to run into many mean critters of the natural variety. We humans have always mauled each other on a much regular basis than any natural predator. I always view these kind of threads asking what to bring to a certain area as a coy and polite way asking "What kind of human element am I apt to run into?"

    I leaning toward the higher capacity of the SIG.
     
  4. Bartojc

    Bartojc Member

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    I live in MI, and have my whole life. I spend a fair amount of time in the woods and outside. The only time in 30 years I've wished I had a firearm and didn't a .22 would have worked.

    As others have said carry what you would for the 2 legged varmints and you will be fine. We do have bear, I have lots on trail cams. I have seen one while out in the woods during the day in all my time. He was quick to move the other way and more afraid of me than I was of him.

    -Jeff
     
  5. Bert W.

    Bert W. Member

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    My vote is the .45acp revolver.
     
  6. sequins

    sequins Member

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    https://www.nps.gov/articles/firearms-in-national-parks.htm

    In areas administered by the National Park Service, an individual can possess a firearm if that individual is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing the firearm and if the possession of the firearm complies with the laws of the state where the park area is located. 54 U.S.C. 104906.
     
  7. Indigo22

    Indigo22 Member

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    I grew up in Michigan and have hiked much of the areas where marked trails exsist. The majority of the time I packed a 22 revolver and it was only used for defense once. A few feral dogs took a disliking to my presence.
    That being said I'd say that the 45 revolver would be a great choice. Pick up a SpeedStrip or a mag for a 45 for reloading.
     
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  8. Kaybee

    Kaybee Member

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    Hi, I’m an avid hiker on the east coast. I’ve tried a bunch of different options. For a short time I tried open carry with a Gp100 on a chest holster. Im not going to get into it but I found this to be a bad option. Despite the tactical disadvantage I tried carrying it in my backpack, but I eventually found the weight to be an extreme burden for hiking. If I found the threat serious enough to lug that heavy block of steel around I think I would instead not go.


    What I finally settled on is an LCRX 3” made for .357, but I carry “Buffalo Bore Outdoorsman .38+P”. (I can just barely manage the recoil from that) I believe the LCRX 3” is the absolute BEST day hiking gun available today. The Goldilocks combination of size, weight , and caliber options can not be beat.

    I carry it in a fanny pack disguised holster across my chest. My model only weighs 20 oz, I wish I got the .38 at 15 oz. My old lady open carries bear spray as another option for us. I’d probably bring both if I was alone.

    The lcrx can be carried discreetly and no one gets freaked by the bear spray. Both are intended for wildlife but would do fine vs a human with bad intentions.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
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  9. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

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    I dont know anything about Michigan but I know on the east coast we dont have much more than small black bears, coyotes and medium sized cats.

    I think your Sig with appropriate ammo should be sufficient, however I dont think anyone's going to argue against a bigger caliber.

    Two legged problems can certainly be handled with the 9mm.
     
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  10. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    Many have offered very good information about the general area and some good sense rules for woods recreation. But they have missed the tell-tale signs and call for help, thus their advice has missed the mark.

    Clearly this call for help must be answered!:)

    I heard no mention of the venerable Twenty-two.
    It surely could not be that you don't own one, right?
    A light weight , nine shot revolver is the epitome of a woods walking sidearm!
    Why, every man worth his salt should have one, especially in Michigan! Yes, that's it. Your Wife knows of our new rule mandating rimfire only use in Michigan's forests, correct?;)

    Easy handling and potent enough even for the largest swarm of Picnic Ants. Plenty of capacity for ventilating some of the water bottles that may attack while out and about. And its well mannered cartridge and classic good looks entice the Ladies for a few fun rounds of "Kick the Can".

    Your Wife would agree, I am sure, that she would feel much better if you got a new pistol for this trip.


    And don't be afraid to get a nicer one, either. They tend not to go anywhere, the faithful companions that they are.


    Well, I've done all I can. Good luck to you on your purchase negotiations, er, I mean hiking trip.
    And the "Real Michigan" begins north of M-Twenty and really comes into it after St. Ignace...:D
     
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  11. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    Much appreciation to all. I've got some time to kill before we head north. That means plenty of back and forth and most likely purchasing something I dont need.

    I really don't get too caught up in packing a big, heavy gun. We plan on sticking to the most marked of trails. Anything we run into will either be accustomed to humans like a critter sniffing out a hand out, or a human being just hiking along with his or her family to enjoy the day...weird, I know. The internet has us all fearing anyone we bump into is a rabid meth-head.

    That said, i dont see a reason why a trail gun of some kind wouldn't be prudent. I'm carrying a bunch of other crap anyway, a pistol or revolver of some type wont kill me.

    So if I go about this the "smart" way, I'll just toss in the SIG and Pitbull into my pack and decide which one makes the most amount of sense based on the weight and weather and most likely be more than protected.

    Of course, I could also use this excuse to pick up a Glock 20...just in case. We plan on heading out north in the coming years, a 10mm would be pretty well rounded. Of course, I have been thinking about picking up a Ruger MKIV for a couple of years. A long barrel hunter in stainless steel? Why that's textbook trail gun right there. So I have a Pitbull in .45. What if I went ahead and just grabbed a Charter in .44 special? A Boomer would make a super light lead-chucker that would be snag free and easy to present. Then again, the LGS had a Vaquero in .44 mag with a short barrel in stainless. .44 wasnt on my list, but shes awfully purdy.

    It's a sickness:D
     
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  12. Ironhand54

    Ironhand54 Member

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    I am a life long Michigan resident. The human threat is the most concerning but we do get dog packs in the resort areas.

    One cardinal rule of backpacking is to carry as little weight as possible. Having worn a Sig P226 for many hours at a time I would recommend the Charter Arms 45.

    Most dogs, two legged or four, will run after the first shot so I wouldn't worry too much about round count.

    IronHand
     
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  13. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    You make a really good point that I am trying to keep in mind...weight. While we aren't going hardcore for miles and miles, i am the family pack mule. The pack, the food, the med kit, defense...that's all on dad. My wife will probably carry a couple bottles of water in a sling bag. My daughter will carry a stick she will inadvertently smack me with several times.

    Whatever I carry will be synched tight to my hip to keep it from throwing me off balance.
     
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  14. Kaybee

    Kaybee Member

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    I forgot to mention in my post the weight of the LCRX 3”, I edited that in. I want to climb on my rooftop and yell to the world what a great day hiking gun this has been for me.
     
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  15. shafter

    shafter Member

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    For what you describe I would feel fine with my 9mm Shield or Glock 19. Unless I'm camping and leaving food laying around I'm not concerned about bears. The chances of even seeing one is very small. For a couple of nature walks something small and easily carried would be fine with me.

    A 357 is never a bad idea for a woods gun but your 5.5 Blackhawk weighs a ton. It might be time to look into something a bit small in that caliber. Perhaps a K frame Smith and Wesson or a Ruger Six series.
     
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  16. shafter

    shafter Member

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    Check out Hill People Gear. They make a nice chest pack that's perfect for carrying whatever gear you want to bring on a hike, keys, phone, camera, poncho etc, including a firearm. I know guys who swear by them and it's much more comfortable than carrying anything on your waistline.
     
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  17. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    That 3" LCR has been at the top of my list for a good long time. I need to see if I can track one down locally. I've had a .38 and 9mm LCRs. Great carry guns, and i only traded them for something else because i don't have the cash to spend on everything I think I want:D. I nearly bought a clearance .38 3" LCR a couple years ago and probably should. That .357 would make for a great hiking gun too. Like @shafter said, a smaller .357 would bridge the gap. All of mine are full size single actions.
     
  18. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    I am a revolver guy, but I think I would go with the SIG.

    I live in a small town where the police will be on any scene in literally one minute, or probably less. I don't worry too much about holding my own against an attempted mugging or car jacking with a revolver. No criminal will stay on the scene for any amount of time.

    If I were way out in the wilderness where no help was possible, I would want more rounds in case an actual gunfight with meth cookers or someone like that got started.
     
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  19. MutinousDoug

    MutinousDoug Member

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    Early in my bowhunting career I ran into a mtn lion on the same trail I was on and then, a year or two later, a bear meandering around the same area I was hunting. That scared me so I bought a Ruger .41 mag and carried it until I took up muzzle loading with a .54 where the threat became not so much but weight became an issue (Colorado population has doubled since I moved here in 1976), so I used to hunt the west Ft Collins suburbs and now hunt much further west.
    Now I just carry a Ruger Bearcat .22 when I'm either west or east of the urban corridor between Pueblo and Ft Collins.
     
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  20. jstert

    jstert Member

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    i endorse the earlier suggestion to use this trip as an excuse to add a 22lr to your toolkit: either a ruger single six 22lr/wmr or a ruger sr22. the s.s. is heavier, slower, outdoorsy and offers the extra punch of 22wmr. the sr22 is a reliable and handy, all around plinker that could turn into your wife’s favorite piece. i have both and both are great, but different, you can’t go wrong with either one.
     
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  21. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    How long are your typical day hikes?
     
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  22. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    For those that choose to carry openly on the trail, and a larger gun, I really recommend looking at Diamond D Leather. I find their Alaskan Guide holster with the optional drop loop to be just about perfect for hiking.

    https://www.diamonddcustomleather.com/collections/holsters/products/alaska-hunter-hip-holster

    I have one for this gun.

    And yesterday I ordered one to accommodate both of these guns.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
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  23. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    So excuses are funny things, and we enable ourselves at a drop of a hat, don't we?

    So I bought a new holster that is made out of buffalo hide for this trip. It's a full size universal holster. The problem is that my SIG is a bit too long for it. So what to do? I mean? Return a $39 holster? Are you kidding?:rofl:

    So what I "needed" was a 4" barrel duty sized pistol. I decided to stick with 9mm. I don't really have much need for more than that. I could stick with a compact SIG, but why not try something new;)

    I have had the FN 509 on my list for awhile. I have had the fns 40, fns 40c, and fnx9. I'm a fan. The one thing i didn't like about the 509 was the same issue I had with the fnx and my full size fns, I simply don't like a 4" barrel mated to a full size grip. I don't like the way it carries. I don't like the way it looks. If i am going to lug around a full grip, i want a full length barrel. I don't have overly large hands, so I'm good with a compact grip.

    Enter the FN 509 Midsize. 4" barrel but sporting a 15 round grip. Rural King had them 10 bucks cheaper than i have seen them online, and I'm weak.

    So i bought a gun i didnt really need but it fits the new holster well;) I'm going to check it for function and reliability over the next few weeks, but i dont expext any issues. Every FN I've had has been accurate and reliable. If it passes like i think it will, i think I've settled on my 2019 trail pistol. Seems like it will fill the need of offering a good capacity in a good caliber in a comfortable to carry gun.

    I really appreciate everyone's input on both the suggestions of what to carry as what to expect up north. Im actually stoked about this trip more than i have been any of our other family vacations in the last couple of years:cool:

    Thanks so much.
     
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  24. nebraska_farmer

    nebraska_farmer Member

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    I think you'll be fine with a 9mm like everyone is saying. I was in that area a few years ago (hiking the trails by the "little Mack" suspension bridge), saw a mama black bear and a few cubs run across the road not even a few hundred yards from the trail. Be careful out there. Myself, I'm headed to sleeping bear to camp next weekend, I'll be hiking the trails with my G19.
     
  25. V-fib

    V-fib Member

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    I live in Oceana county on 40 acres in the Huron Manistee national forest since 1981. behind our property is thousands of acres of forest. I have extensively travelled these forests Hunting, two tracking, hiking, berry picking, mushrooming, and biking. I have never had a tick bite but the Mosquitoes and deer flies can be intimidating. bring some bug jackets and head veils with you and you will be good. As far as firearms I usually carry my taurus .357 or smith 642 with some reloads. Never had any run in with bears. Any contact with humans has never been a problem. There are no poisonous snakes either. (yes I know we have the Massuaga rattler but it is verry rare and usually found in the southeast corner of MI). Cell phone coverage can be spotty so let someone know where your going and when you expect to return.
    have fun
    v-fib
     
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