Night stalker Never seen one, but last year before backpacking part of the Outlaw Trail in Utah (Butch Cassidy's hideout), we read an account on the login sheet at the trailhead -- guy was solo camping several miles into the trail. At night, he heard and saw a cougar prowling around his campsite. Said he spent the whole night awake armed with flashlight and rocks to chase it off -- it kept coming back. It was late Spring, very hot, and we didn't carry tents. I didn't sleep well at all on the open ground, paranoid that I'd wake up with a cat's fangs around my throat. I know house cats have night vision approximately 9 times more sensitive than humans, and they are good nocturnal hunters. I suspect the same about cougars. No, you're not going to get a shot off from a dead sleep with no tent for a barrier! I carried a .380, because it's light, only 20 ou. unloaded. My .357 Highway Patrolman is just too damned heavy -- we had to pack a lot of water. Loaded with Buffalo Bore hardcast, the Bersa .380 with 3.5" barrel gives about 295 ft./lbs muzzle energy, approaching 9mm levels. I've read two accounts of charging pit bulls being stopped in their tracks with a .380, so I didn't feel underarmed.