Thoughts On Guns and Hiking

Here is a question I recently saw posted on Backpacker.com that struck a cord with me because I also recently took friends hiking up their first 14er and they asked me the same question:

I am new to backpacking and have only made a few serious trips. Everyone I hike with always carries a gun. Do you carry a firearm when in the United States? Or am I just paranoid?
Submitted by: Damian – Alamogordo, NM  [Backpacker.com]

You can read the response to the question at the link, but in my opinion in most cases guns are not necessary when hiking.  When I recently started taking my friend and his wife hiking they were worried about wildlife and criminals while in isolated areas.  As I told them wildlife in Colorado is not going to bother you.  Bear and mountain lion attacks are very rare.  In fact I think the odds of an accidental discharge are far greater than getting attacked by one of these animals.  Additionally why pack the weight of a gun you are likely never going to use?  Now if we were hiking in remote back country of Alaska or Montana where the grizzly bear threat is very real, then yes I would carry a gun.

As far as needing a gun to defend oneself from criminals I find this to be about as likely as an animal attack.  For the most part criminals do not go hiking.  From my experience hiking in many countries, for the most part you meet very cool people who share a similar interest in the outdoors as you do.  Now if you are walking in a park that borders a neighborhood with high crime and there has been known criminal incidents in the park than maybe a gun is advisable, but I think it would be best just not to walk in that park in the first place.

Does anyone else have any thoughts on this issue?

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Australian Man Dies From Drinking Too Much Water During Hike

You hear people dying from dehydration after prolonged exposure quite often, but this is the first time I have ever heard of someone dying from drinking too much water:

Image via Top News.

A coroner has found a Victorian man died during a Tasmanian bushwalk after drinking too much water.

Jonathan Paul Dent, 30, was an experienced bushwalker in good health when he died in the Dial Ranges, in Tasmania’s north-west.

He had been walking alone and was supposed to meet his wife after four hours, but became lost and disorientated.

Search parties found his body two days later.

Coroner Michael Brett found Mr Dent most likely died from an exercise-related medical condition caused by drinking too much water during prolonged exertion.

Severe symptoms of the condition include confusion, seizures and death.

The autopsy showed Mr Dent’s brain was swollen, indicating he had drunk too much water.  [ABC News]

The complete coroners report on this tragic death can be read at this link.  According to the link the deceased was not that fit and he over-exerted himself after he got lost.  He probably drank a lot of water due to how exhausted he was and ended up drinking too much which caused his death.

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Cool Video On How To Make Fire From Ice

I will have to try this some time to see if I can replicate what this guy did:

How to make Fire by ice from the creek , clear ice is almost as much of a challenge as making an ice lens! It is interesting that ice wants to be clear. When water molecules freeze, they like to form a regular crystal lattice, Put a little black powder in by tender bundle, to see fast flame, you don’t need black powder it will still work, Basic Wilderness survival bushcraft.  [Via Discovery News]

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Would You Give Yourself An Enema to Stay Hydrated?

I would have to be near death before I tried something like this:

I like how Bear Grylls says this should be only undertaken as a last resort, no s**t!

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