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jakeman
2008-01-16, 19:24
My wife and I hike frequently in the North Georgia mountains and in eastern Tennessee. We've hiked/backpacked for many years and have never felt the need to "arm" ourselves while in the backcountry.....it seems times have changed, however(Meredith Emerson-the Florida couple killed in NC). While we will never carry a gun for protection, we were wondering what other veteran hikers are doing to stay relatively safe while hiking in remote areas.

Amigi
2008-01-16, 21:31
Times really have not changed. This issue has been gone over a lot here and on Whiteblaze.net.

I just stay alert when I meet other people on the trail, keep a smile on my face, measure their body language, and make an assessment. 99.99% of time, I come away feeling equal or better than I did before I met them.

I know I feel A LOT safer in the woods, than say ... walking down the street. No doubt about it. And the statistics are there to prove you should feel no other way. We just had a thread about the relative low numbers of murdered hikers on the AT vs the number of hikers and hiker-miles.

Feel safe. One murder making the news on the trail, versus the 100s that occur everyday on street corners in every city... Your safer in the woods.

SGT Rock
2008-01-16, 23:16
I agree. I use to cary a long time ago and gave it up. If you cary you are always making a judgement about people and having to consider your gun. If you hike without one it takes all that out of the equation. You can still take precations like on the 14th when this old guy I met out in the middle of nowhere asked me where I was going, I just responded "about 4 miles".

Hollowdweller
2008-01-16, 23:25
I normally carry a North American Arms Mini Master .22mag with a couple of the cylinders having shotshells in them.

That said in about 23 years of backpacking I have never felt unsafe due to people or animals.

Also with the Emerson and other folks killed by that guy it almost seems like he caught them off guard taking off their coats or packs since her stuff was found near her car and the dead lady in the NC killing was also found near her car.

Probably your best bet is just to be sure not to turn your back on anybody strange

yuppie_redneck
2008-01-17, 20:42
I normally carry a North American Arms Mini Master .22mag with a couple of the cylinders having shotshells in them.

That said in about 23 years of backpacking I have never felt unsafe due to people or animals.

Also with the Emerson and other folks killed by that guy it almost seems like he caught them off guard taking off their coats or packs since her stuff was found near her car and the dead lady in the NC killing was also found near her car.

Probably your best bet is just to be sure not to turn your back on anybody strange


He didn't catch her too offguard, she fought like a banshee. I understand she even tried to grab his knife. He got lucky and got a blow inside her guard and stunned her.


As to hiking in N Ga. It's never been safer. Probably safer to do it here than in your own back yard. The people are friendly, courteous, and pleasant on trail and off. I'm sure more people are carrying on trail - and will for a while until awareness of recent events fades. Everyone is a little more alert than usual.


That said, ANYONE can be caught off guard. Your most impressive weapon is not in your hands - it is in your mind. Be prepared, and when opportunity knocks - ACT. Luck is where opportunity meets preparation. A simple titanium tent stake could end most interpersonal problems successfully. A single 00 shot shell Will end them PERMANENTLY- but only if you are ready, willing and able to use it. I'm not willing to kill someone just because I feel threatened, so carrying on the trail isn't a good idea for me. That changes should the person threaten one of my kids, and I prepare accordingly.

Nonetheless, I AM perfectly willing to permanently mess someone up that attacks me, and I insure that I stay prepared to do so should the need arise.

Remeber the phrase: "turn the other cheek"? I believe in it, but I am not such a good Christian as to not make that cheek THEIRS. Remember this - the original version of the 10 commandments is interpreted as thou shalt not do murder - NOT thou shalt not kill.

As always - thats my penny's worth.

GGS
2008-01-18, 00:02
He didn't catch her too offguard, she fought like a banshee. I understand she even tried to grab his knife. He got lucky and got a blow inside her guard and stunned her.

Was this published in a news article? I missed it. Would you happen to have a link to it?

KD4QOY
2008-01-18, 00:16
I feel safer in the woods than in any town. I'd say 99% of the hikers I meet on the trail are ok. It's the other 1% ( hopefully less ) you have to look out for. I have only encountered 2 people on the trail that spooked me in 30 years of backpacking. I do carry a pistol, & are licenced to do so. Yes, it is a pain in the rear to have keep the thing oiled every other day so it wont rust. It is extra weight ( a full size 9mm w/ 2 mags ). But, it is a very dangerous world out there. I'd rather be prepared than dead.

johntommybob
2008-01-18, 00:16
I guess if I thought I had to be armed to be safe on a hiking trip - I wouldn't go.

That said, if I would make a guess which trail would be the most unsafe trail, the most likely trail where you might run into trouble, it would be the AT.

In all the years I spent hiking and backpacking I only met up with one guy who put me on my guard, and that was on the AT. True enough that the odds are stacked high in your favor not to have any trouble; probably as high as you not winning the lottery, but somebody wins at the lottery - every day.

Somebody is very lucky, or very unlucky, every day, but you can't let the fear that lighting might strike you keep from going out of the house.

Hollowdweller
2008-01-18, 13:18
Was this published in a news article? I missed it. Would you happen to have a link to it?


I wondered the same thing. I've read nearly everything I could find on it from the Geogia newspapers and TV and hadn't seen anything like that.

Hollowdweller
2008-01-18, 13:32
I do carry a pistol, & are licenced to do so. Yes, it is a pain in the rear to have keep the thing oiled every other day so it wont rust. It is extra weight ( a full size 9mm w/ 2 mags ). But, it is a very dangerous world out there. I'd rather be prepared than dead.

I started out carrying a .45 Auto cause I was afraid of bears. I think it weighed about 5 lbs.

After a few years of carrying that and realizing the bears were more scared of me I switched to a 9mm. After a few years of carrying that and still no trouble I switched to a .22 mag.

After carrying the .22 mag for a few years, still having no problems or trouble and dealing with the rust like you mention I switched to the NAA, which is stainless.

I expect if I go another 5 years (I started backpackign like 23 or 22 years ago) I might not carry anything:biggrin:

Mini Master

http://ramanon.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=410&stc=1&d=1200677448

GGS
2008-01-18, 14:30
Somebody is very lucky, or very unlucky, every day, but you can't let the fear that lighting might strike you keep from going out of the house.

I'll drink to that!! :gob_beer

yuppie_redneck
2008-01-18, 19:59
I wondered the same thing. I've read nearly everything I could find on it from the Geogia newspapers and TV and hadn't seen anything like that.

It's gossip, I did not see the remains. I do, however, trust the person that reported it to me. I hesitated to post it here because I feel uncomfortable revealing the source as their job relies on confidentiality. Even your local LE personnel have friends and need to talk about things that disturb them with a trusted friend.

I only reported it here to help people like me understand that even though she died, I think her struggle helped lead to the identification and capture of her assailant. He certainly was not able to clean the scene afterward. When I bow my head and think of her - I also give her a nod of appreciation.

What is that quote? I will not go quietly into the night, I will rage against the dying of the light!

Something like that.