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I've got three fun ones:

I know a couple that is into multi-day long hikes. Typical early 30's, in-shape, liberal leaning REI folk. They were 3 days into a 5 day hike in the Olympic mountains. Evening #3 while setting the tent up, they saw a cougar stalking them in the tree line. They didn't have any weapons and the cougar moved in. They had to resort to throwing sticks and stones at it. They took turns sleeping and throwing rocks/sticks all night. Morning time they pack up and head home. They are still two nights out from being back at their car. Same scenario for the next two nights, the cougar stalked them every night. Now they religiously carry while on hikes.

Story two is of my buddies dad, an old school extream hiker/mountaineer also from the Olympic Peninsula. Him and a buddy were on an overnight hike on the Olympics, and were traveling light. No tents, just sleeping pads and mats on the ground. Males, mid 30s, in shape folk, early 1990s I believe. My buddies dad is woken up in the middle of the night by his buddy screaming. He gets out of his bag to see whats going on and some animal had bit his buddy by his skull, and started dragging him into the bushes. By the time by friends dad woke up the animal was scared off. The guy had to be rushed to the ER, but survived minus blood and scars. No confirmation that ut was a cougar, but that or a bear make the most sense. Neither of them got a good look at it.

I knew a student a few years ago who was elk hunting near Cle Elum. High school age kid. His dad stayed at camp so he went out solo. He didn't walk back to camp until dusk, and walked most of the way in the dark. He forgot his flashlight so he was using his cellphone light to walk. He mentioned that he felt like something was following him so he turned around with his cell phone. A cogar was stalking him at a close enough distance to he lit up by his cell phobe light! Spooked him for sure.

I'm a big believer in carrying both a pistol, and a very large fixed blade when out in the woods! Fixed blade ends up mostly processing firewood, but brings alot of comfort in the really thick vegitation that we have on the forest floor in Western WA. Better for gross quick motor movements, especially with both handsz should the need arise.
 
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I've got three fun ones:

I know a couple that is into multi-day long hikes. Typical early 30's, in-shape, liberal leaning REI folk. They were 3 days into a 5 day hike in the Olympic mountains. Evening #3 while setting the tent up, they saw a cougar stalking them in the tree line. They didn't have any weapons and the cougar moved in. They had to resort to throwing sticks and stones at it. They took turns sleeping and throwing rocks/sticks all night. Morning time they pack up and head home. They are still two nights out from being back at their car. Same scenario for the next two nights, the cougar stalked them every night. Now they religiously carry while on hikes.

Story two is of my buddies dad, an old school extream hiker/mountaineer also from the Olympic Peninsula. Him and a buddy were on an overnight hike on the Olympics, and were traveling light. No tents, just sleeping pads and mats on the ground. Males, mid 30s, in shape folk, early 1990s I believe. My buddies dad is woken up in the middle of the night by his buddy screaming. He gets out of his bag to see whats going on and some animal had bit his buddy by his skull, and started dragging him into the bushes. By the time by friends dad woke up the animal was scared off. The guy had to be rushed to the ER, but survived minus blood and scars. No confirmation that ut was a cougar, but that or a bear make the most sense. Neither of them got a good look at it.

I knew a student a few years ago who was elk hunting near Cle Elum. High school age kid. His dad stayed at camp so he went out solo. He didn't walk back to camp until dusk, and walked most of the way in the dark. He forgot his flashlight so he was using his cellphone light to walk. He mentioned that he felt like something was following him so he turned around with his cell phone. A cogar was stalking him at a close enough distance to he lit up by his cell phobe light! Spooked him for sure.

I'm a big believer in carrying both a pistol, and a very large fixed blade when out in the woods! Fixed blade ends up mostly processing firewood, but brings alot of comfort in the really thick vegitation that we have on the forest floor in Western WA. Better for gross quick motor movements, especially with both handsz should the need arise.
Gun > Knife, yes even for contact fighting. Consider: a knife must be brought to bear by contact. For even bigger knives this will be a maximum distance of 6-8 inches. This can easily be blocked, pinned or fouled before it can make contact with the threat. A gun has effectively unlimited range, at least s far as a brawl type scenario is concerned. All you have to do is get the muzzle pointed in the direction of the threat and they can be hit, it does not matter if the gun arm is fouled or pinned. Just cant the wrist so that the muzzle is in the right direction and pull the trigger. You should get some kind of hit, and you can work on increasing your advantage from there. Plus if the threat is a wild animal the shear sound of the gun going off is going to do a whole hell of a lot more than a shiny blade. This advice is based on more than just theorycrafting, I have put "contact gunfighting" through some full contact training exercises vs. various other weapon types. The guns always win, even with some pretty sever handicaps. I see zero reason these lessons should not be applicable to wild animal scenarios as well.
 
Gun > Knife, yes even for contact fighting. Consider: a knife must be brought to bear by contact. For even bigger knives this will be a maximum distance of 6-8 inches. This can easily be blocked, pinned or fouled before it can make contact with the threat. A gun has effectively unlimited range, at least s far as a brawl type scenario is concerned. All you have to do is get the muzzle pointed in the direction of the threat and they can be hit, it does not matter if the gun arm is fouled or pinned. Just cant the wrist so that the muzzle is in the right direction and pull the trigger. You should get some kind of hit, and you can work on increasing your advantage from there. Plus if the threat is a wild animal the shear sound of the gun going off is going to do a whole hell of a lot more than a shiny blade. This advice is based on more than just theorycrafting, I have put "contact gunfighting" through some full contact training exercises vs. various other weapon types. The guns always win, even with some pretty sever handicaps. I see zero reason these lessons should not be applicable to wild animal scenarios as well.

I totally agree for 99% of the time, great points. I have unfortunately been held up at gun point in my teens with only a small knife in my pocket, so I know what its like to be on the wrong side tool wise. Here is my logic for carrying both:

I cant process wood for shelters, fire, or make spears with a gun. I can with a big knife, so it can be used practically to build saftey measures and arm friends on the fly if needed. My fear lies in the dark, in the thick forest, in wet/cold environments, which is where I hike/camp most. I often need to wear gloves. Imagine being in the dark, with very short viewing distance (due to thick vegitation), with gloves on, and something rushes you from behind and jumps on your back. There is a decent chance you wouldn't be able to actually get a round off due to challenges with fine motor skills. That may not be the case in a controlled, heated, well lit environment against humans, but cats are literally evolved to stalk and kill things in the dark during good and bad weather conditions. Ideally, yes, a gun would be preferred, but I think you can see my point. Mammoths and Mastodons have been put down by Obsidian blades and spears, just something to consider. If the gun fails, a big fixed blade is a fantastic backup that doubles as a very practical tool.
I do have a backup 22mag pistol strapped to my knife as a secondary firearm backup/small game getter, just another tool to cover my bases. But I do agree that a gun is best most often in general.

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I totally agree for 99% of the time, great points. I have unfortunately been held up at gun point in my teens with only a small knife in my pocket, so I know what its like to be on the wrong side tool wise. Here is my logic for carrying both:

I cant process wood for shelters, fire, or make spears with a gun. I can with a big knife, so it can be used practically to build saftey measures and arm friends on the fly if needed. My fear lies in the dark, in the thick forest, in wet/cold environments, which is where I hike/camp most. I often need to wear gloves. Imagine being in the dark, with very short viewing distance (due to thick vegitation), with gloves on, and something rushes you from behind and jumps on your back. There is a decent chance you wouldn't be able to actually get a round off due to challenges with fine motor skills. That may not be the case in a controlled, heated, well lit environment against humans, but cats are literally evolved to stalk and kill things in the dark during good and bad weather conditions. Ideally, yes, a gun would be preferred, but I think you can see my point. Mammoths and Mastodons have been put down by Obsidian blades and spears, just something to consider. If the gun fails, a big fixed blade is a fantastic backup that doubles as a very practical tool.
I do have a backup 22mag pistol strapped to my knife as a secondary firearm backup/small game getter, just another tool to cover my bases. But I do agree that a gun is best most often in general.

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I dig it.
 
I totally agree for 99% of the time, great points. I have unfortunately been held up at gun point in my teens with only a small knife in my pocket, so I know what its like to be on the wrong side tool wise. Here is my logic for carrying both:

I cant process wood for shelters, fire, or make spears with a gun. I can with a big knife, so it can be used practically to build saftey measures and arm friends on the fly if needed. My fear lies in the dark, in the thick forest, in wet/cold environments, which is where I hike/camp most. I often need to wear gloves. Imagine being in the dark, with very short viewing distance (due to thick vegitation), with gloves on, and something rushes you from behind and jumps on your back. There is a decent chance you wouldn't be able to actually get a round off due to challenges with fine motor skills. That may not be the case in a controlled, heated, well lit environment against humans, but cats are literally evolved to stalk and kill things in the dark during good and bad weather conditions. Ideally, yes, a gun would be preferred, but I think you can see my point. Mammoths and Mastodons have been put down by Obsidian blades and spears, just something to consider. If the gun fails, a big fixed blade is a fantastic backup that doubles as a very practical tool.
I do have a backup 22mag pistol strapped to my knife as a secondary firearm backup/small game getter, just another tool to cover my bases. But I do agree that a gun is best most often in general.

View attachment 1828321 View attachment 1828322
I too carry a big knife as a tool for hiking. I find it far more versatile than, say, a small ax or similar for wood processing. Granted I hike in places with lots of softer, straight grain trees, so a large knife may not be suitable if you are in an environment with mostly knotty hardwoods, but I find the utility to be superb for my use case.

I just do not expect to ever use it as a defensive tool. I have a gun for that.

I do not buy the "fine motor skills" arguments when if comes to defensive gun use. I am not trying to ring a gong at 100 yards with a pistol or drop all the plates off a Texas Star, all I need to do is get some kind of grip where I can get a booger hook on a bang switch in the grossest way possible; finger tip, first joint, second joint, it does not matter when the shot is at contact distances. Just grab and squeeze, it will get the job done. I don't even buy the argument for malfunction clearing, as the vast majority will be jams like stove pipes or failures to go into battery, both of which require basically zero dexterity to manage if you know what you are doing; rack slid and beat on the back until it goes in.

Yes, there is no way to make training like the real event, but we can practice in ways to at least give a general idea if we can get a job done in panic mode. Guns are not so difficult to operate that they take more thought than a knife, they just take different thought, and that is simply a matter of training.
 

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