What to carry while backpacking?

dplev4

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Glock 20 or S&W 19-2. Always a folder and fixed blade knife. Water and more important a water purifier, either lifestrpaw or katadyn depending on length of trip and availability of water (on the west side of OR & WA seldom is an issue finding water).

That's sort of it. Stopped carrying bear spray, typically, encounters with bears have been rare. However, if I was back in the rockies or in Alaska I would carry bear spray too.
 
OP
Robear
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As I get older I've worked hard to lighten my load. My pack weight for a 5 day hike is down to 28 pounds. I've carried everything from a 4" S&W model 19 in .357, a full sized .45 cal model 1911, a 3" Ruger SP101, to finally the Ruger 9mm. It shoots Hornady 135 gr Critical Duty ammo to point of aim. I carry it attached to the waist belt of my Gregory pack so it's readily accessible. In the 50 years I've been backpacking, I've never had to shoot anything. I poked one aggressive dog with a trekking pole. All the bears I've seen have been high-tailing the other way. In Grizzly territory I'd carry a .44 magnum.
 
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Been carrying a 9mm for years, but am working on a 10mm now. I figure if I'm gonna carry, might as well have almost 50% more power to get thru to whatever the problem is. Since I open carry in the woods, the slightly larger size of a 10mm isn't any concern. I end up way back in the sticks alone when hunting, so regret isn't something that will do much good!
 

HaveGun

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He had a ruger 44 mag pistol loaded with hollow points that he "spiked" with pistol primers pressed into the hollow point. After lecturing me to the dangers of this practice, we went outside for a demonstration. in a 6" poplar tree he shot a with, and w/o primer. he blew the tree in half. his logic was when everything else failed he was willing to risk having the gun blow up in his hand than to be mauled by a grizzly out in the middle of nowhere. I had to agree with him.
That's fascinating. I wonder if it would actually work and just how much additional damage it would do.
 
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That's fascinating. I wonder if it would actually work and just how much additional damage it would do.
Back in the day we used to play with CCI flying ashtrays (CCI .45 200gr) with a primer and a minuscule charge of bulseye seated in that cavity. After playing with them we gave up on the concept as it adversely affected penetration. I would expect even in .44 mag that they would create a rather shallow wound that would just pizz a bear off. I've been told ain't nothing quite like a pizzed off bear. Don't want to find out for myself. I'll stick with something that may penetrate to vitals.:s0034:
 
I’m a BIG Fan of Ruger handguns and own several however my preference for backpacking is the Smith and Wesson air weight wheel gun in .357 magnum with one extra speed loader loaded with Winchester .145 gr silver tips and i stagger two federal snake shot . Still right around 12 oz
What model is that Airweight?
 

Traskriver

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I carry a Smith and Wesson AirLIte 317 .22LR 9 shot. Because I do a bit of Alpine climbing I hike once a week on a trail that has 40 degree slopes and has an elevation gain of 2600' in 2.25 miles. I hit the trail head about a hour before sun up so I'm traveling alone with a headlamp.
There's Cougar actively in the area so I figure the bang should deter one if we should cross paths.
 
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depends on where... anyplace without griz, I bring my EDC, a G26 w/ extra clips. If I'm spending time in grizzly country, I bring a Taurus Tracker. 357, 4" barrel with a 7 round wheel.
 

mm93

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Just my personal opinion, but I've never found a need to carry some huge hand cannon while hiking, or fishing out in the boonies. Also never thought there was any reason to carry anything with a huge capacity, or a bunch of extra mags, unless I planned to be out more than a couple days. It's not like you're going to get into an extended battle with the local wildlife, and if it's not handled before the first magazine or cylinder is empty, that you'll likely survive reloading!
For many years I packed my S&W Model 60 5 shot .38 Special. Then later went to packing my Walther .22LR for just fishing trips, and a compact 9mm for other trips where I might encounter larger game. But I have never had the urge to pack more than the 10 rd. capacity my 9mm has, plus one spare magazine.
It seems some are planning for either a gang shootout, or some large multi bear attack where they'll need to fend off more than one attacker?
 

wayfarer

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Like others, I have seen lots-o-tracks of critters that I would prefer to not encounter but, just in case, a 357 Mag is always on my belt. If I thought that I needed more then I'd carry my AK or Mossberg Predator. 2-legged types are generally less predictable......
 

HaveGun

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Just my personal opinion, but I've never found a need to carry some huge hand cannon while hiking, or fishing out in the boonies. Also never thought there was any reason to carry anything with a huge capacity, or a bunch of extra mags, unless I planned to be out more than a couple days. It's not like you're going to get into an extended battle with the local wildlife, and if it's not handled before the first magazine or cylinder is empty, that you'll likely survive reloading!
For many years I packed my S&W Model 60 5 shot .38 Special. Then later went to packing my Walther .22LR for just fishing trips, and a compact 9mm for other trips where I might encounter larger game. But I have never had the urge to pack more than the 10 rd. capacity my 9mm has, plus one spare magazine.
It seems some are planning for either a gang shootout, or some large multi bear attack where they'll need to fend off more than one attacker?
Some people just like to be prepared. Firing three shots in quick succession is the universal signal for a person in distress. If you're injured or lost and have to spend a few days in the wilderness, having only 5-shots available for signalling and defense does not seem very smart. :s0153:
 
It’s a model 360 personal defense with titanium cylinder and stainless barrel and exposed hammer. Weights in at 11.4 ounces. Practicing with .357 magnum is painful without gloves on
That's about 2/3 the weight of our Airweight and I thought our's was light! I'm sure it's zippy with a stout 357 load.
 
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I can't carry much extra weight at all so a Ruger ACP is what I'm limited to, especially since the most dangerous animal I've sensed anywhere (except in Alaska, where I've not been and probably never will be) was two-legged. I've been stalked by four leggers and even though I could only sense them but couldn't see 'em, I don't fear them nearly as much as people.
 

FortRock

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Lately I've been carrying bear spray on the bino harness and the Glock 30s loaded with 255gr 450 Smc and a spare mag. I always have a knife or 4 and my wetterlings axe on me, but they are more for game/meal/camp/fire prep than defense.

Ive only had to use the bear spray once.
Even once is a big deal!
 

FortRock

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I like variety. I hunt along some desolate places. Kenai chest rig with either G20 of .45acp. 629 strapped into the ATV. Or Redhawk. We have mooses and bears. A neighbor woman and her large dog recently encountered a large bull moose who was not impressed with her dog. Sometimes just the .30-30 in the ATV when up cutting fire wood. I spent 25 years in the Bend-LaPine-DRW area. Carried a .22 or a nine when a ways out for fun or for a finishing shot. Saw lots of cougar tracks but never encountered one.... although my sons did. Will have the G20 (and a bottle of water)with me later this morning when I am down trimming limbs around my tree stand. Life is good . Happy hunting!
 

mm93

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Some people just like to be prepared. Firing three shots in quick succession is the universal signal for a person in distress. If you're injured or lost and have to spend a few days in the wilderness, having only 5-shots available for signalling and defense does not seem very smart. :s0153:
I think if I'm lost in the woods, and even if I'm carrying several spare magazines, I'm not going to be wasting ammo firing signal shots. How would you know if anyone is close enough to even wonder where the shots came from? If I was lost, I'd be saving my shots for game to feed myself, not wasting ammo.
And as I mentioned, for a day hike I don't need a bunch of extra ammo or weight. If I was going further, and longer, then I;d consider my 9mm a must, and the two extra mags. But even for a longer hike where I'd take it and extra mags, I'm not going to be packing any extra weight because I'll already be packing a lot more extra gear just for the longer trip. And I'm still not planning on wasting ammo firing signal shots.
 

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