What to carry while backpacking?

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My tomahawk is a very traditional one....not "tactical" at all.
That said it would do what was needed if I ever had to use it for making firewood or defense.

As for training....
Hm....I just use it...and try different swings , cuts and hits ( it has a "Hammer poll" on the back end )
It look a lot like my camp axe pictured below...but with a more tapered handle and a slightly less heavy axe head.
( The axe on the far right...the pipe tomahawk in the middle is old , as in from the 1860's - 70's , and was never intended for use as a weapon . )
Andy
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Isn’t this the same as , taking a knife to a gun fight
 
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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.
I've also never found a need to carry an emergency GPS tracker, to carry when I leave the house, or wear a helmet when racing. But I do anyway in case the need ever finds me. People have been dying for thousands of years because something unexpected happened. I can't account for every eventuality, but I can do my reasonable best. I'll accept the added 30oz of weight should the day ever come where I need it.
 

BillyJean

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Several folks slid into my DMs asking about what I carry backpacking. Sharing it here in case someone else might find it helpful. Probably goes without saying to gun folks but of course we all should observe Leave No Trace principals whenever we head out.

Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 quilt w/900 fill down, thermarest neoair xtherm, sea to summit UL pillow
MSR pocket rocket stove, Snow Peak Ti spork, MSR .85L Titan kettle, microfiber camp towel
MSR Hubba 1p tent OR Mountain Laurel Designs Grace Tarp Duo (w/MSR Groundhog stakes for either, and I use a piece of 4’x8’ tyvek for a ground sheet w/tarp), 50-100ft paracord
Black diamond carbon cork trekking poles
Gossimer Gear Kumo 36L pack
Hill People Gear Runner’s Bag
Black Diamond Storm headlamp
Sawyer mini filter with Platypus 2L bag and a Smart Water 1L bottle
med kit, 2 extra black plastic garbage bags, backup iodine pills for H2O purification
1 or 2 small Bic lighters wrapped in duct tape, extra gallon ziplock, backup flint/steel
Leatherman Squirt PS4 (often I will also carry a Morakniv)
sometimes I will carry a hammock like Eno Sub-7 and on quick summer overnighters I may only take this for sleeping with no other shelter
20 sheets of good TP plus hand sanitizer and the Duce of Spades
Suunto M-3 compass, paper map, plus GPS map downloaded to OnX on my phone
small portable charger w/phone chord (good for about 1.5 phone charges)
travel Dr Bonnors soap for longer trips
sunscreen, bug spray, etc., depending on conditions
Clothing: what I’m wearing, plus a down jacket, beanie, and maybe an extra layer for up top
Sleep clothes: clean wool socks, wool long johns, wool shirt (this stuff is only for sleep)
S&W 329PD or 396NG with one extra speed strip and a round or two of snake shot
 

Andy54Hawken

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Isn’t this the same as , taking a knife to a gun fight
No because :
My primary usage of the tomahawk is to cut...firewood and such.
It could be used for defense...but that is not my main reason for carrying it.

As for "taking a knife to gun fight"....
Well , if I have to defend myself , I will do so...with whatever I have on hand.
If I do not have a firearm , but am only armed with a knife...then I ain't just gonna curl up and wait to die....'cause all I have is a knife and the threat has a firearm.
Andy
 

XoXSciFiGuy

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Cougars dangerous? I've chased them off easy a couple of times simply by cussing them out like a sailor and telling them to get the hell out of here. It's extremely rare for a cougar to attack a human head on anyway, although mountain bikers can be vulnerable. BEARS are a different story entirely. I carry Frontiersman bear spray with the max range, and my S/W 4506. When you are ready to zip up your tent for the night and hit the sack, it doesn't hurt to fire off a couple of shots into the air before closing the door. :D (Assuming you can do this wherever you happen to be camped.)

bearspray.jpg blackbear2.jpg
 
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I have been hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, XC skiing and snowshoeing in the wet part of Washington for more than 50 years. I am a fan of a stainless .357 revolver for outdoor recreation due to versatility and corrosion resistance. For about the last 20 years, my outdoor recreation carry of choice has been one of my Ruger 2.25" SP-101 with .357 158 grain JSP as a balance between power, weight and concealment. It is usually carried in a Molle pouch on the waist belt of my backpacks for easy access with concealment. To my chagrin, I almost never encounter the megafauna when I am out and about, even from a distance. I have seen fresh tracks, but that is about it. I also have a large canister of bear spray but I rarely carry it for some reason.
 
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Bob D

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Cougars dangerous? I've chased them off easy a couple of times simply by cussing them out like a sailor and telling them to get the hell out of here. It's extremely rare for a cougar to attack a human head on anyway, although mountain bikers can be vulnerable.
Absolutely. I'm not scared of any Cougar I can see. The cougar that has been 150 yards behind me for the last two hours without me having any idea about it is the dangerous one, and a gun won't be very effective if she decides to pad silently up and clamp her jaws on the back of my neck while I'm stopping for a drink of water.
 

mm93

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I've also never found a need to carry an emergency GPS tracker, to carry when I leave the house, or wear a helmet when racing. But I do anyway in case the need ever finds me. People have been dying for thousands of years because something unexpected happened. I can't account for every eventuality, but I can do my reasonable best. I'll accept the added 30oz of weight should the day ever come where I need it.

Now we're getting silly. How do you compare a lightweight GPS to a bunch of extra ammo? Not just for weight, but for what the benefit of each could be? And same for a helmet and racing, or even fun riding? It's not a necessity, but darn close, since the odds you'll dump your bike and probability of hitting your head are much greater without one.

But carrying a lot of extra magazines or ammo is not in the same vein of priority as a GPS, or a helmet for racing. Considering how much gear the average hike requires if you plan to be out for a few days; I wont be packing a lot of excess weight for a gun that's with me in case I need it, and may likely never get used.
 
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Conflicts with animals that pose a danger are rare (IMHO) and I agree with a previous post that a cougar "is a killing machine". I only recall two cougar attacks in Oregon, one when a ODF&W employee shot a cougar attacking him in the Wallowa's and the more recent attack resulting in the death of the woman hiker in the Mt. Hood National Forest The other recent fatal attack of the mountain biker in Washington also comes to mind. I think if you are the target of a cougar, you most likely will never know he's there until he's on your neck. Bears that I have run into seem to be peaceful. Sow's with cubs can pose a threat, of course. There are a limited amount of moose in Oregon but are more common in other NW states. Moose can be a problem. Wolves are becoming more common and there was a hunter who had to kill a wolf in self defense, according to the Oregon State Police report, in the Blue Mountains a few years ago but with all this said animals generally avoid us humans. I, as a young man never carried a firearm while fishing but an encounter with a skunk that we believe might have been rabid, as it came at us at only was turned away at the last minute when hit with rocks we were throwing (three of us) and rattlesnakes that I have encountered changed my policy and I now carry whenever out in the woods or fishing along streams. As I said earlier I carry my Ruger Alaskan in 454 Casull when in the woods and a S&W .38 caliber snubbie with snake shot when fishing in Rattlesnake country.
 
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Conflicts with animals that pose a danger are rare (IMHO) and I agree with a previous post that a cougar "is a killing machine". I only recall two cougar attacks in Oregon, one when a ODF&W employee shot a cougar attacking him in the Wallowa's and the more recent attack resulting in the death of the woman hiker in the Mt. Hood National Forest The other recent fatal attack of the mountain biker in Washington also comes to mind. I think if you are the target of a cougar, you most likely will never know he's there until he's on your neck. Bears that I have run into seem to be peaceful. Sow's with cubs can pose a threat, of course. There are a limited amount of moose in Oregon but are more common in other NW states. Moose can be a problem. Wolves are becoming more common and there was a hunter who had to kill a wolf in self defense, according to the Oregon State Police report, in the Blue Mountains a few years ago but with all this said animals generally avoid us humans. I, as a young man never carried a firearm while fishing but an encounter with a skunk that we believe might have been rabid, as it came at us at only was turned away at the last minute when hit with rocks we were throwing (three of us) and rattlesnakes that I have encountered changed my policy and I now carry whenever out in the woods or fishing along streams. As I said earlier I carry my Ruger Alaskan in 454 Casull when in the woods and a S&W .38 caliber snubbie with snake shot when fishing in Rattlesnake country.
I think run ins with predators (even if there's no attack) are more frequent than they used to be. They may run away from humans most times (including times when we don't even see them), but there seem to be a lot more sightings of wolves and cougars in NE Oregon. From what I've seen and heard personally over the last several years, wolves don't necessarily go out of their way to avoid places with human activity. I think they get used to it and work around it, but are still in the vicinity, if they have something to hunt and chase. With a decrease in food (deer/elk/whatever) supply and higher number of predators, maybe someone gets unlucky and meets a cougar or wolf pack having a particularly hungry day or week but sure, it's mostly not likely. Unless I'm mistaken, though, I think someone here on NWF quite a while ago suggested that the Mt. Hood Nat'l Forest woman got attacked and died, was attacked by something other than a cougar but officials just said cougar.
 
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I think run ins with predators (even if there's no attack) are more frequent than they used to be. They may run away from humans most times (including times when we don't even see them), but there seem to be a lot more sightings of wolves and cougars in NE Oregon. From what I've seen and heard personally over the last several years, wolves don't necessarily go out of their way to avoid places with human activity. I think they get used to it and work around it, but are still in the vicinity, if they have something to hunt and chase. With a decrease in food (deer/elk/whatever) supply and higher number of predators, maybe someone gets unlucky and meets a cougar or wolf pack having a particularly hungry day or week but sure, it's mostly not likely. Unless I'm mistaken, though, I think someone here on NWF quite a while ago suggested that the Mt. Hood Nat'l Forest woman got attacked and died, was attacked by something other than a cougar but officials just said cougar.
There was a woman treed by a pack of wolves in the Okanogan.
 
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I keep things pretty minimal — any 3 season backpacking trip 5 days or under and I'm headed out in a 36L pack. I always carry in a Hill People Gear chest rig, whether I have a wheelgun or auto-loader on me. If you're backpacking, there's really nothing better than the HPG rig that I've found. Works great as a tenkara fly fishing pack and trail running pack as well.

I buy a cougar tag every year and cross my fingers I'll get a shot one day, but I really never expect to even look at my gun while I'm backpacking. I usually base my carry around the sorts of people, if any, I expect to encounter.
hmmm that Hill People Gear rig looks like just what I have been wanting...are you able to draw from that quickly? The video on their website seems to suggest so.
 
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Now we're getting silly. How do you compare a lightweight GPS to a bunch of extra ammo? Not just for weight, but for what the benefit of each could be? And same for a helmet and racing, or even fun riding? It's not a necessity, but darn close, since the odds you'll dump your bike and probability of hitting your head are much greater without one.

But carrying a lot of extra magazines or ammo is not in the same vein of priority as a GPS, or a helmet for racing. Considering how much gear the average hike requires if you plan to be out for a few days; I wont be packing a lot of excess weight for a gun that's with me in case I need it, and may likely never get used.
I'll give you the chance to re-read what I quoted and point out to me where I addressed ammo. I was even clear enough to mention the specific weight of my pistol to show how much "extra weight" I carry. There's more silliness in your failed understanding of my post but I just don't have the energy today to help people read
 

BillyJean

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do you use that trigger guard contraption they sell?
I do not. I don't put anything but the pistol in that gun pocket and feel completely comfortable carrying DA revolvers and 1911s in there. Would feel the same carrying a P-series Sig as well. I don't have much experience carrying Glock or plastic pistols so can't speak to that.

I thought about picking one of these bags up for about two years. One of the better outdoor gear purchases I've made. Made in the USA and everything.
 
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do you use that trigger guard contraption they sell?
I’ve also got a hill people gear kit bag that I carry a Glock in and I have purposely try to and succeeded in pulling the trigger while it was in the kit bag. Is it likely that I ever would have been able to do that on accident probably not but because it is possible I choose to either use the trigger guard contraption that multiple companies offer or put it in a holster inside the kit bag. Either way draw isn’t significantly hampered any more than being under a large jacket would be.
 
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I'd say the percentage of hikers actually seeing a bear is minuscule, too.
I once went backpacking alone but left my wife a map highlighting the exact sections of trail I planned to visit. While out there, a trail I hadn't planned on hiking seemed interesting, so I headed down it to explore. I kept thinking that this is the time when something bad would happen to me, and when I didn't come home on time the search parties would spend days looking in the wrong places...

About a mile down the trail something suddenly caught my eye causing me to stop and look to my left. There was a black bear about 30 feet away which appeared just as surprised to see me as I was to see it. I reached for my .357 and once it was in my hand I yelled at the bear to "Get!". It didn't move so I yelled again. This time it turned around and ran a half dozen steps but whirled around to face me again. I yelled a third time, and it took off crashing up the hill through the brush. I holstered the gun, glad it ended the way it did, and headed back toward the trails highlighted on the map at home.
 

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