OK, I threw skydiving into the headline for fun. Unless you’re a James Bond villain the chances of being attacked mid-parachute jump are pretty slim. As are the odds of facing an imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm from person or persons or animals while engaging in outdoor activities. But slim doesn’t mean none. As our intrepid cyclist discovered . . .

A man who demonstrated a key strategy for just such a danger: escape! Which he doesn’t completely do. Besides, ursine-aversive escape isn’t an option for someone on foot whose day included the bear chasing him. Bear spray, sure. But I like the Smith & Wesson XVR firing S&W .460’s. (It’s on my Xmas list.) Failing that, any gun beats a sharp stick.

As far as two-legged threats are concerned, does the question “Can you squeal like a pig?” mean anything to you? It should. [Warning: extremely disturbing material at the link.] Don’t let that be you. Outdoor carry, people. Outdoor carry.

64 Responses to Self-Defense Tip: Carry A Gun When Hiking, Biking, Canoeing, Skydiving, Etc.

  1. I am pretty sure that I heard gunshots at the end of the video and the bear seemed to skedaddle at that point. Can anyone confirm what that was and, if gunshots, who was shooting?

  2. Did anyone else notice that the brown bear seemed to be loping along? I have to believe that brown bear could have caught the cyclist in short order if it was really serious.

      • And on that smooth trail, a biker should be able to ride 40mph, especially given the right incentive.
        Here is another self defense tip when mountain biking: Learn how to fucking bunny hop an eight inch obstacle. I was watching this and when I saw that limb, I actually said out loud “bunny hop it!” When he dropped the bike and ran, I was very disappointed.

        • On a road bike with a triple front gearset and at least 9 cogs on the rear… maybe, you would have to have hulk thighs to do it on flat ground though. My fastest on the roadbike was 48MPH going downhill on a 7% grade and I could barely pedal fast enough to keep up with the wheels, my legs were just flailing around mostly. On my mountain bike, top speed is closer to 30-35ish granted not on as steep of a downhill, but doesn’t matter I had stopped pedaling because I ran out of gear well before I got to 30, moutain bikes just dont have the gears to pedal 30+ MPH. Maybe 20-25, I’ll give you 30 because of the “motivation” present in this incident.

        • I rode from Miami to key west on a Guerciotti in three 55 mile legs. That is a flat ride the whole way. Each leg took just over 2 hours. Average speed about 25 mph. At one point I did the “Breaking Away” trick behind a semi truck. I broke out of the draft at 55 mph.

          My mountain bike has a 48 outer front with an 11 small cog. I would have to crank out over 110rpm to get over 40mph. When I used to ride, I was call a “masher” not a “spinner”. I preferred larger gear ratios and I almost never stayed on the saddle. Only on the downhills did my Lycra touch leather. I was good at using my arms to pump up hills too.
          Another indication that this video is fake: the rider never really breaks into a sprint. He doesn’t pump the bike to get going like a bear is chasing him. He just runs through all the gears and spins away. The double take at the beginning was kind of cheesy too.

    • If that bear was chasing me, I’d be pedaling like my ass was on fire. If I didn’t beat the bear, it would be taking fire. I think the cyclist did a damn fine job.

  3. With the proliferation of Go-Pro usage, there have been more videos of average people getting stuck in defensive positions.

  4. Bears can sprint up to 35 MPH for short distances. I carry most of the time my Kimber 1911 converted to .460 Rowland; the ballistic equivalent of a .44 mag when I’m in the woods and sometimes in the city.

    The other gun I carry in the woods is my Ruger Super Red Hawk .454 Casull with a seven inch barrel. About a .44 mag X 2. Nothing like a 300g with a flat nosed lead tip copper encased bullet moving at 1650 fps and 1800 ft/lbs of energy for some stopping power on a thick skinned bear.

  5. My backwoods pistol has been a S&W 1006 since I was 21 . With double tap 200gr. Nosler hollow points I feel adequately prepared. For canoeing I really like a Galco shoulder rig.

  6. Fake! Fake! Fake!

    There’s no way this is real. Though it is very good compositing, so A+ for their demo reel after film school ends!

    This article is also extremely obvious. I mean, do you really think people on here don’t already know to carry everywhere they go, ESPECIALLY in the woods where there’s indigenous bear and mountain lions?

    • Several years ago, Backpacker magazine published tests on a number of bear sprays. The next month, they published letters condemning them for encouraging people to carry !!!WEAPONS!!! in back country.

    • I know a lot of gun guys who don’t carry when hiking because it’s a hassle and they don’t feel like they are at risk outside of an urban environment. I wouldn’t be surprised if somewhere north of 50% of all CHL holders felt this way. Personally I think a fanny pack is the way to go when hiking, but then I am secure in my masculinity 🙂

    • You would think so. But many people that regularly carry a gun out side the home think that home carry is paranoid. (head shake with a look of incomprehension on my face).

      So for many people, especially those new to carrying a gun, this might be good post to make people think of these scenarios.

  7. During the summer of 1996, a married couple were hiking in Kluane National Park in the Yukon, Canada. They were approached by a young male grizzly which they drove away with a squirt of bear spray. After a few minutes, the effects of the spray wore off and the bear approached them again. Another squirt drove him away. This cycle continued until they ran out of spray. The bear then mauled both of them. The husband survived but the wife did not. Park rangers later found the bear and shot it to death. Since this was Canada, the couple were not allowed to carry a firearm as a last resort when bear spray wasn’t sufficient.

    • The issue wasn’t being in Canada, but rather being in a National Park. If they had just been on crown land, they could have carried a non-restricted firearm (like a 12 gauge with slugs, or a .45-70 ).

      (And there was a mighty whine from the nutbars when some pro-gun organizations suggested that guns should be allowed in parks up north. This was in the mid 90s.)

      • Yup, you can carry most rifles and shotguns (including short barreled varieties) in Canada as long as you’re on public land out in the middle of nowhere. Or on private property outside of city limits if you have permission to be there.

  8. Not to spoil the fun but the video is fake. But besides always going armed in the wilderness, one should never bike or run. Predators like bears and cougars will instinctively chase after anything that flees.

  9. As far as carrying while skydiving, you do plan to land somewhere, right? You might need a gun there, and you can’t go right back to the airplane to get it.

    • Don’t leave your gun unattended around skydiving instructors period, they chose to harness them selves to other people for a living.

  10. If you want to see a gun fight in the air check out “Shoot em Up” one of the dumbest movie I ever saw but fun as well. It’s so bad is good.

  11. While the above video is clearly a fake, you never want to be at the mercy of a bear like in the following video. Yelling “Stop!” doesn’t work and the realization that “We got nothing” is a scary one indeed.

  12. Besides the fact that the video is obviously fake, you’d need some big artillery if you’re carrying for bear defense. 9mm and .45 just aren’t gonna cut it.

  13. Although I believe this bear video was fake, it does bring up good points about hiking and safety. When hiking in the Cascade mountain range I am always amazed by people I meet on the trails, About 80% hiking with obviously no way to protect themselves. Some of them with children. They must think that they somehow will be able to negotiate their way out of predator animal encounter. Can’t fix stupid!

  14. That last video of the real black bear was pretty crazy.

    Reminds me of a true story hiking with GF on Appalachian Trail 20 years ago.

    Rainy day, kept hearing something in the bushes the last 3 miles or so to the campsite…got to the clearing at the pass and out walks a black bear about 3/4 the size of this one, skinny- same thing- started following my GF, sniffing, would not shoo away, obviously begging.

    She *was* armed, but of course we weren’t going to use it. Finally ambled off to bug a couple other hikers in the area, and the chainlink enclosing the A-frame open shelters made sense when we got there.

    Funny thing, and this is true, shortly after the bear wandered off, a little 4 point buck wandered into the clearing, started sniffing after my GF. Swear to god…had to be shoo’d off too!

    Too many people feeding wild animals along that trail…or something. I called her Fertile Myrtle.

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