Why You Shouldn’t Take a Gun When Hiking on the Appalachian Trail: IMI Systems Quote of the Day

Appalachian Trail murder victims Molly Larue and Geoff Hood (courtesy outsideonline.com)

“Okay, let’s say I’m in a scenario on the trail where I want to use a gun. I wouldn’t want it if I was being robbed. In the case of a robbery, I’m always just going to give up whatever I have because no physical possessions are worth my life. So someone is trying to kill me or my dog, or abduct me somehow. How is the gun going to help me? If it’s inside my pack I’d have to unstrap it, dig through it, find the gun… It would be too late by the time I got it.” – Margaret (not shown), Am I taking a Gun on the Appalachian Trail [via thetrek.co]

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comments

  1. avatar Texheim says:

    Is that a banjo I hear…

    1. avatar Huntmaster says:

      The police are only minutes away.

      1. avatar Ernest Pike says:

        Or on the AT, cell service is only hours away, then the police are only hours away.

      2. avatar anaxis says:

        In these hills, “police” might could be just down yonder, or they’re “nearby soon”….. depending on who your kin are, and how they know your name (criteria generally being “have chased”, “had drinks with” etc). Those taken cumulatively decide whether they bring Bo the Bloodhound or Bandit the Mutt with ’em ANS (after next services).

        Anyways, bless her dense heart. She should just stay home and watch more Naked & Afraid.

        1. avatar Blurb says:

          Don’t tell her to stay home. Bears gotta eat too.

      3. avatar Mike says:

        interesting…I live downtown in the city of Chicago….there was a shooting in front of my building off of Michigan Ave down the street from Navy Pier(which is the biggest tourist attraction in the city) on the fourth of july at 6:00pm. the police did not show up for 15 minutes. the kid died….if you’re hiking out in the middle of nowhere…..you’ll be lucky to see someone within one hour, especially if you’re under duress and unable to describe the location where you are and only if the dispatcher can locate your cell phone.

    2. avatar anonymoose says:

      That’s why you take a compound bow with you, and also a fat friend that you can sacrifice if need be.

    3. avatar StanTheMan84 says:

      If you were to us a Molle Rifle Holster/Sleeve it attaches to the side of your pack and only take a couple seconds to pull a Rifle/Pistol whatever you want to carry and if you ever get into a situation where your Lost, starving, injured, With all the variables of things that could go wrong while thru-hiking 1-5 months on the AT PCT PNT Ect. In a worse case scenario that rifle or pistol can save you or someones else’s life.

      So should you carry a firearm? Guess if you can justify the extra 4-10lbs, why not?

  2. avatar Jomo says:

    This is a clueless idiot who doesn’t understand such basics as ‘how to carry a gun’. Please spare us your moronic virtue signaling and pontificating on what is and isn’t useful until you do some basic research on how one handles a gun when one is hiking the woods.

    1. avatar MR ISAAC says:

      Please don’t be mean to this lady for not carrying. Her ‘argument’ for not doing so only shows lack of training, and deserves no vitriol. Tell her instead that an armed trail is a SAFE trail. Hikers please know that those of us who carry have the biggest smiles when greeting. We surrender prime camping grounds in cases of simultaneous arrivals to AVOID conflict. And trouble makers who know that there are armed, law-abiding men and women on the open trail…well…let’s just say that they don’t make trouble. Hikers who carry protect ALL hikers. Remember, there are no cops out there ma’am.

      1. avatar Grumpy Old Guy (Who is 35) says:

        I’m with Jomo, some people lack the intestinal fortitude to maintain a proper survival mentality which may require violence of action.

        The whole fight or flight scenario. Well, I’ve seen more people exhibit the third unnamed option: freeze up.

        If bearing the adult responsibility of maintaining one’s survival via a firearm is too much for a person to handle, then let the meek move about defenseless. Her imagination is severely lacking in how horrific within the depths of evil people can stoop to when alone and on the trail–let alone anywhere.

        I’m done trying to convince people that their life is worth protecting. They have to walk that path on their own. If they are self-actualized and have embraced reality, I’ll be more than happy to train, advise and consult. If not, well, they’re just part of the scenery I guess and wish them the best of luck; because luck and our fragile prosperity and relative comfort is all that’s keeping them alive.

        1. avatar Dev says:

          That’s not even the point. Let people like this poor, frightened and delusional woman choose not to carry or use a gun. However, these people need to let US choose differently; they’re not, and that’s where the problem is.

      2. avatar Dave says:

        I agree. I hold no ill will towards those who choose not to carry while hiking. I hold no ill will towards those who look down on us who do. Hike your own hike. I carry it for my protection and for the protection of those around me.

        I got my carry permit because of my intention to carry it while hiking. I bought a small 9mm S&W M&P Shield weighing 19 oz. On my first trip, it was in the lid of my backpack: I realized the mistake, and now carry it in a kydex iwb holster on the waist belt of my pack, covered with a ubiquitous handkerchief. Nobody needs to know it’s there.

        I have hiked over 500 miles on the AT over the last 3 years, and understand the need to reduce weight carried. I also understand that it’s generally safer on the trail than it is back home. But I also know there are bad people in this world, and if I can protect myself or those around me from them, I will.

        Night hiking one time (it wasn’t planned, but it happens), I encountered some wild hogs. They did not flee when yelled at. This was the only time I’ve drawn the gun on the trail. Fortunately, they didn’t charge. They eventually wandered away. I re-holstered, and continued hiking.

        Perhaps the national concealed carry reciprocity laws will happen. I haven’t hiked in states where it is illegal to carry, and will cross that bridge when I get there.

        I do believe that people who are NOT familiar, comfortable, or proficient with firearms SHOULD NOT carry them. A few minutes of research should be sufficient to teach anyone why. If you choose to carry a firearm, train regularly.

      3. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

        No one is going to walk up to this woman and “be mean” to her by calling her a clueless idiot to her face. That would be rude, just as if you walked up to an hirsute woman and declared her unattractive to you.

        That’s face-to-face social interaction. That is its own arena distinct from the underlying reality of whether the woman is hairy to the point of being unappealing, or a clueless and opinionated to the point of being an idiot. The former is politeness measures in terms of social custom. The latter is a degree of informedness measured against an known body of knowledge. Even you conceded as much when you called her ignorant.

        In here, we debate and discuss the issues. There’s nothing wrong with calling ’em like you see ’em, especially when you’re accurate. If her level of information COUPLED with her vocalness qualifies her as a clueless idiot, then so be it. Call her out, in here, not to her face. If she’s speaking publicly on the topic, then her credibility is an issue.

        1. avatar Arizona Free says:

          This country was built by people that stand by and let others do the fighting. We believe that others should spill their blood so we can enjoy freedom and ridicule their lifestyle. Oh wait we are talking about Canada right?

        2. avatar MR ISAAC says:

          MrIsaac to Houston: Sir, I did not call this lady ignorant. If you ‘call them as you see them,’ find the word ‘ignorant’ in my post, and then accuse me of using it. I am advocating educational tones when talking to anti-gun, anti-carry advocates. This is a perfect forum for advocating that education be used as a weapon against the anti-gun lobby instead of ad hominems. The facts are on the pro-gun side. We don’t need to name call those who disagree with us. And thank you for your comment.

  3. avatar JD says:

    When I hike the AT I have an AirWeight in my front pocket or in the waist pack in front. It would take about a second to bring to use.
    There are very few four legged critters you need to worry about, but some of the two leg ones are dangerous.

    1. avatar Fit2BTyed says:

      Exactly! Have a front carry waist pack that is easily accessible. Don’t be stupid. Be prepared and be ready for any surprises.

  4. avatar Hank says:

    Holy Fuck there is a lot of stupid in that paragraph.

  5. avatar Swarf says:

    She must think herself un-rapeable.

    1. avatar Pilot says:

      She probably is… If you know what I mean.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        Statistics establish that no woman is too old or too ugly to be raped. Rape is not a crime of passion or due to arousal from attraction, but is instead a crime of violence and control. Rapist are aroused by their own violence against the victim.

    2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      That or she’s got a ‘just submit to the rapist and everything will be fine’ attitude. She certainly has that attitude about robbers.

    3. avatar GS650G says:

      She thinks crime is somehow limited to someone stealing the worthless items she carries with her.

    4. avatar RDan says:

      There have been enough murders on the AT to warrant carrying a firearm.

  6. avatar MamaLiberty says:

    I do hope the lady can be SURE that a robber merely wants her money… Unless she’s a mind reader, of course. The rest of us have no idea just what the robber really wants, and it isn’t a wild flight of fantasy to understand that he/she may just want you dead into the deal. It’s so much easier and safer for the robber to strip a dead or seriously injured body.

    But absolutely, lady. If you are not willing to learn how, when and why a gun should be used, we’re all (except you) probably better off if you don’t. But then, hiking into the wilderness probably isn’t a good idea for you either. Ever hear of mountain lions, bears, even wolves?

    1. avatar BLoving says:

      It’s generally poor form to openly argue with a customer; so when a gun bigot wanders into my shop looking to pick a philosophical fight I may very well oblige them since they are not “one of my customers”.
      I remember one young mother who tried to make the “I don’t own anything worth killing for” argument when asked how she would react to being attacked.
      “I didn’t specify you were being robbed,” I replied, “I asked ‘what if you were attacked’, meaning that this hypothetical person doesn’t just want your purse – their target is YOU.”
      Predictably, this sanctimonious twit smiled, shrugged, and said “well, I guess then it’s just my time to go”.
      I pounced on the easy opening she had given me. “I see. So, you’ll give up without a fight. Tell me, when the criminal is attacking your daughter there,” pointing at the toddler playing with a doll on the store floor at her feet, “will you tell her, ‘it’s okay, honey, its just your time to go’?”
      That hit the nerve I’d hoped for and I saw the anger rising in her eyes. “Good,” I continued before she could work up a retort, ” so you DO see that there are indeed some things worth fighting for – I wonder, would your daughter think in years to come that her mother’s life would have been worth fighting for?”
      🤠

      1. avatar Slab Rankle says:

        There are pacifists in the world who really do think that nothing is worth fighting for.

        There are also people who don’t understand that one can use violence in defense of themselves and their own. Strange as it sounds, self defense is simply beyond their mental horizons.

        The real problem, as others have said, is that they vote to deprive everyone else of the right to keep and bear arms.

      2. avatar Cory C. says:

        Nailed it!

    2. avatar Craig says:

      Some people do not want your money. Some people do not want your car. Some people do not want your virginity. Some people do not want your stuff. Some people just want to watch it all, including you, burn. Evil DOES exist in this world. You can deny it all you want, but you better have a plan of action, and have practiced it before the evil surprises you by showing up, or you and yours are going to be eaten.

      1. avatar Kenneth says:

        Remember Gary Gilmore? He robbed gas stations just so he could kill the clerks. Too bad the libtards can’t remember anything other than the latest quote from bloomberg and company.
        But then, if they had any brain cells left, they wouldn’t be libtards…

        1. avatar Wheel Gun Guy says:

          Everyone remembers Gabby Giffords….she is living proof that you can shoot a lib”tard” in the head and not hit any vital organs.

  7. avatar Tacbear says:

    Every time I have hiked the AT I carry my Timber Wolf G17 in a custom made chest rig that I designed and built for using with a backpack! Anyone that doesn’t carry when they trek in the middle of “nowhere” is ignorant!

    1. avatar WILCO says:

      always keep SW 642 in pocket and G21 holster. Mountain lions the only reason for the 45 not to mention came a cross some sketchy guys maybe checking on their Mary Jane crop

    2. avatar Swarf says:

      I carry an SP101 in a Ribz chest rig that I’ve sewn a holster in to.

      So… “custom”.

  8. avatar Woody from ny says:

    Click the link and read the whole article. She says “I won’t hitchhike alone” I think that partially sums it up until you read “I won’t carry a knife, or bear mace, or any other weapon for that matter” it’s her life and her choice. It’s also my life and my choice. I’ll stick with the gun, knife, bear mace and another other weapon I can reasonably carry. Everyone has to make their own choices, let’s just hope she doesn’t get elected to high office.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      “I won’t hitchhike alone” really sounds a lot like “I expect someone else to protect me”, doesn’t it?

    2. avatar Craig says:

      “Everyone has to make their own choices”
      I GOOD with that. It’s when she tries to mandate HER choices on ME that we’re gonna have problems. And that’s the WHOLE issue with lefty-regressive mentality.

      1. avatar ll says:

        when did she try to mandate her choice on anyone? she said she supported right to carry

        big chip on your shoulder there. sometimes hate if other people is all internal

  9. avatar The Rookie says:

    Also from the article:

    “In particular, I won’t be taking a knife, or bear spray, or any other sort of weapon. Well, I might take a pocket knife for opening food packages or spreading peanut butter, but even that is iffy. ”

    Talk about being unprepared…

    1. avatar Bob999 says:

      Not kidding! In my youth, I did Search and Rescue for lost hikers and whatnot. The unprepared hiker was usually a body recovery. A knife is the most critical piece of survival gear you can carry while in the wilderness. I can’t imagine not having one even for that illustrious “short hike in the woods” that lost hikers always talk about if rescued alive.

      1. avatar BLoving says:

        I like it when someone inquires about the rather large-ish EDC knife I carry (Gerber Applegate/Fairbairn Combat Folder). My favorite reply, “Because God saw fit to take away my fangs and claws – I had to use my head and find an alternative.”
        🤠

    2. avatar pieslapper says:

      Looks like a suicide statistic waiting to happen. She just wants to go ‘naturally’ as the victim of a bear/cougar/2 legged predator, rather than just get it over with. More power to her.

      #SAVETHEGENEPOOL

    3. avatar KCK says:

      Out in the wild a good non folding knife (like a Buck 102) is a tool for every day, thus meeting one of her self described primary criteria. To eliminated it because it is also a weapon is showing that her value signaling is pushing rationality a bit to the side.

  10. avatar Shire-man says:

    I agree no physical possessions are worth your life. Trouble is that’s not your call. It’s the mugger who decides that $15 in your wallet is worth your life. Or better yet his life.

    1. avatar N64456 says:

      The criminal always gets a vote…

      1. avatar FedUp says:

        If you’re surrendering, the criminal gets the only vote.

    2. avatar Joe in San Antonio says:

      I agree that no possession is worth my life as well, but isn’t the thief actually making that call? The way I see it, it is a two way street. because I don’t think any one possession is worth my life I won’t fight for it per say nor will I steal it. But every person has a right to defend their property and that is because it’s through property that people earn a living. An example is a horse thief in 1870, it’s only a horse but without it the cowboy can’t put food on the table for himself or his family. The thief decided the same as the cowboy who shoots him that the horse was worth die ing over. That’s why even though in my current circumstances I wouldn’t shoot someone for stealing my car, I would never blame someone for shooting someone stealing there 87 Toyota carrolla with rusted out floorboards.

      1. avatar Wheel Gun Guy says:

        …..but it isn’t your car the din donuffin is waving a gun at.

  11. avatar Bob999 says:

    Why do leftists believe the myth that an armed assailant will never hurt them if they only just give them their wallets and purses?

    1. avatar Shire-man says:

      Because government hurts you if you fail to pay up. Extortion is a way of life for some people.

  12. avatar Aven says:

    I live near the Appalachian Trail deep in the mountains of Virginia. I never remember a robbery and only a couple of cases of murder in many years. I would have a gun because of my fear of bears, coyotes, wild dogs and snakes. The hikers wander into town and never cause any trouble and the locals are nice to them. It may be different in higher crime areas where the trail goes.

    1. avatar MamaLiberty says:

      The problem, Aven, is that nobody can know for sure what they may encounter, especially in the wilderness. There is no place on earth that is truly free from the RISK of attack. And, sadly, the less perceived risk in an area, the less people pay attention to their surroundings, and the less they prepare to meet the threats.

      There has only been one murder in this area in at least the last 15 years. (The victim knew the killer, both having come from Texas, of all places. She had nothing with which to defend herself after letting the old “boyfriend” into her home.)

      And there is very little real crime here otherwise. So, I occasionally have someone ask me why I carry a gun. I tell them that it is primarily because I own my body and life, and am the only one who is responsible for that life and my safety. If I never have to draw the gun, I’ll be very happy. But I carry it and train with it because I can never know when I might have to use it.

      1. avatar BLoving says:

        Hey, Mama, tell them “I don’t carry a gun because I live in a low-crime area, this is a low-crime area because we carry guns.”
        🤠

        1. avatar NoNamesOnTheNet says:

          I carried my G20 on the trail out of Harper’s Ferry once.

          Truth be told, I encountered so many people on the trail that I almost felt ridiculous–but that was more so because the holster sucked for the duty and my pack kept yanking shirt up to the point that I considered (because, again, WV) just going open (but again, there were so many people on the trail that the thought only briefly crossed my mind. Frankly I’d gotten to the point that I wished I hadn’t brought it with me…

          Until we got away from the crowds, and it started getting dark.

          Then I realized that perhaps more than in the city, more than I’ve needed it for work, that gun became so much more reassuring.

  13. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    Um… that’s why they invented holsters.

  14. avatar Felixd says:

    Can’t government do something to help this poor woman?

    I’ve been waiting to ask this stupid question for years.

    1. avatar Ollie says:

      They are probably already helping her with a monthly SSI check.

    2. avatar Lars Skiipole says:

      They could put up call boxes along the trail like the ones in parking lots with the blue lights (rolleyes)

      They looks like a pair of old hippies.

    3. avatar neiowa says:

      many years of Obumer “student loans”

  15. avatar Uh-hu says:

    Fine Lady, If you want to be Bear Scat that’s on you; Don’t try to disarm the rest-of-us.
    Virtue signaling Moron.

  16. avatar TrappedInCommiefornia says:

    One of the instructors I’ve had for my ccw classes always tells a story that this person should hear, though I doubt she’d heed the warning. The instructor would always talk about a man that worked at a gas station that was robbed by a thug with a gun. After the clerk had complied with the demands of the lowlife, the bastard shot him in the head anyways. Moral of the story: Don’t trust criminals.
    Also, has this person never heard of a holster?
    Oh, nevermind, it’s all just virtue signaling from a grown child that isn’t willing to take responsibility for their own safety but will probably blame others when things go wrong.

    1. avatar Craig says:

      This is a comment from another thread but it certainly applies here.

      Whenever some ninny tells me that submission is the best course I always reply:
      “Hey, if you can’t trust in the good judgment, rationality, and basic human decency of an armed robber, what CAN you trust in, RIGHT?”

  17. avatar John Boch says:

    Because “Just give them what they want” worked so well for three of four airliners on September 11, 2001, right? And all the people in the WTC & the Pentagon who died.

  18. avatar darthgently says:

    So its iffy if she’ll even carry a knife. Dang, imagine some desperato lost in the wilderness that is soy-intolerant so can’t use her food and just wants to steal a knife from her to better his odds but then kills her in a crime of passion because she doesn’t even have a knife on her. Which he finds so inconceivable that he reaches his rational breaking point. That would be ironic.

  19. avatar Earl says:

    It’s perfectly fine to carry a firearm while hiking. It’s also perfectly fine to not carry one. I don’t carry on the AT for several of the reasons she outlined, but I also know that hiking the AT is far safer than civilization. Hell, I barely carry a knife. My most important tools are my brain and my spoon. I won’t survive hiking very long without either of them.

    Some of the posters comments show much ignorance of hiking long distances.

    1. avatar Ddub says:

      Agree, if I were a woman, I would not hike alone…..but as long as you don’t hang around trail heads with road access and make yourself a soft target, guns are a boat anchor on a long hike. When packing for long hikes on the east coast I roll the dice and leave the gun at home, a cell phone is more useful. When I was in AK, I would always carry a gun, the cell phone was useless, ha!

    2. avatar GS650G says:

      I carry in the parkland near my house when hiking with my daughter. I’ve never needed it yet but that doesn’t mean I’m leaving it at home

    3. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      While I realize that the AT is more of a park than a wilderness, my question is, what’s the average response time for authorities to reach you if you’re in trouble? And is there even cell service to call 911. She says she wants to keep her pa ck down to 12lbs and she thinks that all g uns weigh 5lbs. First there are plenty of effective gu ns that weigh <2lbs loaded and holstered. Second, just a personal decision, but I'd factor both a g un and a first aid kit into that 12lbs. Especially as a 23 year old woman hik ing presumably alone with her dog. Maybe this hasn't happened on the AT yet, but it's not like rapists have never nabbed a jogger of a trail. That kind of isolation could make the trail an attractive target for predators.

      1. avatar Blurb says:

        12 pounds? I’d be carrying more than that in water and snacks. I didn’t achieve my current physique by skipping meals.

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Not to mention the Alpo she needs to p ack for Fido.

  20. avatar Cjstl says:

    Some people have a ton of excuses as to why they want to be victims.

  21. avatar BLAMMO says:

    “I have a gun, but I wish I didn’t.”

    … said no one ever.

    1. avatar Ddub says:

      Um, I am sure there are some PA residents caught up in traffic stops in NJ who said that very thing. Local laws while hiking the AT can be just as precarious.

  22. avatar NJ2AZ says:

    the old “always roll over and comply for a robber because they *probably* only want your things” mantra…

    don’t know how people are willing to use “rely on the graciousness of scumbags” as their one and only approach to a potentially life threatening situation

  23. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    So after reading the rest of her opinions, she does make one valid point under ‘State Laws Vary’. Otherwise it’s about what I’d expect from a 23 year old who ‘decided to quit my job and pursue dreams of hik ing the country, and maybe eventually living and working from a car so I can spend more time with my dog.’

    I am a little curious about why a bunch of English speaking white guys would have a .co website about the Appalachian and Pacific Crest trails. .co is Columbia.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      white guys would have a .co website

      typically selling pot/drugs and underage girls (or boys)

  24. avatar Silentbrick says:

    Well, the bears have to eat /someone/…..

    1. avatar BLoving says:

      “I don’t have to outrun the bear, I just have to outrun you.”
      🤠

      1. avatar ACP_arms says:

        “And that’s why my bear gun is a .22”

        1. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

          “Oh! Now you’re going to shoot me in my pinky toe.”

  25. avatar Charles U Layne says:

    Her bio tells us everything we need to know about her.

    “Hey, I’m Margaret and I’m 23 years old, and I’m sick of punching someone else’s clock. I’ve decided to quit my job and pursue dreams of hiking the country, and maybe eventually living and working from a car so I can spend more time with my dog. I’m a little bit impulsive, I’m very determined, and I want to get the most out of life. I’m an avid reader, gamer, and eater. Mostly, I just want to live a life worth telling stories about; where I don’t dread going to work, make the world a little bit better than I found it, and hopefully inspire some others to follow their dreams too.”

    Because wanting to live in your car so you can spend more time with your dog is such a great way to inspire others.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      23 and already sick of working for the man. She’s got a long road ahead and I don’t mean the AT.

    2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      Maybe she can become an inspirational speaker who lives in a van down by the river.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        Even that character didn’t like it. He was moving in with Phil Hartman and his wife because hew was “sick of living in a van down by the river” and eating government cheese.

    3. avatar Blurb says:

      So, she’s either mooching off her parents or she’s a prostitute.

  26. avatar dph says:

    Not even a knife, that’s just sad. A lot of knives weigh less than 4 ounces and are easily accessible in an emergency. I took a jungle survival training course when I was in the Navy and the instructors said you could survive without anything, except for a knife, without a knife you’re dead.

  27. avatar Ugly95 says:

    I admit I have not read the original article however there is more weight to this premise than many commentators give it.

    Example say one were to walk the entire length of the AT. Most hikers of the AT start in Georgia in the winter and head north and get there when the weather in Maine is still nice. Many choose to head off the trail to local small town to resuply on food and or have food shipped to themselves and pick it up at small town post offices. One may be legal to carry in Georgia and Maine, Vermont etc have Constitutional carry however in the middle of your trip you travel through New Jersey and New York where just possessing a firearm will get you 5 years in jail manditory minimum.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      I guess it’s not possible to conceal a weapon and keep your mouth shut about it while buying supplies.

    2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      Which is why you start in Georgia and when you see the sign that says ‘welcome to Maryland’ you turn around and go back to Georgia.

      1. avatar Joe in San Antonio says:

        Touché

  28. avatar Ben says:

    I won’t go in my back yard without a knife.

  29. avatar GS650G says:

    From her self:

    MARGARET : JAN 5TH

    I’ve said it before, I’m planning for my plans to fail. Keep following, I intend to post updates throughout and then when I continue on to the PCT.

    Her final post will be the one they use to figure out what happened to her.

  30. avatar Grump Old Guy says:

    She is really in her own world. The 4 legged predators are not the tall pole in the tent, the 2 legged ones are. Rape, robbery and violent attacks are more about horrible people proving their power over others than sex or monetary gain, i.e. they do it because the crime excites them. It is true, generally the trails are safe and a lot of nice folks hiking them, your typical mugger is not going to hike the AT, but you are also isolated much of the time. If you do run into a BG, you are screwed. They can pretend to hike and shadow you until they decide to attack. Calling 911 is not going to help unless you are in town. I can’t imagine doing nothing for personal defense. If weight is the issue, the are options of a pocket .380, discreet, around 1lb and has enough power to discourage the 2 legged critters. The same .380 can slide in your pocket, always accessible. A couple of trail buddies would help or some good spray if you don’t want to carry or the permit hassle is too much. A knife is good too, but you definitely need to get a little training on how to use a small pocket knife to defend yourself. It can be done, but its not a natural talent.

  31. avatar kevin says:

    Sounds like she likes the attention she is getting. Trust me some wacko out there has seen this and now he knows your an easy target. Being a liberal is one thing. Being a dumbass liberal drawing attention to yourself for the purpose of boosting your self esteem is down right stupid. Good luck on that trail

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      Yeah she’s leaving a nice roadmap for bad people to follow. Look! I’m over here!

  32. avatar Larry says:

    Our 20 something RN, goes hiking out West 2x a year. Often Pacific NW and Canada , so a gun is not going to make it . But a Mora 4 inch fixed blade weights just under 4 oz and can be clipped to a waist band, pack ,almost anywhere .

    On a side note our other daughter flew out West to hike last year as well,she had her folder and a small can of pepper gel in her day pack, which was in a larger check bag.
    That bag was over weight so she just pulled out the daypack to carry on ….. Now she was in a hurry and I guess just forgot what was in that pack.

    Got on the plane no problem ! She remembered when she was on board but kept her mouth shut .

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      Further proof concealing weapons and bein quiet are options

  33. avatar DJ says:

    Don’t burry your firearm have it always accessible, dilemma solved.

  34. avatar former water walker says:

    Goofball thy name is Margaret…all anyone needs to know is “I want to spend more time with my dog”. I’ve noticed a few comments on how safe the Appalachian Trail is. Until it’s not. You can’t fix stupid…

  35. avatar Darkman says:

    Bears and mountain lions need to eat too. Easy kills keep the rest of us safer.

  36. avatar Ralph says:

    There are millions of Margarets in this country, and I’m happy that the more vicious elements of our society have so many Margarets to exploit for their amusement. Because without the weak to exploit, the bad elements would address more of their attention toward us.

    So thank you, Margaret, for being chum.

  37. avatar Stateisevil says:

    I took a full size to do Mt Katadhan in Maine. As a sedentary out of shape person, that extra weight was a bitch lol. It’s the last part of the trail.

  38. avatar James Earl Hoffa says:

    Some people don’t want your belongings some people want your life or to rape you. What do you say to those people when you give them all your personal belongings and they take your life you dumbass. What if you come across a black bear not being racial here. Or a mountain lion I tell you what happens if you don’t have a firearm they find pieces of you and your belongings screwed all down the trail. Good luck anti Gunner.

  39. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    In a remote area I would think that your posessions and life could be intertwined. What if they want your coat and blankets, or your food?

  40. avatar CS says:

    The Author is a 23 year old Naive Millennial. Who isn’t smart enough to realize you can carry the gun in a holster on your belt and most states recognize Virginia Non Resident concealed carry reciprocity.

  41. avatar strych9 says:

    I feel like this should have been punctuated with a lot of crunching.

    Damn granola munchers.

  42. avatar John says:

    In other words, she might as well say, “I’m bear food.”

    When she gets on that trail with no firearm, she is no longer at the top of the food chain. BTW, I live next to the Appalachian Trail so I am familiar with it.

  43. avatar Margaret says:

    Interesting you chose to share my article as “why not to bring a gun on the Appalachian Trail” when that wasn’t the point of it at all. In any case I’ll take the free publicity. Alwaysunderfoot.wordpress.com

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      ‘I’ve joined a lot of hiker forums and groups… and the general consensus is that g uns have no place on the Appalachian Trail.’

      So what was the point?

    2. avatar GS650G says:

      Make sure you carry a GPS. They are light and essential to finding you.
      Good luck on the AT.
      Your desire to be noticed and paid attention will be a problem someday.

    3. avatar tdiinva says:

      I posted before reading all the way down.

      So I am probably the guy carrying the big ass 45 who scared you on the trail. You are free to take your chances with dangerous people and animals. The more easy marks there are the less likely I will have hurt man or beast.

  44. avatar C says:

    Worse paragraph with no substance ever…

  45. avatar HEGEMON says:

    You know that dog of hers is going to get hungry sometime. Hope she has cash to buy some Alpo. See the movie A BOY AND HIS DOG.

  46. avatar AFGus says:

    This woman is seriously dense! Guess she’s never heard about those gun holder thingies called “holsters”. Any right thinking human being that is carrying a firearm for protection against other humans or wild animals “is not” going to pack that weapon deep down in their pack. Critical thinking lady….learn it…..live it! Maybe you’ll survive a few more years, although I kind of doubt it. They do say though that the meek (and stupid) will inherit the earth….so you could just hope for that.

  47. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Hiking? No.

    Conserve energy.

    A person is a fool for standing when sitting is possible, for sitting when lying down is possible.

  48. avatar sound awake says:

    those who don’t understand the importance of always making sure you’re at the top of the food chain won’t remain there for very long

    it’s not something to be taken for granted

  49. avatar tdiinva says:

    When I used to hike the Appalachian Trail I had a big ‘ol 1911 strapped to my leg. Accessing my gun didn’t seem particular difficult.

  50. avatar ozzallos says:

    Why you digging around in the pack for dat gat again?

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/sastrypr5qasary/IMG_20180105_141632.jpg?raw=1

  51. avatar Specialist38 says:

    Sigh…some people you just cant reach.

    I do agree that yiu shouldnt carry a gun if you dont think you could use it.

    I fear that most people realize their folly too late….no do-overs..

  52. avatar Dickgazinya says:

    She certainly won’t need a gun to protect her from rape, that mug is the best deterrent there is

  53. avatar Wiregrass says:

    Just because you have no possessions on you to speak of doesn’t mean they won’t try to kill you. There was a tragic double murder on part the trail near me a number of years ago that could have been prevented with an Airweight. I guess she never read about that one.

    http://cumberlink.com/news/local/communities/perry_county/double-murder-of-hikers-shocked-appalachian-trail-community-years-ago/article_1b1af290-1a11-5abb-8879-caba522e06de.html

  54. avatar Michael Watchorn says:

    Carry the gun on your side or chest, easily accessible

  55. avatar BobS says:

    My Kenai chest rig carries something to sling Buffalo Bore hard-cast in .40 Magnum, which is well suited for the large furry fangy inhospitable four-legged fauna (whether ursine, porcine, feline, or canine) whose montane neighborhood I’m visiting. But that’s not so effective, except as a deterrent, when encountering more lightly armored two-legged troublemakers. Maybe I should also bring along my little in-town shorty single-stack with its 9mm JHP, instead of leaving it in the lockbox in the truck at the trail head.

  56. avatar rc says:

    Eh, it’s fine….if she wants to go unarmed and risk her life and property, it’s none of my business. I won’t even try to talk her out of it. Now, if she tries to get the government to prevent me from carrying a gun, then we’ll have words.

  57. avatar BRUCE BOGLE says:

    How about not carrying because the trail goes through NJ, NY, CT, and MA. Four of the most gun unfriendly states in the country.
    CT does offer a non resident CCW. NY you must have a residence there, MA may issue and NJ, FUGGEDABOUTIT.

  58. avatar tdiinva says:

    I have finally read her article and I think TTAG was unfair to her. She is not particularly anti-gun. She is mistaken in her assumptions and unrealistic in her approach to equipping herself. It is foolish to go into the woods without some means of self protection from two and four legged threats. A can of bear spray is a good second choice. It is probably much more effective against canines than ursines. I would advise her to leave her dog at home. There are too many dangers and she is likely to regret it. I have two coonhounds and I would be hesitant to let them run free in areas with coyotes and feral dogs. I would want at least one more, preferably a Plott Hound, if I was going to hike the trail.

    In any case I wish her a safe and rewarding journey.

  59. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

    As someone who has done a lot of hiking (and hunting) carrying across the state of Colorado (at much higher elevations I may add) the only good point she said is that it is true that you notice the weight of basically everything distance hiking after awhile. However I carry up in the mountains for the same reason I carry in the city. There is evil in this world and I want a fighting chance if it decides to come for me. I view the 2 pounds of protection as helping me to get into shape. I hope she doesn’t come to a terrible end but I would not be surprised if she learns the hard way. You can’t fix stupid.

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      She is trying to keep her pack weight to 12lbs. That is the reason why she isn’t even taking a knife. My feeling is if she can’t carry 30 lbs she needs to rethink tge advisability of doing it now. She nnds to spend some serious time physically preparing for the trip.

  60. avatar JW says:

    I think we would all agree the right to self-defense is a natural right.

    Surely then the right to reject self-defense must be honored as well – though perhaps misguided.

    Thoughtful persuasion better than derision might be the better choice here.

    Imagine a collage of posts from this site posted elsewhere. Those posts could cause a frightful misperception of our community.

  61. avatar Jeh says:

    Someones never heard of a holster…

    Frankly, hippes like them should be banned from the trails.

  62. avatar ATTAGREADER says:

    A couple of years ago I read an article by a former park ranger who walked the length of the Blue Ridge Parkway. He carried a duty pistol. Of course he did not have to go through those troublesome northeastern states.

  63. avatar GoD says:

    Another Darwin award winner just waiting to be a victim of rape and horrendous vile murder or sleuth of bears.

  64. avatar Roymond says:

    Someone needs to explain to her that carrying a gun in your pack is akin to carrying your water in your pack. Resources should be carried so as to be accessible.

  65. avatar The NSA Is Listening says:

    Responding to Margaret’s points in The Trek:

    Guns are Heavy
    Short answer from Herger in 13th Warrior: Grow stronger. Sorry, I love that quote, especially for sissies.

    The Trail is Low Crime
    So what? Margaret’s concept of safety as expressed in her writing is childish.

    I Want Other Hikers to Hang out with Me
    Margaret doesn’t want to be shunned by hikers who do not carry. Solution: Don’t let them know you are carrying. Your choice Margaret.

    They’re Impractical
    Apparently Margaret equates mode of carry with practicality of being armed. Solution: Get a holster, practice concealing your firearm and practice drawing from concealment. This will require an investment of time and work from you Margaret. Like hiking. Again, your choice Margaret.

    I Won’t Use it Everyday
    Still grousing about weight and now threatening armed citizens with a flow chart. Never bring a flow chart to a gunfight Margaret. Just sayin’ Seriously though, and write this down for later Margaret: The firearm is for the situation you hope never happens, the one where you have to defend yourself or a loved one. Repeat one thousand times.

    State Laws Vary
    She’s talking about permits, a sure sign of the debilitating condition known as analysis paralysis. A leftist conservancy suggests she hike defenseless? Hard to believe. She is also digressing back to the impracticality argument. Margaret, you face a variety of legal challenges every time you travel. But you travel anyway. Think about it.

    Other Things I Won’t Carry
    She’s back to thinking gun goes into pack. It’s like a broken record. Holster Margaret. Holster. She discusses minimalism which in her mind means no weapons, possibly not even any cutlery for spreading peanut butter. Please review Guns are Heavy and consider growing stronger Margaret. Even if you won’t bring a butter knife.

    What I will do to Stay Safe
    I am imagining what a Wildebeest would write in this section. Possibly, I am going to stick with the herd. The lions have not been picking off that many as far as I know. Looks like mostly the old and sick. Maybe the very young. I’m not in any of those groups. I should be OK. You won’t hitchhike alone? So what?

    The comments thread on Margaret’s article at The Trek is longer than the Appalachian Trail. Already. I desperately want to know if Margaret is a millennial. She looks young enough but looks can be deceiving,
    https://www.instagram.com/always.underfoot/

    Interestingly enough her dog is named Rosco, another name for a handgun. Couldn’t resist.

  66. avatar Old Fur Trapper says:

    Face it folks. Has anyone found a millennial with enough brains to pour piss out of a boot with the instructions written on the heel of it? I haven’t. In fact my stepson wants to hike the AT and won’t even bother to carry a reliable fire starting kit much less serious survival equipment! Says he won’t need them. That woman obviously like him believes in their own immortality and nothing bad will ever happen to them. To the point they do not believe in carrying anything to ensure their survival against both 4 legged and 2 legged predators, accidents, or Mother Nature herself! In fact, when I told my stepson a woman had been killed recently by a black bear, he laughed it off and said things like that don’t happen. Now my attitude is, THE STUPID SHALL BE PUNISHED! And those that choose stupidity DESERVE WHAT EVER THEY GET! I won’t shed a tear. And don’t come crying for sympathy! Anticipate the worst, prepare for the worst, carry if possible, and always stay alert! No one but you is responsible for your life anywhere, anytime!

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      ” Has anyone found a millennial with enough brains to pour piss out of a boot with the instructions written on the heel of it? I haven’t.”

      I have, one of my two nephews. That 20 yo has his head screwed on straight. Pleasant personality, smart as a whip, outstanding work ethic, etc.

      On the other hand, I have another nephew, by a different sister, who is *everything* a dipshit stereotypical millennial is. Head shoved so far up his own ass, it ain’t even funny.

      Care to guess which of the two I’m leaving my guns and tools with when I croak?

  67. avatar Sal Chichon says:

    Must be nice to be woman, and just assume you can scream and have every guy come to your rescue. On the other hand, if she thinks she doesn’t need a gun when hiking out in the wild, then you know what? She’s right. Just as well we, as a species, don’t need her genes polluting the gene pool.

  68. avatar Starr says:

    First off everyone should know that you are not allowed to have a dog on the at also you should carry a gun because strangers with bad intentions have became a common occurrence

  69. avatar William says:

    You take a gun for snakes and rabid animals. If some of you people are scared of somebody out on the trail then maybe you should stay in the city with the rest of the snowflakes.

  70. avatar KCK says:

    Out in the wild a good non folding knife (like a Buck 102) is a tool for every day, thus meeting one of her self described primary criteria. To eliminated it because it is also a weapon is showing that her value signaling is pushing rationality a bit to the side.

  71. avatar CM says:

    I know the two people in the photo. I find it disturbing to see their faces here, especially if you know that a man with a gun was responsible for their deaths on the AT. I also hiked the AT, and don’t think that having a firearm would have saved either one of them.

    1. avatar Larry says:

      From your statement, one would assume both were killed by an armed assailant while hiking. Sad. However, you also stated you don’t think a gun would have saved them?
      Please explain. I have been involved in a firefight for my life and was damn glad I was well armed. Happened hunting for squirrels in backwoods of S.C. years ago. Someone opened fire on me with intent to kill for no reason. I returned fire with only a .22 semiauto rifle and shotgun. I survived. He ran deciding it was better to find another easier target. Just like the AT, you cannot pick and choose when you may have to fight for your life!

      1. avatar Mike says:

        I agree….the gun didn’t kill those people. a person killed those people. I was witness to an assault when I was working a construction project when I witnessed a person strike a person across the face with a 2 x 4 because he wanted to vie for a construction job on our site….that was not a simple push to intimidate…..that was attempted murder.

        as another example of evil committed by people more germane to this discussion,…in Northwest Indiana, 2 young girls who were hiking on a trail by a river were murdered by strangulation by someone after they were dropped off by the parents of one of the hikers…..no gun was used……luckily they took a photo on there phone of someone who was a person of interest….murderer still has not been caught yet.

  72. avatar George from SC says:

    Just read her blog……Hahahahahahahahehehehehehehehe. She IS funny….
    Will she scream if a mouse crosses her path? Most likely. Does she put flowers in her hair when she goes to San Francisco? Probably. Will she immediately expect rescue from police when she gets into trouble? Most assuredly.
    If she ever goes to Alaska, I bet she would take a selfie with a moose or elk, then be surprised when the moose turns on her. Sometimes I just wonder if some people are worth saving in the upcoming idiocracy.

  73. avatar David says:

    *long post here* Looks like her view isn’t very popular, however I would not hesitate to agree with her decision despite her not so stellar reasoning. I’m an avid gun enthusiast and reloader of 20 some years, and I try to carry everywhere I go.

    I hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2005 and made the decision not to carry for several reasons. The first is weight. On a long distance hike, 2174 miles, 10-20 miles a day, weight was always an issue. Always, always, always! It was a battle between pack weight, food weight, and water weight, especially in the winter. Carry too much weight and you don’t make miles, or worse yet, you get injured and have to stop, and I was injured on several occasions. Pack weight was always a wrestling match and varied from 35 to 40 pounds, and sometimes 45 pounds coming out of camp. A nice Glock 19 is 19 ounces unloaded and that’s a lot, not to mention the space it takes up. I know there are those of you in the military who say you carried 80 pounds in the service and blah blah blah, but my body could not handle that, and I doubt yours could either for 7 months straight. Remember there is no medevac in the middle of nowhere. There was a military guy who did carry an 80 pound pack, but I heard he dropped in the first few weeks.

    Safety is a common issue as well, however the AT has become a rather benign community. It is rare that you are not hiking amongst a community of hikers in your daily routine except towards the later months when many others have quit or dropped out. The only real threat I encountered were yellow jackets. Others were moose, black bear, and a guy with a knife strapped to his calf. Black bears in the east are really not a problem – you just yell at them and they go away. As far as people go, you just keep hiking. It’s nice to keep a knife handy, but there was rarely a moment where I felt so threatened by a person to warrant any action, and you can always stealth camp somewhere well away from them. There was rarely a time I was not camped out among fellow hikers and friends, and there was a level of trust we all shared and a security within the group.

    Security is another issue. When you get to town you often leave your pack in a hostile or outside a restaurant. It’s tough to secure a pistol when you aren’t in possession of it. There are also 14 states that you need to have a license to carry, and at the time there just wasn’t the reciprocity to stay legal.

    Were there occasions where it would have been nice to have a firearm handy on my trek? Maybe. MAYBE, but probably not. The hassle factor was very high, and I never really felt the need. It’s a big responsibility and a good firearm owner will need to weigh their options before making a decision to carry.

    1. I agree with David above. It seems obvious that most of those who advocate carrying a gun while backpacking haven’t done any serious backpacking. For example, JD claimed above, “When I hike the AT I have an AirWeight in my front pocket or in the waist pack in front.”
      LOL, I don’t believe he’s actually backpacked on the AT then! Maybe he’s hiked without a pack, maybe he’s carried a day pack for a two-hour-long hike, but not a serious backpack.

      When you’re backpacking on the AT, you don’t want to have ANYTHING in your pocket — no keys, no wallet, no cellphone — because when climbing while carrying a heavy pack, your thigh muscles are going to be straining against the fabric of your shorts or jeans, and with every step, whatever’s in your front pockets (keys, cellphone, gun?) are going to be digging into your thighs painfully. Your back pockets will be inaccessible, with a backpack on your back. A waist pack in front will be difficult or impossible, because backpacks have a wide belly strap that would cover most waist packs. And don’t even THINK of stuffing a gun in your waistband (IWB) while backpacking, as the pain will make you remove it within a quarter mile.
      The best place to carry a gun might be on the back of the buddy hiking in front of you, because I’ve found that’s the easiest way to access a water bottle, take it from the pack of your buddy ahead of you, then turn around and let him do the same from your pack. However, then you’d both need CCW permits in every state you traveled through.

      There might be specially designed backpacks for CCW, but if so, are they comfortable enough for long-term hiking on the AT, do they distribute the weight of the pack evenly, do they meet other requirements of serious long-term backpacking?

      And like David said above, weight is ALWAYS the primary issue when backpacking.
      You want to carry as much water and food as possible, and as little of everything else as possible.
      Run out of water, you can die. Forget to pack clothing for cold weather, you can die.

      Sure, it would be nice to carry a gun, but I’d probably take a flare pistol instead: fewer legal problems, lighter weight (if you use a plastic 12-gauge flare gun), and for bear defense you can use 12-gauge pepper cartridges (which I know from my own testing have a range of at least 60 feet from a flare pistol).
      If I did take a gun, it would probably be either my S&W Governor, for the multiple types of ammo it can use (45 Colt, 410, 45 ACP), or if that’s too heavy, then my lightest gun, which is a NAA Hogleg with a 6″ barrel, suitable for small game or personal defense (22 Magnum from a 6″ barrel is nothing to sneeze at). That NAA Hogleg is so unbelievably light, even with its 6″ barrel, that you won’t even feel the weight on you!
      But again, it’s hard to carry a gun anywhere easily accessible when backpacking, other than on the back of your buddy ahead of you!

  74. avatar RyanC says:

    Two words (Well, three): Drop-leg holster.

  75. avatar Jeff says:

    I can see forgoing the firearm for a through hike that is going to take me through multiple nonpermissive states where I can be imprisoned for packing. Either that or just don’t make that trip.

    But this poor snowflake is so far from being firearms capable that IMO she’s about the last person who should take a gun on the trail.

    Heck, she’s not even going to have the stuff to light a wood fire in an emergency. (Tinder/fire starter, small Moraknife to split wet wood into kindling ) “Fires aren’t permitted in many areas of the trail” and if she had to build a fire “to stay warm/dry/Alive” she’d have to reconsider her whole load-out. She’s having a ball planning and buying the ultralight minimalist gear, but lacks the skills or understanding to deal with any sort of misadventure.

    And she’s not interested in hearing otherwise. Aahh … Youth!

    Jeff

    1. avatar Roymond says:

      One would hope she has the smarts to buy the Thru-Hiker’s Handbook, which covers everything and then some.

  76. avatar Hannibal says:

    There are some reasons to not carry on the AT. The simplest is legality. There is no way to hike the entirety of the trail while carrying a pistol (unless you are protected by a federal law like LEOSA). Then there is weight… most people thur-hiking (and even section-hiking) are trying to shave ounces; statistically, hiking is a pretty safe thing to do (especially as a guy or with someone else) so a gun quickly becomes dead weight. There is also the concern of theft (not necessarily robbery). Again, if you are thru-hiking or doing serious section hiking, you’re going to be sleeping in some places where you don’t want to leave valubles lying around as someone with sticky fingers might grab something. Sure, you can carry your gun everywhere you go and try to discreetly keep it near you when sleeping in a shelter, but it’s a good amount of effort when you’re alread probably putting forth a lot of effort otherwise.

    “I don’t want to turn a robbery into a shooting” is not a particularly good reason in my mind, however.

    But where that all lies on the balance is up to the individual hiker. I often carry a gun when hiking but would think twice if I were going to go weeks on the trail relying on carry weight.

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