Saturday, April 2, 2011

Hiking Safety Poll Results: Hiking With A Firearm

According to my very non-scientific poll, those who answered the poll questions overwhelmingly favored carrying a firearm while hiking.

The poll question was as follows:
Would you ever legally carry a firearm with you when hiking?
Depends on weather conditions or length of hike

The results were as follows:
Yes 93% 141
No 3% 5
Maybe 1% 2
Depends on weather conditions or length of hike 2%

Prelude to the poll, I made a statement: "Gary Michael HIlton killed Irene and John Bryant, who were hiking in the Pisgah National Forest in October 2007. There are many stories of animal attacks, often bear maulings in the woods, including a story I recall from 1995 when a 77 year old woman and her 45 year old son were both killed by a grizzly just 20 miles outside of Anchorage. Would you legally (within the laws of your state) carry a firearm with you when hiking?"

I propose that Irene and John Bryant would have had a greater chance of survival had they been carrying a weapon with them as they hiked, just as the couple hiking in Alaska would have had a greater chance of survival.  Just last year in Denali National Park in Alaska, a grizzly was shot and killed by one of two hikers who was carrying a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol.  It had just become legal to carry the firearm into the park.

On February 22, 2010 a new law passed in congress and signed by President Obama allows people with gun permits, including concealed weapons permits, to carry a firearm into a state park that recognized the permit, and also into national parks.  I completely support this law, and believe that you should be mindful to protect yourself and your family at all times, including in the woods while hiking.

It's not a matter of being paranoid that a grizzly is going to attack you, it's a matter of hoping for the best, and planning for the worst.  Isn't that why you wear a seat belt?


  1. I just found your blog, and i like it. I personally carry a Ruger LCR-357. I found my self asking the same question and i agree with you 100%.

  2. Savage-

    Thanks for your comment, and I'm glad you enjoy the blog! Where are you hiking? I carry a Glock 30, .45 acp when hiking. If I lived in Alaska, or anywhere in the Northwest I'd move towards a .357 or 10mm.

  3. Jeremy, I just want to say that as a river guide in Colorado, one of our guides for the multi-day hiking, rafting, and camping trips is always armed with a .45 cal.

    Our Motto:
    If you want peace, prepare for war.