Mercy sakes, we certainly don't want you running around naked in the woods!!

"To carry or not to carry, that is the question.." Certainly we are in different situations which clearly require different preps. I spend more and more time on the northern Channel islands, mostly hunting fossils, which usually don't fight back or offer resistance.

But even on the mainland, where locally we do have black bears, many of which are reportedly problem bears imported from the Sierras, I carry less and less. My experience was that there were many items that were much more useful in emergency situations than my hand gun.

I still have that firearm, a classic S&W wheel gun, which I cherish greatly. There have been two occasions in which I was really glad to have it along - one a strange encounter on a lonely Texas highway (brandished, no shots fired) and a situation with a rattlesnake just outside my living quarters in a national park. My baby daughter was just inside the trailer, so I didn't mess around, firing a shot cartridge at Mr. snake (didn't faze him) . i turned to a shovel and quickly sliced him up.

In contrast, there have been countless (at least twenty) occasions where a 60 to 100 foot length of climbing rope has been critical, including the time when it was destroyed in extricating a stuck vehicle.

Many other items (tarps for shelter, etc) have been equally useful. But I spend most of my time in thinly populated black bear country. Different situations require different measures.
Geezer in Chief