This is an interesting instance of different life experiences. I have done a great deal of hiking an climbing in ariona, mostly around Tucson, from1956 to 1985 when I transferred to the Channel Islands and a very different environment (no bears, just sharks).

In AZ, i had some bear encounters without noticeable incidents, the most notable being shining a light on a bear rummaging in our garbage can at Chiricahua Nat'l Mon. I shouted to my wife "We've got a bear in our trash" and the bear took off. Smart bear, he didn't want ti deal with that wife.

Snakes - quite a few over the years (an occupational hazard of archaeology). Generally they go one way and I go the other.

Mountain lions - Lots of time in their turf,t particularly around Baboquivari Peak. I have never seen one in the flesh, just their tracks.

Doing volunteer SAR, lots and lots of fall victims, including numerous fatalities. It is amazing how many folks drown in the desert (flash floods). We lost eight in one afternoon at a popular rec area. It took a week to find them all. I understand I made a brief appearance on ABC, extricating a victim on rappel from a flowing waterfall.

My take on all this. Know the hazard profile on the area in which you are venturing and acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to deal with them. I possess a variety of firearms, but carry them less and less, other equipment being more broadly useful (and lighter)> At one point a NPS commissioned LEO and military veteran, I consider myself adequate trained.

The main point of this is that one should be aware of potential problems, and take appropriate measures. these will vary, depending on resources available and individual background.

While I am not a big fan of guns, there are times and places where they are the best tool.
Geezer in Chief