Friday, July 01, 2011

Why I carry guns when I hike and camp #2

I've posted on this before (here), and this new story out of Boulder, Colorado gives me reason to post on it again.
Boulder County sheriff's deputies are continuing to investigate a report of a kidnapping near Nederland's Rainbow Lakes, and although new witnesses have come forward, officials have not made an arrest as of Monday morning.

Deputies responded to a report of a kidnapping around 6 p.m. Saturday near the 38000 block of Peak-to-Peak Highway, said sheriff's Cmdr. Rick Brough.
The victims, a 44-year-old man from Berthoud and a 32-year-old woman from Fort Collins, parked their vehicle on Peak-to-Peak highway and began hiking west, Brough said.

While hiking, they were confronted by a white man, who was about 40 years old and armed with a rifle. He was wearing a green army shirt, camouflaged shorts, a floppy army cap, black boots and a black bandanna covering part of his face. He fired a shot from his rifle and tied the couple to trees in the area, Brough said.

The man was able to free himself and ran south to a populated area, where he called police. The woman was released and returned to the vehicle uninjured. The man suffered bruising to his wrists from the restraints and a cut on his leg from falling while escaping from the area, Brough said.

SWAT teams from the Boulder County Sheriff's Office and the Longmont Police Department conducted a search of the area that lasted late into Saturday evening.

Deputies interviewed witnesses on Sunday, but no arrest was made.
And yes, without knowing more, I'm pretty disgusted with this guy who, upon freeing himself, ran off and left the woman who was with him to face whatever all by herself. Where I come from, men fight if they have to to protect those that they care about. But this guy is apparently one of those liberal girly-man types who so infest Colorado these days and I'm sure this his first priority was to get back to his Obama-stickered Volvo just as fast as he could, partner notwithstanding. I hate to brand him a coward without knowing more, but it's kind of hard not to based upon the facts above.

Now when I was out in Boulder for school some years back, I was living in a camper and I usually bedded down in that area at night. I also hiked it extensively during the non-school hours of the week-days. Knowing that area, my guess is that they came close to stumbling on some pot-head's illegal marijuana farm and encountered one of the growers. Everyone with a brain knows how important marijuana is to the wanna-be hippies and sheltered college kids in Boulder and Nederland, and you have to be a fool to traipse around that area unarmed.

When I was there, I was never a fool. I always hiked with a pistol and a German Shepherd, and often with a long gun attached to my pack frame as well if I was going to be ranging away from populated areas. I never go afield without a sidearm at least, usually one of my .357 Magnum revolvers. Any back-country backpacking trip is going to see a fighting rifle on my pack, be it an M1 carbine .357 Magnum or .30-30 lever gun, a Mini-14 or light AR-15, or even a plastic-stocked 1903 Springfield. Heck, I don't even do short hikes locally without a .38 J-frame or a .380 in my pocket. That's just common sense, because you never know who you're going to run into when you're alone in secluded areas and there are bad people out there who prefer such places to engage potential victims. It happens more than most people know. But I know because I've run into that type before, and more than once. I've been unarmed and had to let things play out with them in charge, and I've been armed and able to deter things with a show of strength alone. Human predators size up their would-be prey just like their animal kingdom counterparts do, and even an old one-legged fat guy can be a tough nut to crack if he's got firepower handy and the will to use it, both of which I always have.
In the back-country, 911 response is usually a long ways away, and that's if you can even get a cell signal to call them. So if you're going to be safe, it's on you to take the steps necessary to ensure that you can handle whatever--or whoever--comes along.




Murphy can carry the extra ammo.


  1. And you know what happens when they tie you to a tree in the woods, right?

  2. Well said. One of the first lessons newbies must learn here in Alaska is that humans are not at the top of the food chain. And some of the predators have four legs.

    Well said, indeed.

  3. This would be why I need to get my carry permit. These days running into someone on an otherwise empty trail is problematic.

  4. My "box A" is either a cz-52 or cz-82 because I have field holsters for them. The field holster from the cz-82 actually looks like a binoculars case which means that you don't upset the hippies(wither you count that a good thing or not).

  5. My box A would probably be my Son of Sam Bulldog, or a Security Six (w/OS grips), and box B would be like your #5 which looks like #6 (my Southport #5 is early mfr, with a wood handguard) or my #4 (your North Haven has some nice walnut). Did you previously post that you'd had to debur your lifter?

    For stowability, I might add the M-6 Scout (CZ mfr) to the list - mine's stainless, Hornet over .410.

  6. Excellent post! BTW what's in the "C" box?

  7. @ The Donald. Yep. De-burred the lifter and replaced the carrier with a new one from Midway and it functions like a dream.

    @ Keads: C Box is black (classified) weapons, but they're of the sort that would have allowed me to keep Santa Anna's troops from taking the Alamo so long as the ammo held out.

  8. Gee, your boxes A and B look a LOT like mine :-) Keads, I've seen Murph's box C, trust me, anything in it works... :-) Now if you just had a pack mule or an ammo monkey :-)

  9. Anonymous7:05 PM

    Colorado's gotten to be weirder than California of late - especially Boulder and environs. They tend to frown on open carry (and concealed as well...but that's - concealed).

    Can't see carrying a long gun without getting seriously hassled...and I'm not ready to pull on a cop.

    But I agree with you. And revolvers save time by not needing to look for errant casings.

    Rev Paul:
    Last time I was in AK, I thought Griz was the top of the food chain. Then I discovered it was actually skeeters. They have 6 legs.

  10. I really don't care if it's a J .38, .357, Glock, 1911, etc..

    But by hiking it the woods you are truly on your own. Be it defense or first aid or survival from the elements.

    Yes I have several hiking capable guns. Any one of them will do well and many that are posted above are quite acceptable.

    Just make sure they are with you and not in the car or at home.

    And for the record I guess my 3 inch GP100 will be the most likely hiking sidearm and my M1 Carbine the rifle.

    But like I said, most good guns would do fine. Just make sure you have it.

  11. Comment I made in July 2010.