You might not be a hunter, preferring to enjoy the serenity of creation and the melodious birdsong without worrying about harvesting an animal to bring home. However, when you’re out in the woods away from help, the chances of you getting involved in a dangerous situation increase exponentially.
In February of 2023, a five-year-old boy was attacked by a mountain lion in Half Moon Bay California while hiking on his family’s property with his mother and grandfather. The boy’s mother managed to scare away the big cat, but not before it ripped into him with its teeth and claws. He received severe lacerations on his face and a fracture near one eye but is thankfully alive. His family started a GoFundMe to raise money for his medical bills. As of this writing, the mountain lion is still at large.
Similarly, a 70 year old man was attacked by a mountain lion when he was hiking through the Spanish Fork Canyon in Utah, and a woman was killed by a bear near Yellowstone. Despite the saying that an animal is “more afraid of you than you are of it,” this is not always the case, and a frightened animal may resort to violence if it’s startled or defending its territory or young.
There are also unique dangers facing women hikers. In May of 2023, two women were assaulted in Silver Spring by a machete-wielding illegal immigrant. One of them, only fifteen years old, was raped before the suspect got away. He was later captured in a nearby neighborhood assaulting a man before he was apprehended.
Criminals go to remote areas like hiking trails or national parks for the same reasons you do: to get away from people. Except while you do it to get away from the stress of your work environment, they do it to avoid any witnesses. Being alone in the woods should give you even more reason to carry, knowing you’re away from any immediate help from either first responders or others.
According to a survey conducted by the Hike and Camp blog, 78.90% of those surveyed outright refused to carry a gun, but 57.90% of the same people were fearful of others carrying a firearm on the trail. Only 5.3% of hikers carried a firearm with them while hiking.
Where is the logic here? If you’re afraid someone will shoot you while you’re hiking, wouldn’t you want to have the means to defend yourself?
However, the choice to carry a firearm while hiking is ultimately a personal decision, influenced by various factors including individual comfort levels, legal regulations, and one's understanding of firearm safety. If someone does choose to carry a firearm, it's essential to receive proper training, understand state laws regarding open and/or concealed carry, and follow ethical guidelines related to its use.
If you do decide that carrying a firearm is the right choice for you, considering additional accessories like a weapon-mounted light from INFORCE can enhance your preparedness. A weapon-mounted light can provide illumination in low-light situations, aiding in target identification and potentially deterring threats without necessarily resorting to the use of lethal force.
The WILD2 weapon light boasts a formidable output of 1000 lumens of white light, providing substantial illumination in low-light environments. This output can be crucial for identifying potential threats, whether they are animal or human, and for navigating through dark or poorly lit trails. With a runtime of up to 1.5 hours, this weapon light offers a reliable source of light for extended periods of use.
In addition to its benefits for personal safety and self-defense, the INFORCE WILD2 weapon light can prove to be an invaluable tool for hikers who find themselves lost in the woods at night. Getting lost in an unfamiliar wilderness after dark can be disorienting and potentially dangerous. In such scenarios, having a reliable source of illumination like the WILD2 can make a significant difference in navigating through the darkness and finding one's way to safety.
The WILD2's powerful 1000 lumens of white light can help illuminate the surrounding area, allowing lost hikers to better assess their surroundings and identify potential paths or landmarks. The well-defined hotspot and balanced spill provided by the light contribute to creating a clear view, aiding in terrain assessment and potential hazard avoidance.
The device's durable construction, including its waterproof and dustproof capabilities, ensures that it remains functional even in challenging weather conditions or rough terrains. This durability is a critical factor when lost hikers might need a reliable tool that can withstand the elements while guiding them to safety.
The potential dangers that hikers might face from both wildlife and human-related threats are worth considering, and if your state allows you to concealed carry, you would be much safer and be much better prepared for doing so.