[/b]Purposely[/b] didn't put this in the "Lightweight sidearms . . ." topic since I didn't want to rain on a parade with a thousand views and 67 posts -- in less than two weeks.

But again, I've got to wonder . . . how many views and posts would there be on one of those gun forums with your topic entitled, "Let's go hiking!" <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> Ha! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

I've always wondered about the frequent and often esoteric discussions about guns on this forum (it's not a hunting forum), since we can't legally even take a gun to many of the places we hike (i.e., national parks). Is it because some of our members (for whom I have great respect for with their ultralight hiking observations) don't feel comfortable discussing guns on those gun forums because those other folks are a bunch of (gun) nuts or something? Or they don't feel comfortable on a gun forum saying they are using their guns for protection while hiking? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> I'm just curious.

Anyway, read this on the Dallas Morning News site dallasnews.com, airline biz blog today:

Reports say the gun of a US Airways pilot accidentally discharged on a flight Saturday from Denver to Charlotte, N.C. No one was hurt, although I'm sure many were surprised. The airplane was taken out of service to be checked for damage.

The pilot was authorized to carry a gun under the Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) program, administered by the U.S. Transportation Security Commission.

(That comes from here.)

Thing is he probably has -- no, he surely has -- more training with that sidearm and the safety procedures required than most (99.95 per cent) of us hikers. (Yeah, yeah, okay -- you're that .05 per cent.) So if he's accidentally shooting his gun off in the cockpit of an airplane, then surely we got to be a little concerned about blowin' away someone in our tent.

Which leads me to this: Wouldn't a can of bear spray work just fine? I mean, I've done some research, and I haven't found anyone that's been killed accidentally by their bear spray discharging while hiking. It might sting a little, but not kill you or your hiking buddy.
- kevon

(avatar: raptor, Lake Dillon)