[cdt-l] Pepper Spray?

Ginny & Jim Owen spiritbear2k at hotmail.com
Mon Apr 2 13:51:56 CDT 2007

Nitro wrote:
>   He ended up at the Pearly Gates and when he confronted St. Peter and 
>asked why he died, after all he had faith, St. Peter said "I sent people to 
>warn you and a boat and a helicopter to save you, what more do you want?"

lol!! That story's older than you are. But it's not an illustration of 
"faith" but rather "lack of common sense."

>   Is it possible that those who have faith carry pepper spray and those 
>who have hubris don't?

Nope.  Have you ever watched Lynne Wheldon's lightweight video? His basic 
premise is that the things we carry indicate what our fears are.  We carry 
too much food because we fear hunger;  we carry too much clothing because we 
fear being cold, etc.

Likewise, we carry a GPS because we fear being "lost" and we carry bear 
spray because we fear not only bears, but our own inability to deal with 
them.  That inability is based in fear and ignorance.  Ignorance is curable 
-  fear is a personal problem.  For my part, I refuse to allow fear to rule 
my life or actions.  Not that I don't feel fear at times - I've been shot at 
too many times to kid myself about that. Fear has its utility - it keeps you 
sharp and makes you pay attention, it improves your heart rate, reaction 
time, etc and generally prepares you to handle what you fear.  There's a 
book but I don't remember the title - deals specifically with the positive 
aspects of fear.  But I don't recall that it advocates allowing fear to 
dominate your life or actions.

Hubris - is assuming that nothing bad will ever happen to you. One form of 
faith - is the knowledge that no one gets out of this life alive.  Enoy it 
while you can, but realize that you're not guaranteed another breath or 
heartbeat.  Living with fear as a life-principle is not enjoment.

>   For the record, I hiked in Glacier last year sans pepper spray and came 
>upon a mamma bear and 2 yearlings unexpectedly.  The wind was blowing 
>toward Skittles and I, we were walking up and around a curve and the wind 
>was pretty loud.  Mamma didn't notice us and we didn't notice her until I 
>was only a few feet from her...had I wanted to I could have reached out and 
>touched her.
After almost crapping my pants, I then vowed to take pepper spray in 2007 
when I thru hiked.

Do you really think pepper spray would have helped in that situation?  I 
suspect it would have been a lot more useful to be paying more attention - 
there aren't that many truly "blind curves" in Glacier.

>We'll see what I actually end up doing but I might bring it for the dogs if 
>nothing else...I was bitten by a dog on the PCT and I hear there are some 
>nasty dogs in New Mexico so maybe I'll get it down there.

A hiking stick (Leki) does a lot more re: dogs than pepper spray - they 
instinctively know what a stick is - pepper spray is just something else 
you're carying as far as they're concerned.  It won't stop them from trying 
- and if you fumble it or drop it (not unlikely), then you haven't solved 
your problem, just exacerbated it.  <g>

Sam got me to thinking - we've put down something over 2500 miles in griz 
country - and a lot more in black bear country. And haven't had a problem 
since 1992 - and that problem was my fault.  I think I'll stick with what 
works for me.  YMMV

Walk softly,
(and sing loudly, even if badly),


Exercise your brain! Try Flexicon. 

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