[pct-l] Mountain Lion Attack

Bill Batchelor billbatch at cox.net
Sat Jan 27 16:02:34 CST 2007

Okay folks,

The only animal that gets into my psychology when hiking alone is the
Mountain Lion.  All this chat about Lions will not help me sleep on the PCT
this summer.  When these beasts get in my head walking at dusk, sitting by
my stove, lying in bed...  Every snap or sound is a small jolt - my head
swivels and I wonder, "am I being watched".

Even sleeping cowboy style becomes a problem alone.  I know that
statistically there have been no known attacks of a sleeping hiker in or out
of a tent.  However, IMHO that is just a statistic that has not happened.
Let's be real.  Cats like to hunt at night.  If a lion hunting lion came
upon a sleeping deer -what would happen?  When I am curled up at night, I am
as cute as a deer - I promise.

I always come back to these questions.  I have read everything I could find
and it appears there is very little available to help lower the risk or to
defend an attack.  The only info I have found is 

1. stay out of their territory (not an option for hikers)

Look too intimidating to attack
1. Hike in groups (okay, I could... But what a cost)
2. Pick up your pack high to look really big (seems a bit weak considering a
guy with a frikin mountain bike over his head was not a deterrent).

And to defend
1. curl up in a ball, play dead, protect your neck (I think this may only
give you a chance if a hiking partner is also busy beating the crap out of
the cat with a hiking pole.  Solo, you may just be putting off the

Is there any other information out there?  Has pepper spray ever been
tested?  A loud whistle?  A PHUKING GUN... How about my head mounted on a
spinning lazy susan! Sorry, carried away there.  I do not own a gun and I
know they are illegal on the trail.  However, this string of emails has me
again considering a small weapon - even if all it does is help me sleep.


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