[pct-l] Night hiking and rodents in food, p.s.

mark v allemande6 at yahoo.com
Fri Apr 3 02:08:43 CDT 2009

Even a minimalist pack will make it hard for the lion  to reach the back of your neck area.  Are you going to walk around with the knife, gun, or pepper spray out and at the ready?  That's an accident waiting to happen, all for the sake of being ready for an astronomically rare occurrence:  a mountain lion pouncing on a backpacker.

Trekking poles are a help to some extent, and making yourself big when encountered.  Beyond that, if you're in an area you deem to be that much of a mountain lion risk area (which the PCT won't be), just don't night hike alone.

Call me a liberal, urban scaredy-bear, but hiking around at night by yourself with a loaded gun, or a pulled knife is stupid.

On a friendlier note, even though i've never heard of anyone first-hand who's encountered a mountain lion on the PCT, somebody said last year that the most common place to see them on the trail is the Marble Mountains in NoCal.  Can anyone confirm this as true?

--- On Fri, 4/3/09, Josh <559josh at gmail.com> wrote:

> From: Josh <559josh at gmail.com>
> Subject: RE: [pct-l] Night hiking and rodents in food, p.s.
> To: "'mark v'" <allemande6 at yahoo.com>, pct-l at backcountry.net
> Date: Friday, April 3, 2009, 1:49 AM
> Mark,
> And once the mountain lion pounces on U and its 1st attempt
> is foiled by the
> pack, what is your defense in the pitch-black darkness of
> the mountains cuz
> he's sure not gonna run-off just cuz UR not dead yet???
>  I mean, seriously,
> if UR night-hiking, U prob have a minimalist pack, so 4 to
> 11oz would be a
> tiny weight for the safety.  Maybe if UR hiking in a small
> group, something
> like pepper spray or a gun would be unnecessary, but solo
> or hiking in a
> pair, I'd recommend SOMETHING...a knife is almost
> ALWAYS a good thing to
> carry with U anyways.
> Mountain lions might be rare, but they are dangerous enough
> in the daytime
> when a rock or stick or something could be easily located
> to fight one off
> if it came to that, but in the darkness it's difficult
> enough to keep a
> steady footing & stay on the path...but to fight-off a
> lion?  I think not.
> Let's say one was hiking in bear country where bears
> might be in contact
> with people from time to time so that they're not (as
> someone recently said)
> a Scaredy-bear...''
> All I'm saying is that I wouldn't go night-hiking
> without AT LEAST a
> knife...but others might be more comfortable with a bottle
> of pepper-spray
> or a gun.
> Josh
> -----Original Message-----
> From: pct-l-bounces at backcountry.net
> [mailto:pct-l-bounces at backcountry.net]
> On Behalf Of mark v
> Sent: Thursday, April 02, 2009 11:13 PM
> To: pct-l at backcountry.net
> Subject: Re: [pct-l] Night hiking and rodents in food, p.s.
> One other thing.  I don't get the point of carrying a
> "weapon."  A mountain
> lion will have you knocked down before you have a chance to
> use it.  And
> other than a few very specific areas like Vancouver Island
> (not any PCT
> places), it's rare almost to the point of never that a
> mountain lion
> ambushes a backpacker.  We look too big and slow to be good
> prey.  Little
> kids running, yes.  Trail runners with no packs, yes. 
> Cyclists, yes.  But
> backpackers...well, someone will link us to an article i
> suppose where it's
> happened, but i never have heard of it.  I've heard of
> plenty of stalkings,
> but the mountain lion usually decides we're not tasty
> enough.  That, and if
> a lion does ambush from above and behind (most common way),
> the pack is a
> good first line of defense.
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