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

Josh 559josh at gmail.com
Fri Apr 3 02:37:58 CDT 2009

This is going from the practical to the absurd.  Walking around with a
pulled knife or gun in hand???  C'mon!  I DO TOTALLY AGREE with U on the
astronomical improbability of a mountain lion attack, but that's not the
only practical reason to carry a gun or knife while on a trek through the

The millions of hikers across the world can do whatever they please, but ME
PERSONALLY, I listed the things that I wouldn't hike at night without.

Oh, and just to mention, Mountain Lions live ALL ALONG the PCT (even the
desert portions to a lesser extent)...I'm not sure where U get the notion
that they don't live there...they can be found at elevations up to 15,000ft
according so some experts.



-----Original Message-----
From: mark v [mailto:allemande6 at yahoo.com] 
Sent: Friday, April 03, 2009 12:09 AM
To: pct-l at backcountry.net; Josh
Subject: RE: [pct-l] Night hiking and rodents in food, p.s.

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

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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