“If you go before the open season for shooting, take no gun. It will simply be a useless incumbrance and a nuisance.” –Nessmuk
The Old Woodsman wrote this advice regarding trips to the woods over one-hundred years ago. Is it still relative today?
It stands true that carrying a gun, even a small pistol, is an encumbrance and a nuisance. Continually keeping track of it and ensuring that it is out of reach of children, difficult for others to find and use, but still convenient and quick for defense is to say the least, a daunting task. There are legal concerns as well. If you don’t have a concealed carry permit, how do you keep yourself within the confines of the law? Keeping the gun clean also becomes a necessity as it does occasionally rain and we do occasionally get dirty when on outings. The packing and additional weight also becomes a difficulty. Walking miles with a backpack is difficult enough. Add a pistol digging into your side or back and you’ve made it a miserable experience.
Many would argue that a gun is needed for safety. There are dangerous people in the woods and we need to defend ourselves from them. Would-be woodsman can rest assured that they are much more likely to find dangerous people in cities and towns as opposed to local campgrounds or the wilderness. Others would argue that a gun will save them from a bear or other wild animal attack. Although there is some truth to this logic, most who have had encounters with a bear would argue that they had no actual need for a gun as bears and other animals are quite prone to avoiding less intelligent species including H. Sapiens.
The decision rests with you. Even with all of the reasons why there is little need for a gun in the wilderness, this woodsman has carried one to nearly every outing and adventure he’s taken.
If you are a woodsman, camper, or outdoorsman, do you take a gun with you on your outings?
If you are considering taking up camping and woodcraft as a hobby, will you carry a gun with you?
Do you have any other reasons why we should or shouldn’t carry a gun to the wild?
Better yet, do you have a story or situation where you have found yourself needing or using a gun during an outing?