When it comes to camping, one of the biggest debates among people who love the outdoors is camping safety. Whether or not it is best to be armed before entering the wilderness. Those who decide to arm themselves are usually concerned about wildlife such as bears and mountain lions which can be a valid issue in certain parts of the country. While there is no easy answer to this safety dilemma, it is important to carefully weigh the pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision before you plan your camping trip.
Pro: Camping Safety
People who prefer being armed while camping say that it helps them to sleep better at night knowing they could protect themselves if they were threatened. Although most types of wildlife prefer to leave humans alone, there is still a small risk for your camping safety if you venture too close to certain animals in the woods.
Con: The Danger Factor
While carrying guns and other weapons may make you feel safe, it is also important to recognize the risks. For example, misfiring a gun or missing a target may place the lives around you in jeopardy. Camping with children also poses challenges for being armed since many of the best safety practices, such as keeping guns locked up, may not be possible when you are spending the night in a tent. For this reason, many camps for kids choose to use other safety strategies instead of weapons while camping.
Pro: There Are Many Options
When people consider arming themselves for camping, they often think of guns. However, there are several other options that are just as portable and potentially less risky. For instance, bear spray has been used by some people to deter attacks. However, it is important to make sure to avoid spraying it into the wind where it may spray back into your face. Knives and even large sticks are other forms of weapons, but these do require you being at close range to use them effectively.
Con: Weapons Are Not Always Effective
Although being armed may make you feel safe, it is sometimes a false sense of security. Gunshots do not always affect large bears and it is possible to completely miss your target when you are under stress. Often, the best way to stay safe in the wilderness is to follow basic outdoor safety guidelines. Stay aware of your surroundings, keep a clean campsite, travel in a noisy group and know how to identify when wild animals may be in your area.
The decision to be armed in the wilderness is one that takes careful thought and consideration of your circumstances. In some places, carrying a firearm may even be illegal so research carefully if you do decide that’s what is best for your family. Regardless of your choice, make sure to utilize your wilderness survival skills since preventing wildlife problems is your first best defense when camping outdoors.