Photo trip, camping, should bring firearm?
I am preparing for a photo trip, 1-2 days at a time in few locations, probably will include camping outdoors. I will have more than enough weight with the photographic equipment on my back. Should I plan also to take some firearm along?
How serious is the wild life danger? Right now, I am more concerned with the mosquito problem (July-Sept).
mosiquto's are the worst if your careful
i'd say your right to worry about the 'squito's, they suck (literally).
seriously though depends on where and when, Treadwell did ok till he decided that bears and him were best buddies. There haven't been many people killed in Alaska by animals, statistically more people get killed by moose than any other critter, but most of them happened to be driving.
I personally would sacrifice and carry bear spray at the least; but plenty of people with much more experience than me have told me that short of being in densly populated bear country nothing is needed other than a good head on your shoulders and I have slept under the stars on more than a few nites with no protection with nothing worse than a few bug bites.
Concerning mosquitos...you have a 100% chance of encountering biting/sucking insects while your in Alaska. When in the bush, I always bring several types of bug dope. None of them work perfectly. But all of them work with partial effectiveness.
Concerning bear attacks...you have less than a 1% chance of a contact encounter with a bad bear. Therefore, I suggest that you do not bring along a three pound handgun and that pound of ammo.
When hiking the trail system, which I do extensively, I have never had a bad bear encounter, and the only bad encounter involves actual, physical contact.
When guiding and hunting, which I do about 2 1/2 months per year (May, Aug, Sep) I have never had a bad encounter. But I have lost two tents to black bears while I was out-and-about. I have never had a griz/brown bear in my camp, but I do know of two incidents when browns caused camp problems during professional hunts. Both bears became dead bears.
I do not usually carry weapons unless I am guiding hunters or hunting for myself. In addition I do not carry guns when I'm rafting or fishing. Therefore, my advise is that you probably do not need a gun unless it makes you feel more secure.
If I'm wrong, and you have one of those bad bear contact encounters....then please accept my apology in advance.
Alaska True Adventure Guide Service
A friend and one of the leading bear authorties around has a couple of cute sayings that sum up bear protection pretty well:
Originally Posted by ocimpean
Bear spray is not Brains in a Can.
A gun is not a magic wand.
The way you behave and the precautions you take can stop bear problems from starting in the first place. Here is what is probably the most balanced view of bears anywhere you look.
And as for skeeters, nothing beats DEET so far, but around your camera gear and any plastics at all, I'd stay clear of any aerosol. Period. DEET eats plastics and lens coatings for lunch, and aerosols spread their fine mist pretty indiscriminately.
Best I've found is a waterproof lotion called Ultrathon, most of which are less than 30% DEET. Because they're waterproof, you only put them on once or twice a day, and you don't sweat them off. The 100% DEET is garbage around cameras because you have to put it on repeatedly all day long, and sooner or later you're going to get some on your cameras.
2 cans of Ben's (orange spray can) for exposed skin and one small squirt bottle of 100% deet for clothing.
As for weapons?? that is a personal decision. Many opinions out there.
Why not carry a weapon. Now that you have asked you will feel foolish after being mauled by an angry shrew in the middle of the night
Sorry for posting in the wrong forum.
Thank you all for the advice. I think the total weight will be the deciding factor in the end, as I said, I am more afraid of the bugs.