September 22, 2020

News Report: More Colorado Women Hiking with Firearms

nylon binocular case/chest pack
Chest-carry binocular case by Further Faster Design with concealed rear pocket.
(The antler is just to prop it up.)

 From Denver television station KHOW, "Some women are opting to carry guns on Colorado trails to stay safe."

“I carry a handgun when I am hiking alone on a trail that is more secluded, or at night, or (when) I am backpacking alone,” said Cierra LeVan, a 27-year old teacher in Mesa County. “I do this for personal protection and self-defense, from both potential animal and human predators.”

LeVan is not alone; Rather than avoid hiking because they don’t have a companion, some women are opting for more than bear spray for protection when they hit the trails. The question of whether or not one should carry a gun while hiking has long been a topic in online group chats, and there is a Facebook group just for women who hike with guns. . . .

“Most women I know have been touched or grabbed by men when in the woods. It’s too common,” said Sara C., a 35-year-old Denver business owner who did not want her full name used for fear of being targeted. “A creepy guy sees a girl fishing or hiking alone, tries to grab her arm or her body … dogs and guns will scare people off.”

It's an individual choice. There are mental steps to take. Is your life worth defending, yes/no? Are you willing to not only learn to shoot, but to learn the legalities of self-defense? 

Are you willing to commit to regular practice and building "muscle-memory" that will help you in an emergency? Just "buying a gun" is like a non-driver buying a car because you might need to evacuate during a floor or fire — but you just park it in the garage and leave it for three or five years — will it run when you need it? Will you remember how it works?  

Then there is the law. Self-defense law varies state by state, although there are common concepts. Fire a "warning shot"? A hostile district attorney might say you committed "felony menacing" just then. 

Does your state require a concealed-permit? Can you get one by taking a class and exam, or are they issued only to friends of the governor, mayor, or county sheriff?

People must be willing, since gun sales shot up this past summer — many first-time buyers, many racial minorities.

A note on the photograph: This binocular case by Further Faster Design, a Colorado firm, features a slim rear pocket with Velcro closures on the top and both sides for fast, easy access to your birding field guide or whatever. I bought mine this summer, and I like it. More information here.

This case rides high on the chest with X-straps on the back. It might fit some female body types all right, others not so much. But I had just made the photograph for another purpose, so I used it.

2 comments:

Captain Witold Pilecki said...

I have ALWAYS carried when hiking, whether on busy rail trails or in deep woods miles from other hikers.

Pat, Marcus & Alexis said...

Like Mr. Pilecki, I've always carried a sidearm when hiking, or for that matter, fishing out in the sticks.