Going camping in Nat'l forest, what should I bring?

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Thread: Going camping in Nat'l forest, what should I bring?

  1. #1
    New Member Array GooeyGus's Avatar
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    Going camping in Nat'l forest, what should I bring?

    Hey Guys,
    In a couple weeks I'm going to the olympic national forest here in WA state to do some camping. We will be in a tent at an area developed for camping (individual sites, etc etc). I'm just wondering what I should bring in terms of firearms.

    I do have a valid CPL for WA, so obviously I will be bringing my pistol. Should I bring any sort of long gun?

    I doubt I will be doing any shooting out in the woods, but there are a lot of cougars and other dangerous wildlife out here, so I want to be sure I'm adequately prepared for whatever we may encounter.

    Also, what are the rules of firearms in a national forest? I know I am allowed to carry concealed, but could I carry a rifle on a sling over my shoulder legally?

    Thanks guys!

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    Distinguished Member Array pinklady's Avatar
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    I would take along some bear spray. It is supposed to be better than a gun for a bear. That's what I heard anyway.

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    Well, if you do opt to take bear spray then the one you want to buy is by "Guard Alaska" Google search it in quotes and that should find you a source of supply.

    Also Note: If you plan on wandering off & away from the established campsite or going off-trail for any appreciable distance then there is a whole long list of stuff that you should always have with you.

    Folks DO lose their sense of direction (or get critically injured) every year in places that they never imagined they would get completely lost in or hurt in.

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    VIP Member Array hogdaddy's Avatar
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    If more than one tent, I'd least carry a handgun for each, Tent that is & a long gun to boot JMO ; )
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    VIP Member Array Sheldon J's Avatar
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    for the bear you will find there.... 12GA with slugs, .44 mag, .45 LC, S&W 500, .490, .460 caveat here large caliber hand gun with heavy lead is what will do the job, no FMJ, no JHP, but good old LRN and the heaver the better.....
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    Quote Originally Posted by GooeyGus View Post
    Hey Guys,
    In a couple weeks I'm going to the olympic national forest here in WA state to do some camping. We will be in a tent at an area developed for camping (individual sites, etc etc). I'm just wondering what I should bring in terms of firearms.

    I do have a valid CPL for WA, so obviously I will be bringing my pistol. Should I bring any sort of long gun?

    I doubt I will be doing any shooting out in the woods, but there are a lot of cougars and other dangerous wildlife out here, so I want to be sure I'm adequately prepared for whatever we may encounter.

    Also, what are the rules of firearms in a national forest? I know I am allowed to carry concealed, but could I carry a rifle on a sling over my shoulder legally?

    Thanks guys!
    I like to have one of my trapper sized lever-guns when camping, at 34" OAL, they are fairly easy to carry/conceal in a large duffel bag.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

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    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    I'm just wondering what I should bring in terms of firearms.
    When I do wilderness camping I bring a 357 Magnum revolver, a 4" Ruger GP100 to be exact. If I owned something in 44 Magnum that would be my camp gun of choice. Over the years I have had several close encounters with bears but outside of having my camp ransacked on one occasion I've suffered no harm from them. A large caliber revolver is a good idea none the less.

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    Besides the above mentioned articles I would plan to bring a Bear proof food container and do not leave any trace of food out when you can avoid it. Bear's can smell approximatley 7 times better than a dog so avoiding them in the first place is always the best way to avoid an encounter. I live and camp in bear country and always pack my .45/70 govt. lever action rifle as well my .45 pistol. We bring our dog along and she is excellent at keeping animals away and alerting us if they are close. We sleep off the ground in a roof top tent which also adds some measure of protection. More than likely though if you are smart about the food thing you will not see any bears.

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    Senior Member Array Snowman23's Avatar
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    +1 to the Bear proof containers. But if you don't have one bring a length of rope so that you can hoist your food off the ground between two trees....it's worth the effort. I don't have any fancy schmancy 45/70 rifles like Ilikeguns but sometimes I bring a shorter bbl 12g with 00buck or slugs. Of course bring your pistol. DON'T LEAVE ANY GUNS IN YOUR TENT IF YOU LEAVE YOUR CAMP! Bear spray can't hurt to bring along. I'd just call the local ranger station and see if there are any laws unique to that state/area or even campground (if developed)

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    Distinguished Member Array GunGeezer's Avatar
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    I was assured anything less than a .44 mag. would just piss a large bear off. That was why I bought my Ruger Super Red Hawk .44 mag. with a 5-1/2" barrel. I conceals well in any sort of backpack.

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    As a long distance hiker (before my heart problems), I second keeping the food away from the tent and add do not take scented toiletries, including toothpaste.

    I never, cooked or ate near my tent site -- most often stopping to cook & eat, then hiking some distance before pitching camp for the night.

    Check out: http://www.igbconline.org/html/safety.html

    especially http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/...w_to_avoid.pdf
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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    IIRC the Washington state record for black bear is around 750lbs, so I would take something appropriate.

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    No matter where you go, you will be more likely to have trouble with 2-legged snakes than any of the other critters.
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    Any decent handgun will do fine. Cougars and Bears are both very skittish, and will typically run at the sight of a human. Just the report of a firearm should send any others hightailing it out of there. A friend of my father used to hunt Black Bears a lot with dogs back when it was still legal to do, and he killed several good sized ones with his Colt .45 Gold Cup Government model.
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    New Member Array GooeyGus's Avatar
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    I wish I had a bigger collection of pistols so I could choose something like a 357 mag or 44mag, but unfortunately all I have is my XDm .40 and desert eagle .50AE (which i would rather not have to lug around with me... haha). As far as long guns go, All I have is an AR-15 and a savage arms .22LR plinking rifle.

    I'm leaning towards bringing my XDm as well as the AR, I'm hoping those two should cover most possible scenarios. I'm also going to bring some OC spray.

    Does anyone know the laws reguarding shooting in a national forest? The only info I could find said you cannot fire weapons within 150 yards of any structure or campground. I didn't plan on doing any shooting in the woods, but if we find a nice safe spot it would be nice to know whether it's ok to do or not.

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