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Open Carry In The Woods


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Stay on-topic, people. As I stated, this topic is for discussion of carrying while caching, not for discussing seatbelts, morons, etc.

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Seriously, you are comparing a gun to a seat belt??!!?? I am certainly not anti-gun, I just don't see or feel any sort of need to pack one - based on any semi-realistic senario I will ever find myself in.


Car accidents I've seen. Been in 2 myself. Fires I've seen. Used extinguishers on them myself. Gun toting criminal threatening me?? Not once in 39 years.


Carry if you will or not. I don't. Even the cops will tell you how rare the actual "need" for a weapon is.

I've never had an airbag deploy.

I've never been in a serious auto accident where a seat belt would help (motorcycle yea, and the helmet saved my life).

Never had a fire.

I have been a victim of violent crime more then once in my almost 42yrs.

So have family members.

Wonder how many people have NEVER been the victim of a violent crime (doesn't have to be someone else with a gun)?

Wonder how many people you know have been. It's not something most people talk about.


Depending on what study you believe, Americans use a firearm to defend themselves between 800,000 and 2,500,000 times a year. 99.9% of those times no shots are fired. Doesn't seem all that rare to me.

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Animals is the least I'm afraid of, drug dealers or other two legged critters are the most I'm worried.

I hope you can aim better than you can write. Yes, I am being a smart a**.


I have no problems with people owning or carring guns. The thing I find most interesting is the fact that one should only point a gun at someone if they are prepared to take that person's life. There's no bluffing with a gun.


It is very east to sit a computer and banter back and forth. Bravado is easy at a computer terminal. I have read several threads about guns and caching. They all are about the same. "I carry and will kill anyone that crosses me." Yada, yada.


I saw a move entitled, A Bronx tale and in one scene the gangster boss catches some neighborhood kids buying guns. He breaks up the group then he pulls one of them aside. He tells this one kid that having a gun doesn't make you tough. You find out who is tough when the other guy has a gun and you don't. The point is, that if you carry a gun, you better be damm well ready to pull the trigger. You don't want to wet yourself when the other person calls your bluff. :laughing:

Pot, Kettle, Black, eh? Sorry, couldn't resist being a smart a** myself.

Edited by ParrotRob
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I have carried on a few caches. Mostly out of town and in areas that I did not know very well. And in one instance I was happy I was. Not sure if I really would have needed it but I'm sure it detured the guys I ran into from taking any action toward myself. Never had to take it out of the holster, but the shear size of it I bet had to make them think twice. A Para-Ordinence Black Watch SSP .45 will make anybody think twice. And it makes me feel safe.

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1.) Make all guns of all types free for the taking


2.) Make bullets cost $5,000 each

The problem with this plan is that most people would not shoot often enough to have any proficiency.


I would love to say 'I just won't go anywhere that I would need to use my handgun to defend myself or others'. Unfortunately, I have two reservations about the comment.


First, I can't say that there is any place that I know for sure that I won't need it. Well, maybe the public library, but I don't want to hang out there all day, every day.


Second, imagine the places that I would have to forbid myself from going. I can't go look for caches in the woods because bad guys or wild animals might be there. Urban caches are out because I might run into bad guys or surly drunks. Most walmart micros are still OK, I guess.


In a thread in off topic regarding firearms, I brought up a time that I was caching in Indiana and was attacked by a big, mean dog. I almost got seriously injured. Had I had my weapon on me, that would have been a dead dog. Since I was traveling through four states, I didn't have it. As it turned out, I got very lucky and didn't get bit. This was the cache. It was just like any micro in a little neighborhood park.

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...Who here carry guns while geocaching in the woods? Animals is the least I'm afraid of, drug dealers or other two legged critters are the most I'm worried. I use my HK USP45 with USP9 as backup, or the Beretta 92FS sometimes as backup.

I typically speak softly and carry a big stick; it's kept me out of danger/trouble for years. :D:laughing:

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sbell111-"First, I can't say that there is any place that I know for sure that I won't need it. Well, maybe the public library..."

Good point but I was in the Boston Public Library some years ago when a man, who may have had some mental issues, started ranting about people disrespecting books, etc. They had to call security to drag the guy out before he got violent so maybe you can cross the library off the list of "safe" places! :laughing:


You also mention that some may feel uneasy in the deep dark woods. I've hiked for over 45 years, including doing the Appalachian Trail 2.5 times alone so I've spent about 24 hours per day in the woods for the equivalence of over a year and I've never had a situation where I felt I'd be better off carrying. I have met armed people in the wood, mostly hunters, and have had some nice chats with them. Whether they were from Georgia, Virginia, or Maine, they all are out there, like hikers and cachers, doing what they love. My Leki pole with the carbide tip does a pretty good job with the occasional unruly dog that you may meet near towns.


For anyone who wants to carry (or not), please do it responsibly and do it without an attitude.

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:laughing: Just a few things for anyone who posted on this thread to think about:


1. You have the right to remain silent.

2. If you give up your right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.

3. You have the right to have an attorney present during questioning ( and you better get one - a very good one )


Okay, now I'll explain. I'm not a lawyer, but I did carry agun and wear a badgeas a private contractor for the federal goverment. And yes, I've had to testify on my behalf in a court of law in a case that was self defense in a non lethal use of force. Everything about you and your beliefs is carefully investigated, they speak to your friends and co-workers and anything you said jokingly, or as false bravado or without thinking, is indeed used against you.


So, what I'm trying to say is, these forum threads are public record and will be accessed during any investigation of a shooting or confrontation that turns ugly. So be very careful what you say here. Be very careful here and out there.

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I'm a deputy sheriff in Central Florida. As such, I am able to carry concealed almost anywhere. One of the job perks. I've been in the woods virtually all my life, and I'm comfortable with the critters that reside there. The only 4 legged animals that have done more than protecting their "nest" were dogs and wild hogs. Because of my relatively large stature, few criminal types pester me, so I'm pretty comfortable around the two legged variety of critter as well.


That being said, I am always armed with a Glock Mod 21, 45ACP. I've never had to use it or even display it, because I prefer to let my noggin get me out of trouble, as opposed to resorting to my handgun. The closest I've ever come to needing my Glock was during archery season several years ago. My brother in law & I inadvertantly stumbled upon a bunch of drunk airboaters who were "hunting". Not necessarily legally, if you know what I mean. About 20 of them Vs two of us, and they were all intent on stomping the living snot out of us. I managed to talk my way out of that mess, but it got pretty dicey there for a while. I did have my hand in my fanny pack holster, just in case, but opted to keep my handgun hidden because we were greatly outnumbered and outgunned. Had this situation devolved into a shooting scenario, I doubt we would've survived.


In an attempt to answer the original question;

No, I would not openly carry while geocaching, even if it was legal.

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There are some caches here in NYC that I wouldn't go to during the day much less at night. Probably more dangerous than most people you'll run into in the woods. An open carry policy for NYC would be interesting. Don't know about caching, but can you imagine the carnage in the crowded subways during the rush hour with everyone pushing and shoving everyone else ?

Edited by Alan2
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I've been in a car crash and a plane crash where a seat belt saved me.


I've been in a fire where a fire extinguisher saved me.


I've been at a wreck where my first aid kit saved somebody else.


I've even killed people.


I hope to never do any of those things again.


But just yesterday, I was caching and had two nasty semi-wild "house" cats offer to do me damage just because I was on "their" trail. I was carrying a gun -as always- but didn't use it on them.


I use seat belts; I have fire extinguisers, first aid kits and guns immediately at hand.


If you choose not to carry or wear or use any of ther above, peace be with you.

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:) Yes I carry. Licensed and trained to do so. In a local state park, where I have cached. A fellow I worked with was shot and killed and his wifed raped by an 18 year old kid, who then took his own life. Three lives ruined or one ? A choice I hope never to have to make, but after 30 years in law enforcement, I know the right choice (for me).
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I don' think the thought has ever crossed my mind. I feel more safe walking through the woods in the middle of nowhere than anywhere else. If something bad is going to happen, I can't think of anywhere else I'd rather die.


I just watched some special on PBS about the increase in "growers" in the nationsl parks and how park rangers and local law enforcers are undermanned and under-armed in this new battle. They showed camps they had taken, full of gun cases with some serious fire power. Their advice was so turn around and walk away if you ever stumble upon their "cache." Very interesting show.



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Lets start by clarifying where "open carry" is even legal:


From http://www.opencarry.org



We wont debate open carry vs concealed, since that's better suited for a forum like http://www.packing.org .


My (often stated :)) position is a firearm is a tool. Nothing more, nothing less.

By itself, it is incapable of doing anything, just like a hammer or a car or a first aid kit.

In the hands of a properly trained person, all of those things are quite safe, and very useful. In the hands of the wrong person, they could all be harmful.


Carrying a gun for self defense is the same as having a first aid kit, airbag, or fire extinguisher. You never know when you will need them, and you hope and pray you NEVER need them; but if the time ever comes when you do need any one of those items, it could mean the difference between living and dieing.

Just like the first aid kit, or the airbag, you just cant predict when you might need a gun. People get in car accidents pulling out of their driveway, driving in nice neighborhoods, and on the way to or from geocaches. Even in the safest neighborhood, a drunk drive can change your life forever.


So it is with a firearm. Bad people don't just work in bad neighborhoods. Vicious animals don't know the difference between a nice park and a not so nice one.

Many times there are other solutions to the incident other then a firearm. A stick, pepper spray or alarm MAY work. But if the time ever comes when nothing else can save your life but a firearm, you and/or your family members may die because you didn't carry one.


If you can legally carry a firearm (in most states in the USA that means you have passed both state and federal background checks and taken safety training), and feel comfortable doing so; you should do it all the time. Just like a first aid kit, an airbag, or a fire extinguisher, you never know when it may save your life.




Heya Mopar! Nice map of the states that allow <stuff> etc. I appreciate your effort to help people post that map from packing.org; it 'clarifies' a few things, but I would also like to share my own view, spurred on by my thoughts of what this whole thing represents to me: A Condition of Unconstitutionality in certain States of the United States (as regards the Right To Keep and Bear Arms.)


This subject is one I have a major interest in, primarily as it is, in my honest assessment, one of the most misunderstood Rights of the U.S. Constitution.


My major observance is this: Where is open carry *not* legal? Carrying a firearm is not a privilege, it is a Right! A Right! Something that is Inherent To Being An American, if you will. Something the Founders wrote up to be understood to be necessary to keeping the country secure, both from within and without.


All these so-called "laws" that supposedly are designed to limit carrying of firearms, either concealed or otherwise, have one fatal flaw: They are unconstitutional and are not worth the paper they're printed on! If a legislative body seeks to limit a Right specified as non-limiting (such as Article II), that body is, itself, involved in an unconstitutional act, as relates to the specific body of legislation being considered. So long as the Right is an inherent part of the Constitution, it is a Right and will forever and always be a Right! Period!


This applies to any law, whether it involves firearms rights or not. Period! A police officer who attempts to disarm or arrest an individual carrying a firearm for personal protection or other "legal" method (legal here is meant to mean Constitutionally Endowed and does not pertain to so-called 'statutory' laws, which are unconstitutional if they deny the Right To Keep and Bear Arms) is violating the law, whether they know it or not.


I am aware of "the way it is" today, as perceived by most of the nation. I am also aware of the fact that I also have paid well over two-hundred dollars, myself, to obtain a CCW permit in my particular state. I do this primarily to 'keep the peace' and provide society-at-large with what it perceives to be a "showing of responsibility to be knowledgable" by attending the classes and going through the entire permit process. Some people with low incomes could not do this, so I can well-imagine what they think of the entire permit-obtaining process.


I do this also because of certain 'authorities' who might otherwise think ill of me, and attempt to stop me from carrying my firearms for whatever reason without the permit. Is this Constitutional, however? I think not. Just because I am 'going along' does not mean I necessarily agree with doing so. I do so to 'keep the peace.'


Summarizing the aforementioned and the above, my point is this: A "permit(ting)" is the acceptance of the condition of privilege, not the accepting of Right. Therefore, if a person is "not allowed to carry openly," then what are they allowed to do? Nothing? If this is the case, then a condition of Unconstitutionality exists in those places on the map so listed, and therefore the "Right To Keep and Bear Arms" has been violated.


Primary Point: The law stating that open carry is not permitted, and where no such "permit of privilege" is easily or at all available indicates a "condition of unconstitutionality" as regards the "Right to Keep and Bear Arms (Article II). Therefore, such laws, as are currently 'in force' are not laws at all, but Unconstitutional Acts.


To me, I believe it is time for the rest of us--Responsible Citizens--to indicate to our lawmakers and enforcement officers that we will not condone any type of enforcement action against us for doing something that is, inherently, a Right, and not a privilege. Call your Congressman! Call your State and National Senators! Call your Sheriff! Call your local Prosecuting Attorney! Call anyone and get involved. Start a campaign to eliminate unconstitutionality as pertains to the Right To Keep and Bear Arms!!





Caching In On The Journey

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Within a hour of where I live, crack-dealing streetgangs control many inner city areas. Marijuana growers regularly use our local national forests to locate their plantations. Clandestine lab operators cook up meth throughout the deserts. Bandits and addicts are constantly trying to steal "the product" wherever the opportunity arises. We also have earthquakes, race-riots, oil-refinery explosions, brush fires, serial-killlings and lots of other unpleasantness.


I have owned firearms since 1968. I have hunted in several states, served in the military and was a licensed firearms dealer for nine years. My collection currently contains every gun I've ever wanted. And yes, there was a time when I believed that citizens NEEDED to be armed to protect themselves from the massive criminal element.


But in all these years, I have NEVER been presented with a situation where I felt the need to use [or threaten] deadly force against another person.


Unless I am hunting, target shooting or training my dog, I am not likely to be openly armed in public. That said, I always keep an emergency kit close at hand. It contains a number of articles that can be pressed into service when the chips are down. Naturally, the E-kit is packaged, secured and transported in the manner prescribed by law.


Cache safe.

Edited by MLP-76C
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If you choose not to carry a defensive implement, don't, but also don't put down people who choose to enable themselves to fend off an attacker, human or otherwise. A civilian legally carrying a concealed weapon may save your (slang for donkey) one of these days (it happens every day in this country, by the way, but those incidents tend to be under-reported).


If you choose to carry, do so responsibly, meaning extensive, frequent, and perpetual training and practice.


I won't say whether I always or occasionally carry a concealed weapon because it's nobody's business. I will say that I subscribe to this mindset:


It's better to have and not need than to need and not have.

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I'm in the UK where hand-guns are illegal wherever you are, concealed or otherwise so maybe my perspective is distorted.

Our criminals don't tend to spend much time in the woods so you are probably safer out there than antwhere else.

I don't know if the stats are the same in the US, but here you are far more likely to be raped, murdered or assaulted by someone you know rather than by a stranger.

If one of my three step-kids was going to be hurt, I would automatically be the first suspect.

If I was able, I'd probably carry at home where it is really dangerous (statistically anyway)



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Just a quick question thats been nagging at me, I hope its not too far off topic: (if anyone knows)


If you Tasered a bear, how effective would it be?

My guess: VERY effective.


Very effective at turning a bear at close quarters into a very pissed off bear at close quarters.


Me..for a while, I had a loaded .357 in my car at all times (licensed CCW). If I'm going for a long hike in the woods, it goes with me. I'd rather have it an not need it than need it and not have it. Hunting season, it goes with me 24/7 almost. Caching, between various unfriendly 4-legged creatures I may encounter to druggies and other individuals in the woods, I'd rather have it with me.

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:P I believe that if you want the peace of mind accompanied with carrying a weapon, then by all means do so, ...

That's an interesting position. I can't speak for everyone who carries, but I have never found it to give me an exceptional amount of 'peace of mind'. Quite a bit of responsibility, additional options if needed, and the added benefit of my training, but not really gobs of 'peace of mind'.

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VPC is an accronym for partisan hacks. :P


No! Really? I especially like this claim:


"Guns and tobacco are the only two consumer products for which there is no federal oversight for health and safety."


I wonder what the "federal oversight for health and safety" is for, say, for instance... dog collars. Or barbecue sauce. Or those little flat plates you serve sushi on.


Typical sensationalist wackos is what they are.

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VPC is an accronym for partisan hacks. :P


No! Really? I especially like this claim:


"Guns and tobacco are the only two consumer products for which there is no federal oversight for health and safety."


I wonder what the "federal oversight for health and safety" is for, say, for instance... dog collars. Or barbecue sauce. Or those little flat plates you serve sushi on.


Typical sensationalist wackos is what they are.

I wonder if the Police deal wiht OSHA. Plus arent the warnings on tobacco mandated from a health and safety organizatoin?

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So, lets say you ACTUALLY have to pull on an animal, how much time is lost getting to your concealed carry ?


'Bout 1 1/2 seconds, at the most.


Lets see, airbags, seatbelts, etc. = passive safety devices. Fire alarm, pretty harmless, especially in an idiots hands, and a first aid kit ? Come on Mopar, I've heard some piss-poor pro-gun speeches, but you're REALLY reaching here.


Airbag and fire alarm, yes, passive. The others you must use yourself. Do you ever KNOW when you'll need them?


Same goes for my CCW, I never know when I might need it, so I always have it with me.


Simple, isn't it?


...with two 25 round clips


Somehow, I don't think you know what you're talking about, but I'll let you figure out what I mean.



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I am VERY new to this sport and take my young kids to the parks to find caches. Now I read that you guys take guns to protect yourselves from others? :)


I know that going into some places is not safe, (and stop the search when that becomes obvious). Has this been a problem with anyone before? Here I thought this would be a fun and safe trek for the family, now I am really worried.

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No, it's not a dangerous sport. It's a great thing to do with your kids, don't let this stop you from enjoying yourself. Heed the warnings on the cache listing as some caches are not for the faint of heart, and even read the logs of others, but it's a very safe thing to do, inasmuch as going to work or on vacation is safe. It's not necessary to pack a rod while geocaching, I think some folks just like to have guns. *shrug*

Happy caching!

Edited by Sue Gremlin
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My husband and I both have a permit to carry, and we use our judgement as to when to take a weapon into the woods, whether we are caching or not. There are certain places which we know from experience are likely to harbor "undesirables" of both the human and non-human variety, and we base our decision on that. We have never had an encounter while caching where we needed to use our weapon, but there have been two occasions where we wished we had it along and did not, simply because we ended up in very isolated places with weird vibes in one case, and because we ran into some very strange people on the way out from another cache a few weeks later. Neither incident had anything to do with geocaching...we could just as well have been picking blueberries or bird watching and encountered the same things!


Use your judgement as to which caches to take your kids on. Is it a long hike in a desolate forest or gamelands? Is it in a bad neighborhood? Is it at a deserted park & ride lot off the interstate? Don't do caches that make you feel uncomfortable for whatever reason (whether because other cache logs make reference to "the weird homeless guy near the cache" or "saw the mother bear, but only heard the cubs" or "creepy woods, felt like we were being watched", or whether you just don't like the looks of the place when you get there).


Geocaching is a lot of fun for people of all ages and abilities, and is no more dangerous than taking a walk in a park or around the block in your own neighborhood, IF you use commonsense. I don't think that "packing heat" is necessary for geocaching, and I don't think that geocaching poses any danger to familes. Be aware of your surroundings, don't allow your kids to wander away from you, always use restrooms as a group, make sure you're back safe in your car before dark, carry a cell phone for emergencies, let someone know where you are going, make sure your gas tank is full, and watch the weather channel to make sure it's not going to snow! Basic precautions that you would follow in your everyday routine will keep you safe when caching as well!

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I am VERY new to this sport and take my young kids to the parks to find caches. Now I read that you guys take guns to protect yourselves from others? :)


I know that going into some places is not safe, (and stop the search when that becomes obvious). Has this been a problem with anyone before? Here I thought this would be a fun and safe trek for the family, now I am really worried.

Actually, as I understand a number of these posts, they carry in a lot of situations - not restricted to geocaching. Would agree that the vast majority of us do not carry.


As I previously stated, if I thought, even for a second, that a gun was necessary before going there - that would be enough to keep me from going.


Though I am cautious, I do not fear and I have faith that I am well protected.


I keep the guns locked away except when I occasionaly enjoy some target practice.

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I am VERY new to this sport and take my young kids to the parks to find caches. Now I read that you guys take guns to protect yourselves from others? :)


I know that going into some places is not safe, (and stop the search when that becomes obvious). Has this been a problem with anyone before? Here I thought this would be a fun and safe trek for the family, now I am really worried.

If you are worried now you should have been worried before. If you weren't worried before you shouldn't be worried now.


What it comes down to is trust your 6th sence. It tells you when somthing is up and when to leave. Trust it, follow it, obey it. It has probably alreayd saved your skin and you don't even know it.


There are times when that isn't enough, or it's too late once it kicks in. What you are reading about in this thread is an added layer of safety that some people choose to use. If I had a pistol in my pack and some punk jumped out and stuck a gun in my face and asked for my wallet, he's going to get my wallet. The goal isn't to sling lead it's merely to get out of it with no harm. If that same punk decided it was open season and started shooting...Now I've got to do something about it. The pistol may or may not save me. However I've got better odds with it than without. My worst case is I'm dead. But that's the worse case with or without the pistol anyway.


In my entire life I have never needed protection. The worst thing that has ever happend to me is that I was bodily picked up and carried off by two burley guys who caught me vandalizing a sign when I was a teen. They scared the crap out of me but they were doing the right thing. I wasn't.


While geocaching I've never felt in harms way. I typically go with friends and family anyway.

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I am also one who geocaches with my young kids, so I will use my best judgment as to which caches, hiking locations, and caching partners are appropriate, taking into account terrain, location, 2- and 4-legged threats, safety, etc. If you have kids, your first priority is to keep them out of harms way and to protect them if harm comes to you. In my opinion, having a weapon that I might consider using leads to decisions that are more dangerous for my kids and me. I'll use my brains, my words, my legs, my property (i.e. handing it over), and everything else I can, before I would use a weapon, esp. against someone else with a weapon. It will increase the likelihood that my children or I will be harmed, in my opinion.


I would think hard before geocaching or hiking with someone who needed a weapon for protection or to feel safe. I would have to know that person really well and trust them wholeheartedly not to make an encounter with the 2-legged dangerous animal even more dangerous..


I'm not against firearms per se, just for the responsible, intelligent use (and non-use) of firearms.


On a lighter note, let's start a pool for how many messages this topic will get up to before it's closed. I say 103. :)


Abba of Team Maccabee

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That is if I have my shirt tucked in over it and have to pull it out/clear.


If I just have on a loose shirt or jacket, its under 1 second.


As I previously stated, if I thought, even for a second, that a gun was necessary before going there - that would be enough to keep me from going.


Starbrand, you are absolutely 110% correct. Especially since CCW normally refers only to handguns. That is why police cars carry riot guns and/or rifles - their job is to go into harms way. Mine is to avoid it at all costs, but I will protect myself and my family by whatever legal means are available to me.


But, do you alway know when there might be trouble? Ever been in a convenience store late at night? Broken down on the side of a dark country (or city) street? The list goes on.



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My wrist-rocket slingshot can take out a muggle at a good 30 yards! :(

Ha! You are a batter shot than I am. The only thing I can hit at that range is the back of my own hand. That hurts!


Ok, I was exaggerating a little bit. :D

But it took you over four years to draw and shoot! Yikes! :)

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I am VERY new to this sport and take my young kids to the parks to find caches. Now I read that you guys take guns to protect yourselves from others? :)

Only when going after an FTF, in case some other cacher tries to slip in there ahead of us! :(


Seriously, I used to carry but stopped not long after I started geocaching because this game takes me to so many places where guns are not allowed. The last straw for me was when an appointment got canceled, I had the afternoon free and was near a state park with interesting caches in it... but I couldn't go in the park with a pistol in my car. I figured that since the game might frequently take me to places where the gun could not go I didn't need it in the car. After not carrying for a few months I realized how silly going around armed all the time really is and sold it.

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