OK, so that's my little rant on the subject and you probably know by now where I stand on the issue. Let's look at some basic options for concealed and open carry weapons while traveling in the back country. Always check your local laws on carrying weapons in the back country. Some wilderness areas do not allow you to carry a firearm while in parks or national forests.
Use one if you must but I would not rely on it if my life depended on it. All kidding aside, if it's all you have it's all you have. Get it in your mind to survive and to use what you have at hand. Try running scenarios through your mind and ask yourself what you would do in a given situation.
Pepper spray can be purchased just about anywhere from your Walmart to your local sporting goods store, and many locations online. As far as the carry aspect, it can be placed in a pack, carried on a lanyard or in a sheath on the belt. The last is what I prefer for ease of access mainly. Also I don't really want that stuff around my neck if I happen to fall and rupture the canister. It's probably not very likely to happen. I would just rather have it as far from my face and eyes as possible. Pepper spray can be purchased in many different strength’s for different applications. Also it can be carried in some areas where firearms may not be allowed. Bottom line is: this is a good non-lethal way to keep yourself safe and protected and allows you to put some distance between you and the threat.
This is my preferred means for self defense. While pepper spray is an alternative, I prefer not to get that close to an attacker or threat. Now, I’m not talking about sniping someone or something at 500 yards. I’m talking about a real threat up close and personal. Whether it's firing a couple of warning shots into the air to scare off an animal or putting rounds on target to put something down for good, a firearm is the most effective means of eliminating a threat.
Training is a must. Know how to use a firearm and when you should or shouldn't use one. As far as carrying, I use the Glaco STO 440 IWB ( inside waistband) holster for the Springfield Sub-compact 9mm. Its very comfortable to wear and keeps it out of site and clean while riding while allowing for easy access.
These are just a few of my thoughts. Remember: the best defense is a good offense. Be aware of your surroundings and listen to that little voice in your head. When its says “HEY! I don't think we should be here,” listen. It's there for a reason.
Enjoy the ride!