4 months, 4 weeks ago
There is an interesting discussion thread at reddit/guns on whether you open carry when you hike. There is some good information, some bad. Take it all with a grain of salt.
We have discussed open carry before, and how laws against open carry are an artifact of Jim Crow laws. They should all be repealed, each and every one of them. Furthermore, see my Christians, The Second Amendment And The Duty Of Self Defense for a discussion of the ubiquity of weapons and their open carry in Colonial America.
But regarding the open carry of weapons when you hike or camp, you should do it. There are threats in the East, from Coyotes (which can be aggressive), to Black Bear, to snakes and other threats. In the West the problem becomes even more severe, with Brown Bear, Cougar (Mountain Lion, Panther or various other names), and even Jaguar in the Southwest. And of course, there is the omnipresent threat of evil humans with which to contend.
The discussion thread gives some examples of threats (and also see here), and I have given an example of a man who saved his life by carrying a .45 pistol while camping. Whether legal in any specific state or not, open carry is wise in the wilds since need for the weapon is likely to be an immediate and urgent need.
However unsafe you are in urban America, you are even less safe when you go into the wilds. Carry weapons. Have them at your rapid disposal. Know how to use them. Don’t be a victim.