I always carry a tampon sword with me when I hike.
It’s really just a knife the size of a tampon, but tampon sword sounds more intimidating.
I’ve pulled the blade out many times on animals, but never used the weapon. On shopping, my thought was, “I just need a dagger big enough to slit a throat.” I ended up with an ultralight 1 inch extremely sharp knife, however, I am always reminded of how teeny it is when I open it to a threat. I feel like whenever I whip it out I should preface that the knife looks smaller because it’s cold outside.
I also pack bear spray and a plan of attack. You can’t pull some hero maneuver crap out of your pocket when crisis happens without any thought of how to handle it before. Have you ever done an interview without practicing? You sit down and your mouth dries up and you can’t speak, or that hole in your jaw becomes the outlet for a volcano of oral defecation splattering the employer’s face with words that aren’t answering the question. You desperately dig thru the dusty boxes in the attic of your mind searching for grand stories where you overcame adversity, but instead all you find is old crusty stuffed animals and baby clothes your parents are still holding on to hoping you’ll decide to spawn kids.
My plan against creatures that want to kill me:
1.) Try not to shit my pants.
2.) Shit pants.
3.) Discharge bear spray.
4.) Release tampon sword and cut throat or eyes of animal.
5.) Punch animal in the nose and use my 10 foot tall, bullet proof body to jump on back of the beast and choke forest lurker to death.
6.) Die or change my pants.
I don’t know if I could take down a cougar, but don’t tell me that. I’m a fairly confident person until I am taken down by a pickle jar with a tight lid at home. Then my cat stares disapprovingly at me naked trying to pry the lid and I remember I don’t have a cat and things get weird, and I am still naked.
I am not capable of all impossible things, only the important ones. I just hope I don’t stumble across a cougar with a pickle jar. Then I’m screwed.