Losing yourself somewhere in the wild can be both relaxing and stressful, sometimes at the same time. While you may enjoy the fresh air, nature’s beauty and the serene sound of the environment, you are also (or should be) always aware of the hidden dangers around you.

Wild animals are beautiful and majestic, but can also be extremely dangerous when threatened or hungry. If you want to survive an encounter with a beast you have to know what to do and how to act. While they can be heavy, carrying a gun into the backcountry for protection can be a lifesaver.

The number one concern of many wildlife enthusiasts are, of course, bears. While most bears will avoid you if they don’t think you’re invading their personal space, accidents do happen and you can get face-to-face with this ferocious killing machine.

RELATED: Bear Attack, Choose Your Revolver

The old “play dead” advice is usually ineffective and can even get you in greater danger. The best thing to do is use a bear spray, but when push comes to shove and you see that the bear attack is imminent, you have to do the best you can to survive. This means using a gun (a good gun) and using it properly.

Since guns are your last line of defense when in a potentially hostile environment, it is important to choose your weapon of choice wisely and know its advantages and flaws. For that reason here are five of the best guns to carry in the wild just in case you need it.

Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan

Don’t be fooled by the small size of this gun. It has quite a punch and can protect you against some of the largest predators out there. Small, compact and handy, this weapon will not take up much space and is perfect when travelling light. Whether you want .44 Magnum, 454 Casull, or .480 Ruger, this gun will deliver when necessary. The only downside is its increased recoil, which means you will have to make that first shot count, or practice a lot to counter it. Either way, a great choice for those in need of a smaller outdoor companion.

Smith and Wesson Model 629


When it comes to S&W, you can’t go wrong. People have been using it for a long time and it is always a trusty sidekick when needed. Its .44 Magnum will offer you all the protection you might need when facing a threatening force. Furthermore, it is available in various barrel lengths, so you can choose the option that best suits your shooting style. Of course, the quality that the stainless steel offers is also something that shouldn’t be overlooked when choosing this piece.

Taurus Raging Bull


Another minute gun that is certainly worth your money is the famous Taurus Raging Bull. If you’re looking for a small, but very effective handgun, you should certainly opt for the .454 Casull version that has 2 ¼ inch barrel and packs quite a punch. It also provides great versatility because, besides its regular ammo, you can also use .45 Colt cartridges. Its main feature, however, is it the red “Raging Bull” strip on the handle which decreases the recoil and makes it much more precise. If you need a small piece that can offer big protection, Taurus is certainly a great choice.

Smith and Wesson 500


Another great choice when it comes to S&W weapons is the Smith and Wesson 500. One thing you should realize from the start – this handgun is all about the power. It was even described by the manufacturers as the most powerful revolver ever. Besides its regular barrel length of 8.3, you can also order 6.5 and 4 inches, according to your needs. Among its features is also a muzzle compensator that drastically decreases the recoil and improves the shots. However, due to its immense shooting power, you will need to train with it extensively if you wish to make any use of it in critical situations.

Mossberg 500

mossberg 500

Finally, for the end, we’ve included one great long gun that would be your best defence in these situations. While carrying a shotgun around can be tiresome and overwhelming at times, you will learn to appreciate it once you see its stopping power in the face of danger. The Mossberg 500 12-gauge shotgun will offer you all the protection you need and doesn’t rely that much on your gun proficiency. Its 000 buckshot will give you all the power you need and the shear sound of it could chase away the predators. For this reason, as cumbersome as it may be, Mossberg 500 is a great choice that won’t leave you hanging.

As we’ve mentioned, guns are your last option and can make all the difference between life and death, but they are only a part of your protection. Learning how to use them properly, proficiently and under stress will make all the difference. We hope that choosing the right gun will raise more awareness of the dangers lurking in the wild. The nature gave you this life, but it can also take it away.

Photo credit: Wikimedia